How to avoid additional 'add on' fees to your exhibition stand..
by Jessica Caggegi, on 17/06/20 3:00 PM
Budgets are something which everyone can relate to. They give us a sense of security and allow us to spend our money within a safe and comfortable range. Some budgets have flexibility, and some may be quite tight and fixed. Regardless of your budget for your exhibition display, no one likes to find ‘hidden’ surprises or ‘additional’ fees on a final invoice. So, what questions should you ask before signing off on a quote for your exhibition booth? What do you need to ensure is ticked off? Events and exhibitions are an industry that can fluctuate with costs, so here are a few tips and key points to look out for to ensure they have been included in your quotation.
One way to ensure you have the most accurate quote is to provide all relevant and requested information to your exhibition stand builder from the beginning. Providing all requested documentation not only makes the quoting process easier for your stand builder, it ensures both you and the stand builder have accurate costings to go by. Once a brief has been supplied, most stand builders will have a list of items they will request from the client to help with the quoting process.
No one enjoys the awkward conversation later down the track about additional costs or components which weren’t considered, so trying to eliminate these scenarios from the beginning really is key.
Labour is something which can most definitely fluctuate for many reasons within an exhibition build depending on your exhibition stand design.
Stand builders will always try to do their best job in estimating how long a stand will take to manufacture, as well as how long it will take to install and dismantle. In addition, they will try to do everything within their power to ensure the build is a smooth process and there are no hiccups onsite. One of the best ways to protect a smooth install onsite is to test fit the entire stand build in the factory, before the stand is packed and transported. Ask your stand builder if they test fit build in their factory. Further to this, ask if the test fit build is a part of their services or if they charge extra.
Sometimes there are circumstances that may mean a stand installation can take longer than anticipated, even with a perfect installation plan. This could range from trucks breaking down, delivery of stand components to the stand being delayed, issues with the actual stand space impacting the build, items arriving onsite damaged and the list goes on. The implications of these kind of delays is like a domino effect and in return it can result in additional hours being charged for the build onsite. To protect your budget from these additional costs, ask your stand builder what steps they put in place to reduce the chance of any of these additional costs occurring. If they cannot offer you reasonable assurances, you should seek a second or third or fourth quotation. Keep asking questions until you are comfortable with spending your money with that stand builder.
Rigging can be a challenging stand component to quote, especially without a stand number or show floor plan to show your location – so please ensure these are always provided to your stand builder to assist.
Where your stand is located within an exhibition can have so many implications on the overall price quoted. It can determine whether your rigging cost will be in the hundreds as appose to the thousands. To understand more on rigging costs and what to prepare for, read through our tips. Having your stand number and a show floor plan can ensure we get an accurate costing from the rigging company and pass accurate costs onto you.
Depending on where your stand builder is located, they may need to fly to the city where the exhibition is. Every exhibition stand build will have a project manager, this is someone who is managing the build and ensuring that the design you signed off on is coming to life as planned. For an interstate event, the project manager will fly into the city, sometimes they will be required to stay, depending on how intricate the stand build is. The earlier you can organise your stand, the cheaper these costs will be for you, as flights and accommodation if necessary, will be organiser further out and will be cheaper. The prices that you are quoted are based on the prices that are accurate at the time of stand design and quotation. If you need to take 6 weeks to decide on whether you will go ahead with the stand, those prices are likely going to increase.
Freight can be another thing to consider whether your stand builder and the event are not in the same state. Many times, you may choose a design, rather than wanting a stand builder within a particular city. That results in stand builders who are in a different state and an increased cost in transport. There is no easy fix to this cost. Depending on which city you are exhibiting in, there may be no suitable stand builders for what you want to achieve, or the stand builders in that city may not design the stand you want. So just be aware of the extra charges if your budget cannot be flexible.
Exhibition stand design is something that is subjective, and everyone’s preferences can be somewhat different. One question to ask your stand builder is how many design reviews/changes are included within your quote. Is there a point that additional changes will incur charges? Some clients are happy with one design, others will go through multiple rounds of changes until they get every aspect right or they may have many display stand ideas they want to trial. Sometimes clients like to see their actual artwork/graphics in the design render once they have been finalised closer to the event, so it is worth double checking that all of this can be done within the quoted figure.
Every exhibition display builder will have their own set of capabilities and lead times; this will generally depend on the size of the overall business and amount of staff onboard. The first question to ask when going over your quote is what is their general lead time for the specific stand they are quoting on? As you can appreciate, lead times will also vary depending on the size of the overall stand they are proposing to build and when the event is being held.
One other important question to ask is if the proposal/quote requires to be signed off by a certain date?
If you aren’t in a position to sign off on the quote just yet, it is also a great idea to check if signing off at a later stage will incur additional charges. Often, if you sign off a quote less than 4 weeks from the event date the organiser will have penalties and increased charges related to services, these costs will be passed on to you and you’ll see them reflected in your quotation.
Signing off on a quotation can be daunting and is a big commitment.
Wherever possible, try to avoid bulk line quotations. Itemised quotations are key! Having an itemised quote not only allows you to see what each individual item costs, but it allows you to comfortably see where your money is being spent. It also allows you to tick off and ensure everything has been accounted for and covered. With itemised quotation your stand builder should be able to explain what the cost is, and what value you are receiving for that price.
There will be times where costs can only be provided as an estimate. As an example, it may be that the event is too far out, and a floor plan hasn’t been finalised yet. If this is the case, just talk to your stand builder about your thoughts and ideas to save awkward discussions about costs and expectations later down the track.
At Events 720 we only provide itemised line quotations and will happily go through each cost with you line by line and clarify what every cost is for. If you would like to get the quoting process started, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Contact Us.