The process of planning for any tradeshow can be expensive. With so many rules, regulations, deadlines and vendors it can be difficult to keep the costs down. We understand that this can be one of the most frustrating parts of planning, and have compiled a list of tips to help you save mone
Save on Shipping and Material Handling
Use a carrier experienced in tradeshow deliveries. The best way to ensure that shipments will arrive on-time and to the correct venue, is to use a carrier who knows the ins and outs of tradeshow shipping.
- Communicate your move-in dates, and if applicable, move-in times, and applicable marshalling yard information.
- Know Your Carrier: Have contact information for your carrier readily available, including weekend contact information, confirmation that your carrier has checked in at the marshalling yard during move-out, before you leave the show site.
- o Insurance: Make sure the insurance on the shipment covers freight from the time it leaves your possession to the time it returns.
- o Shipping Documentation: Materials can be lost or damaged during shipping. Document all of the materials you ship and their condition at the time they leave your possession and bring tracking information with you on-site if your shipment does not arrive as expected. Diligence in this area can save you money if there are any issues during shipping.
- Consolidate your packages: Don’t ship multiple small boxes to an event. They could get separated during transit and arrive on separate days causing additional charges and material handling fees. Remember there is a minimum material handling fee for each shipment that is received. When possible place small boxes in a crate or on a pallet and shrink wrap them to keep them secure.
- Electronic Literature: Attendees often throw away literature rather than take it home. Both shipping and printing these materials can be very expensive. Instead, order the Lead Retrieval device through your Exhibitor Services Kit, scan the attendee badge and email them the information they have requested. Another great option is to load the information on a USB drive that can be given to attendees. It is a great marketing tool, and is less likely to be thrown out.
Know Your Material Handling Options
- Advanced Warehouse vs. Show Site Shipping: You have a choice to send your booth display and equipment to the advanced warehouse, or direct to the show site. To choose the option that is best for your budget and your needs, do a cost analysis and, be sure to take all factors into consideration. Important factors include: the difference in rates for show site and advance shipping, the fee charged by your freight carrier to wait in the marshaling yard, the cost of storage you are paying to hold your materials 30 days pre-event (storage is included in the advanced warehouse rate) and the impact the loss of the shipment may have if lost or delayed in transit. Shipping to the advanced warehouse gives you peace of mind that your shipments will be in your booth when you arrive.
- Special Handling Charges: Special handling charges can be very expensive. Be sure to read the special handling brochure under the Shipping, Drayage, Material Handling and Access Storage tab of the Exhibitor Services Kit.
- Cartload Service: If you will be delivering your booth display items to the event using your personal vehicle, rather than shipping your materials using a shipping company, pre-order the cartload service. Cartload service is a type of material handling which assists in offloading your vehicle and delivering your equipment to your booth. Be sure to read the Move-In Info page located in the move-in section of your Exhibitor Services Kit for specific Cartload Service information for the event.
- Bill of Lading: Be sure to fill out your Bill of Lading correctly and turn into the GES Servicenter. The bill of lading (BOL) tells GES that your shipment is ready to be picked up at your booth and delivered to your carrier. Do not leave the completed form in your booth, it must be turned in at the GES Servicenter for processing. Be sure to fill out all information correctly and pay special attention to the section regarding shipping in the event your carrier does not pick up the shipment. Select the “Use GES logistics” option for the least expensive option. Returning shipments to the Warehouse is extremely expensive. Make sure the contact phone number is legible on all copies of the bill of lading.
- UPS and Fedex: When shipping with UPS or Fedex never leave shipments on the show floor. 9 times out of 10 they will end up being shipped via the alternative method you selected on your BOL. This will cost you extra money. UPS and Fedex have unpredictable timelines that are not recommended for tradeshow planning. If using these options take the boxes to the local offices for processing. There is often an office in the convention center or nearby hotel.
- Move-Out: Move-out takes time. Depending on the size of the show it could be hours before crates for your booth are returned, and there is no way to tell how long it will take. Schedule your flights far enough out to ensure you have enough time to successfully move out. Scheduling flights too soon could result in missed flights or paying GES to pack and ship your booth materials for you.
Save on Show Orders:
If you are unsure what to order or which forms to fill out, call the GES Servicenter. Submitting the incorrect forms can be costly and result in orders needing to be placed on site. Avoid this by asking questions. GES will be happy to guide you to the correct forms to save you time and money. Don’t forget to ask your GES representative what booth packages are available. These packages are designed to save you money.
Booth Rules and Regulations:
It is extremely important to read the rules and regulations for each show that you attend. Booths that are out of regulation will be required to make adjustments to their booth space on site which can be very costly. These adjustments could include ordering furnishings, removing portions of your booth or omitting key marketing structures. Do not assume that because it worked last year, it will work this year. If you have any questions on the booth rules and regulations contact your Client Services Specialist. Their contact information can be found in the Exhibitor Services Kit Welcome Letter.
Most vendors have an early bird discount deadline. If you order early you will often save a substantial amount of money on your booth orders and equipment. Discount deadlines can be found in the Critical Dates Checklist under the Show Information tab of the Exhibitor Services Kit.
Overtime Labor Charges:
All labor before 8:00 am and after 4:30 pm Monday thru Friday, and all hours Saturday, Sunday and holidays will be overtime. Straight time rates are for hours worked between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm Monday thru Friday, excluding holidays.
Be sure you know what is included with your booth space. Most events do not have any included furnishings in the booth space. Be sure to check the Exhibitor Services Kit for what is included and place orders accordingly. Orders placed on show-site are very expensive.
Flooring is mandatory for most events. You can often save money on flooring by renting through GES. The cost to purchase flooring, ship it, and have it installed is often more expensive than renting through GES. This of course greatly depends on the flooring you require. If you prefer to purchase carpet be mindful of the color. White carpet may only last one event while dark or patterned colors will last much longer. Lastly, remember that carpeting is not the only option when deciding on booth flooring. Carpet tiles are often an affordable solutions that are light weight and easy to transport.
Rather than paying GES to clean the booth space bring cleaning supplies and small vacuum to clean your space. (Cleaning and vacuuming are not included in your rentals)
Tradeshows are not secure spaces. While show management has perimeter security for the hall, they are not watching individual booths. Items that are stolen are often never recovered. Do not store expensive items in your booth and be sure to order booth security if you will be leaving items of value in the booth overnight.