Ultimate Guide for Custom Tablecloths


As with any marketing collateral, there are seemingly countless trade show table covers on the market. This guide is designed to make the process of selecting the right custom table cover for your event marketing needs an easy and seamless experience.

1. Why Buy a Custom Table Cover With Logo Instead of a Plain Cover?

1. Why Buy a Custom Table Cover With Logo Instead of a Plain Cover?

According to Hubspot, most initial sales interactions last a total of just 30 to 40 seconds. At a trade show or other public event, not only will you be vying for those precious few seconds, but you’ll also be competing with dozens or even hundreds of other brands at the same time. Capturing the attention of your prospects and making a strong first impression is essential to making your event marketing efforts a success, and a custom table cloth can help you do just that.

Trade shows and other events provide the opportunity for brands to connect and engage with potential new customers, which makes table space prime real estate. Given the short amount of time you have to captivate your audience , a plain table cloth just won’t cut it. In fact, it could end up giving your prospects the impression that you didn’t adequately prepare or that your company lacks professionalism. That’s the last thing you want to happen.

A professionally designed, eye-catching custom table cloth, on the other hand, will help you not only catch the attention of passersby, but it will also help your brand stand out from the crowd. And any successful exhibitor knows, achieving maximum brand recognition is the best way to generate a positive return on your investment. Simply put, custom tablecloths allow you to make your presence more prominent, which will attract more visitors to your booth and ultimately lead to more sales as a result.

2. How Much Do Logo Table Cloths Cost?

2. How Much Do Logo Table Cloths Cost?

The price of printed tablecloths varies based on a number of factors. In particular, the type of fabric, print style and size all play a role in how much a custom table runner will cost. Many people are surprised, however, at how affordable a tablecloth with logo can be. In fact, generally speaking, the standard cost of a 6’ branded table cover averages just around $150 to $300. That’s a very small investment when you think about the impact it’ll have on your trade show marketing success.

It’s worth noting that some print providers offer custom tablecloths that may seem very inexpensive at first glance, but pose the following risks:

• Ineffective or nonexistent color matching (not great for brand consistency)

• Low-quality material

• Very particular limitations on print (i.e. only white background, 1-color logo, etc.)

At the end of the day, when it comes to trade show table covers, you get what you pay for.

If you still want to explore customized branding options for your event table, but are very restricted on budget, exploring customized table runners to pair with a plain table cover are a great compromise for a lower cost. They're often made out of the same material as standard polyester or stretch table covers.

3. What to Know About Tablecloth Printing Fabric

3. What to Know About Tablecloth Printing Fabric

As mentioned previously, one of the things that differentiates customized table covers is the fabric from which they are constructed. Depending on your needs and budget, there are a number of different options available to you, as follows:

Polyester - the most common/popular and can come in a variety of weights and substrates

Liquid Repellent Polyester - good for brands in the food or beverage industry

Spandex/Stretch - offers a more dynamic and professional look and feel

Outdoor/Canvas - made from the same sturdy material as tent canopies

If you're not sure what is right for you, many companies offer sample packets to get a better feel for the material and print output in person.

4. Which Custom Table Cover Fabric is Best For Your Event?

4. Which Custom Table Cover Fabric is Best For Your Event?

To determine which fabric option is best for your needs, take into consideration:

• The environment in which you’ll be exhibiting (indoor vs. outdoor)

• What you’ll be using your table for (e.g. food demonstrations)

• How often you plan on using your custom table cloth and what type of look/feel you’re trying to convey.

If you are working with a limited budget, this may also play into the type of fabric you choose for your custom table cover, as materials like spandex or outdoor canvas are typically more expensive than polyester.

For example, polyester is by and large the most common fabric for most custom printed table covers. You'll see them anywhere from trade shows to retail shops. Some do use it for occasional events outside, but if your brand is attending a lot of outdoor events and looking to invest in a custom tablecloth fabric that's going to hold up, spending more on tougher canvas will benefit you in the long run.

5. Print Options for Your Custom Table Covers

5. Print Options for Your Custom Table Covers

The design options for your custom table cover will primarily depend on the print provider you choose. As mentioned above, some print companies impose limitations on their products, such as the ability to only print on a white background or print in just one color. Others don’t offer adequate color-matching for Pantone colors (or any at all), which means you could end up with a finished product that doesn’t match your brand or appears unprofessional.

If you are looking for something very simple or you’re working with a tight budget, there are basic print options that can still provide you with a high quality custom table cloth without breaking the bank. For instance, printing just one logo or using a stock background color can both be affordable options. To make a more powerful statement, however, we recommend choosing an all-over print option, which is fully customizable in terms of print space and custom color matching to display your message and coordinate perfectly with your brand.

6. Choosing Style Options for Your Custom Tablecloth

6. Choosing Style Options for Your Custom Tablecloth

The next important feature to consider when comparing printed tablecloths is the style. The three most common custom tablecloth styles include:

Throw-style (classic and most popular)

Fitted style (with inverted pleats or no pleats/box style)

Back panel options (open or closed)

Some stretch/spandex and outdoor canvas custom table covers may also offer zipper back options to help achieve a better fit on the table. This is also a great option if you’re looking for additional hidden storage space underneath the table.

