3 Reasons To Order Your 2022 Trade Show Display Early

3 Reasons To Order Your 2022 Trade Show Display Early

3 Reasons To Order Your 2022 Trade Show Display Early

2022 is off to a promising start for trade shows as many events are returning to in-person formats. Demand for updated display graphics, hardware replacements, and entirely new exhibits have been steadily increasing for the past six months. 

Unfortunately, ordering your new display or a new set of graphics a week or two before your event is not as simple as it used to be. Planning your trade show schedule ahead of time this year can help you navigate delays and have a great looking booth at your event. 

Here are 3 reasons why you should order your trade show displays early in 2022.

1. Global Supply Chain Delays 

Supply chain delays aren't going away anytime soon. 

The world wide supply chain is showing signs of improvement as closures and energy restrictions have improved for many manufacturers. Additionally, maximum capacity restrictions are slowly being lifted at major shipping ports around the world. 

Full world supply chain image
World supply chain

Unfortunately, other supply chain factors beyond COVID such as European trade agreements, labor shortages, political activism, improved sustainability practices, military conflicts, etc. are contributing to the continued delay. Even the lean warehousing practices that many suppliers use to improve their efficiency in a typical year is a contributing factor right now. 

With large numbers of manufacturers facing labor and parts shortages, they can’t produce at the same volume they used to. Limited inventory means wholesalers and shippers need to wait longer to fill their shipping containers or ship less total product. Either way, this causes inventory shortages for U.S. warehouses, retailers, and consumers. 

As the trade show year wears on, more and more display orders will be placed, straining inventory levels even further. If you want to ensure you get the exhibit you want, it would be wise to order that exhibit as soon as possible, hopefully avoiding inventory shortages altogether or at least allowing enough time for new shipments to come in. 

2. Pricing Increases

If supply decreases but demand stays consistent or increases, the cost will increase. These are basic principles of supply and demand. 

Limited supply on materials like plastics, aluminum, fabrics, and inks are having a clear impact on the trade show world. Parts needed for frames, cases, and graphics are not always restocking at the same rate as exhibitors are placing new orders.

Shipping container costs are rising with many container prices up 300% or more over the last 16 months and 500% or more for highly sought after routes. It’s not uncommon to see a container that used to cost $5,000 in 2019 cost $20,000 or more in 2022. 

Shipping containers in port
Shipping containers being unloaded at shipping yard

Additionally, world events such as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine will increase the price of crude oil, adding to the already inflated cost of fuel for travel and shipping.

Eventually pricing will start to balance out but it’s unlikely that will happen this year. 

As 2022 moves on and more displays are ordered, using up the current inventory, the pricing for parts and displays will likely increase as well. This isn’t out of greed but out of necessity to match the increase in backend costs. 

The sooner you order your booth, the more likely you are to avoid price increases. 

3. Domestic and International Shipping Delays

Shipping times both internationally and domestically are still experiencing intermittent delays. 

Many domestic shippers and freight carriers are still working through labor shortages, especially when it comes to truck drivers. With nearly 70% of freight moved across the U.S. by truck, the current driver shortage is impacting everything from shipping container transports and material freight to warehouse pickups and final deliveries to end-users. 

box being loaded on truck
Packages being loaded onto truck

Internationally, lockdowns and customs restrictions have been adding additional time to standard shipping schedules. In January, FedEx had to cancel large numbers of cargo flights due to employee and contractor COVID outbreaks and bad weather. Cathay Pacific cargo flights are only operating at about 20% during the first quarter due to provisions in Hong Kong

Additionally, other carriers like Alaska Airlines have limited their flight schedule which also limits the availability of belly-hold space for overflow cargo.

When you order your booth in 2022, it’s wise to allow an extra day or two for delivery. This also means don’t want to order your display right before your show, if possible. Perhaps this year more than ever, ordering your exhibit early is a smart and safe idea. 


Even though the world, for the most part, has begun easing COVID restrictions, we are not back to pre-COVID timelines just yet. Allow time for delayed inventory and shipping when ordering your event materials. 

The longer you wait to order your 2022 trade show display, the more likely you are to face inventory shortages, price increases, and shipping concerns. Begin the ordering process as soon as possible to ensure you get the booth you want. 

Planning ahead for your trade shows this year will be an important step in your event marketing success. 

If you have any questions about your trade show display ordering timeline, feel free to setup a meeting, contact us through phone or email. 

February 11, 2022
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