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Your Position: Home - Consumer Electronics - Lightweight Trade Show Display Walls Save Lots Of Money!

Lightweight Trade Show Display Walls Save Lots Of Money!

Lightweight Trade Show Display Walls Save Lots Of Money!

Trade shows are one of the more expensive forms of advertising and outreach you can engage in. They offer the opportunity to fine tune and sharply focus on specific customer targets, and also offer the opportunity for very good returns on investment, but it is critical that businesses plan for trade show marketing success.

If you want to learn more, please visit our website Sawink.

Indeed, even those businesses that don’t plan well sometimes are successful anyway, simply because trade shows offer so many ways to benefit your operations. Far more than simply being a marketing opportunity, conventions and trade shows are one of the best all-around outreach and reputation-building exercises you can engage in.

Basically, anything you can do to reduce the cost of your trade show displays without impacting performance or capability is going to pay off, both in terms of your immediate budgeting, as well as in demonstrating its long-term ROI.  And with shipping costs growing ever more expensive, reducing the weight of your trade show display is one of the simplest – and also one of the best – cost-cutting measures you can implement!

So, let’s talk about some ‘weighty’ matters, and how you can reduce your shipping costs on the way to your next exposition appearance.

Five Tips For Slimming Down Your Trade Show Displays!

1 – Choose Hybrid Fabric and Aluminum Display Elements

Many of the most popular exposition display units today, including Xpressions pop-up displays, have skeletons made almost solely out of lightweight aluminum, with printed fabric graphics overlaying them.  Modern dye sublimation processes can create printed fabric graphics with high-resolution, full-color images that are nearly as clear and distinct as those made of more traditional heavy materials.

Quite a few our modern hybrid displays are similarly built to be lightweight and easily-shipped, while allowing a greater range of shapes and sizes than traditional pop-ups. With these fabric based hybrid displays, you can get a range of unusual eye-grabbing shapes and lightweight tension fabric display walls with very little impact on your shipping weight.

Many of these lightweight choices are available for the same cost as their heavier counterparts, but sometimes they cost a little bit more. Those shoppers that opt for cheaper and less expensive – but heavier – alternatives are caught flat-footed when they finally realize the average display stand purchase cost amounts to less than 15% of their annual show costs!

The recurring fees – shipping, drayage, travel, and install/dismantle fees – form the bulk of the cost at a trade show, and lighter weight displays that set up quickly save on all fronts.

  • Obviously, lighter weight means lower shipping costs…
  • It means lower drayage fees too.
  • The simpler setup may mean your staff can handle the setup themselves, without hiring show services or a contractor.
  • The faster setup and dismantle may even allow your staff to arrive and setup the day of the show, and dismantle and leave the day of the show, eliminating a couple of extra nights in the hotel!
 2 – Use Podium Cases

Similarly, consider using podium cases (shipping cases that become podiums at your show). There are several styles of shipping cases that use a printed graphic case wrap and a rubber lid to transform into a podium at the show – saving you the cost of a stand-alone counter, and also eliminating the hassle of waiting for show services to bring your case back when the show ends.

The Expand Podium case is a good example; it opens up to form a wide podium with your custom graphic, and can also support a monitor and a literature holder. inside this podium case is plenty of room to store three retractable banner stands, enough to build a 10ft wide banner wall.

Another option is the lightweight Burst popup display; this highly rated display system offers a 40 lb., 10ft wide dye sub fabric back wall, and comes in a case that can be wrapped with another fabric graphic – saving shipping cost, drayage fees, all with a display system that one person can set up in 10 minutes!

3 – Go Digital!

As electronic methods of data transmission continue to become more ubiquitous, there’s constantly less reason to haul around boxes of paper products.  Paper is, of course, extremely heavy when you have a lot of it, and boxes of brochures and catalogs can quickly become too expensive to be worth the effort of hauling around.

Consider using a few tablet computers and other interactive media displays to hold and display your promotional materials instead, and use email or social media to send digital materials to interested parties. Paper products should be reserved as special orders for qualified leads whoreally want them. Otherwise, most people are fine with digital copies of promo materials.

Plus, going paperless is a good Eco-conscious move, so you can save money and get a nice PR talking point at the same time!

4 – Source and Store Locally

If you must have printed materials, consider sourcing them locally and having them delivered to the trade show exhibit space, rather than shipping them cross-country.  You can often find prices comparable to anywhere else in the country and, of course, you’ll pay vastly less on shipping costs. (Tip – there are FedEx offices almost everywhere, and you can upload files to be printed and collated, near almost every convention center). Shipping is one of the biggest hidden costs in trade shows.

