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Trade Show Exhibits (Part 1)

tradeshow exhibits -part1Whether you are a first-time exhibitor, or a trade show veteran, there are many fundamental items to consider in order to enjoy a successful trade show exhibit and a profitable show. Although much is written about each of these considerations , the following list provides a summary, in one convenient article. Certainly there are always more subjects (and subtopics) that could be included in this listing, but this is a solid starting place. Using an internet search engine for each of these topics will round-out your knowledge base and ensure excellent profitability.

3-second Rule for Success: In large part, the ultimate success of your display hinges on the 3-second rule. In short, your trade show exhibit has only 3-seconds to grab attention and draw people in to your booth. The components of your display must work together in concert to make this rule work consistently.

Budgeting: As an example, a strong exhibit budget formula could be as follows:
  • As a solar system vendor, I know that just one customer is worth $30,000 (lifetime value of one account)
  • I am willing to spend 5% of that lifetime value to get one new customer (5% of $30,000 = $1,500)
  • There will be a minimum of 1,000 attendees (audience) at the trade show
  • I can comfortably gain 2% of that audience as new customers (2% of 1,000 = 20 new customers)
  • To get those 20 customers I am willing to spend $1500 to get each one (20 X $1,500 = $30,000)
  • But I am only willing to spend 50% of that investment on the trade show ($30,000 50% = $15,000)
  • So I am spending just $15,000 on the trade show in order to earn $600,000 (20 X $30,000 = $600,000)
  • Then remember that you will use your display for several years wow! Tradeshows are valuable!
Planning: A little bit of research on trade show exhibits planning will build an accurate checklist of tasks to accomplish before the trade show. It is a proactive idea to begin planning at least 6 months before the show. Ask these basic questions about your trade show plan:
  • Does you plan include a budget and schedule of expenses?
  • Is your plan based upon credible sources (like the Exhibitor s handbook from the show sponsor)?
  • Does your plan include all show deadlines and self-imposed deadlines?
  • Does your plan include objectives, goals, and target numbers for the return on your show investment?
  • Does your plan include the desired location and size of your booth space?
  • Does your plan include a schedule of meetings and proper staffing/training for the show?
  • Does your plan include a pre-show marketing/promotional strategy?
  • Does your plan include all the logistics for the exhibit transport/shipping, setup, and takedown?
  • Have you planned for all of your ordering: the exhibit itself, literature, giveaways, prize(s), etc.?
  • Does your plan include creation and execution of any presentations?
  • Does your plan include hotel bookings, airfare, transportation, meals, etc.?
  • Does your plan include post-show tasks and activities?
Exhibitor s Handbook: The handbook, kit, or manual that the trade show sponsor provides to all exhibitors is the bible for the show. It will contain a wealth of information that you should be very familiar with before (and during) the planning stages. In this handbook you should find:
  • General information, including pricing, schedules, regulations, terms and conditions, forms, and all deadlines
  • Payment information, including early bird pricing, complete payment forms, and more
  • Shipping and material handling, including (inbound and outbound) shipping options, vendors, advance warehouse (if applicable), labor forms and contractors, etc.
  • Furnishing and flooring concerns, including furniture/accessories, and sometimes a catalog
  • Exhibit/display policies and procedures
  • Labor services and contractors
  • Facility information
Booth Spaces: The most typical introductory size of a booth (in the USA) is 10 X10 , and will go up in size from there. Many exhibitors invest in multiple spaces in a row or back-to-back. The show sponsor, however, will likely consider most space size requests. In general, there are four show floor configurations as follows:
  • Linear Booth is a space with other booths on either side or back
  • Peninsula Exhibit is an exhibit or area with aisles on three sides
  • Split-Island Exhibit is a peninsula booth that shares a common back wall with another peninsula exhibit
  • Island Exhibit is any booth exposed to aisles on all four sides

Pre-show Marketing: Most exhibitors will have a pre-show marketing plan or campaign. This is a smaller separate plan within the overall trade show plan mentioned above. Again, a simple internet search will expose many resources with useful information on building this pre-show strategy.

In Part 2 of this article we will discuss such topics as: exhibit purchase or rental, display transport/shipping, exhibitor survival kit, staffing and training, display setup, exhibit opening, giveaways and prizes, and post-show follow-up.


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A Full-Service Agency At Smash Hit Displays, we go out of our way to provide you with full service. In addition to our full line of portable trade show exhibits, the highlights of our service includes:

  • An in-house graphic design department to serve your needs.
  • Tracking software that tracks your orders from beginning to end.
  • Partnerships with major trade exhibit manufacturers who have products in stock and can ship quickly.
  • Partnerships with nationwide printers to provide high-quality printing & graphics.

Display Warranties At Smash Hit Displays, we test every booth and exhibit we sell to make sure our customers get the best quality products. Our booths and exhibits are durable and versatile. We offer warranties on all products, ranging from 1-year to lifetime warranties.

Give us a call today at 1.877.215.5355 to talk about show displays, exhibits, flooring, and booths. Our knowledgeable customer service staff can help you to plan your next show. You can also send an email to our Sales staff through our "Contact Page," and they will gladly answer your questions about trade shows.

Customer Support If you have any questions, please give us a call! We answer our phones, and can provide quick and easy answers for any questions or concerns you might have.

We Serve the U.S. and Ship Worldwide We serve all U.S. cities and every convention center in the United States. We have customers in Seattle, Canada, Puerto Rico, Japan, and throughout the world. logoWe can ship to the location of your event or anywhere you need your products delivered.