7 Essential Questions to Ask Your Trade Show Booth Builder


Of all the marketing activities that companies pursue, perhaps trade show event marketing is one of those few that call for a decision to buy, rent or outsource. Decision making with respect to choosing a trade show booth builder is about asking very specific questions.

The content and form of the questions that the company poses to the trade show builder more often than not decides the participation experience and eventually the return on investment that the company may eventually achieve from the trade show event.

Adopting a hands-on approach in framing the right questions and asking for particulars of details go a long way in zeroing down the gap between expectations from the trade show booth builder company and the actual quality of service received.

Here is a list of seven questions that a company must ask before signing up a trade show booth builder for the marketing calendar of the upcoming fiscal year.


1. Credentials

In the modern era of digital touch points, it is easy to access information about a trade show booth builder from a website. Yet, it is not the best way to move forward.

While information barriers may always exist, it is better to ask for a face to face meeting to inquire about the credentials of the trade show booth vendor. It is prudent to ask for the number of years that the company has been in the business of offering trade show booths.

Further, it makes sense to ask about the industry verticals and product groups that it has worked with. Going a step further, it shall be great to know if the concerned company has an ISO certification.


2. Compliance

It is a borderless world and a trade show calendar may require a participating exhibitor to join a caravan that takes them to cities across the globe.

As such, it makes sense to inquire if the concerned trade show booth vendor has staff, manuals, and records pertaining to the local laws and statutes of the said venue, economic federation or the host country of the trade show.

An affirmative answer to such a query comes as an assurance of the existence of implicit knowledge, institutional memory and exposure to the business regulatory framework encompassing the trade show marketing vertical such as the maximum and minimum permissible size of the trade show booth rental, inclusion of mandatory information, use of surrogate advertising in the case of specific product groups, safety norms and environmental guidelines.


3. Local Acclimatization

Assuming that the trade show booth rental vendor has the right credentials of global exposure, the next logical step is to inquire about the degree of its local acclimatization.

Does it have an idea of the logistical infrastructure of the city, the major routes and modes of transport that the city hosting the trade show, offers?

Does the trade show booth builder have a complete grip on the facility layout for logistical planning before, during and after the trade show?

These questions albeit, a bit too precise are crucial determinants of service quality for the delivery of on-ground support services.


4. Design and Construction

A trade show booth design is as much about the aesthetics as it is about the commercial aspects. Choosing a booth design thus calls for surgical precision in visualizing the final output before getting started with the construction.

Ask the booth rental vendor if it offers booth design services. If it can provide a visual mock-up of the actual design at an advanced stage using immersive technologies, it goes a long way in identifying pain points and resolving challenges before the event.

Having said that, many companies work with sub-contractors to construct booth rentals and then sell it to the trade show exhibitor. Ask,

If the vendor company has its team of booth designers?

Does the company have its indigenous booth manufacturing technology? If not, what alternative does it offer?


5. Branding

With a sea of competing brands belonging to the same product group or industry vertical, challenges of commoditization in the forms of clutter, halo and stereotyping effects abound, giving rise to low brand awareness, recognition and recall rates.

Does the booth rental vendor have a creative department to synchronize branding with the trade show booth design?

What methodologies does the company employ to study the brand properties?

What methodologies does the company employees to understand the buyer persona?

What technology does the company use for large scale graphic printing?


6. Quality

Zeroing the gap between expectations and actual performance calls for joining the dots between the merchandise and the on-ground situation that an exhibitor is likely to face.

Does the company offer on ground support services?

Does it offer personnel for on ground support services?

Does the company offer preventive/ breakdown maintenance and storage services?

What is the lead time taken by the vendor in delivering a trade show booth rental since the date of placing the order?

Are the booth rentals reusable?


7. Costs

The value proposition in the service delivered by a trade show booth rental vendor lies in the analysis of the costs incurred by the exhibitor against the returns on investment earned from participating in the event.

It makes enormous good sense to inquire about the pricing model that the vendor company follows.

Is it a fixed price model that incorporates a lump sum menu of services and tangibles? If yes, there are chances that the said vendor does not deliver customized offerings. On the other hand, if the booth rental vendor practices add-on billing, it paves the way for a greater degree of customization of services and trade show booth rental tangibles, both and greater operational control on the costs.

Marketing is and has always been a core activity of any business enterprise. The fact that trade show marketing calls for external consulting, services and merchandise, adds to the risk profile. Hence it is only prudential for an exhibitor enterprise to frame a compact questionnaire comprising seven different dimensions as shared herewith.