Tradeshow coordinators have a tough job. The margin for error is small and in the tradeshow environment, any mistakes become magnified. This week we will discuss some of the things that can mess up a budget quickly.

First, not following the instructions in your show book packet can be very expensive. By sending your exhibit to the pre-show warehouse rather than ship direct to show can save you a ton of money at most shows.

If you need show labor, electrical service, carpeting, waste baskets, furniture, or any of the other items show services has available for you, it is important to meet the deadlines for ordering these items or the cost could easily triple if you have to order them after the date listed in your packet.

For anyone experienced in shows, one of the most dreaded things is having your exhibit “forced”. This happens when for whatever reason your exhibit is not ready to be removed from the show floor at the designated time. This can be caused by a scheduling mistake with your I&D crew, a mistake with your freight company, or a mistake with your labeling. Whatever the reason, if your exhibit becomes forced freight it will be very expensive compared to what you budgeted for return freight.

Drayage is another potential budget buster. Most shows charge drayage which is the cost of moving your goods from either the dock or the pre-show warehouse to your booth space. Since these charges are based on a price per hundred weight, it is important to condense your exhibit and other accessories in as few of containers as possible. Let’s say you have 4 boxes that weigh 25 pounds each. Since each piece is charged as if it were 100 pounds you would be paying four times as much as you would have if you’d of condensed the four boxes into one box.