Hidden Fees Hinder Industry Growth

How many times as consumers have we opened a bill and it was not what it was supposed to be? Tucked into the bill are “hidden” charges, taxes, other ridiculous fees and expenses not included in the actual purchase.

A report released this year by the National Economic Council (NEC), a board created in 1993 to advise the president on domestic and global economic policy, shows that declining competition in some markets has led to rising pricing in the form of hidden fees for American consumers.

A hidden fee is not an add-on for an extra service, but a mandatory charge that people must pay in order to use whatever they are buying.

"In many industries, businesses use so-called 'hidden fees' -- the addition of a mandatory or quasi-mandatory fee to the advertised price of a good or service ... to effectively raise the final price," NEC wrote. "At their worst, such fees can be fraudulent or deceptive; at a minimum, they make prices unclear, hinder effective consumer decision making, and dull the competitive process."

In the event and tradeshow industry, hidden fees used to be common for contractors to have hidden non-disputable charges under the umbrella of ‘special handling.’ This was done to hold onto the protected profit centers of labor and freight, and contractors added these charges to mirror costs they were incurring to maximize their margins. 

As the business of moving freight changed, the freight lines in their new business models absorbed many of these costs; however the charge stayed to absorb the bloated cost structures of most contractors.

In addition, rounding freight weights up was seen as an industry norm.  The combination of the two made it nearly impossible for a show manager to accurately predict his actual costs to exhibitors.

For show managers, this type of pricing approach made it difficult to have insights into what exhibitors end bills would be and how to effectively invest into their show. The result for exhibitors was fatigue and drop-off of their renewals. This process and approach to pricing over the years has caused show malaise and a hidden root cause of why many shows are unable to grow exhibitors.

The T3 Expo Difference

T3 Expo has never applied this “old fashioned” approach to our pricing or our business model. In fact most things we do are not based old traditional ways. We built our cost structure so that there are no surcharges and our clients pay for what they actually ship! Imagine that?

This pricing structure has been the fuel of growth and change for our clients. It has allowed them to take their budget and redirect it to the betterment of the show – such as creative showcases, interesting layouts and design.

Clients no longer view true creativity as too expensive now, because they can budget for it and plan for it. The lack of transparency suffered by most clients makes it very difficult for an event executive to make surgical budgetary decisions to invoke change. The result is that a majority of events stay the same, and have very little growth.

T3 Expo has always believed in cutting costs, not hiding charges. Our objective based pricing is designed to save our client’s money, so that they can grow their events! It is a simple concept.

T3 Expo is helping our customers achieve it. Creativity, accurate budgeting, no hidden fees, costs and expenses—no problem!


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