Representing your business at a trade show can be an effective and fun way to highlight your brand while presenting great opportunities for networking. There will be many details you will need to plan for, and the last thing you want to worry about is whether your cargo will arrive safely to its destination. With an expansive network of partners, Nimlok Louisiana is your trusted trade show service provider. We can help you to plan and coordinate all aspects of your trade show experience to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. If you’re shipping your booth yourself, here are some things to keep in mind to help prevent against theft or having your items damaged.
Before the Show
Design With a Purpose: The size and the scope of your display is going to determine the cost of shipping, and each extra package will add to your total cost. Opting for a complex array of banners and high-tech devices is fine, you just need to understand upfront how that will affect your bottom line. If budgeting is an issue, you might want to go lower tech and build a setup that you can easily setup and teardown yourself.
Invest in Padding: To ensure safe travel, it pays to provide quality shipping materials. Make sure that loose items are stored in smaller containers so that they do not move around. Additionally, you can secure bigger items with bungee cords.
Use ample padding, such as bubble wrapping and foam, to shield your items from bumps on the road. Fill all unused spaces with packing peanuts to cut down on movement and to add cushion to your load. It is also important to keep your electronics and other sensitive devices in a separate place. All parts of your exhibit should be marked fragile. It is also a good idea to obtain weather-proof and durable custom carrying cases for your items.
Loading Your Pallet: When loading your pallet, you do not want your exhibit to shift. It is best to put the heaviest boxes on the bottom and to put the lightest ones at the top. Experts also advise that you travel with whatever materials you can to avoid shipping costs and the potential for risk. Once your items have been arranged on the skid, you can use shrink wrap to tightly secure the entire shipment.
Research Your Carrier: If you choose to handle shipping yourself, you can research and check the rates and reputations of other companies to ensure your booth is well taken care of.
Get Good Insurance: Your booth items will need to be insured from the time they leave their first location until they either returned or are sent to be warehoused. Most carriers offer insurance, but this is limited and usually only covers liability claims. This protection should be considered supplemental, and you should contact the insurance provider of your choice to get more extensive coverage. Look for the company with the best rates and reputation, and review the terms and conditions carefully. Keep copies and representative contact information handy.
Take Pictures: Your freight will be subjected to potential damage while on the road, so it is best to take photos of your inventory before everything is packed up. Insurance claims will be easier to file if you can provide evidence of your display’s appearance while still intact.
After the Show
Pack Your Things: To prepare for shipping, it is important to take your time and to not be in a hurry. Carefully tuck all leg arms into their bags without bending, and make sure your materials are properly put away. Give light bulbs a chance to cool, and return things to their carrying cases. To protect against lost items, shrink wrapping is advised.
Use Labels: Mark crates, pallets and boxes to clearly designate what they are and where they should be going. Write your telephone number so others can call you if there is a problem.
Fill Out Appropriate Paperwork: Once your gear is packed and ready, you will be required to fill out an outbound form to present to the customer service desk. Go over all information, making sure that the billing details and carrier name are correct. The service desk will then forward your order to staff who will load it unto the dock to prepare for shipment.
Going to Additional Locations: If your trade show booth needs to go to other places in quick succession, having a reputable company, like Nimlok Louisiana, handle your affairs might be the best option. They will be able to best assess the needs of your company and can provide tracking and communication.
Make Assessments: Write down your impressions, experiences and takeaways while they are they fresh. Be sure to compare the reality with your expectations, and go over the actual cost versus your proposed budget. Stick with what works, and make changes where necessary. File away copies of invoices and receipts.
Have Contact Information Handy: Keep all pertinent names and numbers on hand, including that of your onsite representative, the trade show decorator and your general trade show service provider.
File Claims Right Away: Upon arrival, examine your items for evidence of damage. In the event that you encounter a problem, you will need to contact your insurance company right away.
Ultimately, there are two avenues you can go down to get help with your exhibit shipping: You can either plan to coordinate the arrival and arrangement of your exhibit with your own crew, or you can opt to work with a comprehensive trade show provider, like Nimlok Louisiana. Nimlok Louisiana is here to help simplify the processes and the decisions you need to make, while ensuring that your booth arrives on time in pristine condition and that setup and teardown is arranged on your behalf. For more information about Nimlok Louisiana’s wide array of trade show product and service offerings, call one of our experts today!