Trade Show Booth Display Tips for First Time Exhibitors
Missing the mark on your trade show display can cause reduced booth traffic and a decrease in lead generation and sales. So, to help make sure your company makes a notable first impression at your first trade show, we decided to interview the current President & Owner of Shop for Exhibits, Lowell Nickens.
Lowell is an industry expert and 33 year veteran of the trade show booth display industry. Throughout this interview, Lowell offers his expertise on trade show booth display tips for first time exhibitors, so pull out your trade show checklist!
Take it away, Lowell!
Trade Show Booth Display Tips
Vantage: The products you sell are known by a variety of different names. What is the correct industry term or name for this product?
Lowell: Trade Show Displays or Trade Show Exhibits.
V: Which trade show booth display do you recommend for first time exhibitors? Why?
L: There is no “one right exhibit or display” for every first time exhibitor. Why? First, because it depends upon the level of competition the first time exhibitor is facing. For example, a Chamber of Commerce after-hours event is much different than a national trade show. Secondly, the idea is to compete favorably in comparison to your direct competitors, while making sure you meet the expectations of attendees. You must know who your audience or potential buyers are in order to meet their expectations.
V: On average, how much does a trade show booth display cost?
L: If you’re in an after-hours event, maybe as little as $500 to $1,000. If you’re on a national stage, it can be as much as $5,000 or more depending on the product or service that you’re presenting.
V: In your opinion, should first time exhibitors rent or purchase trade show booth displays?
L: For first time exhibitors, it isn’t a bad idea to rent a trade show booth display because what you initially think is the best way to present your product may prove not to be the case in real life. Your first show experience teaches you a lot about costs that you probably are not aware of! After the first trade show, the decision to rent or buy is based entirely upon the length of time you feel you will be using trade shows to actively market your product. Purchasing is always best if you can afford it. If you’re on a limited budget, invest in good graphics and rent the hardware.
V: What factors should first time exhibitors keep in mind when they are selecting a trade show booth design?
L: First time exhibitors must be absolutely certain that their booths design allows them to state their message clearly so when attendees look at their booth, they know in 2-3 seconds what the product offering is. Next, comes an eye-catching design and further communication of your message.
V: How far in advance should first time exhibitors purchase a trade show booth display?
L: First time exhibitors should begin planning their trade show booth display at least 4-6 months in advance.
V: Going green at trade shows seems to be a current trend for exhibitors. What options do first time exhibitors have for an eco-friendly trade show display?
L: There are a number of eco-friendly trade show alternatives for many of our traditional display products. The main difference between those green trade show displays and all our other displays is that the eco-friendly displays are made from sustainable or recycled materials where possible. These alternate materials are most commonly found as recycled aluminum extrusion as opposed to traditional laminates and ply-wood, and recycled glass and bio-degradable plastics as alternates for sub-straight surfaces. There are also alternative recycled and sustainable materials for printable fabrics and earth friendly inks.
V: What is the biggest mistake you have seen exhibitors make when it comes to trade show booth displays?
L: First time exhibitors do what they think is best rather than asking a professional. They feel their instincts are correct and they end up not only buying a trade show display that isn’t suited for what they need to accomplish, but their message is poorly communicated as well.
V: How can first time exhibitors avoid this mistake?
L: First time exhibitors can avoid this mistake by taking time in advance to find a designer and/or trade show display distributor who has a record of success from a design standpoint and sells quality trade show display products; because quality shows and quality sells.
V: Finally, what is your best piece of advice for exhibitors that are selecting their first trade show display?
L: Don’t start with the attitude that you can “go on the cheap” and be successful. And never, ever break the cardinal rule that you can build it yourself and you’ll be ok. You don’t have to spend top dollar, but it’s your reputation and remember you can only make a first impression once. So based on that, find a great designer!
Well said, Lowell! Thanks again for all of your valuable information on trade show booth displays!
Well exhibitors, that’s a wrap. We hope these insider tips have inspired you to design and select a trade show display that best fits your needs and generates the revenue you want!