Friday, June 14, 2024

Published on Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Establishing Budgets and Saving Money in 2016

Every year when December rolls around, we generally are talking with customers and prospects about one of three things....


BudgetingFor the first conversation, there is money left in the budget that needs to be spent. Sometimes the funds are used as a deposit for a project that needs to start after the first of the year. Or, there’s a flourish of activity to get artwork or invoices together by a certain date in December, so the project can either be delivered and paid for, or simply paid for by the end of the year.


I remember one December, it was the last Friday of the month before the Christmas holiday. We received a call at 2:30 in the afternoon from a panicked customer who requested an invoice before 5:00 pm to use up her annual budget. If she didn’t receive the invoice by the end of the day, those budget dollars would be lost. We created the invoice, hand delivered by 4:30 (this was before email and a fax copy was not sufficient). We came back from the holiday and there was a check for the full amount in our morning mail. The project was finally delivered in March. Oh, the things we do for our customers.


BudgetingThe second type of contact is fairly dismissive. There is no need to have any discussions from the customer’s standpoint. “Budgets are shot”, “We aren’t doing anything next year”, “Call me in July” or “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” - that sort of thing. You get the picture.


The last type of discussion usually revolves around needing to change the sales message but budgets are either extremely tight or nonexistent. The customer is not sure what to do. With the cost of space, shipping and material handling going up or in flux, determining future exhibit costs can be a challenge.


10ft displayIf we’re talking about 10’ to 30’ inline spaces, we always like to bring up our reliable friend, the Nomadic Instand. Its been around since 1978 but remains one of the most cost effective and easy-to-use display systems available. Nomadic invented the portable pop-up technology almost 40 years ago and to this day, it continues to set the standard for the industry. We have customers who’ve had their systems for 5 or 10 years or more. They’ve updated their graphic message many times and have used multiple graphic messages on the same framework.


A 10’ system fits into one or two cases and weighs less than 100 pounds. It is easy to estimate a shipping budget. Just visit UPS or FedEx websites and get instant estimates based on the destination and type of service preferred. For material handling (drayage), most general contractors charge a minimum 200 pounds so you know what that cost will be.


Tabletop displayBecause of Prairie’s history, most of our customers have one lying around their office or warehouse somewhere. Reusing this existing system (5’x6’ table top, 8’x8’ and 8‘x10’ floor models) or adding on to create a 20’ or 30’ space, could be the budget savior they were looking for.


Since we are speaking of “threes”, set up and take down of the Nomadic Instand happens in 3 easy steps, without the need for tools, screws, nuts and bolts or an engineering degree. In fact, if you have assembled any IKEA furniture in your lifetime, you are extremely qualified, and should be able to set up an Instand while maintaining your sanity.


10ft displayStep one: Deploy the frame. No locking assemblies, no tools. Step two: Attach the mounting system. Again, no tools required, no clumsy connections like one of the dozens of knockoffs out there. Step three: Attach the graphics. Magnet to magnet connection of the graphic panels to the mounting system allows for perfect alignment of the panels.


If you don’t believe it is that easy, give us a call to set up a time to demonstrate at your offices or our facility in Elmhurst!


If you feel that your staff cannot or will not perform these functions, Prairie can assist by providing I&D estimates for a local EAC. When you’re using a Nomadic Instand product, I&D isn’t as expensive as you may think, coupled with savings on staff hotel stays and per diems.


30ft displayIf you have a Nomadic system and aren’t sure if it is up to speed, send it to Prairie for an inspection. There is no charge when we are producing a new graphics. You only pay for missing or damaged parts. Many of those parts may be covered under Nomadic’s NQA Lifetime Warranty. And in most instances we can repair damage to shipping cases with new locks, wheel and axle sets and buckles and straps.


When it comes to a new graphic message, Prairie offers three different price points and processes for producing graphic panels. We will gladly provide templates and art specifications to agencies or designers to help move the process along. If a customer doesn’t have access to those services or time is too tight, we have designers and large format specialists ready to assist.


20ft displaySo at the end of the day, if you need to accurately predict costs while keeping them down when exhibiting at 10’ + inline spaces, the good old Instand might just be the trick. Looking for new or adding on, just ask one of Prairie’s knowledgeable account managers to guide you along the way.


Let’s see....


Predictable and manageable shipping and material handling costs, eliminating labor or only requiring a minimum amount for set up and take down, and multiple price points for graphics, on a system that’s designed to provide maximum visual impact? Don’t look any further than the Nomadic Instand.


Give us a call or email and we can start that conversation for 2016.


Best Regards,


Steve Moskal









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Author: Steve Moskal

Categories: Budget, Nomadic Instand, Pop-Up Displays


Steve Moskal
Steve Moskal

Steve Moskal

Other posts by Steve Moskal
Contact author Full biography

Full biography

Steve’s journey in the trade show and event world started in 1983 with one of the original Nomadic Display sales organizations in North America. In 1994, he co-founded Prairie Display/Chicago.

Steve was an Allied Board Member of TSEA (Trade Show Exhibitors Association) from 2007 to 2011 and recipient of the TSEA President’s Award in 2009. He also served as Financial Chair of the Midwest Exhibit and Event Professionals (formerly the Chicago chapter of TSEA) and as a commissioner with the Elmhurst Economic Development Commission from 2011 to 2016. Currently he is Vice President of Education for the Addison/Elmhurst, IL Toastmasters Club.

When not working with customers and co-workers at Prairie, you can find him trying to spend more time biking and pursuing other creative endeavors. Steve lives in Oak Brook, IL with his beautiful and equally understanding wife of 26 years, Shelley.

Steve is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a B.A. in Journalism and a Fine Arts minor.


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