Every Marketing Manager faces the pressure to reduce their company’s marketing spending whilst still improving results.  You have these objectives but your next event is drawing closer and you want to get things moving and make a decision on your displays so you can move onto the next task!


Before you rush in to make the decisions on what display to purchase, keep in mind that making an informed, educated buying choice can empower you to execute your trade shows with agility and efficiency for years to come.  Here are four things to consider when making your next display purchase:

1. Be Sure Your Goals & Objectives Dictate Your Purchase (not the other way around)


To maximise your investment in a trade show booth it’s important that your entire team agree on the objectives and goals of your trade show presence long before committing to a purchase or even to a particular event.


Your goals will determine your strategies, and your strategies will drive decisions for your display booth purchase, including layout, design, graphics, traffic flow, product demonstration plans, promotions…well, everything!


If you’re having trouble getting a consensus, consider this exercise: Force your team to select their top three goals and assign a percentage of importance to each. Then ask your team to select, hands down, the most important single goal. This approach should yield the quantifiable data and buy-in you need to establish your goals…and move forward with your trade show display purchase.


A professional display consultant will ask you to share your goals, budgets, marketing plans and current communications material. After digesting all the information, you’ll be provided with a recommendation consisting of a price quote and design rendering.


2. Never Buy On Price Alone


It is easy to fool yourself into thinking the lowest price is the best value. But buying an inexpensive trade show booth can cost you more in the end – significantly more! You must be sure to consider these factors as you evaluate your options:


  • Quality
  • Reputation
  • Years in Business
  • Success stories or case studies
  • Ability to consult and partner strategically
  • Availability of a local labour and service in all the major areas you exhibit


Today there are so many display options available, including portable, modular, custom, pop-ups and lightweight metals & stretch fabrics.  All have their distinct advantages, and this is where a display consultant can be very useful in helping you find a solution that best suits your goals, objectives and unique exhibiting situation.  Your display consultant should help you maximise your trade show marketing potential and help you avoid the costly mistakes.


If you plan to exhibit more than once or twice, chances are you’ll work closely with your chosen display company for several years.  Do your research and base your decision on more than just price.  The company you choose should have years of experience in design, marketing, graphics, and trade show tactics.  Working with a knowledgeable trade show display company with trained and experienced consultants will save you money, time and stress time and time again.


3. Remember to Consider Long-Term Costs


Can the display design you’re considering be re-configured to fit into smaller or larger booth sizes?  There are lots of options these days enabling “modularity,” so that a single pool of trade show display collateral can be rearranged into new designs and configurations – and also re-skinned to communicate different messages to different audiences (or to update your brand message over time).


Is the booth you’re considering made from lightweight materials?  Or, is it made from heavy wood or metals?  If you are not looking at lightweight solutions remember that a large portion of your budget will be consumed on materials handling, shipping and storage.


Is the display construction complicated?  Will it require extra labour and equipment to set-up and dismantle the display?  If so, think whether this solution will meet your budget, objectives and goals over the long term.

4. Do Not Wait Until the Last Minute


Making an informed and educated buying choice takes time; waiting till the last minute will reduce the likelihood of making a decision that will benefit you long into the future.


Rush charges can be incurred if you wait till the eleventh hour to make your decision right before your event.  These costs are easy to avoid by simply planning ahead.


While there are always going to be risks associated with making a new investment, by following the suggestions above, your investment is much more likely to be one that pays huge dividends long into your exhibiting future.

Have you got further advice you can share on things to considering when buying a trade show display? Share your stories and comments with us below.

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