Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘displays’

The Rent vs. Buy Debate for Trade Show Exhibits

April 20th, 2021 COMMENTS
Rent vs. Buy a Trade Show Exhibit

If price was the only criteria for a trade show exhibit, then most exhibitors with a full show schedule would probably buy their display. Or would they?

Let’s explore this topic with three examples showing both rental and purchase prices from Classic Exhibits and Classic Rental Solutions.

Trade Show Rental Exhibit

Example #1

The RE-1081 (rental) and VK-1356 (purchase) are identical backlit displays with a charging station, locking storage, and an iPad swivel mount.

  • Rental: $6316 (booth) + $2693 (graphics) = $9009
  • Purchase: $14,997 (booth and graphics)
  • Difference: $5988

By the second rental, the exhibitor would have exceeded the purchase price. However, what if the exhibitor decided to remove the charging station and replace it with a reception counter at the second show? Or some other modification. Rental exhibitors often make those changes because the price remains roughly the same (in most situations). The purchase exhibitor now has an additional component, along with extra or modified packaging. And they may decide not to use the charging table again, which means they’ll need to dispose of it.

All too often, an exhibitor who purchases a display will not make a change, even if the change would benefit their trade show marketing, because they feel locked into their original decision. A rental exhibitor has far fewer qualms about making changes, including even an entirely different design.

Trade Show Rental Display

Example #2

The RE-1082 (rental) and GK-1011 (purchase) are non-backlit displays with a workstation and locking storage.

  • Rental: $5816 (booth) + $2297 (graphics) = $8113
  • Purchase: $14,900 (booth and graphics)
  • Difference: $6787

In this design, the first and second rentals are less expensive than the original purchase price. By the third rental, the rental would be $4845 more. However, many exhibitors don’t factor in the monthly storage, assuming your exhibit provider stores it for you. Plus any “turnkey services” like inspection, packing, and staging charges. With a rental, those are included in the price.

Many exhibitors would rather not commit to a long-term investment or reoccurring maintenance fees on a permanent asset. And disposal charges at some point in the future. For them, a rental while more expensive over several years, may be less expensive right now and offer greater marketing flexibility.

Rental Displays for Trade Shows

Example #3

The RE-1079 (rental) and VK-1977 (purchase) are backlit displays with a large monitor mount option.

  • Rental: $2483 (booth) + $1525 (graphics) = $4008
  • Purchase: $7600 (booth and graphics)
  • Difference: $3593

At this price, most exhibitors would purchase this design if it’s intended for multiple shows. However, this design is often an element in a larger island display with double-sided graphics. Other times, exhibitors with conflicting shows or those “testing” trade show marketing need an exhibit but don’t want to commit to a purchase. In those cases, a rental makes far more sense, even for small displays.

All too often, newer exhibitors will purchase a cheap, somewhat disposable display only to discover that it doesn’t reflect their branding or audience. An upscale rental allows them to showcase their products and/or services at a price comparable to a budget purchase.

When deciding whether to rent or buy a trade show exhibit, consider all your options, both short and long-term. There are benefits to both and in some situations, a combination makes the most sense. Talk to your exhibit professional to review your options.

Here’s Your Post-Pandemic Portable Trade Show Display

April 7th, 2021 COMMENTS
Symphony Portable Display Elegance -- Features and Benefits

Most portable displays look portable. That’s always been unfortunate fact. But… what if you could have all the benefits of a portable system, like UPSable roto-molded cases and tool-less assembly, with all the design impact of a modular or custom exhibit? It’s possible with Symphony Portable Displays.

Zero Compromises

Choose from 54 kits or configure the design to meet your unique trade show marketing requirements. With Symphony, there are no compromises, no tradeoffs. Simply a beautiful, upscale display at a price that’s thousands less than most custom modular exhibits.

Symphony Portable Display Elegance
Symphony Portable Display Elegance
Symphony Portable Display Elegance

Symphony Portable Elegance | The NO Compromises Portable Display

March 30th, 2020 COMMENTS
Symphony Portable Display Elegance
SYK-2023 Symphony Portable Display

For too long, Portable Trade Show Displays have sacrificed elegant design for visual simplicity. Not anymore.

