Trade Show Exhibit Suppliers

October 5, 2006

The Question

An ANA member asked how other ANA members source Trade Show Exhibit Suppliers. Specifically:

  1. How do you source Trade Show exhibit suppliers in the U.S. or globally?
  2. What criteria do you use to differentiate when selecting suppliers? How do you weight the criteria?
  3. How do you award the business? For how long? (direct award, competitive bidding, etc...)
  4. How do you contract/bill? (fixed fee per convention, unit-based, labor based, hourly rate?)
  5. Who is responsible for managing Exhibit suppliers? (Do you have one group in place to manage exhibits in U.S./globally?)
  6. What % of annual spend is allocated to Design/Construction? What % is Installation and Dismantle?
  7. How does the exhibit supplier interact with others in the supply chain (Creative Agency, Print, and Promotional suppliers)?
  8. Do you have minority owned exhibit suppliers?

Response #1

1. How do you source Trade Show exhibit suppliers in the U.S. or globally?

Trade Show exhibit suppliers are formally sourced as business dictates. We generally follow the procurement best practice of sourcing every few years. In between, a Category Manager is responsible for keeping a pulse on the industry to ensure we receive fair and reasonable pricing and take advantage of other industry best practices.

2. What criteria do you use to differentiate when selecting suppliers? How do you weight the criteria?

Our measurement tool to evaluate suppliers is a Balanced Score Card. Criteria may include price, best value, response to RFP, proposal pitch, capabilities, operational “fit” with our firm, ability to scale, use of technology, etc. Criteria are weighted as to level of importance to our firm (e.g. price – 15%, operational fit – 25%, etc. to equal a total of 100%). RFP team members then assign a ranking to each criteria (i.e. on a scale of 1 to 5, enter a 1, 3, or 5 with five being highest). An excel spreadsheet is used to calculate the totals for each supplier.

3. How do you award the business? For how long? (direct award, competitive bidding, etc…)

Following a formal RFP process, the successful supplier(s) enter into a formal written contract. Contracts generally last anywhere from 1 –5 years.

4. How do you contract/bill? (fixed fee per convention, unit-based, labor based, hourly rate?)

Time & materials, for the most part. Also pay cost plus markup on third party services.

5. Who is responsible for managing Exhibit suppliers? (Do you have one group in place to manage exhibits in US/globally?)

U.S. managed separately from rest of world. All international sites currently manage their own suppliers, specific to the unique needs of that country. U.S. managed by a Supplier Relationship Manager (SRM) for operational day-to-day business. SRM works closely with internal Trade Show managers to translate business requirements.

6. What % of annual spend is allocated to Design/Construction? What % is Installation and Dismantle?

Design & Construction of booths provided by a single supplier – for 2005, estimated annual percentage of spend is 17.3% [includes initial creative (3.8%), ongoing creative (1.6%), account management (6.2%), project management (2.1 %), exhibit design (1.1%), travel (1.6%), copywriting (.3%), proofreading (.6%)].

Trade Show Booth Logistics provided by another supplier – for 2005, estimated annual percentage of I&D with this supplier was 18%.

7. How does the exhibit supplier interact with others in the supply chain (Creative Agency, Print, and Promotional suppliers)?

Exhibit suppliers are expected to work closely and directly with all related contracted suppliers in the supply chain. They work directly with the logistics supplier, promotional merchandise supplier, and printers.

8. Do you have minority owned exhibit suppliers?

No, not at this time.  


Response #2

1. How do you source Trade Show exhibit suppliers in the U.S. or globally?

Went out to RFP with team from procurement and event management. Selected one preferred supplier for all US registration/event management. Also, selected one supplier for A/V. In addition, we selected a software vendor for registration only events when event management supplier not required and a properties vendor for smaller trade shows requiring booth properties.

2. What criteria do you use to differentiate when selecting suppliers? How do you weight the criteria?

Creativity on the design side, client list, online ordering system for booth properties, price, registration capabilities, registration interface. All weighted fairly equally.

3. How do you award the business? For how long? (direct award, competitive bidding, etc…)

For all those that met our above criteria, were brought in for in-house presentations. All business was directly awarded. If event planner goes outside of approved vendors there needs to be a business reason as to why.

4. How do you contract/bill? (fixed fee per convention, unit-based, labor based, hourly rate?)

We have a per registrant fixed fee for our events. In addition, there is some unit-based pricing for certain add-on’s like lanyards, etc. as well as fixed hourly rates for project management, web build-out, etc.

5. Who is responsible for managing Exhibit suppliers? (Do you have one group in place to manage exhibits in US/globally?)

We currently have one Events Marketing Group to manage exhibits, events.

