Meet with client to review project requirements in depth.
Review project with Design and Estimating team to ensure direction is within budget.
Review project scope with Detailing/Engineering to develop preliminary floor plans and elevations.
Design team creates custom color 3D renderings and virtual walkthroughs for presentation to client.
Estimating team produces a formal quotation outlining costs for all aspects of project.
Meet with the client to review all design and cost options.
Upon approval, begin production – Starting with formal detail package for customer review.
With client approval of detail package, physical construction of project commences.
Upon finalization of construction, project ships to the location it will be installed.
On Site Services
An RGo team of skilled carpenters and laborers will install, service, and dismantle as needed.
If client project is a trade show booth or corporate event, RGo will provide shipping services back to our local storage facility, where the project will reside until its next use.
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I’m ready to start a new exhibit design - How do I properly convey my exhibit needs to our producer?
The best way to effectively communicate your needs to your producer is to first and foremost do your homework. Know your show dates, booth size, booth number, booth format (inline, endcap, island, corner, etc.), and any rules and regulations that the show may have in terms of what you can and cannot do. These basic starting points will form the foundation for your exhibit’s design. Next, gather up your brands’ basic identity info. This would be your logo, style guide, marketing material, website address, product info, sales goals, and any other general info about your company that would be helpful for a designer to have as reference and to use in the design they produce. After you have that together, and most importantly, determine what your budget is for your project. This may be difficult without assistance from your producer, as budgets can wildly swing from producer to producer, show to show, year to year, and state to state. Determining your budget and communicating it effectively to your producer will save everyone involved critical time and cost as you proceed. Lastly, organize all of this info and any other thoughts you may have into an RFP (Request For Proposal) and send it to your producer to review prior to diving into your design discovery meeting. With all of this done, you’ll be getting your new exhibit design off to an excellent start!
Where can I find inspiration for our new booth design?
There are lots of places to go for inspiration when it comes to booth design. One of the best places is of course the trade show you’ll be attending. When you’re at your trade show, whether or not a new booth is in your future, always be sure to walk around as much as you can to see what your competition is up to. Snap some pictures with your cell phone and keep a folder together with booths you’ve seen that you love. These photos will be invaluable to your team when coming up with design inspiration. Another area we love to look at for inspiration is hotels and hotel lobbies. We find that all over the world, some of the most inspirational architectural designs are found in hotels. Not only that, but they’re also easy to find online in simple Google searches. The next time you’re traveling, if you’re fond of the design style of a hotel you happen to be in, snap some photos and put them in your inspiration folder. These are just two suggestions, but design inspiration can come from anywhere. The main takeaway is to remember to take pictures of or save images of anything in the world of design that inspires you. Eventually, the folder you keep of these collected images will begin to paint a picture of your taste level, which will greatly help the design process.
How can I keep our trade show exhibit light weight?
With the costs of drayage (a.k.a. “Material handling”) shooting through the roof all over the place, lightweight exhibit design isn’t just a feature you need to consider – It needs to be the foundation of any successful trade show exhibit. There are many great ways these days to achieve a big, bold look without adding tremendous amounts of weight to your booth. First and foremost – FABRIC. Modern fabric printers are fast, cost-effective, and can seamlessly print fabric at large sizes, some upwards of 16’ wide. This allows customers to cover huge areas with high-resolution printing, which would have taken lots of heavy wall structure to achieve in years past. The next best way to reduce your exhibit’s weight is to combine the low weight of fabric with a lightweight aluminum system framing by using SEG (Silicon Edge Gasket) fabric production. This relatively new fabric production method has become one of the most popular ways to offset high drayage costs when it comes to your exhibit, as it can be quickly and easily mounted to lightweight aluminum framing systems to create walls, meeting spaces, and more. Lastly, always be sure that the producer you are working with understands how important it is to keep your booth weight low. There’s no getting away completely from plywood and metal when it comes to building larger booths, but a skilled producer can ensure they’re not causing your exhibit to weigh more than it has to by using more of these materials than is needed to achieve your desired goals.
How much money should I budget for my exhibit?
