How to Package and Ship your Trade Show Supplies the Right Way

September 18, 2012

Trade shows are time restricted.  Your timing must be precise or your trade show exhibit materials may never make it to their destination.  We’ve all had our fair share of concerns when shipping to and from a trade show or convention.  Freight can be damaged, lost in transit or delivered to the wrong location.  Here are a few packaging and trade show tips to help you save time and money while ensuring a seamless delivery process at your next event.

1.  Package with care: Don’t ship items you can easily carry or take with you.  The heavier your booth materials weigh, the more they will cost to ship.  Freight carriers will not ship loose items, so all of your materials should be boxed or crated, and preferably secured to a pallet for easy transport.  trade show supply packagingMake sure to consolidate these materials in as few crates or boxes as possible.  The more handling required, the higher your drayage costs will be.  Insert foam padding and bubble wrap into empty spaces to help avoid shifting during transit.  Also, make sure to stack your boxes or crates by weight with the heaviest items on the bottom followed by lighter items on top.  Electronics, specialty equipment, fragile items, display items and backdrops should be packaged separately and marked fragile.

2.  Reading your exhibitor manual is crucial:  Trade shows and conventions have different rules and regulations applied to shipments.  Some prefer you to ship to a warehouse, while others will allow you to ship directly to their site.  Give plenty of time for your shipment to arrive and be aware of designated shipping dates and times.  Guaranteed or expedited shipping services should always be used for trade show materials.  With guaranteed shipping, your shipment is considered first priority.

3.  Pay attention to labels:  Trade shows and conventions outline detailed labeling requirements, including the pickup and drop off location addresses.  Follow directions and include the exhibitor’s name, booth number, show name, contractor name, street address, estimated time and date of arrival on all shipment labels.

4. Compare carriers: There are hundreds of carriers out there who specialize in trade show shipping.  Knowing your options will help you save time and money.  Official trade show vendor’s are not always the most efficient and cost effective option.  Sites like allow you to compare top trade show shipping companies with just one search.  Logistics experts can give packaging advice, transit times and labels for your shipment. also offers additional insurance that goes beyond traditional carrier insurance options.

This story was provided by Alexandra Crews of


Based out of the Tampa Bay area since 1998, is a third-party freight and logistics company developing Web-based tools that simplify freight shipping for both individual shippers and businesses. offers instant carrier rates and services for LTL, truckload, international, specialized, intermodal and trade show transportation. Please visit for more information.

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