Trade Show Shipping - Help Guide For Anyone

Key Takeaways:

Navigating the trade show industry requires efficient shipping of exhibit materials. Trade show shipping goes beyond simple transportation, emphasizing return journeys and strict timelines. Using advance warehouses can save costs and reduce stress. It’s crucial to choose a reliable shipping company with transparent practices. Expedited services address tight schedules, with Experium being a notable provider. Proper planning and the right partnership simplify the complexities of trade show shipping.

Mart Šetinc

Mart Šetinc

Exhibition and events professional with global experience. Mart has managed events for various international key decision makers worldwide.

Trade show shipping refers to the specialized logistics involved in transporting exhibit materials, booths, and equipment to and from trade show venues. It ensures that all items arrive timely and in perfect condition for the event.

Unlike regular shipping, trade show shipping is time-sensitive, often involves bulky or delicate items, and may require coordination for return or onward shipping after the event concludes.

Yes, you can ship directly between trade shows. This requires meticulous planning and coordination due to tight schedules and the specific needs of each event venue.

Exhibit & Trade Show Shipping Guide

In the intricate world of the trade show industry, planning for an event extends beyond selecting the perfect booth design and preparing engaging presentations. One of the crucial elements to the success of any trade show event is ensuring your materials arrive at the show site on time and in perfect condition. Delving into the world of trade show shipping can seem overwhelming, but with the right knowledge, it can be an effortless process.

trade show shipping

Understanding Trade Show Shipping, Freight, and Material Handling

Trade show shipping is a specialized branch of logistics tailored to meet the specific needs of the trade show industry. Unlike traditional shipping, where goods move from one point to another, trade show shipping services focus on a cyclical process. You’re not just sending items to a destination but also coordinating their return or onward journey. The materials involved are often expensive, bulky, or both. From large, complex booth structures to delicate electronic equipment, the variety of items shipped is vast.

transportation services

Then there’s the challenge of timing. In trade show freight shipping, timely delivery isn’t just desired; it’s essential. Most shows have strict timelines. Materials arriving too early might incur storage costs, while late arrivals can disrupt the entire event logistics. This shipping process often involves the use of advance warehouses where materials are stored until they’re needed on the show floor.

Freight and material handling are also integral parts of the process. Freight encompasses the actual transportation of your booth and materials, while material handling fees cover the costs associated with moving your items at the event site. This includes offloading your shipments, transporting them to your booth, storing empty containers, and eventually moving them back at the close of the show.

trade shows

Exhibit Storage Services

Once your booth and materials have been delivered, where do they go? Not every company or business has the space or facilities to store large trade show booths or materials. Here's where exhibit storage services come into play. These services offer specialized storage solutions, ensuring your trade fair materials are kept in optimal conditions, safe from damage, and ready for the next event. Whether it's for a few days between back-to-back shows or longer periods between annual events, finding a reliable trade show shipping company offering exhibit storage services is a boon for many exhibitors.

Benefits of the Advance Warehouse for Trade Show Shipping

Opting for an advance warehouse in the trade show shipping process is often a strategic move. Shipping to an advance warehouse means your materials are received and stored in a location close to the event venue before the show starts. One advantage is the peace of mind it offers, knowing your materials are nearby and ready to be transported to the show floor when needed.

trade show booth

Shipping to the advance warehouse often helps avoid the rush, reducing the risks associated with last-minute shipping. Costs can also be more predictable. Since you’re shipping well ahead of the actual show dates, you can often avail more competitive pricing, avoiding expedited shipping charges. Moreover, the use of an advance warehouse often means you avoid detention charges, making the entire trade show shipping process more economical.

Choosing Your Trade Show Shipping Company

With several factors at play, selecting the right trade show shipping company for your needs is paramount. The company should have a proven track record in handling trade show freight, ensuring that your materials get the specialized care they deserve. Transparent communication is a must. The ability to track your shipment every step of the way can alleviate a lot of stress. The shipping company should also be well-versed in event logistics, understanding the ins and outs of trade shows, from delivery schedules to on-site handling.

Competitive pricing is essential, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of service quality. Your chosen company should offer services tailored to your specific needs, ensuring your trade show materials are handled with care and delivered on schedule. Moreover, if problems arise, how the company responds can make a difference. Look for a team that’s proactive, offers solutions, and takes responsibility.

Trade Show Freight Shipping

Trade show freight shipping is distinct from general freight services. Given its time-sensitive nature and the unique requirements of transporting large, intricate, or delicate items, you need a service provider well-versed in the nuances of the trade show world.

Trade show freight shipping often requires additional paperwork, including bill of lading forms detailing your shipment. This paperwork ensures smooth transit and handling of your materials. It’s also not uncommon for trade show shipments to have multiple stops, especially when shipping from one trade show directly to another. Here, the complexity increases, necessitating a shipping company with extensive industry knowledge.

How can I ship from one trade show directly to another?

Shipping directly between trade shows is a common requirement, especially for businesses with packed event calendars. The logistics behind this process can be complex, demanding meticulous planning and coordination. The key lies in timing and communication. Once the first show ends, there’s a tight window to pack, transport, and set up for the next event.

freight carriers

The chosen trade show shipping services provider should offer a clear plan, coordinating between both event venues, ensuring materials leave the first show and reach the next in a timely fashion. This often involves working closely with the official carrier of the events and understanding the specific needs of each show site.

Additional Tips for Exhibition Shipping

Ensure You Have the Proper Paperwork

Clear and precise paperwork, such as bill of lading forms, facilitates smooth shipping. Ensure your shipment is labeled with essential details like booth number, company name, and contact details.

Calculate Last Minute Items and Fees

Predicting unforeseen costs is challenging but setting aside a contingency budget can help manage unexpected trade show expenses.

Prevent Forced Freight

This situation occurs when shipments are left on the show floor post-event. Proper labeling and timely pick-ups are essential to avoid losing control of your materials.

How Can I Save Money on Material handling or drayage?

Understanding drayage fees and consolidating shipments can lead to significant savings. Planning transportation during off-peak hours and working with reliable carriers also help.

Expedited Freight Services

Sometimes, you might need materials delivered at short notice. Expedited services, while pricier, ensure your materials arrive within tight schedules.

Experium arranges excellent and fast trade show shipping services

In the crowded space of trade show shipping providers, Experium stands tall, boasting a blend of efficiency, reliability, and competitive pricing. With a deep understanding of trade show logistics and a commitment to excellence, they’ve consistently ensured that businesses’ trade show materials reach their destinations safely and promptly.


Tackling the complex realm of trade show shipping requires a mix of careful planning, industry knowledge, and the right partner. With the insights provided, exhibitors can navigate this challenging aspect of the trade show industry, ensuring success at every event. The process might be intricate, but with due diligence, your trade show shipping experience can be seamless.

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