Develop a Tabletop Exhibit
A tabletop exhibit is easy to make and if you have your own (for an affiliate or practice) then you'll never be without a promotional tool again. Read on for more information on why a "personalized" tabletop is a great idea, and how you can make it happen in time for your next event or for National Midwifery Week.
Benefits of Making a Display
While it requires some initial work and money to get going, a personalized practice or affiliate exhibit is perfect for local promotion of midwifery and the many services midwives provide. An exhibit made just for you ensures your ability to target YOUR audience (photos that accurately represent your clients) and promote YOUR services (text that articulates why you are a quality health care option in your specific area). If there is a particular legislative issue that needs consumer support, you can make it a part of your exhibit. In short, a custom exhibit allows you to address the reality that health care climates vary from state to state and city to city, making the needs of every practice or affiliate unique.
Getting started usually means finding the money to purchase what you need for a custom exhibit. Your local affiliate or practice might have money set aside for marketing, and this is a marketing tool that will surely pay for itself over and over again. Put in a request to your affiliate or practice, but make sure to show where you will use your exhibit over the course of a year and the number of potential clients you hope to reach. Quantifying the usage and results of this exhibit will help others see the many benefits and opportunities that exhibiting will bring.
Buying Your Backdrop
Tabletop display backdrops come in a variety of styles, sizes, and levels of durability.
A backdrop similar to one used by ACNM is available from Siegel Display Products; 1-800-656-0322 or www.siegeldisplay.com. The "EZ25 Marketer" is a sturdy option and costs just $225.00 for a 6 foot size, with other sizes also available. Other sites to try for sturdy re-usable tabletops (in all price ranges) are: www.tradeshowsupermarket.com, www.exhibitstogo.com, www.displayhousedirect.com, www.displays2go.com, and www.staples.com.
A great option for an inexpensive display is a foam or corrugated cardboard backdrop that you can mount photos and text on easily. These are available at any office supply store; in fact, you might have even bought one in the past for your child's science project presentation! Try www.staples.com for a two-ply corrugated presentation board; size is 36" x 48." The cost is only about $7-$12.
Decorating Your Display
Gathering pictures and information for your exhibit is usually the most difficult part of this process. Hopefully you already have marketing materials for your practice that you can use to draw out important information. Use your own Web site, brochures, flyers, and ads to find easy-to-read and catchy text. Charts and graphics will help draw attention to your exhibit. Remember to keep it short, simple, and to the point. Feel free to reference ACNM's Web site, www.midwife.org, or place a call to our communications department at 240-485-1826 for help on text or other ideas.
Hopefully you have pictures of your midwives at work. If they were taken at a high enough resolution you might be able to blow them up to a "viewer friendly" size. Otherwise, try some stock photos. Bundles of images are available at: www.comstock.com or www.rubberball.com. Cheaper options include www.istockphoto.com and www.photos.com. Be careful of copyright issues and credit photographers when necessary.
Making Your Exhibits Last
Exhibits will suffer from wear and tear over time; however there are a few ways to help your tabletop last longer:
- Buy a carrying case to protect your exhibit
- Print photos and text on styrene (plastic) or another durable material (ask your local printer for suggestions and prices)
- Take photos and text off and lay flat to store rather than leaving them on your board