Cost Containment Strategies From Top Exhibit Houses

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Fab 50 2016: Cost Containment Strategies

Each year, our Fab 50 program provides a list of the top fabricators serving the event and trade show industry in an effort to simplify the exhibit partner selection process. This year, in addition to the 2016 Fab 50 lineup, we offered a deeper dive into the state of the fabrication industry, including cost containment.

According to this year’s Fab 50, maintaining a low budget is among today’s biggest client concerns. From drayage to materials, exhibit houses have to calculate their every move to ensure expenses are on track. Take a look at three insights on keeping costs in check.

 1. Owning Vs. Renting

“We look at a client’s program in regards to how many shows do they attend and what size are they attending? So if they’re attending 15 to 20 shows a year, but 90 percent of them are 10x20s, our recommendation is you own your 10×20. And you rent additional components to make it a 20×20 because unless you’re going to attend a show that’s a certain size three or more times a year, it doesn’t make sense to own it.” —Nicole Genarella, svp-marketing, 3D Exhibits

2. The Customer-Centric Approach

“We are always customer-centric. What do they see? What do they feel? What’s the message? And transport, labor, drayage have absolutely no effect on that. None of it is apparent to the attendee. And if you reduce those costs then a greater portion of the budget can be assigned to the tangible entities, and that makes everyone happy. It’s something you have to remind yourself of: Do I need this wall? Can it be more environmental, more immersive, more theatrical? Do I have to bring in 20 tons of steel or is there a different way of engineering this? There are all sorts of questions that we’re constantly asking ourselves.” —Aidan Corish, owner and cco, Tangram

3. Educating the Client

“The thing we’ve been getting better at is our project management in general. We really try and involve the client in the fabrication process so that they understand where everything is as it’s going along… We bring the client into it so they can see how our graphics managers are interacting with our detailers, and how our project managers are pushing timelines on our floor men. They can see all of that in the process which gives them a little bit more knowledge of what it actually takes to produce this structure.” —Rob Tivadar, president, EDE

This story appeared in the August 2016 issue

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