» diary of a young marketer

How Do You Know It’s Time for a New Trade Show Display?


  • You’re waiting in line at Busch Gardens when staff announce that they’re shutting down the roller coaster temporarily. You refuse to leave the line, because you’ve already spent an hour waiting.
  • You spent way too much on a designer cocktail dress for your cousin’s wedding back in 2008. Even though you know you’ll never wear it again, you can’t bear to give it away.
  • Your trade show display is looking a little tired, but you want to use it for a few more seasons. After all, it cost a lot to have it custom-built for the company — seven years ago.

These are all examples of sunk cost fallacy: the habit of considering past, irrecoverable costs when you’re trying to make decisions for the future. It’s an emotional habit, not a logical one, but it’s tough to fight. We see it all the time when clients are weighing the pros and cons of replacing their trade show booth. Here are three signs it’s definitely time for a new trade show display. » Read More

Cross-Utilization of Talents

Having a business degree in marketing and working in marketing related positions/industries for my career, I have seen how marketing and marketers can get downgraded among our colleagues in other business disciplines such as accounting, finance or management. We deal in the qualitative, creative realm versus the hard numbers, quantitative side of theirs. The truth is, marketers have to be well-rounded. The job requirements demand the ability to be creative (aid in developing consistent branding and advertising), be well-written (aid in developing copy and messaging), be accountable for numbers (manage budgets, measure return on investment), be a negotiator (with third-party agencies, venues, vendors, etc.), be able to delegate tasks and manage people, and be strategic (implementation, marketing mix, analyzing opportunities). Of course, everyone has strengths and weaknesses within these areas, but unlike the accountant who knows there is a limit on what is asked of them, the marketer is required to be a swiss army knife of business talents.

One of the most exciting things about being involved in the marketing world, trade shows and events in particular, is seeing how people find ways to cross-utilize their talents. Many clients and vendors of ours use these skills to further a good cause. This can be in the form of a charitable event for their company, side-work with a non-profit and/or developing their own event altogether.

It is common for our clients to come to us to order items they’re going to use for charity or side projects. Because unlike the finance person, the people in our industry know exactly how to organize, market/fundraise and execute events. We’ve seen our clients aide with (or more) charity golf tournaments, bike races, 5ks, food drives, church activities, functions for kids, and on and on.

In addition to charity and community involvement, we have many clients that utilize their skills for their own hobbies as well. That creative side likes to shine after work hours in the form of food (products and catering), music, photography, art and other creative outlets.

I love finding out about people’s non-work interests, and the sheer joy it brings to everyone’s faces to be doing this work despite the inherent stress and anxiety of these projects. I know we’re always happy when we get to touch some of these projects as well. It helps everyone involved to break free from what can become the mundane day-to-day.

As we head into spring/summer and event season, we look forward to again seeing how our clients are using their knowledge, experience and skill on their passions!

Trade Show Shipping: Advance Warehouse Vs. Show Site


When trade show deadlines are looming and there’s no room for error, you face a tough decision: Should you ship your trade show display directly to the show site, or to the advance warehouse?

On the face of it, show-site shipping sounds like the smart choice. Why not get your display to where it needs to be as quickly as possible? It may also be cheaper — at least on paper. But it’s rarely the best choice, and here’s why.

Most marketers picture show-site shipping like this: the truck carrying your display pulls up to the loading dock at the convention center and unloads the case. A brawny installation team whisks it onto the show floor, where you find it perfectly assembled upon your arrival the next day. Voilá.

That’s kind of how it works — but multiply it by a hundred, and you start to see the problem. Your shipper may have to wait for hours in a snaking line of trucks before he can offload your display onto the dock. While you thought you were saving $5 per hundred pounds by choosing show-site shipping, the driver is charging you $50 per hour as he waits. We’ve even seen shippers leave when convention centers get really jammed, because they have other deadlines and they can’t afford to wait. And if your trade show display arrives late, it can take hours to get it assembled on the floor. A lengthy delay, whether due to weather or other hiccups in trade show logistics, means you’ll be standing in a blank space when the show begins.

Advance warehouse shipping, on the other hand, helps the general service contractors keep everything organized. Everything can be stored and staged at the off-site warehouse, then brought over to the convention hall at just the right time.

Why don’t more trade show attendees opt for advance warehouse shipping, then? One word: deadlines. Most large shows have a warehouse deadline that’s one to two weeks before the show. After that, there’s a window when the warehouse still accepts shipments but charges additional fees. In the final accounting, you can save 20 to 30 percent if you get your display created and shipped by the show’s advance deadline — and we can help. Call us today to discuss your trade show display needs, and we’ll talk about how we can expedite the design and approval process so you’re ahead of the game.