April 14th, 2017
Most first-time exhibitors know they need to budget for the building of a trade show booth display. What they sometimes forget is that there are other aspects of exhibiting that will also need to come out of their trade show budget. And one of the most overlooked elements of a trade show booth display is its installation and dismantling. The set up and tear down of the booth can cost you a lot of money if you do not plan carefully. Between required union labor, overtime or double time payments, and the simple fact that setting up a display can take a lot of hours, you can end up paying thousands of dollars for I&D. While you may not be able to avoid set up and take down costs entirely (unless you choose a modular or portable trade show display), the good news is that you can save money on the process. Starting with smart trade show booth design and incorporating other strategies throughout the process, you can minimize your I&D costs without sacrificing the quality of the service.
Build time-saving elements into your trade show booth design.
Saving money on I&D costs starts with the build of your trade show booth display. While you cannot put the whole display together at the exhibit company’s warehouse, there are time-saving elements you can build into the design that will mean less I&D labor on the show floor. For example, graphics can often be added to your booth before it is shipped. When your exhibit company applies these graphics, the quality tends to be greater, while the labor costs tend to be lower. In addition, there are often small things you can put together before the display is shipped (i.e. brackets, drill holes, etc.). While these may seem like small details, they can save you time and money once you are at the exhibit hall. If you want to save even more money ask your exhibit company to consider I&D when designing your trade show booth display and minimize complex or intricate elements that take more time to put together.
Take advantage of your exhibit company’s trade show management services.
Often, your exhibit company will do more than design and build your display. They will offer program management services that oversee everything from the transportation to the installation and dismantling processes. Taking advantage of these services can save you money (and time). For example, the exhibit company can find and contract your I&D services for you. Thanks to long standing relationships with I&D companies, they can often find you better deals than you could negotiate on your own. Plus, they know who the most reliable companies are and can obtain labor that is both affordable and skilled. In addition, the exhibit company can often provide supervision during the set up and tear down. This extra, expert support means you have a set of eyes on the project that knows exactly how the display should be handled and can ensure that the work is progressing at the proper speed and with the proper level of care.
Take on whatever I&D work you can do yourself.
The rules surrounding I&D at a trade show are pretty specific. In many cases, you will be required to hire union labor for certain jobs (such as laying electrical wire). In addition, you may not be allowed to do certain things (such as move pieces of the display yourself). Complicated or large displays require professional set up in order to be achieved safely and efficiently. At the same time, do not shortchange yourself and your budget by allowing your I&D labor to do work that you can do yourself. For example, fetching items from the service desk, pointing out the pieces of the trade show booth display that workers are looking for, or accomplishing other small chores can save you time over the course of the I&D. And that time translates into saved money in the form of reduced hours worked that you need to pay for.
Plan your I&D labor to avoid overtime or double time expenses.
Overtime and/or double time costs can skyrocket your I&D bill very quickly. Avoiding these costs can play a large part in keeping your I&D expenses low. However, doing so requires some planning, since there are often specific rules governing what counts as overtime or double time. The first step is to get an accurate idea of how long your trade show booth display will take to set up and tear down. Consulting your bills from previous years can give you an idea, but if you are new to the trade show world, you should ask your exhibit company for an estimate. Using their estimate, hire the right number of laborers for the set up and dismantle to avoid overtime. For example, if you need to plan for 30 hours of set up time, you might want to hire 5 people for 6 hours, instead of 4 people for eight hours. The shorter time will help you avoid overtime charges. In addition, time your set up and tear down carefully. Snagging the first set up spot of the day by asking for it early means your crew will be there on time instead of getting delayed on another set up. Scheduling your dismantle for the day after the show can mean avoiding the high labor rates that often accompany work that occurs late in the afternoon or in the evening. Keeping I&D costs low can help you to stay within your budget (and maybe give you more money to direct toward a showstopping design). By building time-saving elements into your trade show booth design, taking advantage of your exhibit company’s trade show management services, taking on whatever I&D work you can do yourself, and planning your I&D labor to avoid overtime or double time expenses, you can save money without compromising on the quality of your trade show booth display.