The Exhibitor Manual – Deadlines and Rates (part 4)

Well, we have covered the important parts of the General Contractors exhibitor manual. Now let’s take a look at the other official contractors that would be in the Exhibitor manual, also called the Exhibitor kit. They are:

  1. Electrical
  2. Internet
  3. Specialty furniture
  4. Food and beverage
  5. Plumbing

Electrical is usually provided by the facility that is hosting the show. But more and more now I am seeing that general contractors or specialty electrical companies are contracted by the exhibit hall to manage the operation for the facility. When this happens, the costs are a lot higher as there is now a middleman in the mix. Either way the order form will also have deadlines for advanced pricing that can be anywhere from a week to a month before the first set-up day.

Notice that I keep saying the deadline is a certain number of days before the first setup day – not the first show day. The first set-up day can be two, three or more days, before the first show date. Many people count back, instinctively, from the first show date and are caught off guard when their order is late. Read the deadline information carefully.

Ok – back to electrical ordering.  Each city is different and you can use your own cords in some cities and not in others. This is one form you need to really read all the way through. For example: you can use your own cords as long as they are flat cords of a certain gauge in the Las Vegas Convention Center.  Another cost saving measure that works in some cities is to order extension cords and provide a diagram to go from one location to another. You would do this instead of ordering two separate services. Let me explain that better. Let’s say you need a 1,500 Watt service in the back of your exhibit space to run the exhibit lights and a workstation. That service will cost $200. You also need a 500 watt service at your front greeting counter. That service will cost $125. Instead of paying $325 for both you might be able to order a 2000 Watt service in the back at $225 and an extension cord run to the front for $25. That would be a savings of $75. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  Another cost saving measure if you have workstations along the back of your space you can just order a single outlet and run your own cords on top of the carpet and into the workstation instead of ordering separate services for each workstation.  Electrical can get very expensive especially when there is a labor charge for any cords that are run under the carpet and for larger island exhibits. You will be charged for the labor to put them in and take them out. Reading the electrical form carefully is essential for proper budgeting.  Account Managers and traveling Supervisors like those at Exhibit Edge are very familiar with different city rules and ways to minimize electrical orders.

Next week we will look at the internet order form.

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.