As a trade show exhibitor, one of the most important decisions you will make is which exhibit house to work with on your booth. There are a lot of options available to you and making the decision can be difficult, especially if you are new to trade show marketing.

There are two common exhibit house models that companies typically choose from – a brick and mortar house and a virtual house.

Brick and Mortar Exhibit House

A brick and mortar, or custom exhibit house, has a management team, sales force, production and support staff, as well as a showroom, a set up area, on-site storage, and a custom workshop where displays are built.

They design and manufacture on site and create custom exhibits of any size for any industry.

Most also have an extensive rental inventory that can be modified to the client’s specific needs. Customization is a big difference maker when it comes to working with a brick and mortar exhibit company.

When contemplating the use of a large island or double deck exhibit, this option is paramount. Larger exhibits typically carry larger price tags. But rental options, with customization, is the way to get the perfect trade show booth at the perfect price.

Virtual Exhibit House

A virtual exhibit house is typically comprised of a sole owner working from home or a small office with or without additional support staff. In this model, you’re not so much working with an exhibit house as you are working with someone acting as a sales rep for one or many exhibit manufacturers.

Often times, you will not even realize this is the case since anyone can appear to be a custom exhibit house with a well thought out website.

Working with a virtual exhibit house can have its benefits. Their overhead is typically lower, allowing for greater flexibility when negotiating price. You’re also typically working with the owner, and you are potentially one of just a few clients with needs your size, making you their top priority.

However, it’s limiting when it comes to the customization of your exhibit. And customization is one of the best ways to make your trade show booth stand out on the trade show floor. In a sea of sameness, a custom booth will shine and draw the attention you are looking for.

Without a custom shop, a virtual exhibit house can only offer the kits the exhibit manufacturers have available for either rental or purchase. Customization is limited to your graphics display and signage.

And most often, a virtual exhibit house will never see your booth until it reaches the show floor; and then only if they choose to travel to the show site. A lot of times, you are on your own getting your booth set up and tear down coordinated.

How to Choose

How do you as the potential new client determine the difference between these two exhibit house business models? It’s simple, just ask a few key questions.

  • How large is their facility?
  • Do they have their own showroom?
  • Do they build custom exhibits onsite?
  • How many employees they have?

These few questions will tell you everything you need to know to determine whether you’re dealing with a custom brick and mortar exhibit house or a virtual exhibit house. From there you can decide which style of exhibit house is best suited to service your company’s trade show exhibit needs.

Xibeo is a Custom Exhibit House

We can help you with your custom double deck exhibit needs.

We have been building custom exhibits for over 17 years.  We have the inventory to offer highly customized booths that you can rent to stay on budget.

Let’s talk.  Click the button to request a free consultation and let’s explore how we can help you attract the perfect audience to your trade show booth.

Xibeo is a custom exhibit house
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