Late starts and missed deadlines lead to increased trade show costs

How Procrastination Shatters Your Trade Show Budget

Juggling CatsDesigning a successful trade show display booth is a lot like juggling cats. Multiple teams must coordinate milestones and meet deadlines to keep the project on time and on budget. A successful trade show display booth built on a tight budget inherently depends on not rushing the process, or worse, missing deadlines that cause a cascade of costs to balloon your budget in a hurry.

To emphasize, nothing will inflate a trade show budget faster than procrastination and missed deadlines. In fact, a snowball effect takes place where design, fabrication, shipping and installation milestones get pushed further back and rack up costs. Plus, designers must be given sufficient time to craft the look and feel of any display for maximum impact. Color proofing and reviews are critical. In many cases, a late start means having to compromise your design and the entire process costs more.

Key Time-Related Trade Show Display Build Factors

Design Concepts and Revisions:

Most people understand that the design process is organic in nature. When dealing with a non-linear process, the more time allotted for design the better. Even though your exhibit needs to accomplish direct and measurable tasks, the look and feel of that exhibit can be quite subjective. Allowing time for a healthy back-and-forth during this process ensures the final design will be exactly what you are looking for.

Apple Rock VP of Creative Jonathan Hackler says “The arch-enemy of creative design is pressure. Scrambling last minute for a quick design completely circumvents the most effective design processes and will not produce the best results.”

Display Rental Stock Availability

With exhibit rentals on the rise, in-house inventory can be an issue, especially during peak seasons. The sooner you get the ball rolling on your next exhibit the broader the range of components you will have to choose from. The more popular pieces get used on a first-come/first-served basis. If you wait until last minute to get your program activated, your options may have dwindled considerably.

Rush Charges and Overages

The closer you get to show time the more exposed you are to rush charges and overages.

If you miss due dates for graphics or approvals or do not allow ample time for revisions then rush fees and overtime comes into play. Production, printing, shipping and installation timelines and costs are all affected. Plus, you lose all cost savings associated with Advance Warehouse staging for your display.

For example, if Advance Warehouse deadlines are met your display crates are in your space on day one of install. This means no lost cost waiting for the booth to arrive and labor standing around. Or no additional shipping charges occur because your truck spends hours waiting in the marshaling yard to be called up to drop off your crates. Bottom line is “Meeting Advance Warehouse Deadlines = Significant Cost Savings”.

For rentals, you may be left with larger heavier rental components resulting in more crates, higher shipping costs, longer set-up times, etc. The list of variables and cost factors gets longer the closer you get to a show. The key is to treat “soft” deadlines as hard ones and resist the temptation to put things off. It can literally add thousands of dollars to your bottom line costs.

In addition, many companies run sales and promotions during the summer months. If you are organized and know what you want you may get first choice from the best components they have to offer. Your cost savings may make a higher-tier display affordable when taking advantage of “early-bird” promotions. You truly get the best exhibit for the best price by being early.

Trade Show Marketing Campaigns:

Preshow marketing can really drive more attendees to your booth.  The earlier you prep your exhibit for show, the more time you have to market that exhibit. You have time for targeted social marketing and PPC campaigns, which will let your potential clients know what to look for, what you have to offer and where to find you on the show floor.

The Simple Conclusion: Time = Money

Procrastinating with your next exhibit will cost you. Last minute printing, graphics redesign, rush shipping and labor are HUGE expenses that can be avoided with deadline discipline. Not only is it less stressful to be ahead but these saving often give you the budget to purchase or rent a higher-tier display or add interactive technology or a hanging sign. The sooner you can start the process the better.

Apple Rock offers many incentives for booking your displays in advance. Greater savings can be had when organizing an entire year’s worth of trade shows. Our Trade Show Experts can help you take advantage of these savings and will help you understand the deadlines and the impact they have on your end costs and product. Better ideas are built when given adequate time.


Download the Ultimate Guide to Trade Show Success