As we’re sure you are aware, there are an abundance of trade show exhibit manufacturers out there trying to sell your company its next booth. For example, if you type “trade show exhibit companies” into Google you will get over 6 million results, which is an extremely daunting number of companies to sift through to find the right one to fit your needs. So what’s the difference between all these trade show companies? We’d like to highlight some of those differences to help eliminate a few companies right off the bat.
Generally speaking, there are two distinctive types of tradeshow companies: custom houses and modular exhibit companies. The modular exhibit companies are large national entities that have branches in nearly every city. These branches are individually owned and operated businesses, hence the reason we define them as “franchise” companies. If you are familiar with the trade show industry, you’ve probably heard of some of these companies we are referring to: examples include Nimlok, Skyline, and Nomadic. We have a unique perspective on the franchise companies because we used to work for one. Here are some of the differences between the franchise companies, a trade show provider like Metro Exhibits (you knew we had to have at least one plug):
Double Markups: Same Cost, Less Product
When purchasing an exhibit from a franchise company like a Nimlok or Skyline, you place an order with the local “branch”, which is independently owned, that turns around and buys the product from the manufacturer. Then the product is sold to you. Logically, the manufacturer has to make a profit and the local company has to make a profit, meaning you bought something has was marked up twice. Conversely, companies that make their own exhibits themselves don’t have to charge unreasonable costs for the same product.
The franchise companies will eagerly provide you with an energetic pitch about their network of connected offices, shared resources, warehouse space, and discounted rates. These tales, however, are usually just not true. The independently owned franchises do not cooperate much at all, don’t share warehouse or storage space, and generally don’t even speak to their counterparts in other cities. About the best that they can really offer is the same “discounted” rate on shipping and other basic services that other companies can offer too.
No Personal Touch
Generally speaking, the franchise companies design and manufacture products in their national facilities much like cars are made. Just like cars, the end products have the same basic chassis and interior with a few customizable elements. It’s a factory assembly line for exhibits. If your company has a unique brand that you’re proud of, its ok to cringe at the last part. You’re probably thinking that you deserve a unique exhibit that truly captures the essence of your brand, company, and product. We couldn’t agree more. That’s why we invite you to experience the difference.