By this point, you’ve seen the different ideas presented and you’ve made a decision to purchase based upon a CAD design rendering of the new proposed exhibit. What next? As the title suggests, we’re entering the Signature and Approval Phase.
An exhibit design company will want a commitment from you to proceed with the project, usually in the form of a detailed quote (to purchase the new exhibit property) with a deposit requirement. The quote will usually reference the design renderings that you already received as support documents to back up the components you will get with your new exhibit. There should be enough details to understand the basic components of the exhibit.
A lot of research has already gone into the project so the exhibit design company should also be able to tell you the approximate number of shipping cases and the approximate weight. The number of graphics, sizes and quantities should also be identified even though the graphic designs may not have been started yet.
The exhibit design company will usually require a good faith deposit on average of 50% of the total price. This will cover all the design and project management work so far, as well as the detailing work and raw material orders to follow. This is also a good time to identify a milestone schedule to have specific deadlines agreed to as the project continues.
So what do I mean by a milestone schedule? Most likely you have a specific show in mind to debut the new exhibit property or you may have a deadline to use existing funds by a certain date. The deadline is the best way to establish a milestone schedule. The deadline is the end date and you need to work backwards from that date.
The major components of a milestone schedule include:
- Signature and Deposit Invoice
- Detail Drawings and Approvals
- Graphic Templates to the Client
- Graphic Layout Deadline
- Client Walk-through and Punch List
There are many other parts of the milestone schedule that involve logistics associated with the first tradeshow. These include show service orders, shipping date, and setup date. These items would be part of a comprehensive milestone schedule even though they are not directly related to the design or fabrication. Their significance has to do more with making sure that all deadlines for completion are met.
Next week we will look at the detailing phase of an exhibit fabrication and outline the average schedule of a new exhibit from concept to completion.