Trade Show Freight Services Tips and Tricks

Trade Show Freight Services Tips and Tricks

When it comes time to prepare for your trade show, freight services are, as I’m sure you know, one of the most important components of your preparation.

After all, when you’ve made a large investment in a trade show and are looking to make an impression, nothing can sour the moment as much as a snag.

While goals at a trade show can vary greatly, everything depends on your booth, your marketing materials, your other components, and your personnel arriving at the right time and in the right condition.

This is especially true of your exhibit. Your shipping costs can rise dramatically depending on several factors, making it even more critical that you follow best practices and abide as closely as possible by the rules of every trade show.

A dramatic rise in shipping costs can be the difference between a successful trade show experience…

And a trade show you won’t be returning to.

It’s a frightening prospect, which is why we’ve specialized in trade show freight services for years.  There’s something wonderful about working with a company that can ease your mind around a trade show and help you feel comfortable in what may be a very large investment.

Having someone experienced to manage the shipping details for you can simply help you breathe easier.

And, depending on your familiarity with a particular trade show, who’s running the trade show, and who you might have to deal with along the way, there can be a significant advantage to having someone else manage the craziness that can crop up.

From drayage to I&D and everything in between, there are a lot of financial choke points in the process, places where you can see your costs rise significantly because of a simple mistake or misunderstanding.

That being said if you feel confident in dealing with folks like the show decorator and I&D teams and just need someone to help you with the “there and back again” aspect of your trade show, you have a few options.

Although options differ from trade show to trade show, freight services generally fall into two large categories: advance warehouse shipping or direct-to-show shipping.

Trade Show Freight Services — Advance Warehouse Shipping vs Direct-to-Show Shipping

Though you’ll want to do a bit of checking beforehand to evaluate potential shipping carriers (a dedicated shipper for a trade show who is the “official” carrier for an event may be able to offer special services or discounts), your options generally fall into the above categories.

Advance warehouse shipping is exactly what it sounds like — instead of shipping a few days before and directly to the trade show, freight services are contracted to ship your materials to a warehouse ahead of time.

Direct-to-show shipping is equally self-explanatory — it’s shipping last minute. Though it may sound like you’d want to avoid this if at all possible, there are advantages to both.

As far as advanced warehouse shipping is concerned, here are the advantages:

Trade Show Freight Services — Advance Warehouse Shipping Benefits

  • Peace of mind (you know when your shipment has arrived, if your shipment has any issues, you have plenty of time to reship, and, maybe most importantly, you can stop worrying about shipping and focus on the show itself!)
  • Flexibility (for the same reason that you get peace of mind from getting your materials there early, you’re also a lot more flexible — if you decide you want to add some materials down the road, you can do so. You’re also more likely to have a happy show director and I&D team who will get you on the floor and set up faster than those who shipped late)
  • Reduced cost (although this is not necessarily the case, it is almost always the case that advance warehouse shipping is going to save you money. It makes everyone’s life easier)

While it may not seem like there would be benefits when shipping direct-to-show, there certainly can be—here are some of them:

Trade Show Freight Services — Direct-to-Show Benefits

  • More time to work on your materials (Sometimes, your booth just isn’t ready in time to send to a warehouse. Sometimes, the extra time you spend on your marketing materials and your exhibit gives your presentation that little something extra you need to make a big impression. Sometimes, that extra time makes a difference and is worth the cost—but the added cost can potentially be very high, so balance this carefully)
  • Fewer hands on your materials (Not everyone considers this aspect of direct-to-show, but having your materials sitting in a warehouse and moved around by a bunch of different people can be anxiety-inducing! Though you’re almost certainly paying extra for it, it can be nice to ship direct-to-show and not have to worry about your items being handled too much)

Though there are a few benefits, advanced warehouse shipping is almost certainly the way to go in most cases. Plan carefully, adjust your schedule accordingly, and do your best to work with a company that’s an expert in shipping for trade shows.

Need Some Help With Your Next Trade Show? Shipping Services for Trade Shows Are One of Our Specialties

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