Let’s say you are in the market for a new display house. Maybe you are new to the trade show game or have grown disenchanted with your current provider. There are hundreds of trade show display builders around the country. How do you wade through the marketing noise and get a clear grasp on which of these companies is best suited for your current exhibit needs?
Experienced display builders will go to great lengths to ensure that your display looks terrific and delivers your message with maximum impact. At the same time, your available budget and time constraints will be put to the greatest good, ultimately providing the best ROI for each marketing dollar spent. A solid relationship of trust and open communication is key to imagining, designing, building and delivering a stellar trade show product.
Due Diligence When Choosing a Display House - Where to Start?
- Ask other experienced event marketers for recommendations.
- Attend trade shows and observe first-hand how booths are built and function.
- Understand your company’s ultimate trade show program goals.
- Create a wish list of display aesthetics and functionality for discussion.
- Browse company websites and social media for photos and customer interactions.
- Reach out to a display builder through their website or via phone and note how you are treated.
Important Questions to Ask While Choosing a Trade Show Exhibit Builder
- How many years does the company have building the type of display you want?
- What show services does the company offer? How much experience do they have?
- Do they actually build the display or is it outsourced? Are they based in the U.S.?
- Are quality materials used?
- Do they offer G7 color matching printing capabilities?
- Do they have warehousing facilities around the country?
- What type of other clients do they have and from what industries?
- Does the company stand behind their work and products with a strong warranty?
- Do they custom design to your specific needs or simply offer kitted solutions?
- Does the design house have references and project portfolios they are willing to share?
Price point should not be the deciding factor in your decision as you most certainly get what you pay for in this industry. Cutting corners with shoddy materials, fixtures, wiring, lights etc. will only cost you more money on the maintenance side of the equation. In addition, Show Services is a significant budget line and there must be transparency with costs of ownership.
If possible start your exhibit house research 12-18 months prior to your first show. This will give you time to ask all the important questions, digest your options and visit the facility. It is also crucial to give the trade show designers time to work with you to understand your goals and create a booth design that performs.
A strong and positive relationship with the builder is the key to creating a display that will yield impressive results. How does the company make you feel? Are you important to them? Are they responsive and transparent? In this day and age, you have many options and there is no reason to settle for a company that doesn’t truly care. An exhibit house must partner with you to provide better designs, better cost savings and better results. It is a weighty decision that has ramifications for years to come. Taking the effort to research and compare is time well spent when choosing your trade show partners.