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How to Utilize the Convention Facility and their Services

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As we continue our series on Associations, General Contractors, and Convention Facilities, today we will focus on the convention facility and their services.

I mentioned before that it is the Association that enters into a contract with a convention facility. The cost of the contract is determined by the amount of space and the length of time needed.

It is very important to understand this because shows may have an abbreviated move in or move out so the association avoids renting the space for additional days. Your drayage and labor costs may go up because of overtime, but it potentially holds down the cost of your booth space rental.

It can make the general contractor look like the bad guy for all the overtime charges but in reality they are only following the time restrictions imposed by the contract between the Association and the facility.

Now let’s look at the facility services. By default the convention or trade show facility usually offers electrical, phone, plumbing, and internet services. Basically it’s their place and they will have the infrastructure to provide these services. They also usually handle porter and catering services.

Sometimes the facility can provide drayage, overhead sign hanging, and other services like a general contractor but this is very rare. Shows that do not have a general contractor are usually very small tabletop shows where these services are not needed or provided.

The facility may also hire out (or Subcontract) show services such as internet or electrical. You can see large fluctuations in the costs for these services depending upon who is providing the service. Services are provided either by the facility, by the facility through the general contractor, who manages the paperwork and payment, or through a subcontractor that will bring in their own people and service desk. Generally the costs are lower if the facility provides the service and higher if the general contractor or a Subcontractor is involved.

So you, the exhibitor, may feel that you have very little input but you do have the ability to affect the process.

Next week we will complete this series by discussing ideas and options the exhibitor has working with the Associations, general contractors, and convention facilities.

As always, please respond with your questions or comments and let others know about EXHIBITOR LOUNGE.COM.

We will see you next week.  Until then, I am your host Michael Gray telling you to RELAX in the Exhibitor Lounge.