Signing off on a quotation for an Exhibition Stand can be very daunting and is a big commitment. You are investing substantial money into the project after all. You need to ensure that you have understood what is included in your quotation before proceeding. Often exhibitors tend to assume what are standard inclusions. This will lead to concern and possibly even disappointment in the stand if not rectified early in discussions.
So, lets dig a little deeper and see what services are not always classified as ‘standard inclusions’ within a quote. We’ll outline what to be aware when you are anticipating a specific service that may not be a standard inclusion for all custom booth builders.
Every quotation will include some sort of fees for exhibition stand design. Design is something that every exhibition company will charge for in some way, shape or form. Standard inclusions for exhibition stand design will vary.
Some may simply charge a flat rate; others may charge in a matrix format depending on the size of your stand and others may simply charge an hourly fee which is calculated on how long your design takes to complete.
It is a good idea to gage with your stand builder as to how many design reviews/changes are included (if any). Is there a point that additional charges will occur for design changes? Some exhibitors will sign off on the first proposed design, others will need to go through multiple rounds of changes, so it is a great idea to see what is included with the standard design fees and what is not.
Unless stated otherwise on your quotation, freight generally covers transportation for your stand build components ONLY. The route will generally be from your stands builders’ warehouse to the venue and return. This is a crucial point to keep in mind especially if you are a company who has multiple products or machinery that also requires shipment to the venue. It is a good idea to find out whether you can utilise the freight quoted to have some of your items shipped also, which can save you money as well hassle with extra shipping.
Following on from that, you would then also need to find out whether there would then be additional fees for a forklift to unload off the truck.
If it is a case that your builder is packing up your products at bump out, ensure to clarify whether extra labour, packing materials or consumables will be required to do so and in turn result as an extra charge. If packing is absent from your quotation, it is worth querying with your stand builder what they will use for packing. One issue we face quite often is why packing can be so expensive on our quotations and missing from other quotes. We buy specific packing foam to use in combination with our electronic strapping machine. After working onsite with other exhibition services companies, we have never seen anyone else use a strapping machine like ours, which ensures that pallets never move and never come undone.
Freight and packing can often be an after thought when it comes to an exhibition stand, but when they cost a substantial amount, enquire about the methods used to protect and move them.
Test builds as a standard inclusion will depend on the specific exhibition company you have chosen to proceed with. Test builds are quite labour intensive, time consuming and take up a great amount of space within the warehouse, so it is a good idea to ask whether one is included. It may be as simple as depending on the size of your booth; smaller stands may not have this included, it may only be for larger and extensive booth designs. Test builds are a fantastic way to try and ensure a smooth and seamless installation onsite. It can also provide you with peace of mind that your stand builder is progressing with the build as planned, and they’re preparing to remove any obvious obstacles for onsite install.
Owned and Hired
Determining what is hired versus owned is a quote component which tends to catch exhibitors off guard. It can sometimes become a challenge for clients to understand what is what, so ensure you ask your stand builder to be very specific as to what components are yours at the end of the exhibition and what is theirs.
An example of this which we find arises quite significantly is walling structures. Clients will tend to assume they own the internal structure of the walls within their exhibition booth stand, when they only own the external cladding materials, generally graphics of some sort. This can become an issue especially later down the track when clients plan to re-use their existing booth, but then are made aware they never actually owned every component. Ensure that you specific whether you want to buy the stand and re-use it in the future, or you want to save money and only use the stand this one time.
Project Management Bump in and Bump Out
Most exhibition stand builders will include a project manager within your quote. This is someone who will manage the build onsite and ensure that the design you signed off is coming to life as planned. Be mindful that a project manager is a different cost to labour. The project manager will oversee the entire project and liaise directly with you and hand over the stand at the conclusion of bump in.
Depending on where the exhibition is being held, sometimes a project manager will have to travel to supervise the build. Generally, within a quote a standard inclusion would be for the project manager to be onsite for bump in only.
If bump out supervision is also required, clearly specify this to your stand builder so it can be included within the quote from the beginning. Bump out supervision is generally required when a stand is quite large and extensive, if a stand is doing a roadshow and jumping from one show to the next or you may have specific and valuable products at an expo that you want to ensure are packed up safely and kept with the exhibition stand.
Power and stand utilities are stand components which always seems to surprise exhibitors. Power is something which is subjective to each individual stand as every exhibitor has their own specific requirements. As I am sure most are aware “space only” stands don’t come with any power allocation, it is simply what it states, space only. So, when organising power with your stand builder it is a great idea to ensure you have thought about every component that may require power. General power is normally quite simple, this is for items such as AV, laptops, charging stations, coffee machine etc but where it does start to get complex is when your company has specific machinery or products that require a certain AMP of power and specific industrial plug. These are not general or standard inclusions and unless these are specifically requested to your stand builder, this type of power will not be allocated.
Following on from power, other utilities are also not standard inclusions. These are items such as water, compressed air, hardwire internet.
Water is a crucial requirement that your stand builder needs to know about early. So many things dictate where and how you can have water on your stand. This includes ensuring that your stand is situated on a water pit. Running water on your stand will also change the requirements of your sub flooring and underlay, as the plumbers are very specific with the amount of clearance they require under floor to run the piping. These specific requirements will also be very similar for compressed air which is also installed by the onsite plumber.
Every exhibitor will have access to the venue Wi-Fi, that is standard. But if a certain amount of internet is required on your booth or hardwire is needed for a specific speed this is will be added separately, and is not a standard inclusion.
It is always best to plan out your stand power and utility requirements early as finding out these kinds of surprises onsite is not ideal. It can cause extensive issues and delays with the build, especially if you have raised flooring. As most of these items are run under floor, the last thing you want is for flooring to have to be torn up, not to mention it is much more expensive to add these utilities onsite.
When it comes to trade show stands, every exhibitor tries to remain on budget the best way possible. Being knowledgeable on standard components that are generally included within a quote is an excellent starting point.
At Events 720 we will happily go through our quotations with you line by line and clarify exactly what is included as a standard and what is not, as well as the value provided to you for an item. If you would like to get the quoting process started, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Contact Us.