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I should’ve suspected trouble when the coffee failed to arrive ~Frank Herbert, Dune

© 2015 Christine Chirstman P. 2




Select the Best Transportation Option


Planning for I&D


Create the Installation Plan


Succeed on the Show Floor


What To Do If....A Problem Solving Section

© 2015 Christine Chirstman P. 3



his ebook is very logistics heavy. Lots of checklists and tables for getting organized. Most of them can be translated over to spreadsheets if you want to do everything electronically. However, many trade show managers still say that paper copies are most reliable in the world of uncertain internet connections and fast flowing information that is trade show installation. Before the deep dive into logistics, let’s take a minute for a big picture view. Yes, if you are managing an exhibit installation of any size you are dealing with a host of details. However, what you are really managing is a team. And you are the fearless (or perhaps fearful) leader. Throughout this book you’ll see the many entities at play in the process of exhibit transportation and installation from your exhibit house team, to a transportation team, to show management and contractors, and your labor team. All of these people are looking to you for leadership decisions and time management. The process flows more smoothly when you are a step ahead of the team and on top of the details.

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” - Jim Rohn

© 2015 Christine Chirstman P. 4


A transportation expert in the trade show industry says he sees one common problem that always ends up costing exhibitors money. Too often they come to him at the last minute and need their exhibit in Chicago day after tomorrow. If they only had more lead time, he says, they could save A LOT of money. Still more could be saved by reviewing their show schedule well in advance to plan for transportation needs. Admittedly, with all of those tariffs, CWTs, drop dates, charges and other intimidating vernacular, planning for shipping falls right in there between having our teeth cleaned and filing our tax returns on the “things we like to do” list. But getting an early start on planning transportation can not only save money, it can also eliminate a bit of the uncertainty in your show program. Actually, there are just a few choices that need to be made. If you have a large exhibit, often your exhibit firm will handle transportation for you and if your show schedule is hectic it might be worth the price of their mark-up to save you the hassle. Aside from driving the exhibit to the show in your own pickup truck, you have three options for shipping your exhibit structure and equipment. Generally speaking, less time means more money, as illustrated in the diagram on the following page. This will vary based on your particular situation, but provides a guideline for planning.

© 2015 Christine Chirstman P. 5





On average, expect transportation costs to be about 10% of your total budget for the show.

© 2015 Christine Chirstman P. 6

♦♦ The chart on the following page lists the three most common transportation options, along with a definition of each followed by descriptions of key areas for concern. This list is not exhaustive and there may be additional factors that you want to include in making the transportation decision. For more information, see the Exhibitor Magazine article Transportation Tutorial.





Shipping service that travels regularly scheduled routes.

Custom shipping service that Custom shipping service by travels irregular and unairline or air freight company. scheduled routes. Mid to high range. High range.


Mid to low range (50-90% of van line costs).


You accommodate to their schedule. Long lead required.

Flexible to your needs. Short- Shortest lead required. er lead required.


No single contact. No reps at the show.

You work with one contact. Often have reps on-site at

High level of service especially from companies who


Contents must be crated.

shows. Contents can be crated or blanket wrapped.

specialize in show freight. Contents must be crated.


Can be multiple load-unloads at consolidation points.

Least handling from pick-up to drop-off point. Often just one load/unload.

Multiple load/unloading because of combination of air and ground transport.

METHODS FOR EVALUATING TRANSPORTATION COSTS As with any major purchase, the best way to assure that you are getting a fair price for the service is to compare bids from several suppliers. You needn’t settle on a mode of transportation prior to soliciting these bids. In fact you might want to compare the price for a motor freight shipment with that of a van line shipment. Getting accurate costs can be difficult, not because the shipping agent isn’t quoting correctly, but because exhibitors frequently omit variables that influence the bid. Before soliciting bids from transportation suppliers, take the time to assure that you have considered all variables. The following list should get you started. Aside from speed, which was discussed, there are three key components to the transportation bid.

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THREE KEY COMPONENTS OF THE TRANSPORTATION BID PACKAGING Whether your shipment is crated or blanket wrapped impacts the shipping cost. The charge by weight or volume is typically more for blanket wrapped shipments than for crated shipments. However, crates add weight to your shipment which may offset any savings. The number of times the shipment will be handled also influences this decision. If the exhibit will be used frequently, con-


sider protecting it from damage not only during shipping, but also during drayage at the show site.

DISTANCE TRAVELED This is a key variable on which shipping rates are based. Before going out for bid know your pick up and destination points.


CHARGEABLE WEIGHT Shipping charges are based on a term the van line uses called chargeable weight. In many cases this is not usually the actual weight of the exhibit, but a figure based on the amount of space the shipment will take in a truck. The calculations for determining chargeable weight are a bit complex and handled by your shipping representative.

Š 2015 Christine Chirstman P. 8


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Ship Install Dismantle Sample  

First 8 pages of eBook for review

Ship Install Dismantle Sample  

First 8 pages of eBook for review