Keys To Avoid Under Bidding for Trade Shows
In many cities trade show and conventions are what make up a big part of the tourist industry. In other places they don’t support this business so you would need to look at other opportunities in your area. Usually the major cities have up to date convention facilities and hotel space ready to be used. For example San Antonio appears to do about 2-3 times the convention bookings compared to Austin just an hour away.
Take a look at the local websites for the convention facility and see what companies are listed for the year. This is only a fraction of the conventions coming to town because many book private hotel space and they seldom want to give away clients names to others in the business.
When researching local events be sure to note the following.
- Local or national
- Size of the event
- Number of days booked
- Number of locations
- Note any special events
- Time of opening / closing sessions
- Celebrity entertainment
Lets look at the above list and see what each means to a photographer.
Local or national. If a national event that brings in guest from around the country they are usually spending a lot more so the photo budget might be higher. Also if they are from a larger city like LA or New York the normal cost for photo services are higher so take advantage and don’t bid too low.
A small event is not making as much money so the budget will be much lower. Same with single day or multi day events. The longer the event the higher cost to attend.
Moving from one location to another can cost you $40.00 in parking so build that into the budget. This goes for special events where you might have to move equipment. You might need an assistant to setup before you arrive if you are working another section of the convention.
Time of the opening can change parking fees. Many set a day rate for 5-6 hours so your $20.00 a day could double or triple real fast. Plus add that for 2-3 add on photographers and you are now costing yourself a good chink of cash in parking fees alone.
Celebrity entertainment means bigger budgets and higher cost to attend. Don’t bid low. They expect to pay a professional fee for professional quality and reliability. This will knock out the low ball bids really fast. Usually the small local events where low ball offers do get picked up.
After considering the factors make sure your bid look professional. Use a template with your logo and contact information. Include insurance information such as E&O coverage at every contracted event. This will separate you from many of the fly by nights that send in bids and let the company know you are setup to cover major photo shoots.
Video from Jeffrey Truitt Photography