Best Ways to Save on Exhibit Transportation

by Gwen Parsons 15. August 2013 17:38
Transportation accounts for about ten percent of the average trade show and event budget. Reducing the cost allows you to repurpose the savings and re-invest it in promoting your event to generate more traffic and more business. 

Use lighter weight display solutions
Itís no secret that weight dictates your freight and drayage costs. Display solutions that travel compactly and weigh less offer exhibitors BIG savings. Portable modular displays are designed to offer high style and built with fabric printed graphics and lightweight aluminum to lower transport costs.

Get accurate cost estimates
Nobody likes to return from an event to find invoices that are significantly higher than what was expected or budgeted. The best way to get accurate estimates up front is with the correct number of items and the weight for each of them (boxes, cases, carpet bags) in your shipment. With this information you can compare costs using different methods and service providers.

Airline Baggage
Check with your particular carrier on their policies and rates to take a portable modular display on the flight with you. For example, I called United Airlines about taking a display in two Rolluxe cases from DC to San Francisco as oversize bags and was quoted $200 per case.
 

UPS and FedEx
Exhibitors with smaller spaces love the convenience of collecting their display at their destination. These widely known and available services deliver anywhere Ė offices, hotels, convention hall business centers Ėat competitive rates for shipments weighing under 150 pounds. Built-in wheels on shipping containers make it easy for exhibitors to maneuver cases onto elevators and around the event floor. 

Be sure to ask what surcharges may apply to your shipment. For example, shipping display cases without an exterior carton or oversize cartons may incur additional fees.

Freight forwarders
When your shipment weighs over 150 pounds your best option is a freight forwarder. Freight forwarders manage a chain of suppliers and may use multiple carriers to deliver your display to its destination - by ground, air and water. Some are referred to as LTL which is light truck load meaning your shipment may be combined with others on the same truck.

Ask your estimator to quote different options. If you have multiple items to ship, compare the cost to ship them as individual items and together on a pallet or skid. Trucks delivering direct to the show or advanced warehouse have to get in line to unload. Check whether, and what, waiting fees may apply. Deliveries to locations without access to a loading dock will require trucks with a lift gate which may incur additional fees, too.

is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Nomadic Display. She is a regular contributor to the Nomadic Display Blog and can be found at Google + and LinkedIn.

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Use Flooring to Enhance Your Trade Show Display Design



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Trade show booth flooring is probably one of the last items on an exhibitorís planning list: tick a box, submit a form, itís done. Yet companies are missing out one of the most underutilized branding opportunities at their show. We asked Stacy Barnes of Brumark Total Flooring Solutions to share her thoughts on how to better use this valuable real estate.

Exhibit designers integrate flooring into display designs for more than pure aesthetic appeal. Flooring can also be used to define space, direct traffic flow or highlight new product areas. Today there are many more flooring options available to choose from that can help make an exhibit really stand out. In addition to carpet, these include printed floors, vinyl floors, raised floors, tile, and even turf.

Trade show carpet is popular because it is easily available, comes in a range of colors, is affordable and durable. Find out what color carpet the show contractor will be using on the show floor. Then choose a color that not only complements your display but will also make your exhibit space pop out.  

Inlays can transform a display from average to extraordinary with logos or design motifs designed to reinforce your brand. Just remember: always request a sample of the carpet that you will be ordering to ensure it meets your expectations.

Welcome visitors into your display by offering them a little something extraÖ..comfort. Remember attendees spend long days walking the show floor and for a few extra pennies you can upgrade the padding in your display. Not only will visitors notice it, they may appreciate it enough to linger a little longer with your booth staff.

Full color graphic images printed on flooring is another way to extend your brand message. Vinyl offers a variety of patterns and textures including checkerboard, metal, and stone. Laminates and bamboo are popular wood flooring options and donít forget there are new green materials such as cork and sisal. Raised floors offer lighting options and wire management underneath.  

When considering how to put together your trade show display and market yourself, donít overlook the floor. It can be a foundational part of your plan!

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