Lightheaded Lighting Trade Show Booth Ideas 3

How to Be a Good Client

Turns out, sitting down and saying you want a booth that’s “cool” isn’t the best way to be a good client and get the result you want. This blog post covers what you should tell your booth company in order to get your ideas across, down on paper, and into real life. We’ll also go over how involved you should plan to be vs. when you should step back and leave the professionals to do their thing, general timelines to expect, and more.


Be Blunt

If you’ve chosen a tried-and-true booth company like mackenzie EXHIBIT, then the professionals you’re working with are just that — professionals. They don’t need you to take their feelings into account when giving input, they truly want to know what needs to be done to make you happy, and above all, they’re not mind readers. Go into all of your meetings with the exhibit design company with a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and what is necessary in order for you and your coworkers to consider the booth a success. During the ideation phase, your booth company might present you with some ideas that are outside of what you first had in mind — if you like them, great! If you don’t, then be blunt and speak your mind. The more transparent you are with the company, the better the end result will be.

Be Precise

Strike the words “kind of”, “maybe”, “sort of”, and “you know what I mean?” from your vocabulary before going into meetings with the booth design company. Even the best exhibit design companies can’t extract useful information from those phrases, and all you’ll end up with is confusion and potential delays. It’s ok to go into the meetings with an open mind and embrace the collaborative nature of booth design, but even while having a productive back-and-forth discussion you should try to be as clear as possible with the input you’re giving. If the ideation phase of your booth design is producing results that aren’t exactly what you wanted, stop and take a moment to look back and see if there were ways you could have been more precise and then adjust moving forward. Yes, the customer is always right . . . but they’re not always clear.

Don’t Hover

Don’t be a helicopter client. Hovering over your exhibit design company by emailing them every day, calling them incessantly, and requesting in-person meetings multiple times per week isn’t going to speed the process along (actually, it’ll do the opposite). They know that this booth is your baby, and these people are literally trained professionals. They have your best interest at heart; creating your dream booth is a win for them as much as it’s a win for you, because your booth serves as an advertisement of their abilities to potential clients. Be a good client and stick with your once-per-week check ins, but otherwise leave the pros to do what they’re good at. If they’re a little slow on the response, take that as a sign that they’re busy working hard on creating the best booth possible.

Mo Money, Mo Billing Schedules

One of the best ways to make sure your booth stays on track and be a good client is to stay on top of your bills. Some of the larger exhibit design companies might be able to float you for a 30-day billing period if your company has a unique payment schedule, but for the most part, pay up when it’s due. In general, a 50% deposit will be required once your booth budget is agreed upon by both you and the exhibit design company and your contract is signed. The remaining 50% will be due within 30 days after the trade show has wrapped up. Keep this in mind when coming up with your budget, make sure to give your Accounting department a big ol’ heads up, and everything will go swimmingly. This schedule can vary from company to company but is a good guide to keep in mind when figuring out when certain things will hit your budget.

Timing is Everything

You only need a few months to throw together a kickass booth, right? Well, maybe if you have a time machine to rewind by a few more months. No time machine? Then you’d better start at least six months prior to when the trade show is happening. Larger booths with more intricate designs should be given eight months up to a year of prep time in order to make sure designs can be finalized, materials can be sourced, iterations can be reviewed, and all details can be put to bed. This is especially true if this is your first time working with the exhibit design company. If you’ve worked with a company before and plan to reuse pretty much the same booth design, you might be able to shave your timeline down to three or four months to make sure everything is in order, but we still suggest at least opening the dialogue six months in advance.

How to Be a Good Client

Speak your mind. Know what you want. Let the pros do their thing. Keep your finances in order. Be on time. Follow these five things, and you’ll be well on your way to being the dream client that every exhibit design company hopes to have.

Did this just make you realize that your trade show is five months away and you don’t have a booth? Panic a little, breathe into a paper bag, then give us a call at 801-621-7500 or email us here.

Building Materials and Finishes

Building Materials and Finishes

Everything is not as it seems here at the mackenzie EXHIBIT warehouse . . . In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the magic that goes on behind the scenes and explore the building materials and finishes used to make our clients’ dreams come to life.


