Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.
Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.

June 2016

Tradeshow Exhibit Installation Dismantle (I&D)

If your tradeshow booth is so big you can’t set it up yourself, you’ll need to hire a crew for installation/dismantle, commonly known as I&D in the industry. If you have an island booth, you’re much better off leaving the set up to the professionals.

Because the booth won’t listen when you yell at it, “Go on, get into place, you booth you!” Sorry, maybe on Harry Potter, but not in real life.

tradeshow exhibit installation dismantle

If you are going to set up your own inline or modular booth, make sure you arrive early at the event. This becomes much easier if you choose a manufacturer that designs products to be lightweight and easy to set up.

Generally you have a couple of choices for hiring: using the show services or hiring an exhibitor approved contractor that is familiar with local rules.

Some of the items that come up as you’re planning your I&D include making sure that the contractor is familiar with local rules where you’ll be exhibiting, making sure they have an accurate rendering (or booth set-up instructions) so they can give you an accurate estimate for installation, and any special equipment you might need for installation, such as a Genie lift, long ladders, electrical equipment and so on. If your contractor needs to buy anything you’ll need to know that upfront so that you can find yard ramps for sale or buy any other equipment needed.

Knowing some of the terms of I&D is helpful as you navigate your coordination with an I&D group:

  • Advance rates: you can save money by booking the exhibit space ahead of time.
  • Advance receiving: with hundreds or thousands of exhibitors all shipping several crates to a show, there is usually a advanced receiving warehouse that gives exhibitors a window to ship booths and have them stored until it’s show time.
  • CIF: if your shipping contract lists a CIF, this simply means that the price is inclusive of cost, insurance and freight.
  • Craftsperson: a skilled worker or laborer
  • Dead time: time when your hired workers are sitting, usually getting paid a lot, while there is nothing to do because of factors beyond their control
  • EAC: Exhibitor Approved Contractor – any company other than the official designated contractor. These may be companies that not only do the booth I&D, they may be involved in AV set-up, photography, plant rental and so on.
  • Four hour call: minimum time that a union laborer must be paid for work performed on the show floor for an exhibitor.
  • Straight Time (ST): work performed on the show floor during normal business hours
  • Overtime (OT): work performed on the show floor outside normal business house which usually included holidays and weekends

Many clients we work with at TradeshowGuy Exhibits are in the process of moving from the comfort zone of setting up an inline booth to outside the comfort zone of working with an I&D company for the setup of an island booth. Believe me, it can be a challenge if you’ve never done it before. But having seen many of them go through it, it’s also a great growing experience for the company as their booth presence on the tradeshow floor increases and they make a bigger impact on their market.

Bigger is often better – but it takes more effort and coordination to make it happen.

How to Choose a Custom Tradeshow Exhibit House [Video]

When it is time for you to choose a custom tradeshow exhibit house with a designer and fabricator, you are facing a daunting choice. Especially if you’re new to the game.

So we put this brief video together to more closely examine the various ways to choose an exhibit house.

In this video we look at how you might communicate with your exhibit house, what goes into design, the consultant’s depth of experience and strategic partner resources if needed. It all boils down to a couple of things: what you need (and can they handle it) and how well you get along with the company’s reps.

Take a look:

Need to get a quote for an upcoming project? Please go here and fill out the form.

Tradeshow Follow Up

The tradeshow is over. You’ve made sure the booth is packed in the crates and will be picked up by the shipping company. You’ve gathered the leads and have them in a safe place for transport back to the sales team. You’re ready to relax on the airplane and order up a well-deserved adult beverage.

Whoa! Not so fast! You’re not really done, are you?


While it’s great tying up loose ends at the show and getting off the floor in one piece, it’s just the beginning to your follow up.

First off, thank the folks that helped out. This ranges from the booth staff to the lead person on the set-up crew to the pre-show marketing team that helped out prior to the show. Send out a thank you card or an email (cards make more of an impression!) or thank them in person – just be sure you do it.

Next, go over the leads with the crew that gathered them. This may take place within a few days of the booth staff returning to the office. This confirms the follow up method, the value of the lead (cool, warm, hot), and when the follow up needs to commence. Then deliver that information to the sales team.

Now, go over any feedback or survey results you may have as a result of the show. Even if you don’t have actual in-booth survey results, check any feedback you may have gotten through social media posts during the show. Take screenshots and file them in your show folder. Make notes on what people liked and what they didn’t.

Depending on who’s in charge, it’s also time to document all of the costs associated with the event: travel, salaries, booth rental/purchase/upgrade/I&D, booth space rental and associated costs. Add in the cost of samples and giveaways. Now that you have this figure, when another six months have passed you can get sales figures that came as the result of the show appearance and determine the return on investment. Then do it a year later to see what’s changed.

Record-keeping is one of the best ways to track trends in your tradeshow marketing, so keep detailed accounts of as much as you’re able.

Did you and your team take photos, create videos and upload them to social media sites? Document all of the photos uploaded, keep copies of booth photos (especially any misfit graphics or booth pieces so you can get it repaired before the next show) and videos, client testimonials and associated documents.

Finally, look ahead. Do whatever planning is necessary for the next show, whether it’s a small regional or local show or if it’s the next big national expo. Make note of graphic updates that might be important, booth fixes, and prepare for whatever promotions might be coming down the pike.

Click here to grab my Tradeshow Follow-up Checklist

14 Proven Steps to Tradeshow Success [Webinar Replay]

Last fall I put out the book “Tradeshow Success: 14 Proven Steps to Take Your Tradeshow Marketing to the Next Level.” I’ve done several promotions around it, given away a bunch of copies, and use it as my main calling card.

But I’ve never done a webinar on the book. Until now. Check it out:

You can pick up a digital copy of the book at Or get your own copy here.

Tradeshows: Extroverts Wanted

Tradeshows aren’t a good place for introverts.

Of course, it depends on what your task is. But if you’re part of an exhibiting team that’s working to promote products and services and generate sales leads, being somewhat of an extrovert is almost required.


Face it: you have to smile, greet people with a handshake or a question, and be friendly. All of those things are important. And if you’re not up to the task, maybe you shouldn’t be there. If you’re the company boss or owner and are an introvert, it probably makes more sense to hire someone to represent you. If you’re a little quirky, with an odd personality and somewhat of an introvert, perhaps your personality is an attraction and people will put up that the quirks to get at the real you.

Extroverts on the other hand are outgoing, lively, engaging, showy and like to draw attention to themselves. If that kind of personality can be channeled into promoting a company’s products and not themselves, they can be a good addition to the staff. In fact, they might be the best kinds of folks to have around. Extroverts love the spotlight and love talking.

The upside of introverts, though, is that may often be more detail oriented and better at listening and communication.

The downside of extroverts is that they’re often tend to not have the attention span to take care of paperwork or write lengthy notes about contacts when necessary.

No doubt you know introverts and extroverts. And maybe you’re one or the other, but likely you’ve got a little of both in you but tend to lean one way or the other.

I’m more of an introvert and am comfortable with my head down. But when showtime comes and I have to put it out there, I’m capable of at least pretending to be extroverted and outgoing. It’s not a big stretch, but it works. And it gets the job done.

So when you’re choosing a booth staff, a general rule of thumb would be to lean towards the outgoing and friendly and stay away from the shy introverts.

They’re just more approachable and that counts for plenty in the fast-paced chaos of the tradeshow floor.

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Tradeshow Guy Blog by Tim Patterson

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