Most of us are creatures of habit, we find an exhibition supplier and we choose to stay loyal through thick and thin.
We may complain about the service that we receive, even vowing that we are going to change suppliers, but we don’t. We put up with them because the effort of changing suppliers seems so hard and tedious that it surely couldn’t be worth going to all that trouble. If this is something that you do, then only you can change what you want to. If, however, your exhibitors are complaining about the supplier you have chosen for you exhibition or event, then you really must listen. Your exhibitors are your ultimate customer, and like all customers they will vote with their feet if they feel you are not listening to them. Below are 4 signs that will mean it’s time to choose a new supplier for your exhibition before your exhibitors stop exhibiting with you.
Your concerns or ideas are not listened to
This is a massive concern. If there is anything that you are concerned or not sure about, you should always voice this immediately with your supplier. This can be about any matter, you should never assume that the event supplier you have chosen will make the right decisions for the exhibition that you are organising. A good exhibition supplier will talk through any concerns with you and will be able to demonstrate why certain things need to be done certain ways. There are limitations to this point; suppliers cannot ignore safety standards to comply with your requests if it would result in dangerous practice. Any concerns you hold about the safety of yourself, exhibitors or other staff must always be considered by your supplier, no exceptions. If your concerns are not alleviated, then you must choose another supplier.
If you have ideas that you would like to put forward, your event supplier should always aim to make these ideas viable. There may be practical reasons why this cannot occur, for example the idea that you put forward would be expensive to create and you are not willing to bear the cost, but your exhibition supplier should always hear out your ideas before identifying any practical limitations.
The products on offer are not what you want
The design of exhibitions is slowly being overhauled, the stock standard aluminium frame and bare white walls for shell-scheme stands is not the norm anymore. There are other options for more bespoke shell-scheme stands, and if you have a specific design in mind you can work with event suppliers to achieve this look. If your current supplier is not willing to entertain creating a customised shell-scheme stand for your exhibition you need to find a supplier who is. Be aware that customising shell-scheme stands can be costly, but if you work with a supplier who has a high customer-service quality, you should be able to work around the issue of cost.
Shell-scheme stands are not the only products that suppliers can provide. They also provide furniture and AV packages. These items can take many forms, so it is important that you look over all the offerings from an event supplier, and ask your exhibitors what they think of the product offerings. If your exhibitors aren’t happy with the range of items that your supplier offers, then it’s time to find a new supplier.
The price is not right
Exhibiting can be an expensive process for your exhibitors. After they purchase their floor space and organise an exhibition stand, whether it's custom or a shell-scheme, the costs can be high enough without all the added extras such as AV hire and graphics. Consider what your exhibition supplier is charging for these items. If it has been a long time since you received quotes from other exhibition suppliers just to compare it won’t hurt to assess whether your current supplier is providing value for money.
Many event suppliers offer similar products, so you could be safe in assuming that they would all charge similar amounts. But if you don’t check there is no way you could know this for sure. It always pays to check what other services other exhibition suppliers could supply, and what they charge for these. If you are happy paying the current prices you are charged, then there is no reason that you should explore other exhibition suppliers and their prices. However, if you have concerns or would like to try and save some money on what you and your exhibitors are charged you should always investigate other exhibition suppliers.
The process is long, complicated and out-dated
When we continue to do something because of habit we tend to complain about all the things that are wrong yet do nothing about the issue. This is extremely evident in doing things just because that’s the way they have always been done. Many exhibition suppliers still work with outdated technologies. This is evident in the way that you are asked to complete forms and fax things back to them. Your exhibitors are expected to order products in the same way.
We are now moving towards a more digital age, and it’s time that exhibition and event suppliers caught up. You can order so many things online that you practically never have to leave your house, yet your exhibitors are expected to fax back a form just to hire equipment for your exhibition? You can see how antiquated this process really is. It is also indicating that your exhibition supplier is slow to react to new trends and changing the products that they offer. Probably not a good match for your exhibition which is continuously growing with exhibitors and visitors. This means you need a new exhibition supplier who can get with the programme and help you increase sales and keep your exhibitors happy.
Changing exhibition suppliers can be a daunting process, and it can seem like a lot of work for little benefit. When you step outside the comfort of the way you have always done things you will find better service, better products for better pricing. It can seem like you have to overhaul your whole exhibition organisation and strategy, but your exhibitors will only attend a great exhibition. Finding an exhibition supplier who shares your passion for creating an amazing exhibition should your priority.
For tips on how to find the right venue for your exhibition click on the image below. This guide highlights all the important factors you need to consider when choosing a venue for your exhibition.