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Trade Show Supply Chain Issues – Plan Early and Have a Plan B

As if the trade show industry has not faced its fair share of challenges over the past 18 months, a new challenge has arisen that may continue for the foreseeable future: trade show supply chain issues. If you’re planning to participate in a trade show or event that requires a booth or equipment, you need to start planning well ahead of time.

What’s Happening with the Trade Show Supply Chain

As in many other industries, including automotive and medical, trade show vendors are finding it difficult to obtain certain necessary supplies. For example, one of our clients is in need of a new banner stand but can’t obtain one before an upcoming trade show. Why? Because the hardware is sitting in a cargo bay on a ship in port. The ship can’t be unloaded due to labor supply shortages. And while this is just one example, exhibitors are being impacted by all kinds of trade show issues, including increased costs.

Plan for Longer Lead Times

It isn’t just hardware and equipment that is slowing down the supply chain. Ordering printed materials is also taking longer. Printer capacity is impacting every area of print, from posters and banners to books and marketing materials. The delay may continue for months, so making sure you have your order in early for any materials you may need for your booth is critical.

Booth Production Delays

If you’re requesting a new booth for an upcoming trade show, it can be extremely difficult to get the booth on time. Materials are harder to obtain and the labor shortage that is impacting other industries did not exclude the event industry. It may be necessary, depending on your timeline, to rent a booth while you’re waiting for yours to be manufactured.

Audio-Visual Production Delays

The same microchips that are causing a shortage in new automobiles is also affecting the supply of AV equipment. Lead times for equipment can be as long as 52 weeks, which means that you may be forced to find alternate AV supplies or focus on repairing older equipment you already have.

Planning Well in Advance May Be the New Normal

With no end in site of supply chain disruptions – including container shortages – planning well in advance of every event may simply become the new way of managing your event and your booth planning. Reusing what you have, renting booths when necessary, and finding alternative solutions to meet your branding and visibility needs will help you get through these latest challenges.

Trade shows are resuming with fervor around the world; to be prepared for the opportunities being presented, get in touch. ExpoVention specializes in developing solutions for your event needs.

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