Sometimes setting up your own trade show exhibit makes sense and sometimes it doesn’t. But where is that line?
How do we know when to throw in the proverbial white flag and call for help?
It’s a measured decision to make the call to set up on your own or make arrangements to have it set up by someone else, but let’s knock out the easy decisions before moving on to the more difficult process.
You Have a Smaller Booth Size and/ or a Portable Trade Show Display
Having a 10X10′ Booth with a Portable Display usually makes it manageable to tackle all on your own. Yes, there may be some shipping & logistics. Yes it may take a bit longer than you’d like, but by-and-large it won’t impact those next several days in front of you where you need to be fresh and on your toes to make those trade show dollars pay you back… big time!
Do your best to make the process as streamlined as possible to cut down on headaches, such as:
- Create a pre-paid shipping return label for each package so you don’t have to do this after the show (when all you really want is to get home)
- Set up your exhibit ahead of time so there are no ‘surprises’ when you do begin setting up in your booth.
- Give yourself extra time specifically for setting up and don’t make any appointments that may interfere.
- Make a trade show setup checklist unique to your needs and print it out (yes printing out is more helpful than staring at your phone).
When Your Booth Size has Grown
Congrats if this is you!
Stepping up in booth size is quite the accomplishment. Hopefully this means you have achieved success with your smaller booth size and a company decision has been made that a larger booth will mean larger returns.
Even going from a 10X10′ to 10X20′ booth space can mean a much larger set up time and that might mean enlisting the exhibit troops to provide that extra help that is needed. Just make sure that the additional cost associated with labor is factored into your overall budget as you move up in size.
When You Won’t Have Any Help
They say ‘1 is the loneliest number’ and that is especially true when you begin unpacking your exhibit materials and you’re the only one there to set up.
If you’re flying solo (literally) and are in charge of the set up all by yourself with the added bonus of your booth not being super-easy to assemble, then shaking the business piggy bank for a little extra show site labor firepower might be your best bet to secure help with your booth setup.
When the costs start to out-weigh the benefits it is time to make a change. Think about spending those hours you’ll save into extra marketing efforts and driving more traffic to your booth and whatever additional labor costs are, you’ll more than make up for it 10X with your time being better spent on more productive tasks.
Consider Renting an Exhibit
The decision to set up your own booth vs renting an exhibit will depend on a lot of factors, but if you’re even on the fence trying to decide between them, renting your exhibit generally includes labor with all other logistics handled.
This is certainly a HUGE convenience and frankly the reason why so many companies do it.
There’s nothing quite like showing up to a booth that’s all ready to be merchandised and saving you the headache and sore back.
When the show is over, simply walk (or skip) away knowing your focused energy of selling more at the show made it all worth it to call for help!