Have you ever attended a tradeshow? Did you know that the electricity, carpet, trash cans, plants, chairs, tvs and various other items are all beingrentedby those of us that have booths? It really is a wonder that companies would rather spend money to rent a cardboard trashcan for $15/day rather than buying a plastic one at Walmart for $5.
Of course, every business needs to make money and there are specific companies that cater to the shows, and obviously there are companies that need these rental services. I just prefer not to be one.
As a business that closely watches the income and outflow of money, we’d rather find another way.
So we did.
It wasn’t exactly convenient for me to ask our employees to go buy a table and chairs for the booth, so those we had to rent this time. Last year we drove to the tradeshow and took our own table, chairs and TV monitor. This year however, I simply could not agree to spend the money on renting a big screen television for over $200/day when I could go to almost any store and just buy one.
I ordered one online for less than the price of renting one for a single day and had it delivered to the hotel where our staff is staying. Well in advance, I researched local orphanages in the same city as the show until finding one and asking them if they could use a 4-day-old television. It was not a big surprise that one took me up on the offer right away. The caveat, I explained to them, was that they would have to pick the television up from the convention center. After verifying this was no problem, we went ahead with the plan.
As an alternative, we could have bought the TV and just left it for anyone to take and it would have still been less money than renting one. That is the sad part to me. At the last tradeshow I attended one company near us did exactly that.
We can now count this expense as a tax write off and feel good about donating to a local orphanage. I can almost picture the joy on the children’s faces when they find out they have a new television in their living room.
It is my deepest hope that this blog will encourage others to find ways to give from within their companies.