I love the big, fancy trade show displays as much as the next guy. Nothing draws in clients like a small flashing city with your logo on it, standing there in the middle of the conference and taking up more space than ten booths put together.
On the other hand, I would like to make the case that a well-done portable display can be an effective tool in your arsenal. In fact, I would go so far as to say that there are times when it's better to be portable.
Here are just a few reasons why portable is lovable:
--Your sales rep can travel with it. A lot of the big booths have to be shipped. A portable booth can fit in the back of a compact hatchback. It's perfect for traveling.
--They come in floor models as well as desktop versions. You don't need ten-thousand-dollartrade show displays to make a floor-to-ceiling statement.
--They're easy to set up. The expensive booths often require a handyman to set them up. If union regulations permit, your salesperson can set up a portable display with no assistance.
--They're more intimate. A quiet booth gives sales reps a chance to chat up potential clients without the distraction of crowds drawn by a large display. When it comes to conversation, a small booth can be better than a big one.
Now let's talk about cost.
--The display costs less. I don't just mean the upfront cost; a portable display can cost less in upkeep than a big booth. Small graphics cost less to print, and that means that it's cheaper to update them to match your latest ad campaign. You can even afford to keep a few different displays and swap them out for different shows.
--If you've got an event coordinator shipping the booths around to multiple salespeople, the shipping costs less, because there's less to ship. So does the administration. Those bigtrade show booths represent lots extra man-hours spent making sure that all of those extra bells and whistles got shipped on time and installed correctly.
--The space costs less. The typical portable display can be set up in a standard-sized booth, so there's no need to shell out for more floor space.
If you decide to go portable, here are a few hints for making your trade show displays look good without breaking the bank.
--Graphics are more important than ever. My favorite way to make a portable display look enticing is to ask the graphic artist to throw in some greenery and some happy people. Rolling hills, families at a picnic, flower arbors all of those things appeal to the senses and really draw the eye.
--Buy some fresh flowers. Realtors know this trick, and so should you. There's something about flowers that makes even an old booth (or an old house) look new again. They don't have to be expensive, either, as long as they're fresh.
--Make sure that your trade show booths have good lighting. Don't rely on the overhead fluorescents at the trade show.
--Reserve your booth space early. A small booth in a good place makes a big impact.
Whether you've got one salesperson traveling from place to place or an entire army of trade show representatives, a portable booth can work wonders in your campaign. They're easier to move around, they cost less, and they look great. Who could ask for anything more?