Manage Your Trade Show Budget with Labor Rates Survey by EDPA

  • by: Lesley Martin

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  • September 29, 2017

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  • Budgeting Transparency

If you’re a brand manager, you probably have already planned your company’s 2018 trade show calendar. A quick Google search can quickly answer your questions about travel, accommodations, and the best spots to grab a bite to eat.

Knowing the average labor rates for a city, however, is not so easy.

While you know where you’re exhibiting, you might not yet know the labor rates for the show, which you will find in the general contractor show kit.

Until the show organizer publishes the kit, exhibitors can only ballpark estimates for labor costs, using historical data. Historical data is not always useful, particularly for shows that move from city to city. To help you determine a more accurate idea of labor costs, use this tool: Exhibitions & Events Industry Labor Rates Survey.

What is the Labor Rates Survey?
The Labor Rates Survey is a collection of the average event labor and material handling rates for more than 40 cities across the U.S. and Canada. The data comes from over 200 published show kits and rate sheets for major convention cities. The most recent edition was published in August 2017 by the Experiential Designers and Producers Association (EDPA). While the EDPA sponsored the survey, the research was conducted by a third-party research consultant.

How to Use the Survey
When forecasting the budget for a trade show in a given city, exhibitors can use the average labor rates for that city to gauge potential costs. The survey lists 40 cities across North America that hold major trade shows and conventions.

While the historical data may be useful, exhibitors should remember that many factors influence their final costs. As stated in the survey, other factors include:

  • Event size
  • Move-in and move-out periods
  • Holidays
  • Manpower and time required to fulfill services
  • Labor union rules
  • Convention center design and functionality issues
  • Number and capacity of loading docks and freight elevators in venue

In last month’s blog post, we explained that labor rates are determined show-by-show. To learn more, read How I&D Labor Rates are Determined.

Labor Rates Steadily Increase
In addition to listing the 2017 rate averages, the report compares U.S. labor rate averages from 2015 to 2017. Over the last two years, the study shows that the average hourly rate in the U.S. for general display labor increased by only 1% annually. Also, the average hourly rate increased from $101.75 in 2015 to $103.50 in 2017.

We looked back at the 2011 Labor Rate Survey to check how the labor rates increased in the past. Between 2009 and 2011, the labor rates increased at a compound annual growth rate of 2.8%. Also, the average hourly rate in the U.S. for general decorator labor increased by 5.7% annually in those two years.

With transparency and tracking of published labor rates, the recent increases are stable and in-line with the consumer price index. When it comes to budgets and relationships, Nuvista commits to transparency.

Want to Learn More?
The EDPA supports the success and integrity of the industry through advocacy, communication, education, and good works. Amanda Helgemoe, President of Nuvista, serves as one of the EDPA’s Supplier Directors. Exhibitors who need help managing trade show budgets can reach-out to Nuvista. Fill out the contact form or call us at 800-485-1908.

To learn more about how labor rates are determined, read our blog post: How I&D Labor Rates Are Determined.

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Professional, experienced installation and dismantle, budget development, partner sourcing, on-site supervision and invoice reconciliation, Nuvista does it all.

800-485-1908

Contact Us