Have an old trade show booth that needs an overhaul?
Five years is considered a good lifespan for a trade show exhibit. After this point, you’ll likely have to start replacing components as they wear out. However, the actual lifespan of a booth can vary either way. A custom exhibit that’s built with longevity in mind—and properly stored when it’s not in use—will last longer. A booth that’s been built with inexpensive materials may struggle to reach the five-year mark.
The amount of use an exhibit sees is an important factor too. If you’re attending trade shows on a monthly basis, booth components will wear out more quickly. They’ll need to be replaced sooner than if you’re exhibiting just once or twice a year.
Why Update Your Aging Trade Show Exhibit?
There are two main reasons it’s a good idea to give your booth an overhaul. Both can be considered equally important, as they contribute heavily to your brand’s image and appeal.
- Exhibits take a lot of wear, tear, and damage over time. And a trade show exhibit that’s scuffed, scratched, and falling to pieces isn’t a good advertisement for your brand.
- Booth trends change over time. What people find appealing changes too. Your exhibit will need to modernize to keep up. If your booth is several years old, it may be less interesting to your audience, and you could miss out on traffic.
If your equipment is old or outdated, consider trying some of these tricks to rejuvenate your trade show exhibit.
1. Refresh Graphics and Signage
How long has it been since you updated the signage on your current trade show booth? If it’s been more than a few years, chances are there are multiple reasons why updating your graphics could improve your booth! It’s not just about whether aging signage and display graphics are starting to look shabby and faded. If your brand is heading in a new direction, those older items may not accurately reflect what your brand represents now. The visuals you use are a key part of what attracts people to your booth and what tells them all they need to know about you.
The solution? Swap out your current graphics for new signage printed up with crisp custom graphics that tell your brand’s story. Add new elements such as banner stands, hanging signs, or custom displays, to use your space effectively. You also have the option of incorporating digital technology with screens or even a video wall, to display your message in a more dynamic way.
2. Replace the Flooring
In a busy trade show booth, the flooring is often the first thing to start showing signs of wear. After all, you may have hundreds of people walking through at each show—not to mention wear and tear from busy booth staff. While attendees don’t spend their trade show time staring at their feet, worn flooring can definitely make a booth look shabby and uninviting.
Luckily, there are plenty of options for upgrading your exhibit’s flooring easily and even inexpensively. Prices start at just a few dollars per square meter, making it one of the most cost-effective ways to re-energize your exhibit. From foam, carpet, or plastic tiles to eco-friendly options like rollable bamboo, new flooring is a quick and simple way to give your trade show design a face-lift.
3. Refurbish Structural Elements
Is your display starting to look like it’s falling apart? Are you constantly replenishing the duct tape and glue in your trade show survival kit? If so, it might be time to consider refurbishing those shabby-looking structural elements. Display stands, cabinets, and shelves break or crack; paint peels or gets scratched; wood gets scuffed. If your budget doesn’t stretch to replacing the entire exhibit, refreshing any elements that looks old or tired will help you extend the life of the whole unit.
4. Update Your Tech
It used to be that only brands actually involved in the tech industry would go high-tech at trade shows. With the introduction of digital technology and virtual reality, that philosophy is old news. Now, you’re likely to find high-tech elements at all kinds of trade shows. If your trade show booth needs to be modernized, updating the technology you use is a great way to do it. Even something as simple as a digital slideshow can be effective, modernizing your booth and giving you a new way to talk about your brand.
5. Add Interactive Elements
Even an exhibit that’s in good condition can benefit from the addition of interactive elements. Improving your trade show performance is all about increasing visitor engagement, and experiential trade show displays are highly engaging.
To increase the interactive potential of your exhibit, think about what you’re trying to tell your visitors. How could interaction help you tell the story of your brand and its products? A touchscreen display or a virtual reality demo are two ways to add interest and up the engagement level. They’re also great methods for incorporating tech into your exhibit.
Sometimes all a booth needs in the way of an updated look is a bit of customization. If your exhibit is in good condition and has the elements it needs to tell your brand’s story, it may not take much to bring it up-to-date. For instance:
- Use display elements such as back-lighting, lightboxes, or display cabinets to put the spotlight on a new product.
- Add décor items that fit the theme of your booth – For instance, use plants to dress up a display that sells natural products, or add comfortable seating if you want to give your booth a homey feel.
- Include portable displays that allow you to make the most of your space in any location – Changing up the layout of your booth can make a big difference, especially if it means you can improve the visibility of your booth to passersby.
If your trade show budget doesn’t stretch to purchasing new components, renting can be a cost-effective alternative. Exhibit rentals vastly increase your options for updating your trade show booth. As an added benefit, you’re not tied to particular items for every show. This means you can rent different pieces according to your needs for each show and try out different configurations before making a long-term purchase.
Give Your Booth a Face Lift to Help You Stand Out on the Trade Show Floor
Your brand’s image is central to your trade show performance. And your booth is a key part of your image. If you’ve seen foot traffic fall, take a look around at your exhibit’s appearance. It may be time for an upgrade.
Not sure about the best route for your booth? Consult an expert. An experienced eye, like those at ProExhibits, could be just what you need to refresh your trade show exhibit and ramp up interest at the next show you attend.