Introducing Symphony, the first portable/modular display to blend easy tool-less assembly with elegant design and clever accessories. With Symphony, there are no compromises. Simply a beautiful upscale display at a price that’s thousands less than most custom modular exhibits.

In this casual video, we walk you through all the features and benefits of the Symphony Portable Display line, including assembly, accessories, and options.

US and International Patent Pending

See All 51 Symphony Portable Designs: https://tinyurl.com/uaourkh.

Seek Help. Trust Me, You Need It!

December 9th, 2019 COMMENTS

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Do You Have a Plan? Probably Not.

Most trade show exhibitors don’t have a plan when it comes to exhibition marketing. They purchase a display, which they think is THE PLAN. So before I harangue you with the obvious suggestions, let’s talk. Really talk.

If you are reading this, you are probably a sales/marketing professional with a history of accomplishments. You got there by being persistent, creative, and organized. You rely on Act-On, Marketo, or HubSpot for automation. You use CRM software like SalesForce or Infusionsoft. You have a comprehensive email campaign strategy and track it with Constant Contact, Yesware, or MailChimp.

When you have challenging problems, you tap into consultants for lead generation, sales training, social media, and SEO. And, when it comes to advertising, you have a team dedicated to maximizing your spend and metrics. In this hyper-competitive marketplace, you need every advantage that money, strategy, and discipline can bring.

And Then You Wing It!

Do You Believe in Trade Shows? That’s not meant to be a loaded question. You either do or you don’t. There’s no middle ground because exhibitors who “waffle” when it comes to trade show marketing are mostly wasting their money.

That’s not to say that trade shows are the same as trade shows pre-Internet. They’re not. Trade shows are much more efficient than they used to be because most attendees no longer “walk” the floor. They “research” and “shop” the floor just like they would an online purchase. They’ve already decided which companies they’ll visit days, even weeks before their feet hit the aisle carpet. Getting them to your booth pre-show is more important now than luring them into your booth at the show.

stk313213rknDo You Believe in Metrics and ROI? Of course you do. Imagine conducted a sales/marketing meeting or presentation without metrics. You love numbers. You love studying and reciting them to others like parables from the Bible. You get visibly excited using a spreadsheet to compare the Toledo to the Albuquerque office.

But, when it comes to your trade show marketing, you are like a four-year old with blocks, relying on the # of leads to judge success. Sadly, you pat yourself on the back if the leads are electronic and not a roll of paper cascading off the counter. For most exhibitors, anything beyond that falls into quantitative voodoo. There’s no measuring costs per show, return on sales, or contribution margin per client.

Are You a Good Judge of People? You should be. It’s kinda required for anyone in sales and marketing. At every trade show, you are doing two things:  meeting with customers and suppliers and evaluating your trade show staff. Far too often, we are spectacular at the first and abysmal at the second. We view trade show staffing along the same lines as a wedding invitation — the more the merrier and we pray no one gets so drunk they puke in public. When we do hold staffers accountable, it’s condensed into a pre-show rally which includes 10 minute booth training. It’s a joke.

Are You an Expert in 3D Marketing? I won’t bother to feed your ego on this one. You aren’t an expert. Not even close. You may be an expert at banner ads or print advertising or closing techniques, but you probably don’t know squat about exhibit design and trade show marketing. How do I know? Experience working with exhibitors and walking shows. Now, don’t misunderstand me. You know marketing and you know sales, but you decided at some point to believe that trade show marketing is more of the same. It is and it isn’t, and you’ll blow a ton of money until you know what works and what doesn’t.

Take Some Advice from a Trade Show Professional

VK-5088aaI mean this literally. Take some advice from a trade show professional.

1. Work with your Exhibit House. Exhibit Houses and Distributors do much more than design and build exhibits. They work with exhibitors on strategy, show services, ROI tracking, booth training, etc. They see the painful mistakes that their clients make that cost them money and prevent them from succeeding at trade shows. Believe me . . . they want your trade show marketing to be wildly successful. That way you’ll add more shows to your schedule, you’ll purchase new exhibits, and you’ll tap into their services.

2. Work with Independent Consultants. Like any industry, the trade show industry has seasoned independent consultants who want to share their advice for a fee. Some are generalists. Others specialize in booth staff training or ROI measuring or social media marketing or lead generation or overall trade show marketing. They know their stuff. They are paid to know their stuff. Don’t know who they are? Ask your exhibit house or use this niffy tool called Google. That said . . . always get references and do your homework.

