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3 Inventory Shortages That Could Impact Your Trade Show Display In 2022

3 Inventory Shortages That Could Impact Your Trade Show Display In 2022

2022 is off to a promising start for trade shows, live events, and large conferences after seeing significant growth in the Q4 of 2021. At MODdisplays, we’ve seen a substantial increase in the volume of clients planning to attend industry trade show events this year.  

While many companies will be exhibiting at shows in 2022, there are still supply chain challenges to consider when planning your booth. 

1. Expect Hard Shipping Case Delays in 2022

Most exhibitors don’t realize that shipping cases, especially ones that double as branded counters, are one of the most expensive and time intensive parts in their entire trade show booth. 

CA700 Hard Shipping Case Rendering
CA700 Hard Shipping Case

Many shipping containers are created using rotational molding (rotomolded) to build the hard outer shell of the case. Rotomolding, in very simple terms, is when a resin powder is put into a mold, then heated, rotated, and cooled until hardened into the specific shape of the mold. 

While rotomolded hard shipping cases are sturdy, they also take time to produce. Since the molds are so large and very expensive to create, the volume at which the cases can be produced are lower than most other items. 

Additionally, since cases are generally big in size, shipping large quantities from the manufacturer to the warehouse is not easily done. 

These case delays are likely to impact portable trade show display booths more than large, crate and pallet shipped exhibits. 

What To Expect: 

During Q2 of 2022, you can potentially expect 30 - 60 day delays on many hard shipping cases. 

2. Expect Delays With Power Supplies In 2022

Backlit displays are more popular than ever in the trade show industry. The rise in popularity is partially due to affordable display prices and easy assembly. 

One main component of a backlit display are the power supplies that light the LEDs and illuminate the exhibit. 

Power Supply Rendering
Power Supply

Power supplies (or transformers) are fairly technical to build and require raw materials from several sources. When forces such as COVID shut down segments of the manufacturing process, inventory delays are bound to occur. 

Aside from manufacturing delays, shipping routes and docking times are more dynamic than a few years ago, leading to additional potential for delivery delays. 

What To Expect: 

While power supplies are arriving quicker than cases, in Q2 of 2022, expect potential delays of 15-45 days.

3. Expect Delays With Trade Show Display Lights In 2022

Lights are used in every style of trade show booth from banner stands to backlit displays. 

LED Stem light
Stem LED Light

The use of LED lights at large conferences are only increasing as backlit exhibits, using hundreds of LEDs per display, have become so popular. 

LED array lights
Backlit Display Lighting Array

Similar to power supplies, lights are a technical item that require numerous materials from numerous sources. LEDs lights themselves have run into microchip shortages and drastic price increases on many components in the past couple years. 

Add together all the variables such as component shortages, increased demand, COVID lockdowns, time consuming technical assembly with dynamic shipping times and it’s easy to understand why the industry has seen inventory strains. 

What To Expect:

In Q2 of 2022, you can expect the potential for 15 - 45 day delays on many different styles of LED lights. 


For the most part, shows and events are coming back strong and running smooth. Many exhibitors are excited to meet new people and show off their new 2022 trade show booth. 

The display industry has worked very hard and done a great job at finding ways to source inks, fabrics, frames, parts, etc. so your exhibit looks great at your show. Unfortunately, some items, like cases, power supplies, and lights are still a challenge to regularly stock at this time. 

To stay ahead of inventory shortages, it’s important to plan ahead and order early. By ordering early, you get your company's name on any potential backordered part list sooner so as they arrive, they are shipped to you before they are gone again. 

If you have any questions about inventory or want to start planning your own 2022 display, feel free to give us a call, send us an email or set up a video conference with our team

April 5, 2022
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