Creating an Effective Trade Show
Exhibit on a Tight Budget

Have an Attractive Trade Show Exhibit in the Age of Frugality

Big spending may be out of the question for small businesses in the new economy, but that does not mean your brand has to lose its sparkle. There are many ways to shine at trade shows and marketing events that don’t involve increased expenses. Being a savvy buyer will get you the best return on your investment.

Face-to-face marketing is a key investment for your future growth. A study by Meeting Professionals International showed that 40 percent of prospects converted to customers after face-to-face meetings.

Respondents also indicated that 28 percent of current business would be lost without personalized, in-person contact.

Therefore, exhibiting can be a key component in your sales and marketing arsenal, according to Mark Saghy of In addition, you can deploy strategies that enable you to look professional and cutting-edge, even with a restricted budget. 

There are plenty of low cost exhibit display options in the marketplace. Just do a quick Google search and you’ll have your hands full. Yet, it is important to not fall in the "cheap bandwagon." Your brand image is at stake.

Follow the simple rule: If it looks cheap to you, it will look cheap to your prospects and customers.

Saghy offers the following tips to create a fabulous trade show exhibit on a frugal budget.

Identify Your Specific Needs.

Begin by ascertaining what you'll need to help ensure success at a trade show or special event. For example, do you need a small banner stand and a table throw, or do you want to create an awesome island display to achieve your objectives?

If you don’t want to do the leg work, that is fine too. Just make sure to find a reliable company that can do the research for you.

Most online trade show display companies will offer to match competitors' prices, and will explain differences between their offerings and the competition.

If they fail to answer your questions to your satisfaction, then you know to look elsewhere. An informed decision is always a good decision.

Look Beyond the Apparent Deals.

Many companies will offer an amazing initial price, only to mark it up with rush fees, processing fees, fees of fees. Don’t just compare prices from a website – read the specifications, call to request specific quotes, and compare apples to apples.

Also consider production times and shipping times, so you don’t get hit with high shipping rates.

Take Advantage of Free Services.

Here's how to look fab instead of drab... Take advantage of display companies offering free design services. These experts can help update your look without investing a penny.

Also, look for exhibit providers that offer complimentary consulting. A few minutes on the phone or in person can help you learn about new display options or figure out how to update your old exhibit.

Bring New Life to an Existing Trade Show Display.

Ask your exhibit company about ways to utilize your current display and transform it moving forward. Discuss new accessories, booth elements, graphics and other add-ons that can rev up your old display at minimal cost.

Approve Everything Before Giving the "Go-Ahead."

Always request a firm project estimate, timeline, and visual image of your display and proposed booth components before you close the deal.

Reputable companies will always provide these at no charge. Review everything carefully, ask questions, and ensure you are completely comfortable before proceeding.

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