When you work with an install and dismantle (I&D) company at your next trade show—every exhibitor must hire an install and dismantle company—it is important to have full communications with them, so your exhibit remains intact.
It is essential for the trade show exhibitor, therefore, to provide the installer with a written, descriptive, detailed breakdown of all the trade show booth items and components. This inventory list should not only include the numbers, sizes, and dimensions of the trade show exhibit items, but also a description of what these pieces are. In fact, it’s helpful to have a photo of the inside of each crate. Providing specific and detailed information on your trade show display can make a huge difference in your trade show booth installation and dismantling efficiency and cost.
A detailed inventory list provided by the trade show exhibitor that includes not only the number of crates and skids, but also a detailed description of what is in each skid helps guard against losing pieces that may get detached. Everything should be itemized, including:
• Hanging signs
If these trade show exhibit items are included in detail, there is less chance for error. By giving this information to your exhibit installer, they will be able to do their job more efficiently, saving you time and money. Since everyone is in a hurry as the trade show move-in date gets closer, having a list on-hand in advance helps ensure a worry-free trade show booth installation on the trade show floor.
According to John Taggart of Coastal International, a Sausalito, California-based company that specializes in installing and dismantling custom trade show exhibits, the work his employees do relies heavily on the information he gets from the trade show exhibitor.
Here are some of the installation guidelines that Taggart identifies as essential for a worry-free exhibit:
1. Understand the trade show floor facility. Determine in advance where the electrical is positioned in that facility. Does the electrical distribution come from the floor or from the ceiling? If the electrical comes from the ceiling, you will need to hide the electrical hanging cords, perhaps inside a tower, and then spider the cords out on the floor and cover them with carpet. Knowing wiring requirements in advance will simplify the lighting and power process for the installer.
2. Coordinate the time schedules of all your vendors. It is important to know how to properly pace the timing of your freight carrier, drayage, and installer suppliers. For example, if you are exhibiting in the Hilton Hotel in downtown Manhattan, you will need to allow extra time for freight to be delivered. This is due to limited access to hotel freight elevators and the fact that the hotel has only two dock spaces. There is also heavy downtown traffic that can cause delays. Advise your freight carrier to check in to unload at the earliest possible time. They can avoid long lines by getting to the exhibit dock well in advance of the stated move-in time.
3. Provide a full-scale layout of the specific exhibit display, including a description of where each panel goes. It is best to provide this layout five to seven business days before the show. Why? Exhibitors may be traveling on airplanes, and your I&D handlers will be unable to reach the exhibitor rep via cell phone. If your installer has to make a judgment call, and it’s a wrong one, you would need to pull electrical, carpet, and other pieces and start all over. By knowing where each exhibit component is positioned, they will be able to accurately assemble the booth without guesswork and avoid costly re-dos and downtime.
4. Provide specifics on outbound shipping of your exhibit. When it is time to break down the exhibit, be sure your I&D company has information on the correct outbound shipping address, repacking instructions, and proper bills of lading.
Remember that a descriptive and detailed inventory list can save you time and money and ensure your booth remains intact. The more information your I&D handler has, the faster they will be able to do their job. If you take the mystery out of your trade show exhibit assembly, you will win the day.