The trade show industry continues to grow, with data showing that in 2016, nearly $13 billion in revenue was generated in the U.S. For many companies, this equates to showing at several shows in a given year. With multiple shows, companies also tend to have quite a few trade show booth properties. If your company falls into this category, there are several ways inventory management can impact your trade show effectiveness.
Keeping tabs on your inventory: The first factor in running your trade show season effectively is to know exactly where all your inventory is. You may have overlapping shows or have a long period of time between shows. In either instance, having a solid tracking system for your booth inventory is key. It can sometimes be difficult to keep track of your inventory at your company headquarters, especially if your inventory can be accessed by many people in your organization. Consider having your trade show exhibit house store your inventory, where a standard and tested process is in place to know exactly where each booth property is located at any given time.
Keeping your inventory in tip-top shape: When getting your booth inventory ready for storage, there is a great opportunity to check each item in your inventory for wear and tear as well as if any of your graphics need to be cleaned. This is also a time when your exhibit house can inspect the structure elements of your booth and make sure those items are structurally sound. If there is an issue, they can be fixed well before your next show (and the next show is not where you want a potential structure failure).
Know when to cycle out inventory: A final way that inventory management can keep your trade show running efficiently is to help you get into a habit of reviewing your inventory regularly and cycle out old and outdated graphics, old booth properties, or items damaged beyond repair. It can be easy to fall into a routine of just cycling through your current inventory. But, things (like products or communications) may have changed in your company where inventory properties are no longer applicable. This also provides time between shows to identify any misalignments and replace those outdated pieces.
Use inventory management to develop a strong process to keep your booth properties always at the ready to be deployed, no matter if you have a short list of trade shows or a complex trade show season.