When it comes to trade shows, there are a lot of people that you are competing with in order to get a table. For that reason, it’s important to reserve and pay for your table as soon as possible. But if they event is a few months in the future, you may be leery just in case something else comes up and you cannot attending. If this sounds like you, here are a few suggestions.
The first thing you may want to ask the coordinator is if there is a deadline for the first person to book the table. For instance, let’s say the event isn’t for 3 months; you may be able to hold the table until a month before the event without paying. If this is the case, ask if you will be contacted if someone else wants to book so that you can get your payment in.
Quite often, events will require you to pay for your table at whatever time you book it no matter how far out the event is. If it turns out you cannot attend, you can ask for a refund (but many places will not refund you unless they can fill your table easily) or you can see if a teammate wants it. If a teammate wants it, let the coordinator know that someone else will be coming in your place and that they are a member on your team. You can charge your teammate or just cover the cost yourself.
Sometimes the coordinator is willing to create a waiting list in case the first person has to cancel. This may also be because the payment from the first person is in the mail and has not arrived. If they put you on a waiting list, you can ask if the first person has paid or not. It’s possible that someone just requested the table last week and their payment is in transit so that person has the first dibs on the table. Do not push the coordinator too hard for information as they may decide just not to deal with you and not give you the table.