Physical Shows are Coming Back! How Do I Prepare?

Visitors at the Source Atlantique Exhibit.

Seeing tradeshows and events returning to convention centers across the country has no doubt been a feeling of relief for many companies.  The ability to showcase products and services once again in a real-time, face-to-face environment is something that we have all been waiting for.  How to make that transition has left some trade show managers and marketers in limbo.  Take a look at our Top 4 Options for how to return to the show floor.

1.Reuse your existing exhibit as-is

This is the most cost-effective way to get back to the show floor quickly. It is a great option if your company is hesitant to invest for a particular show due to potential uncertainty around ROI. Reusing your exhibit as-is allows you to test the waters and observe the landscape cautiously before investing in a new branded environment. Once you have decided to move forward, coordinate with your account manager to check the condition of your exhibit components and its alignment with current COVID safety protocols.

Example of a custom exhibit by Smarties
Smarties Custom Island Exhibit at Sweets and Snacks

2.Update your existing exhibit

You want to return to the show floor after this long break and don’t want to spend a large amount doing so. Modifying your existing exhibit is an easy and low- cost solution to make updates without going all in. For a smaller investment, companies are changing things like graphics, color schemes or lighting to give their booth a refresh without a complete overhaul. This allows you to have a new look and feel without making a large financial spend right out of the gate.

3.Build a new custom exhibit

Many companies have had to make significant transformations in either product offerings, service strategies or operational plans over the past 18 months. Unveiling a new custom exhibit makes a strong, confident statement if you are looking to reinvent your brand, alter your show strategy or share a new outlook on your company.  You will get the exact booth you want with the right mix of form and function. There are potential tax benefits available for companies related to purchasing a new exhibit this year, which is a nice added benefit.

4.Develop a Custom Rental

For those who want to return to exhibiting but aren’t ready to commit to owning a new property, renting a custom booth is a great option. There is less investment than purchasing while still allowing your brand to shine.  Are you exhibiting in a smaller space this year while you explore the value of in-person events? Do you have overlapping shows now that previously postponed events are being rescheduled? A custom rental allows your company to be in two places at the same time or show up in a smaller footprint while you determine your new marketing strategy. You will still have the ability to customize your exhibit so it meets all of your needs and budget parameters without having to commit to a new purchase this year.

Left Front View of the Darrel Lea exhibit display
A few other things to consider as you step back onto the show floor:

  • How will you adapt to potentially smaller audiences?
  • Will you need more lead time than usual to plan, set-up and deploy your exhibit?
  • What are the specific COVID restrictions or needs for the show you are attending?

Our team can help you navigate these or any other questions. If we don’t know the answer, we will work to find it. Contact us as early as possible. The sooner we start the process, the better the chance to avoid any unexpected delays with logistics or supply chains. We can’t wait to see everyone back on the show floor and we look forward to helping you get there.

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