Illustration provided by Exhibitor Magazine: JOÃO NEVES
The following excerpts are from an article by Linda Armstrong that orginally appeared in Exhibitor Magazine.
Graphics are an often costly but critical component of an exhibit-marketing program. So EXHIBITOR spoke with multiple industry professionals to identify four vital factors that affect graphic-related fees – and to uncover myriad ways to curtail costs.
One important set of factors that affects graphic costs is the manner in which you develop and deliver artwork, along with how you manage the production process. Here are five quick tips to ensure you don’t spend more than you have to in these areas.
• Minimize manipulation time. “Every minute graphic designers, whether at your exhibit house or graphic-supply firm, spend preparing your artwork for production will impact costs,” says Josh Terceira, senior graphic designer at Hill & Partners. “So it’s in your best interest to ensure that what you submit to your supplier clearly aligns with what that firm needs in terms of file types, sizes, colors, etc.”
As the saying goes, “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.” A lack of long-term vision and strategic planning may not cost you straight out of the gate, but it can increase your graphic expenses over time.
• Design for reuse and avoid customization. “One of the best ways to save on graphics is to reuse your elements, which could include everything from repurposing panels for multiple exhibit configurations to using fabric exhibit banners at user-group meetings or corporate events,” says Dana Tilghman, CTSM, CMP, senior trade show and events planner at Minitab Inc. To extend the life of a graphic beyond a single event, graphics should be somewhat generic as opposed to customized with show dates or booth numbers. If you must customize a graphic for a specific show, Friedland suggests applying vinyl customization, which can later be removed to create nonshow-specific elements, or pairing your graphics with digital messaging that can be customized on the fly.
“Investigate costs of reuse versus reproduction.” – Alan Sartain, director of graphic design and production at The Expo Group.
• Investigate costs of reuse versus reproduction. While it’s usually cost effective to reuse graphics multiple times, don’t forget to factor in the costs of getting it back to your storage facility after a trade show. “The downside to reuse of some mediums is shipping and storage,” says Alan Sartain, director of graphic design and production at The Expo Group. “If your graphics are large, heavy, oddly shaped, and perhaps infrequently used, it might be cheaper to recycle them after a show rather than to ship them back to a warehouse and store them. That’s certainly not always the case, but it’s wise to do the math to determine the best possible cost savings.”