Successful First Dates

Finding a quality reliable vendor is a lot like dating. The first dates are full of anticipation, each person hoping for the best initial impression and ultimately searching for a long-term partner. And so goes the early meetings between clients and vendors - both are hoping for the perfect new relationship.

Great client-vendor partnerships are created through an intimate understanding of the client’s marketing needs aligned with a vendor’s holistic, full service approach to marry effective display design with the cost of ownership. The goal is to grow together, and to produce the highest return on an investment, from that first date to beyond the honeymoon.

In order to develop a more complete understanding of a client’s marketing needs, you must initiate a strategic discovery process. The “best fit” solutions are not based solely on a cool display design and the integration of flashy technology, but additional consideration should be given to the costs of owning that cool display: the cost of shipping, material & handling charges, labor costs to install/dismantle the display, electrical & A/V needs, storage & maintenance costs between shows, and so on.

Being transparent and setting client expectations beyond the purchase is a necessary step to anticipate the required investment, and can mark the difference between a partner and a vendor. Not all vendors want to discuss the post purchase expenses, but by identifying the cost and terms of ownership allows for any adjustments early in the development choices, for example; the location of storage versus shipping coast to coast, buying versus renting display components, or hired labor versus staff related to exhibiting at any one show.

So, be sure to first choose a design consultant with creative ideas, best-fit solutions and a balanced approach to your specific needs. Identifying all costs of ownership with respect to the client’s budget are all extremely important steps in building a relationship that leads to long-term success.