Like many companies who participate in expos and conferences you’ve been approached by someone trying to sell you a tradeshow exhibit booth. They range in size, capabilities, and reputation – from the guy working out of his garage or mom’s basement to small, local businesses operating out of a little warehouse to well-known national or international organizations with huge facilities and staffs.

If you’re considering switching companies, here are 5 dirty little secrets many of them try to hide. Knowing these may help you choose a vendor that will meet your expectations, and keep your business safe and profitable.

Outsourcing Is Commonplace & Increases Your Costs

Many companies that sell tradeshow booths are just marketing and sales fronts. They may provide certain services inhouse. But, when it comes to designing, building, setting up, and storing exhibits they hand it off to a third party and build in huge markups. At the end of the day these costs are passed on to you.

The most logical way to avoid this is to ask what’s handled inhouse or outsourced. While it’s good practice for these companies to work with partner vendors on certain aspects of design, production, or service, farming out everything is ultimately not in your best interest.

Skirting Licenses & Regulations Puts You At Risk

Is the tradeshow booth company pursuing you licensed, bonded, and insured? If they are…great. If not, that can present a myriad of problems. The financial liabilities alone can be sizeable – from fines to lawsuits. What if facilities are damaged during installation, or their worker or yours is hurt? These are all things you should consider.

This is easily remedied by asking for proof of licenses and insurances. It’s a simple fix that can potentially save you enormous problems and huge amounts of money. Not to mention, the issues from working with an unscrupulous company can damage your reputation.

Limited Knowledge Of Local Venues Can Create Big Problems

Does your prospective vendor know the show rules in detail? Have they done a show in the venue before? If a problem comes up, will they know enough about the area to take care of the situation? This is why working with a local, seasoned partner is so critical. Understanding the ins and outs of the city, area surrounding the venue, and the venue itself will make for smoother setup, teardown, and will ensure that problems that come up are handled quickly and easily.

Shortcuts On Building Materials & Processes Means Shoddy Workmanship

There are various types of quality materials to build a tradeshow booth with. Some companies will try to lower costs to increase their profit margins. This means cutting corners on graphics or construction steps, using substandard materials, or hiring inexperienced labor. What this will leave you with is an exhibit that’s visually unappealing and structurally unstable.

Ask about the materials used in your booth. Find out how a prospective vendor recruits and trains employees. If you do this, you’ll end up with a finished product you’re proud of, and that’s build with high standards.

As you can see there are many things tradeshow companies can try to hide from you. If you research, ask a lot of questions, do some investigative work, and request documentation you can pick the partner that’s right for you.

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