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
- 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