This is definitely one of the toughest questions to answer when it comes to building a trade show exhibit – And it’s also probably the most common! The challenge is that costs can vary incredibly based on your specific needs. There used to be a “rule of thumb” based on the square footage of your space (Not including event service costs), which went something like this: $50-$100 was a low budget, $100-$200 was a mid-sized budget, $200-$250 was a great budget, and anything over $250 would have been considered a large budget. Although these figures can be a decent starting point, again, your specific needs may make this vary greatly. We’ve seen small booths that pack a ton – Like jewelry show exhibits, which require a tremendous amount of expensive custom work and can easily come in over $300 a square foot. Then there are large exhibits that mostly contain empty space and lounge areas which can easily be executed closer to $100 a square foot and still look amazing. At the end of the day, it’s probably not the best practice to think of a budget in these terms. Instead, the first thing to remember is that just like in many walks in life, you get what you pay for. Certainly, some companies produce smarter and are more efficient, and the same exhibit from one company may easily be 10-25% less at another company and could very well even be of the same quality. But is the same booth coming in 50% less? Well then one of the two companies has a problem! With that in mind, we believe the best way to determine your budget is by determining your desired ROI (Return On Ivestment). This is a complicated process and depends greatly on the intricacies and long-term goals of your company, but in general (and in a very simplified manner), it can be outlined as follows:
- Determine your fixed costs for attending the show. These are things like the cost of your booth space, costs for sending employees to the show (airfare, lodging, transportation, per diem, etc.), entertainment costs for things like dinners, advertisements such as mailers to notify your potential customers to come to your booth, and the lost time/resources your team will spend preparing for and going to the show.
- Get together with your sales team, your CEO, and your accounting team, and try to determine your sales goals for the show. If you’re writing orders at the show, determine a real dollar value of what you think is a reasonable figure to walk away from the show with. If your goal is primarily lead generation for closing long-term deals post-show, apply a dollar figure to that and then extrapolate to determine the number of qualified leads you want to walk away from the show with. Of course, don’t forget to convert this gross revenue figure with the costs of sales (not including the costs for attending the trade show or buying/renting the exhibit) to determine what your targeted net income should be if you attend the show.
- Subtract the targeted net income from your trade show-related sales goals from your fixed costs for attending the show and you should come up with a number. Obviously, if that is not a positive number, you shouldn’t even be going to the show! But assuming it is a positive number, then take that number and subtract your gross margin, and you’re going to be pretty close to what your overall budget should be for buying or renting a trade show booth. Here’s an example of how it works:
- Let’s say your Fixed Trade Show Cost for attending a show is $25,000. And then let’s say you believe that if you attend the show, you should be able to close about $500,000 in gross sales. We’ll call this figure Projected Trade Show Gross Sales.
- Next, let’s say your average cost to make that $500,000 in sales (outside of a trade show) is $350,000. This means your company would normally profit by $150,000 for that $500,000 in sales outside of a trade show setting. That’s a Gross Margin of 30% and a Mark Up of about ~43%.
- Taking that $150,000 and subtracting your fixed trade show costs is $150,000 – $25,000 = $125,000. We’ll call this $125,000 our Net Trade Show Sales Goal. Now, you can’t just go in there with a $125,000 budget, or you’d make no profit on those $500,000 in sales because you haven’t added in any additional costs to produce your trade show exhibit. To maintain a consistent profit margin of 30%, we’ll need to treat the trade show program costs as if they were a fixed production cost for your product and mark that expense up just like any other component that would be marked up to create the desired profit for your product.
- With this in mind, we apply our Gross Margin of 30% to our Net Trade Show Sales Goal of $125,000 to determine our Projected Trade Show Profit. This number comes in at $37,500.
- Once we have our Fixed Trade Show Costs, Gross Margin, Net Trade Show Sales Goal, and Projected Trade Show Profit, we can calculate our Estimated Trade Show Budget. To do this, you need to use a formula to determine the answer to our big question here – how much should we spend while maintaining a 30% Gross Margin to hit our $125,000 Net Trade Show Sales Goal? This is the formula to use:
- [Net Trade Show Sales Goal] – [ Projected Trade Show Profit ] = [Estimated Trade Show Budget]
- Our estimated budget comes in at $87,500
- Here are all the formulas written in order using the numbers above so you can see the process from start to finish:
- $500,000 (Projected Trade Show Gross Sales) x 30% (Average Gross Margin) = $350,000 (Cost of Sales)
- $500,000 – $350,000 = $150,000 (Net Profit)
- $150,000 – $25,000 (Fixed Trade Show Costs) = $125,000 (Net Trade Show Sales Goal)
- $125,000 x 30% = $37,500 (Projected Trade Show Profit)
- $125,000 – $37,500 = $87,500 (Estimated Trade Show Budget)
- Keep in mind that this is a pretty simplified way of determining a budget for your trade show, and many other factors may come into play. But roughly speaking, this is an excellent way of determining a correlation between your projected expenses versus your projected sales to determine a starting point for your trade show budget.