You Dream It; We Do It

Every beautiful booth we’ve created has started at the same place: the imagination of our clients. From there, we take the mockup, sketch, idea board, or even Pinterest inspiration you give us and create a real-world version of what’s previously been trapped in your mind. We welcome all input from our clients during this process as we work together with the single goal of creating a mind-blowing end result that will wow your trade show attendees and create a lasting brand impression.

Once you’ve given us your initial inspiration, we’ll set to work coming up with out-of-the-box ways to achieve that desired result. As our exhibit esthetics extraordinaire Chris Larsen says, “That’s the creative side of us.”

Let’s take a look at some of the materials we use and the techniques applied to get the desired end result while saving time, money, and weight — the trade show trifecta.


Faux Brick and Stone

Building Materials and Finishes

Faux Brick

Real stone masonry is no friend to the exhibit industry — it’s heavy, time consuming, and does not travel well. To get this same look while using trade show-friendly building materials and finishes, we turn to our good friend foam. The above picture is an example of how foam can be injected into a mold and then finished with your desired color treatment to achieve an end result that is shockingly lightweight while still giving you the artisanal look of stone masonry. Trying to recreate the look of a low stone wall in the English countryside or want your structure to have a cobblestone pathway through it? Faux bricks and stones made from foam are the answer.


Steel the Spotlight

Building Materials and Finishes

Galvanized Steel

Galvanized steel is amazingly versatile for all types of trade show exhibits. Whether you’re a tech company looking for a clean and cutting-edge vibe or you’re an outdoor industry brand wanting to convey a more earth-toned and weathered look, galvanized steel is a great option. The thin profile of this material allows us to save weight and cost while still giving you the unbeatable look of metal. Here you can see a before and after of corrugated galvanized steel — on the left is brand new; on the right is after we’ve allowed it to naturally rust outdoors for two days. We can also apply an acid wash to create a more targeted and stylized patina. Thanks to a variety of available patinas and rusting methods, galvanized steel ranks toward the top of our favorite building materials and finishes.


Concrete or Not-crete?

Building Materials and Finishes

Concrete and Faux-Concrete Comparison

So not-crete isn’t really a thing, but it sounded funny, right? Either way, we invite you to take a guess at which of the above panels are concrete and which are a lightweight substitute. Can’t tell? Good — that’s the point! Concrete is great for permanent installations where weight isn’t an issue, but in the trade show world, weight is king. Using a lightweight faux-concrete saves you money on shipping and makes your exhibit much easier to put together and take down, which also saves time. No list of building materials and finishes would be complete without faux concrete; get creative in your trade show booth design by using this as a wall, pathway, product display, or any number of other options.


Embrace the Aging

Building Materials and Finishes

Antique Wood

As the sustainability movement continues to grow, so does the demand for reclaimed and antique wood. mackenzie EXHIBIT partners with Trestlewood in Brigham City, UT, to give our trade show booths that beautiful weathered look by reusing antique flooring, hand-hewn timbers and beams, barnwood siding, and more from the local area. We also like to use Beetle Kill Pine from the Rocky Mountain region so that we can preserve as much healthy forest as possible. Beetle Kill Pine is caused by the pesky pine beetle which leaves a wake of dead trees. In order to make room for healthy new growth, this pine is harvested for use in building materials such as those used by mackenzie EXHIBIT. By utilizing Beetle Kill Pine we can help to restore our forests while at the same time giving our clients the beautiful wood finish they desire. Still want a weathered look even though you’re using new Beetle Kill Pine? No worries! We use a vinegar solution to give the new pine an aged look for an antique result in a hurry.


Building Materials and Finishes

Steel, concrete, wood, brick . . . these are just a handful of the materials we can use, recreate, or up-cycle to create your ideal trade show booth. Bring us your inspiration for your ideal trade show booth design and then let us put our decades of experience to work as we bring your ideas to life.

Ready to get started or have some more detailed questions on the booth design process? Give us a call at 801-621-7500 or email us here.

Trade Show Booth Ideas ExOfficio 2

5 Reasons to Exhibit at a Trade Show

As you start to book hotel rooms, schedule flights, set per diems for team members, and pay the deposit on your booth space . . . your Accounting department has likely come to you asking the age old question, “Why are we doing this?” Trade shows are an expensive undertaking but are absolutely worthwhile. Next time Accounting swings by, show them this article about 5 Reasons to Exhibit at a Trade Show.


