What is a Full Service Display House?

Today let’s look at the other companies that directly support you (the exhibitor) at trade shows.

The show services manual refers to these companies as “Non-Official Contractors.”

These companies are given the name of “non-official contractors” since they are not endorsed directly by the Association or the shows general contractor and are brought in by the individual exhibitor to service their exhibit on-site.

To help explain the distinction, only “Official Contractors” are listed in the show service manual to provide services including drayage, labor, electrical, and much more. As we talked about earlier some services are “exclusive” to the general contractor like drayage and hanging signs and some services are not exclusive and can be provided by “non-official contractors.”

In more specific terms, non-official contractors are referred to as “Display Houses” and “Installation and Dismantle” labor companies.

Today we will look at Display Houses, also known as Exhibit Companies.  A more descriptive term applied to some of these display houses is the “Full Service Display House.”

So what does that mean?

The “Full Service” title is given to a company that provide all the services necessary to  design, produce, and manage trade show exhibits for their clients.

Our sponsor, Exhibit Edge, is a full service display house.

Now, a full service Display House facility is usually dedicated to graphic and exhibit design, production, custom fabrication, storage and preparation of exhibit properties, and the administration of all logistics and show floor services. Basically, everything an exhibitor needs to design and build an exhibit and get it in and out of trade shows. The full service title is earned as a display house provides these core services in-house.

Many companies can provide some storage, administrative, and labor services but they do not have the core graphic and fabrication capabilities in-house. Now, they can be called a “display house” as they provide storage to “house” displays but it would be a stretch to refer to them as a “full service” display house.

An important tip to remember is that the more services a display house can provide in-house the better equipped they are to handle all your needs quickly with what should be more cost effective direct pricing.

“The show must go on” and knowing your full service display house can produce last minute graphics and handle emergency repairs can make all the difference to the corporate exhibit manager.

So the next time you are looking for help from a display house ask the right questions to make sure they are a “full service” company.

Some of these questions I would ask are:

1.       Do they provide exhibit and graphic design in-house?

2.       Do they have proper climate controlled storage?

3.       Do they have tractor- trailer height loading docks?

4.       Do they produce graphics in-house?

5.       Do they fabricate custom exhibits and components in-house?

6.       Do they have on-line inventories capabilities?

7.       Do they have exhibit rentals properties?

8.       What methods and procedures are in place for trade show execution?

9.       How many people are assigned to my account and what do they do?

10.     Where will my exhibit properties be stored?

11.     Do they have a fee schedule that shows in-house services vs. third party services?

12.     Do they have contracts with unions or do you use an Installation and Dismantle contractor?

13.     If they do have union contracts – what cities do you support with direct union labor?

14.     What exhibit manufacturing brands do they support and service? 

Next week we will look at Installation and Dismantle companies and how they operate.

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.