Monday, January 28, 2013

How to show off and save money with rental displays

Guest post by Karin Roberts of The Tradeshow Network Marketing Group

No matter how large or small your business, rentals and refurbished exhibits can help you make a much larger impact at trade shows at a reduced price.

Using either option can significantly enhance your image depending on your exhibit design.

Determine how much space you need and how you are going to use your exhibit

How you use your booth space depends on a number of factors, including the importance of the show to your marketing plan, the size of your budget, the image you want to convey, the business activities you want to conduct, and even the parameters of the event.

Some shows allow considerable latitude in what you can do in your exhibit space – everything from product demonstrations, to food and beverage service, to live entertainment. Other shows will not permit handouts of any kind. Do your homework when signing up for new shows so that you know whether you can display your business to its best advantage.

Prioritize your show calendar and plan for a right-sized exhibit for each

Not every show is equally important to reaching your best prospects. Consider where your largest competitors exhibit and how much of a splash they usually make. If you want to be considered a leader in your market, your space at that show needs to be comparable to your top competitors. The largest companies usually invest in the largest booth spaces with custom exhibits that allow them to have several areas within their booth to serve a variety of purposes.

If you have one or two shows that demand a significant booth presence, consider augmenting your regular booth with rental components. It makes sense to invest in a modular custom exhibit designed to expand with rental elements for a top-of-the-line show.

Used exhibit materials can be refurbished to fit your color scheme and brand identity. Look for warehouse sales from exhibit design firms and even online listings of used trade show booths to get an idea of what is available.

If you are looking to move into a new market, you may want to experiment with a starter rental booth. Start with a small space and rent a skirted table and bring along pop-up graphics.

For smaller shows, you can save big money by using rental exhibits decorated with custom, brand-building graphics. The optimal booth space is typically a 10x20 foot environment with audio-visual capabilities and display space.

Rentals can be especially beneficial for international venues or cross-country shows where shipping costs may be prohibitive.

Get to know the exhibitor manual

The exhibitors guide gives you the rules of the trade show. The show organizer usually provides a number of rental options from official suppliers for the elements that you may not want to purchase and ship from show to show.

Know your deadlines and plan in advance

Many shows have long lead times for reserving space, and arranging for a high-end rental exhibit takes time. Don't wait till the last minute to plan.

Staffing, display design and technology all take time if you want to look great at your show. It all takes time, but that preparation will help you get the most out of the show.

About The Author 

Karin has been the Vice President of Marketing for The Tradeshow Network Marketing Group for almost 12 years.  Prior to her trade show event experience, she worked at IBM in marketing and sales capacity for 18 years.

The Tradeshow Network Marketing Group is 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.