Tips & Tricks from the Trade Show Floor – Don Mascot

With all of the competition for attendee attention, choosing an AV partner with tradeshow experience is as important as ever. LED video walls, interactive touchscreen displays, and projection mapping are a few of the elements showing up on the show floor with more and more frequency. As essential as AV, Lighting and Digital Media engagement have become integral parts in the tradeshow world. Here are a couple key elements that must fall into place in order to maximize show potential:

Convention center environment experience is a must.
Many AV companies that specialize in meetings and events are used to working with their own controlled labor force. Conversely, most convention centers have in-house or general contractor provided labor forces that can be either union or non-union. In either case, they are a monopoly source of labor that all companies working in the convention center must use. Jurisdictional rules for which labor force must set up each type of equipment vary from venue to venue; and a mistake in pre-ordering this labor can shut down the setup which will have a domino effect on the entire process for the exhibiting client. It takes a seasoned professional with experience working in these venues to both estimate accurately the costs for operating in the convention center and managing the labor once onsite.

Drayage (that dirty little word).
Having a drayage strategy is also key for saving money on the show floor. It is a common practice in the corporate show world to send extra cable and gear to cover all possible scenarios that may arise during load in. This practice can cost your client thousands of dollars at shows that charge as much as $120.00 per hundred pounds of freight delivered to the show floor. Strategic packing of gear, but more importantly cable, to reduce weight, is a must.

Size and Scale Matters.
Using an AV company with only one location can create cost issues when a show is located miles from the company’s office. Freight cost is the most obvious contributor here, but late requests for additional gear called in from the show floor can also create problems if the AV supplier cannot get the equipment onsite in a timely manner. If your show schedule takes you to venues across the country (or across the globe), it pays to work with a company with a national footprint and a global strategy.

Commitment to your show.
Challenges and opportunities occur on the show floor all the time. It is extremely important that your AV partner have a 24/7 protocol to get gear out of the warehouse and delivered to the show site whenever that challenge or opportunity arises. Ask your AV partner if they will answer 2:00 AM phone calls, and if they can they make things happen (with split second notice) at any time for you if necessary.

Get the latest and greatest gear.
Choosing a partner with a large, up to date inventory is very important. With LED video wall resolution getting better every year, a 6MM pixel pitch LED wall will look fine until your booth neighbor shows up with a 3.9MM pixel pitch wall. Matching video displays that look new and out of the box will represent your brand well. Mismatched or scratched up displays will not. Lighting fixtures with the appropriate color temperature for your brand are also important. Furthermore, LED lighting fixtures with moving heads will save money in two ways: lower power requirements and “focus from the floor” capability. Both of which are key elements.

Like it or not, your booth will be judged on how it compares to others on the show floor. Consequently, having the right partner will help you display your brand effectively. LMG prides itself on years of experience and a wide range of show capabilities that can provide you and your company with the gear necessary to compete for attention; all while doing so in a cost effective manner. Successful tradeshows can be the difference between business development or irrelevancy in a continuously changing market. Choose carefully.infograph

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