Aside from some of the more obvious items to remember when arranging freight for your Trade Show Displays, there are some lesser known things to consider that will make your life much easier by having an understanding of them now before everything ships out.
So what I wanted to do was break this up into 2 sections: The first will cover the more obvious steps that you need to take when arranging freight and the second section will cover the less common, but equally important steps to avoid hassle for your next convention.
Most Obvious Trade Show Freight Tips
#1 Add Bill of Lading
Make sure to have a copy of the Bill of Lading on at least 2 sides of your freight taped or stuck on the outside where it is visible. Like this:
#2 Add Show Labels
Make sure to have a copy of the Advance Warehouse Labels or Direct to Show Site Label affixed to the outside of your freight and make sure to add your company name and Booth Number (note: these labels can usually be found in your Exhibitor Manual).
#3 Target Move-In Dates
Make sure to look up and see if you have target move-in dates. If so, make sure to plan accordingly so that your freight arrives on the correct date. Mark it on a calendar (like Google Calendar) and share with your team.
Lesser Known Trade Show Freight Tips
#4 Use the Show’s Preferred Freight Vendor
By using the show’s preferred freight vendor (like YRC) you can get special rates and most importantly… special treatment. Sometimes this means your freight will be the first to be delivered to your booth or the first to be picked up after the show is over. It can also make logistics easier rather than coordinating with another 3rd party freight company especially after the show is over and things get crazy. Make sure to check the Exhibitor Manual to find if they offer one. Heck, you might find they offer a special discount if you book your arrangements before a certain deadline.
#5 Add a Non-Stackable Cone on Top of your Freight
This is especially true if your freight is on a pallet (instead of a crate). You want to make sure everything is protected and you don’t want to run the risk of someone else’s pallet being stacked on top of yours. By adding a Non-Stackable Freight Cone like below will dissuade anyone from adding something on top whether by accident or trying to save space.
#6 Take Photos of Freight and Forms
Make sure to take photos of your freight pallet or crate as well as close-up photos of the Bill of Lading and Show Labels with your Booth Number. Save it to a folder on your computer and share with your team. If any hiccups arise at the show and they can’t find your freight, having photos of what it looks like will help speed up the process of locating your valuable trade show assets.
#7 Use a Freight Courier
Sometimes the window of delivery is so tight that you cannot afford to have your trade show freight show up late (or even early for that matter). Especially if you are shipping direct to show site. The Advance Shipment Warehouse offers a nice comfy large window of delivery, but when this is no longer an option and you have to go direct to the convention center, those delivery windows get awfully tight. It is times like this when your most critical freight cannot be late. We use Priority Parcels which is a freight courier. They have complete control from pick up to dropoff and have special trucking lanes to get stuff there quickly. They can even put the freight on an airplane if need be. Expect to pay more for this premium service, but I look at the extra cost like an insurance policy, knowing it will get there when it is supposed to.
#8 Pack Extra Shipping Supplies
Remember, after the show is over there is still another round of packing that needs to be done. Make sure to pack extra shrink wrap, packaging tape to reseal boxes, return freight Bill of Lading copies, non-stackable cones, etc. This will come in quite convenient and be one less headache when the show is over and your ready to get home. You can avoid special trips to the store when you plan ahead and pack these items.
#9 Get notified when your Trade Show Freight arrives
Lastly, request that the show contact you when your trade show freight has arrived and has been checked-in. Not only will this help you sleep better at night, but once it is scanned into their system you can feel good knowing everything went smooth. You can usually request this early on and receive an automatic notification once it has been tendered.
Hope you find these tips useful. Send us a message below if you have any questions.