Reducing Trade Show Costs While Giving Back to the Community

If you’ve been to a trade show then you’re probably aware of the high mark-up that is charged for equipment and furniture rental. What if you could save some of that business cost and contribute to the community at the same time? Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?

Earlier this year we attended the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Expo in Baltimore, Maryland. While preparing to rent such common items as chairs, tables, and televisions through the trade show catalog Scott Rise, one of our sales representatives, got a bright idea. Why not purchase the items we needed for our booth and give the stuff away to a local charity when we were done with the show?

Doing a little math showed that it was indeed cheaper to buy the furniture at a Wal-Mart-type store than it would be to rent similar items at the Expo. Best of all, we’d be able to donate everything to a deserving charity afterwards.

We put this idea in action again when we attended the National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo in San Diego in October 2010. We contacted a charity called Alpha Project — a national nonprofit that serves the homeless and low-income population. After the Expo we donated all the booth furniture to the organization.

In turn, the Alpha Project “gave it to clients who were in the process of getting on their feet, getting an apartment, trying to get a job,” said Karen Pucci, Program Manager for the San Diego chapter of the organization. “We are truly grateful for these types of donations. The people we serve who are transitioning from homelessness can really use furniture and household goods.”

About our donations, Corey Black of the NSC had this to say: “The National Safety Council appreciates Convergence Training donating furniture they use during the NSC Congress & Expo to charities. This is one demonstration of how thinking creatively can impact others in a meaningful way.”

Seldom is there the chance to save some business costs while doing something that feels good. Thanks to Scott Rise and his outside-the-box thinking, Convergence helped (and will continue to help) deserving organizations and individuals.

Jeff Dalto, Senior Learning & Performance Improvement Manager
Jeff is a learning designer and performance improvement specialist with more than 20 years in learning and development, 15+ of which have been spent working in manufacturing, industrial, and architecture, engineering & construction training. Jeff has worked side-by-side with more than 50 companies as they implemented online training. Jeff is an advocate for using evidence-based training practices and is currently completing a Masters degree in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning from Boise State University. He writes the Vector Solutions | Convergence Training blog and invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.

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