In this guide, we will reveal all of the trade show shipping tips you need to guarantee success at your business’ next exhibition. A trade show is any sort of exhibition whereby businesses gather to show off their products and services. In order to make sure that your presence at a trade show is a success, you need to plan to perfection. This includes having your exhibition stand and any other materials and products you will be using delivered in a timely and professional manner. This is where trade show shipping comes in. 

There are many tips you can follow for a smooth arrival when shipping to a trade show. Follow these trade show shipping tips:

Working with the right shipper and following these tips can get your booth to and from the show without hassle.

What is Trade Show Shipping?

On top of booking travel arrangements, creating marketing collateral, and designing your booth, organizing the shipment of all of your trade show materials can seem overwhelming. This is especially the case when you consider just how important this service is. If you do not get your booth materials to your show on time and in a safe manner, you’re not going to be able to make the most of the opportunity. However, the trouble is that diligent planning and some legwork is required in order to make sure you don’t run into any problems. Being aware of trade show intricacies and staying organized can be a massive help. 

Trade show shipping is the process used to get your booth to the show on time and intact. It requires working with a skilled and experienced logistics partner. Even with the right partner, there are a few tips you can follow to make the transition from warehouse to trade show floor simple. With that being said, below, we have put together some advice on trade show shipping, ensuring you have all of the details you need.

1. Plan in AdvancePlan in Advance

There is only one place to begin when it comes to achieving trade show shipping success, and this is planning in advance. In order to best determine the transportation solution that is going to be the most efficient for your trade show shipping requirements, ask yourself the following questions:

When compared with traditional freight, trade show shipping can have longer timelines. You may need to send your materials and booth items weeks in advance. Therefore, it pays to develop a detailed timeline as soon as you know you and your team are going to attend a tradeshow. It is vital to make shipping a priority. This is because working ahead of time can present you with more opportunities in terms of lowering the cost and benefiting from different transportation options. 

In some cases, a show may have their own preferred carried. However, you are not obliged to go down this route. You can shop around and ask a number of different carriers for a quote. Once you build up a relationship with a good logistics company, you can rely on them whenever you need assistance with any sort of trade show freight, and so it is advisable to find your own provider that you can rely on rather than using a different recommended freight company every time you attend a new trade show.

In terms of recommended timings, it is advisable to make sure you start looking at your options and booking a service between two weeks to a month before your preferred shipment date. The sooner you do so, the better. Carriers that specialize in trade shows could end up booking up their capacity if your orders are not scheduled in time. Furthermore, by providing notice, you enable carriers to optimize the movement of your freight. This can often result in some great cost savings. 

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2. Find a Trade Show Shipping Company with Experience

The next piece of the puzzle is to make sure you choose a trade show shipping company with care. There are a lot of different businesses across the United States that provide general freight services. However, rather than going down this route, you are advised to look for a company that has specific experience in trade show shipping. This should be something that they specialize in if you are to get the best possible results.

Take the time to read their website so that you can make sure that they have many years of experience behind their belt. It is also advisable to take the time to read reviews that have been left by people that have already used the services of a trade show shipping company before. This will give you a good indication into their level of quality. Make sure you read comments on independent review platforms, as you can be sure of the authenticity of these reviews. 

3. Communicate with Your ShipperCommunicate with Your Shipper

Once you choose a trade show shipping company to work with, you will be assigned a representative who will handle all of the different aspects of shipping for your trade show materials, displays, and booth. This person should be available for you to contact whenever you need to, and you should definitely do so. By building up a relationship with your shipper, you will be able to ensure the transportation of your show site is more productive and less stressful. 

4. Know the Exhibitors Manual Inside and Out

The vast majority of trade shows and exhibitions will provide their exhibitors with a manual, which will explain everything they need to know about the show. This includes information on insurance requirements, as well as general rules and regulations. You can also expect information about exhibit services, travel, and deadlines. In regards to the latter, you will be able to discover all of the important deadlines with regard to your shipment.

In addition to this, the trade show manual should also feature information about general shipping guidelines. This will include information on the recommended freight forwarder for the exhibition. Although all trade shows provide a recommended company for shipping, you are not obligated to use their service. You will also be provided with information on how to arrange pre-show storage and any other services relating to the on-site handling and delivery of your goods. You will also be typically provided with a point of contact for all things shipping related.

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5. Keep the Details OrganizedKeep the Details Organized

In addition to the tips that have already been presented, it is important to keep all of the details organized. There are a number of different documents you are going to need to keep a hold of, as well as pieces of information that you will need to keep handy too. 

To make your life easier and to avoid stress, it is a good idea to ship your display early so you have not got any last-minute concerns. Shipping to an advanced warehouse will give you full confidence that your display will move in on schedule. You run the risk of missing the start of the exhibit if you send your display to the show site directly. This is because these deliveries are not offloaded until the advance-warehouse deliveries have been. If you are going to be sending any sort of shipment directly to the show site because you have no other choice to, then make sure your carrier knows of the move-in hours for the show. Let them know if your shipment is a targeted booth for a specified move-in time or date.

In terms of getting organized, something else you are going to need to do is keep the phone numbers and names of the following people in your phone contact list:

By having these contact numbers handy, you will be able to reach those who can help with ease.

6. Make Sense of Insurance

Insurance is another critical area of consideration for trade show shipping. There are a lot of different insurance options available when it comes to your trade show shipments. This includes extended liability coverage, carrier insurance, and corporate insurance policies. Some carriers will also provide you with exhibition floater insurance, which will ensure that your items are covered for the entire show. The vast majority of freight forwarding companies today are insured against delays and loss. However, rather than assuming that this is the case, you definitely need to make sure that you get in touch with the company to make certain that it is. 

7. Don’t Send Extra ItemsDon’t Send Extra Items

Finally, a lot of people look for different ways to cut the costs associated with freight forwarding for their trade show. One of the most effective ways to do this is to make sure that you only send the items that you need. While it can be very tempting to ship a lot of extra items, just in case you need them, this is only going to end up costing you more money. After all, not only do you need to consider the expense of getting your items from their current destination to the trade show itself but you also need to think about the cost of storing these products and materials once you arrive. Because of this, you are recommended to only send materials and things that you are genuinely going to need.

8. Complete All Documents Correctly

Finally, you need to make sure that all of the documents associated with the shipment have been completed correctly. Proper paperwork and labeling are critical for trade show freight. You run the risk of materials being misplaced if you do not complete the paperwork correctly. You also need to make sure that all of the following details are placed on the paperwork:

It is advisable to place this information on all sides of your case, crate, or pallet. Clarification matters because freight is going to be stored with a number of other shipments for trade shows. You may even receive color-coded labels, depending on the show you are going to be exhibiting at. These labels can be helpful because they enable event staff to figure out which areas or rooms the freight needs to go to. If these labels have been provided to you, then you should definitely use them. 

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One of the most important documents is the Bill of Lading (BOL). This is utilized at the time of pickup. It is imperative when it comes to ensuring your trade show freight shipment goes as smoothly as possible. You need to make sure that all of the following information is printed on the BOL:

Shipping to a Trade Show with R+L Global Logistics

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the different elements and qualities that you need to consider when it comes to finding the best company to help you with your trade show shipping requirements. One company that ticks all of the boxes that have been mentioned, and many more, is R+L Global Logistics. Our trade show shipping team has been designated to ensure that specialist trade show shipping requirements are met. With more than 50 years of combined experience across our team, you can be confident of outstanding results when you use our service. 

Trade show transportation services logistics make up a big part of our business. Over the years, we have built up strong relationships with exhibit systems providers who trust us to deliver a seamless customer experience. You can be sure that you are in the right hands with us, whether you are reviewing a CES checklist or prepping for a trade show booth. We have our own warehouses across the United States, as well as being partners with exhibit providers and having strong relationships with leading shows. This ensures that we have all bases covered when it comes to providing exceptional trade show logistics services. If you would like more information about the service that we provide or you want a free trade show freight shipping quote, all you need to do is give us a call on (866) 415 8986. You can also use our live chat feature for further help and assistance. 

So there you have it: all of the important trade show shipping tips that you need to make sure that your trade show goes off without a hitch. If you follow the advice that has been provided in this guide, you will be able to make certain that there are no disasters on the day caused by not having your exhibition stand or any of the other important items you require.

When attending any sort of trade show, there is no denying that there is an awful lot of planning that goes into it. This is certainly the case if you are planning on attending the famous CES exhibition, which is why we have put this CES checklist together. Below, we will provide you with a timeline of everything that you need to do building up to the show. This guide can be useful for those attending this year, as well as providing imperative information for anyone looking to make their introduction at next year’s show. After all, ideally, you are going to start planning your attendance from a year-out. 

CES, which stands for Consumer Electronics Showcase, is an annual trade show that focuses on innovations in technology. As an exhibitor, you need to follow a CES checklist for vendors to make sure your booth is ready when you are. From planning things 12 months in advance to getting ready the day of the show, there are simple steps you can follow to be ready for the razzle dazzle at the CES show.

What is CES?What is CES

CES is a trade show that gathers the best of the best from around the world when it comes to consumer technology. CES has served as the proving ground for emerging technologies and innovators for the past 50 years. The annual CES show is a product of the Consumer Technology Association.

There are more than 4,500 exhibiting businesses at CES. This includes technology delivery system suppliers, content providers, consumer technology hardware companies, as well as a huge assortment of developers and manufacturers too. There are more than 170,000 attendees across 160 countries, as well as over 250 conference sessions. This represents an excellent opportunity for businesses to get their brand, products, and services in front of a great and varied audience from across the globe.

How Do I Prepare for CES?How Do I Prepare for CES

If you are planning on attending CES, you may be feeling at a bit of a loss regarding where to start. Here are some of the things that you will need to do:


How Much Does it Cost to Exhibit at CES?How Much Does it Cost to Exhibit at CES

Of course, you need to make sure that you can afford to exhibit at CES. In terms of specific prices, these are going to differ from year-to-year. However, according to TechCrunch, the event will cost approximately $8,000 for a booth. 

