There's no doubt about it – choosing the right exhibit house for your trade show booth can make or break your trade show experience. While exploring your options, it's important to remember that not every exhibit house is equal. Some might excel in certain areas, but lack in others. When it comes to exhibit houses, experience is one of the most important criteria you should take into account before you make a selection, especially if it’s your first time exhibiting.
Before you begin researching potential options, it's important that you have a good idea of what you want and need in relation to your booth. The more details you have — required features, design ideas, show timelines, etc. — the better. This will allow potential exhibit houses to provide a more accurate quote, and better ensure your expectations align.
Start by asking yourself a few questions:
What are you looking to accomplish by attending the show?
This will give the exhibit house a better understanding of how your exhibit should be designed.
For example, perhaps you want to showcase a product launch. In this case, the focus of the design might be highlighting product displays with areas for visitors to have a hands-on experience.
Keep in mind that the primary objective is to design an exhibit that aligns with your brand, creates a positive experience for your visitors, and also accomplishes your trade show goals.
Do you need it to fit a specific booth space? If so, what size?
While it may seem obvious, knowing your size limitations and space restrictions is very important. This allows your exhibit house to understand what’s realistic for your booth. The right exhibit house won’t promise you the world before fully understanding what they can and cannot do from a logistical standpoint. Instead, they will work with you to find the best compromise given your space.
What are the dates of the show and when do you need the exhibit by?
If you’re working within time constraints, you need to let your exhibit house know. An honest and dependable exhibit house will always let you know whether they’ll be able to deliver your exhibit within your timeline.
What's your budget?
Your budget has obvious implications in relation to your booth. Many exhibit houses allow you to rent booths with minor customization. Others are less flexible with adding any features to rentals. The best exhibit houses will be able to work with any realistic budget, as long as you're open and upfront about it from the start.
The Exhibit House
Once you know your needs, the real work begins. Contact multiple exhibit houses and start a dialogue. Do your research, and most importantly, ask questions!
One caution – if you reach out to an exhibit house expressing interest in their services and they don’t reply within a few days, you may want to steer clear. If they can’t answer an email that could lead to a sale, how comfortable do you feel that will they deliver an exhibit within your timeline?
Browse their website – do they have case studies and portfolios accessible to the public? Do they have repeat customers? Do they have company values you relate to and a culture that appeals to you? While the latter few are intangible, they give a good picture of the people that work at the company, which can improve your overall experience in partnering with the exhibit house.
As you narrow down your search, do further research into the exhibit houses and their references. Here’s a few questions you may want to ask potential candidates:
How long have they been in the industry?
What’s their end-to-end process?
What services do they offer? Do they contract any of these services to outside companies?
Who will actually build the booth?
Can they meet your deadline?
Can they create a booth that meets your needs and stay within your budget?
Do they provide great customer service?
Ultimately, you should feel comfortable in trusting them with the design and construction of your booth, as well as be able to use their experience as a resource. You don’t want to be just a dollar sign, and in the end, they should determine whether they successfully met your needs based on whether you had a successful trade show yourself. You want to be partners with your exhibit house – not just a client.
Exhibit Options has been in business for over a decade, and partners with major brands and small companies alike. Contact us today to see how we can help!