Streamline Your Tradeshow Logistics, Save Money and Keep Your Event Team Focused on Your Objectives for Being There
Author: Fred Dubya
While you can transport your tradeshow booth display, product samples and collateral materials yourself, you may want to consider partnering with an expert in tradeshow logistics. By hiring a firm like FW Logistics you can realize significant savings in your tradeshow transportation budget, while freeing up your team to better focus on your marketing and sales objectives for the event(s).
With advance planning and a little organization, you can stretch your tradeshow dollars and avoid months of stress, not to mention those last-minute, pre-show panic attacks. Tradeshow horror stories are not necessarily a badge of honor. Partnering with a firm like FW Logistics can make all the difference.
Here are a few tips to help you prepare for this year’s slate of tradeshows, conventions and other events where you will be exhibiting:
If you do decide to hire a shipping company for exhibit transport, focus on providers that specialize in tradeshow logistics.
If the event sponsor has contracted with a shipping company to serve as the official carrier of the event, they may offer promotions for exhibitors such as extra moving services or reduced pricing. Compare these packages with other vendors’ offerings.
Verify and double-check all dates pertinent to the event, including show form deadlines, delivery dates, the dates and times allotted for the setup of displays, the dates and times for breaking down your booth, etc.
Thoroughly review the show’s complete rules and regulations. They’re typically included in the exhibitor’s kit you receive after you register.
Buy insurance from your freight carrier.
Bring your tracking code(s) to the show to help locate any parts of your shipment that don’t arrive on time.
If the event sponsors have made arrangements for an advance warehouse, use it. Ship your exhibit early to avoid rush shipping.
Consolidate shipments whenever possible.
To make it easier to identify your crates if they are misplaced. Paint them a bright color or use colored tape to make them stand out on a loading dock or in a warehouse full of other crates.
Bring copies of all your show forms, including registration documents and confirmations, just in case.
Make backups and duplicates of all audio/visual presentations you’ll be using.
Allow adequate time to assemble your exhibit before the start of the show. Ideally, plan to complete assembly the night prior to the opening of the show.
Don’t tear down your booth early. The show organizers may penalize you for doing so and you won’t get the maximum benefit of being at the show if you close your booth while attendees are still walking the exhibit hall.
In addition to the more general tips listed above, a significant factor in an efficient, cost-effective tradeshow logistics program involves coordination with the event’s drayage contractor. In the tradeshow industry, the term drayage refers to short-distance material handling involved in moving exhibit materials to and from each exhibitor’s exhibit space. For example: moving your freight from the event’s advance warehouse to your booth space, or the unloading/loading of your freight from the delivery truck at the venue’s loading dock and moving that freight to/from your booth space.
All handling requirements and specifications should be thoroughly detailed on the drayage form used by the event’s drayage contractor. In most cases, there are additional exhibitor fees for drayage services. These fees are affected by the number of crates, weights, arrival/departure timing, etc.