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There’s nothing quite like a difficult Installation & Dismantle (I&D) experience before, during, or after a trade show. It’s the stuff of nightmares. But it doesn’t have to be! Here are 5 tips to help you avoid the most common problems.


It’s not necessarily pleasure reading, but it’s important to always take the time to read the Exhibitor Manual front to back. For I&D, you need to know what’s in the conference coordinator manual and the venue’s labor rules as well. You need to know exactly what you are and aren’t allowed to do. Can you set up your own display if you don’t need special tools? Or are you not allowed to touch anything? Read the manual and find out before you get there.


Most companies for exhibit services offer tiers of pricing based on when you order them. There’s usually an early bird price, a regular price, and the not-nice on-site ordering price. Especially for labor, you can save a lot by ordering early.


I&D (Installation and Dismantlement) Tips from Xtreme Xhibits, Austin, San Antonio TX

Use these 5 tips to make I&D work for you!

Try to schedule “straight time” labor (M-F, usually 8am to 5pm) instead of overtime (M-F, 5pm to 8pm, Saturday, Sunday, and holidays). Sometimes it can’t be avoided due to restrictions in set up and tear down days, but it’s worth making the effort. As an example, for an upcoming show the advance price for straight time labor might be $76/hour, and the on-site price is $100/hour. But for overtime, it’s $135/hour for advance ordering and $175/hour for on-site orders. That’s a huge difference! Pay attention to the type of labor you’re ordering. If you can work your schedule around “straight time” labor, do so.


Always provide detailed and concise set up and tear down instructions for your crew. It isn’t always required, but it is certainly helpful.  Don’t forget pictures and a complete inventory list of what’s supposed to be there. Keep three copies: send one with your order, have another copy in your freight, and keep the final copy with you. You can avoid so many last-minute questions or delays simply by knowing your setup cold, and communicating it clearly to your whole team.


When you know your exhibit, you’ll know not only how many workers you need for installation & dismantle, but also how many hours you need. Calculating both those numbers are important to avoid costly on-site pricing that could bust your budget.


Stick to these five tips and make them a part of your process for every event. You’ll avoid extra costs, painful headaches, and those haunting nightmares. If you have any questions about I&D, Xtreme Xhibits are experts. We can address your concerns, or we can simply provide complete I&D services for you. Let’s start talking today and see how we can work together. Contact us on our web site, or call either our Austin or San Antonio locations to start the conversation.