Trade show shipping is more art than science, but picking the wrong trucking company or logistics provider for your trade show can have disastrous consequences.
I understand why you might think otherwise — after all, isn’t one carrier the same as the next? Shouldn’t one carrier do about as well as another? You’re just moving pallets and boxes from one place to another, after all.
This all-too-common attitude pervades our industry, but the truth is, carriers and logistics providers vary widely, and not just in terms of price or quality…
They differ in terms of speed as well.
And when it comes to trade show shipping, speed is generally at the top of your list. Trade shows are a huge investment for most companies, especially compared to the marketing budget for the rest of the year. It’s not uncommon for companies to spend 50% or more of their marketing budget on a single tradeshow, depending on the industry.
If you’re spending $100K+ on a tradeshow, you darn sure better get your money’s worth.
Which means you’re not just investing in the booth space or sponsorship opportunities — you’re investing in marketing materials, the booth itself, special promotions or products created just for the show…
All of which have to get to the trade show on time (and in one piece), which makes speed of the utmost importance.
Because the Truth Is, Most Companies Fall Behind When Planning Trade Shows
Which makes picking the right carrier more important than ever.
And of course, on the opposite side, carriers who portray themselves as trade show shipping specialists have a unique niche to fill (along with unique requirements).
Everyone wants their trade show items shipped yesterday.
(Let’s be honest: Everyone wants everything shipped yesterday.)
When you’re shipping to trade shows, you may find that there’s plenty of carriers out there who can move your shipments from point A to point B…but at what cost? What level of service do they provide? What guarantees can they make?
Most third party logistics providers tell their clients they offer quality shipping, but with a price: it’s either that the price is low, or that the shipments get to their destination quickly.
You as the business hiring the carrier? You get to pick one option. Cheap…or fast.
If You’re Looking into Trade Show Shipping Options, Understand How Important This Investment Is
If you pay for an awesome booth with some incredible marketing materials to go with it, or if you just dropped $25K on a sponsorship spot and double that on all your materials, don’t start thinking cheap when it comes time to ship.
This is where the rubber meets the road. If you don’t get your trade show materials on time because you made life difficult for your carrier (or your carrier chose the wrong trucks or shipping lanes), you’re gonna have a bad time.
Or maybe, you’ll have no time at all, because you chose the cheap option and your booth didn’t show up when it was supposed to.
There’s nothing quite as embarrassing as a handful of employees hanging out in a booth space with nothing but a pair of lawn chairs (and believe me, this happens).
Picking the right carrier is critical. Picking the right shipping speed is critical. Making sure your trade show items make it to the show on time, in one piece, is critical.
And on the other side, if you’re shipping trade show items, you need someone who knows the lanes, who understands the carriers, who can get you the best rates while still getting your shipment to your trade show on time (and in one piece)
It’s an investment for shipper and client, so make sure you invest wisely. A little bit of extra money on the front end can ensure the rest of your investment pays off.
Got a Trade Show Coming Up? DTS Has Your Back
The sooner you nail down your shipping solution for your trade show, the sooner you can focus on the trade show itself.
And if you’re shipping products to a trade show, you have a unique set of needs. You need a partner in your corner, someone who understands, at an intuitive level, what you need to efficiently and effectively make a trade show successful for your business.
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Whether you're a company looking to improve one facet of your supply chain, your entire supply chain, or simply looking for a transportation and logistics consultation, we can help.