Top 5 Reasons to Exhibit at a Trade Show

 

Reason #1: Saving Money

This might seem counterintuitive, but that lump sum you’re shelling out for a trade show could actually end up saving you money in the long run. Think about your sales team and the customers they have scattered all around the country — now think about how much it costs to fly them out to individual sales meetings with all of those various clients, some of whom are in far-flung corners of the middle of nowhere. When you realize that each one of those trips requires a flight, rental car, hotel room, per diem allotments, shipping costs to send sales materials, and time spent out of the office, it all starts to add up quickly. When you exhibit at a trade show, it’s an opportunity to condense these costs as your sales team can schedule efficient meetings throughout the show rather than spread them around throughout the year.

Reason #2: Build Brand Recognition

This is a less tangible reason that’s hard to put a price tag on, but in many ways trade shows are an opportunity to see who’s who in your industry. If you’re exhibiting at your industry’s biggest shows, you’re going to be perceived as a major player to be reckoned with versus falling into the “out of sight, out of mind” category. Stay relevant within your space by putting your best foot forward at industry trade shows — the right booth at the right show is enough to garner attention in national media outlets and can translate into increased sales. Among the reasons to exhibit at a trade show, growing your sales certainly falls near the top. Need some help with creating a booth space that will stand out? The award-winning team at mackenzie EXHIBIT will be happy to lend a hand.

Reason #3: Network Like a Boss

This is a big one — there are few situations that are better for networking than attending a trade show. Where else can you find a high density of professionals from your industry, all of whom are in a working state of mind and ready to do business? Even if you start off the show with zero meetings on the books, simply having a booth will allow potential clients and business partners to filter through your space and become interested in your company. Keep a handful of business cards handy in a drawer of your booth and be ready to put on your A-game at a moment’s notice, because networking is one of the best reasons to exhibit at a trade show.

Reason #4: Debut New Products

The logic behind this one is a combination of Reason 1, Reason 2, and Reason 3. If you use your booth space to showcase newly released products, your sales team members can bring existing and potential clients in for a quick demo right then and there without having to take the product all around the country. You’ll also be strutting your stuff in front of the competition by proudly showcasing what your company has been working on, which in turn helps to build additional brand recognition. Since trade shows are such a perfect place for networking, it also makes sense that they are perfect for showing those new business connections the products that you’ve just released. Rather than spend a bunch of money on a new product launch at a separate time of the year when you’ll have to fly in media, pay for attendee’s hotels, create displays, and more, take advantage of the fact that trade shows already combine all of those elements into one convenient time and place.

Reason #5: Team Building

You might have to see this one to believe it, but trust us — the people who attend the trade show together will have a much stronger bond with each other than they did prior to exhibiting. The act of planning the show, traveling together, spending long days answering attendee questions, rooming together, sharing meals together, etc. will create a team building experience unlike any other. While Accounting might take some convincing as to why this is one of our top reasons to exhibit at a trade show, when they see how seamlessly the team works together post-show and how that translates into a more efficient and positive workspace, they’ll soon understand.


Now that you know our top reasons to exhibit at a trade show, let’s get down to the business of creating the best trade show booth design for your company. Our team here at mackenzie EXHIBIT has a uniquely streamlined yet creative process to help you get most of your exhibiting experience. Ready to get started or have some more detailed questions on the booth design process? Give us a call at 801-621-7500 or email us here.

Trade Show Booth Ideas Marmot 2

Sustainable Trade Show Booth Design

As the Green Movement continues to sweep the country (thankfully), the demand for sustainable trade show booth design continues to escalate. You’re probably familiar with how to be more sustainable in your everyday life — but how do you incorporate sustainability into your exhibit? In this article, we’ll walk you through a handful of options for how to go green with your trade show booth.


Think Light!

Opting for lightweight materials is a win-win-win. Win #1: You win on the costs associated with shipping your booth. The lighter the booth, the lower the drayage expense. Win #2: The planet wins because a lighter booth requires less fuel to ship and therefore results in less pollution. Yay! Win #3: Your trade show booth design company, such as mackenzie EXHIBIT, wins because lightweight booths are much easier to assemble and take down. See? Win, win, win. Somewhere, Charlie Sheen is very happy with this level of winning.

