Whether you are scheduling Installation and Dismantle labor (I& D labor), shipments, rigging labor, plumbers, electricians, or stagehands, scheduling is very important. An exhibit or products for merchandising your display, if unloaded on overtime, will increase your freight handling costs by 60%. Exhibit I & D labor, if work is done on overtime, will cost you 60% more. If it is a holiday or Sunday in some cities, labor will cost 100% more, double what it costs on straight time. Electrical labor, Rigging labor and Stagehand labor will also be 60% more on overtime.
In many trade show cities around the country, there are union rules that all but "prevent" exhibitors from moving their own product into the trade show hall. These rules ban exhibitors, and anyone except union staff from using any sort of equipment including dollies and hand trucks to move goods into the convention center. Only union employees are allowed to use this equipment. In addtion, in many cities, only those union employees that work for the general contractor are allowed to use this equipment.
Freight handling, also called drayage, costs are usually the second highest costs of exhibiting at a trade show, second in stature only to the cost of exhibitor rental space. Packing and shipping your display materials to reduce these costs is critical. Freight Handling Penalties of up to 50% of total freight handling fees are awarded for packing methods that do not conform to show guidelines as specified by the general contractor and late shipments.
For your booth at a trade show, the greatest long distance visibility that you can create is with a hanging sign. So by all means, if you are allowed (usually you must have a island space) consider such a sign. However, when you go out to design the sign, consider these key life cycle cost affecting variables:
If you are using labor from an EAC, or in some cases the general contractor to assemble your exhibit, you need to keep in mind the minimums required by that contractor. In general, there is a 4 hour minimum charge for labor (whether teamsters, carpenters or stagehands) and 1 hour minimum charge for electricians.
There are some very strong opinions about whether or not to ship into the advanced warehouse when moving your exhibit into a trade show. At most shows there is a premium charged for this service, but at almost no show is the premium so high that you should completely eliminate the possibility of using the advanced warehouse.
Instead, I usually base this decision on how tight the installation and dismantle set-up schedule is.
For those of you who are not familiar with Amazon Prime, an offer from the on-line retailer Amazon.com, this membership is a way to greatly reduce your costs on shipping of purchases through the Amazon website. While not all purchases qualify, almost any commonly used trade show supply can be purchased through an Amazon.com Prime supplier and it is easy to tell if the purchase qualifies for Amazon Prime shipping on the prodcut listing pages.
As you probably already know the purchase of cleaning services are very expensive at a trade show. I recommend that you plan to clean the booth by yourself. Are you allowed to clean your booth and carpet yourself? As long as you are in a right to work state you may do all of the cleaning yourself provided that you are wearing an exhibitor badge. To determine right to work state or union state, just "google" right to work state map. Even in union states, I have rarely been forced to stop cleaning or vacuuming a booth in 20+ years of trade show exhibit management.
Using USB 2.0 to HDMI® Display Adapter w/ Audio to run an HDMI compatible monitor with an older laptop or desktop We purchased a new 52" LCD display for one of our clients. In general we find that owning a display makes sense if the monitor will be used more than twice a year. The pricing is now low enough, that the savings from owning the unit more than makes up for the convenience and worry free strategy of renting.
Here in the northeast, we have been shoveling a lot of snow this year…so this morning out contemplating my next water-logged scoop full, I had this vision. Reduced trade show costs are like fallen snow. Here is why: 1) Like falling snow in New England, the savings accumulate as you get better at reducing these costs. However, unlike snow, you will always have additional things to do with the marketing dollars saved. 2) Like shoveling a driveway, trade show dollars can be saved over a large area.