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Controlling Your Trade Show Costs

By: Andy Marken

In his nearly 25 years in the advertising/public relations field, Andy has been involved with a broad range of corporate and marketing activities. Prior to forming Marken Communications in mid-1977, Andy was vice president of Bozell & Jacobs and its predecessor agencies. During his 12 years with these agencies, he developed and coordinated a wide variety of highly visible and successful promotional campaigns and activities for clients. A graduate of Iowa State University, Andy received his Bachelor's Degree with majors in Radio & Television and Journalism. Widely published in the industry and trade press, he is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Across the country the cost of trade show services, including shipping damage, setup, tear-down, and show support have risen dramatically. It's a major concern to every manager.

But you can keep costs in line and even reduce service costs by applying a little planning and attention to:
  • Pre-show preparation of the exhibit
  • Shipping procedures
  • Information follow-through
  • Rerouting evaluation
  • Rerouting procedures
The summary below should help you curtail your trade show costs.

Pre-show preparation of the exhibit
  • Is the exhibit "right" for the show?

  • Does it tell the right story?

  • Are any alterations necessary?

  • Has it been inspected?

  • Is it in good condition?

  • If not, have repairs been made?
Shipping procedures
  • Has the quickest and least expensive method of shipping been elected?

  • Has the exhibit been shipped early enough? - Has it been shipped via the proper carrier?
Information follow-through
  • Has a bill of lading been provided to those who will set up the exhibit?

  • Have the trailer number and tracing information been provided?

  • Has the case containing set-up drawings and hardware been clearly identified?

  • Have those in charge of the exhibit setup received copies of the order forms for various services?
    1. Furniture?

    2. Floor covering?

    3. Electrical connections?

    4. Telephone?

    5. Plumbing?

    6. Cleaning?

    7. Special orders?

    8. Other?
  • Have those who will set up the exhibit been notified the identity of the person to be in charge of the exhibit?

  • Also, where can they be reached at any time given?

  • If an exhibit service organization is being used, has the company person in charge been notified where he can reach the organization's representative?
Routing considerations
  • Should you ship the exhibit back to the point of origin?

  • Should you store it temporarily in the city where the show is being held?

  • Should you ship to the city where it will be exhibited next?

  • Have clear instructions been given for rerouting?

© Copyright 2001, G.A.Marken, Marken Communications

Other Articles by Andy Marken

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


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