10 Ways To Spot When You Should Refurbish Your Exhibit

Custom Hybrid Island Exhibit with Tension Fabric Graphics, Monitors, Lounge, Aero Hanging Sign, Suspended Graphics, and Storage

Custom Hybrid Island Exhibit with Tension Fabric Graphics, Monitors, Lounge, Aero Hanging Sign, Suspended Graphics, and Storage

You’ve made a sizeable investment in an elaborate new booth, and your company plans to amortize its cost over five years (a typical exhibit’s lifespan is three to seven years, depending on its frequency of use and the level of care and maintenance it receives). But a couple of years down the road, there’s a significant change in your marketing strategy that affects your exhibiting program.

Or maybe your booth is simply getting a little long in the tooth, having been on the road for several seasons without significant changes. In this case, the law of diminishing returns begins to apply, where show attendees will assume the same booth means that what’s going on in the exhibit is also the same. They then write you off because they think they’ve seen you before.

These are just two reasons why a perfectly good display may no longer be compatible with your current exhibiting needs or strategy. You can’t just toss out the booth you’ve spent so much on, and you may not have the budget to start from scratch with a completely new display build. So what do you do?

First, I’d suggest you have a conversation with your exhibit supplier to see if retuning or refurbishing the booth is a good option. You may find that even an extensive redesign of your existing booth may save you money, costing between one half to two thirds of from-scratch construction.

Refurbishing isn’t the answer in every case, and a lot depends on the exhibit’s original design and whether it lends itself to being reworked. If your booth was designed from modular components, refurbishing may mean just rearranging those components, resurfacing worn or dated-looking finishes and adding a few new elements. If it’s a truly custom build, the process of refurbishing may be trickier—but it’s still possible.

Making management aware of the potential for refurbishing your existing display may be the best idea. Click To Tweet

And if the option of refurbishing isn’t brought to the table, the only alternative management will have to consider is a new build, which can take a chunk out of your exhibiting budget. So making management aware of the potential for refurbishing what you already own may be in the best interests of your exhibiting program.

So how do you justify refurbishing as the least expensive option?

It will be, in any of these circumstances:

1) Maintaining your current exhibit in its present condition becomes too expensive.

2) The booth is in good shape, structurally, but it’s functionally outdated.

3) Your exhibiting strategy for certain shows undergoes a substantial change that needs to be reflected in the exhibit itself.

4) The company is adamant about wanting a new look, but needs to stick with previously planned amortization or depreciation schedules.


Backlit Salesmate Table Top Display

5) There’s been a change in your company’s fortunes and you want to express this on the show floor, while still keeping budgets under control.

6) You need more or less space on the show floor than you’ve used in the past.

7) New management wants to put their stamp on the exhibiting program, but money for a new build may not be in the budget.

8) Something in your business’s strategy requires a new look (for example, your product line is undergoing a significant change in the next few years).

9) Your product’s target market(s), or something about the product itself (like its packaging or size), necessitates a change in your booth to address this.

10) Your onsite staffing has been reduced and, with fewer workers available, you need to simplify the set-up and tear down of the exhibit.

Once you’ve discussed your needs and preliminary plans with your exhibit company, the next step will usually be looking at sketches or computer renderings of the reworked exhibit (perhaps offering several options). At that time, you can make the determination as to whether this approach meets your needs, at least from an aesthetic perspective.

To determine if a refurbished booth will meet any of the objectives outlined above, it may be necessary to do the math on the difference between the cost of refurbishing versus a from-scratch build. Remember that it may be possible to construct your new exhibit from lighter materials, thus reducing shipping costs (which could make the new build more cost effective in the long term).

The most important consideration in pulling off a successful refurbishing project is the relationship you have with your exhibit supplier. Be candid and thorough in expressing your needs, and your booth builder will be better prepared to deliver exactly what you want and need.

If you’re considering refurbishing your exhibit, talk with us. Because we work with more than a dozen different manufacturers, we have extensive resources to help you create the look you desire for your spruced-up booth. We can also add lighting, literature racks, tablet kiosks, pedestals and table covers—a wide variety of accessories to get the most out of your new look. For more information, call us at (425) 556-9511 or email [email protected]