Your goal was to choose the right trade show exhibit company: A valued partner whose capabilities perfectly align with your strategic marketing vision and tactical trade show plans. Unfortunately, your exhibit company didn’t meet your expectations. What are the signs that the honeymoon is over and it’s time to look for a new trade show partner?

Here are six frustrating issues you may have experienced with your exhibit company that should immediately raise a red flag:

Inaccurate Price Estimates

A reputable trade show exhibit company should provide you upfront with a clear estimate of how much it will cost for your initial exhibit build, rental, services and any ongoing storage. If they keep missing their estimates by a country mile, it makes it harder for you to stay on budget and justify your spending.

Poor Customer Service

While the trade show world may appear glamourous to outsiders, the reality is that success depends on attending to thousands of details within very tight timeframes. Getting it all done requires a partner who takes those details off your plate, and then dependably follows through. When your trade show exhibit company doesn’t do what they promised, or your project gets lost in the shuffle of “more important” clients, you get burdened with unnecessary tasks and stress that you shouldn’t have to deal with. Your exhibit company needs to provide the level of service you deserve to be worthy of your business.

Flawed Communications

Good communications are another major requirement for handling detail-intensive trade shows. You need a partner that works hard to truly understand your needs. A team that regularly provides status updates about what they have done on your behalf, keeps you appraised of what they need from you to complete their work, and alerts you if timelines or budgets are at risk. But when your calls and emails are not promptly responded to, or your exhibit company doesn’t keep you in the loop or makes assumptions without asking you, your company’s success can be jeopardized.


To err is human, to forgive divine — up to a point. It’s not a question of whether challenges will happen, but when. More importantly, how does your exhibit company handle those challenges to make your life easier. And even better, how does your exhibit company prevent mistakes from happening in the first place. If your trade show exhibit company makes your job more difficult or makes repeated or critical mistakes, so that you fear for your event’s success, it’s time to reconsider who your partner is.

Bad Chemistry

Perhaps your current trade show exhibit company was chosen by a distant predecessor who is nothing like you, so now you’re stuck in an incompatible relationship. Or your exhibit company doesn’t seem to care about your business or your success. It’s just not a good fit. You deserve a team that works for you, not against you.

No Value-Add

At first, it may have seemed that all you wanted was a trade show exhibit company that followed your marching orders. You told them what to do and they executed on it. But there is something important missing in a relationship like that: a two-way flow of new ideas. A true partner challenges you to evolve. They use their position as a nexus of industry trends and successful experiments to propose innovative methods and new technology to boost your trade show results.

If too many of these points hit home for you, maybe it’s time to find a new vendor who will be the high-quality trade show exhibit company you deserve. Because our main focus is making our clients successful, almost all our business is repeat business. We would love for you to experience first-hand how we provide consistently high levels of service and value with exhibitors like you. You can contact us at 651-578-3600 to learn more.