The booth went up today. The usual stuff happened: the crew showed up on time, the electricians took a too-long lunch, it was a mystery finding all of the graphics. But in the end, it all came together and looked really good. And like the photos and initial designs.
Tip #1: make sure you have all of the photos, drawings, crate lists and guides you can have in advance. It takes you less time when you are prepared. This seems like common sense, but you'd be surprised how many people don't do this.
Tip #2: make sure you understand the labor rules. They vary from city to city and hall to hall. For example, here in Vegas, monitors, lights, and anything electrical can't be run by you or your I&D (carpenter) labor. So, when my electricians decided to take a long lunch, it left me waiting for the monitors to be hung and cables routed. The rest of the booth was set and crates sent away, while I sat with a pile of cables and monitors.
Tip #3: work with guys on the floor. Our day went quickly and incident free because the lead I&D guy worked with the millwrights running the forklifts. We had a "freight-free" aisle in front of our booth and we couldn't unload our crates in front of the booth. It was a really cool assembly line of moving-unpacking-and-hauling-away. Make friends and see things work smoothly.