Trade Show TalesBlog

Word on the Street — March 1st thru March 5th

March 7th, 2010 COMMENTS
Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates!

But should your trade show exhibit buying experience be?

For starters, yes I did just watch Forrest Gump. And YES, I do think life is like that. Meaning, you never know what you’re gonna get in many situations.

However, when buying an exhibit, things should be predictable. What you see is what you get. Well, lesson learned. Within the next three weeks, the Sacagawea, Perfect 10, and Magellan kit prices will include all the fabric and direct print graphics shown in the renderings. It will take a few weeks to re-price these kits. However, we expect to complete it by the end of March. It’s not done yet . . . so don’t jump the gun. We’ll announce the new prices once we’ve updated the PDF and online sheets.

Back to the movie . . . the “box of chocolates” line made me understand how frustrating the experience of buying an exhibit can be for an end-user. Just spend a little time looking at many online trade show exhibit sites. They’ll show a 10 x 10 hybrid with nice graphics, a couple of backwall pedestals, and a front freestanding pedestal. All for only $3200 (or something nutty like that).

But if you dig a little deeper or open the box of chocolates, this is what you’ll find.

In reality, that $3200 price tag includes just the backwall and the canopy header. Once all the elements shown in the rendering are included, the exhibit really costs $7500. Seems sort of deceiving to me at best, and “bait and switch” at worst. If I were an end-user, I would be saying, “What the hell?!”

forrest-gumpI may be making a mountain out of a mole hill. I don’t know. But just this week, I had three distributors ask how a competitor could sell essentially the same configuration that we show in Exhibit Design Search for $4000 – $5000 less! Only after I took them to the online site and walk them through the math did they realize that their customer had been hoodwinked. In all three situations, the end-user came back to the Classic Distributor expressing their frustration that the “other” company had “misrepresented” the price and that they would be ordering a Visionary Designs Hybrid from Classic . . . and not the “cheap” hybrid the other company was offering. What do you think — Mountain or Mole Hill? Or would you agree with Forrest that, “Stupid is as stupid does”?

Have you seen any “Bait and Switch” practices online?  Click on the comment link and share your experiences.

Oh yes . . . For the next 10 days, watch for my Twitter and this blog postings as I share our our EXHIBITOR 2010 journey. We expect this to be our most successful EXHIBITOR SHOW EVER!

If you are coming to the show, see us at booth #929 and join us in our Hospitality Suite on Tuesday.

–Kevin Carty

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