Written by Samantha Heyden, Skyline Displays Australia.

One thing I hear all too often from new and experienced exhibitors alike is, “I have to use the show supplier at that event.”

In Australia this is simply not true.

A “Preferred Show Supplier” is the company contracted by the show organiser to supply the shell scheme booth structures and other infrastructure and equipment for the event organiser. In turn, for the supply of these goods and services they are listed as the preferred supplier for the event. As preferred supplier they are listed on all show collateral, are given the opportunity to include their information in the exhibitor manual and are provided a list of exhibitors for sales prospecting.

In my experience and that of many of my clients, some preferred show suppliers will go to great lengths to perpetuate the myth to all exhibitors that you must use them for services at a particular event. These services usually include; furniture, flooring, audio visual, rigging and of course exhibition stand display packages.

It is important to know that you are free to choose any supplier/suppliers that you think work best for your requirements and budget.

Many exhibitors use preferred supplier for the ease and convenience. In the most basic form of supply, you simply need to fill out the order forms in your exhibitor manual and the equipment you have ordered will be delivered to your stand by the time you arrive at the event.

Now that might sound pretty good. Really easy, right? Here are some reasons why you might choose to look beyond the preferred show supplier for your events:

1. You want to look different from the other exhibitors

Most preferred show supplier’s (PSS) tend to offer packages that you select from a catalogue. The most common element that changes from exhibitor to exhibitor is the brand and messaging on the stand. So aside from your unique logo, imagery and message you can look very similar to your neighbour i.e. the hardware components are identical, the architectural shape and layout are the same or very similar and the size and shape of the graphics and branded signage areas are the same. So to many visitors you have the same booth as your neighbour and possible competitor, and your signage is just a little different.

2. You attend multiple events

If you are an exhibitor attending multiple events per annum and are looking for an exhibition booth display package that can be used at all events – the PSS route may not be best one for you. Show suppliers can change from event to event, so you will most likely be using different suppliers throughout the year. From a budget perspective, with a PSS your booth outlay for each event will be similar. With Skyline your cost per show can decrease as your expenses are amortised across your event program. This is done by designing an adaptable exhibition booth solution that can be used across your entire event schedule.

3. You want to be the #1 priority to your stand builder/suppliers

When you choose a PSS, you and your company will be one of many clients (it can easily be 1 in 100), the PSS is supplying to for the show. You simply will not be their #1 priority. If you want personalised service and would like to work with a supplier that cares as much about the show outcome as you do, I highly suggest you look beyond the preferred show supplier.

4. You’re Looking for a Graphic or Brand intense Display Package

Want large format and intense images, messaging and branding across your booth? Look beyond the PSS to exhibition display suppliers that create bespoke exhibition stands. They are better placed to create an effective solution tailored to this need.

5. You’re a DIY exhibitor who wants a portable display

PSS’s don’t specialise in this area so it is well worth looking at other suppliers who are experts in portable exhibiting, have a good product offering and can consult with you to find the best display package for you and your companies needs and requirements.

6. You’re a DIY exhibitor that wants to build and dismantle your own stand

This could be because you are a portable exhibitor or you are very hands on and want, and are able, to build your own custom stand to reduce your labour and logistic costs. In this case you can purchase a DIY architectural and perhaps modular display system to manage and build yourself. If this is you, you will need to look beyond the PSS for a viable solution.

7. You are after a bespoke display solution

  • You want a unique look?
  • You want to create a specific atmosphere, feel or mood?
  • You want your exhibition booth to truly represent your brand and what you stand for?
  • You don’t want to pick a package out of a catalogue?
  • You want something created just for you, your company and your brand?
  • You want a solution tailored to your event program, your needs, and your requirements?

If you fall into one of these 7 categories or you would like to, I encourage you to look beyond the preferred show supplier and investigate exhibition industry suppliers that specialise in tailored display solutions. Contact us to discuss how Skyline Displays Australia can help.

About the Author:
Samantha Heyden worked with Skyline from 2002 to 2017. During that time she was responsible for developing marketing strategies, branding and event programs throughout Australia. In 2017 Sam and her husband Glenn had a beautiful little boy and she made the decision not to return to Skyline

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required