As you start thinking about your next show, you may recall that the condition of your exhibit at the last show was…well…a little antiquated. So what do you do if your exhibit is looking tired and dated, yet you don’t have the budget this year to refurbish it or rent/purchase something new? This is a great time to review all components of your current exhibit and see what pieces can be individually updated or changed to freshen your look without exceeding your limited budget.
First, what is truly dated? Has your logo changed? Do your graphics include images of products you no longer offer or are your new products nowhere to be seen? It is so important to keep your branding consistent across all marketing mediums, from your web site to your lobby to your trade show exhibit.
To ensure continuity of your brand, consider updating any graphics or imagery that does not accurately represent who you and your brand are now.
What elements of your exhibit have worn the most? Those are probably also the pieces that you use more frequently, so they are the ones you will want to update. If you are constantly running demonstrations on your kiosk or adding and removing product from your slat wall, work on refurbishing these components since they are probably the most visible to your prospective customers.
This is also a good time to review your show schedule and exhibit space sizes. Instead of bringing your entire exhibit, consider scaling down your exhibit size for certain shows, removing some of the dated elements. Not only does this showcase your more current exhibit components, you will see some cost savings from the smaller space, as well as a decrease in shipping, material handling, and labor. Alternatively, if scaling down your exhibit size won’t work for you, you can instead downsize your show schedule. Are you seeing a return on investment (ROI) from every single show? Or are there one or two shows that consistently yield lackluster results and unqualified leads?
By either reducing your exhibit size or reducing your show schedule, you can utilize the savings from either and reinvest them into refurbishing your look.
Another option is to swap out dated, heavy exhibit components for ones that are lighter and more modern. Let’s say you have some heavy exhibit materials within your exhibit, which are weighing (pun intended!) on your shipping and material handling budgets. Leave those in storage and with the savings you receive from the reduced shipping and material handling, put those towards something new, light, and updated. A fabric structure, for example, can be a cost-effective way to update your look while most likely fitting into your existing crates with negligible additional weight.
While there are probably times you would like to purchase an entirely new exhibit or completely refurbish every inch of your current one, your budget doesn’t always oblige. Making smaller, incremental updates and changes can take your aging exhibit and make it look young again.
Alison James, Event Marketer & Brand Enthusiast
Alison has been with Apple Rock for 13 years. She is not only an industry expert, but also an experienced brand ambassador for all her clients. When she is not working hard for her clients she is enjoying the thrills of parenthood, along with her husband, to their young son.