Renting marketing materials for events and trade shows is a great option for many companies, but for regular exhibitors there will likely come a point where the idea of purchasing trade show exhibits becomes a more cost effective solution. For first timers, the process of choosing or designing a new trade show display can be extremely intimidating. In recent years the number of customization options in the world of marketing displays has exploded, making the initial steps toward owning your own booth that much more confusing.
Rule Number 1? Relax, the perfect design for your business is out there and it only takes a little patience and due diligence to find it. Here are five tips to help ease you into the purchasing process and put you on the path to the exhibit of your dreams.
Familiarize Yourself With The Different Types Of Trade Show Exhibits
Trade show exhibits come in a varied range of shapes and sizes, so it’s important to start out by deciding which design is right for you and your business. Whether you’re interested in designing a fully custom booth, or will simply customize an existing design, exhibit systems range from small portable tabletop stands, to modular designs in a variety of sizes, to hybrid concepts that may include a number of different stands, tables, walls, kiosks or podiums. In many cases, the manufacturer you work with will be able to help guide you in the right direction if you provide them with details about your company, your marketing goals and the message you want to present. The important thing is to understand the differences in how your chosen booth will be transported and assembled, and how it will look.
Scope Out The Competition
One of the best ways to establish the right type of design for your needs is to visit a show to see what your competitors are using for their trade show exhibits. If you’ve already spent a while attending events or renting equipment you’ll likely already have an idea of what you want (and don’t want), but the best way to get a feel for your options is to see them in action. Interact with booths of differing sizes and layouts to see for yourself what works and what doesn’t and utilize those impressions in your own design.
Know Your Budget (And Stick To It)
One of the keys to ensuring a solid ROI from your exhibit purchase is to firmly establish what you can afford to spend and then design the best possible option based on that number. Again, most reputable event marketing manufacturers will be able to provide a number of options based on nearly any budget. Don’t put undue pressure on yourself by overspending on your first display, there will be plenty of time for upgrades or even completely new, bigger designs if your initial efforts are successful.
Establish Your Overall Marketing Goals FIRST
The best trade show exhibits are assembled with the overall marketing goals of a business in mind. Knowing what you want from your event presence and understanding how an exhibit will help to achieve that is paramount during the early stages of the design process. Will you be directly selling a product? Are you simply looking for exposure for your brand? Will guests be asked to fill out forms or interact with parts of the exhibit? These are all important questions that will need to be answered BEFORE your manufacturer begins building your booth.
Take Your Time
This last point ties directly into Rule Number 1 from earlier (it was “relax” in case you’ve forgotten). Conceptualization and construction of quality trade show exhibits takes time, and rushing the process will only cause you to make rash decisions that may wind up compromising the success of your eventual design. Careful planning and forethought should always be part of an ideal marketing strategy and the same care should be taken when purchasing your first trade show display.