Small Space, Big Impact: Maximizing Your Trade Show Footprint in 2022

Trade shows are making a comeback (but with some changes)

With the world coming out of a 2-year pandemic and countless lockdown restrictions, it’s been a breath of fresh air to see trade shows and event marketing make a comeback over the past few months. We may be a bit biased, but we think trade shows are an integral part of any business’s marketing strategy, and, when leveraged correctly, can bring great ROI to your marketing budget.

But, while trade shows are slowly (but surely!) trying to return to a pre-pandemic state, the world is different now than it was in early 2020. Exhibit fees are more expensive, supply chains are struggling, and staffing has become a new challenge for in-person marketing teams. Overall, the costs to exhibit at trade shows are much higher across the board. At the same time, businesses are dealing with tighter budgets and some economic uncertainty in general, leading to shifts in the role trade shows play in the marketing world.

Despite some new challenges in the industry, businesses are still optimistic about trade shows and collectively agree that the impact of in-person exhibiting is too valuable to give up completely. In fact, according to Display Wizard, 75% of businesses have a positive outlook for trade shows in 2022 and predict a return to “normal” by 2023. 

So, how can businesses continue telling their story and gaining the value of trade shows with less money (and less space) to work with? 

We think there’s a simple, yet impactful solution: modular displays!

The rise of modular and portable trade show displays

While modular and portable trade show displays are not a new concept, we’ve seen a big uptick in popularity for these options since the start of this year, and we don’t see that going away anytime soon! After all, no matter the economic climate, being more intentional and efficient with marketing spend is crucial, and modular displays allow businesses to do just that.

Portable displays are exactly what they sound like – event signage and other elements that are easy to store, move, set up, take down, and use over and over again, saving staff time and effort while working events and saving businesses money on a whole new custom display for every event or trade show they attend. 

Modular displays are similar to portable displays but allow for a bit more customization in order to create a unique exhibit in nearly any size booth space. These are budget-friendly options for businesses that need to get more bang for their buck because they use interchangeable parts that can create a unique booth space in a few different sizes and configurations. What’s more, modular displays can be used at multiple shows throughout the trade show season, no matter the size of the booth you’re presenting at.

Benefits of modular & portable displays

While we love the process of designing and fabricating a custom trade show booth in a massive footprint for our customers, there are lots of benefits to choosing a largely modular or portable exhibit design, and we think modular and portable displays are here to stay even as costs, budgets, and supply chains normalize over the next year.

Like a custom build, modular displays (with portable elements to complement) can be designed to fit not only the footprint you’re working with but the needs of your business and team during the trade show. If your goal is to create brand awareness and engagement with attendees, a modular design can help put your branding front and center and stand out from surrounding booths, while portable elements, like banners or popups, can help fill the space. If your goal is lead generation or sales, a modular design with portable accessories, like a standing monitor, is a great way to bring a unique experience to attendees and prospects, allowing them to not only engage with your salespeople but also participate in an experience that they’ll remember after the show is over.

On the other hand, unlike a custom build, modular and portable designs are super flexible, and a smaller or larger booth size won’t restrict the functionality and aesthetics of your space, allowing you to invest in high-quality elements and signage just once and make the display work at any show or event. 

Even though trade show exhibiting comes with a higher cost than other marketing channels, the potential return on investment is huge, and by spending your budget more efficiently and effectively with reusable portable or modular displays, maximizing a smaller booth space is not only easier but may even become the new normal for businesses once the trade show industry rebounds completely.

If you’re ready to dip your toe back into the trade show world and need an experienced partner to maximize your trade show presence (and budget!) this year and beyond, contact Earnest Images, and our friendly team of event experts is ready to help you make a splash with your event marketing efforts!

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