trade show

Trade Show Timeline: Breaking It Down

The statistics behind trade shows are staggering. If you knew that 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority or that 78% of trade show attendees travel more than 400 miles to get to the show, then maybe you’d be prompted to rethink your trade show marketing.

If your company is anything like us at Custom Color, you are always looking for opportunities to meet and strengthen relationships with clients, you have an investment in your brand, you’re ready for company growth and you’re looking to outshine your competition. Trade shows provide the perfect opportunity to check all of the above boxes.

Before you can reap the benefits of awesome new customers and higher sales numbers, you have to consider the type of trade show booth that will be most attractive to your customers. For some of our clients wanting custom and more complex exhibits, we have compiled this trade show timeline to help guarantee a flawlessly executed event.

6 months out:

Approximately six months before the event start date, you should request to meet with one of our sales executives. In that initial consultation, we’ll discuss your budget and how we can get you the biggest bang for your buck.

During your consultation, we’ll want to know if you’re interested in custom flooring, suspended structures, walls, windows and frames and fabric. Our offerings are extensive and can range from $100 to $50,000 depending upon your needs.

2 months out:

We request that art files are submitted eight weeks prior to the exhibit’s arrival at the show. Following our art requirements will cut down on production time and will ensure that your art comes out looking its best. After our prepress process, our master press operators and finishers will get to work creating the graphics that will capture attention.

6 weeks out:

If required, frames from SEG Systems will arrive at our Color Castle approximately six weeks before the show. This gives us enough time to construct your booth and test the graphics so that we can confirm a flawless fit.

Following this timeline ensures that the booth will be complete one month before the start of the show and allows for any changes to be made. Generally, the show determines received shipments and set-up dates.

Here's an inside look into the construction of our very own trade show booth:

Building a custom trade show booth with us means that your prints will be of the best color image quality (thanks to our G7 Master Qualification), you’ll gain unlimited access to our high levels of service and knowledge in the trade show industry and we’ll facilitate the shipping to ensure that your booth arrives in the best condition.

Creating a captivating and custom trade show booth requires a bit of strategy and lot of creativity. Thankfully, we carry a hefty trade show resume and can assert just the right amount of tactic and vision to boost your booth.

Here’s a little bit of inspiration and a view of what your trade show booth could look like. Let us know if you want to talk about boosting your brand at the next show you attend.

Printing Predictions: Expected Industry trends from SGIA Expo

The Specialty Printing & Imaging Technology’s SGIA Expo begins tomorrow and we couldn’t be more excited. This Las Vegas trade show is where the most qualified and educated print professionals convene to check out the printing world’s best products, methodologies and applications. The Material Men from Custom Color will be there to explore the exhibits and take part in a bit of large format fun. 

It’s important to recognize that customers don’t just want a print service provider. Clients, regardless of their industry, are looking for a print solutions provider: 


With that sentiment in mind, I thought it’d be fun to make some predictions about what I think we’ll see at the show:


WhatTheyThink recently published a commentary that addressed automation as the hot topic for this year’s trade show season. “Automation has become an integral part of general commercial printing, with more and more parts of the printing workflow more or less completely automated.

I think we’ll see automation in two different avenues: software and equipment. Everyone in the industry is looking for ways to streamline the standardized parts of printing. Furthermore, printing companies want to ensure that there is as little error as possible prior to printing and in the final product.

While we already automate our prepress process and sewing, we will be on the lookout for more ways to include automation in our preparation and production procedures.


Show attendees will definitely be on the lookout for the latest and greatest in printing technology. It’s a given that the floors of the Las Vegas Convention Center will be filled with printers and finishing equipment – many times these mammoth machines are the spotlight of the show. Software technology will also be a pretty big deal for many print shop owners who are looking for automation and process efficiency. 

Both machines and software work hand-in-hand to enhance print output – print owners want consistency in software technology and in machines. All production devices should work together to provide reliable results – this is what we’ll be checking out. While we have a pretty robust collection of software and equipment, we are always looking for technology that can enhance our output uniformity and speed.


Doing a quick scan over the SGIA Exhibitor List and #SGIAExpo on Twitter makes us really excited about the many mediums that we’re about to encounter.

I’m seeing quite a few new large and grand format fabrics that will make their debut at the expo – I’m predicting that fabric will be the substrate show-stealer.

Print shops are always seeking out ways to clarify prints and provide more deep and vivid colors. The dye-sublimation process is the provider of the clearest prints and most bold and vibrant colors currently attainable. A variety of exhibitors at this Expo will flaunt this capability.

As a shop that has been printing on fabric for the past twelve years, we’re looking for the next advent in the fabric forecast.

Final Thoughts...

In effort to be the best print solutions provider that we can be, we’ll be on the watch for integrations that incorporate into our current processes and technology. While I’m not a prophet, I am confident that automation, technology and substrates will happen in Vegas, but won’t stay in Vegas…because they’ll come back to our Color Castle in Lenexa, Kansas with us. 

Next week on our Positively Printing blog, I’ll let you know how accurate my expo envisions were. In the meantime, I’ll be in Vegas, baby. 

Jason Milbourne is the Vice President at Custom Color Corp. A designer, pre-press connoisseur, and Royals fanatic by day and a fantasy baseball pro and taco and craft beer arbitrator by night, Jason loves all things fun and crazy….just like his hair. Connect with him on LinkedIn, but don’t follow him on Instagram, because he won’t follow back.