The Show Book: Quick Facts

This is the first of several in a series covering the many pages of the Show Book. 

     One of the more daunting tasks when it comes to exhibiting at trade shows, especially for first-timers, is to navigate the dreaded "Show Book." Also known as the Exhibitor Guide or Exhibitor Manual, it's rarely even a book anymore. More likely it's a PDF file on your desktop or shopping cart on an internet order page. Either way, the Show Book contains all the information you will need to successfully plan and execute your trade show marketing strategy.

     The Show Book can be a bit overwhelming. Sometimes literally a hundred pages long, the Show Book is chock full of order forms, payment forms, regulations and deadlines. This series of articles will help you make sense of "The Book" and to make your pre-show preparations a bit easier.


Sample: Quick Facts

     Before we dig into all those exciting forms, let's take a look at the easiest, but most important few pages of the book. Somewhere in the first few pages of the Show Book, or at the top of the list of documents on the show web page will be a summary of all the most crucial bits of information about your trade show. It may be called Quick Facts or General Information or Important Information.

     These several pages will contain the show location, dates, shipping addresses, delivery deadlines, setup and dismantle times and other crucial information. Take out your calendar and work backwards from the delivery deadline to plan your in hand date for your marketing materials, promotional items, and that new trade show display you are rolling out this year. With those dates on the calendar, you now have a clear picture of all the moving parts and how they need to come together.

     Be sure to share the Quick Facts with your exhibit house and any other suppliers or partners who will be shipping items to your trade show. They will appreciate having those important details in one concise document.

     While working through the rest of the Show Book may not be as "Quick" as the Quick Facts, it doesn't have to be difficult. Once you know what to look for, it is actually quite manageable. Next month we will take a look at the one form in the Show Book that seems to cause the most confusion among new exhibitors: the Material Handling form.