Friday, May 21, 2010

Returning Shipments

OK, the show is over, and all of the freight has been packed and the bills turned in.

Now what?

Well, the stuff (freight, goods, graphics, exhibits, demo equipment) is going back somewhere (or multiple somewheres). What are you going to do with it when it gets there? And what if things are damaged?

Make a list, a plan, to make sure all of these things get done upon return. But also be prepared for the worst: do you have a detailed manifest of each skid, roll and crate including contents and weights?

What this will save you is being able to recover the cost of lost goods if you have the details. You also have ammo if your weight differs from what the trucker and the general contractor at the show have, which could save you lotsa bucks.

Be prepared on the out and the back and you won't lose things or money.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Aviall Exhibits at EBACE

The 10th annual European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) ended its three-day conference earlier this month in Geneva, Switzerland. Our colleague, Gary Donatell of Freeman Exhibits, was there with Aviall. He filed this report for our blog.

The exhibition was sold out and 11,174 attended the event.There was a general air of optimism that the global industry’s economic outlook is on the upswing, EBACE reported. Event organizers also pointed to positive signs, such as the sense of enthusiasm among exhibitors and attendees.

Aviall continues to increase their presence at this show, while being very budget conscious. The roughly 20' x 20' exhibit is twice the size of their exhibit in 2009.

“I would categorize their display as a rental ‘custom turn-key’ exhibit,” Gary said. He goes on to report that the budget for this exhibit, not including graphic design and production provided by Zachry and Associates, and transportation of the white fabric cube was US$25K. This total includes the 7.6% VAT.

This works out to about $62.50 per square foot, and represents a real value in today's economy. Consider that recent industry studies even put stateside rentals at twice that number, this makes international exhibiting seem affordable.

“Speaking of the white fabric cube,” Gary continued. "It has become an icon that Aviall uses at various trade shows they attend. At EBACE, there were restrictions on hanging anything from the ceiling, so the booth had to be designed to have it rest on top of the exhibit. It worked out nicely.”

Thanks, Gary. We’ll pass on your report on the whole show in a future post.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Putting Together an Exhibit from Stray Pieces, Part V: It Comes To Life

We finally made it to the NACStech show. The concept is now reality.

The idea of taking truss and enveloping it in fabric is an idea that really has merit. While it still has its challenges, it is a way to revitalize standard-looking properties and turn them into something customized for the client.

By including zippers, this could become even more tailored to specific business units.

Adding lighting gives it all another dimension.

The upside:
  • You can achieve a different look with a simple fabric sleeve
  • It weighs a lot less than a traditional hard-structure booth
  • The size of the shipment is reduced

The downside:
  • Lots of small pieces and that can be a trap for crews not used to assembling modular exhibits.
  • Limits on where monitors and accessories can be placed
  • Can tear if not cut and grommetted correctly
  • Have to be cleaned and steamed

The partners on this project include the following people and organizations. These projects can only be accomplished by cooperation and good work done in a timely fashion.
  • Retalix, the client, and Dar Hackbarth, their Director of Marketing Communications
  • The Taylor Group, Dallas, led by Tim Hampton, for the management of the exhibit properties and the basic idea that was suggested to the client
  • FSD, Dan Hughes' company in Denver, who produced the actual fabric "sleeves"
  • Zachry Associates' lead designer, Danny Flanagan, for the design concept and translation of the Retalix brand
This was a fun project and one that shows that imagination, even in its simplest form, is alive and well in the exhibit industry.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Trade shows are fun when...

...they are over.

...the client is happy. can fix all the things that need fixing in time.

...the staff knows how to engage prospects and gather and qualify leads.

...those with positive feedback don't gush too much. By the same token, those that aren't happy are not overly vocal and critical. get to share a meal or a drink with a valued colleague and learn of yet another aspect of their personality.

Care to add any to this list?


Report from the Field: NACStech 2010, Surviving the Verticalization of Trade Shows?

From the one-day set to the shrinking number of exhibitors, this is NACStech 2010. This show really is a good slice of the technology pie from C-Stores, but for some reason, lacks the high-end support it needs to be sustained.

I hope that changes.

The future of trade shows, in my opinion, is in being vertical. At one time, healthcare had broad-based, horizontal shows like AHA (American Hospital Association). Now the focus (as the industry itself has shifted) to many verticals: healthcare construction, devices, medications, treatments, management and so on.

Why can't convenience and grocery be treated the same way?

Sure, from an exhibit supplier standpoint, this isn't really what works with the model. We all want large exhibits to build, ship, dray and set up. Truth is, the exhibit industry customer wants to see more prospects, suspects and existing clients by spending their dollars in a clearly focused fashion.

Do more smaller shows better and reach more clients? What a concept!

Why not C-Stores?