As trade shows slowly begin to return, many exhibitors will be seeking more mileage out of their trade show display.  This means they’ll want more traffic, more options, and much of it on a reduced trade show budget.  To get more mileage out of your trade show display, we’ve gathered some tips for you:

Plan Ahead – Design Your Trade Show Display Sooner Than Later

If shows are coming back in the fall and winter, then you’re already behind the curve when it comes to designing your trade show display.  To ensure the best deal, take advantage of early bird pricing, slower design schedules and labor rates/ materials fees that have not yet increased.  After the covid-19 pandemic has subsided, there will likely be increased fees.  This could include increases to union labor rates, material fees, and supply chains struggling to rebound.  We typically advise customers to start planning their next show 8-10 months out so they’ve got enough time to comfortably plan for anything that might come up.  There is no better time to start on your next trade show display.

trade show budget calendar

Select a Prepackaged Trade Show Display Design

If budgets are tight, one way to save time and money is to use a prepackaged design.  These will avoid having to go through design time as renderings with your specific branding won’t be included.  It is also a familiar design to the exhibit house.  Therefore, they can offer you savings across the board from manufacturing to labor. At Absolute Exhibits, we’ve had many people inquire about our prepackaged trade show display designs.  They’ve been great ways for businesses to save time and money, particularly if they’re scrambling for a Plan B after losing their previous vendor.  These packages are all popular designs in a variety of sizes and configurations that an Account Executive can explain in greater depth.

trade show display design

trade show display package

Simplify- Get Rid of the Unnecessary

There’s a lot of wisdom to the decluttering movement that Marie Kondo made famous.  At its heart is a belief that if it no longer serves you, get rid of it.  For your trade show display, this means potentially scaling back your design.  When businesses had a larger budget, many opted for more elaborate designs. If you’re seeking to get more mileage out of your trade show display, the bells and whistles may not serve your desired outcome any longer.  This could mean removing virtual reality demo centers and instead, telling your brand story using graphics.  Perhaps a theme might better tell the story.  Less demonstration stations and more space for conversation might also support desired goals.

trade show exhibit design

Spruce Up an Existing Trade Show Display

This may not be the year you can redesign the trade show display you’ve been using for the past several years.  Instead, it might be the year that you instead make minor adjustments.  This can include the use of props, updated graphics, or the addition of smaller items like light boxes.  Sticking with an existing design can save money on new manufacturing fees in addition to installation and dismantling fees.  Teams that know your existing configuration are more likely to be able to complete the job faster than a new build.  They also know how to quote the work more accurately and how to staff the job.

custom trade show exhibit design

Start Marketing Your Appearance at the Show Early

Many exhibitors wait until a couple of months prior to the show to start marketing their appearance.  Often, they don’t even mention their exact location on the show floor or something to draw people to their trade show display.  Now is not the time to get vague and start late.  Now is the time to get laser focused on marketing your presence.  Purchase the show list, contact your industry peers, customers, and prospects. Let everyone know where you will be.  Mention your booth number in every communication.  Include it on your graphics materials. Give people a reason to visit you.  This can include an experiential event, new innovations, and surprise guests.

inbound marketing trade show booth rental

A cohesive campaign should mention your booth location in every medium- email, call campaigns, social media.  If there’s money in the budget, geo-targeting and geo- fencing should be pursued aggressively. Now is the time to be bold in your marketing efforts.  This will bring in more foot traffic at the show and more potential sales.  It can also help solidify existing customer relationships.  Another great tip is to schedule some time with industry journalists, bloggers, and media outlets.  Set appointments in advance so you’re guaranteed face time.  You’ll want the publicity to discuss your participation at the show.

email marketing your trade show exhibit appearance

There are many ways that exhibitors can get more mileage out of their trade show display as industries begin to rebound.  These are only a few ideas to get you thinking about how you can pivot.  For more great ideas, contact one of our Account Executives.  Their years of experience can help refine your goals, develop the vision, and execute within your budget.

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