You’ve put a lot of time, money, and effort into your booth. It finally looks exactly as you envisioned and your team is ready to show it off at your upcoming trade show.

There’s only one thing left to do: get your booth to the event.

It sounds simple, but like anything in the trade show industry, there are a lot of nuances to shipping an exhibit to a show — and if you want to ensure your booth arrives in one piece, there are several factors to consider when arranging for transportation.

Are you preparing for an up-and-coming trade show? Need to get your valuable booth there efficiently and affordably? Here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Size & Weight

The size and weight of your booth crates and skids/pallets are going to determine your shipping costs. The number of packages you have (and how they need to be packaged) will also play a role, so consolidate as much as you can. Items that can’t be transported easily on a pallet or crate via forklift will cost a premium.

2. Shipping Location

You have two options when planning your booth’s transport: ship to a warehouse near the show well in advance of the event, or ship it directly to the show on your targeted move-in day. Shipping directly to the show will usually mean lower material handling/drayage costs, but may result in wait time (sometimes significant wait time may be incurred). Shipping to the advance warehouse allows you to starting installing the booth first thing on your target move-in. If you ship to show site you should plan to install the next day.

3. Show Requirements

Every show is different, but most shows have marshaling yards. This is a separate location where your carrier will need to check in, again at your specific time to get a check-in number. From that point the driver will wait in the yard until called to go to the convention center dock. Some shows will also require certified weight tickets. Be sure to provide your carriers all of these details (typically found on the show Quick Facts page).

4. Special Handling

Here are a few ways to avoid special handling. Don’t stack crates or pallets in the truck. Don’t ship in loose items – everything should be on a pallet or skid. Pack carpet and pad on a skid or on top of a crate. The simple rule is anything that makes the forklift driver get off the forklift will result in special handling for your entire shipment.

5. Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is key in shipping cost. Not only can it reduce your costs, but it can ensure your booth arrives safely, efficiently and in compliance with all show requirements and expectations.

Need help planning the logistics and transport for your upcoming trade show booth? Contact Exhibit Options today.