Choose the Right Graphics Media for Your Trade Show

Over the years, we have seen trade show events evolve from a day event to a week-long extravaganza of advertising, networking, and education. Many trade shows are now known for having entertainment, celebrity speakers, sophisticated cocktail hours, and extravagant after-hours networking events. This increase in events and spaces during trade shows has led to great opportunities for brands to sponsor various parts of the trade show, mainly through the use of different graphics media placements. Choosing the right graphics media for your trade show booth and sponsorships may seem complicated with the ever-increasing variety of options, so we are breaking down the top areas to use graphics media at trade show events.


Booth Wall: At the most basic level, your booth space should be engaging. The key to success at a large trade show is having an attention-worthy presence. With the use of print media for walls and floors, you can easily create that big presence and excitement even when space is limited. One of the best ways to get people into your booth is to have a wall for a fun photo opportunity that can be shared on social media. All this takes is a bold, unexpected graphics. At last year’s SGIA show in Las Vegas, Jessup introduced our newest graphics media, Matador™. As part of the product launch, we hired an actor to dress like a matador and had a background wall just for pictures. Attendees enjoyed taking a picture with the “matador” in our booth. Check out the photos here for inspiration. Jessup’s TexWalk® was used to print the wall graphics because it is so easy to install and remove.

Booth Floors: Don’t limit the attendee experience to the booth walls. The floor is also a great option for adding graphics. Trompe l’oeil is the art of an optical illusion, and your booth floor is a great place to create an illusion. Imagine creating a graphic that simulates a big pothole or the edge of a massive cliff. You could also create the look of a brick floor or shiplap wood flooring with graphics. TexWalk® works well in these situations because it can be applied to carpet and easily removed. If the area will experience heavy traffic, consider using Matador™. This is a reverse print media— meaning that you print on the back side of the material so that the ink is not exposed to foot traffic. Laminate the back with our non-slip backer, and you have beautiful, slip-resistant graphics that look great for years. Matador™ does not use an adhesive on the back, so you can easily move the graphics around.

graphics media like Matador from Jessup

Making a trade show booth stand out can be as easy as working with different graphics media to create eye-catching visuals both on the walls, floors, and even in the water. Jessup’s Softwalk® is a graphics media that can float in water. Because it floats, SoftWalk® is ideal for turning pools and fountains into focal points for brands and messaging. SoftWalk® is a reusable, non-adhesive backed soft expanded foam mesh for use indoors and outdoors. It is an ideal product for reusable advertising on almost any walking or wall surface retail environments, events, road shows, POP, advertising, and wayfinding.


Concessions: From coffee stations to lunch areas, concessions areas are frequented by almost all trade show attendees at one point or another, making them an ideal place to offer sponsorships. Using a reverse print graphics media, like Matador™ is a great choice for a concession area because it can offer slip-resistant floor signage and countertop signage that is easily repositionable. By laminating with the optional non-slip backer, your graphics will look bright and fresh throughout the entire event no matter the heavy traffic or food and drink spillage.

Charging Stations: Charging stations are becoming increasingly popular spaces for trade show attendees to stop and take a break between walking the floor or between classes. These areas have quickly become top tier sponsorship areas for that reason, with brands wanting to place their messaging on everything from the seats to pillars used for charging devices. A top trend for charging stations is using graphics media to create attractive 3D effects for branding on the floor areas. The media you would want to use to create such effects should consist of a translucent film which is dimensionally stable and has a non-slip textured surface. Because of the transparency, you will be able to see the floor beneath the graphic. Check out the Clear Walk® product page to gather inspiration for 3D indoor floor graphics at trade shows.

Clear Walk® 3D indoor floor graphics

Wayfinding Signage: Wayfinding is incredibly crucial at trade shows, mainly because the majority of guests are from out of town and unfamiliar with the event space. You’ll want to have wayfinding signage all around, so choose a graphics media that can be easily applied and removed like TexWalk®. Versatility is essential when it comes to wayfinding signage because you might find yourself needing to place it in areas you would have never thought of, like outside on brick pavers subject to rain and snow or inside on carpeted stairs, walls, or pillars. Consider using Matador™ for wayfinding for repeat events where the directions may change. You can print the directional arrows once and then use them repeatedly for future events. No adhesive means that you can place the graphic wherever it is needed.

Bathrooms: Bathrooms are another favorite place to post trade show event information or offer sponsorships, mainly because just about everyone visits the bathroom during the day. A bathroom can also pose a couple of concerns because of the heavy foot traffic and potential water on counters or floors, which may ruin certain graphics media or create slip and fall issues. Consider looking into a product that can be easily applied to various surfaces, including windows, tiles, counters, and bathroom stalls. You will also want to choose a graphics media that can withstand water, foot traffic, and still, offer a brilliant eye-catching image. Consider using a graphics media like TexWalk® for bathroom areas because it is known for its versatility and is also NFSI certified, meaning it provides high traction to prevent against slip and fall accidents.

Exhibit Hall Floor: Probably the most walked area of the entire event is the convention floor. The sky’s the limit when it comes to the creative ways you can use graphics media through the floors and walls of the exhibit hall space. From great branding and sponsorship opportunities, wayfinding signage, or fantastic imagery and murals—the abilities of large format printing have come a long way over the past decade, so use it to your events advantage! Graphics media is generally much less expensive than traditional signage, and if you choose the right product, it can be easier to apply, remove, or reposition as well.

graphics media for the floors and walls of the exhibit hall

Stairs and Escalators:Stairs and escalators are the next big thing for trade shows to use for advertising and capturing the crowd’s attention. People love using graphics media on stairs and escalators because of the visual appeal and the fact that the entire group of show-goers traffics them. Highly unexpected, this makes an excellent sponsorship space because it comes across as playful and fun, not annoying, and played out. This offers them a higher chance of being paid attention to and even photographed and shared on social media.

When choosing a graphics media for stair and escalator graphics, you will want something that is slip-resistant, easy to apply, molds to the surface they are used on, and leaves no residue behind. We recommend choosing Asphalt Art® for stairs and escalators because you can sure your product is NFSI certified for being slip-resistant, meets all of the criteria mentioned above, plus can be used on both indoor or outdoor stairs and escalators for your trade show.

Walls and Pillars: Wrapping pillars or creating full murals with graphics media has become popular because it is eye-catching, unexpected, and inexpensive. All good things in marketer’s eyes! Graphics media can be printed in massive sheets and rolled around pillars or onto walls quickly and then just as promptly removed once the event is over— with no residue left behind. They are an event space coordinator’s best friend because of these reasons. Check out this video to see how easy it is to install a full mural.

Wrapping pillars or creating full murals with graphics media

Evening Events: If you are hosting an after-hours event at your trade show, you might want to consider a graphics media option that glows-in-the-dark. Thanks in part to photoluminescent technology, graphics media can now offer graphics that are visible even when the lights are out. This can be great for wayfinding signage outside for night time events, sponsorship signs, or large murals. Check out how a graphics media like Glo Brite® can offer an unexpected pop for your next evening event.

Graphics media can be used in so many creative and useful ways throughout a trade show. What is the most innovative idea you have seen it used at a trade show? If you are planning to update your trade show booth or coordinating your next trade show event, then consider consulting with a Jessup representative to navigate the different options available and ensure you choose the best material for your requirements.

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