Shipping Large Trade Show Displays
Shipping your trade show displays is one of the most important parts of planning for a trade show. It requires a lot of planning ahead no matter what kind of materials you are shipping. When you are shipping larger trade show displays or heavier freight, there are a few additional things to consider.
Know the numbers: The first detail of shipping large trade show displays is to know the weight of the item or items you are shipping down to the last ounce so you when you are looking for carriers, you can calculate cost quickly.
Know the components: Become an expert about your display. If you’re investing in a larger trade show display, chances are you’re going to use it more than once and possibly frequently. Learn its ins and outs; how to set it up and take it apart and identify which parts you can get replacement hardware for. It’s also good to thoroughly check any trade show display you have before and after each show to inspect for potential damages or other issues. Keeping a detailed inventory of condition through each shipment will help you know if the company you used to ship a display caused damage to it.
Shop around: No matter how big your trade show displays are or how many you are shipping to an exhibition hall, shopping around for a freight carrier that will fit your needs and budget is important. Some shipping companies may have different rates for certain weight ranges so be sure to also give yourself plenty of extra time to look through carriers and their rates to find the best one and to lock in those rates as soon as possible.
Consolidate other items: If you’re shipping one or more large trade show displays, ship those separately and consolidate as much of your other booth items as possible. Use skids, crates and shrink wrap to pack items compactly to save space and money.
Consider transporting items yourself: If your main display has to be shipped because of its size and weight, try to bring other needed materials along with you instead of shipping. If you driving or flying, pack banner stands in shipping cases and other display items in trade show shipping cases if possible. It will be much cheaper for you to rent a vehicle big enough to be able to drive these displays to a show yourself when possible and will likely be even cheaper to check them on a plane as well, rather than adding to your shipping costs if you are already shipping a large trade show display. If you choose to check any banner display as luggage on a flight, be sure to have a protective case for the display.
Ship show to show: If you want to save a little money on shipping your large trade show display and you’re a frequent exhibitor, you can attempt to cut out the middle man a little and have your display shipped from show to show. Instead of having your display shipped to the show, back to you and then to another venue, see how far ahead you can ship the display to the next venue. Many exhibition halls have storage areas for these types of reasons but how long they will store them for before your trade show is happening will vary. You will also have to pay storage fees for this option but if you’re exhibiting frequently enough, you can save time and money with this route.
Attempt self-setup: Setting up a larger trade show display could prove to be a little bit difficult. But if it can be broken down into components and you know all of the components (and you can travel with the smaller components separately rather than shipping them) you can get to a venue early and set it up yourself to save a little on drayage. Drayage is the process of shipping your trade show displays to a venue and having it delivered at set up at your booth. Different exhibition halls have different rules on how much it costs and what it includes, but if you can set up your display yourself and bring other parts to it with you, you could save money on drayage.