If there are certain trade shows you frequent in the same location year after year, why haul your materials back and forth?  Long-term storage units are extremely inexpensive, and can give you a stable “home” for your trade show display whenever you aren’t exhibiting.  Then, you’re only looking at hauling your materials for a few miles, rather than cross-country.

If you’re concerned about their condition, look for climate-controlled storage units.  Properly stored, display materials housed in this way will be good for years, and they’ll always be right there when you need them for the next exposition!

5 – Use Intangible Freebies

Your promotional items are another part of your trade show displays that can get very weighty, very quickly.  While it might be tempting to haul along boxes of existing merchandise to your next trade show appearance, to get rid of them if nothing else, at the end of the day you may be paying far more than they’ll ever be worth as promotional items.

Similar to how you can get rid of paper catalogs and brochures, you can also cut out most or all of your freebies.  Consider offering discounts, or exclusive downloads, rather than physical objects.  Besides saving space and weight, this is also a great incentive for gathering email addresses and\or social media contacts.

If you want to automate the process, utilize QR Codes that people can scan to automatically get onto your mailing list and access your digital freebie package.  A few “scan stations” around your expo display will encourage people to explore your offerings, and keep them interacting with you via their mobile devices.

Keep Looking For Ways To Keep Costs Down

While it would be extremely difficult to come up with a plan for your next trade show that eliminates all transportation costs, at least aside from your crew, there’s still a lot you can do to keep the shipping weight down.  There’s probably no better way you can reduce your costs than to use fabric exhibit booth backdrops and that means you get more returns from your exposition appearances! Trade show walls are also be reused to get more bang for your buck.

Related articles:

10 Store Design Ideas That Save Money and Boost Sales

Studies show that 40-70% of consumers make their purchase decision at a physical retail location. It is, therefore, crucial that you take the time to design a clean, beautiful and efficient in-store environment.

There are, of course, a million ways to improve your store design, but we don’t all have the funds required to contemplate an expensive overhaul. That’s why we listed a few strategic ideas to help you spruce up your retail space – without blowing your budget.

Creative Decluttering

In general, in small business, less is more. When you’re living in a sales per square foot kind of world, this might sound counterintuitive. After all, your retail sales per square footage affect your store’s revenue. But the reality is that if you’re store design is messy or crowded, you’re going to drive customers away.

Additional reading:
Smart Meter Q & A

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In web design, a lot of attention is paid to what is known as ‘white space.’ That’s the space around the text and images that you’re hoping to draw attention to. Too little white space and you’ll find that the reader’s eye can’t focus on the things that you want them to be focused on. Too much white space and you’ll find yourself missing an opportunity to communicate something unique and fun about your brand and your business.

Apply this design principle to your store’s window displays, at your point of sale, and throughout your retail location.

Defining Your Message According to Store Zone

Break your store out into zones. I’d suggest the following for a small retail store:
Outside Store – (standing outside store)
Front of Store – (first impression as you walk through the door)
Merchandise – (perusing merchandise)
Changing Rooms (if applicable)
Point of Sale– (at the retail counter)
Misc. (Rest Rooms, etc.) Leaving the Store

Once you have this list, walk through your store and assign one message/feeling that you’d like to communicate at each point of the ‘customer journey.’ What are you hoping to convey with your store windows? What about your retail counter design? Or the display behind your store counter? The messaging and merchandise should align with what the customer is most likely to be open to/interested in within that zone. It’s amazing how many small, illegible messages are communicated on people’s front windows – even though consumers are often passing at a distance. Equally, your store counter is prime up-sell space in your retail store. Leverage this as an opportunity to reinforce a concrete offer that can drive a higher ticket size (15% off sales of $50 or over) or encourage repeat business (15% of your next order with this coupon). You don’t have to spend more on signage or marketing collateral. You just have to be smarter about where it’s placed.

SEE ALSO: Delighting the Five Senses in Your Retail Store

Clean, Clean, and Clean Again

Remember all of those times your parents nagged you about cleaning up your room? As annoying as it was, they were preparing you for this moment. The day you would own your own retail store. Well, maybe not quite, but it should go without saying that cleanliness has an impact on your customers’ shopping experience.

