Budgeting and Measurement

WHEN NOT TO USE CUSTOM TRADE SHOW EXHIBIT

Published on Jul 15, 2019 12:32:28 PM

 

DISRUPT.jpg


Companies often preach creativity and disruption. Yet they often settle for casual conformity when it comes to disruptive way of presenting themselves.

You do not have to have a big budget to make a big impact. You do have to ditch the status quo and create a culture of pressing change and renewal.

 

DISRUPTION COMES AT A PRICE

If you want to tout yourself as a disruptive brand, you know you have to challenge the set standards, make curiosity and chaos, your trademark, and move forward with speed and agility as you develop heightened awareness for your brand and your product. 

The idea is:

"Cause as much chaos and disruption as possible but don't let them take you ALIVE."

Being a disruptive company. we are under constant market pressure to create systems that setup faster, are lighter weight and can create visually arresting designs. 

As a Systems manufacturer, we recommend everyone build system based exhibits, but the reality is that there are situations where a traditionally built custom exhibit is the right decision.  

That said,

here are FEW COMPELLING reasons you may want to avoid traditional custom exhibits AND THE COST THAT COMES WITH IT

 

  • Your yearly marketing budget is uncertain and the amount you can spend on the exhibit may vary per show (including shipping, technology, labor, promotions etc.). Shipping, drayage, and ability to rent an exhibit in the exhibit city can significantly affect your costs.

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  • The exhibit will be used multiple times and the overall show schedule has some overlaps. This will make it difficult to manage to ship a custom property that is heavy and bulky.

 

  • Exhibiting in highly unionized venues with inexperienced staffers attending some of the shows.   Labor costs can skyrocket when you exhibit in certain cities with high labor rates and high labor minimums. New York, Boston and Chicago can be challenging from a labor cost standpoint so you should budget carefully. Rigging requirements, in particular, can severely increase your labor costs.  Often riggers charge per rigging point so minimizing the number of rig points can be important.

booth designs with minimum rigging

Above:

1. Exhibit Design, without the rigors of hanging sign but with a unique brand architecture that gives the appearance of mass without the weight

2. Exhibit Design, with nested hanging sign but with constricted rig points to keep the rigging cost minimum

3. Exhibit Design, without any rigged hanging sign but, with a capped cantilevered header that defines you air space.

 

  • The exhibit space sizes vary from show to show so you will need to reconfigure the booth from show to show.  Systems typically improve reconfiguration options. A well-designed system exhibit can maximize your budget dollars by creating an exhibit that can shrink and grow for multiple size booth spaces.

different configuration

Above: Skyline System seamlessly adds, deletes and re-configures

Market pressures and competition have required system providers to create systems that deliver on style, fit and finish. There is a constant pressure to create systems that setup faster, are lighter weight and can create visually arresting designs. Over the last couple decades, we’ve seen designers becoming more involved in the product development process of exhibit systems. Designers have been instrumental in identifying architectural styles and design aesthetics when developing systems. In the past, it was very common to see poor fit and finish between hardware and graphics. That’s less common today, clients expect a seamless transition from hardware to graphics and the graphics need to be wrinkle free.

 

Clients expect aesthetics and design of modular systems to be on-par with custom exhibits. Your boss wants you to consider renting all or part of the exhibit for a particular show

 

  • A good resource to determine what to request from a prospective exhibit builder is our blog post regarding RFP’s

REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL .png

KNOW WHAT TO REQUEST IN YOUR REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL. IT WILL SAVE YOU MONEY AND IT WILL SAVE YOUR HEART ACHE 💔

 

  • While you can rent a custom exhibit, the look is less flexible and if it gets rented again to someone else, the design will not be unique to your brand.
  • There is a lot more flexibility and reconfigurable capabilities where systems can be mixed and matched to create a unique design that is cost effective yet unique.
  • Rental systems enable clients to keep even more flexibility for their design and budget as they can use rental system components along with purchased graphics and hardware to change their display from show to show while maintaining a consistent brand image.

 

  • Rental system components can be reconfigured in a way that is not possible with custom. Even custom houses have recognized this and have started using standard systems to complement their custom exhibits.
  • Rental system components can also be enhanced by adding custom components as needed.

why rent horizontal

 

 

RENTAL EXHIBITS — BENEFITS WITHOUT COMMITMENTS

 

The life expectancy of the new exhibit investment is uncertain.  Your company may have some re-branding or a new campaign in your near future.


  • Back-lit capabilities, modular accessory options, and fabric improvements have made systems much more customizable and their design capabilities more impactful. Yet, exhibit systems are flexible enough so you can easily change out the graphics, accessories, and lighting, and maybe even reconfigure the layout to a certain extent to accommodate an evolving brand or message.



