The leaves on the trees are starting to turn here in Minnesota, and among other things, this means we are coming up on trade show season. Trade shows are still alive and well, however, companies who find the most success in our current market are ones who can take advantage of innovative solutions to cut costs while still grabbing attention.
In a recent article in Wide Format Imaging, Jeffery Steele talks about some emerging trends and advice from trade show veterans.
Trends: In the past, larger, heavier, custom displays dominated the trade show industry. Now, innovative design and modular displays are the name of the game. Here's what’s popular:
1. Displays that are lighter, mobile, and less costly to transport. These modular units are in response to higher shipping, storage, and setup costs. Retractable banner stands and light weight exhibit materials don't have high shipping costs, or require a crew for set up. It all boils down to affordability and flexibility.
2. BUT, lowest price hardware doesn't always win. While companies are opting to save money with types of displays and reduced shipping costs, they are also buying higher quality displays that they can re-use instead of the cheapest options that can only be used once or twice.
3. Companies are moving away from traditional pop-ups in order to stand out. This includes more contemporary designs like serpentine shapes and fabric products.
Trade show veterans talk: What do these experienced veterans have to say?
1. Have hands on experience in the field and extensive product knowledge. "You can't fake it to make it in this marketplace, you need to be an expert". Know your stuff.
2. Attend other trade shows to see what’s out there. Learn about your competitors by checking out what they are doing. Learn what kinds of displays are available in your area. See what works and what doesn't.
3. Have a backup plan. Pay attention to companies who are known to delivering the goods on time, and in one piece when choosing a vendor or a shipping company. If you save a few bucks on the production, but don't get the package on time, then there was no point in the first place.