This is a repeat of an article published last April 23. I later attended a major genealogy conference and discovered that several of the vendors there had not "gotten the word." I estimate that collectively they spent several thousand dollars more than they would have, had they read my earlier article. I decided to publish the article again. This week's version of the article includes a few minor changes, based on what I have learned since April 23.
If you are a vendor at genealogy conferences, and if you plan of having an Internet connection in your booth, you need to read this article!
I attended my first national genealogy conference in 1988. The following year, I paid for an exhibitor's booth at my second conference. Since then, I have worked in exhibitors' booths (the British call them "stalls") at many of the major genealogy conferences. Along the way, I have learned that having a booth at a conference is expensive!
Typically, the rental of the booth space is one of the lower expenses. I have paid as little as $35 for an 8-by-10 foot booth at a regional conference held in a small city. The highest price I have paid was $250. Actually, those are rather modest prices, compared to the price of convention booths at many non-genealogy events I have attended over the years. Prices at major commercial events are often several thousand dollars for a single 10 foot-by-10 foot booth.
I am told that stalls at the Society of Genealogists' Family History Fair in London are significantly more expensive than what the U.S. societies charge. Let's not tell the U.S. societies, OK? We don't want to plant any ideas about price hikes.
The fees for "extras" add up fast, however. Want an electrical outlet so you can plug in a computer or a cash register? That will be another $50 to $100, depending on the convention center's rates. Telephone lines installed in the booth typically cost $100 or more. Would you like an extra chair in the booth? That will be $50 for a cheap plastic chair to perhaps $250 for something that looks like a living room chair. I don't want to buy the furniture; I just want to rent it for a few days!
I was impressed that the fee for renting an extra wastebasket at this year's NGS conference was $10.00 for four days. That's a ten-dollar rental charge for a cheap plastic wastebasket that a local five-and-dime store sells for about three bucks.
However, the ultimate rip-off is for a high-speed Internet connection. Be prepared to shell out big bucks if you want to surf the web from your exhibition booth. Some of us, myself included, need Internet connectivity in order to exhibit our services.
At this year's NGS conference, the high-speed Internet connectivity fee was $1,200 for the four-day event. That is nearly $40 PER HOUR for the time that the exhibit hall was open!
For the savvy exhibitor, a much cheaper method is available. I have used this solution at three conferences so far this year and am very pleased with the results.
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