The trade show industry has always been a very profitable industry for convention centers, display retailers, and the exhibitors who attend the shows. Trade shows are a very cost effective way to make contact with a wide variety of clients and potential leads. Over the years these shows have proven time and time again to offer a good return on your investment.
In the past 10 years prices have been climbing very steadily in the trade show industry making it much more expensive to exhibit, effectively decreasing return on investment. One of the biggest factors contributing to climbing trade show costs is the displays that are being sold on the internet and at brick and mortar stores. Starting in about 2001 a surge of online trade show retailers hit the market offering very good prices in comparison to traditional trade show display retailers. Unfortunately this also caused many problems due to the fact that online companies do not have show rooms and clients cannot see the product before they buy it. These situations breed a large number of online retailers that retailed products of very low quality at premium prices. Needless to say many of the companies trying to find good deals were consistently getting burned on their purchases resulting in spending more money to buy a higher quality product from a local distributor.
In 2009 only a handful of companies like this are still around, many online retailers have begun to sell higher quality products, but they are still selling at a premium in comparison to their quality. This is a very tough problem for online shoppers because there are very few websites that actually disclose exactly where the product is from, who makes it, and the true durability of the product. Many online retailers still do not look at or test their products to insure there are selling quality products to their customers.
Another factor coming into the trade show printing industry is overseas printing from China. The prints are extremely low cost and reasonable quality. This is creating a problem for local printers who are selling to online retailers and are overcharging for US prints. This causes more people to go toward China printers which are still not as high quality as US print shops causing frustration to the end user. Many companies do not even disclose if the prints come from China!
Companies are having a problem finding displays today because of the ambiguity of online shopping and the high cost of buying from a brick and mortar store. This has led a lot of companies to limit their number of trade shows because they cannot afford to market different divisions of their company. This is very sad because the display should be the lowest cost item of the entire show.
Northwest Creative Imaging is taking a stand against the ambiguity and high cost trade show retailing market. They disclose nearly every detail of the product relevant to the end user including the products manufacturer, origin, turnaround time, warranty, specs, and templates. “Our vision is to educate each customer through our web site so that every customer is just as informed as we are on every product”, says NWCI owner Matt Nixon. “An informed customer is a happy customer; if they know exactly what they are getting then everyone is happy! We also test every product we carry vigorously so we know exactly how to describe it on our site.”
Northwest Creative Imaging sells their trade show and print products at a fraction of the cost of most online dealers. “We feel that every company should be able to exhibit at a reasonable cost, there are sites that charge over $600 for a basic banner stand which is price gouging in my opinion. We don’t mind working a little harder for our money in order to give our customers a lower price. With our low cost and high quality prints our customers can try different designs at different shows to maximize ROI. This is the key to long term business success for us and our customers. We don’t offer a lowest price guarantee because we have the lowest price, period. We don’t play negation games; we just charge the lowest price we can. We don’t mark up our products just to mark them down. We feel our customers will appreciate this because they can order everything online knowing they are getting the lowest price already, most business people do not want to waste time negotiating for the lowest price.”
Northwest Creative Imaging specializes in trade show booths, store fixtures, large format printing, and banner stands. They only sell the most portable display options to maintain a user friendly site and fast and easy shopping.