An eye-catching, high-quality exhibit is essential if you want to pull in traffic and generate leads at trade shows. But buzzwords like “eye-catching” and “high-quality” can sound like they mean one thing: money.
If you can’t justify the expense of a new custom exhibit, don’t sacrifice the opportunities of a trade show to your fear that you can’t get what you need without breaking the bank.
These trade show booth ideas make small budgets go far!
Rent a Trade Show Display Rather Than Buying One
If you plan to exhibit at shows regularly, it makes good sense to invest in a custom-made trade show booth. On the other hand, if you see yourself exhibiting only occasionally, it may be more prudent to rent your exhibit instead. This gives you all the advantages of exhibiting without the expense of transporting an exhibit and storing it in between events. The only difference between purchasing and renting a custom booth is how they are handled financially. Renting a custom exhibit doesn’t compromise your design options at all!
Even if you already own a booth, the rental option can still save you money. What if you find two events on the same weekend, and your sales and marketing teams can’t agree which one has more opportunity? Renting a second booth is a cost-effective way to solve your temporary scheduling conflict.
A good rule of thumb: If you exhibit once or twice a year, renting a trade show booth is the most sensible choice for your budget. If you exhibit three or more times per year, it’s typically more cost-effective to purchase a booth.
Upgrade an Older Booth to Look Like New
Do you already own an exhibit booth? Maybe it’s an older display that’s looking a little shabby. Or it’s a smaller exhibit that doesn’t meet your needs anymore. In both cases, adding one or more upgrades could bring your trade show display back to life without killing your budget.
Cost-effective ways to upgrade an exhibit include:
- Replace the graphics with fresh images and text – This is one of the simplest, most effective ways to upgrade. You can make high-impact visual alterations without changing anything structurally.
- Re-laminate or resurface walls, countertops, or other surfaces that are worn, chipped, or shabby-looking.
- Redesign or reconfigure – Change the physical layout of the elements of your booth. For instance, redesigning the area to improve traffic flow can improve both the look and the function of your booth.
- Replace trade show flooring – It’s another high-impact change that can dramatically alter the look and feel of an exhibition space.
- Add new components to modernize the booth or fill out a larger exhibit space – Create a small meeting area with a table and a few chairs, add a demonstration table, or designate a reading/viewing area with seating, brochures, and high-def screens.
Save with a Pre-Engineered Custom Exhibit
You could also rent a previously used custom-designed exhibit and rebrand it with new graphics. Some exhibit companies offer this as a faster, lower-cost solution for companies that don’t require a one-of-a-kind exhibit or that have a short lead time before their next trade show.
Here’s how it works: A custom rental exhibit is built for an original customer who uses it several times but has now moved on to a new exhibit design and build. Their old exhibit is stored by the exhibit company, where it can be rebranded with new graphics for a new customer.
While the design of the booth itself can’t be adjusted since all of the install and dismantle instructions have been created, taking advantage of a pre-engineered custom exhibit offers savings for both your budget and your time.
Reduce the Cost of a New Booth by Opting for a Custom Modular Exhibit
Modular exhibits are made of components that can be rearranged to meet different needs. Module structures can’t be changed in size or shape, and you may have to compromise a bit in terms of materials. Fully custom exhibits often use wood and other materials together to create a custom look in any shape, whereas modular exhibits use materials that have a more uniform appearance. Modular components can be customized with brand-specific graphics. Typically, they are quicker to design and configure, reducing costs up to 10%, depending on your specifications. They also reduce production time, which makes them a good option when you’re pressed for time.
A modular exhibit isn’t just cheaper to buy; it also saves in the long term. By choosing the modular option, you can save up to 75% on long-term operating costs:
- Save on shipping and drayage – Modular components are smaller and lighter. They pack much more compactly than a full-build exhibition booth.
- Storage is cheaper – Smaller, more compact modular components take up less storage space.
- Lower labor costs – Installation and dismantling of modular components is faster and easier, and only a small crew is needed.
- Refurbishing is easier – Individual items such as panels, banner stands, and other components can be removed from storage and refurbished without disturbing any other parts. This means less handling and less potential for damage.
- Flexibility – Modular trade show booths are highly versatile by design. Choosing a custom modular display means you can easily add or subtract components to fit whatever space you have.
Plan in Advance to Avoid Overtime and Weekend Labor
Saving on your booth isn’t limited to its design. Think about the other aspects that will need to come out of your budget. For instance, paying weekend labor costs can quickly put a dent in your budget, so schedule installation and dismantling to minimize costs. Scheduling plenty of lead time also ensures you have leeway for solving last-minute problems without paying extra for a rush job or overtime labor.
Get the Most Trade Show Bang for Your Exhibition Booth Buck!
Attending trade shows as an exhibitor is an invaluable way to make contacts, generate leads, and get more involved in your industry. There are many ways to save time and money and still get the most out of a trade show experience. The experts at ProExhibits can give you advice based on years of experience and work with a wide range of budgets. Contact us today!