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The First Time Buyer’s Guide to Trade Show Exhibits

So you’ve decided to dive into the process of purchasing your first trade show display? Perhaps you’ve been renting for a few years or are completely new to the trade show scene. Either way you’ve likely discovered that the process of purchasing trade show exhibits can be a bit overwhelming. With so much on the line related to this important piece of marketing equipment, and with so many options to choose from, where do you even begin to sort through it all?

First, take a few deep breaths and then have a look at these tips for making the design and purchase process easier.

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Trade Show Exhibits: Where To Start?

When first setting out to choose the right design, it’s important to have a clear picture of what you’ll need from your trade show booth. Be sure you’re able to answer these questions before you decide on anything and move forward with the process:

1. What are your goals?  Will you be showing off a product or service? Are you more interested in collecting business leads? Do you have a particular measurement for event success? Are you trying to raise brand awareness? Having a set of trade show objectives will set you up for success. And, the answers to all of these questions will play an important part in the design process, and reputable dealers like us will want to know your thoughts on all of these factors before guiding you in the right direction.

2. Who is your audience?  Once the “whats” are established, the natural next question is “who?” Identifying who your display is designed to attract will be a huge help in determining how to properly construct and brand it. Are you looking to interact directly with consumers or are you more interested in re-sellers? Once again, do you place a higher value on corporate leads or direct sales? The “who” of your exhibit will play a large role in how you design your trade show booth, so make sure you have a clear understanding of who you’re targeting. The “who” of your marketing goals is just as important as the “what.”

3. What type of shows will you attend? And finally we reach the “where?” While you likely won’t know exactly where your event schedule will take you throughout the entire life of your exhibit, you should have a general understanding of the size and type of the shows you’ll initially be targeting. It’s important to know how much space you’ll need to occupy, how long shows will generally last, and if your booth will need to be able to adapt to having different sides visible or accessible to guests before finalizing your design.

A Note On Budgets

As with all of your marketing efforts, having a clearly established budget will aid you in determining the overall ROI of your purchase. If you are working with an exhibit specialist like Xtreme Xhibits, don’t hide your budget until the end of the process. The best manufacturers are generally able to work within any budget and design consultants can’t possibly provide you with feasible suggestions if they don’t know what you’ll be able to afford. Worse yet, by being coy about your budget you run the risk of falling in love with trade show exhibits that are outside of your price range. Keep in mind that the organization designing and building your booth is there to help you choose the best possible solution for your marketing needs and the more information you can provide them with, the better they’ll be able to serve you.

WWIENow that you’re ready to purchase your exhibit, read the What’s Working in Exhibiting white paper to learn the most effective strategies and tactics exhibitors are using today to boost their results and stretch their budgets at trade shows.

Jill Amerie
About the Author

Jill is the owner of Skyline - Xtreme Xhibits and is a strategic trade show marketing consultant, with over 22 years of experience in the trade show and events industry. Jill is driven by her passion for unique and memorable exhibit design, overall successful trade show marketing strategies, exceptional customer service and flawless program execution. For more information on exhibit design, trade show marketing, trade show displays, trade show booths, and trade show exhibits in Austin or San Antonio, TX, please visit Xtreme Xhibits

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