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Navigating the Current Supply Chain Impact on Trade Shows

Are you surprised by the cost of executing your tradeshow now that in-person events have returned? We understand. The industry is experiencing unprecedented challenges in labor and material shortages. Exhibit companies are adjusting to operate knowing common items may not be as readily available as they were pre-pandemic. With that in mind, here are some suggestions to help you navigate preparing for your next trade show.

What are Supply Chain issues facing the exhibit industry?

The pandemic caused shutdowns to industries all around the world in 2020. While most were quarantining, the overall demand for goods and services was drastically reduced. In 2021, as restrictions are lifted, overall demand has rebounded in massive fashion. This caused a shortage of workers around the globe. Which in turn, has resulted in a lack of goods being produced and delivered in a timely fashion. In the United States, a shortage of truck drivers has caused a domino effect leaving ports being overcrowded. With fewer available truck drivers, costs are sky-rocketing and transit times are increasing. 

So, how do we combat this?

Start Early

It is never too early to contact your exhibit partner to get the ball rolling. Schedule a call with your account executive as soon as you know you will be exhibiting at a show. We didn’t think twice pre-pandemic about getting a new graphic printed the day before a show. It was commonplace to decide last minute to send that extra workstation with your shipment.  Now there is a more than decent chance these simple tasks cannot be guaranteed. Early planning with your exhibit house will help position you for better success as the show approaches. There will be a greater likelihood of your booth being exactly how you want it if you start preparations as early as possible.

Be Prepared to Make Decisions

Once you start preparing for a show, it is important to be deliberate with your decisions. The crucial element is to allow for the required amount of time for your project to be completed. The more your project needs to be rushed, the less likely it is going to hit your budget.  The longer it takes to finalize items such as graphics, booth orientation and which components to send to the show, the less time is left for production and CAD plans.  If the timeline is condensed, it becomes more of a challenge to efficiently and cost-effectively prepare for your event. Making thoughtful and timely decisions will be key to keeping the preparation process flowing smoothly. 

Understand the Supply Chain Issue is Felt by Everyone

All of us are feeling the effects of the worldwide supply chain issues in one way or another. Your local supermarket might be out of a certain product that is normally always available. Your online shopping delivery may take longer than it had in the past. The trade show industry is in the same boat. We are diligently working with our partners to lessen the impact on the exhibitor. Most exhibit companies will be transparent and share these challenges so they don’t come as a surprise.  Being upfront with clients allows for modifications to be made or alternate plans to be put in place.

Lastly, Be Patient

Probably the hardest thing to do when preparing for a trade show is to remain patient. There is often a good deal of stress and pressure put on the execution of a trade show. Money is invested with the notion of obtaining leads to justify the expense of exhibiting. Simply put, a great deal is at stake. We understand this and are doing all we can to minimize the effects felt by our clients. When we work as a team, the process runs smoother and the outcome is far better. A good exhibit company will always be working in your best interest. With proper planning and a good partner, most of these challenges can be avoided or at the least, minimized.

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