We have all been there. You’ve just gotten your quarterly or annual budget, and you’re strategically mapping out the year ahead. Every single event-based dollar is quickly accounted for, you astutely assessed whether you should rent or buy this year’s trade show booth, and you confidently believe every single penny is now well spent. After all, you’ve done your due diligence, and this includes choosing the right exhibit company to perfectly align with both your marketing vision – and strategic trade show plans for the next twelve months. Unfortunately, when you choose the wrong trade show company, things can take a turn for the worse. And rather quickly.

Here are five trade show marketing company maladies that should immediately raise a red flag, so you’ll never have to raise a white one on your exhibit plans for the year:

Rapid, Runaway Costs

Let’s start with an easy one. You have a set budget for your trade show exhibit design. Now you obviously need to spend it wisely. Setting a maximum spend with your display designer is not only effective way to avoid unplanned and unnecessary costs, but also a clear signal to your display company to stick to your initial financial arrangement.

Inaccurate Estimates

Professional trade show booth designers usually have been perfecting their skills for some time. They should also have an adept understanding of what you’ll need to fill your allotted exhibit space – and perhaps more importantly – just how much it should cost. Always confirm that a contingency fund is part of your initial estimate, and be sure to have your vendor alert you to when you are close to approaching your budget limit.

Bait & Switch Pricing

Versatility and creativity are imperative to strategic exhibit design – as long as you have a solid understanding of the pricing to achieve it well ahead of time. Don’t put yourself in the position to fall for inexperienced excuses like “we thought your display would only need one truck, not two.” The onus ultimately falls on your exhibit design company, and should have been accurately reflected in your detailed estimate.

Repeat Incidentals

Let’s face it: no one likes to be nickel-and-dimed. And the buildup of excess costs could cost you trade show success. Work with your trade show designer to account for all exhibit-related minutia. Be it lighting, seating, carpeting, assembly, or just having access to on-site technical resources, these expenses should be expected and included upfront.

Undelivered Promises

Trust. It’s a simple concept that is the lifeblood of customer retention and repeat customers. In every industry. But when it comes to choosing a trade show display company, it’s imperative you establish it forthright. Good exhibit companies will also deliver exceptionally tight design and even with the tightest of timelines and budgets. Always have these promises properly itemized, and then confirm as each item is furnished – and meets or exceeds expectations.

Know the signs. Stick to the budget. And choose an experienced trade show exhibit company that will provide you not only with everything you need for a successful trade show exhibit – but everything you expect as well…