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How do I find the best booth builder?
Von: Bernd Freiter - Wednesday, 6. November 2019
Would you like to receive a great trade fair concept from your stand builder? The design perfectly aligned to your goal? Transparent and understandable cost presentation? Clarity about the way of cooperation?
Here you will find three helpful approaches:
- The booth builder only as a supplier or as a partner?
- What is pitch etiquette?
- How to write a good stand construction briefing?
Tip 1: Supplier or partner? First steps: I am looking for a booth builder
There are many aspects to consider in the search for a suitable exhibition booth construction company.
The topic already starts with the question: Is the booth construction company possibly not a booth construction company at all, but a trade fair agency? Attention, there are big differences here.
- Trade fair agency: Trade fair service provider who focuses on project planning, buys all services himself and builds the trade fair stand on a turnkey basis. This is usually sold to the exhibitor with high surcharges.
- booth construction company: Here the focus is on the fact that important areas of trade fair construction are realised in-house by the booth construction company.
However, in this blog we only deal with booth construction companies.
Already in the first "getting-to-know-each-other" phase between booth constructors and new customers, it should be clear in which relationship you would like to work together.
Basic question: Does the exhibitor see the booth construction company more as a supplier who carries out an already planned booth according to clear instructions from the exhibitor? Or is the exhibitor rather looking for a suitable partner with whom he works closely already in the conceptual design phase, a close business relationship develops and marketing strategies are included in the conceptual design beyond the stand construction.
Every booth construction company has its own individual history and therefore always has its own focus and strengths. But there are also certainly areas that the stand construction company may not offer at all or may offer less.
But back to the question of whether you are looking for a supplier or partner in stand construction.
There are booth builders who are strong in creating exclusive designs, but not flexible in production. Others are only strong in handling stands: "tell me what you want me to build and I'll build it for you".
Attention: nobody can do everything, and whoever says so...well.....
Of course, the exhibitor has usually already made his experiences with exhibition stand construction companies. And so very often both sides - booth builder and exhibitor - are often surprised that booth construction companies have completely different approaches in the enquiry/tender phase. An example:
- Tenders can be written as clearly defined briefings, with submission deadlines without any additional queries. Such companies argue that they have "no time" for stopovers, or believe that it is not fair before submitting pitches.
- Other tenders, however, provide for scheduled meetings. The advantage: every look over the shoulder during the design and bidding phase allows the exhibitor to influence the respective concept of the bidders to such an extent that no concept can actually be bad when it is submitted.
So here is my tip: exhibitors should be clear about what they (can) expect from their stand builder. But also the other way round: Does the customer fit in with the booth construction company? A pitch etiquette could be very helpful here.
With every enquiry from a new customer, the first thought should be the stand builder:
- Will we be able to meet the wishes and expectations of the exhibitor in the long term?
- Will the exhibitor have fun and added value with us in the long term?
Tip 2: Pitch-Etiquette
Good booth construction companies limit their decisions to participate in a tender. Whether an exhibitor welcomes this etiquette can have a strong impact on a successful and long-term business relationship.
- Getting to know each other personally as early as the introductory phase: are you likeable, how does the stand construction company present itself? What about creativity?
- Does the booth builder belong to a small, selected circle of suppliers?
If you have already selected according to etiquette criteria in the preliminary phase of the tender, three suppliers should be sufficient.
- Deadline for submission of the concept? It makes sense to start inquiries in time. A design developed under time pressure can actually not be good. The exhibitor should allow 6-8 weeks.
- May concepts be presented personally?
- According to which criteria does the exhibitor choose his stand builder? Is the focus on design, quality, price or perhaps also on the entire communication with the booth builder? For example, a great design does not always mean that the quality is right.
Tip 3: Exhibition construction briefing
Only with a really good briefing of the exhibitor can the booth builder also develop a perfect booth concept.
Here are a few points that should not be missing in a good trade fair briefing.
- Basics: trade fair name, location, date, hall/stand number, stand type and size, other clear information such as kitchen/storage, meeting, lobby, remote effect etc.
- Goal of the trade fair presentation: The first question of a good booth constructor is about the goal of the trade fair presentation. Only in the knowledge of the defined trade fair objective can the stand builder develop initial stand construction versions.
Is the focus on generating new customers? Which target group should be addressed? Or is the stand a meeting place for customers and exhibitors who already know each other? Is the exhibition a trade fair or consumer fair and are the visitors more in the B2B or B2C sector?
Depending on the goal of the trade fair, the layout and design of the exhibition stand will show very fundamental differences.
- Share the experience of the exhibitor: The exhibitor should already mention his experiences from previous trade fair appearances: what worked well, what had flopped? This information saves enormous amounts of time during the development phase.
- Functional areas: Which areas does the exhibitor want to accommodate on the stand? For example, various product or theme presentations, lounge or meeting areas, eye-catchers, catering, presentation islands, etc.
- Face-to-face communication: How would you like to communicate with your stand visitors: Are you planning discreet meeting areas or rather open areas, lounge style, bar atmosphere, or rather conventional tables with chairs? Catering yes or no, what kind of catering is appropriate?
- Multimedia: Are you planning to use multimedia? E.g. monitors, touchscreens, tablets, video walls, etc. Attention: extraordinary contents are required here, nowadays it is not enough to hang a monitor on the wall and play the corporate image film in a loop. The trend here is towards emotional content.
- Purchase or rental stand? How often do you plan to use the trade fair booth in this version?
- Before you start enquiries, please be clear whether you are looking for a partner or just an exhibition booth construction supplier.
- You will achieve high efficiency if you write a good briefing. If you are looking for a partner in exhibition stand construction, the briefing might also be the way to develop a concept together
- The more respectfully the stakeholders treat each other, the more long-term and successful the result of your trade fair presentation will be.
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