For any business — large or small — tradeshows provide an effective means of spreading brand awareness, getting your product in front of a larger audience, and meeting with potential clients. But there’s much more to it than reserving your space and signing on the dotted line. Plenty of logistics go into planning for such an event.
Before even participating in a show, you’ve got to get your exhibit there. Otherwise, you’ll be left without a booth or the materials to hawk your wares.
Consider the following when planning for your next tradeshow:
Choose the Right Carrier
Shipping exhibit materials is much different than shipping any other goods. Part of this has to do with the size, quantity, and delicacy of the packages. But the logistics surrounding the actual shipment also plays a role. You must coordinate the transport to meet show deadlines.
Ask the shipping company how much experience it has in moving exhibit materials and whether it has a dedicated team to handle such procedures. Whoever you go with will play an integral part in your success at tradeshows. If you find a company you trust, use it time and time again.
Settle On Your Budget
On average, shipping accounts for about 10 percent of tradeshow budgets. But other budget categories, like handling and installation, can be affected by transport. Make sure to discuss potential indirect charges with your carrier. Your choice of a company could charge special handling fees for crated freight as opposed to pad-wrapped loads. It all depends on your carrier.
Dig Into the Details
Take the time to work up a spreadsheet for tradeshows and exhibits. From the structure, materials, and equipment to the supplies, giveaways, and literature, put it all down in writing. Detail how it’ll all be packed, and add dimensions as well as estimated weight. This document can be something to provide your carrier to get a better estimate on shipping rates.
Set the Timing of the Shipment
With most tradeshows, you’ll have two options for scheduling your shipments: at the time of the show or up to 30 days in advance. When shipping in advance, your materials will be stored at a free warehouse space and will give you the chance to get your exhibit on the show floor before direct-to-show shipments. If going this route, you may save money on storage expense.
Communicate All Deadlines
Make sure the carrier is aware of the last day to unload at the advance warehouse or the time of your targeted direct-to-site shipment. Missing deadlines may send you to the end of the line to unload. This may result in a financial penalty or being unloaded at overtime rates. What’s more, the time the materials arrive at the booth can also impact installation costs. Failure to arrive in time for your setup crew to work on the exhibit may lead to overtime rates for labor, too.
Check the Labels — and Then Check Them Again
Sometimes, old labels can be left on exhibit packaging, which can lead to some confusion for your carrier. The last thing you need is part of your tradeshow shipment to end up in another part of the country. Remove all old labels before placing new ones on the exhibit crates. In fact, go a step further and put two labels on each crate. You never know when one might fall off.
To learn more about how Interlog USA can help with tradeshows and materials transportation, give us a call or shoot us an email today. We’ll have one of our dedicated specialists discuss the process with you, so you fully understand what we do to ensure a safe, reliable transport that leaves your company looking its best.