6. What % of annual spend is allocated to Design/Construction? What % is Installation and Dismantle?

Sorry, but I don’t have good data for you on this.

7. How does the exhibit supplier interact with others in the supply chain (Creative Agency, Print, and Promotional suppliers)?

Promotional supplier works with our internal creative department for brand guidelines and approval. Event managers also get promo items approved by internal marketing dept. Event management vendor works directly with our creative dept. on approvals for all print, promos, website with assistance from our event managers.

8. Do you have minority owned exhibit suppliers?

Our promotional event vendor is minority owned (but this was not a requirement.) 


Response #3

1. How do you source Trade Show exhibit suppliers in the U.S. or globally?

Many of the vendors are pre-determined by the exhibit hall / convention centers themselves, or are dictated by union rules. Often there is no choice. Creatively, our divisions have tended to utilize the vendors with whom they have a long-standing relationship.

2. What criteria do you use to differentiate when selecting suppliers? How do you weight the criteria?

It has been those long-standing relationships that tips the proverbial scales.

3. How do you award the business? For how long? (direct award, competitive bidding, etc…)

Business tends to be awarded on a show by show basis.

4. How do you contract/bill? (fixed fee per convention, unit-based, labor based, hourly rate?)

Tends to be fixed fee per show. An proposal / estimate is drawn up, etc. etc.

5. Who is responsible for managing Exhibit suppliers? (Do you have one group in place to manage exhibits in US/globally?)

There is not one specific person or group within our company. Each of our divisions that participates in trade shows have people (generally in the Marketing field) that manage the process.

6. What % of annual spend is allocated to Design/Construction? What % is Installation and Dismantle?

Creative & Manufacturing - approx. 14% and Installation/ Dismantling is approx. 10% of known spends.

7. How does the exhibit supplier interact with others in the supply chain (Creative Agency, Print, and Promotional suppliers)?

Unknown at this time.

8. Do you have minority owned exhibit suppliers?

No.


Response #4

1. How do you source Trade Show exhibit suppliers in the U.S. or globally?

Globally

2. What criteria do you use to differentiate when selecting suppliers? How do you weight the criteria?

Automotive experience, geographic locals, networking w/other OEM's

3. How do you award the business? For how long? (direct award, competitive bidding, etc…)

Competitive bidding, 5 year terms

4. How do you contract/bill? (fixed fee per convention, unit-based, labor based, hourly rate?)

Contract, labor based

5. Who is responsible for managing Exhibit suppliers? (Do you have one group in place to manage exhibits in US/globally?)

Marketing

6. What % of annual spend is allocated to Design/Construction? What % is Installation and Dismantle?

Approx 11% design/construction, 89% ops

7. How does the exhibit supplier interact with others in the supply chain (Creative Agency, Print, and Promotional suppliers)?

Joint strategic meetings

8. Do you have minority owned exhibit suppliers?

No


Response #5

1. How do you source Trade Show exhibit suppliers in the U.S. or globally?

Through word of mouth. I have been in the semiconductor industry for 10 years and the corporate marketing group used vendors that I tried out.

2. What criteria do you use to differentiate when selecting suppliers? How do you weight the criteria?

Ability to be there on the show floor when the trade show begins... oftentimes, people help in the design and planning meetings but when the show is actually going on they aren't there to ensure success.

Also, I want someone responsive ... that goes for every facet of marketing and working with outside vendors.

And I find the better and more detailed the initial design recommendation the better the project.

I have worked with Square Mile, Splash Events, DELPHI Productions, George P. Johnson.

3. How do you award the business? For how long? (direct award, competitive bidding, etc...)

I get three competitive bids.

4. How do you contract/bill? (fixed fee per convention, unit-based, labor based, hourly rate?)

No answer

5. Who is responsible for managing Exhibit suppliers? (Do you have one group in place to manage exhibits in US/globally?)

Usually it is corporate marketing. Same in my case.

6. What % of annual spend is allocated to Design/Construction? What % is Installation and Dismantle?

Usually 60/40%

7. How does the exhibit supplier interact with others in the supply chain (Creative Agency, Print, and Promotional suppliers)?

Not at all, I am the primary contact.

8. Do you have minority owned exhibit suppliers?

Not at this time but I certainly would if they could do the job at hand. 


Response #6

[We] do little Trade Show exhibits. Most of the creative for the Exhibits that we do are provided by the internal Creative Services group. The "exhibits" that we do would be considered internal sales/marketing/leadership meetings. Unfortunately, I cannot offer very much feedback on these questions.

Source

"Trade Show Exhibit Suppliers." ANA Sponsorship & Event Marketing Committee; ANA West Coast Financial Management & Procurement Committee, 10/05/06.