How to Work With Trade Show Associations, General Contractors, and Facilities

As we finish our series on Associations, General Contractors, and Convention Facilities, today we will see what ideas and options you (the exhibitor) may have when working with these companies.

Let’s start with the Association. Remember that they have two main goals.  Sell booth space and provide attendees. Here, it is where you can provide constructive suggestions or comments. The Association makes changes all the time that will impact your impression of the shows quality.

Speak up – not just to fellow exhibitors (which is what usually happens) – but to the Association. If you think costs are higher then normal, dismantle hours should be on straight time, or the food menu is deteriorating for hospitality events then talk to the Association, not your fellow exhibitors.

Your input and questions can influence how they plan future events.

Other options are to create opportunities to bundle costs and gain exposure. Here is what I mean. Look for low cost exposure techniques such as giveaways that go into every bag at registration.

Hey, a neat idea I saw was a company who suggested to the Association that they would provide all the coffee cups for the beverage stations on the show floor. It saved the Association money and the company advertised all over the show floor by putting their logo on every cup. How’s that for name recognition? Also, learn how to haggle and bundle with the Association. It’s worth a try.

Next – the General Contractor, known as the “GC”.  They are usually instrumental at creating the show service manual and setting exhibitor pricing. Your options are enormous. Rental carpet or ship your own, GC labor, no labor or other labor, ship to the hotel and hand carry to the show, and on and on. Your display house (commonly referred to as “an exhibitor appointed contractor”) can help you with all these options that are different from show to show.

Third – the convention facility. Internet can be a big cost saving by using a “hotspot” with your phone. AV companies now offer hotspots like you would rent a phone when traveling. You can also order one 20 amp electrical service with two extension cords instead of buying 3 individual services for a cost saving option.

Again, each city is different and requires that you read the rules. That is read the “fine print.”

The biggest take away I can give you is that each city is different. If you do everything the same in each location then you miss out on lots of options.

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.