Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘Rental Exhibits’

When to Purchase vs. Rent an Exhibit — Understanding Your Options

January 14th, 2020 COMMENTS
Trade Show Rental Exhibit
Inline Rental Exhibit

Why Rent Your Next Exhibit?

It’s an exciting time to be in the exhibition industry. At no other time in the past 20 years has the pace of change been so dramatic. While some exhibit houses are embracing it, others are sticking their proverbial head in the sand.

Take rental displays for example. Just a few years ago, rental displays were the stepchildren of trade show design. Neglected and underappreciated by both exhibit houses and general service contractors. Exhibitors who chose a rental display either weren’t serious about trade show marketing or simply didn’t understand the poor image those displays projected on the show floor.

How that has changed! Rentals have gone upscale and depending on the provider can be customized to meet almost any exhibitor’s marketing goals. They are basically indistinguishable from the purchase display across the aisle or your competitor’s new exhibit. So why the change and why should you consider a rental OR better yet a purchase/rental?

The Top 3 – Plus a Bonus Tip. 😉

Reason #1 – Design Flexibility

The marketing goals for most companies are constantly evolving with multiple campaigns and a host of products and services, each with a distinct brand and messaging. What worked in Q1 may not be effective for Q3 or scrapped all together.

Rental displays make it easy to change graphics, add structural elements, or simply go from an inline to an island (or vice versa). That flexibility can be very dynamic for your brand and marketing goals and more cost effective in the long-term.

Trade Show Rental Exhibit
Island Rental Exhibit

Reason #2 – Upfront Cost

Rental displays are not only less expensive upfront, but they also allow you to stretch your budget even further. Take the exhibitor who settled for a ho-hum inline in the past. With a rental, they could add attractive meeting space, LED lighting, large monitors, shelving, and extensive storage – all at the same price of a purchase.

More bang for the buck means you can elevate your trade show presence with attendees. Or, if you choose not to make significant changes to the display, the savings can be spent on client entertainment/meals, pre-show marketing, or booth staffing. Or directly to your marketing bottom line.

Reason #3 – Associated Expenses

When you purchase a new exhibit, there are always associated expenses, some you may not anticipate. Storage for example. Larger exhibits are packed in crates. Those crates either must be stored at your exhibit house for a monthly fee or in your own facility. Either way, it’s an ongoing cost. Plus, when components are lost or damaged, those must be replaced.

Before each show, someone has to reassemble the booth to ensure all the parts and pieces are there, and if there are changes, then there are design fees, new components or graphics, and the labor to get it prepped and perfect.

With a rental, nearly all of that disappears. No storage. No prep charges. No labor. You may have new charges if you change the graphics or the design, but in general, those are more controllable and predictable.  

Trade Show Rental Exhibits
Inline Trade Show Rental Exhibit

Bonus Tip – Rental and Purchase

Rental vs Purchase doesn’t have to be an either/or decision. More and more sophisticated exhibitors are choosing both. They purchase those design elements they know they’ll use again and again regardless of the show or configuration. For example, a central 12 ft. tower with locking storage. If you need that every single time, then it makes sense to buy it and rebrand it when necessary. However, if you sometimes need multiple monitor workstations but other times you would rather have more meeting space, then it doesn’t make sense to purchase monitor stands. Rent them instead.

It’s often the peripheral items like counters, pedestals, charging stations, monitor stands, lightboxes, etc. which change frequently. Rent them. That way you can play with what works best and make informed decisions based on your experience and success.

Still a Bit Confused?

Your next step is to work with experienced exhibit professionals like Brave Exhibits whose sole mission is maximizing your trade show success. Show after show. Brave Exhibits has learned how to avoid the costly mistakes that inexperienced exhibitors make. And believe me, it’s easy to waste money before you know what works and what doesn’t. They’ll ensure that doesn’t happen whether you decide on a Purchase or Rental or Purchase/Rental.

To browse our extensive rental inline and island galleries, click on the links.

6 Smart Reasons to Partner with Classic Rental Solutions

November 5th, 2019 COMMENTS
Trade Show Rental Exhibit
Rental Project by Exhibit Expressions

Through October 2019, Classic Rental Solutions (CRS) delivered over 283 rental projects this year. Mostly larger customized inlines or islands. That’s a lot of rentals and a healthy increase over the previous year.

With so many Classic Exhibits Distributors adding rental inventories, you may be wondering why our sales continue to surge. It’s simple. Our size and manufacturing capabilities give us six rental advantages. Those advantages benefit you, a Classic Distributor, and your clients.

Our Six Rental Advantages

Advantage #1. Design

Our designers are dedicated to rental designs. They don’t dabble in purchase design requests. CRS typically delivers complete rental designs within 3 to 4 days of your design requests.

