Things I Wish Somebody Would Have Told Me About Exhibiting

November 20, 2018

Candy Adams

Candy Adams, aka “The Booth Mom®,” is a hands-on trade show exhibit project manager and trainer. She helps exhibitors maximize the return on their exhibit investment using the best strategic, tactical and training practices. 

No. 7:  Fudge your trade show exhibiting show deadlines.

We all know people who procrastinate. And sometimes, the enemy is us!

One of my favorite old country-western songs talks about “living my life one step ahead of behind.”  And, with more and more time poverty in our lives, even if you don’t procrastinate, you can still get “behinder and behinder.” Some days I feel like I’m meeting myself coming around the other end!

Building some spare time into your show timeline will give you a little cushion between when you originally planned on having a show task done and when it will really happen. This can be especially important when deadline-based discounts are on the line or when missing one deadline will cause a domino effect on other deadlines in your critical path.

I don’t know if I wasn’t a quick study on this tactic of padding my deadline dates. But after a couple of years scrambling to work with my show team to meet the discount deadlines in the show kit, my mental light bulb finally went on. I figured out that if I moved up the deadlines on the written plans I provided my show team that I could breathe a little easier. Maybe I wouldn’t always be under stress to make sure I got the associated discounts and avoided those nasty rush charges.

Ask yourself, “Who but you really knows the actual deadlines published in the exhibitor services manual?” And does anyone really care that you’ve built a little bit of anti-stress self-protection into the dates that might also save your company money?

Be especially generous with how much you’re fudging the dates if you’re dealing with known procrastinators (a.k.a. serial deadline-missers), road warriors or super-busy colleagues.


This blog is part of an on-going series. Read No. 6 here.


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