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How to Pick the Right Exhibit House For Your Needs

man sitting in front of a laptop researching exhibit houses while pressing his thumb in his forehead

You know you need an exhibit house. But how do you know which one to choose? 

When looking for an exhibit house, you’re looking for someone who will be a partner, not just someone who offers you a proposal. The relationship you make with your exhibit house can set you and your company up for success or failure. They should have good communication, be transparent in their goals, and easily find and assess the pain points for your business. 

Remember that you need to know your business needs before going, don’t rely on them to tell you. 

Let’s dive into some tips on how to select an exhibit house that understands your customer, your objectives, and your target audience. Ideally, the exhibit house should be able to provide thoughtful concepts and renderings that capture the essence of your brand. 

Your first step toward finding the perfect fit is having a little brainstorming session.

What to know before you go

You’ll want to first figure out what size of the exhibit you are looking for, when you will need it completed, any special requests you may have, as well as an idea of your budget. The more details that you are able to provide in the beginning, the easier it will be for you to select the exhibit design company that best fits your needs. You can create something custom or you can rent (this is a great budget option that we really recommend).

Buying vs Renting 

Like most things in life, having a clear goal can help make the decision easier. Are you purchasing a custom booth (where the sky’s the limit) or could you possibly rent something a little more versatile? With a rental, you can change your design for each show, if you want. As an added plus, booth rentals often will take care of logistics and give support before and after the show. That can be a significant benefit on a busy day.

Also, if you’re hesitant to rent because you’re worried about the quality, let us ask you this question: When you’re on a show floor, can you tell which ones are rented? Most people can’t, so the difference between the two, at least to your audience, won’t make the impact you think.

You’ll also want to decide whether you want a permanent installation or if you need it to be taken apart and set up easily. Will it be used for long-term demos or for trade shows? If you go with a custom build, keep in mind that you’ll want it to be something you’ll use for at least 5 years to make the cost of building worth it in the long run.

So how do you find that perfect fit?

Finding the right exhibit house for your needs

This search might feel daunting, and that’s because it represents a lot for your brand! 

Whether you’re new to the trade show industry looking for the first time, or if you are just pivoting and making a change, it’s a big step. Make a list of your most important questions for a prospective exhibit builder to ensure they are able to bring all of your marketing goals to life, become a good member of the team, and commit to working within your budget. 

Feeling overwhelmed by all the options?

If you have a list of exhibit houses you are interested in, you can whittle it down by taking a fresh approach. Our favorite trick is to start by asking them to explain the initial concept first. Which of those fundamental ideas gets you excited? Which ones resonate with you? Feel it out and trust your gut. Identify those exhibit houses that stand out, and then as you move onto the renderings you will be more satisfied–with both the designer and the design.

You’ll want the concepts to match your brand’s identity but also consider: can this exhibit house bring anything valuable or new to our program? It should be WAY more than just a booth. It can have the potential to be a massive moment in the sun for your brand.

Ask, ask, ask

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You want to understand how the designer thinks about everything related to your program. Keep in mind the potential challenges currently present, and ask how the designer could help overcome those obstacles. Always, always, always, consider your target audience and make sure you and the designer are on the same page about them too.

Once you feel comfortable with the initial concept, you’ll move on to renderings; but don’t rush there until you feel like you’ve been able to give plenty of thought to the initial concept.

The moral of the story

Searching for an exhibit house can seem overwhelming, but it really just comes down to getting clear on your goals. If you are willing to put in the effort and do a little pre-work, it’ll be easier to find the right designer. Start your search with a thorough review of what you’re looking for, and do as much research as possible to respect everyone’s time (including yours). 

Last but not least, keep your goals in the forefront of your mind so you can foster a connection with an exhibit house that’s invested in your marketing goals and your brand. Let us know how we can help you find the perfect exhibit house!

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