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Crossing the Divide: Moving from Pop Up to Modular

I’ve had a bit of deja vu with a handful of prospects since the new year. All of them had pop up wants with modular needs. Unfortunately, you can’t have both. Trade shows are unique, and purchasing a trade show display is a very unique experience. There’s a big gap between these two categories and making the move from pop up to modular is a big one, and a tough one.

The handful of folks with this predicament have wanted a display that sets up in under an hour, travels light and stores conveniently. However, their situations became complicated when they expressed needs including the following: plenty of storage, shelving and a custom look. They were ready to step up their game visually, but conflicted when presented with total impact of this move.

There are all sorts of solutions that meet ONE set of needs. However, very few that meet some from each set, and exactly none that meet ALL from each set.

pop up display does a few things really well.

Set up: They make set-up a breeze. This is great for impatient sales people, or folks who have limited instal abilities. If you cannot or will not pay labor, and don’t have a dedicated trade show person capable of moderately complex installation of 2+ hours – then a pop up is for you.

Shipping: If you want to reduce shipping costs, then a pop up is for you. Modular displays require shipping 1-2 skids and will increase shipping costs significantly. Pop ups can sometimes even be checked as bags with the airline.

Storage: A pop-up has limited parts and can usually easily fit in a closet. And pop ups almost always under 50 lbs, and in containers with rolling wheels. If you want to store conveniently in a small area in your office, a pop up is a good choice for you.

Affordability: Pop up displays are a great value. They are at the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to budget.

On the other hand, a modular exhibit system can do a number of things well. And there are a few things they cannot do.

Reconfiguration: Modular displays can reconfigure into virtually endless sizes. For example, your 10×10 can reconfigure to a 10×20, a 20×20, 30×30 and so on.

Accessories: Modular systems have the ability to support and great range of accessories. Storage cabinets, tv mounts, shelving, retail merchandising, iPad holders, and much more.

Custom look: A modular system is designed by a trained exhibit designer to accommodate your unique needs and brand.

Things a modular system can’t do: Set up in under 1 hour, compete with pop up pricing, fit easily in a closet, ship as conveniently and affordably as a pop up.

Whether you are new to trade shows, re-entering the trade show market, or debating switching your display – the choice between a pop-up or a modular exhibit is a critical one that will have lasting impact on your people and your results.

new-inlineIf you’re exhibiting with inline exhibits, the Trade Show Tips for Inline Exhibitors white paper can help you stand out. Click here to request your free copy to learn tips and tricks for exhibiting with portable and modular displays.


About the Author

Ryan Lovell is a Senior Exhibit Consultant for TradeTec Skyline in Lombard, IL. Before joining TradeTec, Ryan was a trade show coordinator and TradeTec customer. He calls upon his prior experience in sales and marketing to help customers design not only new Skyline displays, but trade show experiences engineered to improve results.

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