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Extending the Life of Your Exhibit

By: Andy Marken

In his nearly 25 years in the advertising/public relations field, Andy has been involved with a broad range of corporate and marketing activities. Prior to forming Marken Communications in mid-1977, Andy was vice president of Bozell & Jacobs and its predecessor agencies. During his 12 years with these agencies, he developed and coordinated a wide variety of highly visible and successful promotional campaigns and activities for clients. A graduate of Iowa State University, Andy received his Bachelor's Degree with majors in Radio & Television and Journalism. Widely published in the industry and trade press, he is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

If you haven't recovered from the expense of building your last exhibit, it may be possible to update and revitalize past exhibits with new graphics and remodeling techniques to produce a totally new look at a modest cost.

Most of the time, people discard their booths without determining if there is any value left in them. If the structure is still sound, at least some portions of earlier booths can be saved and reused. Maybe the back walls can be redone with new plastic laminate, carpet, or Velcro. The new back walls provide a canvas on which you can "paint" a totally new presentation and company/product image.

Another possibility is that you can save portions of earlier, large booths and construct one or more smaller, revitalized booths. This is helpful if you participate in a range of shows and the level of presence isn't the same in every show.

For national shows you want major impact. However, with regional shows you can utilize a smaller space and show a more selected range of products/services. You may have strictly local shows where your sales people feel visibility in the target market community is not only important but good politics.

You could use a 40x40 booth for major shows, 20x20 or 20-foot linear for regional shows, and 10x10 for local shows. Rather than produce three-plus booths, refurbish earlier booths to put your best foot forward in each instance -- economically.

If, in final analysis, you determine you can't save portions of the booths, be brutal. Get them out. There's no need paying storage costs for something you can't use.

If you are considering refurbishing a booth, think about your freight and drayage costs. Previously used booths may have not been designed with these expenses in mind. The shipping costs add up very quickly.

If the booth designer had a field day with your exhibit and it is complicated to set up, your assembly costs may be way out of line, and there will be no savings. KISS (keep it simple, stupid) works well for booths ... advertising and products.

But revamping an existing booth can cost about 50% of the replacement costs, so the savings are worth considering. A charge of this magnitude will provide for an extensive facelift and present a totally new image and message.

© Copyright 2001, G.A.Marken, Marken Communications

Other Articles by Andy Marken

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


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