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The Power Of Discovery In Custom Trade Show Display Design

discovery tradeshow design

If you’re currently sourcing bids for trade show graphics and custom trade show displays, chances are you’re working with several account representatives who have been tasked with servicing your business requirements.  As your main point of contact throughout the process, your sales representative acts as liaison to first recognize your list of needs, goals and visions and then effectively communicate your organization’s objectives to their behind the scenes creative team.  Sounds like a straightforward process, right?

Yes and no.

At Skyline New York, we too once utilized this concept of having our account executive appointed as a centralized point of contact to communicate between both parties throughout the business relationship.  This proved a brilliant marketing approach…when we landed the business.  However, as much as I wanted to laud my ability to understand and communicate our clients’ needs when we closed deals, when we lost business, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Where did I drop the ball?”

The realization struck me that, relying solely on my own view and interpretation just left far too much room for me to completely misunderstand what prospective clients were looking for.  Additionally, I realized that while many sales professionals have extensive product mastery in their respective fields, we’re not always the most creative lot – and creativity plays an imperative role in the overall success of custom trade show displays.  In an effort to circumvent this potentially disastrous communication gap, best leverage our team’s extensive creative capabilities and, most importantly, avoid wasting our client’s precious time with presentations that simply missed the mark, Skyline Exhibits embraced a comprehensive team approach throughout the brainstorming phase, known simply as “Proper Discovery.”

What To Look For During The Proper Discovery Phase

If you’re currently sourcing options for custom trade show booths, it’s important to leverage the components of Skyline Corporate’s “Proper Discovery” to ensure that you never again have to courteously sit through a design presentation that doesn’t effectively encapsulate your organization’s business vision.  When working with vendors always work with a team that offers:

Request for Proposal (RFP) Questionnaire: Filling out an RFP outlining your company’s specific needs and goals can help ensure that your chosen partner has a detailed account, written in your own words, to reference throughout the process.

Pricing Information: Selecting a team that educates your company on price points and range can quickly hone in on features and amenities that are necessary to propelling your business brand, and which ones simply aren’t in the budget.

RFP Recap: Once the RFP has been completed and pricing details discussed, coordinating an RFP recap meeting is an ideal way to ensure that both business parties are firmly planted on the same professional page and ready to move forward in the most productive way possible.

Most importantly, always partner with a vendor that offers a team approach to brainstorming and presentation meetings.  Your staff members, coupled with your vendor’s account representative/manager and design team will not only guarantee that you have access to all the information and insight you need throughout the creativity process, but it also ensures that your corporate message is heard and absorbed by all relevant participants, minimizing the chance for misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

What's Working In ExhibitingPick up a copy of What’s Working In Exhibiting to learn more about exhibit design and 6 other key areas of trade show marketing.  Click here too receive your free copy of the 32-page white paper.

About the Author

Bob Watson has been helping clients in the New York region dominate trade show marketing events for over 30 years. As President of Skyline New York, a leading trade show marketing resource known for customized exhibit innovations, Bob helps his partners use distinctive modular components to create New York trade show displays and complementing banner stands that captivate and compel crowds while effectively broadening brand exposure and reach. For more information on trade show displays, trade show booths, and trade show exhibits in New York, please visit

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