In fact, one-half of shoppers have avoided a business because it looked dirty from the outside. This doesn’t just mean you need to get your front windows washed (although that should be at least a bi-weekly habit). It means the bits you don’t like doing. The bits nobody likes doing: the restrooms; that awkward bit in the refrigerator grate that you can never quite get to; Underneath the equipment – even the parts that no one ever sees. There are specialized services that can do this for you, but you can keep costs down by doing it yourself or enlisting some help from your relatives. After all, that’s what family is for.

Adjust Your Lighting Design

A quick and cheap way of improving the look of an older store is to replace all light bulbs. As bulbs age, they can give off a more yellow-brownish light rather than a crisp white-yellow light. Strip malls are absurdly brightly lit – consumers respond well to this kind of lighting because they can assess the quality and color of your wares more easily.

In general, lighting is overlooked by a lot of stores which is a shame. Edison lights, uplighting, spotlighting, track lighting can all be used to highlight certain elements and draw attention to promotions. It can also serve as an important way of setting the scene in your store. Your store is a great place to communicate your brand, so have fun with colored lights or bespoke fittings. If you’re worried about the expense of this kind of specialized lighting, make sure to check out a store/restaurant close-down auction near you.

If you’re seeking long-term savings, an often overlooked option to consider is LED lighting. LED lights use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

25% of all small businesses fail within their first year. The upside to this is that there are a lot of retail fixtures, general display paraphernalia and store paraphernalia circulating at any one time. Think creatively about how you could use those materials to suit your store design needs – even if they don’t seem like a perfect fit at first, it’s amazing what a bit of ingenuity can do!

Store Displays for Days

Endcaps aren’t everything when it comes to retail displays. Shake up the way you showcase your wares by using non-traditional shelving options. Things like oak rum barrels or clothes hanging on display around an old bicycle that you’ve painted bright yellow, or really anything your imagination can think of! A great way to approach displays is to play the word association game. When people think of your goods what words do you want them to think of? Funky? Elite? Comfy? Once you have this word you can brainstorm display ideas that will put that feeling into people’s minds.

If you happen to live by an IKEA, they also offer a variety of retail storage display solutions that can be customized and adapted for your business needs at a fraction of the price.

Creating a Purchase Path

Mix things up with your flooring. Customers are known to gravitate towards areas of your store that are clearly demarcated with separate flooring. Retail stores go to great lengths to create an ‘island’ feeling around their point of sale environments. This makes the sales space an inviting one that people want to approach. This need not be insanely expensive. It could be as simple as a well-placed rug. The main goal is to design the store in a way that creates a purchase path. Do this by focusing on two main goals- (1) increased exposure to store inventory (2) increased flow of store traffic.

SEE ALSO: How to Keep Your Customer Retention Rate High

Create a Few Speed Bumps

In retail, speed bumps are designed to do exactly what they do on the road- slow you down. Just past the entry is where you want to place fixtures intended to draw your customers’ attention, stop them in their tracks and get them engaged. Small tables and sales racks make great speed bumps throughout your store. Just make sure you are creating a theme with each rack and rotate the product on your speed bumps regularly to get regulars to make their way around your store.

Turn on the Senses

Music and ambient scenting may not be two things that naturally come to mind when you think retail design, but great design isn’t just about what your store looks like, it’s about how it makes your customers feel. Sound and smell have a clear impact on your customers’ decision-making process, and studies have shown that the perfect combination of product and sensory stimulus can encourage customers to buy more.

Bring in some speakers, download Spotify and observe what type of sounds get shoppers in the spending mood. The same idea applies to scents. Head down to the store and buy a few oil diffusers and place them strategically around the store.

Again, there’s a reason that big-box retailers constantly pump out upbeat, if not sometimes insane tunes in their stores. It puts consumers in a positive frame of mind. Obviously, we hope you’re a bit more discerning about your soundtrack of choice, but the sentiment remains the same!

Design a Power Wall

An effective power wall catches your customers’ attention the minute they walk into your store. This is where you want to display your feature inventory such as hot selling items or the latest fashions on the market.

Bottom Line

There are a lot of quick and simple steps you can take to improve your retail store design without a big box budget. In addition to the recommendations that we have highlighted above it is important to remember that the amount of time and money a customer is willing to spend in your store comes down to one simple fact, how comfortable they feel. Have an additional suggestion on how merchants can improve store design on a budget? We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.

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Paul Nugent

Paul Nugent is a small business advocate who uses his background in the startup space, along with his POS system expertise, to allow small business owners to make informed decisions within their specific budgets.

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