To every season turn, turn, turn. We know that you’ll be turning, turning, turning many pages of trade show proposals once you’ve sent out your RFP. We’d like to help.

 After 15 year in this business, we know it’s RFP season when our team is spending an excessive amount of time held up in a room decorated with pinned renderings, too many coffee cups, and strategic ideas bouncing off every surface.

We review countless proposal every year and we wanted to share a few tips that help both exhibit houses and their prospective clients in the detailed process of proposal season. We can help.

 Check out our top 7 tips.

 1. Include Brand Standards

It is always best to include brand standards from the start so that the creative team can include the right branding, the first time. No one likes a re-do. And by no one, we mean no one. Exhibit houses appreciate any design files that companies want to share as well as any guidelines to follow.

 2. Share the Budget

When sending a proposal, it’s best to always share a budget. A detailed exact number is even better than a range. It helps to give context for how an exhibit house can better help its potential client. We can promise that sharing a budget does not limit creative thinking – including the budget helps to maximize thinking to stretch and optimize within a client’s financial parameters.

 3. Give Time

The worst timeline is a rushed timeline. Excelling exhibit houses aren’t sitting around without any work to do, so, when a brand sends out a proposal to agencies, they should hope that they have other client work on their plate and that they cannot turn a proposal around in a matter of moments. So, being generous with timelines almost always produces the best results.

 4. Ask for Feedback

In a proposal process, this is an excellent time to ask the question, “if this was your exhibit, what would you do differently?” Hearing an outside perspective on an exhibit program can positively change the trajectory of a current program. Exhibit houses see trade show programs all day and have endless ideas to optimize strategies to be stronger. So, gather feedback needed to maximize current programs.

 5.  Get to Know the People

At the end of the day, people like to work with people they like. Before hiring an exhibit house, spend time with them. Whatever company gets awarded the business will have the privilege of working day in and day out with your company. We believe it’s important to build comradery before selecting the right agency so that when the work starts, there’s already a personal connection.

 6.  Provide Details Details Details

As it relates to everything in the proposal, the more details that can be shared with the exhibit houses, the better. As a brand experience company, our goal is to help our clients stand out and we do this through the information shared with us. The more the merrier.

 7. Make Time

Agencies are investing their time into creating for their prospective client the best possible brand activation to deliver upon business goals. The most productive way to work is in collaboration. So, during the RFP process, make sure to leave space in the week to connect with the exhibit houses to answer questions, provide feedback, etc. The positive results of these brief calls can make a world of difference.

If it’s you, a colleague, or friend who’s about to embark on a brand activation or trade show RFP we hope you find exactly what you need. Our team specializes in help our clients stand up and out and we’d love to help you get there.