How to Ship a Trade Show Booth

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 location...
Trade Show Shipping
December 4, 2019

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: 

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Speed
  • Value for money

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: 

  • Weight of the materials
  • Height
  • The shape of different trade show booth parts
  • Other general dimensions

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:

  • Shipping times
  • Date
  • Locations

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. 

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.

Choose Advance Warehousing or Direct to Trade Show Shipping

You’ve got two main shipping options:

  • Advance Warehousing
  • Direct to Trade Show

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.

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.

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