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Exhibit Design and Your Budget: Smart Spending Your Way to an Effective Display

by Nomadic Display 23. November 2009 21:21

Keep in mind when considering how much funding to allocate to display design that trade shows are an extremely visual medium: attendees shop first and foremost with their eyes. That being said, often what differentiates a great exhibit from a so-so one is about how smart you spend your available budget.

Custom modular exhibits
are gaining in popularity among companies exhibiting in island spaces. This is due in part to recent innovations that enable designers to produce exhibits that rival traditional custom-built.

Exhibit Designs

Custom modular island displays offer exhibitors custom-built style with the added advantage of being able to be repurposed. That is, components may be rearranged to offer fresh floor layouts or serve in smaller spaces and be augmented to expand into larger island venues. Many companies are spreading the budgetary impact of their display investment over several events to achieve a positive ROI on each event. Before you start the design process you should ask yourself what other spaces you want the ability to use your display in, to further leverage your investment.

  • Do you want to set any of the display up in a nontrade show environment? These might include your lobby, at a sales meeting, or your staff training facility to name a few.
  • Do you plan to exhibit in spaces that are smaller?
  • Do you want the ability to expand into larger spaces?

Equally important are the significant savings in operational and ownership costs exhibitors realize with a custom modular display. On average, custom modular exhibits are 50-60% lighter than their custom built counterparts. Custom modular displays can be packed into fewer cases, resulting in dramatically lower shipping and drayage rates. And replacing modular components is far less expensive than custom-built ones.

While individual results may vary depending on your specific design, we recently compared Nomadic’s average operational and ownership costs to those of the average custom-built display using industry published data sources as shown in the chart below.


So be upfront and direct with your display company regarding your budget. If appropriate, discuss renting your display. This option is a great value to companies who are new to trade shows, want to test new markets or take an island space for that once-a-year national or international event.


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