What about those who want to attend? In order to be able to attend CES, you need to ensure you provide your business credentials to the company so that your affiliation with the consumer technology sector can be verified. Any of the following will be accepted as proof of your industry affiliation:

You are also going to need to pay a fee in order to attend. At the moment, you have three different options; CES registration, starter conference pass, and deluxe conference pass. Prices are set to increase on December 18th 2019. At the moment, CES registration costs $100, yet it will increase to $300 in December. The start conference pass costs $700 at the moment, yet it is set to raise to £900. The early bird price for the deluxe conference pass is $1,400. However, this is also going to increase to $1,700 in December. 

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CES Checklist for VendorsCES Checklist for Vendors

When it comes to attending a trade show, you are going to have so many different factors to consider. Planning a year in advance is recommended. 

12 Months Before the Show

So, let’s begin by taking a look at some of the different steps that you should take around 12 months before the show takes place. This involves identifying the role that the trade show is going to serve as part of your overall sales strategy and marketing campaign. Why is attending CES important for you and your business? Once you have established this, you will be best placed to get buy-in from your organization. You then need to make sure you put together a detailed forecast and budget.

In addition to this, there are a number of other things that you should do around nine to 12 months prior to the show. This includes setting certain objectives for your show, for example, publicity secured, leads generation, and the number of product sales. 

Twelve months out is also a good time for you to reserve your display stand space with CES. Make sure you get full details from them about exhibit requirements. You should also put together a trade show marketing plan that uses a mixture of promotional methods in order to teach prospects. Consider splitting your plan into 3 sections. It should include pre-show marketing, then marketing for at the show, and finally, post-show marketing.

6 Months Before the Show

Now, we move into the different activities that you should carry out around six months prior to CES. You might start by coming up with a motivating sales message that delivers your key points. It should do this within 30 seconds or less. You and your employees need to make sure this message is rehearsed so you know how to say it confidently and maximize the success of it. 

You also need to figure out your needs in terms of graphics, layout, and exhibit design. You can do this yourself or outsource to an expert. This all depends on the capability and design talent of your team. Think about your lighting needs as well. Depending on the products you are going to be exhibiting, lighting is going to play a very important role. 

You should need to determine the marketing and literature materials you are going to require for the show. You should then start designing and printing the work. It is a good idea to start looking at different promotional strategies, including high-impact trade show giveaways, that are going to enable you to attract visitors to your exhibition area. 

3 Months Before the Show

We’re getting closer and closer to the big day now. There are a number of important things you are going to need to do at this point. This includes launching pre-show marketing initiatives, as well as starting to make the required travel arrangements. This may include car rental reservations, and hotel and airfare reservations, if required. 

Now is also a good time to determine how you are going to ship your display and other items for CES. You also need to determine your requirements in terms of staffing. You should plan training sessions and develop booth schedules too.

You should also continue to work with your vendors on your marketing materials, exhibit items, and your display booth. You should confirm the dates for delivery and adhere to your trade show planning timeline. Now is also the right time to order promotional items or giveaways.

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1 Month Before the Show

CES is in sight now. There are a number of different steps that need to be completed a month in advance. This includes scheduling dinners and other meetings to be held at the show with customers, distributors, and/or prospects. You should also finalize all travel arrangements. The marketing materials, promotional items, and booth display production needs to be finalized now too, as well as confirming the shipping dates. 

Between now and a week prior to the trade show, you should double-check that all action steps on your timeline have been covered. You should also confirm all of the shipping arrival dates for your materials, promotional items, and booth display, as well as completing staff training.

You also need to schedule staff training, make all travel arrangements, and continue pre-show marketing activities. Finally, put together follow-up packets and send these immediately to your leads following the show. 

Day of the Show

On the day of the show, you need to make sure that all of your employees have been briefed so that everything runs as smoothly as possible. You will have also been given timings with regards to the running of everything, so make sure that you adhere to this. Being organized in advance will ensure the day of CES is a breeze. 

There are also a number of different steps you need to take immediately after the trade show. Compare your budget to your expenses to determine your ROI. You also need to assess the success of your participation in CES compared with the objectives you outlined in your trade show plan. Furthermore, make sure you evaluate your leads. You should also send follow-up packets and make contact as appropriate. 

Shipping to CES with R+L Global Logistics

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the different qualities you need to be looking for when it comes to choosing the best company to help you with trade show shipping for CES. This is one of the most famous trade shows in the world, and it is not hard to see why you’re considering making the most of it. You will need a company to help you with this, though, and that’s where  R+L Global Logistics comes in.

Our trade show shipping team is dedicated to making your requirements are met for all sorts of shows, including everything on your SEMA checklist. With over 50 years of combined experience across our leadership team, you can be sure of exceptional results when using our service.

Trade show logistics is an area that we have a lot of experience it. We have built up strong relationships with exhibit systems providers over the years. These providers rely on us and trust us to provide a seamless customer experience. With us, you can be sure you’re in safe hands. We have warehouses across the country, as well as having strong relationships with leading shows and being partners with exhibit providers.

This makes certain that we have all bases covered when it comes to providing exceptional trade show logistics services, from the CES checklist to getting your booth there on time and intact. If you would like more information about the trade show trucking companies services that we provide or you want a free trade show freight shipping quote, all you need to do is give us a call at (866) 415 8986 or reach out online.

When you’re looking to create an exhibit to present at trade shows, the most important thing is planning and preparation, and that’s what our SEMA Exhibitor Checklist is all about. There are lots of things you’ll need to give your attention to as you prepare to attend a trade show such as SEMA. There are plenty of opportunities to exploit and ways in which your business can draw attention to its products or services. But it’ll only play out that way if you’re prepared for what lies ahead and understand what you need to get right in order to succeed as a SEMA exhibitor or an exhibitor at just about any trade show.

Items on the SEMA exhibitor checklist should include:

So, if you’re going to be attending SEMA next time around, you should start thinking ahead and planning your exhibition at the soonest opportunity. You can start doing exactly that by making the most of our SEMA Exhibitor Checklist and ensuring you’ve got all of the most important things in order.

What is SEMA?

SEMA stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association and consists of more than 6000 companies in the automotive industry around the world. Those companies are involved in many different areas of the automotive industry, including original equipment manufacturers, aftermarket manufacturers, car dealers, media outlets, retailers, restorers, equipment distributors and many more besides.

The SEMA Show is the biggest event hosted by SEMA and it attracts representatives from companies all over the world. They come together to exhibit new concepts and products that they’re looking to take to market in the near future. It’s one of the biggest events in the calendar for the industry each year.

The first SEMA Show happened in 1967 and it’s been going from strength to strength ever since then. More and more companies have realized the power the event holds, as well as the opportunities it offers to companies. There are incredible opportunities for product demonstrations, as well as some of the best marketing opportunities out there.

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Who Displays Goods at SEMA?SEMA Who Displays Goods at SEMA

There are many great reasons to display goods and services at the SEMA Show, and there are lots of different types of businesses out there that do exactly that. They know that they can get their new concepts and products in front of the right people. It’s the biggest event in the industry and everyone in attendance has an important role to play in how the industry develops in the future.

But who exactly displays their goods at SEMA? It’s a question with many different answers because, as you might already realize, there are lots of different strands to the industry and many important developments and enhancements that are currently ongoing. Here’s a list of some of the people and organizations likely to display at SEMA.

Why Should You Attend SEMA?

There are lots of important reasons for attending the SEMA show. This show is not open to the public, so it’s not going to be filled with casual spectators who are just there for a day out; it’s a much more serious gathering than that. It’ll be filled with professionals from all corners of the automotive industry, giving your business the chance to be seen and heard by people with genuine power and influence.

One of the main reasons why many people feel SEMA is valuable to their business is the networking opportunities it offers. Simply building industry contacts and meeting people that you wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet in other contexts can have a really big impact on the future of your business. As they say, it’s all about who you know in the world of business.

The educational sessions and workshops that are hosted at the SEMA Show are also hugely valuable to all kinds of businesses and individuals. There are so many people who learn new things that they wouldn’t otherwise have had the chance to learn, simply because they took the chance to attend the SEMA show. You should make the most of that too.

What Are the SEMA Deadlines?What are the SEMA Deadlines

If you’re going to attend the SEMA show, it’s important to meet all of the relevant deadlines. Getting this sorted out and properly organized ahead of time will ensure you don’t miss out. There are deadlines for applying for exhibitions, as well as a range of other deadlines that you’ll want to know about.

  1. 120The First deadline you should know about is the deadline for the feature vehicle display application. This is for vehicles that are going to be displayed outside of a booth. The deadline for this is July 31st
  2. You need to submit any press releases for pre-show publications by August 2nd. Advertising space reservations need to be submitted by August 20th and listing information should be submitted by August 23rd.
  3. All of the deadlines relating to the SEMA Show can be found by following this link.

Failing to meet these deadlines will make your life a lot more difficult. The deadlines tend to be quite strict as well. If you miss them, the chances are you’re not going to get another chance to get your application in. As you might expect from such a popular and heavily-attended event, there’s plenty of competition for places and if you miss out, there’ll always be another company that’s more than happy to take your place.

It’s important to plan ahead and think about the things you need to finalize and arrange before you place your application. And by planning ahead and making sure you get all of this right, you can secure a place and take advantage of all the benefits that come with exhibiting at the SEMA Show. Now that you know what the deadlines are, you can start planning ahead for the next show.

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What is the SEMA Exhibitor’s Manual?What is the SEMA Exhibitor’s Manual

The people at SEMA take steps to ensure their exhibitors have a full understanding of all the aspects of exhibiting at the trade show. That’s where the SEMA Exhibitor’s Manual steps in. It’s a document that’s been written to answer any and all questions exhibitors might have when they attend the show and display their booths. They discuss all the resources you should know about.

Every aspect of the show and what exhibitors should know about it is discussed in the clearest and basic way possible. They don’t assume that you already have an understanding of the show and how it works from an exhibitor’s point of view. That makes it an ideal and truly helpful manual for anyone who is looking to exhibit at the SEMA Show for the very first time.

First of all, they provide a section on the trade show, what it’s all about and all of the basic information that you should know about it before exhibiting at it. They’ll also talk about things like badges, registration and special events that take place. This is important information for exhibitors to have available to them ahead of the show.

