Karin Roberts concludes her insights to Exhibit Stand Options. (To view Part 1)
Karin Roberts is the Director of Marketing for The Tradeshow Network Marketing Group, a full-service trade show display company based in Chicago, Illinois, which serves clients nationally and internationally. Products include custom exhibit designs, modular exhibit displays, island exhibits, fabric booths, portable designs, and other trade show supply accessories. In addition, The Tradeshow Network Marketing Group offers a rental display inventory depot with a variety of choices to fit all budgets and trade show display booth space sizes. They provide comprehensive trade show services including exhibit design, booth installation and dismantle, trade show logistics, exhibit storage, exhibit management and trade show marketing services.
A wide variety of materials are used to construct your exhibit, which is something of a graphic billboard, at a trade show event. The traditional materials are wood, laminate, fabric, and metal frames. The largest trend today in material is to make it lightweight and easily packable. The sublimated tension fabric used in booths today is designed to reduce weight and set-up/dismantle time. The tension fabric graphics can make a big impact, typically using dye-sublimation printing. The most recent method for attaching these fabric graphics to modular aluminum frames is to use SEG or Silicone Edge Graphics, which employ a plastic strip or bead at the edge of the graphic that is pressed
into a groove on the aluminum frame. While at the Exhibitor Show, we saw that these frames, that where once stationary, are now flexible, mounted with swivels and hooks, which gives the graphic design department enhanced abilities to created totally out-of-the-box booths.
Rental vs. purchase
For years, the trade show display business was dominated by the notion of the exhibitor owning their exhibit properties, which they purchased from an exhibit firm. A number of reasons led to the popularity of purchasing exhibits, including accounting realities and the cultural history of the
industry itself. But in recent years, all this has begun change. At one time, rental exhibits would have been a category in the list above. In the past, a rental exhibit would have been viewed as a specific type of exhibit, usually a property owned by an outside vendor – either the show general contractor or an outside rental exhibit company. Older versions of rentals were stock properties in standard configurations or slightly modified, which gave the exhibitor a less-than-outstanding look. This is no longer the case. The exhibit industry now treats rental and purchase of an exhibit primarily as alternative financial strategies. The rental exhibit itself can be designed to create a custom look. These days virtually any type or quality of trade show display can be rented or purchased, depending on the exhibitor’s preference.
In some markets, such as North America and Europe, rental provides lower initial and even lower overall costs, due to high costs of trade show exhibit ownership, which includes such items as storage and maintenance. Rentals today deliver greater flexibility whereas purchase provides certain undeniable accounting benefits. Consumers of trade show displays in these markets must weigh their options to determine what works best for their situation. In other markets, such as most of Asia, raw materials and labor are so low priced that rental is rarely competitive and disposable booths are the norm.
Global differences in approach
Differences in how trade show displays are approached vary on the locale. In South America, Europe and Asia, it is much more common to have what is known in the industry as "build and burn" exhibits, which are fabricated and set up just for one show.
In North America, it
is more common for exhibitors to purchase the booth and use it many times for different shows before it is either re-purposed or disposed. In the U.S., most exhibitors think of the booth as a highway billboard, where you only have about five to seven seconds to grab someone's attention before they speed by to the next booth.
In Europe, trade shows have much longer hours and the emphasis is on longer meetings and actually closing deals. Therefore, displays are built to facilitate longer meetings, including more
comfortable seating and hospitality areas to serve food and beverages.
Trade shows also have their own rules about what can be done in an exhibit, so it is best to always check the show rules first.
Good reasons to exhibit at a trade show
The global trade show industry serves a staggeringly wide and varied audience, typically aimed at consumers, businesses or both. Companies may also want to exhibit at a trade association conference, where the focus is on education. More than one thousand industries sponsor shows devoted to their business, and each industry has their own unique way of implementing those shows. Some can be more educational while others are focused on hands-on experiences or just plain old networking.
Regardless, there are numerous reasons for exhibitors to invest in a trade show booth:
- To sell and promote a product or service
- To launch a new product or service
- To create an impression and build the brand
- To boost sales and reinforce market share
- To build relationships with prospects and customers and cross-sell products
- To reposition your organization, brand and product line
Start with a plan!
If you’re ready to explore the advantages of marketing through trade shows, begin by asking yourself a few questions:
- What is the purpose of the booth?
- Based on the purpose of the booth, what are the functional needs for the space?
- What technical specifications are required?
- Are there any other considerations you need to plan for?
- Do you need a booth that can easily be assembled and disassembled by one person?
- Does the display need to meet specific weight considerations for shipping?
Once you have determined your exhibit goals, do some comparison shopping with exhibit firms that design displays that meet your criteria. Request their design ideas and budget for purchasing verses renting. You may want to consider a trade show exhibit design company that is in your local area or close to the biggest show on your calendar. Think about establishing a long-term relationship with this firm so that they can not only design and build your exhibit but also manage your exhibit properties for all your trade show events.
Reference: http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2013/11516/how-to-develop-a-win ning-tradeshow-booth#ixzz2ifhZw7Q6