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  • Writer's pictureKevin

Getting it to the show!


Exhibiting is an excellent way to make your mark in your industry. But before you can show off what you do, you need to get your exhibit to the venue. Lots of factors and decisions go into the #logistics of moving your exhibit around. And the costs can be high when proper planning doesn’t happen.  


Like with most things, planning ahead is key. When you giving #shipping more time, you could benefit with better rates as well as some buffer time in case something doesn’t go well.


When choosing a shipping company, look to use one that understands trade shows. Marshaling Yards, weight tickets, waiting time, on target deliveries, stranded freight, weekend charges, etc  The list goes on that can factor into additional costs to you, when you choose a company that thinks a delivery is a delivery. Choosing one that is familiar with a particular venue is helpful as well as they know how to navigate their particular process. TIP: Many shows appoint an official show carrier. The more time sensitive the move in is, the more beneficial it could be to use the official. And they will be staffed on site for any problems or questions that come up.


If you choose to not use the official, see if the carrier you are talking to has multiple shipments to the show you are attending. Sometimes if the carrier you are talking to is only coming to the show for you, you are paying the whole cost for them to be there and there’s always a chance they forget to some on a Thursday night to pick up your two pieces, if they don’t normally do trade shows.

Be clear in your communication with your carrier. Make sure they tell you if there is a problem with your shipment right away, so you can have time to adjust. Since trade show activity happens every day and at all times, do they have a 24/7 option to contact a representative in case a last minute change is needed, replacement paperwork is requested or a status update required.


Don’t wait till the last minute. Stuff happens and cutting it too close is asking for problems. Make sure your chosen carrier has it in time to properly ship it to the destination. Something to consider, especially when timelines are tight or perhaps move in begins on a weekend, is to ship to the Advance Warehouse. The charge for this service can be offset by the piece of mind knowing your shipment will be there when you arrive to set it up, as it takes no shows, marshalling yard and on site delays out of the picture, in theory. The show appointed Advance Warehouse provider will have a representative on site to make sure things are being executed.


Double check the insurance thing. The likelihood of damage, if you have packaged your materials properly and you are dealing with a professional carrier, is minimal. But ask the question of the carrier and your own insurance company about what happens if the exhibit is damaged in transit. Best to be ready – and covered - ahead of time.


Before your materials leave your possession, make sure you:

Clearly label all pieces at least 2 times.

Note origin and destination of each piece.

Label all pieces with number of pieces in the shipment  1of 4, 2of4….

Have a contact phone number on each label.

Securely palletize or package your goods with stretch wrap, straps, tape etc. Your items will be handled many times before it gets to where it’s going and needs to be up to the movement.  


Seems like a lot but at the end of the day, shipping can be complicated but it is easy to learn and plan for. We see a lot of shipments come in poorly marked and poorly packed. Shipping a few crates or pallets is considered an LTL (Less than Truckload) which means it will get handled multiple times as carriers consolidate multiple LTL’s to make full loads that travel around. Invest in good crates/pallets.  Label it up and ensure everything is sturdy and up for the journey to the show.


Boneyard Logistics can help you with your next trade show shipment. (#storage and/or exhibit management needs too )  Email us at for details and a quote

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