Logistical issues, such as parking, hotels and travel are all covered because that stuff is important too. Booth information and display information is also provided, which is key because that kind of thing tends to differ from trade show to trade show.

Things like timing are discussed, so you’ll know when your freight needs to arrive at the show. Again, these are logistical factors that will be utterly vital to the smooth functioning of your exhibit at the show.

All the information about marketing and advertising opportunities at the SEMA Show are included as well. You should definitely take the time to read all of this information if you want to get the most out of the exhibit.

SEMA Exhibitor Checklist

It’s vital to have a complete SEMA Exhibitor Checklist at your disposal ahead of the event so you can be clear about all of the things you need to do and get right before you exhibit your display at the next SEMA Show. It’s easy to miss things and fail to cover all of the relevant bases when you’re planning for a trade show appearance, so let this helpful checklist make your life easier.

  1. Start by understanding all of the deadlines and everything that you need to do ahead of the trade show. SEMA has a range of things you need to do and things you need to submit if you’re going to display at the event, and you’ll need to meet those deadlines, as we discussed above.
  2. Create your own schedule for your own preparations. Decide what the aims of your display will be and which goals you want to hit at the event. Make sure each department that’s going to be involved understands what they need to do and what’s expected of them.
  3. Think about scheduling booth meetings with clients and other important prospects. The booths that do things like this tend to be the ones that are most successful at SEMA.
  4. To make the most of the event, you need to make it clear that you’re going to be there. Be active on social media and make sure that your presence is felt. You never know who might see those posts and decide to pay your booth a visit. It’s also good for your audience to see you’re attending these important events.
  5. Your forward planning should involve logistics, which we’ll talk more about later. If you’re traveling to the SEMA Show, you should plan ahead to ensure your goods and all the elements of your booth arrive at the show location on time and ready to use.
  6. It’s a good idea to think about giveaways. What are you going to hand to clients and prospects to ensure they remember your business and the interaction you shared after they walk away from your booth? Something similar and audience-appropriate could make a real difference.
  7. Practicing conversations and planning out how you’re going to direct discussions and interactions is important. The people doing the talking should have good interpersonal skills and know how to engineer productive interactions. That comes through planning and practice between you and your team.
  8. You should think about what’s going to happen after the event as well. Plan some debriefing exercises and think about following up with the people you spoke to. For this to happen, you need to plan it in advance and come up with workable strategies.

Hopefully, this checklist will have helped you gain a better understanding of the things you need to get right before you attend the next SEMA Show. The SEMA Exhibitor Checklist can help all kinds of companies looking to attend the show. Whether you’re attending the SEMA Show for the very first time or you’re a seasoned veteran, good preparation is always key.

The companies that get the most out of the many benefits the SEMA Show has to offer are the ones that prepare in advance and get everything right. It’s impossible to do that if you’re not planning ahead and making preparations for how you’re going to come out of the SEMA Show with the best possible outcomes.

The SEMA Exhibitor Checklist above should provide you with all the help and guidance you need when you’re preparing for a big trade show event. It can be confusing a little overwhelming, especially when you’re planning to attend the SEMA Show for the very first time, but you’ll find it much easier with the help of our exhibitor checklist.

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What Else Do SEMA Exhibitors Need to Know?

There’s plenty you need to know about the SEMA Show before you attend as an exhibitor. First of all, it’s vital to know that if you want to exhibit at the show, you’ll need to submit an Exhibit Space Design Notification if you’re planning on creating a display that’s more than 20’ x 20’. For multi-level exhibits, even more information and details will need to be provided in order to ensure safety and structural integrity well in advance of the event.

Freeman Electrical Services are available at the event, and you should make the most of these services. The people at SEMA know how challenging it can be to set up a display and to get it all working as it should. During that whole process, good electrical support is vital and you should make the most of it.

SEMA uses freight target dates so that you know exactly what you need to have your freight arrives at the location where the event is taking place. If you miss the target date, it’ll be more difficult for everything to be set up on time and ready to go by the start date of the show. It’s one of the reasons why shipping and freight planning are so important and should never be overlooked.

Exhibitor staff will need to be registered ahead of the event. You should receive an email from SEMA telling you about this and how you go about registering them. But don’t assume that you can just turn up with a team of people ready to work at your booth for the duration of the trade show if you haven’t first registered them as employees. It doesn’t work like that and they won’t be allowed to work if they don’t have registrations.

Trade Show Shipping with R+L Global Logistics

If you’re thinking of attending the SEMA trade show as an exhibitor and you want to make sure that all of your stuff and the things that are going to make up your exhibit get there safely and on time, our shipping services are for you. R+L Global Logistics has established partnerships with trade show booth shipping organizers, making us ideally placed for clients looking to ship their things to trade shows like SEMA.

The whole process will be easy and seamless at your end. And as long as you follow the SEMA exhibitor checklist outlined above, you’ll be able to ensure the task of presenting at SEMA is smooth from start to end. After all, that’s the way it should be. We’ll support you throughout the process and keep you informed so that you never have to worry at any point throughout the process.

We have a very large network in place - even for selling Canadian goods -  to ensure your shipment makes its way to the trade show in a timely, efficient and safe kind of way. You’ll find the whole process effortless because our professionals will take care of everything on your behalf. Call or reach out online to get a quote today!

If your business is considering the possibility of selling Canadian goods at a U.S. trade show, then it’s important to remember that it’s not just a case of packing your goods in a suitcase and crossing into the U.S. The process is somewhat similar to moving imported goods across countries; they need to be declared and they will likely be subject to a number of different duties and taxes. If you want to sell goods across the border, then it’s important to consider a customs broker that can help you transport your goods duty-free so you can safely showcase your products at an international trade show.

In order to get the latest information about selling Canadian goods at a U.S. trade show, it’s important to consult the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for more information. While your customs broker will likely explain most of the information to you first, it’s a good idea as a small business to do your research to see what type of fees you’ll be subjected to and what type of products you can take across.

What Documents Do I Need for Shipping Trade Show Materials from Canada?What Documents Do I need for Shipping Trade Show Materials to Canada

Before you cross the border with your trade show materials, products and other similar goods, it’s important to prepare your documentation to make things easier. In most cases, a customs broker will be able to handle most of the work by reporting and clearing your goods with customs. In some cases, they might also arrange for shipping and transportation if you have a lot of goods to send.

Whether you decide to self-clear your items or speak to a customs broker, you’re going to need the following documents to get into the U.S. with your goods.

There may be specific documentation required from you if you plan to ship very specific goods or shipping a trade booth. The requirements will change depending on the individual circumstances of your business, so it’s a good idea to speak with a customs broker to get more information regarding the documentation you need before you ship your Canadian goods to be sold or displayed at a U.S. trade show. Thankfully, most of this will be handled by the customs broker unless it’s something personal such as acquiring a work permit.

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Canada Customs Clearance for Trade Show Goods

While most trade show organizers will have some kind of recommendation for a customs broker, it’s a service that can be provided by many different logistics-focused businesses such as R+L Global Logistics. This means that it’s worth looking around at different services to see which one would be best suited for your needs.

Most exhibitors that are only carrying a few items will actually have the option to declare and clear their goods at the border. The more prepared you are, the less time it will take to finish the declaration of your goods and the more time you have to get to the show.

The most common options for customs clearance for trade show goods include:

Each method comes with its pros and cons, so it’s important to speak to your customs broker and ask for information on each one to ensure that you pay the least amount of duties and taxes when crossing the border.

How Do You Declare Trade Show Items at Customs?How Do You Declare Trade Show Items at Customs

In order to declare your goods, you must prepare a commercial invoice to present to U.S. customs. If customs finds that something in your shipment hasn’t been declared, then it could delay your shipment by several days and you could miss the trade show date.

Here are some important concerns when preparing your commercial invoice.

  1. Make sure every item is listed on your commercial invoice and do not generalize. Instead, be highly specific.
  2. Value every item accurately. If something is intended as a gift, make sure it’s assigned a nominal value like 0.01 cents.
  3. Describe every item in great detail, such as its purpose and what it’s made from.
  4. For food items, you must be registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The commercial invoice will include a lot of information that must be filled in correctly in order for your shipment to arrive on time for your trade show. Failing to do this will put your trade show at risk, hence why speaking to a customs broker can be one of the best ways to save time, money and be more efficient with the shipment.

Do keep in mind that most of this will be handled by a customs broker should you decide to choose a service like R+L Global Logistics. By planning well in advance and partnering with a global logistics company that can handle your customs declarations, it’s guaranteed to go much more smoothly.

Trade Show Shipping with R+L Global Logistics

As experts in trade show shipping services, R+L Global Logistics understands the logistical challenges and concerns that international companies face when attempting to break into a new market or grow their audience overseas. That’s why we’ve specialized our services to be one of the most efficient and knowledgeable trade show shipping logistics services in the world.

So if you’re interested in selling Canadian goods at a U.S. trade show, don’t hesitate to contact us today for more information or to request a quote.

Before you attend your next exhibit, you must learn how to ship a trade show booth. Trade shows can take place in so many different locations, and all of your booth materials must arrive on time. The last thing you want is to turn up for an event completely empty-handed. It’ll be a waste of money as you already paid for your place on the exhibition floor, but now you’ve got nothing to show all the attendees and command their attention. In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to think about when shipping your trade show booth. 

There are a few primary concerns when you look at how to ship a trade show booth. It has to arrive on time, and all in one piece. Things to consider when shipping a trade show both include things like price, value, speed and quality. You’ll also need to consider options like advance warehousing or direct-to-show shipping. Insuring your shipment is also an option.

Explore Your Options

The majority of big trade shows and exhibitions will provide vendors with a list of preferred carriers that the event works with. You can use these if you want, but you’re not always forced to do so. Some events are very strict with their exhibit shipping demands, so they will make you choose one of their recommended carriers. But, for the most part, you should explore your options to find the best carrier for your needs. 

Naturally, you’ll find plenty of trade show shipping companies to choose from. To separate the best from the rest, you need to concern yourself with these key points: 

So, explore your options and choose a few services that suit your requirements. Then, you can make a direct comparison between them. 

