What is the role of the Trade Show Association?

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Today we will start a series looking at the functions of the three major players when it comes to producing a trade show – the Association, the General Contractor, and the Convention Facility.

An Association, sometimes with the help of a show organizer, will identify and select the show venue.

This means that they need to take into account the size of the exhibit hall, and the available meeting and ballroom space they will need as well as the number of hotel rooms. Many cities have convention and visitor bureaus who market to these associations to lure them to their city.

The final product is a contract to provide the trade show facility for a specific timeframe at an agreed price with all necessary services. These services usually include catering, electrical, cleaning, internet, building maintenance, informational staff and janitorial needs. All of these services and building overheads determine the rental space agreement.

The Exhibitor’s booth space cost is determined, in large part, by the Association’s budget for each event. Associations will always try to maintain a certain control over these costs to keep them even from year to year.

So when you pay $20 to $50 a square foot for a booth space all of these building services are a major portion of that cost.

Then I have to say that there is much more that the Association organizes. They plan, coordinate, and guarantee hotel room blocks, transportation shuttles, food and beverage events, breakout sessions, networking opportunities, registration services, security services and signage….and the list goes on and on.

They maintain a full staff of employees to oversee different aspects that include everything mentioned before plus all future sales and onsite event management.

Now some of these costs are reduced or picked up by sponsors and the general contractor. We will get into that next week.

As always, please respond with your questions or comments. The Exhibitor Lounge is always open to a mix of ideas from the trade show community. Make sure that you let others know to go to www.ExhibitorLounge.com or www.ExhibitEdge.com to sign up for the Exhibitor Lounge.

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