Why should I participate in trade shows?
Trade shows and related events are an ideal way of accomplishing face-to-face contact with prospective customers. Especially since social media and email communications have taken such a prominent role in the B2B world. Trade shows give you the opportunity to make contact with those hard to reach prospects, as well as deepen current client relationships. People want to do business with people they know.
How far out in advance should I be planning my trade shows?
This depends greatly upon the show. However it is best to plan at least a year ahead of time in regards to your booth space. Some shows begin reserving booth space at the current show for the next year. If you want a good location, plan early in order to get a prime location.
In regards to your display, six to nine months in advance for a 20 x 20 booth space is an ideal timeline. This gives you adequate time to properly plan your overall display environment. New personnel or new product launches may need some additional time to ensure your event exceeds your expectations.
When is it appropriate to rent a display?
First time exhibitors or shows that occur every other year are good times to rent a display. Or if you only participate in one larger show a year or you want to test drive an exhibit are also good reasons. This allows you to be flexible and change up displays to always look fresh, plus it also can reduce your overall investment which saves money in your marketing budget. Rentals allows for a lot of flexibility while giving you a very professional appearance and maintaining your brand and product prominence.
We do a lot of trade shows, conferences and events that require a display. Is there a software program that can help manage our shows and display assets?
Exhibit Systems owns a proprietary, custom web-based real-time ordering system for your trade show and event properties. All your current and future exhibit and display assets with corresponding pictures are entered into our asset management program, which is designed specifically for the trade show and event industry. As a user of this system, you can check on the availability and location of your assets at any time.
To order a display for routing/shipping to a show, you complete an online order form similar to using a “shopping cart” system. The site and forms are custom designed for each client to meet specific needs and exhibit properties. Once an order is submitted, the assigned marketing person, the employee placing the request and the Exhibit Systems Operations Department will receive an order confirmation to fulfill your requests.
What is drayage or material handling?
Drayage and Material Handling are the same thing at trade shows. It can described as moving your displays, crates, equipment and products from your shipping carrier at the loading dock at an exposition center to your booth and back to the loading dock for return of your items. These costs are typically determined by its weight.
What is refurbishment and maintenance of your display after a trade show?
Your display and all its components should be cleaned, inspected, detailed and have ongoing maintenance to ensure it stays in good condition and useable for years to come. The inspection portion also allows you to determine necessary repairs and make sure all parts and pieces are present after the display returns from your shows. Regular usage of your displays causes normal wear and tear as well as shipping takes its toll on your components. The Refurbishing process ensures your displays stay in top condition and are ready for your next show.
Can we install and dismantle our displays at a trade show?
The answer is Yes and No. It depends on the show. Here are the generic rules:
Portable type displays that don’t require tools or you getting on a ladder are okay for you to set up and dismantle. For displays that are larger in scale and/or requires tools and ladders, there are limitations and you should plan on and include in your budget the cost of using an Exhibit Appointed Contractor (EAC) or the union show labor.
Would you recommend using show provided union labor or an Exhibitor Appointed Contractor (EAC)?
We would typically recommend using an Exhibitor Appointed Contractor (EAC) since they are signatory to local unions. An EAC is an independent business that is very customer service oriented. They will generally do a good job because they want to please you in order to get more of your trade show labor business in the future. When we are organizing and supervising the installation and dismantle for our clients, we like to work with an EAC. If there is a problem during the show, they typically have people on-site to correct any issues.
Using the show provided union labor is still an option, but it’s recommended that you or someone you trust is there to supervise.
Can I still use halogen lights at all convention centers with my display?
It depends on show location and exposition center. For example, the Las Vegas Convention Center and a number of other convention halls in Las Vegas have outlawed the usage of halogen bulbs due to fire and safety concerns. The numbers of shows and exposition halls are anticipated to grow in not allowing halogen type lights. We would recommend using the new LED lights on any new displays. They are versatile, don’t get hot and use less power than traditional halogen or incandescence bulbs.
Backlit graphics are very attractive, are we limited to the size?
The use of backlit graphics has grown tremendously in popularity. These types of graphics make a great first impression that will bring more new and existing clients into your display environment. Illumination truly helps you stand out and grab the attendee’s attention at a trade show. The bigger the graphic the better.
In the past, we were somewhat limited to smaller graphics however, as the technology has gotten better, printing larger sizes is now common and improved, large graphics are being utilized on a regular basis. They are very impactful, have become very cost affordable and are highly recommended.
Can we have double sided backlit graphics?
Yes, double sided backlit graphics are growing in popularity, especially in island or peninsula type displays where you can view both sides of display. Backlit graphics continue to improve in quality and technology. They are very impactful and they draw attention to your exhibit environment.
What do we need to do after the dismantling of our display regarding shipping?
After you have your display dismantled and packed in the roadcases or crates, there are a few very important documents you need to fill out and turn in. Onsite personnel must complete the Material Handling Agreement (MHA) that is provided to you onsite by the show management.
Your crates, pallets or roadcases should all be packed securely for shipping, with multiple return shipping labels attached. Shrink wrapping of loose boxes is recommended.
Return the MHA paperwork to show freight desk or service desk when you have everything ready.