ILLUSTRATION: MARK FISHER
I pay my exhibit house to pull and prep my exhibit before every show, but I'm not fully convinced that it's actually performing that service. How can I tell if I'm being duped?
There are many ways to confirm a pull and prep has been executed properly by the exhibit house, but here's the method I prefer. During the dismantle of your booth, place a marker inside or outside one of your crates that will let you know if it has been opened and the contents have been inspected. For example, you could place a ribbon on top of the contents or slip it into a suitcase-style crate so it's slightly sticking out. If this ribbon is in the same place when the crate is opened for the next install, it is very likely the contents were not examined by your exhibit house.
If your exhibit is loosely packed and the crate has multiple manners of being reloaded, you could also check for pull-and-prep services by photographing the inside of your crate prior to returning it to the exhibit house. Then check your photo against the arrangement of items in your crate at the next show. Once again, if your crate contents are in exactly the same positions for the next install as they are in the photo, chances are that you're paying for pull-and-prep services that are not – or at least not regularly – being performed, and you need to have a serious conversation with your exhibit-house rep.
— Rich Gilligan, strategic buyer of marketing events, SAP SE, New York