Provide Accurate DetailsProvide Accurate Details

Knowing how to ship a trade booth will heavily depend on the details you provide the shipping company. First and foremost, they must be accurate. Double and triple check all of your information before you send it out. 

There are two main things to worry about; exhibition materials details and the logistics details. 

For the exhibition materials, we’re talking about things like: 

If you give inaccurate details, then this will lead to higher shipping costs. For example, if you say that your exhibition booth is a certain size and weight - then it ends up being bigger and heavier - it will obviously cost more than you were initially quoted. 

You can potentially save money by opting for trade show booths made out of lighter materials. Things like fabric booths are much lighter, so you will incur lower shipping costs. 

For the logistics, we’re looking at:

These details can also affect shipping costs as you may give the wrong date or location, meaning your trade show materials need to arrive much quicker than initially stated, and in a location that’s further away. Plus, it also increases the chances of your items being lost or delivered to the wrong place at the wrong time. 

All in all, pay attention to all of your details by using a trade show exhibitor checklist and make sure they’re 100% accurate before you agree to any service. 

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Choose Advance Warehousing or Direct to Trade Show Shipping

You’ve got two main shipping options:

Both of these options will ship your exhibition booth from A to B, they just change where B is. They also have a series of advantages and disadvantages, so here’s what you need to know…

Advance Warehousing

This method means you ship your trade show to the event’s warehouse around 45-60 days before the event begins. It’s potentially beneficial as you guarantee your trade show materials arrive on time, and you can be one of the first people to move into the convention floor. Usually, a general contractor will handle your materials and take them from the warehouse to the trade show floor when you need them. 

The downside is that this is usually the more expensive of the two options. Plus, you need to prepare your exhibit way in advance of the date. 

Direct to Trade Show

With this option, you ship directly to the trade show, usually a few days before it starts. As such, you have far more time to prepare everything and can make final changes to your booth a week or so before the event. It also means your booth won’t be handled by lots of different people, so this minimizes the risks of damage - and also keeps the cost as low as possible. 

The problem is that your booth could arrive late. Shipments aren’t allowed to arrive earlier than three days before, or you’ll be charged extra. 

Both options are reasonable, it depends on what suits you best. Do you want to have more time and keep the costs to a minimum? Or, would you rather have the safety of knowing your materials have arrived weeks in advance of the trade show date?

Insure Your MaterialsInsure Your Materials

When most people ask how to ship a trade show booth, they forget one key element: insurance. Most shipping companies should have insurance options for their services. But, you can also purchase additional insurance for added protection. 

Now, this isn’t technically essential, but it is highly recommended. Remember, most trade show booths are custom-made and cost a significant amount of money. So, if they’re damaged, they need to be completely rebuilt! If they’re insured, then you at least have some financial protection to avoid paying for the booth all over again because of damages that occurred during shipping. 

How To Ship A Trade Show Booth: Choose R+L Global Logistics

If you’re looking for a reliable and experienced trade show shipping company, then choose R+L Global Logistics today. We have well over 50 years of experience in the logistics industry, with plenty of resources and contacts in the trade show world. This lets us provide an excellent service that’s catered to your needs. We’ll design everything around your budget, ensuring you get a shipping service that delivers your trade show materials on time and all in one piece. 

So, if you want to know how to ship a trade show booth with minimal stress, then contact us today. We have relationships with some of the biggest exhibition suppliers across the U.S., along with our own vast span of warehouses. Let us take care of this, and you can focus on all other aspects of your trade show booth shipping. Give us a call today or contact us online to get a quote.

Planning for a successful trade show can be quite a difficult task, especially if your company has yet to attend one. This could be due to financial constraints or simply because your brand hasn’t been given a chance to be in the limelight. When you do get an opportunity to appear at a trade show, the last thing you want is to make a fool of yourself and give your company a bad reputation. Whether it’s assigning the right booth staff or having a solid social media strategy to get the word out that your business will be attending, we’ve put together this trade show exhibitor checklist that will help you plan ahead for a successful trade show exhibit.

Items on your trade show exhibitor checklist should cover the basics and make sure the show goes on as planned. Your checklist might include:

We’ll be covering seven of the most important components of any successful trade show. From the hardware and general items that you bring to a tradeshow to networking strategies, this article will educate you on the best practices to develop when attending trade shows and also give you some advice on how to measure their impact on your business. This will help you understand the value of trade shows and how they can help your business grow to new heights.

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1. Determine What You’re Bringing to the Trade ShowDetermine What You’re Bringing to the Trade Show

You’ve got one chance to really impress show attendees at a trade show, so it’s important to make a checklist of things that you want to bring to a trade show. There are some basic items such as office supplies which are always handy, such as for writing down notes, but there are also some less-considered items and also the knowledge that you should bring with you to the trade show.

For starters, make sure that the product or service that you want to sell can be taken with you in some shape or form. For instance, you may be required to bring several computer setups and hardware if you’re trying to sell a piece of software, and it’s always a good idea to bring a working prototype or demo unit for physical products. If you’re selling a consumable product, then bringing samples with you is always a fantastic idea. You may also want to consider bringing small gifts for attendees such as branded stationary or something unique such as cupcakes to offer.

You’ll also want to consider bringing a couple of members of your staff depending on the size and scope of your trade show booth. This can depend greatly on the type of product or service that you’re offering. For instance, if there are technical aspects of your product that you don’t quite understand, it’s a good idea to bring engineers and developers that have been working on the project so that they can explain things in more detail to attendees that are interested in specifics.

2. Coordinate the Logistics of Getting Your Materials to the Trade Show

Once you’ve built a list of things you want to bring to a trade show, you’ll want to start planning the logistics of getting everything to the show itself. For larger or heavier items such as computer setups, samples of your product and prototypes, you’ll want to hire a logistics service to help you ship the items to and from the trade show itself. Depending on the distance, this can be a rather expensive investment but it can be made cheaper and easier when connecting with the right businesses that are designed specifically to help trade show exhibitors.

You’ll also want to coordinate things such as travel. This can be especially important if you have employees that work remotely who are scheduled to attend the trade show itself. This will involve booking travel tickets like flights or trains, and it can also include booking a hotel for the trip so that you have a place to stay. Depending on the event itself, you’ll also likely need to book a booth spot so that you have somewhere to put your things. In some cases, a hotel room can also be used to showcase your items if it’s part of the event. These are all things that need to be taken into consideration.

To help make things easier, we’ve compiled a small but concise checklist of considerations when it comes to coordinating the logistics of a trade show.

Logistics is an important consideration when it comes to planning for a successful trade show, hence why it’s vital to contact a trustworthy and reliable shipping solution. Coordinating something like trade show logistics can take a lot of time and involves a lot of intricate details, hence the importance of hiring a service that is confidence and experience in trade show logistics.

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3. Establish and Plan a BudgetEstablish and Plan a Budget

Another important component of a successful trade show is budgeting. Whether you’re a relatively small startup or a large corporation, you need to have a budget in mind because, at the end of the day, an appearance at a trade show exhibition is an investment in your brand and measuring its success can help you fine-tune your approach in the future.

There are countless considerations when it comes to budgeting for a trade show, so we’ve put together a brief list of things that you’ll likely be spending money on.

As you can see, budgeting for a trade show involves many different expenses, hence the importance of planning weeks in advance to ensure you have everything covered.

4. Develop and Implement a Marketing Strategy Around the Show

For your trade show booth to be successful it’s important to develop and implement a marketing strategy that focuses on the show. This can involve areas such as social media and reaching out to influencers so that more people know about your attendance at a specific trade show. These considerations are typically split into three sections; pre-show, during the show and post-show.


A pre-show marketing strategy involves a lot of planning around the show itself and the attention it’s getting from the media.

  1. Identify the type of audience that attends the trade show you plan to take part in. It’s important that you identify this and compare it to your intended audience to ensure the two are synonymous.
  2. Use social media and your website to talk about your attendance at an event in order to spread the word and get people interested in visiting your trade show booth.
  3. It’s vital to set our goals for the trade show. Much like any marketing campaign, you need to plan your strategy around a set of goals that are measurable and realistic in terms of results and time spent.
  4. Trade show appearances should focus on new product launches and reveals depending on the type of trade show it is.
  5. Designing and printing marketing materials early on can ensure that you have a way to continue exposing your brand to a wider audience even once you arrive.
  6. Think about how you plan to follow-up with other trade show attendees, such as giving out business cards or compiling a list of leads that you’ll contact at a later date.

During the Show

During the show, you’ll want to implement pre-show strategy and planning to use. For example, you’ll want to take a note of all the people you speak to that could be considered leads and trading business cards can help ensure that you can be contacted by the people you’ve spoken to at the show itself.

This is also a good opportunity to continue updating your social media pages with posts regarding your appearance at the show. The show exhibition will likely have an associated hashtag on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook that you can take advantage of to gain more visibility. This is also a good time to network with other businesses and potential clients to help grow your list of contacts.

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Once the show has concluded, it’s time to follow-up on your leads and the business cards that you’ve traded. This will also be the time when you calculate if your trade show was a success or not based on factors like the number of leads you have, the sales you made or even the people that you’ve networked with. There are countless ways to get value out of a trade show and its success depends on the goals that you originally set out to achieve. If you were able to reach those goals then you can consider the event a great success. Even if you fell short of those goals, you could still continue to get value out of the trade show by following-up with your leads.

You’ll also want to continue using social media to reflect on the event, thank those involved and essentially keep the ball rolling so that your appearance and meetings are still fresh in the minds of those that attended. Recapping the event on your website or blog can also be a great way to keep your audience in the loop and refresh them on what happened during the event. There are endless ways to follow-up after a trade show concludes and it’s vital that you try different things to see what works best for your company.


5. Rehearse Your Presentation and PitchRehearse Your Presentation and Pitch

Discuss the importance of practicing a presentation or sales pitch. If any technology is involved, be sure to test the technology prior to the show.

