Tip 28: Collecting Booth Fees
Does it suddenly seem as if many exhibitors are successfully evading your strict
payment terms? Have they gotten smarter about keeping their money as long as
possible? If you have a hot show that is sold out, this problem does not affect
you. For everyone else, here are some suggestions:
- Forewarn exhibitors during the re sign process that payment terms will be
strictly enforced. Make it clear that an exhibitor loses its re sign booth
location if it fails to make the first payment on time—and, in addition,
will have to pay full rate (typically $2 more per square foot than the re
sign or renewal rate).
- Tie each payment to something the exhibitor really wants, such as being
listed in the promotion piece that goes to 200,000 prospects. The print deadline
is usually six months out, which lines up nicely with the 100% payment deadline.
- Be sure to require a signed contract with the first payment. That allows
you to enforce your no refund policy.
- Have your sales people make low-key reminder calls just before each payment
due date. They can update exhibitors about the show, thus reinforcing their
reasons for signing up.
- Have a no exceptions rule that exhibitors must be fully paid
before they can order any services or even receive the Exhibitor Manual. This
also applies to newly signed exhibitors. Be sure to keep your contractors
informed as to who is delinquent.
- At show site have a "no pay" list at the loading dock. Do not let their
freight on the floor until they are paid in full. And demand credit card payment