3. Become an Expert. You can either continue to whine or you can take classes at EXHIBITORLIVE. There are hundreds of classes each year on every imaginable topic related to trade shows and trade show marketing. The classes are a great place to meet industry professionals and share your successes and failures with colleagues. For such a big industry, it’s actually a very small community.

No one can know everything. And what’s true for marketing automation software or social media advertising is also true for trade shows. Know what you don’t know and for everything else, seek help.

Cheers!

–Mel White
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
mel@classicexhibits.com

**********************************************

Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.


 

20 Clues It’s Time to Check the Meter on Your Trade Show Display

May 22nd, 2019 4 COMMENTS

Several years ago, I wrote “What’s the Expiration Date of Your Trade Show Display?

Recently, I decided to update it, but after re-reading it, I decided not to make any changes since it still makes me smile. I know… that sounds egotistical, but the line “It smells like the Pennsylvania Convention Center and even Fabreze can’t kill the odor” makes me laugh.

Instead, we give you 20 MORE Reasons to Check the Meter on Your Display. Enjoy and please add to the list. 

20 Clues Your Exhibit Has Expired

  • Your last legal source for halogen lights is now a frozen yogurt store. Your next option is a dark web site run by a dude with the handle “NotWearingPants.”
  • Your 19” flat screen monitor was made by Magnavox. Or Zenith. Or RCA.
  • Six months ago, you bought a display from a company that specializes in imprinted coffee mugs and key chains. Surprise! That display lasted for one show.
  • EXHIBITOR Magazine included your exhibit in its article recent History of Portable Displays 1995.
  • Your repair kit is a shoebox with zip ties, Velcro, duct tape, a box cutter, Tylenol, a hammer, lipstick, and fifty mousepads.
  • There’s a COMDEX label on your crate.
  • Your logo hasn’t been that color since the Bush administration. The FIRST one.
  • Jimmy, your labor guy at Moscone, remembers setting up your booth at TS2. Whenever he wants your attention, he says, “Hey, Whippersnapper!”
  • Two (very painful) words: Foldable Truss
  • You put your glasses on only to discover that your graphics are even fuzzier.  

  • “Parts and pieces” means something different now than when the display was new.
  • You think SEG stands for “Some Extra Gravy.” Which makes you very happy whenever someone asks you if you want more SEG.
  • Your primary colors are Harvest Gold and Avocado Green.
  • Show organizers keep suggesting space near the restrooms because of “all the extra traffic you’ll see.”
  • You play “Eye of the Tiger” in the booth and your hanging sign announces you are “Risin’ Up to the Challenge of Our Rival.”
  • Your exhibit house stores your crates near the fire escape. They’ve stenciled a skull and crossbones on all four sides.
  • The manufacturer had to entice Eddie the Machinist out of retirement with three bottles of Jack Daniels to fulfill your order for replacement parts.
  • The storage closet smells like Becky’s perfume, and she quit 11 years ago.
  • Your portable display case has more stickers than the VW van of a Grateful Dead groupie.
  • Your colleagues are always busy whenever you ask for volunteers for a January trade show in Las Vegas or Orlando. And your company is based in Fargo.  

Bonus: When You Bought Your Display…

  • You were addicted to TAB.
  • You paid a bribe to get your kid a Teddy Ruxpin.
  • Your new car came equipped with ashtrays and lighters and flipping the windshield wiper switch on and off was intermittent wipers. The high-beam switch was on the floor (where it still should be!).
  • Your iPod Shuffle held 120 songs!
  • You had 12 magazine subscriptions.
  • You dropped your film off at a FOTOMAT in a Woolco parking lot.
  • Danielle Steele and Stephen King had only written 50 books between the two of them.
  • You had a MySpace account
  • Zombies were a musical group.
  • “Sustainable” meant making it through an 8-hour shift on the tradeshow floor after partying with Mikey and the guys until 5 am.
  • Mr. Coffee was all the coffee you needed.

How do you determine the expiration date of a trade show display? Please share. 😉

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite

**********************************************

Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, custom, rental exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.