Best Way to Evaluate New Trade Show Displays

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Categories: Trade Show Tips

The best way to evaluate a new trade show display system for your company is in-person with someone that can explain everything and answer your questions. But it’s not always physically practical to see all of your options in one place not to mention the time away from your normal schedule if that means traveling. So what is the best way to gather all of the information needed before pulling the trigger on a new trade show booth? Your circumstances will determine the method that will suite you the best, but let’s take a look at some different options.

Walk the Convention Center Exhibit Hall at your Next Trade Show

This is one of the all-time best ways to evaluate all the different options to consider when entering the buying phase of your next display. Remember to take a little time to yourself at your next show to walk the floor and look at all of the other display systems. Chances are you will see a HUGE range of options (especially at some of the larger shows) that will get the gears turning on what you like and what you don’t like.

Find booth sizes that are about the same as you have. Also, look at some booth sizes that are a step up from what you currently have to see how you can utilize your next trade show frame system when you’re ready for the next size up without having to reinvest in another setup. If you walk the floor in the morning before the main doors open you can stop and chat with other exhibitors and ask where they got it, what they like about it, etc.

Attend the Exhibitor Show in Las Vegas

Another great place to spend quality hands-on time evaluating trade show displays is at the Exhibitor Show. This is normally held once a year in Las Vegas and is at the Mandalay Bay. Certain select days are made available to non-trade show related companies where you can attend and meet face-to-face with some of the top trade show display builders and suppliers in the market. Get questions answered, find new products, test out demos and of course make contacts so you will be fully equipped with the knowledge and know-how when you are finally ready to make that investment. Seeing lot of options side-by-side is one of the best ways to make educated decisions and will satisfy your need to feel good about your buying decision.

Receive Demo Unit from Trade Show Exhibit Retailer

Some companies (like us) have in the past provided trade show exhibit demo units where we ship the physical display to your business location. This gives you an opportunity to set it up like you would at the trade show and have a hands-on experience with it. You can learn how to set it up, feel the materials to determine quality such as the frame and printed graphic materials and let your team examine it to get a full consensus from your company before making the purchase.

There are a few advantages and disadvantages to shipping out demo units. Here are a few:

Advantages to receiving Trade Show Demo Units:

  • Can physically set up and examine the display
  • Team members can also view the display and give their feedback
  • Practice setting up the display so there are no ‘surprises’ when at the show

Disadvantages to receiving Demo Units:

  • Expensive to ship
  • Limited on the number of types of displays you can evaluate
  • Need plenty of time before your show to allow for evaluation
  • Demo units can get pretty beat up after a while criss-crossing the country
  • Exhibit systems often need an explanation especially the first time setting up
  • The demo unit may not be available if it is already ‘checked out’ by another company

Evaluate Exhibit Demo Units via FaceTime

We have found that sometimes the disadvantages of physically shipping out demo units can outweigh the advantages. Due to the advancement of real-time video technology such as FaceTime and other mobile video conferencing, we have started to create more of a video-chat ‘showroom’ approach to better serve our customers and prospective customers.

Here are some of the advantages of video conferencing demo units in real-time:

  • Gives us an opportunity to explain different displays (without you having to guess all alone)
  • Can get questions answered with visual photos & video in real-time
  • Can include multiple people from multiple locations. We simply just schedule a video chat time and others can join in.
  • Gives you an opportunity to evaluate multiple displays at the same time to compare
  • No Shipping Cost
  • Takes less time (no waiting for displays to come in the mail)
  • View inventory of ‘demo’ units to know which are available to view with live-chat

Like Bob Dylan said, “The times are a changin” and with that we hope some of these new and modern technologies will be used to better serve you the customer as you make the best decision possible when it comes to investing your money. Sure, not every display system is available for demo-ing but we plan to add a list that show which options are available in the very near future.

Let us know if you would like a demo live-chat!

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