Your choice of style will ultimately depend on your own needs and preferences.

7. What is the Best Printing Method for Custom Table Covers?

7. What is the Best Printing Method for Custom Table Covers?

Just as there are a number of different printing style options for custom tablecloths, they can also be made using a number of different printing methods. The two most common ways to create a tablecloth with logo are:

Screen Printing - generally outdated and less popular today, but may be a more cost-effective option, particularly for 1-color or simple designs in a large quantity

Digital Print/Dye Sublimation - preferred method in the industry today as it allows for high-quality printing of artwork, colors, and photos

The print option you choose for your custom table cloth will ultimately depend on your budget as well as the complexity of the design you have in mind. Unless you have a very basic logo or are on an extremely limited budget, digital printing with dye sublimation will enable full customization and a highly-impactful end-product.

8. Turnaround Time on Trade Show Table Covers

8. Turnaround Time on Trade Show Table Covers

The time it takes to design, print and deliver your custom tablecloth will vary depending on the print provider you choose. The industry standard is 3-5 business days, though some providers may take 5 or more days to complete a customized order.

If you need your table cover in a hurry, some retailers will offer rush production and/or rush shipping for an additional cost. Be sure to check on this before choosing your print company to avoid any unfortunate or costly delays. Ultimately, making sure you schedule orders ahead of time is a very important part of the event planning process when it comes to procuring promotional and large-scale print display materials.

9. Standard Sizing of Personalized Tablecloth

9. Standard Sizing of Personalized Tablecloth

Most trade show table covers are designed to fit standard rectangular size folding tables. The general specifications for these are as follows:

24” x 4’ x 29”

30” x 6’ x 29”

30” x 8’ x 29”

Most trade show and event tables will be either the standard 6ft or 8ft size. If you’re not sure what size you’ll be using, there are also convertible table covers, which provide the option of easily switching from 6’ to 8’.

Some retailers also offer 42” covers, which are ideal for bar height tables. Round, “cocktail table” style covers (i.e. 24” x 42”, 30” x 42”, etc.) are also available, and are typically constructed from stretch material.

10. What If I Need a Custom Size Stretch Table Cover?

10. What If I Need a Custom Size Stretch Table Cover?

If the table you’ll be using at your next trade show or event isn’t standard size, most print providers can offer custom size table covers made-to-order. Keep in mind that your measurements for a custom size printed tablecloth will vary depending on the fabric you’ve chosen. In general, the following requirements apply:

Polyester Throw or Fitted Table Cover - provide the full L x W x H dimensions of the table

Spandex/Stretch Table Cover – provide:

o The full L x W x H dimensions of the table

o The dimension of the space between the legs of the table

o The dimension of the space between the feet of the table at each end

When in doubt, it’s best to choose a print provider that offers quality support and expert service. That way you can contact them should you have any questions or need clarification on anything. The last thing you want is to end up paying for a customized table cover that doesn’t fit properly.

11. How Do I Wash and Care For My Custom Table Cover?

11. How Do I Wash and Care For My Custom Table Cover?

Once you’ve received your tablecloth with logo, you’ll want to take appropriate measures to ensure that your investment pays off for many years to come. The proper care of your custom table runner will vary, based on the fabric you’ve chosen. Industry standard is as follows:

Polyester Table Cover Wash:

 Machine Wash: 160 degrees F. Use synthetic detergents that don’t contain bleach or softeners, as these might adversely affect the flame retardant coating of the fabric. Do not bleach printed table covers.

 Tumble Dry: 120 degrees F. Remove immediately.

 100% Polyester – Excessive heat, loading and leaving too long in extractor or dryer will detract from permanent press characteristics of all polyester fabrics.

 Ironing – If above instructions are followed, no ironing is required. If necessary, light touch up with hand iron at 250 degrees F. Key: Do not mangle.

Spandex/Stretch Table Cover Wash:

 Hand or machine-wash in lukewarm water.

 Do not use chlorine bleach on any fabric containing spandex. Use color-safe bleach only.

 Rinse thoroughly.

 Drip dry. If machine drying, use low temperature setting.

 If ironing is required, iron rapidly and don't leave the iron in one place too long. Use a low temperature setting on the iron.

Outdoor/Canvas Table Cover Fabric Wash:

 Sponge clean using warm soap water.

 Not recommended for machine washing.

Other Care Information:

 Storage: Storing your custom table cover in its own bag in between uses will help to keep it looking clean and fresh. Some retailers may include a free storage bag with each cover purchased, or you can buy one separately.

Adhering to these care instructions should help you get the most out of your custom tablecloth so you can use it to represent your brand at many trade shows and events to come!

12. Conclusion

12. Conclusion

A custom table cover can enhance your company’s presence, promote greater brand awareness and help you maximize your event marketing ROI, not just at trade shows, but at anywhere you want to make a strong impression. That includes business conventions, job fairs, community events and more. If you want your brand to stand out from the crowd and make the biggest possible impact, printed tablecloths are the way to go.

MVP Visuals is proud to offer table covers with all of this and more - free shipping, quality sublimation print, and ONE-DAY production time!

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