One of the best ways businesses can connect with their customers and network with peers is by running a booth at an industry trade show. On the client front, trade shows offer a unique opportunity to speak directly to your customers. This is a chance to listen to feedback, provide support, and show off what’s coming down the pipeline. As for the business benefits of attending an industry show, companies have an opportunity to forge partnerships, recruit talent, and discover new trends in their market space.
There are many other great reasons why attending trade shows can help grow your business. As you start to attend these shows, it can soon become apparent that you need an efficient way to haul your booth and supplies for the events. Finding the right shipping and logistics partner to transport your booth will take care of that problem for you. Here is how to ship your trade show booth and supplies.
The most important thing you can do to ensure a successful event is to plan as early as possible. The more time you give yourself, the less stressful the process will feel. Early planning can also save you money on your shipping. By coordinating with the shipping company early, you can get your preferred dates and delivery times for your supplies.
A big part of planning anything is gathering as much information as possible. Having the facts in front of you helps with making informed decisions. This is especially true for the shipping information you need to have handy. Information such as your booth number, the move-in and move-out dates, and the dimensions for your booth and supplies all help the shipping company give you the most accurate price.
Everybody involved from your company must become intimately familiar with the exhibitor manual. This rulebook spells out everything you need to know about what you can and can’t do while on the exhibition floor. The manual also has pertinent information about how the move-in and move-out days will work with setup and teardown. Due to sponsorships for the event, there may also be restrictions on what you can and can’t exhibit, sell, or give away. Learning this information early on affords you the opportunity to make any necessary adjustments to ensure you are compliant with their rules.
One of the most important things to know about how to ship your trade show booth and supplies is that you still need to follow freight shipping basics. Even though you are sending the cargo to yourself, a Bill of Lading is still necessary to form the agreement that sets the shipping terms. If there’s an emergency during transport that damages your booth, you better hope you remembered to add the insurance. You also need to make sure you stay within your freight partner’s shipping guidelines. These can also include limitations on the dimensions and weight for the space you’ve purchased on their vehicle.
In order to get the best rates on shipping, your company might need to arrange for a place to store your equipment in the days leading up to the show. When the least expensive days to ship don’t line up with the event’s arrival and departure schedule, you need to have a temporary storage solution ready to house your items. Advanced warehousing is the solution to this particular short-term problem. This service allows you to send your booth items to the destination before the show begins, where organizers will hold them in a local warehouse. Then, they move your items to your floor space at the exhibition hall for your appointed move-in timeslot. Using advanced warehousing ensures your booth and supplies arrive right when they need to.
There are many costs associated with attending a trade show for organizations that pay for floor space that goes beyond the price of admission. There are the costs for the materials to build the booth, paying somebody to design and modify it, and the payroll to staff it for the trade show. You will also need products to showcase or sell at the booth for the visitors, giveaways, company swag, and other miscellaneous expenses—and that’s before you factor in the cost of shipping everything. Fortunately, there are some ways to slim down your freight costs.
Your booth at the trade show is the first impression other attendees will get of your business. As such, it’s vital to protect your booth in transit so the organization can put its best foot forward. While some booth design companies provide protective packaging for their products, many other design firms do not include this feature. Anything made in-house would be incredibly expensive to create this packing. When this happens, ask your freight partner if they offer crating. This service ensures your shipment is protected and will fit inside the agreed-upon dimensions.
When trying to ship anything, you ideally want the size and weight to be as small as possible. The same applies to sending your booth to the trade show. The design for the booth should allow you to break it down quickly into smaller pieces. You stack these pieces on top of each other in the shipping crate to easily reduce the size of your shipment.
Finally, think about the speed you need for your shipment. One of the benefits of early planning is you have more options for delivery speed. Giving the shipping company more time to make the delivery should reduce the price you pay. Instead of shipping it non-stop, your shipment can take an indirect route to the destination. It also gives the freight company time to add more loads to the same trip, which saves both of you money.
The team at Diversified Transportation Services knows precisely what it takes to get your booth to the next industry trade show on time and on budget. Our shipping logistics company’s network of freight delivery partners is here for you every step of the process to make sure your next event is a success.
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.