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Tradeshow Success: The Supplier-Vendor Relationship

When trade show time rolls around, things seem even more hectic and busy than usual. This is when finding the perfect vendor to provide support becomes crucial. With so many vendors claiming that they can make your tradeshow exhibit simple, how do you choose the right solution for your company? Each solution can offer something different, so it becomes essential to do your homework during the selection process, keeping your company’s needs in mind.

 

Blazer Rental DesignWhen you’ve purchased a new display, that’s when it hits you – an exhibit supplier would be best to manage all of the important tradeshow set up details. Most people rely on the company that designed and built the display in the first place. Wouldn’t this be the best choice? While it is a logical choice, it’s not always the best one. While a company might be excellent at designing the display, they might not be so great at managing the rest of the important details to make it all go smoothly, like exhibit set up.

 

Where Do I Begin?

 

Before you can determine the company that will best manage all of the important details, you need to take a look at your own company and its specific needs. There is no way you will be successful otherwise! To start, you need to determine the specific help you require and the scope of it. Are you exhibiting in a high number of shows, or only a select few? If you fall into the latter category, you will probably want to stay away from the larger exhibit companies. These companies end up becoming an afterthought in this situation, with all of the focus being placed on the bigger names.

 

In regards to support, do you require full setup, or just storage or repairs? There are many things an exhibit company can provide, and each company can provide a completely different set of services. While one company might deal with the design and shipping, they might not offer set up or other show services.

 

Who Else Are They Representing?

 

Another consideration, especially for the “big” shows of the year, is how many other vendors are working with the same trade show specialist company? You’ll want to watch out here – if you find that the company you’ve chosen has a couple, that’s not a problem. It’s when you see a high number you should be concerned. Why? Think about it – what type of service will you receive from them when they have to provide similar services to ten other vendors?

 

Other Ways To Guarantee A Positive Relationship

 

Other considerations will help you choose the right vendor, and maintain a good relationship with them.

 

Review contracts carefully. Yes, that includes all of the fine print as well. There’s nothing worse than signing a contract and having something come up down the road that surprises you, only to hear, “Read the contract!” Don’t be afraid to negotiate for terms that fit your business a bit better, too!

Keep the lines of communication open. In today’s age of the email and text, it can be easy to stick to these methods of simple, instant communication. However, there is something to be said about face time (and I’m not talking about Apple’s version!). Schedule a face-to-face meeting at least once per year. Isn’t it nice to know what that person on the other end of the phone looks like? Get to know your representative a little better as well, setting you apart from the sea of face-less companies. You and your account rep will get to know each other better, building a bit of a personal relationship, making you more than just another account.

Don’t be afraid to discuss your budget. The only way your trade show management company can help you is by knowing the limit to your budget. Some are afraid to divulge budgetary information, but this is a mistake. Be open and honest regarding what you have for resources, and listen to suggestions they offer. You might find that spending just a touch more will bring you greater depth of service.

The company you select ends up being a representative of your brand. If you are leaving this company in charge of your exhibit design and setup, you’ll want to spell out clearly the image you want your booth representing. Discuss precisely the message that should be portrayed graphically in the displays. Set some standards regarding logos, copy, and other brand-specific materials on display at your booth. Ask questions regarding the types of displays offered so that you can choose the perfect displays for your business. Then, assure that they follow your instructions.

 

Each business represented at a trade show is unique in its needs. We can address all of your needs, working towards a healthy relationship for years to come. Contact us to discuss what we can do for your business at your next trade show!

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