If your company is planning to attend a trade show, we have some tips on how to make trade show shipping as painless as possible! Trade shows are a great opportunity to showcase your business, but they do involve careful planning and timing.
Typically, your company’s sales and marketing team decides early in the calendar year which shows they plan to attend. They make travel arrangements, prepare the booth they are going to use, and develop handouts, materials, and giveaways. One thing that sometimes gets overlooked, however, is letting the shipping company know they are going to this show. Shipping to a trade show involves unusual things, which is why it’s important to communicate and plan ahead.
Another common attribute of trade shows is the presence of a Trade Show Manager. This person or company is responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly. They are typically the point-of-contact at the actual event and coordinate everyone and everything involved.
The Stages of Trade Show Shipping
Trade show shipping involves five stages. Each stage is time sensitive and has consequences if not done right. The biggest consequence could be that your sales/marketing team doesn’t get what they need to do a good job at the show. Here are the five stages:
- Planning – What sales and marketing is doing (except, in many cases, remember to tell shipping!)
- Staging – Getting the material on or near the site of the conference, usually two weeks before the show
- Move-in – When things headed for the conference move from a staging area to the dock and into the conference space. Your team can now access their materials and put together their booth. Then, the show happens.
- Move-out -Team packs everything up and someone from the show moves it out of the conference center to the dock or offsite to a warehouse (basically move-in, in reverse)
- Ship-Out – When the materials begin their journey back to their original location
This may seem straightforward, but it’s critical to time each step. With trade show shipping, you have very no leverage and little negotiating power, so it’s important to follow these tips:
- Plan ahead
- Work with your 3PL
- Get Sales/Marketing on the same page as Shipping
By following these trade show shipping tips, you can enjoy the shows and the sales that come from them without the extra stress and money of last-minute changes.
Customodal specializes in helping manufacturing companies move their supplies and products. We’re also adept at trade show shipping!