Before you attend a trade show it’s vital that you understand how to market your product or services to the audience that the show itself. For this, you need two main components; a presentation and a pitch. A presentation is essential for explaining your products or services to a wide audience. It should be comprehensive, concise yet interesting to keep people’s attention. If your presentation doesn’t captivate your audience then it can be difficult to network and build your reputation. For a presentation to be successful, you should also ensure that any technology related to your product (such as computers, hardware or the product itself) is in full working condition. It’s also not a bad idea to have backups in case something breaks or stops working.

You’ll also want to put together a convincing pitch to help you make a good first impression. Whether it’s grabbing someone’s interest once they glance at your booth or even getting someone’s attention in an elevator, having a concise pitch that promotes your product and gets people interested is a great way to spread the word and get more people talking. Make sure you rehearse both your presentation and pitch to ensure that you appear as confident as possible.

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6. Network With and Gather Ideas from Other Vendors

When you attend a trade show it’s vital that you get as much value out of it as possible. This means that, in addition to showing off your products and services, you should be networking with other vendors and not just potential clients. This is important for a number of different reasons.

Networking is common at trade shows, but in order to truly make the most of your attendance, it’s vital that you network with other vendors in order to gather ideas and potentially form partnerships with other companies that are mutually beneficial.

7. Measure the Success of Participating in the Trade ShowMeasure the Success of Participating in the Trade Show

It’s important to treat your trade show appearance as an investment in your business. After all, you’re probably spending a considerable amount of money on trade show booth materials and it’s not cheap to send a team of staff members to a trade show for a couple of days. As such, it’s vital that you consider how to measure the success of your participation at a trade show. This can vary depending on your initial goals and also the type of product you put on display, but we can boil it down to three different categories.

These are the most common performance metrics to consider when measuring the success of your trade show participation.

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Need Help Shipping to a Trade Show?

One of the most difficult things about planning a successful trade show is the logistical side of your trade show exhibitor checklist. It’s perhaps the most involved aspect that, if planned poorly, could result in a disastrous trade show booth that doesn’t serve its purpose. So to help you with trade show planning, it’s important to hire a reputable and confident company that can help you ship all of your materials to the trade show with minimal disruption and issues.

No matter whether you’re shipping to SEMA or shipping to a furniture trade show, R+L Global Logistics can help.  R+L Global Logistics is a solution that you can trust. As an experienced and well-equipped global logistics provider for convention shipping, we’re capable of helping you ship your company’s materials to any trade show in the United States or the rest of the world. Contact us today to see how we can become your logistics partner for your next trade show appearance.

With the big exhibition fast approaching, your trade show packing list might not be the first thing on your mind. After all, you’ll undoubtedly have a number of concerns regarding the products, expenses, venue, and various other features. While the product and your sales pitch will naturally form a central focal point, the fact of the matter is that the seemingly small additional features can leave a huge mark on your trade show visitors. You only get one chance to make a winning first impression, and ensuring that you have all the necessary items to keep things running smoothly is essential.

Throughout the trade show planning procedures, you need to accept and respect U.S. Trade Show Regulations as well as the rules set by the venue authorities. In addition to working within the legal parameters, you’ll need to ensure that the trade exhibition is built to achieve the desired outcomes. A trade show packing list ensures that you’re prepared or all eventualities while also providing the peace of mind needed to turn your attention back to the process of selling.

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Items to Include on Your Trade Show Packing List

The trade show packing list serves many purposes. Aside from the increased organization, it ensures that you are ready for every possible situation while staff members will have the necessary items to adapt to every scenario. Furthermore, it prevents minor hiccups from derailing your hopes of success on the day, leading to a far smoother operation – inevitably boosting your morale and confidence throughout.

When building your trade show packing list, it’s imperative that you cover every base. While you do not want to waste time and money on buying and transporting products that won’t be required, being caught short on the day is the last scenario you’ll want to find yourself in. To prevent this, consider the following;

With the following trade show packing list at your disposal, the little mishaps that are likely to occur during the running of your exhibition won’t disrupt your progress, productivity, or profitability.

1. Extra Business CardsExtra Business Cards

The trade show isn’t only an opportunity to sell products, it’s a chance to sell your brand. Sales staff remain the unique selling point of every business, and striking positive interactions with clients is one of the best ways to stave off the competition from other companies at the trade exhibition. Business cards can make the meeting more memorable.

Investing in extra business cards for each of your sales team is highly advised for a whole host of reasons, including but not limited to;

Business cards are extremely cost-effective, so it won’t matter if the vast majority end up in the bin. They are also the type of product that could turn up in their wallets or business files days, weeks, or months after the meeting – at a time when they are more inclined to complete a purchase.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

2. Markers, Pencils and Pens

It may sound a little obvious that you’ll need pens, pencils, and markers on the day of your trade show event. However, it’s very easy to overlook this factor unless you have actively included them in your trade show packing list. It’s always good to take more than you think you’ll need too, as an influx of guests or misplacing a few products could disrupt everything.

Given that you will be writing things down in various situations throughout the day, it’s vital that you’re prepared for all situations;

3. Tape

A roll of tape can come to your rescue in a range of situations. From repairing damages caused by the sheer volume of people walking around the venue to sealing boxes, tape makes a big difference. You might not appreciate its importance on the day, but you’ll certainly miss it if you forget to bring it.

4. Stapler and Staples

Staplers are among the most commonly used pieces of stationery in a range of business endeavors, and the trade show event shouldn’t be any different. While some interactions can be completed via digital communications, there are many items that should be printed either through necessity or client preferences. Obviously, a stapler needs staple too.

There are two main situations in which a stapler will be needed;

  1. For stapling customer documents together. This could include their invoices, warranties, order confirmations, and more.
  2. For stapling files needed by the company. This could include your invoices and order receipts, receipts from expenses, and various details from the day.

5. Post-It Notes

Trade show exhibitions are hectic environments, especially for first-time vendors. Staying organized is one of the most important challenges of all, and will help you remain calm while also easing the managerial elements of the day. Post-it notes are one of the simplest yet very best tools for doing this.

Post-it notes can be used in two main ways;

  1. To post messages between colleagues, ensuring that you’re all on the same wavelength even when it’s too hectic to arrange meetings within the team,
  2. To make a quick note of tasks that you must come back to once you’ve completed the current assignment or sale.

6. Notebook

You might be used to making notes on your smartphone in day-to-day business, but the traditional route of writing in a notepad is the more practical solution for the trade show. A notebook will enable you to jot down personal notes to keep you on track throughout the day or explain things to prospective clients with greater clarity.

A notepad for each staff member and a notebook for the cash register area should suffice.

7. First Aid Kit

The good news is that you probably won’t need the first aid kit. However, there’s nothing worse than not being prepared for medical emergencies. Your first aid kit should include bandages, band-aids, wound cleaning materials, and other items to support staff of visitors following a trip, fall, or cut

A thermometer should be included too.

While you could borrow items from the event organizers, quick action is essential for providing the best level of care in an emergency. A first aid kit allows you to do it.

8. ScissorsScissors

A reliable pair of scissors should always be included in your trade show packing list. They can be used for a variety of tasks ranging from cutting paper materials to trim excess fabrics or correcting any slight faults that may surface during the course of the trade show event.

They can also be used for cutting bandages in first aid situations.

In most situations, you’ll only need one or two pairs of scissors between the entire team, even during the pre-trade show preparations.

If you have any left-handed workers attending the event, be sure to get some left-handed scissors too.

9. Extension Cords and a Power Strip

The event will supply power, but you’ll probably need to bring the power outlets. Even if you don’t, it’s best to equip yourself with the right extension cords and features to satisfy your energy needs. Aside from having enough sockets, it’s the best way to confirm that the voltage requirements will be met.

Extension cords also need to be of the desired length.

Make a list of all trade show booth fittings that require electricity, and be sure to pack enough power facilities to keep them powered throughout the day.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

10. Clipboards 

Your selling team will often have the opportunity to complete assignments and customer interactions at a desk or on a hard surface, but not always. Clipboards will be invaluable during those moments. More importantly, you can hand clipboards to guests so that they can fill in forms, which will capture their client data.

For an even bigger impact, consider branded clipboards with your logos and colors.

11. Trash Bags or a Garbage Receptacle

Trade show days pass by at a mile per minute, but this does mean that a lot of trash will be produced, especially if you are providing refreshments for your guests. Show respect for the event organizers and maintain the image of a responsible brand by using trash bags.

For the best results, you can use a garbage receptacle too.

If nothing else, this will prevent the threat of your trade show booth become a mess.

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12. MintsMints

The human interaction between salespeople and prospective customers will have a huge influence on their consumer decision, and you don’t want to let any aspect let you down. Packing breath mints will help maintain positive communications, and could subconsciously boost the client responses.

Conversely, bad breath will deter clients.

The addition of mints to your trade show packing list will also enhance the confidence levels of your team.

13. Safety Pins

Safety pins can be utilized in a range of situations to prevent minor hiccups from escalating into something far worse. Whether it’s pinning a ripped item of clothing back together, or keeping products in place during a demonstration or display doesn’t matter. The humble safety pin can have a telling impact.

They don’t cost much or require much room, so pack lots.

It’s likely that other vendors will need them too, and letting them use your spares can keep them on side and be used as bargaining power elsewhere.

14. Extra Shirt or Blouse

Personal appearances are a key ingredient in the recipe for success, and you will rightly invest time and effort into selecting the right attire. However, trade show events are long days, and your shirt or blouse is likely to need replacing at some stage due to stains gained through spillages, dirt passed on from clients, or sweat.

Or you could suffer a lost or broken button.

Either way, imperfect attire can leave a bad impression. Furthermore, a change of outfit can restore your personal comfort and confidence.

15. Hand Sanitizer

The trade show is an event where your staff will come into contact with hundreds, potentially thousands, of people throughout the course of the event. Carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer could be your secret weapon in the war against germs, which can stop your staff from getting ill.

16. Bottled Water and Snacks

Packing bottled water and snacks serves two main functions. Firstly, they can attract people to your trade show booth and keep them there for longer Secondly, keeping your team hydrated and energized will lead to improved production and customer services.

The on-site alternatives are likely to cost a fortune.