We’ll work directly with you and/or with your clients on conference calls to review their vision for the design and functionality of their booth. Experience has shown us that the closing ratio improves significantly when our designers work directly with exhibitors.

Need ideas? Our three Rental Galleries (with over 300 designs) provide a great starting point to generate concepts and budget ranges as well.

Advantage #2. Project Management

Do you get bogged down in the present, making it challenging to focus on future opportunities. Let us manage your rental projects to avoid disrupting your in-house production load. We’ll design it, build it, and communicate the progress all along the way. This makes it easy for you, and allows your team to focus on existing jobs and new opportunities.

Nearly every CRS rental ships directly to the trade show and has for over 10 years. We’re really, really good at getting it right at every stage.

Advantage #3. Unparalleled Customization

Almost every rental exhibit CRS designs and produces has custom elements. We understand the importance of including key features that set your projects apart. This is also true for the more economical budgets.

We’re not limited to 20 modular wall panels or two or three counters. Our rental inventory is virtually unlimited. In almost all cases, we can design and build to your specifications.

Advantage #4. Industry Leading Solutions

Classic Exhibits has always been a leader in innovation and new product development. CRS is in the same facility. Our design offerings include these new products, which constantly provides a fresh new look. It also provides a substantial sales advantage, especially in competitive situations where that one new element can really make a difference.

Here are three examples of game-changing products that Classic has introduced:

  • InCharg Charging Stations: Available in a large variety of contemporary designs, including bistro, coffee, end, and conference tables. And now produced with wireless and USB charging ports. All pre-wired for easy assembly. These attractive high-quality charging stations provide excellent branding opportunities with top surface vinyl graphics.
  • Gravitee One-Step Modular System: Over the past couple of years, our Gravitee System has literally revolutionized our rental program. The pre-constructed panel systems is amazingly easy to setup and take-down. And it’s extremely versatile to reconfigure from inline designs to large islands. It works great for continuous SEG fabric graphics, or direct print Sintra inserts. It’s used for multi-level towers, backwalls, kiosks, and conference rooms. Our inventory is huge and growing all the time.
  • SuperNova LED Lightboxes: The single biggest attraction on most show floors are LED lightboxes with vibrant SEG fabric graphics, lightweight aluminum extrusion, and dynamic LED lights. Many of our lightbox designs now assemble with minimal or no tools. Many of our rental designs include lightboxes, including custom sizes built into kiosks, headers, or single, or double-sided wall structures with high impact backlit fabric graphics.

Advantage #5. Flexibility

At Classic, we’re extremely flexible! We don’t have strict policies that restrict us from assisting you. Our goal is to win projects and be successful with every opportunity. We understand that. So when it comes to special requests, like tight timelines, custom colors and components, or large quantity orders that require us to invest in more inventory, we’ll do everything we can to accommodate your needs. We can’t always say “yes,” but we’re going to do everything possible not to say “no.”

Advantage #6. Assurance

We know what it takes for you to earn your customer’s business and trust. That’s why it’s so important to communicate and to assure them that their projects are coming together successfully. In today’s long-distance business relationships, it’s critical that customers are confident the project is going smoothly especially if they’ve never visited our facilities.

At CRS, we follow a strict process for every project, which includes updates along the way. And when your orders are completed and staged, we send detailed staging photos, packing photos, setup instructions, and packing lists. It’s your assurance that every expectation has been met with success.

I’ve been in this business for over 35 years and love what I do. Every project is a new challenge, whether large or small. Our CRS team is committed to designing, producing, and managing the best possible rental solutions for your customers. The most exciting part of my job is walking through the shop each day, and seeing our completed projects being staged and getting ready to ship to trade shows all across the country. That never gets old to me.

I look forward to partnering with you on your next, or possibly first, project with us!

Jim Shelman, GM Classic Rental Solutions, jshelman@classicexhibits.com

8 Things Your Trade Show Display is Trying to Tell You

August 27th, 2019 COMMENTS

Everyone and everything has a story, including your trade show display. Many displays have seen things you haven’t, like the chaos of the marshaling area of a convention hall. You might want to listen to what your display has to say as you prepare for your next show.

My Crates Require a Hammer to Open or Close Them

Most exhibit houses build sturdy wood crates designed to withstand the abuse of shipping and material handling. But even the best crates don’t last forever. Bolts and wingnuts go missing, latches get bent, and doors and lids no longer fit without a little aggressive massage. Visually, your crate looks like it lost a street fight to a woodchipper.

New Wood Crates

You need to make a decision. If you plan to keep your exhibit for a while longer, then you should probably replace the crate(s). A new crate will ensure your exhibit has the best chance of surviving future shipments and drayage. Plus, if your exhibit has changed over time, the new packaging will be jigged to protect those extra components. No one, including the labor crew, likes to wrestle with a worn-out crate at the end of the show. It’s frustrating and eventually expensive.

