Some innovations never go out of style. Blue jeans, sliced bread, a firm handshake – these expressions have stood the test of time. They were great ideas then, and they are part of our lives now.
And then there’s everything else.
You may have the best booth of 2017, but it was designed for just that: 2017. An exhibit is crafted to capture guests’ attention in an immediate sense. If you succeeded with that goal, congratulations! But it is unwise to rest on your proverbial laurels and expect a two- or three-year-old concept to maintain its appeal forever.
Your industry changes at a rapid pace. Trends eventually fade, demographics inevitably shift, and consumers’ tastes must be tracked over time to keep your supply aligned to their demand. You and your business team are agile when it comes to evolving with the needs of the public, so shouldn’t your booth have the same degree of flexibility?
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE BRAND NEW
It’s big-picture time: is your current display working or not? Step back and take a long look at your exhibit. We mean this literally and figuratively. Examine the booth from afar and put yourself in the shoes of an expo attendee. What will they notice first about the design? Does that shining attribute reflect your current thinking and branding?
For example, if you feature a giant fidget spinner atop your exhibit because they were all the rage a couple of years back, maybe that’s not the freshest icon for the here and now. You still want to woo millennial visitors, but their gaze has since moved on from curious distractions such as fidget spinners. Research what your demographic craves these days or, better yet, what they will be seeking in the very near future. That should be your guiding light because it will serve as a beacon to draw new eyes to your booth.
If your entire exhibit is hopelessly outdated, it may be time to start anew. Take yet another step back, look at your space as a blank slate, and get creative. You already made the first impression, but now it’s time to consider your next impression and the thousands to follow. Decide on a theme, explore how to reflect your organization through imagery, and really take a “blue sky” approach to the new direction you are embracing.
CUTTING COSTS, KEEPING INSPIRATION
Pondering the limitless possibilities of a new booth design is fun, but now it’s time to consider the financial bottom line. Is it worth scrapping your exhibit entirely, or is it more cost-effective to re-imagine the existing structure and patch it up accordingly?
These are questions for your accounting team as well as your creative squad. It is important to consider the tax implications of your decisions, as they have a great impact on budgets, write-offs, and future plans.
The biggest concern to tackle first is whether your booth is a CAPEX or an OPEX. CAPEX stands for Capital Expenditure and OPEX is parlance for an operating expense. If you budgeted your exhibit as an OPEX, that means you already wrote it off as a necessary write-off for that year. You can build a new booth in the New Year and count it as an OPEX in your budget for the current 12-month period.
However, if you paid for your booth from CAPEX funds, then it was designed to yield dividends for multiple years. You may be able to write off any depreciation in your exhibit’s value, but your investors expect you to get more mileage out of the design.
Regardless of how you initially budgeted your booth, you want it to be cost-effective in the months ahead. Is it harvesting enough return on investment? If not, why not? When you find yourself shelling out more money to operate, maintain, and update your exhibit than you are making back, then it’s time to rethink your strategy. Assess why it costs so much and start redirecting your efforts to conserving costs.
GO GREEN, GO FOR THE GOLD
Speaking of conservation, being eco-friendly is in! Not only will it help save the planet, but it could also save you some serious cash.
For example, LED lighting is both cost-effective and green-minded, especially when compared to traditional fluorescent lights. LEDs also last longer than older style bulbs. This is yet another environmental benefit; they won’t be littering a landfill for another 50,000 hours or so.
You can also reap creative rewards from the longevity of LED lights. If you have designed your booth around an LED display, you will be less likely to need a refurbishing due to technical problems. Those lights will shine on your success for years to come!
IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT
Now you may be thinking, “Hold on! My booth may need a makeover, but its foundations are solid.” If that’s the case, then we applaud your enduring success. What is it about your initial design that continues to work? And what elements need to be spruced up?
If you determine that the bones of your exhibit are strong, then we want to help you keep them sturdy and healthy. So, if you are opting to salvage your exhibit, we salute you! Call (702) 538-7967 and let’s discuss the specifics of your storage, installation, and dismantling needs.
If you need pointers about booth concepts, sustainability, or any of the million concerns you may have leading up to a trade show, then contact Patriot now. We can reduce your headaches so that you can focus on your message, branding, and expo interactions. We’re here to alleviate your stress and guide you through the booth design process. Whether you need a brand new exhibit or merely a strategic facelift, Patriot is your copilot!