Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘Installation and Dismantle’

10 Tips for a Successful Installation & Dismantle

February 8th, 2013 COMMENTS

Photos courtesy of Trade Show Supply

Planning ahead will save you time and money on your next setup. More often than not, preventable snags slow down installations on the show floor. Here’s a list of ten tips that will help avoid those common obstacles that can waste time and drive labor costs through the roof. As you’ll see, there’s a theme here — PLAN AHEAD . . . and you’ll probably come in under budget!

Successful I &D Tips

1.  Early communication with the lead on the I & D team by scheduling a call prior to the set-up to discuss the details & your expectations. And be sure to send set-up diagrams, booth orientation (direction), and graphic layout orientation ahead of time to reference. Exchange contact information in case something unexpected comes up, so that all parties involved know how to get a hold of each other.

2.  Be sure to arrange for the necessary tools and equipment (# of ladders and heights? genie lifts needed? banding tools and supplies for client pallets or equipment?).

3.  Send your I & D provider copies of your electrical order and a grid layout detailing the location (and specific power needs) for each drop. Again, be sure that the grid layout indicates the surrounding booth locations to ensure the booth is being oriented properly. TIP: 100 watt bulb = 1 amp; 1 monitor = 3 amps; count up light bulbs and monitors to confirm how many “amps” you need at each drop, based on the # of lights or electronics that will be drawing power from each drop!.

4.  Same thing with your flooring. Double-check to make sure your flooring has been scheduled for installation prior to your set-up. Be sure to send copies of your carpet and/or flooring order to your I & D company, so if there are delays at show site, they can act as the advocate on your behalf. Make sure the correct color is called out clearly on your order. Along the same lines, if you have a hanging sign, make sure the order is submitted to have it installed (w/ copies to your I & D company!).

5.  If possible, ask that your I & D company — the day before the set-up — check to see that the electrical and flooring has been installed correctly, and that your booth is clear of crates and show materials. This will help to ensure no costly wait time when your installation team begins setup the following morning.

6.  Print and email copies of line drawings, renderings, and staging photos of your exhibit design. Also include hard packets of this information in your exhibit cases/ crates, so there are plenty of copies for the I & D team to use.

7.  Do a good job of labeling every exhibit component, and be sure to check that everything corresponds with your set-up diagrams.

8.  Make notes and take photos to help describe any little tricks, tips, or special attention details for assembling any of the more complicated components. This will save a lot of time.

9.  Hold a brief meeting with the I & D team right before the setup begins to review your expectations for the day; show them your set-up diagrams and photos so they can visualize the finished product. And have a list prepared showing the proper order in which components should be built. This will prevent having to backtrack, wasting time and money.

10. If you find that a member of the I & D team just isn’t performing to your minimum standards, you have the right to request a change. Tell the I & D Lead that you need to replace that individual with someone more experienced. You’re paying a lot of money for this service, so it’s okay to expect everyone to be on-time, professional, and productive.

Our thanks to Chris Griffin from Trade Show Supply for contributing to these tips and for the photos.

Jim Shelman
General Manger
Classic Rental Division & Exhibits Northwest


Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions and engineered aluminum extrusions (ClassicMODUL). The Classic Rental division offers an extensive gallery of inline and island exhibits with flexible customization options. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100.


What You Should Know as a First-Time Exhibit Buyer

September 20th, 2009 COMMENTS
Visionary Design VK-1073 Hybrid Exhibit

Visionary Design VK-1073 Hybrid Exhibit

  • Don’t let the trade show exhibit buying experience intimidate you
  • Your marketing objectives and strategy should dictate your exhibit marketing needs
  • Be prepared for sticker shock. Exhibits can be expensive
  • Where to buy depends on your goals. Do you need a large custom exhibit? Or do you need a portable, modular, or hybrid exhibit?
  • Plan ahead. You’ll save money and make smarter decisions

How to Get Started

For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that exhibit marketing is a new experience. Exhibit marketing is certainly not rocket science. You don’t need a marketing degree to be successful at exhibit marketing. However, it helps to get advice so you make the right decisions.

Buying your first exhibit can, at first, raise more questions than answers. There are different types of exhibits and different types of exhibiting. The best fit will depend on how you plan to use the exhibit, the image you want to project, and the budget you have to work with.

Chances are you’ll purchase your exhibit from a local exhibit company. Exhibit companies have been around for decades and understand exhibits and trade shows. Originally, exhibits were custom-crafted. Then exhibit systems evolved as an alternative to the high cost of custom craftsmanship. Now, there are multiple exhibit categories. Exhibit systems, which includes portable, modular, and hybrid exhibits, are evolving towards custom-crafted exhibits, and custom-crafted exhibits are evolving towards exhibit systems. Both have distinct advantages and exhibit companies work hard to carve out distinct niches along the custom to portable spectrum. The exhibit (or exhibits) that best fits your company’s exhibit marketing strategy will slot in somewhere along this spectrum. This is where an exhibit consultant can be very useful. Ultimately, an exhibit consultant wants to help you maximize your exhibit marketing potential.

Tips for a Successful Exhibit Installation & Dismantle

June 10th, 2009 2 COMMENTS
Trade Show Installation and Dismantle

Trade Show Installation and Dismantle

The trade show floor can be like operating in a foreign country. However, if you follow a few basic tips, you can successfully and economically navigate the Installation and Dismantle waters of your next show.

1. Choose a Quality Labor Partner

  • Consider national coverage so you have consistency
  • What is their reputation for integrity and performance –ask around
  • Price – While cost per hour is important, keep in mind that comparing the rate of an independent contractor to a general contractor (GC) is not comparing apples to apples.  Independent contractor labor is typically far more efficient, thereby resulting in few hours billed 

2. Complete the Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Letter  (EAC Letter)

  • Check your exhibitor services manual for the due date.  This is typically 30 days prior to the show – but can be as much as 90 days
  • Complete the form, send it to the show contractor and send a copy to your labor contractor
  • If it is past the due date, call your labor contractor. They may be able to work it out with the show

3. Choose the Right Shipper

  • Choose an experienced trade show shipping partner
  • Price – Do not compare the price of shipping with a van line (point to point transportation) to that of a common show carrier (consolidates loads, breaks down skids, rough ride).  They are not equal.
  • Label each item on a skid separately.  Skids sometimes get broken down

4. Pre-Plan

  • Complete all service orders well in advance (electrical, carpet, hanging signs, material handling, etc.) to get best rates
  • Electrical – Be sure to include a dimensioned layout of where the electrical should go, along with an orientation for your booth (include surrounding booth numbers)
  • Send copies of all service orders to your labor partner