Should Your Association Hire A Trade Show Management Company?

For many of us, it can be nerve-wracking to leave our comfort zone.  It’s easier to stay with what we know and can control.

There are thousands of trade associations running shows for various industries throughout the year and for every show, they have to decide if they want to keep the planning internal or hire the work out to a trade show management company.

With that decision comes so many questions, like…

What are the trade-offs in outsourcing the work?  What are the benefits? Will I hire the wrong management company?

The struggle is real.  

Hiring a trade show management company is the need that you didn’t know you needed.  

Because sometimes we don’t know what’s best for us until we’ve gotten a taste of what we have been missing out on.

Acknowledging Limitations

An important part of running any business (regardless of industry) is being able to acknowledge limitations. When you do that you become stronger for it.  Here’s why…

When an association is doing everything, even the stuff they don’t excel at, work can get compromised.  It’s limiting the potential.

When the realization hits that you are being stretched too thin you become open to hiring help from qualified professionals who can take your ideas and turn them into something glorious.

Refuse to Settle

Here are some things to consider if you’re feeling stuck.

  1. A management company knows the potential growth of your industry.  They understand what your members are looking for, even in highly skilled associations.  This is their creative; not only will they have a cohesive vision, but they can implement it as well.
  2. You might be surprised to discover that it’s financially beneficial.  A management company will have strategic partners around the country who will understand your needs and will know what it costs to implement them (and has more leverage to get you a better deal).  A board might lack the important partnerships necessary to implement your goals and still stay within your budget. It affects not only your bottom line but the overall experience for attendees and exhibitors.
  3. Trade shows are focusing now more than ever on attendee experience.  This means they have to be up-to-date on all the latest trends and technology and know the research behind them (what attendees love and don’t).  They have the data necessary to improve your ROI.
  4. A management company focuses on relationships.  This is critical to the success of a show. They have an entire network of people from vendors to contractors that understand what it takes to make a show thrive.  
  5. A good relationship with exhibitors is a core part of the success of any show.  The rapport that comes with a long-standing relationship that has been built on trust goes a long way and a good reputation will ensure that new exhibitors will want to join the team.
  6. Afraid you might hire the wrong company?  Before you choose a team make sure you ask for references and talk to people who have used them before.  Always, always do your homework on anyone before you hire.

One of a Kind

The evolutionary nature of a trade show management company is hard to duplicate.  The variables are always changing and you’ll need a team that can keep up the pace.  

It’s time to let go of the struggle.  It’s easier than you might think. And you might find out that what you didn’t know you needed (but do) was right there all along.