Over the last couple of months, we have seen a surge of exhibiting companies looking for a new exhibit company to service them. The reason for the surge is a topic for another day. One particular new customer was not getting timely responses from their current provider and the frustration continued as their show got closer to ship. This company asked our Vice President of Sales, “How do I break up with my exhibit company?”
While that question may seem silly, it’s actually a very important question. To the exhibitor, changing to another exhibit company seems like a complicated task, especially when you have many items in inventory and/or very large exhibit properties. It can be a daunting decision to make because of the perceived burden it will put on the exhibiting company’s Trade Show Exhibit Manager.
Common Concerns of Switching Exhibit Companies
1. I have a lot of properties to move. That is going to take up a lot of my time.
2. I don’t have the extra cost to move all our properties in my budget.
3. I will have to explain my exhibit and our exhibit program to the new company.
4. The exhibit company will have to learn all about our exhibit and marketing messages.
5. What if the new company isn’t familiar with our industry?
While these questions and concerns are all valid, let me ease your burden. Exhibit companies move freight all the time, in and out of their facility. Clients are always upgrading their properties and we have to inventory it for EdgeLink, our web-based system. We are familiar with receiving and organizing exhibits and related materials. It’s our expertise, and our exhibit management services are proven in past success. Some exhibit companies will offer incentives to ease the cost of moving new freight to their facility and doing the initial inventory. Ask them for a discount; it may work for your benefit.
Switching to a New Exhibit Company
An exhibit company handles many types of exhibits and are very familiar with all the different exhibit manufacturers. You won’t have to explain much about your exhibit. Just be sure you have good photographs, design renderings, detailed drawings, set-up drawings, etc. We will take it from there. The new exhibit company should take the time to set up your exhibit(s) as they come in. If your exhibit is large, that may not be an expense that you will want to incur. If you know ahead of time, ask the new exhibit company to come and view your exhibit at a show to take notes and photos. Speaking of shows, I think that is an advantage if an exhibit company doesn’t have any or much experience with your industry. It gives your exhibit company an open mind to create a unique exhibit that may have never been seen at that show. Creativity won’t be boxed in. Your booth will be remembered well!
How You Can be Prepared to Move Your Exhibit
- Plan your move in advance and do it either during your slow time or at the very end of your busy exhibiting season. This will lighten the burden of not having time.
- Moving your exhibit is a great time to clean up your properties. Review your properties at each show or with your provider. If there are items and graphics you know you won’t use again or are outdated, have them discarded before you move your properties. This will decrease the cost of shipping and storage. You may have to pay for labor and disposal fees, but it’s well worth the time and cost to get rid of it now versus later.
- If you have different types of exhibits that go to different shows, at the end of particular shows have that exhibit shipped directly from the show to the new company. This will save shipping costs in the long run.
- Let the new exhibit company handle the pickup of your exhibit properties.
- Your existing exhibit company will probably want you to settle on all outstanding invoices, including the invoice to move the freight out of their facility.
- The new exhibit company can work with your existing provider to make the move seamless. If you are worried about something, a representative from your new company can watch the loadout, but it typically is not necessary.
- If the new company has a web-based inventory system, they will need time to photograph items and document your inventory when it comes in. Be sure to allow time for this to be completed. If your existing company utilizes the same program, you can ask them if they will provide a digital copy of your inventory. You can even ask them if they will give the software company permission to transfer all the data over, if it’s the same system.
While it may seem to be a complicated task to move truckloads (or smaller) of exhibit freight, it’s not. The new exhibit company will be so happy that they won you over, it will be an exciting time for the operations staff and account management to bring in and organize your exhibit materials and start on your trade show program!
In this case, the exhibitor asked the Vice President of Sales to break off the relationship, which he was happy to do for her. The exhibit and other properties will be arriving soon!
How to Find the Right Trade Show Exhibit Company
An easy way to find the right trade show exhibit company is to ask for references from previous business relationships or other known companies or people in the industry. This can include asking other exhibitors as well. Another question to debate before moving forward is if you’re looking for a local exhibit company or a remote company. Following these should land you in a beneficial business relationship. Continue reading exhibit edge’s blog posts for more helpful guides on your exhibit business.