Trade Show Shipping Tip: Know Your Show

Tips for trade show shipping, know your show, know your freight

Trade Show Shipping Tip: Know Your Show

If you want to have a great experience exhibiting at a trade show, getting your stuff there on-time is crucial. With space on a show floor coming at a premium,  showing up without your freight can be very costly. Our trade show shipping tips are here to help you save time, energy, and stress as you plan your next show.


What do I need to know?

Trade shows have a lot of moving parts and pieces, so successfully shipping to a show requires that you follow their laid out plan. This gives everyone the opportunity to get their freight to the proper place on time. For that reason, most shows will tell you exactly when your freight needs to arrive. If you are not sure of this date, your show organizer will know. The show may also offer advanced warehousing. This gives you an option to ship early to a warehouse before the show starts. From there, the show’s contracted carrier will move your freight to the venue in time for the show. Again, make sure you are clear on the receiving schedule for the show or advanced warehouse. You may be charged a hefty fee for missing the assigned dates.


Once you know the designated dates, then plan your shipping accordingly to make sure everything arrives on time. Make sure you’re clear on which freight shipping service to select based on what you are shipping and where your show is located (learn about freight services for trade show shipping here). When you contact your carrier, be sure to tell them that you are shipping in/out of a trade show and have your show name, venue name, booth number, and exact dates, as well as all the normal shipment information (number of pieces, dimensions, weights, ect..) available.


Shipping Out of the Show:


Similarly, don’t forget you need to arrange for shipping out of the show. After arranging your shipping service, make sure you list your carrier on your material handling agreement (MHA). When you turn in your MHA at the show desk, keep a copy in case you need to reference the agreement for any reason. Your carrier will need to know the check-in cutoff date and time so that they can recover your freight from the show. Remove any shipping labels that may have stayed on your crate from the inbound shipping to avoid confusion. If it is not picked up, the show will take control of your freight and ship it back to your listed company address, typically at a very unfavorable rate with the potential for all kinds of fees. In the industry this is known as forced freight, and it is to be avoided like the plague.


Check out our other tips on Know Your Freight, Know Your Service, to make sure your trade show shipping goes off without a hitch.

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