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Why You Should or Should Not Purchase a Trade Show Display

Custom Tradeshow Booth

One reason why you might not want to get trade show displays, and two Reasons why you should get them.

Question: Why should I purchase a trade show display?

I don’t know specifically what you’re asking here, but let me give you some reasons why should, and maybe some reasons why you shouldn’t.

Let me start with a reason you shouldn’t. This may or may not apply to you and your firm, but if it is the case, I’d say, “don’t buy one, at least not now.”

First, Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Get One

Graphic Displays for Trade showsHave you spent time researching your market? Do you know who your target audience is? Have you tested various headlines and copy in your advertising? Have you used several venues to track response rates to your variable ads using tracking codes? Have you used Google’s Adwords to test buzzwords or phrases?

If you have not, I would most certainly recommend against purchasing a trade show display or even purchasing space at any trade show or convention. Unless, of course, you use the unscientific “throwing mud at a wall” strategy, which can work with moderate success, but you’ll have no idea why some mud sticks and some doesn’t.

Many larger companies that have brand recognition will attend trade shows and spend large sums of money on trade show displays simply to keep their brand in front of you and that works OK, although we believe if they would employ some of the strategies of direct marketing rather than the “throwing mud at the wall” strategy of branding, they might make even more splash with their brand.

Budgeting for a Trade Show Booth Display

Backwall Tension Banner StandsNow, if indeed you know what works in other advertising venues such as Adwords, Magazines, Newspapers, other online advertising, direct mailings, etc., and you’d like to promote your product or service at a trade show, then by all means, we’d highly recommend that you create a reasonable budget for a trade show booth.

You can calculate approximately $25 per square foot of rented booth space for your rent, display, and set up. This will not cover travel, lodging, or entertainment costs as you will have to decide how many people you are going to have attend your booth, or if you’re going to “rent” help, or other options that will vary your cost.

If you decide that you want a 20’ x 20’ corner booth, you can figure the cost at about $10K, and for the entire show, probably around $25K if you send four persons to attend the booth from your office.

As to the booth itself, we recommend professionally created graphics that feature those buzzwords and slogans that you’ve tested to be successful with other advertising venues. You may consider purchasing a back-wall and/or sidewalls for your booth complete with multi-media displays, brochure stands, and possibly free standing poster or banner displays placed strategically throughout your booth as well.

Getting Traffic to Your Trade Show Display

To draw show attendees in, we always recommend some sort of free standing banner displays, such as double sided retractable dye sublimation printed fabric banners or tension banner stands place intermittently along the aisles at the corners and ends of your booth. This helps attract show goers to your booth by “jumping” out in front of them in order to point them to your booth and its products and services.

One Final Point on Why You Should Get a Trade Show Booth

A final reason to purchase a trade show booth, versus say just throwing up some hodge-podge banners and brochure stands is the sub-conscious attraction to a beautifully appointed display. If your display/booth looks thrown together, disorganized, and cheap, what does it say about your company’s product or service?

Will your customer service be slip-shod like your trade show booth? Will your product be put together with whatever cheap parts you can find, creating a product that will be a problem for your customer two weeks down the road? If that is not the image you want to portray, then adding a well-designed dye sublimation printed fabric backdrop for your booth is a good start to making your potential clients comfortable that your product or service will be top notch.


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Barry K. Brown

Barry Brown has been in the Sign, Banner, Decal and Display Business for over 20 years. It isn't what he thought he'd do with his life, but he says he knows too much now to do anything else!

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