November 19, 2012

Installation and Dismantle Services: What’s Really Important?

Installation and dismantle services, or I/D for short, may not be the glamorous side of trade show or event exhibiting, but these services are as critical to your success as smart exhibit design and having an overall plan of attack for any event exhibiting activities. Just ask someone who has had the nightmare of a “bad” I/D experience.

As most of us know, if you have been in the business for more than a handful of shows, you have, more than likely, had something not happen, as intended, at one or more of your shows.

Things happen at trade shows – they are complex, sophisticated and highly choreographed events with thousands of participants doing any number of things, usually all at the same time, as a show gets ready to open or close.  Not to mention all the I/D personnel installing and dismantling temporary exhibits that range from the simple to the highly complex.  When you think about the environment and the amazing coordination that has to happen for every show, it’s amazing things tend to work as well as they do.

As someone, much smarter than me, once said… “Man plans; God laughs”.

So how can you plan or, better yet, what can you do to help ensure the most positive I/D end results?

One key step is making sure you select the right I/D partner. Following is a best practices criteria list for selecting an I/D partner:

1. Ideally, the I/D provider should also be an exhibit solutions provider
2. Additionally, they should have a permanent presence within the show venue marketplace
a. Here’s are the reasons why this is so important:
i. If your exhibit is damaged, for whatever reason, your I/D partner has a local facility from which they can either fix or replace what has been damaged before the show opens
ii. If your I/D provider is solely an I/D provider (i.e., no exhibit design, construction, engineering or graphics design/production expertise), if there is exhibit damage, they have to rely on what I call their MacGyver ingenuity skills and have nowhere to go in trying to fix or replace the damaged exhibit or graphic part, other than the local Home Depot or Best Buy
3. Chemistry and contacts – you should be able to speak and feel comfortable with your I/D provider, well before the show, where you can review the exhibit and get cell phone numbers for those who will be on the floor and will know your exhibit
4. Your I/D partner should also have an “in-business” track record that stretches back at least 5 years with existing client references.

If you adhere to the criteria listed above, you have a much better chance of having a positive show experience. Remember, when things go well, it’s easy to look good. It’s when something gets messed up that you really learn the value of your I/D exhibit solutions provider.

ion exhibits is a leading North American exhibit solutions provider with more than 17 years of comprehensive expertise.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, feel free to contact Adam Levy, ion’s Vice President of Marketing. Adam can be reached directly, via phone: 630-227-4558 or, via email:

Alternatively, fill out the “Contact Us” form on the ion exhibits’ website and tell us what you need and we will be in touch shortly.