Exhibiting at a trade show combines the stress of moving with airline travel and a job performance evaluation.
That’s why the connection you form with your exhibit house becomes an extremely important relationship. After all, your exhibit house assists you in getting ready for some of the most important events of your year, helps you pack and unpack your belongings, and is there to lend a hand when things go wrong.
It’s also the reason that, should the relationship take a turn, it can feel personal, like a betrayal. But this breakup doesn’t have to be acrimonious. Here are some helpful tips for handling this separation and some questions to ask of the potential new exhibit house.
Ain’t No Sunshine
There are several reasons why a relationship with an exhibit house could turn sour. It could be something simple, like you’ve simply outgrown the relationship or an internal staff change may not have worked out to your benefit, or something much more complicated, perhaps you suspect your exhibit house of questionable (possibly illegal) business practices (such as charging you for services that were never performed).
Regardless of the reason, you want to handle the separation as professionally as possible in the hopes of avoiding a muddled, legal contest.
The first thing you’ll want to do is have a lawyer review your contract. There may be a clause that dictates what steps you need to take to terminate the agreement and if there needs to be a specific notification period. Also, your contract may run up to a specific date, which could put you on the hook for any unused months.
A lawyer will help you avoid making any disastrous moves. In addition, the letter of termination should be drafted on company letterhead (your lawyer may compose this letter for you). Items to include in the letter:
- Intent to end your company’s relationship
- Date of the termination
- Destination for all exhibit properties
- Deadline for final invoices
- When and how the final payment will be made after receiving the invoice
- This letter should be sent through certified mail so you can request proof of receipt.
We’ve Only Just Begun
Since you’ve decided to move on, here are tips to landing the right exhibit house for your needs.
Make sure the exhibit house is big enough to handle your business but not so big that your needs get lost in the shuffle.
Take a look at the other companies the house represents and the work that’s been produced on their behalf. Also, are any of these companies willing to provide a reference?
Have a list of your needs and examine the exhibit house’s experience in each area.
- Do they provide on-site help at the show?
- Do they offer assistance with your marketing for your event?
- What sort of exhibits do they provide: custom, pre-owned, both?
- What services does the exhibit house do in-house and what do they subcontract?
- What sort of emergency services do they offer?
If you’re looking for a new exhibit house, The Trade Group is ready to be your partner. Give us a call at 800-343-2005 to discover how our experienced design team, marketing consultants, and exhibit management specialists can lighten your load and help you shine.