You needed your display right away. The show was fast approaching so you Googled some search terms and clicked and ordered from the first website you found. What you thought was a straight forward product purchase quickly became a nightmare. When you receive your order, you are shocked to find only a graphic, but no backdrop frame. You quickly call the supplier but no one answers. You email them and get an email back later that day. The supplier informs you that you purchased the “graphic only” without the frame. Sure enough, even though the photo on their website showed a full display, there is a small note on the order for “graphic only”.

Now you have to overnight the frame in order to meet your due date. After the fact, you decide to do some more research. Come to find out, this company is know for misleading photos and advertising! Moreover, the cost of the display you purchased in 20% higher in cost than other quality trade show suppliers. Why isn’t it more simple? What can I do to education myself? You’re in the right place! This is how to avoid trade show disasters!

How to Avoid Trade Show Disasters!

Research, Research, Research!

When it comes to avoiding trade show disasters, we are experts in portable displays, custom exhibits, and trade show logistics so our advice will focus primarily on those areas of expertise. The first step to avoid disasters, like anything in life, is to research and educate yourself. If you solely rely on others, and trust but do not verify, you are setting yourself up for disaster. This doesn’t mean you need to be an expert, however you should have a base level of knowledge before exhibiting at a trade show.

Find an established, high value supplier

Hybrid PRO Modular ExhibitsIt is not a shock that we are going to promote ourselves as the established, high value trade show supplier to use! However, we have data to objectively back this up! Creative Imaging Display (formerly NWCI) was founded in 2009. Our reputation over the last 15 years is built on our low prices, order accuracy, fast lead times, a quality product line, and industry leading customer service. Trade show products are customized and unique to each customer. This is not like ordering something on Amazon. Each order is customized for each customer and requires precise attention to detail and logistic management. In trade shows, experience pays dividends and is essential to properly execute a project. Contact us at anytime to ask questions and talk trade shows!

Take Personal Accountability

Yes, that’s right, I am using the “A” word in a trade show blog. If you are easily triggered you might want to skip this is section. What is the best way for you to avoid trade show disasters? Take personal accountability of your timeline, expectations, and preparedness. If a supplier misses a ship date, or sends the incorrect product to your show it is their fault. However, why are you ordering your trade show products one week before the show when you signed up for the show 6 months to a year ago? You can avoid most trade show disasters by planning in advance, having contingency plans, and lining up quality suppliers in advance. Creative Imaging Displays can do a lot to help last minute exhibitors, however we can not turn back or create time. When it comes down to it, the success of the project is your responsibility. Put processes in place so you can ensure a successful outcome!

Do Not Get Lazy!

When figuring out how to avoid trade show disasters make sure to utilize all of your skills. Do not get lazy! Manage the project in a way that you are involved enough to monitor every aspect of your trade show. Create a spreadsheet with a free project management template and track each part of the project. It is easy to get complacent and assume everything is going to go exactly as planned. Most of the time it does. However, trade shows involve the entire supply chain to ensure the show is executed. Take extra time to manage your own project (not micromanage) to make sure things are running smoothly. If a problem comes up, not only will you be aware of the process, you may catch it early enough to avoid the problem!

Are you an experienced exhibitor? What steps do you take to avoid trade show disasters? Please let us know in the comments below!