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Old April 22nd, 2008, 12:40 AM   #1
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Trade show booths?

Anyone here ever had a trade show booth?
NAB? CES? WEVA?

If so, what is generally the minimum amount of square feet and how much do they usually charge per square foot?

Are you allowed to hook up 42" LCD TV's to show products/reels etc?

Any stories pro and con are appreciated here...
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 09:10 AM   #2
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Standard booth size is 10x10, though other sizes are sometime available, depending on the show. There are generally height restrictions on the front and sides of the booth to prevent blocking other exhibitors sightlines. You can usually put your large monitor on the back wall.

Contact the show promoter and venue for specifics. Usually the hosting organization contracts with someone who is experienced in putting together large shows. Depending on the venue, there are extra charges for electricity, internet connection, lighting, breathing etc.

Good luck
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 09:13 PM   #3
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Standard booth size is 10x10, t
OuCh!!! That gives me a price tag of $6,000 (For you european dvinfo'ers, that's about 24 Euros I think...)
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 09:52 PM   #4
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HD Expo in Chicago this June is getting $1800 for a ten by ten.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 03:25 AM   #5
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HD Expo in Chicago this June is getting $1800 for a ten by ten.
THAT I could deal with, but 6 grand is tough...
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Old May 1st, 2008, 02:32 PM   #6
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Just make sure you get ALL of the additional costs factored into a booth. There are MANY "surprise" charges that can jump up and bite you right in the profit center.

Depending on your physical display structure you may or may not be allowed to assemble your own booth display. Union charges for carpeting, I&D (install & dismantle), electricity, cleaning, drayage (moving your display from the marshalling yard to your booth location) etc., etc. add up really fast! These fees can vary widely, as some are determined by show management, others by the exhibit hall, and others by local union regulations.

Show management should be able to help you clarify your specific charges, but allow yourself extra budget for the "unknowns". Make sure you are aware of ALL regulations regarding display dimensions, permissible sound levels, etc. so that you can plan a display that is within spec.

Also, be prepared to show certificates of fire resistance/retardance of all items displayed in your booth. Non-compliance can result in extra charges or even expulsion from a show.

Above all, have a definite marketing plan for show attendees. Just waiting for people to stroll up to your booth is almost never cost-effective. Have a plan for attracting clients and have a strategy for qualifying them. You don't want to waste your (expensive!) time chatting with tire-kickers and curious onlookers. You need to be able to focus your energies on potential clients who are realistically likely to hire you.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 03:03 AM   #7
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I was working a trade show last year and at the end of the show we wanted something shipped back by FedEx. The show organizer told me there would be a $50 fee for them to arange shipment. I talked to the hotel's business center and they said they would have one of their staff pick it up and give it to FedEx for nothing (I was staying at the hotel). I asked them specifically about whether their arrangement with the organizer would allow them to do this and they told me that since it was their property their staff could pick up anything they wanted to. And they did. I tipped the guy who picked it up, but that was it.

The show had some very specific rues about what the exhibitors could do. In particular, their rules forbade any exhibitor to use any kind of tool in the exhibit area. This had to be done by the company they used for logistic suport and they wanted a couple of hundred dollars to have someone come and use a wrench to open a packing crate. I asked one of the guys actually working on the floor and he just gave me a wrench and helped me get the cover off and wouldn't even take a tip. Even the girl at the desk who had told me about the tool restriction added that of course this didn't apply to tools used to adjust the equipment that we were displaying, just tools used in the setup of the display itself.

Rules and charges differ show to show, and I've generally found the guys and girls doing the setup to be pretty helpful and reasonable and clearly able to distinguish beween taking four nuts off a packing case (free) and assembling a major display (fee). Even if the folks at the support desk couldn't seem to understand the same distinction.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 02:32 PM   #8
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Jim-

It's so nice to hear a story where common sense prevails over "the letter of the law".

I used to work in the tradeshow exhibit industry, and I have so many war stories about situations like yours where a self-important union boss wants to get cranky and not let a guy use a wrench for a minute or two. It's sad, really, because these are the clowns that give "the union guys" a bad name in general.

I have had the privilege of working with union crews who were spot-on in their services, working quickly, diligently, and proficiently. These are the guys you hope to work with. These are the guys who understand that helping a guy out with a wrench for a few seconds is a good thing.

But sadly I have also worked with the goons who are absolutely unyielding on ANY kind of union rule. They are far more interested in "being in charge" than they are in accomplishing the client's goals.

I guess the upshot is to hope for the best at a show, and know that it is always worth asking about. But if someone has his nose out of joint, you cannot expect reasonable results.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 03:13 PM   #9
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Ah yes, aren't trade shows FUN???

Actually I've generally had better luck with the guys on the floor than with the "customer disservice" reps sitting in the exhibitor support center.

A bit off topic, but I remember when we had a major contract at an auto parts manufacturer in upstate NY. We had a team of software guys stationed there developing a new shop floor automation system for them.

One of our guys was pretty nearsighted and needed more light so he moved a desk out from the wall and plugged in a lamp he had brought from home and pushed the desk back.

The next day our customer told us that their union had filed a grievance because our guy should have called a member of one union to move the desk, a member of the electrician's union to plug in the light, and then called the first guy again to move the desk back against the wall.

The good news was that because the union rep knew that we were outsiders and weren't familiar with the work rules, they had graciously decided not to call a work stoppage over the issue.
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