Expert answers to key trade show FAQ

Trade Show Questions That Matter: Budget Savers and ROI Boosters

It’s time to start kicking that trade show program into gear! Planning a stellar trade show program is no small feat for the veteran and novice alike. Absorbing a few key trade show terms and concepts will make it easier when you are ready to build that new display and expand your event marketing program. So without further ado:

Questions and Answers To Improve Your Trade Show ROI

  1. What is drayage/material handling?
    Drayage and material handling is a crucial service provided by the show contractor for receiving your exhibit freight, taking it to the show floor and then moving it from the show floor back to the dock after the show. This cost will end up being a large portion of your show services budget. This is surely a “sticker shock” area for those new to the trade show game. Tip: to minimize these costs consolidate your shipping into one trip and as few crates, boxes and skids as you can. You will get dinged with a fee for each separate shipment they receive. Ship any small last minute items to your hotel and carry them onto the show floor.
  2. What are the benefits of shipping to “Advance Warehouse”?
    In general, being prepared and taking advantage of the Advance Warehouse at a show will save you money and headaches. This means having your display built, crated and shipped so it arrives by the deadline, which is show specific and generally start 30 days before the show opens and stop 7 days before target install dates.

    Shipping to the Advance warehouse means no wait times for your truck on load in days. Those wait times can result in extra shipping charges from the carrier, and possibly extra labor charges if your team is waiting for the shipment to be unloaded and delivered to your space.

    Shipping to Advance Warehouse ensures that your exhibit will be in your booth space on time so the labor crew can start install at the beginning of the day, helping to curb overtime labor charges.

    Shipping to Advance Warehouse also gives you the peace of mind knowing that your exhibit has arrived at the location safely, giving you less to worry about on the day of install.
  3. What percentage of my budget will go to show service costs?
    When discussing overall budget with your Design Partner don’t neglect to consider your show service costs. Many companies will use your entire budget for the booth design and then hit you with show service fees separately.

    Keep in mind, show service charges will vary from show to show and can take up 30-50% of your total budget. The size and complexity of your display will also affect final show service costs. Common charges include shipping, material & handling, install and dismantle, daily cleaning, Internet, electrical and rigging.

    Your display house should walk you through the show service charges for each specific venue/show and help make sure your budget numbers are realistic and accurate. Show service costs always end up being a significant portion of any trade show program budget.
  4. How do I determine when it is time to refurbish and repurpose or time to design a new display concept?

    You must ask yourself a few questions:

    * How old is your display?
    * When was the last time you refreshed your graphics and messaging?
    * What do you want/need to accomplish at your show?
    * Did you accomplish all you needed to at the last show?
    * If not, what was missing?
    * What changes do you want to see made?
    * What kind of budget do you have?

    Keep in mind that anytime you have new branding, new messaging or new product rollouts you should refresh your booth. You never want to look outdated and inconsistent with the rest of your marketing.

A genuine Display Partner should be willing to work with you throughout this information gathering process. Transparency is really the key when it comes to budgeting, timelines, deadlines and an understanding of where savings can be found.

Apple Rock offers a free one-hour consultation with one of our trade show experts to discuss all aspects of your marketing goals, timeframes and budget.

Download the Ultimate Guide to Trade Show Success