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17. Phone Charger

Smartphone and tablets are used for far more than simply making calls. They can be equipped with apps to send emails, show videos to clients, capture their information, record, update social media, and even process payments. Sadly, you won’t be able to see any of those rewards if the power dies.

A portable charger (or even taking the main charger) keeps the energy running all day long.

18. Screwdriver, Box Cutter and Tool Kit

Throughout the duration of the event, your team will need to unpackage a lot of items from boxes while you may need to assemble or fix items too. Given that time is money, ensuring that your team have the right tools to complete those tasks in the quickest time is vital. Without them, time and money will be wasted.

A full tool kit is the best option by far.

Besides, without the right tools, ripping boxes by hand will create an unprofessional appearance.

19. Paper TowelsPaper Towels

While the trade show venue is likely to boast the right facilities, it could take you an age to locate them. As such, you must take your own supplies. Paper towels are an essential feature that will help your team attend to spillages and accidents within the trade show environment.

Pack a few packs to see you through the event.

The purpose of having them is so that you’ll have quick access when certain situations surface. Keep them under a table or in another easy to reach location.

20. Storage Boxes

Storage boxes will be useful throughout the day as you transfer stock and marketing materials while they can also keep items safe and protected during the event and make things easier once it’s ended.

Solid materials are far better than cardboard in most scenarios.

Meanwhile, you may wish to consider the possibility of stackable boxes, in either the same size or descending sizes.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Let R+L Global Logistics Help with Trade Show Shipping

For your trade show event to be considered a success, you will need to take a lot of accessories with you to the venue. From overcoming obstacles to keeping your staff comfortable, those items can make a significant impact on productivity, profitability, and your sanity. Your focus will naturally be on other priorities, though, which is why finding an outside expert to take care of those logistical challenges can be hugely beneficial.

Here at R+L Global Logistics, we specialize in the logistics and transportation of key items for trade show exhibitions throughout the country. This can extend to trade show booths, equipment, an all other accessories that could be needed while we also support installations. This enables you to focus on the actual preparations including team briefings and similarly important features that will lead you to greater success and sales. Get a quote today.

When choosing a logistics company, you need to ensure that all elements are under control, and this includes the trade show freight shipping packing list items. We’ll offer a professional and reliable service that keeps your mind at ease and establish a winning foundation for maximum success.

Whether you’re launching a new product or reaching out to a new audience, trade show booths are an invaluable tool that provide a great platform for success at trade shows and conferences. Having the right plan for your booth can determine whether or not your trade participation is a success. Trade show newcomers and veterans alike deal with similar questions when preparing for a booth for an upcoming event. 

When planning to attend your first (or next) trade show, there are many details that should be considered. Making your booth stand out, deciding how to present your product, and managing costs are just a few of the important factors. 

Listed below are 8 common questions and answers regarding trade show booths. 

1. How Do I Build a Booth for a Trade Show?How Do I Build a Booth for a Trade Show

Step 1, of course, is having a trade show booth. Building your own trade show booth is certainly an option. However, for most it’s an option they’d rather forgo. Designing the specs, gathering the materials, and physically putting together a booth is labor and time intensive. For this reason, many businesses choose to purchase their booths. 

There are several options at your disposal, including purchasing an ‘off the shelf’ unit that can subsequently be customized with your company’s brand. However, working with companies that specialize in building trade show booths is the best way to ensure that your pitch makes the desired impact. Aside from knowing that all units will be built to meet the regulatory requirements, this option ensures that you obtain a product that is designed to reflect your brand and needs. Embracing the latest design trends and choosing the most practical materials (regarding weight, installation, and costs) can have a significant impact on the trade show booth – and, therefore, the success of the event as a whole.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

2. How Do I Make My Trade Show Booth Successful?

While most major trade shows will attract thousands of visitors, it can also attract hundreds of businesses. A successful trade show booth will give your company the best chance of beating the competition to gain the attention (and converted sales) that you desire. As is the case with a traditional store, first impressions count for everything, perhaps even more so due to the sheer volume of competing companies around you. The need to master the trade show booth design is huge.

The best trade show booths will achieve several things. They will grab the attention of attendees while they walk by while also providing insight into the brand and product while simultaneously encouraging consumers to find out more. Trade show booths should additionally provide a suitable space for discussing the unique selling points of the product to individuals and small groups alike. To provide a winning space which can inform and entertain guests with a high focus on conversions, the trade show should incorporate several features, including but not limited to;

While the trade show booth should form the central focus of your trade event plans, it’s important to appreciate that it is still only one ingredient in the recipe for success. For optimal results, you must also ensure that your sales team are dressed to impress and have briefed on the necessary details to efficiently answer any questions put their way. Other crucial aspects include the layout of any marketing materials, the quality of any visual media, and the reliability of any stock management and payment processing facilities.

3. How Can I Make My Booth Stand Out?How Can I Make my Booth Stand Out

As already discussed, the best trade show booths achieve several outcomes. Nevertheless, none of the other rewarding features count for anything if you cannot encourage trade show attendees to visit your pitch to learn more about the products. Given there will be dozens of other businesses hoping to win over the same consumers and clients, standing out from the crowd is crucial. The overhead signage is one of the most significant elements as it’ll grab the attention of guests even when they are at the other end of the trade show venue. You don’t necessarily need to have lights, although it is an option, but your brand name should be visible from every angle.

Studies show that you have just 8 seconds to grab a consumer’s attention in any environment, and the fast-paced world of trade exhibitions puts you under even greater pressure.

As for the booth itself, utilizing video and audio media will have a telling impact as the info is easier for guests to digest and also stops you from repeating yourself throughout the day. A raised floor instantly grabs the attention while adding some seating can be a great design feature as many guests will be spending hours on their feet. Setting aside a competition stand or promotional giveaway at the front of your booth can be very useful too. When supported by a thought out design that implements modern features, those tricks that add a little value unlock the door to greater foot traffic and (hopefully) more conversions.

What might surprise some people is that some of the work in making your booth stand out has nothing to do with your actual booth at all. Marketing your presence at the event prior to the event taking place can create the desire for people to visit you. Savvy businesses are turning to social media and other forms of digital marketing to attract attendees. Even more traditional forms of advertising like radio, billboard, and newspaper can achieve this outcome. Letting your target audience know that they can see your exciting product or service at the show can create a positive and have you standing out before the event even starts. 

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

4. What Should I Bring to My Trade Show Booth?

A well-designed trade show booth that wins the war for foot traffic will provide a solid foundation for trade show success. However, a number of additional features are required to unlock the full potential of the exhibition. As well as the monitors and other electronic equipment, the smaller accessories can go a long way towards generating conversions and orders.

The following items are all essential features to be included in your trade show exhibition;

  1. Payment processing facilities. This should include mobile card readers that can offer instant processing, as well as cash register – which should, obviously, be secured and stocked with the necessary change. Some trade shows have specific regulations regarding the level of business that can be conducted at the actual show. Be sure to abide by these guidelines. 
  2. Additional supplies. From extra stock to additional marketing supplies, maintaining a constant flow throughout the day is essential. To determine how many supplies you need, communicate with the event organizer or your assigned point of contact. Confirm with them what the projected attendance for the event is and order at least 10% more than what you need. If you plan on attending multiple trade shows, you can order more supplies and secure a better volume rate. 
  3. Organizational items. Display stands and other clear placement parameters can help you impress clients while also ensuring that all operations continue to run smoothly.
  4. Power cables. When your trade show booth uses monitors, computers, specialized lighting, and other power facilities, it’s vital that you have enough extension cables and sockets to satisfy those needs. Some trade shows and venues will provide some of these materials. Before arriving, confirm what materials will be available at the venue. 
  5. Refreshments. Offering a drink to a prospective client as they settle down to discuss a purchase puts them at ease and makes them feel valued. Hydration is key for trade show staff too.

Specialized industries will likely require additional equipment based on the industry. If you’re unsure of what supplies to bring to a specialized industry show, consult with your point of contact for the event. Without the right equipment and accessories to make a winning impression, the entire trade show event is set to suffer.

5. What Should I Wear to a Trade Show?What Should I Wear to a Trade Show

Trade show attire is a commonly overlooked detail for first-time attendees, but it is one of the most essential features to complement your winning booth design. The harsh reality of the situation is that many guests will form judgements of the salespeople based on outward appearance, meaning that a poor choice of outfit can potentially ruin the hopes of a sale. 

You need to create a professional atmosphere but must also remember that trade show days are very long and will require you to do a lot of talking and demonstrating, as well as potential restocking of products and marketing materials. Business formal attire can, therefore, often feel impractical and unsuitable. Business casual attire is often the best choice. For men, this can mean wearing a shirt, polo shirt, or dress shirt with dress pants, khakis, or chinos and either dress shoes or loafers. For women, a collared shirt or sweater with dress pants or a skirt is most likely. Dress flats are the most practical footwear choice.

Whichever attire you choose, creating a level of consistency is essential. This could mean matching or complementing the colour schemes used in the trade show booth. It’s always a good idea to wear clothing with embroidered logos. Additionally, there should be a level of coordination across the team as to create a professional vibe that inspires confidence from the consumer and shows that you have paid attention to detail. There are some situations in which you may be better suited to a business formal look, or even a casual one (perhaps if selling sports attire, for example) to promote a winning atmosphere. Name badges aren’t needed, but business cards will prove to be a useful tool.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

6. How Do I Sell My Product or Service?

No two vendors are the same. Consequently, then, your business needs to find the right strategy to highlight the qualities of your brand and product(s). In truth, there is no one right or wrong answer, as the personality of the company and the type of products being sold will have a telling impact. Visual products need to be shown in a way that highlights their visually appealing features while gadgets may require some space around them to truly showcase their capabilities. The space and the lighting elements will have a big impact on your possibilities for selling in-person. However, the use of video media and other resources can overcome logistical issues to highlight the benefits of the products as well as the value they can bring to the user’s life.

A valuable exercise is to put yourself in the shoes of someone that’s attending the show. Imagine that you’re walking around the venue with no preference to any particular product or booth. What would you want to see and hear from your product that would get you interested to buy? Anticipate the reaction and questions that attendees may have and prepare responses. 

