It’s been a while for many experienced trade show managers since they’ve had to work on a show. Many companies have either cut, shifted, downsized, or reassigned marketing staff in the last 14 months and many new people are being tasked with successfully, creatively, and efficiently pulling off events.
As your organization seeks to do more with less, when it comes to trade shows don’t let ‘salesperson avoidance’ or ‘it’s not today’s emergency’ backfire on your company’s budget, stress level, or planning. Unlike many B2B or even B2C purchases of products and services, timing for displays, exhibit rentals, graphic design or production, and reserving installation or I&D labor are time sensitive.
Here are a few reasons its important to plan and act as early as possible:
1 – The entire labor contingent in the tradeshow
universe has been idle for a long time leading to an exodus of manpower. Exhibit houses are working hard to retain and attract the best talent and you want to reserve quality labor for your build. That happens by working early with your exhibit or labor partner.
2- Since the widespread inception of Covid vaccinations, show organizers have been hitting the “go” button on events that were previously tentatively scheduled. Their delay in confirming led not only to many participating exhibitors firming up plans but also a delay in the usual advance time for releasing show kits. Many shows that might have planned “special Covid rules” are proceeding as normal leaving special arrangements between the show organizer and the venue without burdening individual exhibitors. For shows that will have special rules, in most cases they won’t impact the majority of booth design. (Most legit exhibit houses will work with clients on special accommodations requiring re-design and have a cancellation policy in place should a “go” show get put on hold)
3- Costs and availability of wood, metal, glue, A/V components and many other materials and elements common to the tradeshow world have all been impacted by the Pandemic. Earlier commitments on new builds and expansions will lock in pricing that presently is headed in the wrong direction due to supply and demand.
4- “I’ll take my usual 20×20 needs and requirements but let’s put them in a 10×10 for this show!” Some exhibitors are enthusiastically embracing the return to tradeshows – just in a smaller way. That means time for re-design, time for production and time for internal re-orientation. Even if you’re going smaller than usual, put your best coordinated foot forward!
5- Tradeshow costs are always lower when shipping doesn’t have to be rushed; when advance order deadlines are met for all the show orders; when there are no rush fees for production; and when you and your exhibit house can work and think in terms of a total show schedule versus a sole event focus.
If Yogi Berra didn’t say it, he should have: “timing is so important, I’m gonna get some!”