You will need to exhibit internationally and may need to ship the exhibits.  Consider that you will face different exhibiting rules and standards than those in the U.S.  

 

A modular system or rental exhibit may be more practical for those shows.

  • Modular systems are great for reducing shipping costs, particular in rental scenarios because the exhibit can be rented locally wherever your show is happening.
  • Packaging for modular systems has also evolved to improve install and dismantle efficiency therefore further saving on labor time and costs.
  • System providers are generally part of a larger group of exhibit providers that are also familiar with the system. This is a benefit because your exhibit is more likely to have a local provider of that system. This is beneficial for getting local install and dismantle crews that are familiar and efficient with the system. It also is a great peace of mind in the event you need to add or replace product very quickly.

 

combine cistpm pieces with modular exhibits

When choosing a modular system or rental exhibit you can always add custom elements to it to make it more unique or to tie in better with your branding or exhibit theme (as shown above). In fact, if your vendor does not have custom capabilities they may even partner with a custom builder to help integrate those elements as needed. Also, you may choose to go custom for one of your exhibits, or your biggest show or event, and choose modular systems or portable exhibits for the rest of your show schedule.

Regardless of what you choose, remember that your exhibit designers and vendors can be great resources especially when you give them clear goals, ask good questions and think of how this new exhibiting program will fit into your overall marketing strategy.

 

OPEN YOUR MIND.
SUCCESS LIES ON THE PATH THAT IS YET TO BE TREADED!

We are here to help you trade.

This article was first published at www.skyline.com

About the Author
Danny is a Product Manager for Skyline Exhibits where he helps develop and launch products and services. His responsibilities also include managing Skyline’s product catalogs. He’s an experienced booth staffer with 19 years of trade show related experience. Danny has helped launch numerous award-winning products and services and has been part of Skyline’s internal creative agency which develops trade show marketing programs.

 

Topics: Exhibit Rental, Custom Modular Trade show Booth, Custom Modular Tradeshow exhibit, Custom Modular

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Learn how corporate purchasing decisions are made

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 YOUR EXHIBIT MUST BE A MARKETING POWERHOUSE, A WORKPLACE, AND A VERSATILE TEAM PLAYER — 41 THINGS THAT YOUR BOOTH DESIGN DOES FOR YOUR BUSINESS —

1. Build, enhance, reposition and maintain your brand

2. Support your booth staff
3. Generates leads
4. Be seen from a distance
5. Communicate quickly
6. Stop attendees
7. Help attract qualified attendees
8. Promote your benefits
9. Announce your product markets
10. Introduce your new products

WHY_SHOULD_I_CARE

PRODUCT MARKETING —THE COST OF DISAPPOINTMENT

11. Weave your story
12. Host a presentation
13. Provide meeting space
14. Display your products

15. Introduce your company into new markets

16. Recruit new employees
17. Advances the buying cycle
18. Host a press conference
19. Make a statement
20. Reinforce a themed message

vertical apex of experience
HOW TO COME UP WITH A THEMED BOOTH DESIGN

21. Answers questions

22. Store your staffer’s stuff, plus promotions, supplies & electronic gear

23. Facilitate dialog
24. Scare your competitors
25. Reinforce business partnerships
26. Welcome customers
27. Change booth sizes

28. Change messages to fit different markets

29. Instill pride in your team
30. Impress investors
31. Minimize operating costs
32. Pass show regulations

eye-popping realization
HOW THE SAVVY EXHIBITOR MAKES GOES BEYOND THE CONSTRAINTS OF RULES

33. Pack down efficiently
34. Set up as easily as possible
35. Travel without getting damaged
36. Last for years
37. More than pay for itself

   38. Travels as a Sales Tool

39. Gives your lobby architectural distinction

40. Accentuates your creative leverage

41. Creates impressions of LIKES

 

 

the law of likes

 

Before, to get the crowd's attention all you needed was to memorize a couple of predictable chord progressions, nail a list of features, then hit the market place with energy, enthusiasm and credence.

The idea was to be loud, lavish and bold. A few smoke and mirrors did not hurt either. Today, in the era of limited attention span, louder is seldom better and more of the same never adds up to something memorable. 

 

bubbles

 

Today, as we struggle to live in a world of 'continuous partial attention' — our psychology and our physiology revolting against the constant media bombardment — we have each created a safe zone; we call it, our sphere of influence — here, we influence others and are happy to be influenced by others. Here, it is important to remember that individuals are not traditional market makers and do not respond to traditional marketing programs. To succeed in this sphere, brands must realize that "popularity is not influence and influence is not popularity."

 

BRANDVALUE

 

"Whatever is common is despised. Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused, and it is therefore become necessary to gain attention by magnificence of promises, and by eloquence sometimes sublime and sometimes pathetic."

 

 

 

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