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
Its 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 offices, hotels, convention hall business centers at 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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    Tradeshow and Exhibit Thoughtleaders
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Study after study shows that companies believe trade shows are an important part of their annual marketing plan. However, while companies are gradually beginning to invest more in marketing, they still want to know the results from that investment. After organizing a compelling trade show booth and promotion campaign marketers return from the event.  Then the time comes to demonstrate the value of their participation in trade shows and events.  This often leads marketers to express frustration.

At Exhibitor 2011 there were more than 20 sessions on trade show measurement and demonstrating ROI something we help you do in our brochure on successful exhibiting. In fact, its one of the most popular topics at the annual conference. So I asked colleague and workshop presenter, Susan Brauer of Brauer Consulting Group.

Susan reports that workshop attendees often jump to wanting to measure their ROI without having any kind of closed-loop lead system in place. They describe some of the obstacles to measuring ROI as

  • Lack of accountability for reporting if marketers organize and promote the show and leads are turned over to sales

  • Insufficient time to collect and compile the information

  • Internal system silos that make it difficult to link sales recorded in accounting with leads recorded in a database

  • Lead times for actual sales are longer than can be reasonably tracked

Susan teaches that the purpose of the trade show is to accelerate the sales process. She believes the bigger issue is that exhibitors dont understand what can and cant be measured so helps them set measurable goals that move the sales process forward.

Leads are sales opportunities and we've provided tips on how to convert those leads to sales after a trade show. Most, if not all, exhibitors tabulate the number of contacts they make at the show. However, quantity is one data point. Drill down further to uncover key indicators that reveal the shows impact on future sales. Some clues might include:

  • Number of visitors that received a product demonstration

  • Number of companies that indicated a desire to meet with your sales team or were ranked hot by booth staff

  • Number of potential new partners you met

  • Number of companies you met for the first time

  • Number of customers that acknowledged plans to renew their contract

Build upon a baseline from your past show to formulate goals for your next show. Then be sure you have methods in place to record the results and compare them to the goal.

 

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