- Here are all the formulas written in order using the numbers above so you can see the process from start to finish:
What are some ways to increase interactivity on our next custom retail display?
Interactivity is one of the most important things to consider when producing a custom retail display! After all, if your product doesn’t need to be seen or held, what’s the point in spending the money to build a display when a monitor can simply do the trick? For businesses that rely on customers to interact with their products, there’s a number of interesting ways to ensure you engage with your customer and make a long-lasting impression on them. Here are some options we’re fans of:
- Consider using Augmented Reality (AR). Although costly, when done correctly (and usually through QR codes), a great AR implementation can allow your customer to use their phone to overlay animations, real-time info, gaming opportunities, and other bleeding-edge tech elements to your display. It’s a great way to make a standalone retail fixture come alive in the palm of your customers’ hands!
- Use high-end security devices and solutions with minimum invasiveness and maximum tethering capabilities. If your product is small enough to be held, make sure you design a display that allows it to be held in comfort! When a customer can feel the weight of your product in their hands and examine it easily to see all the detailing put into it, you’re in a much better place to make that sale than a product that’s behind glass or attached to a bulky, stationary security device on display.
- Reward your customer for taking the time to check out your display. With very minimal cost, a simple landing page devoted to your display and customized for that area goes a long way. With a simple QR code, you can have your customers learn more about your product by adding additional information that might not fit on display and rewarding them with coupons or other giveaways for taking the extra step to interact with your brand.
What are some important logistics to keep in mind when it comes time to deliver and install our custom retail display?
Plenty of companies can design and build a custom retail display, but the logistics of getting it to its final location and installing it successfully can turn a great project into a nightmare. As usual, there are tons of things to consider, but here’s a list of some of the most important things to factor in:
- Does the building you’re installing at require union labor for installation and/or delivery? Obviously, the type of personnel required to perform the actual installation can make costs vary greatly!
- Are there specific delivery times and dates? Many buildings require deliveries of large elements like store fixtures to be performed after or before store hours to avoid disruption. A targeted delivery after hours may end up costing much more than a standard delivery!
- Will the location you’re sending your display provide offload services? Some locations may not have the tools (like a forklift/pallet jack), personnel, or space to offload your display. In situations such as this, your producer will need to ensure they provide labor to meet your delivery driver to perform the offload service.
- Is the location you are delivering to on the ground floor or on an upper level? If your display is on an upper level, you’ll want to ensure it either fits in a standard elevator or that there is a freight elevator available. And in both cases, you’ll want to take measurements of the elevator (and all the doors/halls leading to it) to ensure it fits.
- Does the installation location have a loading dock? If it does, make sure it’s a standard loading dock. Some loading docks will not fit a smaller delivery truck, and others won’t fit a tractor-trailer. If you’re delivering to a location without a loading dock, be sure your delivery truck has a liftgate and the equipment to get it on the lift gate, off the truck, and into the store.
These are just some of the critical things to remember when producing your next custom retail display. Be sure to ask these questions before you start to design, as the answers to them will impact your budget, timeline, and of course, the overall design!
What kind of timeline should we prepare for when it comes to producing a custom retail fixture?
Timelines can undoubtedly vary depending on the complexity of any custom retail display project, but below we’ve listed a non-rushed rough timeline for a standard custom display (assuming a size of approx. 4’W x 2’D x 6’H):
- Creation of full 3D color design renderings: 1-2 weeks
- Preparation of proposal upon approval of design: 1-2 weeks
- Creation of construction detail drawings upon receipt of proposal approval: 2-3 weeks
- Build time for fixture upon receipt of approval of details: 4-6 weeks
- Delivery to location and scheduling of labor for installation upon completion: 1-2 weeks
- Overall rough timeline estimate: 9-15 weeks*
*Keep in mind there are a few steps in here that are not specifically factored in, which may add additional time requirements. Here are some of those factors:
- Changes that may be required to design after the review
- Proposal review by customer and time it may take to get approved
- Detail review by customer/install location and time to make any changes required
- Build time is impacted by the complexity of the project, the time it takes to receive the product, supply chain issues, labor impacts, etc.
- Distance to the location from the producer location (transit time)
Keep these factors in mind when planning your next custom retail fixture. The main takeaway is that the sooner you start, the better off you’ll be!