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Trade Show Exhibit Buying Tips: 5 Important Factors To Consider

Trade shows are the perfect environment for meeting prospective customers, establishing relationships, and generating leads. But in order to meet your target audience, you need to have a trade show exhibit that makes a great first impression. The problem is, choosing a design and configuration that suits your needs – both now and in the future – can be difficult.

You may be tempted to let price dictate your selection. But price alone is a poor guide for choosing a design that stands the test of time and delivers a positive return on your investment. The marketplace is filled with cheap displays that offer little to no long-term value.

To help you make the right choice, we’ll address 5 crucial factors of buying a trade show exhibit below. Together, they’ll help you to select a display that delivers maximum dollar-for-dollar impact.

#1 – Types Of Displays Available

Trade show displays come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and configurations. It’s important to understand the pros and cons associated with each of them. For example, pop-ups are lightweight and easy to transport. They’re also ideal for small spaces – e.g. 10′ x 10′ – and easy for one person to set up and dismantle. However, they lack flexibility.

Modular exhibits are more flexible, allowing you to make adjustments based on the size and shape of your rental space. But that added flexibility comes with an increase in cost.

Truss systems are ideal if you need a display that presents a unique appearance. They come with an assortment of components that can be configured to give your exhibit a dramatic flair.

You can also have a customized trade show exhibit designed for you. Note that such systems can be more of an investment. Plan to work closely with the display designer to ensure the design meets your expectations.

#2 – How Long Will Your Booth Last?

Your booth should be constructed of durable materials that can weather constant transport as well as repeated installation and dismantling. Durability ensures multiple uses. If you’re planning to attend numerous events during the next few years, you’ll want a display that won’t fall apart.

Expect your booth to last at least 3 years. Ask the vendor to confirm that estimate before purchasing one.

#3 – Amortized Cost (Per Event)

We suggested earlier that the price of a trade show display is a poor gauge of its long-term value. Its true value is based, in part, on the number of times you’re able to put it to use.

Consider a booth that costs $10,000, but falls apart after 10 shows. The amortized cost per event associated with it would be $1,000. Contrast that with a higher-end exhibit that costs $20,000 and lasts for 30 shows. Its average cost per event would be $667, much less than the first option.

Again, it’s important to look beyond price. It doesn’t tell the entire story with regard to value.

#4 – Will You Need To Make Changes?

Your trade show exhibit is not a commodity item like a bar of soap. Your exhibiting needs are likely to change with time. It’s important to think about whether your display will be able to adapt to those changes.

For example, as time passes you may need to create bolder graphics; you might want to change your messaging; or you may experience so much success as an exhibitor that you’ll want to rent a larger space at subsequent events.

Will the display you’re considering accommodate these and other changes? Should you purchase one that will grow with your company and adapt to changes in direction down the road?

#5 – Should You Rent A Trade Show Exhibit?

If you’re working with a limited budget, it may not be possible to purchase a state-of-the-art modular inline system. You’ll have to explore other options. One approach is to rely on pop-up displays, banner stands, and other low-cost solutions. Another option is to rent a higher-end exhibit.

Renting can be an ideal solution depending on your circumstances. It allows you to enjoy a number of advantages while avoiding the large upfront investment required when buying new. For example, your rental display will always be in good condition. You’ll also have an opportunity to test various sizes and configurations to figure out which ones are the most effective for your needs. In addition, your rental display will include modern components that reflect today’s design trends.

There are, of course, advantages to buying a brand new trade show exhibit. But if your budget is limited, renting one is a viable solution.

With so many options available, buying a display can seem overwhelming. To get the most value for your money, consider the 5 points discussed above. They’ll help keep you focused on selecting an exhibit that meets your trade show marketing needs.

Skyline Houston (http://www.skylinehouston.com/New-Products/), the Gulf Coast’s #1 provider of trade show displays, offers an assortment of high-quality exhibits that can match any budget. Learn how a creative, state-of-the-art Gulf Coast trade show exhibit can deliver impressive results for your company. Visit http://www.skylinehouston.com to explore the latest designs.

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