Do you have a generic trade show booth?

We've all seen them at trade shows, the "generic" booths that look like someone hung cheap carpet on a frame, and printed the company name on a banner using a home printer. We've all probably even stepped into one, at one point or another. Quick quiz: can you name the company of a single generic booth?

No. Of course not. So why are so many companies determined to keep using them?

At the Skyline blog they explore this issue:
I had two main reasons for not wanting to have to do business with companies with generic booths:

  • First, I didn’t see them as players. Anyone who is anyone has their own brand. Were they financially sound if they didn’t have their own brand?
  • Second, I wondered if they were a start-up. Not that I have anything against start-ups, but, were they capable of producing? I would have to do more research on them and ask for references before giving them any of my business. This represented more time and energy on my part. I would also question their know-how, quality control and ability to deliver on time.
We've worked with a lot of new companies, and most of the ones that go on to be successful are determined to look like a big, well-established company from day one. Besides, all the "generic" booths at construction shows look like "Mom & Pop Construction Supply Stores". Which is fine when all you want to sell me is a new hammer or the best price on a concrete grinder, but it's a real problem when your company's goal is to promote your brand, your product, and your benefits.

So does that mean every booth has to be custom-made and expensive? No; there are smart ways to spend your money that give high return for minimal investment. Spend the money on pieces that have high reusability, versatility, and portability. Or feature your product; the "custom booth" could be a showcase of creative uses of your product.

However you do it, make sure your booth stands out for the right reasons.