Some lightweight materials you can use are tensioned fabric, aluminum, interlocking cardboard, high-density foam, and inflatable structures (think couches, chairs, and other in-booth accessories).


Breathe New Life

The American West is experiencing an epidemic of pine beetles that are sweeping through forests and killing trees. While this is bad news for our trees, it does mean that there are eco-friendly options for those who want to include wood in their booth design. Rather than harvesting healthy trees, instead opt for breathing life into pine that has already been killed by pine beetles. This helps to clear unhealthy growth and make room for new trees — the forests get a boost and you get to have that beautiful au naturel pine look in your booth. Again with the winning.


Reuse Your Booth

The title of this section is a pretty big giveaway — you should reuse your booth! Designing a trade show booth that is meant to last season after season might mean putting a bit more money into it in the beginning, but it will save you big in the long run when you don’t have to sink money into a new booth every year. What’s even better? You’ll be drastically cutting down on your company’s contributions to the local landfill by avoiding tossing out your trade show booth.


Have a Light Bulb Moment

We’re big fans of using dramatic lighting to highlight products, entryways, and to create ambiance. Light is a crucial element of any successful trade show booth design, but it can also be an important part of sustainable trade show booth design. Opt for energy-efficient CFLs or LEDs to create the beautiful glow you’re going for while being conscious about the health of the planet. After the trade show is done, consider using these bulbs in your office as a way to save even more money and reduce your energy usage.


Trade Show Chic

You’ve put a lot of time, effort, and moolah into creating your trade show booth — so show it off! Your office space can probably use a facelift (1989 called — they want their cubicles back), so why not use your sustainable trade show booth design as a way to revamp your business? Exhibit walls can be repurposed as avant-garde decor for conference rooms or break rooms, countertops are perfect for reception areas, and carpet can be used just about anywhere. Put your thinking cap on, and you’ll be able to come up with a bunch of ways to use your trade show booth as office decor.


Sustainable Swag

All of those catalogs, brochures, t-shirts, stickers, hats . . . where do you think they go when attendees return home from trade shows? We don’t want to burst your bubble, but the majority area headed straight for the trash. The amount of waste this creates is almost unfathomable, but there are ways you can combat the issue. Rather than handing out a bunch of paper materials, try adding a television screen to your booth design that can display the information normally included in your pamphlets. Upload this same information to your website and direct people to that page instead — you’ll get more website traffic and the landfill will get fewer donations. You can also try upping your swag budget a little and opting for giveaways that attendees will actually want to hang onto long after the event is over, such as reusable water bottles. These are a great option because they reduce waste while also acting as mobile billboards as people carry them around. Some other ideas for sustainable swag are t-shirts made from hemp or pens and notebooks made from already-recycled materials.


Sustainable Trade Show Booth Design

We hope this post has opened your eyes to some easy ways to create sustainable trade show booth design without having to make any sacrifices to your brand’s style. If anything, going green will help to show customers that you’re up on current trends and care about the planet as well as your bottom line. So much win!


Ready to get started or have some more detailed questions on the booth design process? Give us a call at 801-621-7500 or email us here.

Custom-Trade-Show-Exhibits-SilencerCo

Create the Best Trade Show Booth Design

Creating the best trade show booth design is no small task — there’s a lot to keep in mind. What do you want people to feel when they first walk into your booth? Should they feel cozy and enclosed, or open and free? Do you want to have an on-site meeting space, or will you have a conference room reserved elsewhere? In this article, we’ll take a look at these and other considerations to take into account when creating the best trade show booth design.

Enclosed vs. Open

There are two main types of booth designs: enclosed and open. This is one of the first design element decisions you’ll need to make, and it’s a big one! This will determine the overall feeling of your booth and what the client experiences when they first step into your floor space. We’ll take a look at two trade show booth examples to show you the potential benefits of each style.

Custom-Trade-Show-Exhibits-SilencerCo

SilencerCo Trade Show Booth by mackenzie EXHIBIT

Here we see an enclosed trade show booth by mackenzie EXHIBIT. This particular design won the Best Booth Award at SHOT Show, and it’s easy to see why. This was considered the best trade show booth design because it completely altered the attendee’s experience from the moment they entered the space. All experiential elements were controlled, from the lighting to the flow to the flooring underfoot. An enclosed booth design allows you to create a completely custom experience regardless of the exhibit hall your booth space is located in. This design also ensured that all focus was solely on the products that were displayed — no focus was lost on neighboring booths, loud passersby, or any other distractions.


