Handling Trade Show Materials

Handling Trade Show Materials

You invest a lot of time in money in your trade show displays and exhibiting at events. It makes sense for you to take time and money to properly handle and care for these materials. Having these categories on your checklist can help make sure you are caring and handling as best you can to get the most out of them:  

Organizing your materials
To provide proper care and handling of your trade show materials, you need to know your inventory.  Know the weight of each piece and document any previous damage to them so you can tell if there is any new damage when you next ship them. Knowing what materials you have, are shipping, where they are going and how they are being shipped all can help keep them damage free.

To help with shipping costs, consider palletizing or crating what materials you can and carefully label them.  Always stay up to date on shipping costs nationally and for each show or drayage company.

Shipping
Drayage (shipping) can really throw your trade show budget out of sorts if you’re not prepared for the varying costs. This is where organization comes in handy. Knowing your inventory of materials, what you are shipping to the show and their weights will give you all the details you need to figure out your shipping costs.

As mentioned, palletizing, crating and labeling them will help keep your materials together and avoid potential damage or loss. There are companies you can contract for drayage and shipping. Some shows or venues include this service in the price of exhibiting or have a service you can pay to use. You can also use FedEx or UPS, but when using those services, ship in advance when possible to avoid having them just drop your materials off to the warehouse instead of at the dock and risk not being able to confirm proper storage of them

Set up and tear down
Depending on the show or venue you are exhibiting at, the drayage company or staff will set up and tear down your display. A blueprint for your display should be on your checklist as well. Make sure to mail that visual along with your materials ahead of the show. This will ensure proper set up, especially if your materials are clearly labeled.

Having a detailed list and plan for the setup of your display also lends itself to a clean tear down as well, to ensure everything gets packed the way it came and shipped back to you in the same shape.

Storage
Buying cases, totes and other carrying materials to secure your displays, hardware and banners will help you save money on having to buy new or replacement ones. Making sure you have appropriate sized cases for the materials as well. When you buy materials and large displays especially, make sure you have something to store them in as well as a weather proof place to keep them when not in use. Knowing how everything is supposed to fit when, packed, shipped and stored will help your trade show materials looking great even through long term use.

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