Exhibiting In Bad Economic Times

Exhibiting at trade shows in these bad economic times is a major issue for the trade show industry. Many exhibitors are deciding not to attend various trade shows and are cutting back on the size of their booth.   Some seasoned exhibitors are now visiting the shows only as show attendees and not as trade show exhibitors. Why? The costs that accompany these events.  Other innovative exhibitors rent suites and invite their clients to their suites to demo new products etc.  In attempting  to  address these issues I would say that despite innovative measures to be a part of the tradeshow marketing process in these economic times, pulling out of the show is not the answer 

Here are some of the draw backs in not attending the shows that an exhibitor  normally attends:  a) exhibitor’s seniority is lost – putting you at a disadvantage in placement for the next show when you decide to re-enter that particular show  b) prime locations that were usually allotted to you as an exhibitor is now given to other regular exhibitors, thus only allowing some off-the-beat traffic location to you.  Another ill-advised alternative is to reduce your usual booth and show site.  An example, say, your company usually attend a show using a 20×20 or 20×30 and you now are using a 10×10. Reason? Your company’s image has a tendency to be diminished giving the impression to both clients  and competitors that your business is not doing well. Would you depend on this company be around in the future?

Few pointers: The best thing to do in this case is keep the same size booth and location. Try and reduce your labor cost, your shipping cost and your drayage cost. These are all changes that the consumer as well as competitor will never see nor notice.  The next sensible thing to do is to rent a custom trade show booth as opposed to purchasing one.  Custom means exactly that – your company is still doing well and still has the ability to exhibit your products in a custom booth. There will be no signage on your booth saying “rented”. You are still giving the impression that your company is not affected by the dim economy.  Renting a custom booth will cost you a lot less than purchasing one.  Advantages?  Exhibitor has no head-ache for transportation and refurbishment costs. Clients can now enjoy a full turnkey operation, while knowing  exactly what their cost will be in the end. This way there are no surprises, nothing over the budget unless added by the client.   Custom design rental booths are generally life savers for those exhibitors trying to keep abreast with this economy and still remain regular tradeshow exhibitors under a strict budgetary constraints.

Lately we have seen many larger exhibit companies trashing their custom exhibit booth and resorting to the use of a full turnkey rental trade show booth.  Multi rentals are also an advantage for most clients who attend numerous  show.  Different shows may require different  configurations as well as different sizes and locations. In the past client would have have to invest in two or three different booth, not so anymore, rental booth can be supplied in most major cities  with the same look and all are generated from one source   

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