When to Trade in
Peter Eberly, Director
Product and Vertical Marketing
Think back: At the last trade show you attended, did you catch yourself stealing furtive glances at the neighbor’s booth?
Or was there a booth across the exhibit hall you couldn’t stop thinking about? Were you coveting a competitor’s brilliant colors or striking messaging?
Or maybe you are planning to go to a show for the first time and want to wow your audience, but you know your company’s tired and worn displays won’t cut it.
If you’ve found yourself in any of these situations, it may be time to put your current trade show booth to rest and develop something new.
Big business, big investment
Trade shows are big business. In the U.S. alone, they generate almost $13 billion annually. Between exhibit fees, giveaways, booth creation and design and storage and shipping, it’s no surprise that costs can skyrocket quickly. That’s why it’s critical to evaluate several factors before deciding whether to trade in your current booth.
Consider these questions:
- Does your exhibit look worn? Do you have peeling corners or fraying threads or other damage? Broken and disintegrating displays do not reflect well on your organization.
- How does your color scheme look? Are you a high-tech business using ’80s puce in your exhibit? Check out our How Colors Make You Feel quiz or learn more about the hot colors for this spring and summer to ensure your color choices are spot on.
- Have you introduced a new brand? New branding encompasses look and feel, so be sure your exhibit and booth showcase new messaging.
- Did your business grow or shrink? If your company has grown larger than it was the last time you used your exhibit or if it is smaller, you may want to adjust the size of your display to accurately reflect your current status.
- Did other people compliment someone else’s exhibit but stay silent about yours at the last show you attended?
- Do you need to accommodate new or different technology in your booth?
Have you shifted company direction, or are you showcasing new or different products? Make sure your exhibit conveys the best possible face of your company.
Ready for a new booth?
Now that you’ve decided it’s time to invest in a new booth or exhibit. Consider these key points:
- Set a budget factoring in ancillary costs for exhibiting at a show — travel and expenses, giveaways, equipment rentals. Will you need TV screens or monitors? Don’t forget to factor in the costs of renting that equipment.
- Find an experienced and trusted partner who will collaborate with you to design, create and ship your new booth.
- What will you do with your booth post-show? Better figure out where to store it and be sure to include any facility storage costs in your budget.
- Figure out what to do with your old display. There are many options, including reusing pieces or parts of it, recycling it, selling it or trashing it. One thing you may not want to do is hold onto it if you are not storing it at one of your own facilities. Storage for exhibits can be expensive.
Your company has decided to take on the significant investment of exhibiting at a trade show or event, so it’s critical that you put your best face forward. Worn and outdated displays don’t reflect well. They can even turn off customers who will seek out the trendiest and most inviting exhibits.