Marketing materials such as leaflets and information brochures can work wonders. When taking orders on products, you may wish to consider a look book of samples to showcase the available variations of a product. This can be particularly useful when dealing with furniture, for example. Products that aren’t visual still need the same level of attention, but you must master what you are going to say. Ultimately, you want to drum up excitement and interest. Whether it’s showing off the visual elements or highlighting the practical and functional features of a product for the home or business. 

7. How Should I Run My Booth?How Should I Run my Booth

The trade show event starts long before the doors open, and you should ensure that all the necessary checks have taken place long in advance, which should cover everything from marketing to logistics. When the big day arrives, you also need to ensure that you get there early to allow ample time to set up the facilities. This should be followed by testing all products, including the payment facilities and any media – checking for sound and video quality. 

In addition to quality checking all of resources, you’ll want to be sure your team is prepared and on the same page throughout the show. Listed below are some of the details that should be confirmed in advance:

  1. Identify where each staff member should be stationed at your booth during the event. Large booths require this, but even smaller booths should make this a priority. 
  2. Determine what each team member is responsible for during the show. For example, one team member may simply be a greeter, while another will provide product demos. Whatever the case may be, your team should know what their job is for the day. 
  3. Confirm the shifts for everyone involved. If your event takes place over the course of an entire day, it’s a good idea to schedule breaks in advance. You may also have different employees arriving and leaving throughout the day. Either way, know who is going to be at your booth and when they’re going to be there so you don’t end up shorthanded.

Lastly, you should arrange your booth in a way that attendees have something to do or look at if you’re busy speaking with another attendee. You don’t want to miss out on potential interactions simply because there was nothing to do or see. It’s not a bad idea to simulate the booth experience according to your plan before the show. During this runthrough, you should be able to identify any potential weak spots that need to be improved. 

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

8. How Much Does a Trade Show Booth Cost?

Trade shows are a great place to generate more interest in the business and secure additional revenue, but they aren’t cheap. As such, you should always calculate the anticipated costs before taking any active steps towards preparation. The prices can fluctuate massively, but trade show booths themselves are expected to cost between $100 and $150 for every square foot. The size, materials, and incorporated features will naturally have a huge influence on the overall costs, but you can expect to spend a five-figure fee solely on the booth. Of course, rentals can lower the costs but will limit your design opportunities while also preventing you from visiting multiple trade shows throughout the year.

According to EXHIBITOR magazine, trade show booth construction accounts for around 18% of the total costs. Other aspects to consider include the trade show space (33%), travel and expenses (18%), show services (12%), shipping (9%), pre-event internal promotion (8%), and miscellaneous (2%). However, USA Trade Show Shipping can take the sting out of the shipping costs with highly professional and cost-effective logistics.

Need Help Shipping Your Trade Show Booth?

After investing thousands in the space and the trade show booths themselves, having success at your trade shows is a must. Getting your trade show booth to your events is an extremely vital task that we can take care of for you. R+L Global Logistics is an expert in trade show logistics and transportation with over 50 years of combined knowledge and experience. 

We’ve transported trade show booths for thousands of customers, so we understand what’s needed and what it takes to get the job done. Our value-added services including owned and operated warehouses, customs brokerage, and more, save you money and allow us to serve as a one-stop-shop for you. 

If you have any questions about our trade show shipping services or would like to receive a quote, give us a call at (866)415-8986. We’re ready to make your trade show booth shipment easy and hassle-free. 

One of the most important things to get right at a trade show is engagement. Getting visitors talking about your products increases the chance that you’ll be able to generate sales. It’s one of the main reasons why companies attend trade shows in the first place, but if it’s your first time setting up a booth then it can be daunting trying to engage everyone that walks past. This is why practising and learning some effective trade show conversation starters can be a huge boost.

Preparing a few conversation starters to use at a trade show ahead of time can increase the chances of positive engagement from attendees. Vendors should use trade show conversation starters that feel natural to them and fit their needs. 

Getting someone’s initial attention is only half the battle. Keeping someone engaged is the other half and is far more difficult, even for “social butterflies” that love talking to people. So what’s the right way to speak to someone at a trade show and how do you use trade show conversation starters to engage attendees? How do you familiarize yourself with engagement at a trade show and how do you find the right words to say?

A lot of it comes down to examining your surroundings and reading the room. If a trade show you’re attending is aimed towards a more casual demographic, then you can relax and get by with your everyday vocabulary. However, if the trade show will be attended by big-name investors, then you’ll want to dress and speak formally to kickstart more deals and boost engagement.

Once you get rolling, it’s easy to feel more comfortable in your conversations with attendees, but that doesn’t change the fact that sparking a conversation is hard. So to help you out, we’ve put together a few great examples of effective conversation starters that can hook your listener’s attention and get them talking about your products or services.

Listed below are 7 conversation starters that you can use at a trade show to engage attendees:

  1. Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

    Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
    Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

    What are you looking for while you’re here at the show?What are you looking for while you’re here at the show

Getting to know the attendees at the show and what they’re looking for can be a huge advantage in your favor. Someone’s response to this question has the potential to reveal a need or problem that your product or service can solve. With this information, you can pivot your pitch and start to discuss topics that could positively highlight your product. If someone provides a non-answer such as “I’m not sure. I really just came to look around,” you can transition to another conversation start below to further engage the person.

  1. Would you like to see how it works?

This is a great question that will ultimately lead to a demonstration of your product. Instead of being direct by saying “let me show you how it works”, many people will appreciate the polite and inviting approach. You obviously can’t use this if there’s no physical product to demonstrate, but it can be used for certain software applications and services if you have a demo that shows how a user would use it. If you can make this a working example then it’s a lot more authentic and can work wonders on a busy trade show floor. You need to plan your demonstration to be short and to the point so that you don’t lose their interest or lose out on other attendees that are walking by.

  1. Have you ever used _______ before?

Talking about a similar product is a great way to draw comparisons between your product and a competitor. However, this line can also be used to start a conversation about your product itself and what it’s about. If they’ve never heard or used it before, then it’s an excellent line that can lead to a demonstration of your product or service.

Additionally, if someone does have prior knowledge of your product or a similar product, it allows you to skip some basic introduction. This works in your favor and the attendees. You’ll be able to save time by not having to share basic information and the attendee will appreciate that you’re not telling them something they probably already know. 

  1. Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

    Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
    Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

    Do you want a free sample?Do you want a free sample

Most trade show vendors will offer samples to attendees if it’s a physical product. If it’s a service, then you could hand out a free trial period which could be effective if it’s a cloud-based service. The goal here is to let your attendees sample your products so you can get immediate feedback and potentially spark some curiosity from them. This can lead to longer conversations where you’ll have more chances to convince them that your product is worth consideration. 

For vendors that have a limited supply of free samples, this question is important. You don’t want to give out samples to people that you don’t feel have a chance of becoming customers. It’s a good idea to ask this question after having a positive and engaging conversation. If you feel that someone might be convinced to buy your product or service after experiencing it, then it’s a safe bet to provide them with a sample. 

Some vendors also bring free samples for all attendees and special extended or larger samples for people of their choosing. Vendors selectively choose attendees that have a high propensity to purchase their product to provide these special samples too.  

  1. Is ______ difficult for you?

If you’ve designed your product or service to solve a specific problem, then talking about it from the perspective of solving this problem is a great way to start the conversation. It leads to an opportunity to demonstrate what you’re selling and also the value it could offer to those customers. If they respond that it’s not difficult, then you could still follow up with a conversation that shows how it could be made more efficient or easier to manage.

For example, a vendor selling a product that organizes kitchen pantries might ask “Is keeping your kitchen organized difficult?” Many people are likely to answer yes to this which can spark an engaging conversation. 

  1. When was the last time you...?

This question can lead down several different paths. You could talk about the last time the attendee used a product similar to yours, or you could ask when the last time they encountered a specific problem was. Either way, it’s an opportunity to prove how your product is a better alternative to the one they used previously. If it’s been a long time since the individual has done whatever it is you’re asking, it’s likely that products have significantly improved since then. 

Vendors can also use this as a means to finding problems in how people use a product. For example, a vendor selling a tool that makes cleaning a gutter quicker and easier can ask attendees when they last cleaned their gutter? The vendor should follow up by asking follow up questions like “how long did it take?”, “did you have any problems?”, etc. The conversation should eventually steer towards highlighting the benefits of your product and how it will make the task easier and more pleasant next time. 

7. What is your current _____ missing that you wish it had?

Another good example of a conversation starter that can lead directly to your product. You could show how your product or service can fill in that missing need that the attendee is not currently receiving. Ideally, what the individual is currently missing can be offered by your product. If not, it can still spark a conversation for further discussion that can hopefully lead to you pitching your service.

It should be noted that this question shouldn’t be used as the first question in a conversation. Attendees are likely to be put off by a question like this without first engaging in a more friendly initial discussion.  

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Trade Show Shipping With R+L Global Logistics

If you’re thinking of attending a trade show in the U.S, you’ll need to get comfortable with engaging attendees in order to see success. While R+L Global Logistics can’t help you practice your trade show conversation starters, we can ensure that everything else is taken care of. After all, talking about a product isn’t going to help if it never arrived on time at your booth.

R+L Global Logistics has been transporting trade show booths safely and efficiently for over 20 years. Our team of trade show transportation experts have the knowledge and experience to get the job done for you. We’ll deliver your materials safely and on-time, every time. Thanks to our owned and operated warehouses and additional in-house resources, we’ll likely be able to offer a significant cost savings compared to other providers.  

Give us a call today at (866)415-8986 to learn more about our trade show transportation services or to request a quote

Trade show logistics is a significant undertaking. If you want everything to come together flawlessly, you must arrange your resources effectively. The last thing you want is problems with deliveries on the day of the show. Fortunately, trade show logistics provides your business with the tools it needs to transport all its freight, liaise with General Service Contractors (GSCs), and deliver goods to advanced warehouses, without any of the usual hassle. 

Trade show logistics is more than moving your booth to and from the show site. Trade show logistics is the process of managing shipping, booth setup, booth utilities, booth breakdown and more. Trade show logistics is essential. It takes care of handling the important details essential to trade show execution.

