And How it Can Affect Your Tradeshow Presence

Every year we seem to go through the same painful process in the weeks leading up to Staffing World – a mad scramble to get everything done on time. And I’m not talking about our own materials here. We were scrambling to get our clients’ tradeshow projects finished.

Frequently we get requests to develop booth displays or tradeshow collateral a week or two before the show begins. I can understand when there’s a last minute decision to attend a conference, but I’d be surprised if all of these decisions were last minute ones.

Why does this matter? Well, it comes down to this: the less time your creative agency has to develop your materials, the fewer choices you will have in getting them produced and, sometimes, the lower the quality will be. That doesn’t mean your agency will cut corners on the design – we will literally work around the clock to develop the artwork. But it can mean that some compromises have to be made in order to meet the deadline. This is where the printer or other vendors come in. Some booth display companies require a minimum of three to four weeks to produce materials. Deciding on new booth graphics less than a month before the show automatically eliminates those vendors that can’t fit your work into their production schedule. And they can refuse to take on your project if it means jeopardizing delivery of the work already in their queue. If they do take it, they may charge rush order fees to squeeze your job in.

When you rush last minute work, you may be forced to use your second or third choice of vendor, or only complete a scaled down version of what you’d really like to have. What else does a compressed work schedule mean? What if there’s a printing or production error? Or a shipping problem? There won’t be time to get the materials corrected or replaced. You could end up with no booth at all.

When you have a conference invitation, the first thing to decide is whether or not you’ll attend. The second decision is how do you want to promote yourself at the show—and what’s the best way to accomplish your goals? As soon as you’ve made those decisions, contact your creative agency and get cracking on solutions.

Yes, I’d like our clients to give us more time to work on their projects, but it’s not because I don’t like to be busy. It’s because we want to make sure your projects are done right, delivered on time and, most importantly, do what they are meant to: promote your business as effectively as possible!

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