Why is there an EACA?
There are a number of factors that have influenced the start-up of our national not-for-profit association. They are:
- Rapid Industry Growth. To sustain rapid growth and expansion, our industry needs enhanced communication capabilities among companies that supply services to exhibitors at shows, and the shows and customers they service. Prior to the EACA, no organization communicated regularly on the day-to-day issues which impact trade show logistics and exhibitor services on the showfloor. EACs are in the best position to “take the temperature” of exhibitor’s satisfaction with showfloor services on a nationwide basis, and make this information available to all other stakeholders in the trade show industry.
- Growth of EAC Companies. The rapid expansion of trade shows has impacted the growth of exhibitor-appointed contractors as well. This has raised a number of issues among facility managers and show organizers as to the suitability of these contractors. Prior to the EACA, there was no nationwide organization focused on the establishment of an EAC Code of Conduct and the development of a nationwide training program for EAC workers.
- Media Choices. The exhibiting companies that have fueled the growth of trade shows, have more choices every day on where to spend their marketing dollars. In order to sustain the growth in trade show marketing, every part of the exhibitor value chain must make continuing improvement. Prior to the EACA, no industry association was focused on “raising the level of service excellence on the showfloor.”
- Exhibitor Sophistication. As trade show exhibits continue to increase in size and sophistication, and constantly require new skills and services for their successful set-up and tear down, the need for an ongoing nationwide training program for showfloor workers gets ever larger. Prior to the EACA, there was no nationwide organization focused on the development of a nationwide training program for EAC workers.
- Financial Pressures on Exhibitors. As trade shows have continued to grow and prosper, they have become prime targets for acquisition by companies that seek accelerated paybacks on their investments. These fast payback plans many times are achieved at the expense of customer satisfaction. Prior to the EACA, no industry association was focused on creating continuous effort to benchmark, track, and improve the exhibitor’s customer satisfaction index.
What are the most common services provided by EACs?
The EACA has EAC members who provide services to exhibitors on the show floor in 10 different categories.
The most common service categories are:
• I&D Labor
• Exhibit Transportation
• Carpet / Flooring
EACA members also provide the following services:
• Computer rental
• Models / Talent
Are there benefits of using an EAC instead of a general contractor?
Exhibitors choose EACs to provide their showfloor-based exhibit services for the same reasons that show organizers prefer to establish a long term relationship with a general contractor (as opposed to changing contractors every year). It’s about consistency, familiarity with customer needs and goals, sensitivity to customer budgets, and the development of a customer knowledge base that has immeasurable benefit.
The three primary benefits are:
• Hiring/firing control
• Quality of services provided
• Value delivered
Probably the best testimonial for the value of the services that EACs provide to exhibitors is that most major general service contractors have formed their own EAC divisions.
What’s ahead? What is the impact of EACs on trade shows?
The EACA believes that the future is bright for the trade show industry, and EACs, as long as exhibitors retain the right to choose their own suppliers.
With the ability to maintain a sense of control for their exhibiting programs, and to have a direct say in the way they are serviced, exhibitors will continue to participate in trade shows in increasing numbers.
At EACA, we say that EACs, as well as other exhibit service suppliers, are the customer service arm of the tradeshow industry. What better explanation is there for the fantastic growth that our industry has seen in EAC companies?
In 1979 there were only a handful of specialty service companies dedicated to providing booth installation and dismantle services at tradeshows.As I mentioned earlier, EAC companies today now number in the hundreds.In fact, most general service contractors now have special EAC divisions so they too can provide a more customized service solution for tradeshow exhibitors.
The EACA has determined that the presence of EACs in our industry creates value, and revenue, for show managers.Exhibitors make decisions about how much exhibit space and which exhibit to bring to a trade show based not only on market factors, but also on their ability to control exhibit costs.
How to hire an EAC? Ask the following questions:
1. How long has the EAC been in business?
2. Describe the services you provide:
c. Graphic capabilities?
d. Exhibit repair?
g. Coordination services
j. Specialty furnishings
3. Tell me why your company is uniquely qualified to service my exhibit.
4. Are you registered with the facility/city convention bureau?
5. Do you have all the appropriate insurance coverages?
6. Will you provide me with a copy of Liability and WorkersComp Insurance Certificate?
7. Describe your working relationship with:
a. General Contractors
b. Show Managers
8. How many other clients do you have on this show?
9. How well-equipped are you to service me and your other clients at this show?
10. How can I contact you after hours in the event of an emergency?
11. What do you charge for your services?
12. What are your payment terms?
13. I’m running a credit check, is there anything I should know?
14. Can you provide three exhibit manager references?
15. Can you provide two exhibit producer references?
16. Are you a member of the EACA?
17. If not, do you have a written code of professional conduct & ethics?
As bonafide trade show industry professionals, all EACA members pledge to conduct themselves, both on the show floor, and off, in a manner which is above reproach and serves only to enhance and improve the value of their exhibitor customers’ trade show experiences, as well as the shows in which they work.
Should all trade show exhibitors follow these important steps when hiring an EAC, we believe that your sense of control, satisfaction and success for your trade show program will greatly improve. Otherwise, please remember that the EACA is always available to be of service whenever it’s necessary.