When you’re choosing an exhibit house to partner with to build your trade show booth, you want to be fully confident that you’re choosing the right one. Working with a reputable, reliable exhibit house will protect you from wasting your money or getting a poor-quality product.

As you evaluate the different companies out there, make sure you watch out for these common red flags.

1. Lack of Experience in Designing Exhibits for Your Industry

Building an exhibit requires more than knowledge of design alone. You also need an exhibit house that understands your specific industry. The type of exhibit elements you need are going to be industry-specific, so if an exhibit house doesn't have experiences in your industry, they might not be the best fit.

2. No Past Client Testimonials or Case Studies to Review

A quality, experienced exhibit house will have case studies or past client testimonials you can review. They may be too inexperienced for you if they can't provide these. If they’re unwilling to provide references, it may be because their past clients were not satisfied and they don’t have positive reviews to share. Proceed with caution.


3. Poor Communication or Slow Response Time

If the exhibit house has a slow response time or is poor in their communication with you, the design and build process will be unnecessarily stressful. Poor communication can also lead to delays that create a sense of panic for you. Prompt, reliable communication is essential..


4. Limited or Outdated Technology and Equipment

To create interactive display elements in your display, you will need specialized equipment or tech. If an exhibit house has outdated technology or lacks the right equipment, consider looking elsewhere. You want to invest in an exhibit that will create the right first impression of your business and that delivers quality tech.


5. Minimal Custom Design Options or Rigid Design Process

The best trade show booths are the ones that have unique, customized designs. If an exhibit house seems to make cookie-cutter designs or lacks a large number of design options, then your exhibit is going to end up looking like all of the other ones they create. Similarly, if their design process is rigid without room for creativity, you might want to look elsewhere for a custom setup.


6. Limited Ability to Handle Multiple Projects Simultaneously

If an exhibit house struggles to handle multiple projects simultaneously, they may still create quality products. However, this could indicate it is a small company with limited resources and few employees. This, in turn, could lead to delays, particularly if they have other clients they are working with at the same time as you.


7. Lack of a Clear Project Management Process

Exhibit houses need to have a clear project management process with milestones and deadlines. Without this, you could miss your deadline or have your project go completely off track. Because of the large number of creative professionals employed in this line of work, having a project management process in place that is proven to work is absolutely essential.


8. No Clear Understanding of Budget Constraints or Unwillingness to Work Within a Budget

You have a limited budget for your project. Going over that budget will hurt your bottom line significantly. Make sure your exhibit house is able and willing to work within your budget. If your budget is unreasonably small, they should be able to explain what the limitations are and why, but they should not insist on exceeding your budget restraints.


9. Poor Reputation Within the Industry or Negative Reviews from Past Clients

Always check reviews of the company you’re considering. If you see that they have a poor reputation or a long list of negative reviews, walk away. You are not likely to get a different experience than past clients. Keep in mind that seeing one or two negative reviews combined with many positive reviews is normal, but an overall negative reputation is a major red flag.


10. Lack of Transparency Regarding Pricing or Hidden Fees

Finally, make sure the company is transparent with their pricing. There should be no hidden fees or costs that start adding up as the design process begins. This can be extremely frustrating, and it can seriously impact your budget.

Avoid Red Flags by Choosing Exhibit Options

Keep in mind that red flags are not always deal breakers. If you notice one or two of these things, but the company otherwise checks out, it might still be a good option. However, if you’re seeing red flags piling up, you will want to look elsewhere.

One way to avoid these red flags altogether is to partner with Exhibit Options. We have a solid reputation, the right experience, and a commitment in helping you meet your budget and deadlines. Contact our team for a consultation today.


Reach out to our team for a consultation today.