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  • Writer's pictureExhibit Associates

How to Chose an Exhibit House

Marketing is a crucial component for any company’s success, and this is especially true for Tradeshow Business Development Channel. ("TsBDC"?)

Unlike other BD Channels, tradeshows require a "build it and they will come" trust factor. This fundamental difference all your marketing choices, brand development and product development comes into play on the tradeshow floor!


One key characteristics of B2B markets is a more complex decision-making processes by the customer/client. A tradeshow and a tradeshow booth is one component of that process.


Trust This is the #1 thing an Exhibit House has to have with a client. There are so many moving pieces and the tradeshow manager has to believe the Exhibit House has her best interest in mind, and not theirs. Great Design: Yes. Full Service: Yes. But if the Exhibit House makes decisions that hurt the client's business that Exhibit House will not be in business much longer.

Show up Unannounced! Was it busy and clean when you showed up? Is is dead quiet, messy and deserted when you show up unannounced? Anyone can put a show on, but what is it like "behind the curtain?"

How do they communicate? Voice mail only? No text? That's a problem. While the show is opening time is critical.


Check their Social Media Look to see what is important to them. Exhibit Houses have designers and creative people - does their social media reflect creativity, professionalism and current activity?

Review their Services: Can they handle it all? Do they already handle that it all? All that you need that is!

Do they ask questions? Are they just robots who take orders, or do they push back and ask questions? Questions is how you find out things. If they know their stuff they are not going to by "Yes Men!"

Price Alone? While it’s important to consider your budget, choosing an Exhibit House simply because they offer the cheap booth could lead to problems. If out of 3 proposals you got if one is way off base (50% cheaper than or 50% greater than) the average of the other two, there might be a problem there. The cheaper one will have Change Orders which will drive the price up past the other two. You get what you pay for.


Cultural Fit: The relationship with your Exhibit House should be a partnership. If their culture doesn’t align with yours it will not be long before confusion and long emails explaining what went wrong will be written. (And we have all written those fun emails before.) They, your Exhibit House, should be considered part of your team, and you should consider them that as well!


Some Questions to Ask Here are four. Ask others as well.

  • Your best booth?

  • Tell a horror story. (Everyone in this industry has one.)

  • Favorite tradeshow town not named Vegas or Chicago?

  • What services are included in your fee, and what services cost extra?


Summary

Your Exhibit House has to be a trusted partner that you have no qualms about calling 24/7 to help with a tradeshow. During the design and fabrication process they need to be open about what it takes to get to the finish line. During the show portion they should be picking up the phone when you call. After all your "TsBDC" is important - don't risk it!

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