Whether you’re an attendee or an exhibitor, trade shows and other industry events are full of opportunity. But for exhibitors in particular, 2021 has thrown some curveballs that are best addressed with out-of-the-box thinking. With almost all events—at least in the UAE—either postponed, cancelled, or radically altered, companies in all industries are looking for alternatives. An outdoor trade show display offers that possibility, allowing you to interact with your audience without compromising safety.
What Makes an Outdoor Exhibit a Viable Alternative?
The huge trade shows that attract tens of thousands of attendees are being scaled back in 2021. Before the pandemic, they were often cramped, crowded, and poorly ventilated. And this makes them high-risk events that many are . But that doesn’t mean trade shows and other events have to be abandoned completely. Look to the outdoors for a solution to the problem.
An outdoor display is an effective solution because taking your exhibit outside makes it safer for people to explore.
- There are no ventilation problems to worry about.
- There’s plenty of room for your exhibit and your audience – Room to wait in line, check out your exhibit, chat to booth staff, and chat with each other, while staying safe.
- There’s no doubt social distancing and other safety measures are uppermost in peoples’ minds. If you want to exhibit, it’s vital to take them into account. There’s no point in putting effort into exhibiting if people are too cautious to visit your booth. By heading outdoors, you can meet people in places where they feel comfortable about interacting with you.
When It Comes to Outdoor Trade Show Displays, You Have Options
Portable displays are perfect for outdoor events. In fact, outdoor displays are usually portable and versatile, since they need to work in places that may not have been designed for trade shows. If your exhibit is portable, you can display virtually anywhere.
Note that you may need to change some exhibit components for outdoor use. Many portable exhibits are component-based, rather than being made from a single large structure. This means some elements of a portable booth need to be altered to make them suitable for outdoor use. For instance, outdoor signage may need to be modified to make sure it’s secured against sudden gusts of wind. The best outdoor signage tends to be sturdy and somewhat heavy, such as floor stands that are well-weighted at the bottom or banner signs that are securely fixed in place to make sure they remain visible.
Mobile exhibits are portable exhibits taken to the next level. While many can be set up at indoor trade show venues, they’re equally at home outside, making them perfect for current purposes.
Touring with a mobile exhibit is a great alternative to attending trade shows. You can visit multiple locations and meet people all over the country, just like you’d do over the course of the year’s events. The added bonus with a portable exhibit is that you don’t have to compete with all the other exhibits for attention. You can also visit a much wider selection of places, since you’re not confined to show cities.
Another advantage of mobile exhibits? They can be as simple or as elaborate as your budget dictates. And whether it’s a one-person booth or a traveling vehicle exhibit with a full team of staff, you can take your brand message anywhere your audience is.
Is a mobile exhibit right for you?
These custom exhibits house an entire booth inside an industrial steel shipping container. They work well at indoor shows and make ideal outdoor event displays. All the elements of your exhibit can be packed and stored safely inside the container. And since the container itself is portable, the display can be moved and set up virtually anywhere. As an added bonus, the exterior of the container provides lots of extra space for branded messaging.
While the main structure of a container exhibit is a rectangular box, it tends to be open in design, with one or two whole sides open to the flow of visitors. It’s not cramped or crowded and won’t prevent people from social distancing. They make great food and beverage booths and work equally well for almost any purpose, with space for displays, demos, and whatever else you need.
Permanent Outdoor Installations
Permanent installations are usually found indoors—in the lobbies and briefing rooms of corporate headquarters, for instance. In some situations, permanent environments are equally at home outdoors. With their “always-on” brand messaging, they make engagement a continuous process, rather than a special event.
There are a couple of effective location types for these kinds of outdoor displays:
- Private areas like interior courtyards, atriums, or similar areas, where only employees and visitors spend time
- Outdoor areas with public access, such as the street-facing exterior of a building or an adjacent park or rest area
Choose your installation messaging to fit the location. For instance, in private areas, content that reflects company culture is a great option. For public-access content, think brand- and community-focused messaging.
New Opportunities Are Outdoors!
2021 isn’t the year anyone in the trade show world was expecting, but that doesn’t mean the event scene is over, and it definitely doesn’t mean you should rest on your laurels while it rebounds! Flexibility is an important part of success, and that’s no less true when it comes to getting your brand message where it needs to go. Why not take this opportunity to change things up and go somewhere your customers are and your competitors aren’t (yet): the great outdoors?