NSCAA Convention

I have mentioned the NSCAA Convention before and I thought I would follow up after this years Convention in Baltimore.  But rather than give the usual report of how the Convention went and all the great field sessions put on by the clinicians, all the fine lectures and the usual business that was done, I thought I would give a behind the scenes look at what it takes for a company like WORLD CLASS COACHING to run a booth in the exhibit area during the Convention.

The view looking out from our booth

First, the location of the booth is important.  If you get a good position that is in the flow of traffic, it makes for a much better weekend.  If you are out of the way of the regular traffic flow, then obviously you don't get as many people visiting your booth.  The NSCAA manages booth placement based on a number of criteria such as how long has your company been exhibiting at the Convention, how early you pay for your booth and if you are a corporate sponsor, etc.  Our booth placement, although we thought was in a good position originally, turned out that the flow of traffic either went behind us or to the next aisle in front of us.  It wasn't a bad position but it wasn't as good as we thought it would be.

Our booth after setting up

The fun really starts when we have to ship our stuff to the Convention hall.  It cost us about $250 to ship 12 boxes.  These boxes go into a holding area and then the day of the Convention, they are moved from that holding area to our booth.  This is a distance of about 100 feet...the cost...$450.  So it cost us $250 to get the 12 boxes almost 2,000 miles and almost double that cost to move them 100 feet.  Now I do want to make it clear that the NSCAA has no control over this.  It is simply a cost of doing business with the Baltimore Convention Hall.  The costs are the same in Philly and all the other Convention locations.  I'm not sure exactly why it cost so much or how they justify it, but I understand the Unions are heavily involved with the labor rates.  And obviously, costs are going to be higher because the can be.  Just like it cost more to buy a can of Coco Cola at the top of a ski mountain than it does at the bottom.

To continue on the cost theme, here are some other items that make me cringe.  Two tables came standard with our booth but we needed two more.  These are the 10 feet tables that can be bought at Walmart for about $20.  However, the cost of renting them for the three days of the exhibits at the Convention are $177...each.  So that is an extra $354 for two more tables.

Another view of the Exhibit Hall

Now we didn't need internet access at the booth as we tethered a cell phone to the laptop and got the basic internet speeds that we needed.  However, if you did want internet access, the Baltimore Convention Center will happily supply that at a cost of $795 for the three days of the exhibits.  But that is only if you purchase it ahead of time.  If, like a company from England found out, you wanted to order it once you arrived at the Convention, the cost was $1045.  These guys were smart though.  They went and bought a laptop card with 5GB of data for $130 and it worked perfect.

Tom helping out customers at our booth

So, the next time you walk around the exhibits at the NSCAA Convention, you will have an idea of the costs that these guys pay just to have a booth there for the weekend.  And I don't even want to think about the costs for some of the bigger booths like Adidas, Fox Soccer Channel and others.

And like I said, the costs have nothing to do with the NSCAA, it is simply a cost of doing business with any of the major Convention Halls.

Anyway, this gives you an idea of what is involved for a company to exhibit at the NSCAA Convention.  The good news is, the Convention is a great place to do business and the NSCAA do a great job of putting on the Convention year after year.

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