Trade shows can be a great opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and services, generate leads, and build brand awareness. However, participating in trade shows can also be expensive, especially when it comes to creating eye-catching graphics. So how can businesses save money without compromising the quality of their trade show graphics? Here are some tips to help you cut costs and still make a big impact at your next trade show.
1. Plan Ahead
One of the best ways to save money on trade show graphics is to plan ahead. Rush fees can add up quickly, so start the design process early and allow enough time for proofs, revisions, printing and shipping. This will also give you more options when it comes to pricing and finding the best deals.
2. Use Durable Materials
Investing in high-quality, durable materials for your trade show graphics may cost more initially, but it can save you money in the long run. These materials are less likely to get damaged during transportation or at the event itself, which means you won’t have to constantly replace them.
Most people are familiar with foam core boards that offer a nice, rigid print surface for posters and signage, but consider PVC as an option. PVC is more flexible than foam core, but it withstands handling much better, which means you can use the same graphic over and over without worrying about dinged corners and punctures in the poster board face.
3. Invest in Reusable Banner Frames
Trade show graphics have come a long way. There are so many options for portable graphics stands and frames that pack small and unfurl to impressive sizes. Most of these systems contain changeable banners or covers. Instead of buying a whole new banner system, you can simply print new banners and use the same frames year after year. Banners are relatively inexpensive. You can change the entire look of your trade show booth simply with printing!
Do you already own some retractable banner stands or pop-up booth backdrops? You don’t need to buy new equipment. Better print shops can work with the equipment you already own to print new banners, making your previous investments even more valuable.
4. Negotiate with vendors
Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices with vendors for printing services, especially if you plan to purchase several items. Printers love to be busy, so if you can occupy the shop for a while, they may be willing to offer discounts or volume pricing. Are you a repeat customer? More business can equal priority pricing and treatment.
5. Consider Alternative Materials
There are many different materials available for trade show graphics, from vinyl banners to fabric backdrops. While traditional materials may be more costly, consider using alternative materials that can achieve a similar effect at a lower cost. For example, fabric graphics are becoming increasingly popular due to their durability and affordability.
Contact your local printer to see what new materials they recommend. They may have just bought a new printer that they want to show off, which could equal further discounts.
6. Opt for digital signage
In place of traditional printed graphics, consider investing in digital signage, i.e. TV monitors and digital display boards. While the upfront investment is high, you can use them for years. Digital signage eliminates the cost of printing, and it can also add movement to your booth with video or slideshows, giving your booth a modern, eye-catching look.
If money is tight, consider renting this type of equipment from A/V companies or the trade show venue itself. Renting adds up and becomes a poor economic choice if you attend many shows, but for infrequent trade show attendance, it can certainly save money.
7. Maximize Your Booth Space
Take advantage of your booth space by using it strategically. This means carefully planning the placement of your graphics to ensure they are visible and eye-catching. By having a well-designed layout, you can minimize the number of graphics needed and save money on printing costs.
8. Utilize Sponsorship Opportunities
If you have the opportunity to become a sponsor at a trade show, take advantage of it. Often, sponsors receive additional benefits such as free or discounted booth space or graphic printing services. This can significantly reduce your overall costs and still allow you to have a strong presence at the event.
Trade shows are a valuable opportunity to showcase your brand and attract new customers. However, the costs associated with attending can add up quickly, especially when it comes to graphics. By following these tips, you can save money on trade show graphics without compromising on quality or impact. Remember to plan ahead, utilize sponsorship opportunities, and consider alternative materials to help keep your budget in check. With some careful planning and smart choices, you can make the most out of your trade show experience without breaking the bank. So next time you’re preparing for a trade show, keep these tips in mind and watch your savings add up! Happy exhibiting!