process map for working with tradeshow company
By Kathryn Mittelstadt on 08/17/2022

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What is the Process for Working With a Trade Show Company?

Are you in the market for an exhibit company, but not sure what to expect? 

With many different factors that go into trade shows, the start-to-finish process can be foggy. You might be confused about what responsibilities a trade show company takes care of, or maybe you're scared to commit to the first step. 

Whatever your case may be, we’re here to provide full visibility for the process when working with an exhibit company. 

For over 25 years Showcraft has helped clients through the seemingly overwhelming process. We specialize in going above and beyond while making the process as stress-free as possible. 

We’ll outline the process and steps you'll take when working with a trade show partner so you can feel confident and know exactly what to expect. 

Research Your Trade Show Company Options 

Consumer reliance is a thing of the past. In today’s society, customers have all the power and resources to make an educated decision. 

People like to be informed and in control. Whether you're buying a house or interested in purchasing your first trade show exhibit, research allows you to feel confident in your decision. 

Before meeting with your potential trade show provider, consider a few questions. 

  • What are the different types of booths? 
  • What is the goal of my exhibit? 
  • What is my budget? 

These will give you a framework understanding of the trade show industry and help generate more specific questions to ask during your consultation. 

If you need somewhere to start, check out our list of Top 5 Trade Show Companies to learn about the best in the business. 

Book a Trade Show Consultation

Once you feel ready to engage in conversation with a trade show company, the first step is to schedule a consultation. 

Consultations typically consist of getting to know you. This can include what you do for your company, your responsibilities, how much you know about exhibiting, and why you sought out the exhibit partner you’re having a conversation with. 

The trade show company will also want to know more about the company you work for, what your brand stands for, and any goals you have in mind for exhibiting. 

The initial meeting will give you a good feel for the company and help you decide if you’re ready to hear more about the products and services they offer. 

Thousands of companies sell booths, but not all companies can make genuine connections. It’s up to you to decide if the company you consult with is worth investing more time into. 

The next steps include hearing more about their offering, a discussion of your timeline, and a conversation surrounding the main objectives of your exhibit. 

Connect with Your Trade Show Company

If you decide to proceed with the trade show company you’ve consulted with, the next step is to get connected to their team. 

This doesn’t have to mean you commit to this company, it just means you're interested in moving forward on the journey and learning more. 

The person you’ll rely most heavily on is your project manager. This person will help you through your timeline, your booth size, and your budget. 

At Showcraft, your project manager is your right-hand man. They’ll get you from start to finish, and everything in between. 

Oversee the Trade Show Booth Design Process

At the same time you’re working through your details with your project manager, you’ll also be working hand in hand with a designer. 

While you meet the team and narrow down your decision, the designer will begin mocking up options based on your budget. 

Typically these are done in grayscale, meaning they don’t have any logos or designs, just the shape of the booth. 

If you decide to use that exhibit company, you will send the designer your company graphics and they will begin incorporating them into the mockup. 

Once the mockup is complete, the design team will follow up for a final consultation. This will include any last details you’d like to change or any feedback you’d like the design team to know. 

Relax During Booth Production (It’s Taken Care Of) 

The next step is to take the booth off the computer screen and bring it to life. This is a step you won’t have to worry about. 

Your exhibit house will take care of ensuring all the right materials, colors, and correct sizes are all packaged together. 

At Showcraft, instead of just packing the necessary materials for assembly, we build your booth in our warehouse before we pack it up. This gives your team the confidence that everything will look and execute the way it should on the day of the show. 

Our team will even show you your booth assembled in our warehouse over FaceTime, just to ensure you’re completely satisfied. 

After it's assembled in the warehouse, we dismantle the booth and pack it up, to be ready for your show. 

Execute the Trade Show of Your Dreams 

When it comes time to show your exhibit off, the only thing you should worry about is prepping your sales team. Your exhibit house will take care of shipping your booth from the production house to the event center. 

Many cities have unionized labor who will take care of assembling your booth. Even though you're not the one constructing the booth, sometimes your team might need to step in. 

At Showcraft, one of our team members will always be at the show with you. We’ll oversee the assembly of the booth and make sure everything looks and works the way it should. 

Your job is to sell your company and attract new customers, not worry about assembling your booth. 

If your exhibit provider does not accompany you to your show, make sure your sales team is fully informed on what the booth should look like. Just in case they need to provide the labor team with extra instruction. 

Follow Up with Your Trade Show Company

After you’ve blown your customers away at your exhibit event, it's time for a follow-up. Immediately following your exhibit, it’s important to write down what went well and what didn’t. 

Waiting until the next time you exhibit to make these changes normally results in the necessary changes being forgotten. Articulating what didn’t work well with your trade show partner can help them make improvements before your next exhibit. 

Your exhibit company also wants to know what went well, to help them keep moving with you in the right direction. 

Begin the Process Today

Starting the conversation with your trade show provider doesn’t have to be intimidating, overwhelming, or stressful. Having visibility of the process allows you to feel confident and informed when beginning the journey of working with an exhibition partner.  

Showcraft has helped thousands of clients through every step of the process. We’re reliable and trustworthy industry experts. We know how difficult trade shows can be, which is why our job is to make them as stress-free as possible. 

If you’re looking for guidance through the next step or just have a question that needs answering, connect with one of our trade show experts.

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