Tips for Installation and Dismantle Services

Here are some simple tips to help your company save on that tradeshow you want to attend. We all know that you as the exhibitor have many choices in the exhibit you want to use when attending a trade show. These come in many sizes from a 10 x 10 to full island displays. No matter, you still have to budget time for the set up and dismantle whether it is a pop up your team sets up or a display that you hire someone to set up.  We all know they require some sort of time. Let's take a look at these simple tips that can help you stay on budget.

1. Always prepare a plan of strategy.

Knowing your display and set up dates and times is a good place to start. We all know that most tradeshows have two to three days of set up. Always try to plan your set up on a straight time build. This is big for helping the companies check book. However on some occasions you are forced to an overtime set up or dismantle. This is where knowing your display comes in handy. For example, plan on using a display that is very simple to set up and doesn't require an outrageous amount of time to put together. After all the quicker the set the less you pay right. Wrong! I will get more into this as we move along into the next section.

2. Determine whether labor is a good fit for your booth.

Size up your booth and look at its elements. Is it a pop up or a hybrid unit? Is it a custom booth or a combination of both elements?  This helps you determine whether you want to handle the daunting task of putting up and taking down your display.  Something like a pop up for example is something you may want to consider to do yourself. It is very user friendly and sets up in no time. After all the best way to save on tradeshow budgets is to cut cost. A pop up allows the individual to avoid the four hour minimum that most labor companies charge. This goes back to my statement in my previous section. Just because your booth sets up in 1-3 hours doesn’t generally mean you will be charged for those hours. Most companies charge a four minimum for the up and down. Anything that takes more than the allotted time and resources of your marketing personnel should always be considered as an install and dismantle candidate for an I&D company. This allows your staff to stay on track for all other objectives in the show.   

3. Choosing a partner that has your best interest and not their own.

Many companies provide I&D services. Now finding one that's right for you is the next step. Feel free to ask the install and dismantle companies if they can give you two estimates, one estimate that is a turnkey and one that is based on time and material. Look at both estimates to see how close they are to each other. If there is a rather large difference you know the company is out to make a larger profit on your efforts. Truth is most install and dismantle companies have a lot of wiggle room for assisting in your budgets. Always ask them if they can come close to your estimated budgeted cost for I&D services. If they flat out say no or they cannot move on immediately to another partner.

4. Always make sure all parties have all the information they require. See examples below.

  • Show contact info lets you know who to reach in case of problems or if a question should arise
  • Show services forms- Useful in trouble shooting problems before you show up.
  • Booth orientation and electrical diagrams- Very essential before booth build begins. Helps avoid redo's or additional labor for re-orienting your display or pulling power afterwards.
  • Instructions and graphic orientation –Needed to construct display. We all seem to forget that yes these companies are professionals with many years in the industry but what we don't take into consideration is that it is still there first time setting up your booth. True they can probably figure it out but with instructions there experience really kicks in and the booth is set up in your budgeted time.

5. Schedule a meeting or have a conference call with the I&D company prior to the set up dates.

Being on the same page of what you want accomplished really helps thwart those last minute “oops and can you please,” due to the fact that they were never convened to the install teams prior to the install. As a long time Exhibit Manager one of the main things I tell my employees and customers is that Murphy’s Law runs rabid in our industry. It’s always that one time even after a hundred flawless times that if something is going to happen it will happen. After all, my favorite motto that holds true is “the devils in the details”. So do yourself a favor and schedule that meeting.

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