One size rarely fits all, and especially for island trade show exhibits.
As much as we like to picture getting a perfect booth design that you can use at every show, the reality is that there are factors to consider that significantly affect how agile your exhibit is. The big three factors are booth size, graphics, and budget:
Booth Size: While you may prefer to exhibit at every show with the same size booth, it doesn’t really work out that way. For example, you may want to always use a 20 x 40 foot space, but find that at some shows you can only get a 30 x 30 space. Or, at a smaller show, you may only need a 20 x 20, or even a 10 x 20. So you need an exhibit that can scale up, scale down, or adapt to a booth space with a similar square footage but in a different layout.
Your exhibit can fit multiple booth sizes more easily by designing your exhibit with smaller individual components that can be rearranged. You can also adapt to different booth sizes and shapes with custom modular exhibit systems that are (surprise!) modular – components can be separated or recombined in new combinations. You can also rent additional exhibit components needed only for your biggest shows, and own the components for your more common, smaller booth sizes.
Exhibit Graphics: Your marketing messages are there for a reason: to create a visual attraction that communicates to your target audience. But what if your audience changes from show to show? It can, if you exhibit at different vertical market industry shows, or if more than one company division is sharing a single exhibit property. And if you are buying an exhibit that will last for, say, five years, but you will rebrand in two, then without proper planning you may need a whole new island exhibit three years earlier than your CFO expects.
Design flexibility into your graphics from the onset. First, promote your overall company brand look and message at the highest and broadest levels. But then, dedicate a portion of your graphics – be it the eye-level detail graphics, or smaller murals – to graphics you can change as your vertical market audiences, products, or divisions change. Custom modular island exhibits make it so much easier to swap out graphics, from both a cost and a logistics standpoint. You can also use digital graphics, such as a flatscreen monitor, to tell those more specific stories, and change them whenever you need a more specific message.
Budget: When you choose your trade show exhibit, you have an idea of how much your company will invest in trade shows over the next three to five years – but no guarantees. If you commit to an exhibit that has a higher level of operating costs per show, you will not be able to exhibit at as many shows if your budget gets trimmed in later years. And if there is the opportunity to go to more shows, those higher operating costs will limit how many new shows you can expand into.
Give yourself greater flexibility in maintaining, adjusting, and even increasing your trade show schedule with a custom modular exhibit that lowers your operating costs. In a white paper report by Tradeshow Week Magazine (commissioned by Skyline Exhibits), custom modular and hybrid custom exhibits were found to weigh 61% less on average than traditional custom exhibits. That cost savings gives you more flexibility to adapt to changes in your budget.
As the philosopher Heraclites said, “Everything changes.” That holds especially true for your trade show booth spaces, marketing messages, and budget. As an island trade show exhibitor, you can gain program-saving flexibility with custom modular exhibits that lower costs and and keep you from being permanently locked into a single design – no matter how perfect it may seem at first.
About the Author: Mike Thimmesch is Skyline Exhibits' Director of Lead Generation and Industry Relations, with 25 years of Marketing and Trade Show Display Marketing experience.