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With many trade shows having their exhibitors submit show service orders online and others allowing e-mail submission of forms, here are seven of the most important things to remember about submitting your show service orders:
- Be conscious of due dates. Most shows are still offering discounts to get your orders in early. Not all service order due dates for a show are identical, so be sure to note the deadlines for the services you are ordering.
- Pay special attention to labor regulations and the Exhibitor Appointed Contractor (EAC) forms. Smaller general contractors seem to accelerate the early deadlines so they can garner additional labor business. Unlike the two majors (Freeman and GES), in most cities general contractors don’t have the same available labor force so they do need more time for planning. As an exhibitor, you are generally best served by having your exhibit house arrange the labor to best serve your exhibiting needs.
- When submitting layouts for electrical (as well as internet or other utilities) an accurate floor plan of your booth indicating placement can save enormous expense and headaches once at the show.
- Hanging signs that incorporate either or both of motors (for rotation) and backlighting should be seen as a red flag! Considerations include:
- Who is allowed to build the sign?
- Who is allowed to attach the motor or lights to the sign or to the overhead grid?
- Who is allowed to plug in the electrical?
The answers will differ by venue and by city. Riggers, sign-hangars, electrical and labor unions all may play a part in a single sign!
- Ordering internet service often is in an exhibitors’ plan until they see the cost of the service for a two- or three-day event! Since access to internet goes directly to your in-booth activity and strategy, check on this expense, availability and options early in your show planning.
- Material handling (commonly called “drayage”) is usually something that shows will ask you to estimate and pay for in advance of your actual shipments to the show. Remember that most shows still have a minimum 200lb. charge for each separate shipment they receive. So, consolidate shipments and consider options for last minute small packages. And to avoid having to chase the general contractor for a refund, its better to avoid over-estimating the weight of your shipment(s).
- In addition to the exclusive services that can only be handled by the show’s general contractor or venue, most showbooks include options for rental of exhibits, flooring, furniture and accessories. Accessing these non-exclusive products and services from independent exhibit houses or contractors often will yield more varied options and pricing.
Prior planning for trade show services can help avoid extraordinary costs and save major headaches on the show floor. The difficulty of completing these forms varies by show and by contractor. For more information or help with your show forms, contact us today for a free consultation.