If money were no object, you could spend every cent you had on the flashiest custom exhibit that you can find, give the exhibit design team free reign to let their imaginations go wild and create you something spectacular and then hire a host of talented performers, models and auxiliary staff and plan a huge demo or performance (maybe fireworks?)
Sounds pretty awesome, huh? Maybe for those businesses with a huge product launch who are really trying to pull out all the stops for the next trade show (and who have the sizable budget to do it). For the rest of you who are a bit more restrained in your budget for exhibit design and your next trade show appearance, you need to pay more attention to value.
Of course, value doesn’t mean that you necessarily should compare trade show design companies and simply choose the vendor or the model that is the cheapest. That’s like buying a car with an eye towards only the sticker price, and ignoring the bigger picture which is the true cost-of-ownership. When shopping for an exhibit or looking at exhibit design companies, the equivalent is to find the best ROI that you possibly can. That’s how you maximize value for your business.
So, how exactly do you do this? Well, you need to consider three things: cost, durability and flexibility. You want your exhibit to be affordable, but not at the cost of longevity or flexibility. If you buy a very cheap trade show display and it is broken or worn out in a couple years, you haven’t gotten a good ROI as compared to buying a modestly more expensive exhibit that would have lasted 5 years or more. Similarly, if you get a cheaper trade show booth that doesn’t allow you to easily scale your presence up or down, you will spend extra money supplementing or purchasing smaller displays for the next trade show instead.
Also, you need to realize that if you make value your number one priority, you may have to sacrifice some quality and flexibility in the process. Although, the exhibit design industry has come a long way with the introduction of lighter, cheaper and more durable materials and the adoption of modular design strategies, you can’t expect not to have to make any compromises.
What you need to know is what your needs are. How often do you attend trade shows? Do you just want to have a presence with something like a simple pop-up display, or is your strategy to always make a ‘splash’ at the next trade show? If you aren’t exhibiting more than once a season and your company’s strategy lies more with the former line of thinking, then consider rental displays which are more affordable. If you will be exhibiting more regularly, it is probably smart to get an exhibit to call your own. You can now get a custom exhibit built which integrates modular exhibit design making your purchase adaptable and scalable for every need.
These types of questions are the things that you should be asking any exhibit design company from whom you request a proposal or a quote on a custom exhibit. They should always be at the forefront of any purchase decision when shopping for trade show exhibits. Because, after all, if you aren’t maximizing your ROI when considering your next trade show, you’re just wasting time and money.