If you need to organize the logistics for a trade show, you're in luck. Here, we’re going to take a look at all of your most pressing trade show logistics concerns, including how to choose a shipping service, and how to send your booth and materials overseas. Trade show logistics don’t need to become all-consuming: with a little planning and active partners by your side, bringing everything together for a show is actually a lot easier than you think. With the right partners, you can concentrate on the show itself, without having to worry endlessly about all the background details. 

Getting Your Booth and Materials to a Trade ShowGetting Your Booth and Materials to a Trade Show 

Companies wanting to display at a trade show generally have two options. They can either transport their booth and materials to the show themselves or hire a specialist trade show logistics company to do it for them. 

It’s crucial when choosing a logistics company that you find one that specializes specifically in providing logistics for trade shows. Ideally, you need professionals who understand the importance of time-keeping and who have facilities to keep delicate show items safe. You need carriers who can deposit and collect materials at precise time slots. What you don’t want are logistics companies that work to wide open “delivery windows” and can't deliver at a specific time. 

You also need to consider the level of logistics support that you need. Remember, even after a logistics company delivers your product to the show, there’s still work to be done. Somebody has to take the booth and materials to the exhibition hall and construct the stall. While you can opt to do this yourself (or internally in your company), most trade show veterans hire a logistics company to take care of it for them. 

As you might guess, it’s crucial to choose a logistics company with experience with setting up trade show items. You don’t want to arrive at the show, stuck with inexperienced crews who don’t understand how to erect your stand. 

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Advance Warehousing

Shipping materials to a trade show is a complex logistical operation, often involving hundreds of exhibitors and dozens of carriers. Through bitter experience, many trade show venues have learned that it’s not wise for all exhibitors to ship all their items from warehouses around the country on the day of the event. More often than not, it leads to confusion, chaos, and unhappy exhibitors who lose their materials. 

Many venues, therefore, provide “advance warehousing” - a place for exhibitors to store their goods before the show. Because it’s nearby, companies can quickly transport their booth materials to the show floor, set them up, and get on with the business of selling, instead of fussing about deliveries and timings on the day. 

The length of time that you’re allowed to store goods in an advanced warehouse depends on the rules of the venue. Some let you leave your materials in storage for a few days before the event, while others permit deliveries weeks in advance - it all depends on the specific policies. 

Here are some of the key features and advantages of using advanced warehousing: 

While not all venues offer advanced warehousing, it’s certainly something that you’ll want to consider if it's available. Advanced storage can reduce stress and the need for “just-in-time” logistics to deliver material to the site. 

Direct to Show ShippingDirect to Show Shipping

Direct to show shipping is fundamentally different from advanced warehousing. Here, instead of keeping materials in a warehouse close to the venue itself, you store your booth and trade show materials off-site and then transport it on the day. 

Direct to show shipping has several advantages. The most obvious is the fact that you can ship your materials from one event to another in quick succession, without any break in between. You could, for instance, theoretically, open a booth at a trade show on Saturday, pack it up Saturday night, and then ship it overnight to your next location for another show on Sunday. 

Of course, while direct to show shipping has clear advantages for companies with a hectic schedule, you need to be careful. Again, it’s essential to choose a logistics company that understands the logistics needs of companies who attend trade shows. If you’re not careful with your choice of supplier, you could find yourself without the vital logistics support that you need to hop quickly from one trade venue to another. 

Direct to show shipping also has some distinct disadvantages. If your company and fifty others at the venue all choose to use direct to show shipping as their method of choice, then your truck could be in a long queue outside the venue. As a result, you might not get your materials set up in time for the opening - something you’ll want to avoid. 

If the venue doesn’t offer advanced warehousing, ask managers about the logistics arrangements. Do they have sufficient loading and unloading space for both you and the other companies at the show? Have exhibitors had problems setting up booths in time in the past?

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Avoiding Forced Freight Charges

Like it or not, forced freight charges are part and parcel of modern trade shows. Most trade show organizers hire a “general services contractor” (GSC) to manage the venue on their behalf. One of the roles of the GSC is to ensure that all of the exhibitors arrive, set up their stalls, and then pack them away according to the pre-specified contract. If an exhibitor doesn’t remove the booth, then it is within the rights of the GSC to remove it forcibly under the terms of the venue's original agreement with you. 

The term “forced freight,” therefore, comes from the situation where the GSC removes the booth and materials from the show floor and carts it off to a warehouse. You end up paying the logistics bill and storage costs to the venue if you didn’t remove everything within the allotted time. 

Is there anything that you can do to prevent forced freight? Check out the following: 

  1. Double-check that your carrier knows when they need to deliver and collect materials. Make sure that you speak to the person overseeing the operation and not another manager or member of staff. Where possible, try not to rely on emails. 
  2. Double-check the paperwork and contract with the venue to make sure that the timings are realistic and correspond to the duration you want to attend the show
  3. Properly pack, store and prepare materials for pickup, or ensure that your logistics provider can do it for you in advance of the deadline
  4. Make sure that your materials are stored in containers that make it clear what your carrier needs to collect
  5. Accurately complete any forms required by the GSC. Get their contact phone number and stay in touch with them to make sure that there are no problems or hiccups along the way. 

Forced freight charges are a real risk at trade shows, but with the right planning, you should never have to pay them. Just make sure that you have a plan in place either side of the exhibition to both unpack and pack your items in a way that makes things as smooth as possible for your logistics provider. 

Arranging for Return TransportationArranging for Return Transportation

We’ve already hinted at the importance of arranging return transportation after a trade show, but it’s worth going over the benefits in more detail. 

Return transportation is simply a logistics service that removes your tradeshow booth and materials from the floor and takes it to a destination of your choosing, usually a warehouse operated or leased by your company. 

The comprehensiveness of return transportation can vary from carrier to carrier. Some offer full end-to-end services and will help pack away all your materials, put them into boxes, and then load them onto trucks with forklifts. Others will provide the truck and assume that you're doing the rest. Prices tend to rise, the more complete the level of service. 

The vast majority of exhibitors choose the same company to both pickup and drop off their materials. By using one company, companies can arrange all their logistics through a single point of contact, reducing admin time. They can also usually cut the combined cost of outbound and return transportation compared to the price of using two independent carriers. 

It’s important not to understate the importance of return transportation. If you need people with the specialist skills to dismantle your stand and load it onto trucks. Furthermore, you need logistics professionals who know how to handle the unusual and irregular materials that your company may have incorporated into its trade show exhibit. 

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Drayage And Moving And Shipping Instructions

The trade show event organizers will often hire drayage - a contractor who is responsible for movement and shipping of trade show materials around the site, both before and after the event. 

Before the event, the job of the drayage contractor is to liaise with shipping company drivers and arrange time slots for them to arrive in delivery bays and unload goods. They’re also responsible for things like moving exhibit crates from delivery bays to the exhibition hall and removing all of your items once the show is over. 

Drayage contractors, therefore, are people who help you manage the physical transportation of your goods, as well as the paperwork that goes with them. You should discuss your requirements with the drayage in advance of the show so that they are clear about your specific needs and what you want them to do. You’ll also need to make sure that your team knows who the drayage is and can coordinate with them to set up your stand on the morning of the event. 

Most venues provide you with what’s called an “exhibitor’s kit.” The kit details everything you need to know about the personnel who make sure that the show can happen, including a list of trade show freight services that you may require throughout the event. 

Shipping to an International Trade Show

Shipping to an international trade show is a little different from sending your materials to a domestic one. The main issue isn’t the distance, but the various border checks and rules. 

Regulations tend to vary from country to country. Some allow you to bring goods into the country without paying duties to display them at a show, while others don’t. In some cases, you have a time limit or have to sign forms. It’s essential, therefore, to have a logistics contractor by your side who understands international shipping rules and get your materials to the venue on time. 

The other big issue is the difficulty attaining the delivery window when the distances are longer, and the goods must cross more borders. Even small delays at customs can mean the difference between having your materials for your trade show, and not. 

Here are some of the reasons you should use a specialist international trade show logistics company:

Shipping to an international trade show, arguably, isn’t something that your business should do in-house. Getting trade show goods across borders requires the help of specialists who understand the rules of the process for a variety of countries around the world, including Europe and the Far East. 

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Choosing a Trade Show Logistics PartnerChoosing a Trade Show Logistics Partner

Selecting the right trade show logistics partner is a critical decision that both you and your team will, at some point, have to make. But what criteria should you use to make your decision?

The first question to ask is whether the trade show logistics partner can offer the level of service that you need. Some companies, for instance, need their logistics partners to provide only a skeleton service - perhaps delivering their booth and materials to the site on the day. Others, however, may need more comprehensive support, including help with setting up and packing away. You should, therefore, probe your logistics partner to find out whether they have experience in all aspects of the service that you want. If they don’t, then you may need to choose a different partner.

The next thing you want to check is communication. Will there always be somebody you can talk to at the end of the phone? Can drivers inform you if there are delays? Does the company have experience filling out paperwork for the GSC? 

Finally, you want to find out how flexible the logistics company can be. If you choose a direct to show delivery model, then you need a carrier who can bring your materials to the event “just in time.” You also need a partner who can pack up and remove your trade show materials from the site within the contracted time frame to avoid forced freight charges. 

Need Help With Trade Show Logistics?

Do you need assistance with your trade show freight? If so, R+L Global Logistics can help. Not only do we have experience with trade shows in general, but we have experience with specific shows, including the shipping to the Consumer Electronics Show, major construction trade shows, hospitality shows, SEMA, and many many more. With us as your shipping partner, you get all of the experience you need to ensure that your goods arrive safely and in excellent condition.

When it comes to trade show logistics, it's not worth taking chances. Trade shows are a significant investment, and so you need professional support in place to ensure that you can pull off the event without a hitch. With Trade Show Shipping through R+L Global Logistics, you get access to a team of professionals with immense experience delivering trade show items, both domestically and internationally. With the right support, you can get peace of mind and concentrate on what really matters: selling your products and building your customer base. Contact us today for help with trade show booth shipping and more.

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