At a time when many decision makers are motivating for less spend on marketing, it is important to highlight the belief in not cutting back on exhibitions and quality display hardware mechanisms.
In these “belt-tightening” times where adspend and marketing budgets are inevitably being reviewed from all sides, it has become too easy to accept calls from those holding the purse strings to cut back on the expenses related to exhibitions and trade shows. However, many decision makers don’t fully appreciate the value of marketing in tough times and end up motivating for fewer exhibitions and cheaper display systems. This approach is flawed and should be challenged in at least two areas.
Firstly, any decent marketer knows that it is in tough economic times that it is critical to ensure that the awareness of a company’s name stays as strong as ever. Despite the fact that many companies may be holding back on advertising and marketing, surveys show that when it comes to business-to-business trade shows and expos, attendance has actually increased in many sectors. It seems that with everybody watching the purse strings, many business decisions are being made on the strength of personal relationships and the tangible proof of a company to back up their presence on the ground.
Secondly, by not having a clear commitment to a budget that can ensure quality display stands, you end up compromising the position of the marketers and sales people whose task it is to maximise their time and presence at exhibitions. Cheaper display systems and equipment means that you end up with equipment that can at best be used a handful of times before needing to be repaired, or at worst, needs to be entirely replaced. This unfortunately means that you not only need to dip into your marketing budget to repair or replace equipment, but you also create a situation where staff needs to start focussing on how a stand looks and not on building relationships with potential customers.
Make Your Marketing Budget Work with Exhibition Hardware Mechanisms that Last
Taking into consideration these two factors of needing to maintain market presence and ensuring that sales and marketing staff have quality exhibition equipment, what is important is to make decisions around appropriate and profitable exhibitions as well as quality display systems that have hardware mechanisms that will endure. With a bit of research it is relatively easy to support decisions to keep a presence at carefully selected trade shows and exhibitions. However, knowing how to match the price and quality of display systems is slightly more difficult if you don’t have experience.
For visitors to your stand, the overall visual impression is obviously a part of what they experience, and their attention is not drawn to the hardware mechanisms that make up your stand. However, it is over time and with regular use that the look and feel of stands which have not been well designed starts to get compromised. The display skins and banners may still hold their visual appeal, but used against frames and systems that no longer hold their shape and structure means that you end up with a stand that unintentionally starts to reflect a corporate message that wasn’t planned for – compromise and uncertainty.
Although the price of exhibition hardware and display equipment might look like an obvious place to start cutting the costs of exhibitions, we all know the clichés relating to quality and expecting what you pay for, so no need to revisit those. Investing in hardware mechanisms that can withstand the rigours of being erected, dismantled and transported over a period of at least three years, by staff who may not necessarily understand the importance of handling equipment carefully, is crucial to any budget. Knowing that hardware can last gives you confidence that money will be freed up two or three years down the line, which can then be put back into the marketing and public relations cycle. A good frame also allows you the option of changing artwork down the line to give your stand a fresh look.
Successful Exhibitions + Quality Display Hardware Mechanisms = Presence that Sales and Marketing People Can Use Repeatedly
People who attend shows have made an emotional and financial commitment to be there, and they expect the same from the stands that they plan to visit. The days of taking time out at expos are over, people who visit your stand are there for a reason. Don’t disappoint visitors to your stand with an experience that reflects compromise and a lack of commitment to quality.
By choosing “cheap and good enough for now” display systems, you will send out the wrong message. Investing in quality exhibition hardware mechanisms offers you an opportunity to not only make the most of your graphics and display artwork, but also sends the message that you are planning to get through tough economic times with style and commitment.