How to Compare Steel & Composite Trade Show Truss (Infographic)

Presentation is a big part of all exhibition displays – it is essential to draw big crowds and bring in potential clients. Without a strong presentation and set up, it isn’t possible to draw a strong interest from visitors passing by the booth.

It doesn’t matter how fantastic the product or service being sold is, if the demonstration doesn’t draw interest, or the sales staff doesn’t communicate effectively, no one will ever get the message to check out your products.

20x20 island double deck trade show truss display

Because of this, creating a big splash with your exhibition displays is essential, and truss displays are one effective tool to do just that. Chances are, you are probably more familiar with the truss equipment seen at music concerts and larger events – truss allows for heavier items to be hung from it, and is frequently chosen to hang lots of lights, presentation signs, heavy product displays, and anything else in between.

The solid construction of trade show truss displays makes a strong impact on anyone walking past the demonstration and helps set your exhibition display apart from the rest of the pack. It is important to be remembered at the trade show, and although having the best swag at the show does help, providing a performance and demonstration that is second to no one is the more effective way to drum up potential clients and customers.

Truss displays are one of the few display systems that are easily reconfigured; the same pieces can be used to make one 10ft shape this show, a different 20ft shape the next show, and be part of a huge island display for the annual big show that each industry typically features.

On top of it all, trade show truss equipment is easy to put up and tear down. The equipment fits on top of one another and connects snugly, just like putting together a block set – no tools required! A small, two person team is usually enough to set up a 10ft display in an hour or so. And because of its construction, truss displays will normally last indefinitely.

But have you ever wondered what the differences were between the several styles of trade show truss displays? Trade show truss displays are made up of light weight, metal or composite bars that crisscross one another. This allows for a light, yet sturdy support system for anything you want to hang and display. Higher end lighting equipment is a common addition to trade show truss systems, as bright lights have a way of making even the best products look better.

Polaris 10x20 orbital express truss displays

At first glance, most trade show truss looks similar. They share some great characteristics, primarily, that truss displays are modular – it’s simple to use the same pieces, plus or minus a few add-ons, to create dozens of different designs. And most truss designs that you see modeled in one truss system can be made in almost any truss system.

Here at American Image Displays we work primarily with three styles of trade show truss display systems, made by three different manufacturers.

Two of those truss systems use steel truss. One of them uses a large palm-sized plastic knob for connections, the other steel system uses traditional steel wing nuts to connect the parts.

The newest addition to the trade show truss displays we offer is built using composite truss, an outgrowth of the aerospace industry focus on composite structures.

All three of our truss kits assemble without tools, and can be reconfigured into dozens of different shapes – your imagination is the only limitation.20-x-20-Trussworks

If you haven’t considered truss displays before, we’d encourage you to at least give the possibility some consideration.

Truss displays are certainly not for everyone, or every application, but they’re perfect for applications that require sturdy structures for hanging products, or applications that need a beefy structure for a second story room (see our double decker truss displays here).

And truss just adds a good visual characteristic to some clients, especially those in the construction and mining industries, for example – where the products you’re selling need to be sturdy looking or convey reliability too.

To better illustrate these differences, we’ve put together an infographic (shown below), listing and comparing the three most popular trade show truss systems.

As mentioned, these three truss systems have a lot of similarities. However, there are some differences that might affect your selection process.

So, please review the chart below to see the key differences in these three popular trade show truss kits.

We’ve done the comparison by building the same 10ft truss design in the 3 different systems, and then comparing the number of parts, weight, cost, etc., to evaluate the differences in the truss.20x20 composite truss display

We have all three truss systems in example display kits in our showroom, and would be happy to show them to you if you’re local to the Seattle area.

Or for clients that aren’t located nearby, we’re happy to answer questions via phone and email, illustrated with pictures as needed, or by shipping out a sample part or two.

If you’re interested in giving truss a try, you can’t go wrong with a turnkey truss rental. And you can review the many different truss designs available here.


Truss Comparison: 2 Styles of Steel Box Truss VS Composite Truss

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Please feel free to download, or to post on your own site – we just ask that you include attribution to with this graphic.

Want more information? Check out our article on building a custom trade show display!


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