First things first: material handling and drayage at
the most basic level refers to the same thing: the movement of your exhibit
items between your carrierís vehicle and your trade
show booth space. This is a
highly coordinated effort that is happening behind the scenes. For most shows
there are hundreds of exhibitors and all their booth materials are
received at one central location. Your show decorator then takes over to make
sure all those items are distributed out to the correct booth spaces. The show
assesses the charges for this service in two basic ways:
- Advance Warehouse
- Show Site
vs Show Site Ė Whatís the difference?
So letís dive right in: all drayage rates are
based on CWT (weight per 100lbs, in theUS) multiplied by an established rate.
Rates vary among show halls and for specific trade shows.
established rates per show vary by the type of freight being moved as determined
by the timing and difficulty of handling. Average rates for trade show displays
in 2011 as
reported by Event Marketing Institute (EMI) and the Exhibit Designers
and Producers Association (EDPA) were:
- $83.51 Advance shipment to Warehouse
- $76.72 Crated shipments direct to Show Site
- $99.78 Direct to Show Site Shipment with
Special Handling (such as glass)
- $112.19 Direct to Show Site Shipment,
One easy way to keep your charges lower? Skid
items as much as possible. Shipping loose pieces is a sure fire way to end up
with high material handling costs. Why? Each
loose piece is assessed the
minimum charge. Consolidate, consolidate, consolidate! Whether you ship to the
advance warehouse or show site it is in your best interest to
much as possible.
Wait a second:
according to your list above I can save money shipping direct to the show?
Yes, in many cases shipping to the show site
directly will lower your material handling charges. Why? If you are shipping
directly to the show site the decorator is handling your
freight items much less
than if they are moving items from an advance warehouse. That being said, here
are some important benefits to shipping to the advance warehouse:
- Materials arrive in booth space faster.
Generally if you ship to the advance warehouse, once the exhibit set up
starts, your materials are typically available in your booth space.
- Less to worry about. You have enough to be
worrying about in your trade show planning Ė shipping your exhibit ahead of
time takes one item off your list.
With only two benefits, that doesnít seem like
such a big deal right? WRONG! Donít under estimate the value of the items
listed above. Shows with lots of exhibitors and short set
up times can make
having your materials in your booth space already a Godsend. If you are pressed
for time you can ship directly to the show hall but be aware that some shows
have specific days and times for each exhibitor to have their items arrive. You
can generally find this information on your quick facts page. If your show has
a targeted move in
double check all date and time information for shipping
directly to the show as in addition to getting show site shipping charges you
can get additional off-target charges.
Great, I know what
to do about material handling, but how do I actually ship my equipment?
If you donít already have a relationship with a
trucking or freight forwarding company, donít despair! Many shows have carriers
that can help you move your assets to and from
your event. When you call to
make arrangements with a carrier the following are key pieces of information you
want to have available:
- Number of Pieces
- Estimated Weight
- Addresses for Pickup/Delivery Ė Donít forget
to have delivery times ready, items that arrive after receiving hours can
get additional charges. Save money by planning ahead!
Why canít I just
ship my items with UPS or FedEx?
You certainly can! FedEx and UPS are great for
shipping to hotels and for smaller shipments but keep in mind the following:
- These carriers will not wait in lines or
marshaling yards to deliver items to the show hall so if you use them we
recommend that you send your show materials to the advance
Regardless of whether you ship your materials to
the advance warehouse or direct to show, ship all materials at one time and
together to avoid lots of separate pieces that could
get lost. Once your
exhibit materials are moved to your booth space, the exhibit is set up and you
are finished with your shipping containers donít forget to fill out the show
container labels. Be sure to identify your company name and booth
number and put at least two labels on different sides of the container. The
show decorator will then pick up your
containers and store them until the show
Great Planning Can Resolve Any Problem
Right now there is probably a feeling of dread
taking over. How is it possible to keep all this information organized?! Donít
fret, just remember that great planning can make executing
your tradeshow a
breeze. Hopefully the tips and knowledge we shared above help make filling out
these forms a little less daunting. Always remember, you are not on your own!
The show decorator and your exhibit supplier can always help you with
questions. If you are feeling completely overwhelmed you can always check in
with your exhibit supplier to
see if they offer show paperwork services to
reduce this workload entirely.