Trade Show Booth Ideas Zagg 2

ZAGG Trade Show Booth by mackenzie EXHIBIT

On the opposite end of the spectrum is this ZAGG booth design. The objective here was to create a free-flowing space that allowed the attendee to explore at their own pace and leisure. It welcomed flow-through from various angles and had several “pods” of product display spaces, which in turn allowed potential customers to take their time and feel like they had the space to interact with the booth as they liked. The separate counter spaces and open design also enabled ZAGG sales team members to have focused product showcase areas where they could give undivided attention to potential customers.


Enclosed and open booth designs yield very different attendee experiences. Think through the vibe of your company and the experience you want your customers to have before deciding which one of these great design styles to go with.


Meeting Spaces

The trade show floor can be a busy, noisy, and bustling place. Trying to have an important meeting while standing in the aisles is nearly impossible, not to mention unprofessional. It’s crucial to have space for your sales team and product managers to meet with clients and end users, which is why the best trade show booth design should include a dedicated meeting space.

Salewa Trade Show Booth Ideas 3

Salewa Trade Show Booth by mackenzie EXHIBIT

Salewa opted for a meeting space that pulled double duty as both a product display area and an out-of-the-way spot to have focused discussions. Thanks to some clever brainstorming, they also managed to include a backlit wall in their product display which gave the space a warm ambient glow. A meeting space that is adjacent to a product display allows you to easily grab specific products and replace them once the meeting is over, keeping things efficient and effective. A space like this one also clearly says “this is a spot for business” and doesn’t really invite people to loiter around, which helps to keep your day moving along smoothly.


Arcteryx Trade Show Exhibit Ideas 4

Arc’teryx Trade Show Booth by mackenzie EXHIBIT

If your booth space has the room for it, adding a second-story meeting area is a great way to preserve the first floor for product displays while still having plenty of room to meet with clients. A second-story meeting space has a very grand presence about it, which also helps to elevate the perception of your brand as a major player. This type of meeting area feels more like a lounge space and invites people to take a break from the show floor, which is perfect if you want to create a relaxing place to have sit-down discussions. Just be sure to double check the fire codes and exhibit hall guidelines to make sure you’re allowed to build a booth of this height in your particular space.


Product Displays

Product displays can be as unique and varied as the products they contain. Do you want to replicate an in-store shopping experience? Are your products small and expensive and need to be secured? Versatile trade show booth design companies like mackenzie EXHIBIT can craft a product display to suit your exact needs.

Custom Trade Show Display Suunto

Suunto Trade Show Booth by mackenzie EXHIBIT

Suunto watches are in-demand, have a higher price point, and are very portable — all of this combines to make them something that can easily “walk away” during a busy trade show. To cut down on the risk of product loss during the show, Suunto opted for a product display case that fully enclosed the products while still clearly showcasing them at every angle. A standalone case such as this one can be easily incorporated into any trade show booth design and allows attendees to get a great look at your products without sticky fingers becoming an issue.


Trade Show Booth Ideas Neve

Neve Trade Show Booth by mackenzie EXHIBIT

Neve clothing wanted a product display that pulled double duty — they needed to show their products on mannequins while also creating an in-store vibe with their booth space. For all wearables, it’s crucial to show various ways in which a customer can use the products while also allowing potential clients to browse through a large volume of items. Displaying everything on mannequins isn’t an efficient use of space, so here we combined the mannequin method with an on-the-rack display to simulate a shopping experience. This product display allowed for the greatest use of space while still effectively showcasing a wide range of designs.


Creating the Best Trade Show Booth Design

There isn’t a single cookie cutter answer for how to create the best trade show booth design — it all comes down to your company’s booth space, product requirements, and, most importantly, how you want attendees to feel when they enter your booth. Luckily, by teaming up with an experienced trade show booth design company such as mackenzie EXHIBIT, you’ll have access to decades of experience in best practices for how to create a stunning booth display.

To make sure you’ve crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s on your trade show booth design, head over to our article about the Top 5 Most Overlooked (But Crucial) Booth Elements.


Ready to get started or have some more detailed questions on the booth design process? Give us a call at 801-621-7500 or email us here.