Exhibit Studio Blog


9 Essential Elements for an Exceptional Exhibit-Building Experience

Posted Topics: Knowledge Base, Displays |

You’ve booked your first trade show. You’ve made all the deposits and ordered new staff t-shirts. Now you need a display. You know, the piece that is either going to make visitors stop and say, “Wow, tell me about your product!” or… not.

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Oddly enough, some people are as afraid of building a new display as I am of spiders. And both fears are pretty irrational. When you drill it down, the fear of exhibit-building seems to be that, even with all the time and money invested, you’ll end up with a display that just won’t work for you. Maybe you, your company, or someone you know, has had a bad experience in the past. The display didn’t garner enough reaction at the show, or it was too difficult to set up or too expensive to ship.

There is no need to fear! A great exhibit starts with great planning. If you want your next exhibit-building experience to be a success, start by nailing down the answers to the following nine questions—these are the components that need to be addressed before any other part of your new display. Once you have an idea of how you’d answer these nine questions, sit down with an exhibit house, like Exhibit Studio, who can help you turn these nine components into the display that is perfect for you and your company.

1. What is your goal?

Your exhibit supplier should know, from the very outset, what your top exhibiting goals are. Are you trying to sell product on the floor, meet and schmooze with leads, promote a new product or service? Or are you trying to make sure your brand gains more ground in your industry? Your goals should permeate every aspect of your exhibit, from the booth size, type of display, layout, in-booth activities and graphic design. A clear goal is the number one thing you need to know when organizing a new display!

2. What size of booth space have you booked?

This is crucial information. A booth designed for a 20′ x 20′ space can be difficult to reconfigure for a 10′ x 10′ space. Knowing what kind of space the display has to fill is the starting point for any booth design.

3. When is your next event?

Turnaround times vary. A banner stand can be printed and installed in two or three days. A 20′ x 20′ custom display can take six weeks to complete. For this reason, it’s a good idea to get in touch with your exhibit house as soon as possible, and to let us know exactly how much time is available to design and build your new exhibit.

4. How many times will you exhibit each year?

If you only exhibit once a year, a rental display might be the right option for you. If you have a different event to attend every three weeks you want to make sure your display is highly portable, shippable, and sets up / takes down easily. By their very nature, trade show displays are prone to a lot of wear and tear. Knowing how much your display will have to face will help ensure the right materials are chosen for the job.

5. How long do you expect your setup to take?

Some of our customers are happy to spend an hour setting up their modular 10′ x 10′ display. Others think spending 15 minutes on the setup is too much. What are your expectations? How many people will help you with setup? Or do you want to skip the manual labour and pay for install & dismantle services? Your expectations really drive the kind of display system that will work best for you.

6. Do you have a budget in mind?

A simple, non-retractable banner stand can be a few hundred dollars and an elaborate, custom 20′ x 20′ display can run into tens of thousands. Budget drives the size of the booth, the type of display options available, the materials used and the amount of customization available. If you’re reluctant to provide an exact number, or you’re not really sure, at least have a ballpark number available.

7. What are your plans for shipping and portability?

Some display systems take up more physical shipping space than others. There are lightweight options, and there are heavy ones. Do you need to pack this into the trunk of your car to get from show to show? Or are you shipping it all over the country and need a lightweight display to reduce shipping costs? How you plan on getting around, and how far you have to go, is an important consideration.

8. Where will you store the display when not in use?

You’re thrilled with the 10’ x 20’ display that you saw in our showroom, but it happens to be a custom unit that packs into two larger cases. Where will it go once the trade show is over? If your office has a whole floor for storage, great! If not, consider what storage space you have available, and if that will add to your overall costs. Knowing in advance how small the display needs to pack can help plan the production process.

9. What kind of functionality do you need?

You have selected the shows that you want to attend and have your pre-show exhibit strategy and team in place. Will you need lots of storage space? Will you need two 60” monitors to run your product demonstration? Do you need a WiFi connection or a laptop hook-up? Trying to fit these items in after the display system has been designed and laid out can be a pain. Ensure that any extra needs you have for your space go into the initial planning stage. Think about demos, product display, and electronics, and pass that on to your exhibit house as early as possible.