The problem is you never know what you’re going to get. Anyone can setup a website. There is no consultant to help you, no support, possibly no warranty. They probably buy hardware from one place (usually overseas) and print graphics that might not fit well. You have no way to test it before you receive it.
I’ve seen many horror stories. They happen in a lot of different ways. We work with clients in very small industries and those in very large industries. I see a lot of people just looking for the lowest upfront price.
Unfortunately, you’re playing a guessing game. You see a picture on the website but then your physical display comes out looking completely different or doesn’t look as crisp. You don’t know how it functions. That website or company might not be around a year from now or five years from now when you need some other assistance.
We have designed our approach and services to help prevent those problems. We always invite our clients in to kick the tires in our showroom. Often times that leads to other ideas, they can see how things function and the quality of the graphics and hardware we produce in-house. Outsourcing to other companies can have the same problems of not knowing or being able to trust the quality level you expect.
On the larger exhibit booths many times the company rep will just buy a package type booth either online or something that’s been pre-designed. They never see it set up before the show which again opens your company to the guessing game and undesirable results.
For large island booths, which many times require hundreds of thousands of dollars in investment, we always invite our clients in to preview the exhibit before the show. This helps them make sure everything fits with a custom package approach exclusively designed for them.
The problem is the display you saw at a trade show might look good and work for that company, but will it really work for you? The company you’re buying from is probably not local so you’ll have many limitations.
Many times a company rep visits a trade show and sees a booth they like. They ask whatever rep is at that booth, “Hey what company provided your booth materials?” They look up the company and start the process. Most of the limitations from point #1 come into play again.
Additionally, the referral at the trade show may be a company who builds and uses wood and giant heavy materials that cost a lot to ship. Many times they require 25 crates or more to ship the full exhibit to you. Call or e-mail them to ask how many crates it will take to ship before buying.
(3) From a company who has a showroom and a local consultant
This is the best option for most people. I have a showroom so you can see what you’re going to get — from the smallest display to the largest island exhibit. All the opposite situations from option #1.
Portable displays are setup in much smaller booth spaces so they can be shipped via FedEx. Or you can even bring your company display in as luggage if you want. Portables are very quick and easy to set up.
Larger exhibits are going to be either custom built or custom modular. The showroom allows you to see the quality of wood, laminate and all the heavy materials used (or cheap materials used).
Custom modular is basically designed for twenty different systems. We create a custom look and feel but they are all in modular parts almost like tinker toys. We can pull the pieces apart so they fit into fewer crates. This way it’s easier, lighter and lower cost to ship. A big thing to decide beforehand is which of these 2 exhibitor approaches fits your company’s situation.
Trade shows aren’t going away. With the knowledge to be a trade show superstar, you’ll have opportunities to move higher in your company that nobody else has.