|It finally happened.
After years of begging and pleading with
everyone from Sales Reps to the CFO, there has finally been money
budgeted to create a new trade show booth for your company. You are so
excited you tell everyone from the Barista at Starbucks to your kidís
teacher at school. The hard work is done, right?
Wrong. The creation and selection of a
new trade show booth is probably one of the hardest tasks faced by
exhibitors. With so many booth options and considerations, not to
mention staff opinions about the look and functionality, this is surely
bound to result in meetings where you wonder why you did this to
yourself in the first place.
Donít despair just yet, here are some key
dos and doníts to keep in mind as you design your next trade show booth:
- Find an exhibit
partner. Exhibiting companies have
vast amounts of knowledge and experience at your disposal. Use them
to help make sure you are avoiding common exhibiting mistakes.
- List out SPECIFIC
space requirements. Do you need
closets or tables with storage? If so, how large should they be? Do
they need internal shelving? Also, donít be vague and say things
like ďtechnology.Ē Are you looking for stagnant monitors to play
looping videos or interactive kiosks where attendees can interface
with iPads while speaking to booth staffers? The ability to say
exactly what you want or need in the booth can be very difficult, as
the discovery process is overwhelming. Try to audit your last few
events with your current booth and determine what things worked and
didnít work to determine your new booth requirements.
- Make sure you are
clear on how much of the booth should reconfigurable. Custom
modular exhibits are a great way to use the same parts and
components in different configurations to grow your booth from an
inline to an island. Remember Ė Itís always best to configure your
crating for whichever exhibiting solution you will use more. For
example, if your inline 10 x 20 booth will get more of a work out
than your 20 x 20 will, have your crating optimized for your 10 x
- Determine the ďpain
pointĒ of your staffer. If you
expect your booth staffers to set up the display, make sure everyone
is aware of the time requirement to do so. It is important to know what your staffers will be
willing to setup on the show floor and set the right expectations.
- Take the exhibit as
seen on the first concept rendering as the final design. Design
is a fluid process, expect to make tweaks along the way. Sometimes
the way something is shown in a rendering will be exactly what you
want. Sometimes it will be off the mark. The more information you
can give about what you donít like will help your exhibit house in
determining what changes to make to the design.
- Get hung up on the one
thing you didnít see in the rendering or on the one thing that looks
different at the show. Accessories
like monitors, furniture, and flooring can all change right up until
the show. Often in the rendering phase items like tables and chairs
are inserted merely as placeholders for spatial awareness. Also,
make sure you understand exactly what has been included in your
exhibit pricing, no one likes a surprise on the price tag.
- Judge a booth by its
coverÖor its budget. Ever go window
shopping and think, ďIf only I had the money to afford that,Ē
without ever stopping to ask the price? The same holds true with
trade show booths. Iíve seen lots of amazing booth designs on every
size budget because there are solutions for every budget! The
ability to rent a display allows the freedom to own graphics but
change hardware into new and exciting configurations. If you see
something you like make sure to let your exhibit partner know that
(photos are helpful!). Also, be honest about your budget. If your
firm budget is $20K, but you would be more comfortable spending $15K
tell your exhibit partner that. Keeping your budget a secret is a
surefire way to end up disappointed. There is nothing worse than
falling in love with a booth you canít have because it was designed
There are lots of other considerations
for trade show booths; these are just a few tips to get you along the
path of selecting the correct booth solution. Happy Exhibiting!