In today's economy, investing in a trade show booth may seem like a gamble. Professional, 10 'x 10' exhibit booths can cost up to $ 20,000, and that's not including the cost of attending the trade show or shipping your exhibit booth to the show. If you are a small business, such costs can seem daunting. However, with a little research and savvy, you can create high-quality trade show displays that establish your brand and generate business – for a lot less than $ 20,000! Follow these steps to get the biggest bang for your buck with your exhibit booth.
Know your show, know your product, know your audience.
To prevent wasting valuable money on an exhibit booth that fails to generate revenue, establish clear goals.
1. Determine your purpose and target audience. What do you want to get out of participating in a trade show? Are you looking to sell products on site or establish industry contacts? Thinking about these questions will help you clearly identify your goal for it. This goal informs both the type of show you will participate in and how your exhibit booth should look.
2. Based on your goal, choose your it carefully. If you have never exhibited at a trade show before, take the time to research your options. There is value in exhibiting at popular, well-known ones as well as smaller, off-beat shows. Talk to other small businesses who have exhibited at these shows. Choose the show the best matches your goals.
3. Participate in a few trade shows as an attendee first. Evaluate the exhibit booths. Which booths draw a crowd? Which booths fell short? Think about what these booths lacked – was it an engaging staff? A visually appealing display? Information about the product? Use these shortcomings to improve your own one.
Advanced planning pays off.
A good trade show display does two things: attract attendees and educate them about your products and your business.
1. Start early. Allow yourself at least three months to design and produce your booth.
2. Never lose sight of your goal. Write down your main marketing message on a sticky note, and refer to this note whenever you are making a decision about it.
3. A good exhibit booth has both substance and flash, and balances pictures and words. Include enough information to accurately present your small business and engaging graphics to attract attendees. Attendees browsing IT displays are drawn in by images, not text.
Cut costs, not quality.
At a trade show, your booth is your brand. There is a fine line between getting the biggest bang for you buck and looking cheap. For example, if you are not a graphic designer, then do not create your own graphics for the exhibit booth. The graphics will unprofessional, and this reflects poorly on your brand.
1. Many companies that produce it's displays also have less expensive, generic lines. Your options for colors and materials may be limited, but you'll save a bundle over their pricier lines.
2. Buy a pre-used exhibit booth. Call local companies to see if businesses have returned booths or canceled orders. Their mistake can be your gain!
3. Consider a lower-cost panel system. They are flexible, allowing you to swap out graphics or add on panel extensions for future shows.
4. Advertise in advance. Create a buzz for your exhibition booth by advertising your business with it's attendees in advance. This is a great way to drive traffic to your booth.
5. Fancy graphics and text can not replace a well-trained team. Ensure your booth is always manned, and that your marketing team is trained to directly connect with your target audience.
Remember, trade show displays should not break the bank. With advanced planning and a little research, you can produce a high-quality, cost-effective exhibit booth.