1) Observations from the field:
Recently, we observed the same mistake being made several times at the SEMA Show. For those of you who are unfamiliar, SEMA is an industry only trade show where all of the automotive manufacturers and the largest accessory manufacturers display their newest products and seek to create corporate image in the grandest of fashions. Anyone who is anyone in the automotive world is there from Bridgestone to Honda, Edelbrock to Ford.
As we were walking the show, looking for things that exhibitors could do better to control their trade show costs, we noticed one mistake being made over and over. The general contractor had their customer service people walking into exhibitor’s booths with the final bill for services looking for signatures. To the rest of your team manning the display, this seems harmless enough, but I was very surprised at how many unqualified staffers were only to happy to sign a bill that they did not have the skills or knowledge to confirm. For those of you who have read this e-zine or my book, you’ll recall that my staff and I find that in general the general contractor bill is off by 10%. Those of you who have negotiated with the general contractor before know how difficult it can be to get items in err removed from your bill. This difficulty is further complicated when one of your staffers innocently confirms all of the charges by signing this bill without any thought. Instruct your staffers to politely “Just Say No!”
Exhibitor Cost Saving Tip!
Make sure that the rest of the team staffing your trade show exhibit knows not to sign any of the show documentation unless you have reviewed it first. If you can’t memorize what the charges should be, carry a copy of your last bill(s) from this show, or a show where the same exhibit was used. This small piece of documentation will help you remember what the exhibit weighs, how much voltage is required to run it, and how many hours it should take for an electrician to power and light it. In addition, while it is not a certified weight ticket, the old bill will still help you to negotiate gross discrepancies in exhibit weight and ensuing freight handling charges off of the bill. While it may only help with these gross errors in exhibit weight, it is these large mistakes that will cost your company the most.
2) Professional Trade Show Exhibit Manager’s Handbook – We released the first version of this book in May and just released a slightly modified version in December. Feedback has been strong including an enthusiastic “Worth Reading” recommendation by Trade Show Executive Magazine in December 2006.
Based on reader feedback here are the most popular reasons for trade show professionals to purchase the book:
A) Use as a self-help tool for training staff to handle day-to-day trade show related responsibilities in the most cost effective manner.
And / Or
B) Senior marketing executives are using the ideas and concepts in the book as a vehicle for thinking outside the box when it comes to reducing their trade show costs and improving trade show marketing ROI without reducing the number of trade show venues, presentation level or marketing impact.
For more information about the Trade Show Exhibit Manager’s Handbook click on the following link www.exhibithandbook.com