The Importance of Adaptability in your Exhibit Program

Picture of the Parkell exhibit

With the holidays upon us and the New Year right around the corner, this time of year is one of reflection. We often consider our personal and professional achievements of the months just past as well as how to improve upon those successes in the coming year. Naturally, along with those considerations come thoughts about how to actually implement those changes in our lives.

As Albert Einstein once said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” Of course, it’s safe to say that he probably wasn’t thinking about an exhibit program or the limitations of respective booth spaces on a trade show floor when he bestowed that kernel of wisdom upon us. Nor, likely, was Darwin contemplating the success of an experiential marketing campaign when he wrote, “The fittest win out… because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.” But the beauty of dictums uttered by genius is their universality and, yes, their versatility in their ability to be applied to so many facets of life… and business. It’s not a stretch, then, to apply their wisdoms to trade show programs.

In a perfect world, our exhibit would work flawlessly on any show floor for the foreseeable future. Smooth sailing as far as the eye can see. But as we all know, rarely is the future entirely foreseeable, and we live in a world that is often (or maybe always) less than perfect. As the fellah says, sometimes life throw us curve balls. But we in the exhibit industry know that sometimes it drops a gargantuan show hall column smack dab in the middle of our exhibit space.

In a case like that it’s important to stay calm and adapt. If show management can’t or won’t budge on requests for relocation, an exhibit program manager will need to make concessions, doing without a demonstration kiosk or repositioning the placement of a display wall, for instance. Often times she’ll have to work with her exhibit partner to modify or reconfigure structures.

The exhibit partner may need to make fast-tracked structural modifications to the exhibit components, retrofitting, for instance, an identification tower so it works better in relation to the surprise column while maintaining accordance with show regulations. In some cases, the show might allow a column to be “dressed” with a graphic application. This may be small consolation, but using the space for brand messaging is certainly better than an unappealing concrete slab in the middle of the exhibit space. The key, in any case, is to expect the unexpected, and to adapt proactively.

It goes without saying that the best practice is to plan for as many foreseeable situations as possible and therefore build adaptability into the exhibit from the get-go. When designing an exhibit, communicating all potential sizes and types of booth spaces to your exhibit designer from conception will ensure that you maximize your investment by avoiding after-the-fact retrofits when moving from, for example, an island space to an inline from show to show.

We just had one such case in a custom exhibit we designed and built for Parkell / Directa Dental Group, whose debut was at the Greater NY Dental Meeting recently held at the Jacob Javits Center. The client had already secured a 20×20 peninsula space at the show but let us know in advance that going forward they would exhibit exclusively in inline configurations, mostly in 10×30 spaces. With careful planning and engineering, we were able to propose a solution that worked flawlessly. Using the 10×30 back wall as the cornerstone, we reverse-engineered the back wall structures so they could be reconfigured without costly additions or retrofitting for the 20×20 peninsula space at the current show. And while it didn’t make sense from a financial standpoint to design and build a costly 16’ high identification tower for just one show, we felt it necessary to take advantage of the increased floor presence that a peninsula’s height regulations afford, so a rental hanging sign was implemented. The exhibit also works perfectly in a 10×20 space. The client was thrilled with the result, and when the next shows come up, a plan is already in place that’ll work without the hassle or expense of retroactive modifications.

More About Greater NY Dental Meeting

The Greater NY Dental Meeting is one of the largest Dental Congresses in the world hosting over 52,000 health care professionals at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and featuring over 1,500 Technical Exhibits, which demonstrates the newest technology for the dental profession.

Have Questions? Contact Nationwide 360

Nationwide 360 is happy to answer your questions. We are a one-stop shop for comprehensive trade show solutions. These range from designing and crafting unique custom exhibits to providing trade show services. To learn more, give us a call today at 631-467-2034.

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