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How to Trim Costs at Your Next Trade Show. Exhibitsusa.

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How to Trim Costs at Your Next Trade Show

How to Trim Costs at Your Next Trade Show

How to Trim Costs at Your Next Trade Show

Get the best ROI from your next trade show by reducing your show service costs – just follow these money-saving tips.

By Daniel Chaddock, President of E&E Exhibit Solutions

From trade show exhibit shipping and storage to electricity, set-up, takedown and more, there’s more to exhibiting at your next trade show than just booking space and bringing your display. Instead, you need to plan ahead, do your homework, and stay organized – and if you do, the savings can be significant.

To get the best possible deal on services at your next show, try following these simple money-saving tips.

When ordering services…

  • Plan ahead. Submit show paperwork early to get the best rates; you can check on early deadlines in your exhibitor manual or by consulting your exhibit house.
  • Stay organized. Keep your paperwork organized and take it with you to the trade show so you can refer to it in case of discrepancies.
  • Be detailed and specific. When ordering services, especially electrical, be as detailed as possible and submit layout diagrams and instructions. If an electrician or other show personnel needs to fix last-minute issues, you’ll be charged hefty extra fees.

When shipping your exhibit…

  • Consolidate your shipments. To save money, ship your trade show displays and accessories in as few batches as possible. Shows typically charge drayage fees per 100 pounds of materials, meaning you will be charged a minimum fee whether the shipment is five pounds or 95 pounds – so make each shipment worth it.
  • Try shipping to the warehouse. Shipping directly to a busy show site can mean extra fees for waiting time. Also, pay attention to receiving hours – show management companies will often apply overtime charges to accept freight beyond normal receiving hours, which are often only 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Bring small boxes yourself. If you have a simple box or two of giveaways, it’s easier to carry it in yourself instead of passing it through show management.

When scheduling labor services…

  • Bring a knowledgeable supervisor. Whether it’s a person from your staff or your exhibit house, a great supervisor will be able to direct labor efficiently, ensuring your trade show exhibits are set up correctly and meet show rules.
  • Arrange a tight labor schedule. With a good supervisor running labor efficiently, you can keep your labor hours to a minimum while the crew is on the clock – which doesn’t stop if you have an issue.
  • Keep it to regular business hours. Pay attention to scheduling – regular installation hours are usually 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. If your trade show labor crew works past these hours you’ll have to pay overtime, so it’s best to avoid scheduling labor for late afternoons or Fridays.

Trimming your show fees can play a large role in increasing your trade show ROI – and reserving your budget for items that will help increase your leads and sales, like new trade show graphics or accessories for your exhibit rentals (available in AZ) follow-up marketing efforts or giveaways.

For more advice on keeping your costs down at your next event – or for help designing or updating your trade show display – contact E&E Exhibit Solutions, your trusted trade show display company.


Since 1994, Daniel Chaddock has consulted on effective trade show exhibit designs and use of trade show displays for trade show marketing. He is currently president of E&E Exhibit Solutions, a trade show display company with expertise in custom portable exhibits and custom modular displays. You can reach Daniel via email to Daniel@exhibitsusa.com or contact us at 800.709.6935.

Clients say...

“We are really glad that we worked together with your company.  You provided us with high quality service.  We will for sure be back to you for organization of other events.”

-Vladislav Serenkov
Chandler Belgium bvba

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