Losing Touch with Reality: Exhibit Builders, Renderings and Portfolios

Industry Insights and Trends

Digital rendering for Novarad's exhibit at RSNA 2012

Would you put down payment on a wedding cake if you only saw pictures of what ingredients the baker uses?  Of course not. So why do many exhibit houses fill their portfolios with renderings instead of final products?  They’re trying to make sales, not prove customer satisfaction.

Unfortunately, what you see isn’t always what you get in this business.  Having skilled designers and drafters is important to any trade show exhibit builder, but there is no point if the fabrication staff can’t follow through.

Trade show attendees don’t see what the exhibit was supposed to be, they don’t get to see the potential in initial designs, they only see what is installed in the hall.  Fabrication is what counts.

Are they embarrassed by the final product?  Do they not care enough to take pictures at the show?  Whatever the reason, not showing finished exhibits implies a lack of something important.  Whether they’re missing skill or respect, it doesn’t sit well with us.

Final fabrication of Novarad's custom 2012 RSNA exhibit.

Even with orientation changes, a completed exhibit should be reflective of the original rendering’s design.

It’s sometimes hard to uncover the true merit of exhibit builders these days.  The most useful tool should be a portfolio.  Even with occasional photoshopping and small sample size, an impressive portfolio full of actual pictures gives the most transparent insight to a company’s abilities.  The ones filled with completely digital mockups only show the vision, not the effort.

If you are currently in the market for an exhibit builder, pay attention to what a potential partner includes in their portfolio and what they choose to leave out.

Get trade show tips, reports, checklists and more delivered to your inbox once a month by signing up to the Trade Show Marketing blog.

Related Articles

How Can I Save Our Trade Show Program?

How Can I Save Our Trade Show Program?

QUESTION: Post COVID, our C-suite is questioning whether our company should continue its trade show program. How can I convince them of its relevance and save five people's jobs in the process? ANSWER: Without a doubt, COVID dealt a blow to the trade show and events...

EDE Corp. Bolsters Industry Expertise with Key Additions

EDE Corp. Bolsters Industry Expertise with Key Additions

EDE Corp., the Chicago-based experiential marketing and design company, proudly announces the appointment of three seasoned event professionals to its award-winning team. As the industry faces labor challenges and a loss of industry knowledge, EDE stands out by...

Put Your Hanging Sign To Work For You

Put Your Hanging Sign To Work For You

Hanging signs are staples on trade show floors. Most exhibitors use them to maximize the display’s height and make the company name visible from a distance. Obviously this is all fundamentally vital, but truly successful exhibits incorporate hanging signs that do even...