Friday, November 28, 2008

12 Pain-Free Ways To Cut Exhibiting Costs...

... without sacrificing your success at the event.

1) Take a smaller space at the exhibition and maximise your impact with extra lighting, which has been shown to increase awareness of your display by 30 to 50 percent. Lighting can be hired from just €50 per event.

2) Another way to maximise your presence even in a small display space is to use some movement. Exhibitor Online claims that people are naturally drawn to moving objects such as product demonstrations, gobos and spinning signs.

3) Save shipping costs by choosing the lightest possible stand material - Aluminium weighs just 25% what timber or laminate weighs.

4) For a
multi-panel stand, include one complimentary-colour panel at the design stage which can be replaced in future without worrying about colour-matching with the rest of the panels. You may not plan to change a panel now but a many exhibitors will have new product or event to promote over the years, and will save by replacing just one panel rather than reprinting the entire set.

5) If you want to impress your competitors and potential clients with a new stand at each event, hiring will greatly reduce your costs. You can have an L-shaped stand at one event, an S-shaped stand at the next, a plasma display at another, and if you and your designers are clever you might not need to purchase new graphics each time. This will also rule out any storage problems or costs.

6) Remember that theft can be a problem at trade shows and protect your valuables accordingly. Investing in some lockable equipment and security cables for larger items with save money in the long run. Keeping expensive products and samples on display inside your space will keep them secure and entice clients to enter your booth.

Look after your display equipment. Avoid dropping any hardware as this can loosen screws and springs, and cause chips or cracks which age the stand. Graphic elements are the most vulnerable part of your display so follow guidelines for maintaining graphic panels to keep them looking fresh and professional. You will get years and years of use from your display with proper care.

8) If you use a set up service, plan ahead to allow the fitters plenty of time to set up, at a time that suits them. If access is only available after hours, or you organise this service at the last minute, you may have to pay overtime fees increasing your overall cost. The same applies to graphic design & production charges.

9) Buy a display system or stand with a decent warranty, and one that can be mended in your home country to save time and shipping costs.

10) Buy a stand that is made of connecting parts or components - you can learn to set these up yourself, saving on set up fees, and each can be replaced separately if needs be, saving you a fortune compared to replacing an entire single-piece display.

11) If you are looking for a bigger or newer display, use your existing elements as a base. With a skillful exhibit company, you can reuse, revamp, upgrade or disguise your existing equipment in a whole new display, at a fraction of the cost of starting from scratch. (Especially true if you have invested in quality items to begin with).

12) Re-use what you have in terms of graphics also. When getting new design work done, check your existing files and artwork for high resolution images, logos and backgrounds that can be reused, tweaked and incorporated into your new design. In the hands of an experienced designer, these can be transformed into something totally new, and providing these elements will save you on stock photography and redrawing fees. If you are unsure about what can be used, send everything you have to your designer to sort through.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Retrospective - The CEO Forum Through The Years

As we have done for 14 years now, we recently had the pleasure of supplying the backdrop for the Enterprise Ireland & Deloitte CEO Forum in Dublin Castle.

The return of the event got me thinking of the various designs and venues through the years, and I thought it would be fun to post up some of the photos we have of the backdrops we have produced and built over the years. There are some gaps in our photo records which I will try to fill in if possible. Which is your favourite?





Friday, November 14, 2008

Free Tradeshow Toolkit - Prepare and Assess

Two of the areas integral to exhibiting are often over looked - the 'before' and the 'after'. Companies are often quite gung-ho about exhibiting, and when they are at the show, they often do a very good job and fulfill their targets regarding prospects, leads, sales etc. However, there may be a lack of planning - sometimes the decision to exhibit is taken at a late stage, so time for planning was sacrificed. Sometimes there isn't sufficient time to order the display stand you want, so you sacrifice the look or your space. Sometimes we are just so eager to get going and meet the right people that we don't set out clear, quantifiable goals and targets. And oftentimes we are so shattered and relieved when the show is over, or busy fielding sales enquiries and gearing up for the next one, the last thing we are about to do is analyse in depth our experience at that tradeshow.

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research realises this, and they have a provided a free, onlinhe resource to help exhibtors with both planning and analysis before and after shows. Their website provides what they call the 'ROI Toolkit'. The name is important - this tool is going to help you ascertain the Return On Investment you get from exhibiting, and this the crux of your experience at the show. Was it worth the time and money invested? What worked and what didn't? What will we do differently next time? How will we go about implementing these changes? Essential questions to ask. Check out the ROI Toolkit to explore this tool.
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