My Instructions No Longer Match the Parts and Pieces

Very few exhibits remain the same over time. Graphics change, accessories are added, and broken and lost parts replaced. Your booth evolved as marketing plans change and that’s a good thing. However, with each change, the instructions no longer match the current design. Now, only one person knows how to assemble it.

This can’t continue. In most cases, your exhibit house can assemble the booth in their facility, check and replace any numbering, and print new graphics. If your exhibit house didn’t build it, then they will contact the manufacture for updated instructions based on their notes.

My Graphics are Dirty, Scratched, or Delaminating

Too often, we don’t see what others do. Think of those times someone pointed out a stain on your shirt/blouse that you didn’t see. Trade show graphics have a limited life, either because your message changes or they get damaged or dirty due to repeated handling. On the show floor, first impressions are always lasting impressions.

No
Not Dirty, Scratched or Delaminating

What’s with ALL the Extra Parts?

When the booth was new, there were no “extra” parts and pieces. Replacement parts, perhaps, but no extra ones. So what happened? The answer isn’t always straight-forward. If you’ve ever seen a booth that leans a bit or graphics that don’t fit perfectly, it’s usually because someone took a shortcut assembling the display. Which means, they didn’t bother reading the instructions.

Hey, the Rental Booth Across the Aisle Looks Better Than Me!

Admittedly, a rental exhibit from a reputable exhibit house should look indistinguishable from a new one. It may not have all the bells and whistles, or be totally custom, but it shouldn’t be the equivalent of a 1978 Chrysler Cordoba. When your exhibit pales in comparison to the rental exhibit across the aisle, it may be time to consider a display upgrade. And a rental just might be the right next step.

Why is My Disassembly and Repacking Such a Nightmare?

The show is over and you want to go to dinner, go to a bar, or simply go home. But, not yet. The exhibit has to be disassembled and repacked in the crate or case. That task can be straight-forward or a nightmare. There’s a good chance your dismantle team, whether the company’s employees or the hired I&D labor crew, may be unfamiliar with the repack.

Jigged Crate with Reusable Packaging

Quality packing instructions and reusable packaging materials might be the single best investment you make in your exhibit. Not only will ensure that your exhibit looks good show after show, but it will also make the disassembly a stress-free. You’ll save money on labor, reduce damage, and ensure that no component gets left behind. Before you buy your exhibit, demand to see how the booth will be packed. And repacked. And repacked.

What’s with My Boring Flooring?

Flooring shouldn’t be an afterthought. It’s another opportunity for effective branding or creativity in your (very expensive) booth space. Some would say even more important than a hanging sign.

More than ever you have choices: an extra layer of carpet padding, foam tiles, printed graphics, or even raised wood flooring. Heck, some companies are using vinyl graphics on the concrete floor to create interesting and effective graphics. You don’t have to default to rented black or white carpet.

I’m Back in the Shop ONCE AGAIN? Repairs, Storage, and Turnkey Services

Storage and turnkey services are a given on nearly all large exhibits and most program clients. Most businesses don’t have room to store crates nor the time to inspect the exhibit before and after every show. At some point, however, those costs plus any ongoing repairs mean it’s time to consider a new exhibit.

You can minimize repairs and turnkey services by taking care of the exhibit at every stage. Storage fees are negotiable, depending on how much you store and how many other services you tap into at your exhibit house. And when it’s time to retire your display, then either sell it (via a used exhibit broker) or dispose of it. You would be surprised at how often companies continue to pay storage fees long after they no longer use the exhibit.

Still wondering what to do before your next show. Contact us. We’ll make sure you’re next show is successful, without a lot of backtalk from your exhibit.

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

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Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, custom, and 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.

Rental Exhibit Types: Rejects, Reruns, and Remarkables

June 25th, 2019 COMMENTS

There are Three Types of Trade Show Exhibit Rentals:  Rejects, Reruns, and Remarkables. All rentals depend on the exhibit supplier’s inventory and willingness to customize. So what’s the difference?

Rejects

Rejects: These are instantly recognizable as traditional rental designs from the GSC show manual. They are built from battered aluminum extrusion and Sintra graphic inserts. They are ugly, ineffective, and increasingly being replaced by modern modular wall systems.

Reruns

Reruns: Many rental designs now use modular wall systems. A very positive trend. Unfortunately, the designs depend on the supplier’s inventory, which is often limited. That means choosing from a narrow selection of inline and island configurations which are repeated again and again on the show floor. It’s a step up, but not a custom rental.

Remarkables

Remarkables: Customized rental designs are the exception since they depend on a large rental inventory, custom manufacturing, and design flexibility. They are generally indistinguishable from a purchase exhibit, since they are personalized to the exhibitor’s marketing requirements. They can be more expensive, but even that depends on the rental supplier and the exhibitor’s willingness to commit to multiple rentals.

