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One of the most exciting parts of being a small business owner is getting in front of your customers at trade shows. At a trade show, you can spend time with your existing customers and make new connections.
Your exhibit can be influential in determining how many new leads you generate and how much revenue you take home. The problem is that it can get expensive fast, especially if you’re trying to set up world-class custom trade show exhibits. Here are some tips on how to do so on a budget.
Research for the Trade Shows You’re Going to Participate In
Before you start designing your trade show exhibit, you need to know the answers to some questions. What is the purpose of this trade show? Why are you participating in it? What do you want to accomplish? You should also know who will be visiting your booth and what they’re interested in seeing at it.
If there’s any doubt about what visitors will be looking for or their expectations aren’t clear enough for you, ask them directly. You can conduct surveys and get feedback from past exhibitors and other sources such as industry experts and blogs.
In addition, try to find out how competitors have set up their booths in previous shows so they can inspire ideas on how yours can be better than theirs. Just don’t copy them unless that’s part of your plan.
Choose the Most Profit-Yielding Booth Position
The most important thing to consider when choosing your booth location is its proximity to the main entrance of the trade show. It can mean the difference between a packed, profitable exhibit and one that’s empty and wasted. However, don’t be afraid to sell yourself short by accepting a less-than-ideal spot. It’s better than nothing at all.
When picking your booth location, you also need to consider how easily accessible it will be for attendees traveling from afar or with mobility issues. If people have trouble navigating through tight crowds outside your stand or getting in and out due to poorly placed barriers in front of entrances and exits, they won’t stop by as often.
Figure out Your Budget as Early as Possible
One of the most important parts of planning a trade show exhibit is understanding your budget. Finding out how much it will cost you to put on a trade show booth is as simple as adding up all of your costs and dividing by the number of attendees at your show. It can help you understand exactly how much money you’ll need to get off the ground with an effective display.
It’s also important to keep track of what other companies are spending on similar displays at other shows, but don’t worry about getting lost in numbers. That would be like calculating how much money we’ll have when we win Powerball tomorrow; it’s not going to happen anytime soon. Instead, focus on ensuring that everyone visiting your booth has a fantastic experience while there.
Pick a Unique Theme for Your Trade Show Booth and Stick to It
You should have a theme for your trade show booth. If you don’t, then you’re doing it wrong. A theme is central because it will help you stay focused and consistent in all of your messaging. And that includes everything from the image you create to what kind of products and services you sell.
It would be best if you made sure that every aspect of your trade show exhibit reflects the same message, tone, and brand values as your company. If one part of it doesn’t fit with the rest, visitors will be confused about who they’re interacting with and what’s being advertised.
For example, if all your marketing materials have green accents but suddenly there are red accents at the booth itself or white walls instead of green ones, visitors might not understand why such changes occurred. This sort of inconsistency can undermine trust in an otherwise reputable company.
Select Appropriate Furniture and Display Materials
Trade shows are an excellent way to reach out to your target audience, but your trade show’s success depends on how well you position your products and services. The first step in creating a successful trade show display is selecting furniture that will be appropriate for the setting. For example, if you’re planning on hosting a small event with only 20-30 attendees, it would be better to use pop-up displays or table-top displays.
You should also consider what type of display materials are best suited for this environment. For example, vinyl banners might not be ideal because they don’t hold up well under direct sunlight or high humidity levels (common conditions found at many trade shows). Instead, using fabric banners may be better since these can flex without tearing.
Decide Who Will Design Your Trade Show Exhibits
Now that you’ve decided how to structure your exhibit, it’s time to select a designer. Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules for finding the right trade show display designer who can design world-class custom trade show exhibits. However, keep these tips in mind when searching for one:
- Make sure they have experience with your industry and design exhibits that represent your company and industry. If they haven’t designed exhibits before or don’t have any samples of their work on their website, it’s probably best to find another option.
- Look at their portfolio closely and get references from other clients who’ve used them before. Ask if the professional has ever worked with companies in similar industries as yours. If so, ask them what kind of results they achieved with those customers so you can understand whether they’re likely to be able to help you too.
Consider Renting a Trade Show Exhibit if You Have a Limited Budget
Consider renting if you’re on a budget and have limited space to set up your trade show exhibit. Many companies in the industry offer rental services for individuals who are just starting or don’t have enough space to store their exhibits. Rental is also ideal if you want to try out new products or services before purchasing them outright.
One of the most significant benefits of renting is that it gives you more control over your money and expenses throughout the year since most vendors allow partial refunds on new rentals at the end of each quarter or month. It can be beneficial if you’re trying new things with your business. Renting will save you money while allowing flexibility in what type of displays work best for your company’s goals at different times (e.g., product launches).
Custom trade show exhibits are an excellent way to take your business to the next level, even if you have limited funds. The key is finding a company that can customize these systems for your needs and budget. As long as you work with an experienced vendor, they can help you design a booth that not only looks great but also meets all of your requirements while meeting any budgetary constraints so they’re affordable.