One of the most important keys to trade show booth success is to find the right design company to create your booth and displays. Finding the right company can be a challenge, there are plenty of them from which to choose. All of them touting themselves as the best in the business.

But which ones can actually claim that lofty title and which are only pretending? The good news is that you can figure this out before hiring a company. There are a series of questions to ask ahead of time and following this research criteria can be extremely helpful in avoiding the mistake of hiring a firm that won’t meet your demands.

Building trade show displays can be an elaborate and time-consuming process that should be done right the first time. So in order to make sure you’ve got the right team on your side, here are the important factors to keep in mind.

Industry Experience

First and foremost, you want to find out how long the firm has been in business. A trade show exhibit is your most important method of marketing to attract new clientele. Think of it as a life-line of your business, are you going to trust the job to just anyone? Of course not.

So find out how long your prospective design team has been designing and building trade show materials. Ask their representative how many booth and exhibits they create on annual basis and how many of those materials have been made for repeat customers.

Get References

Based upon the design firm’s responses to your initial queries, ask them for references of previous clients. Any company worth hiring will be more than happy to give you the contact information of satisfied customers for whom they have worked in the past.

If your company does not have this information readily available, even a company that is relatively new to the trade booth design game, they are not a company you want to hire. This is too much of a risk to take on an unproven firm.

For those companies that do provide this information, be sure to contact some of these customers for their assessments of that firm’s work. This will provide you with an accurate depiction of the company’s track record.

You should also ask the company about any customers who may not have been fully satisfied with their work. Find out how problems were addressed by the firm and what it took to solve those issues.

Check Out Their Work

Every company should have a portfolio or some visual representation of their previous work. Take a good long look at the booths and exhibits that the company has produced for other clients. This portfolio (or some part of it) may even be found on the company’s website.

This website should give you another good indicator of the level of quality and professionalism that the company offers. You’ll be able to tell the minute you log on – a strong web presence is highly preferable to a design firm that doesn’t even have a professionally designed website.

In today’s digital world, a company’s website is quickly becoming an important calling card. The best trade show design companies have a web presence that shows off their work, extols their advantages as the right design team for your project, and even offers testimonials and other supporting evidence of their reliability and quality in the marketplace.

A company without these things is not the company for you.

Booth Design and Construction

Not all booth companies perform all functions. Be sure to ask if your prospective firm does the design work themselves or if they merely work from the specs you provide in order to build the booth and displays.

This is a matter of personal preference on your part, you may wish to create your own design specs and have the company do the build for you. Some customers want their company to create the booth from the ground up.

Be sure to ask about subcontractors who may be brought in for the construction phase. Does the company do the build themselves or do they bring in outside labor to perform that work instead?

The decision to hire based on this criteria is up to you and the requirements you want your company to meet in order to provide you with the best service.

Meeting Deadlines

Finally, the company you will ultimately choose should have a consistent track record of meeting the deadline on their earlier projects. But more importantly, is it possible for the company to meet your particular deadline on the booth you’re hiring them to created?

Your exhibit may be more complicated to build which may take more time to do properly. If your prospective firm can give you a realistic time frame in which to meet your deadline, then you may have found the right design company.

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