Just because a supplier has a rental option, it doesn’t guarantee their rental inventory supports “remarkable” designs. Ask questions. Request designs. See photos of past rental projects. Finally, don’t fall in love too quickly. You deserve to date a few unremarkable candidates before committing to a long-term relationship.

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

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

Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, custom, and 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.

Fast Food, Banner Stands, and Trade Show Exhibits

April 11th, 2019 COMMENTS

What Do Trade Show Displays Have in Common with Restaurants?

Many inexperienced exhibitors struggle with their show display options. And who can blame them? Even for hardcore marketing professionals, trade show exhibits can be puzzling and the prices bewildering. Some displays are hundreds of dollars, other thousands, and larger projects easily climb into six figures.

So how do you choose? Oddly enough, trade show displays are a lot like restaurants. Yes, restaurants. There are fast food displays and fine dining exhibits. Don’t want fast food or fine dining… how about casual dining displays? Where you eat depends on your budget, your taste preferences, and your priorities. So, let’s take a moment to compare the familiar (restaurants) with the unfamiliar (trade show exhibits). Hopefully it will make choosing your next display much easier.

Fast Food

A fast-food restaurant provides the quickest food and service at the cheapest prices. The décor is simple, and the selection limited. Going to Taco Bell, KFC, and of course, McDonald’s is almost always convenient, predictable, and inexpensive but perhaps not always healthy depending on your choices.

Finding fast food displays is just as easy and convenient. There’s no shortage of imported banner stands or tension fabric displays on the web, all available for a click or two. These displays serve a purpose for local events or for small businesses not participating in professional trade shows. They are cost-effective, graphic mediums with limited accessories and an uncertain lifespan. Just like a burger, fries, and COKE, they taste great but should be consumed in moderation. The experience is nearly always transactional, not consultative. Click here for examples.

Fast Casual

Unlike fast food restaurants, fast casual restaurants are more likely to serve healthier choices and offer more comfortable dining rooms. Customers usually order their food at the counter, although drive -thru and takeout is available. Think Chipotle, Boston Market, or even Panda Express. And while you have choices, those choices don’t include cooking the Kung Pao Chicken, for example, without chicken or peanuts.

Fast Casual Displays are typically purchased from a local exhibit professional, although they can be ordered online. These displays offer more accessory options such as shelves, monitor mounts, lightboxes, etc. There’s usually a conversation or consultation between the buyer and seller about their specific trade show product or marketing needs. Packaging is better. Quality is better. And while they are often based on pre-configured “kits,” those kits can be re-configured within limits. Click here for examples.

Casual Dining

Casual dining restaurants offer a wider menu selection, table service, and a family friendly environment. Servers/waiters offer advice, take orders, and serve food. The prices are higher than at fast casual but more affordable than fine dining restaurants. Some are chains like Applebee’s or Cheesecake Factory but also include local establishments with either highly specialized menus or a broad range of cuisine.

Most corporate exhibitors who participate in industry-specific trade shows fit into this category. They work with local or regional exhibit designer/builders to design a system solution or a customized exhibit. As exhibitors, they want an exhibit that reinforces their brand, presents a professional appearance, and adapts to their trade show marketing program without breaking their budget.  More often than not, they are receptive to custom rental solutions if the design offers more flexibility and visual impact, but at a cost lower than purchasing an exhibit. They appreciate selection, value, service, and welcome guidance from a knowledgeable exhibit marketing professional. The experience is almost always consultative if the exhibitor doesn’t have an extensive exhibit marketing program. Click here for examples.

Fine Dining

Fine-dining restaurants come with the most elaborate menus and expensive prices. Owners of fine-dining restaurants want to present an atmosphere of elegance and grace. They employ chefs who attended culinary schools and possess many years of experience.

Fine Dining exhibits, like fine dining restaurants, are equal parts atmosphere, presentation, quality, and experience. They are almost always memorable, and their size and creativity can be a magnet for attendees throughout the show hall. Most are pure custom, both in design and construction, although subtle and effective modular construction has become more common.

These exhibits are more likely to include LED Video Walls or A/R. We often associate Fine Dining Exhibits with larger island exhibits or double-deck structures, but inlines (like 10 x 20 or larger) can project the same elegance and upscale appearance. It’s possible to achieve this level of sophistication without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars but it requires the right exhibit partner and a commitment to all facets of trade show marketing (and not just the display). However, a steady diet of fine dining, just like one of fast food, is rarely healthy or cost-effective for most exhibitor. Click here for examples.  

Hungry for successful trade show results? It all starts with choosing the right display for your marketing goals and budget and working with an exhibit professional committed to your long-term success. And yes, we all love french fries and chocolate milkshakes, but a more balanced diet is always a better choice. And don’t forget to treat yourself from time to time with something extravagant.  

–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.