Trade Show Planning: Utilizing Technical Services at your show

ScreenHunter_09 May. 20 11.35-resized-600When figuring your budget for exhibiting at a trade show, it’s important to be aware of all of the technical services available for rent, such as equipment that meets your audio/visual needs, internet services, and devices that capture leads for you. Some trade shows will still make phone services available to their exhibitors; however, with the proliferation of cell phones and the advanced capabilities many of them have, this service isn’t needed as much as it used to be. If you use a credit card-processing machine that requires a telephone line, though, you may still need phone service.

When considering your budget, you may think about packing up the equipment that your company owns and taking it with you to avoid paying rental fees at the show for the same type of equipment. Before you do this, though, you want to consider a few things. If you pack the equipment, you’ll have to pay shipping and material handling fees for it as discussed in a prior post.

In addition, you’ll have to ensure that you have someone with you who is capable of hooking up the equipment and trouble-shooting problems with it should any arise. If you rent the equipment, you have the comfort of knowing that there are people at the show who will handle those kinds of problems for you.

One other consideration is that you also run the risk of losing or damaging your company’s personal equipment at the show. So, although you may save some money in rental fees, you’re also incurring a different set of fees by shipping your own equipment as well as taking on a certain amount of risk. It’s worth the time to weigh out the pros and cons of each option, knowing that the bottom line isn’t always the only factor to evaluate.

If you decide that you’re interested in renting audio/visual equipment at the trade show, the show will have chosen a vendor for you to use and whom you’ll pay directly. There will be an order form for this equipment in your exhibitor’s kit that you’ll complete and send to the vendor. Items available for rent usually include printers, monitors, computers, and projectors. In addition to the advantages previously mentioned when it comes to renting this equipment, it’s also much easier to replace faulty equipment if you’ve rented it from the show’s vendor.

As with the audio/visual equipment, lead capture devices can be dbs_main-resized-600rented from a vendor chosen by the show’s producers. Lead-capturing devices are really only worthwhile if they are capable of questioning the prospects. It’s helpful for you to know what the prospect’s time frame for purchasing is as well as where he ranks when it comes to making decisions. It’s also good to know why the prospect is interested in your product or service.

If the lead-capturing device available for rent isn’t capable of posing questions such as these to the prospects, you might be better off buying your own device or even having your booth staff complete paper-and-pencil questionnaires with your prospects. If you go the paper route, you ought to also keep some staplers in the booth as it’s helpful to staple business cards to the leads.

Tying two technical aspects together, you might want to consider renting Internet services to help you gather leads if your organization utilizes a customer relationship management (CRM) software program. With Internet service available in your booth, you may be able to connect a lead-capturing system at the trade show to the CRM your company uses, sending lead information back to the company immediately. In addition, having an Internet connection in your booth would enable your booth staff to show your prospects how to navigate your company’s website and the benefits for them that can be found there. Internet services are usually rented through the audio/visual vendor.

There are advantages for exhibitors when it comes to renting technical services through the trade show. However, there are also fees that will be incurred if you do so. Plan well, and you’ll make the best decision for your exhibition.

For more, read our article on how to find the best show or our article on long term planning.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: