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How to Hire Trade Show Display Designers

Before you begin talking to trade show display designers, you need take some time to ensure you know what your needs are. Your big picture marketing needs and certainly your trade show goals and objectives.

Some of these questions should get you thinking about how a designer can really make an impact on your results. (NB it is important to note that good design is only one portion of a successful trade show strategy-people still qualify and sell)

  • is this a one-time or multi event design? Can it incorporate show to show changes?
  • is the company style guide firm or can extensions be made?
  • What is the key message(s) you want to convey?
  • is this for a new or existing booth?
  • is this for a new or existing campaign?
  • What is your budget for trade show display designers?
  • What are the production materials? Are they known?

It is important to think these items through briefly before you start to interview trade show display designers or display companies since you will be introduced to tons of new and creative ideas during the selection process.

It is always more effective if you have some of these ideas worked through since your designer will be better able to meet your needs and expectations if you have them stated or written.

One item that works is also to keep some visual ideas that can best represent your thoughts as many designers live in a visual world. Make it look like this can be a good way to demonstrate your intent.

The second step is to interview some designers. I am usually good if you look at designers that are on staff of display companies even though I don't follow that principle all the time (for the same reason I don't let Bell do my yellow page ads-you don't, do you?) But the ideal is to find the best designer you can who has experience in this medium.

Look at fit because you are probably going to be on a tight deadline and design is not done best when rushed. By fit I mean personality, style, philosophy and reception to incorporate your ideas. Good design relationships always make good design.

  • inquire about their training, education, experience, professional designations.
  • discuss the timeline. Can they meet it? Start and finish dates.
  • establish how you will provide input and get updates for the project.
  • discuss the fee structure.

The third step is to hire the designer. Compare your findings and consider which designer will help you meet your goals the best. The final test is how they go about contracting with you. Look for a clean proposal with no grey areas and look for good contracting practices. It's a sign of what's to come.

You may be able to source some Trade Show Display Designers here.


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