When is the last time you ran an audit of trade show expenditures? Don’t feel too guilty if that answer is, “Uh, never.” With all the work you have to do planning, organizing, and orchestrating the event, combined with the post-trade show cleanup and reporting, it’s no wonder that you haven’t made the time to do a line-by-line audit of your invoices.
Auditing Show Expenditures May Become Your Favorite Thing to Do
No, really! Just imagine the thrill of finding a miscellaneous $350 here or $2,100 there, because you took the time to do a little auditing. That’s enough to make anyone find a bit of joy in an otherwise tedious process.
Here are some of the places audits can cut the true costs of exhibiting:
- The exhibit houses. The first place to start is with the exhibit house invoice(s) itself. Does it reflect all agreed upon discounts? Are there any hidden or undisclosed fees or service charges that are illegal in your state? Does the exhibit property disposal fee include items that you were also charged for in storage fees?
- Electrical charges. A common error for exhibitors are electrical charges that came from another exhibitors order. Always count the number of electrical outlets you use and their amperage. Verify that you were provided with every piece of equipment that you’re charged for. Take photos if necessary.
- Transportation. Always ask for all-inclusive transportation quotes. This places the onus on the carrier to get it right the first time. Save the quote and compare it with the invoice to make sure there are no additional charges.
- Materials handling. There are a wealth of items that can incorrectly jack up the costs of materials handling, including miscalculated or transposed weights, incorrect assessment of materials and goods, overtime charges due to exhibitor-services mishaps, and marshaling yard fees charged when smaller package carriers deliver to marshaling yards, rather than small package loading docks (communicate with carriers ahead of time so they deliver equipment to the correct locations).
- I&D labor. If you’re relying on someone else’s I&D laborers to help, keep meticulous track of their work time (individual names and times in/out). Also, keep an eye out to make sure the lead laborer isn’t sharing time between you and another vendor, resulting in double-charges.
Traditionally, a meticulous audit of trade show expenditures requires the organization of tremendous amounts of paperwork. That’s not the case anymore.
Get in touch with Eventrio to learn more about innovative products and services that keep your invoices and payment records in a single, easy-to-access location, making the auditing process easier than ever.