Custom vs Modular Exhibits

Custom vs Modular Exhibits: Which is Best for You?

When it comes to creating a standout exhibit, there are two primary options: custom exhibits or modular exhibits.
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In the trade show world, grabbing the attention of trade showgoers and making a long-lasting impression is the ball game. One of the many ways of grabbing that much-needed attention is through the design and layout of your exhibit. When it comes to creating a standout exhibit, there are two primary options: custom exhibits or modular exhibits.  

In short, custom exhibits and modular exhibits are two different approaches to constructing and designing the all-important exhibition booths and displays at your next trade show event. These two different approaches cater to various needs and preferences.  

We will be exploring the various needs and preferences that define these two different strategies. Then, it’s up to you to decide which approach fits your style and brand. 

Pros of Custom Exhibits  

Custom exhibits are designed and crafted to represent your brand identity, values, and what your brand is willing to offer. Custom exhibits are crafted for a more personal touch. These exhibits are a canvas of creativity, allowing you to bring your most imaginative concepts to life.  

Below are a few of the benefits and elements of custom exhibits. 

Distinctive Design 

As stated, custom exhibits allow for a more creative approach to design. Your exhibit can have a sense of exclusivity and luxury. The essence of this approach can leave your fellow trade showgoers with a long-lasting impression. This strategy is always the goal in every trade show experience. 

Seamless Brand Integration 

If your unique brand identity requires specific colors, logos, shapes, and even literal textures, custom exhibits ensure that every particular element is seamlessly engrained with your brand. The ability to pick those very specifically driven attributes goes hand in hand with custom exhibits.  

Limitless Design Flexibility  

With custom exhibits, the design flexibility or workability is virtually limitless. From the uniqueness of innovative architectural structures or even more entertaining interactive technologies, you can form and shape every detail of your vision. This design capability allows incredible workability and, most importantly, flexibility with your exhibits.  

Incorporates Engaging Experiences 

Custom exhibits provide many opportunities for one-of-a-kind immersive experiences. Due to the flexibility that custom exhibits allow, you can create an exhibition that’ll separate you from other mundane booths on the trade show floor – incorporating interactive displays, multimedia presentations, and hands-on workshops that engage the average attendee on a deeper level.  

Longevity and High Quality 

Custom exhibits are a bit pricey, but the longevity of an exhibit can be worth the upfront cost. They often have a long lifespan due to their timeless design and sturdier construction. It’s how the old saying goes “You get what you pay for.” 

Pros of Modular Exhibits 

Modular exhibits are built using a system of interchangeable components, making it a highly flexible option for companies exhibiting in a variety of booth sizes.  

Here are some reasons for choosing a modular exhibit:  

Budget-Friendly Solutions  

Modular exhibits are, for the most part, more affordable to produce. They allow trade showgoers to stay within the budget but still have a product that showcases your brand.  

Tailored to Fit Every Space 

If you find yourself being a staple at Trade Shows, the appeal of being able to pick your stuff and move with ease is a must-have. Modular exhibits are reconfigured to fit different booth sizes. 

Faster Set-Up 

As stated prior, assembly and dismantling are quicker. Modular exhibits save you valuable time and allow more face-to-face interactions due to efficiency alone.  

Hassle-Free Transportation & Storage 

Modular exhibits are much easier to transport between trade shows or events. This flexibility will also naturally bring down your costs on storage and shipping and is beneficial for businesses with tight logistics.  

Simple Yet Effective Branding Options  

While not customized, modular options will still allow you for some branding, such as graphics, banners, and signage.  

Choosing Your Exhibit: Custom or Modular? 

Custom? Modular? Which one is right for you and your brand? Let’s consider the following facts before we make the right decision. However, there is no right or wrong decision—just the right fit. 

Balancing Quality with Budget Constraints  

The most significant determining factor is the overall budget of your brand. Custom exhibits generally come with a higher upfront cost, whereas modular options are more cost-effective.  

Clarifying Your Exhibit Objectives 

When considering your plans for your exhibit or booth, ask these questions; are you focused on a memorable experience, or do you want a practical and functional exhibit? Do you want something simple or complicated? Is this a big presentation or something you can keep short and to the point? Figuring out your goals will make this decision an easy one. 

Exhibit Frequency: Occasional vs. Regular  

Are you a regular at trade shows? Modular exhibits may work best for you. 

Reflecting Your Brand’s Strengths  

You should consider the importance of brand representation. Custom exhibits allow for exact brand alignment, whereas modular offers a branding experience on a small scale. 

Crafting Memorable Engagements 

Thinking about the level of engagement is an important attribute to consider as you reach the trade show. Custom exhibits provide a much more immersive experience, while modular will still engage an audience but at a smaller, less creative level. 


Both custom and modular exhibits both have their merits and advantages. Both exhibit types are tailored to specific needs and want for your particular brand. Custom exhibits offer unparalleled uniqueness and specific branding, while modular exhibits provide unbridled flexibility and cost-effectiveness and are extremely easy to set up/take down.  

Ultimately, your decision should be based on your budget, overall production goals, branding requirements, and even how many trade shows or events you attend throughout the trade show season.  

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Whether you choose to spice it up with a custom exhibit or impress with your modular exhibit efficiency, a well-put-together, well-executed exhibit will leave a lasting impression on your target demographic and thus elevate your brand in the competitive world of trade shows. 

The Trade Group is a full-service trade show and event marketing company. We will work with you to create an exhibit or an event that brings in leads and helps you achieve your business goals. Contact us here or give us a call at 972-734-8585. 

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