Trade shows allow businesses to show off their products and services to industry partners and potential customers. They’re a great way to create new connections in your sector while showcasing what you have to offer— that is, as long as you can get your products there successfully.
Trade show exhibits are often large and bulky, so they’re not the easiest to transport. And when you’re doing trade show after trade show, transporting large stands can prove problematic, especially if your packaging needs to be improved.
So what’s the solution? Tradeshow crates.
Tradeshow exhibitors have found that using wooden crates as trade show shipping cases is incredibly effective. But how do you acquire wooden crates and ship your items to the exhibition once crated? Let’s find out.
Trade show booths are significant investments
74% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after seeing it at a trade show. Additionally, 92% of trade show attendees visit a trade show to learn about new products or services. These figures underline the importance of having your products front and center at your stall.
One of the reasons trade exhibitions are so successful is the visual element. Consumers and industry professionals get to see products in real-life and, in some cases, get a chance to use the products.
With that in mind, having your trade show booth and products arrive intact is extremely important. There is little point in attending a trade show with nothing to showcase. To ensure a smooth trade show experience, pack your products using structurally sound materials and ship them using a trade show shipping company. That’s where wooden crates come in.
Why are wooden crates effective for shipping trade show displays?
Wooden crates are large, solid crates made with high-quality timber that can be used to transport goods. Suppose you’ve got particularly heavy, bulky, or oversized pieces for your product display. In that case, they’ll fall through the bottom of cardboard boxes, no matter how well you tape them up.
On the other hand, heavy-duty wooden crates can carry up to 7000 pounds of weight, so you can pack them with everything you need for your trade show booth without fear of a sitcom-style fall through the box.
Are your displays going from one trade show to the other? No problem. Wooden crates are reusable and don’t suffer the same level of wear and tear as cardboard boxes.
Are you finished with the crates at the end of your trade show? No problem. The containers can be reused by somebody else or recycled. Wooden crates can also withstand lifting and shifting with freight equipment, so you’ll have no problem attending multiple trade shows.
How to pack and ship your trade show booth
The first step in adequately packing your trade show products is finding a company with experience in crating exhibits like yours. If you’re unsure what type of crating company you need, here are some things to bear in mind.
Hazmat packaging for tradeshows
We know what you’re thinking—you would never pack any dangerous materials for a trade fair! But hazardous materials aren’t necessarily what you’re picturing. Common trade show essentials like refrigerant and lithium batteries are hazmat and need to be properly packed and labeled.
While you likely won’t have any hazmat in your trade show equipment, it’s worth double-checking to be sure. If you find any of the items are considered hazmat, inform your crating company so they can package and label them accordingly.
Insulating your trade show booth
The chances are your trade show displays are bulky or oddly shaped, making them particularly hard to pack. In addition, if there are spaces between your oddly-shaped items and the crate, the items can jostle in transit, leaving them vulnerable to damage.
Foam can be used in trade show cases to provide crucial cushioning to all the trade show equipment and act as a shock absorber for any turbulence during the journey.
At South Shore Crate and Pack, our team can design floater decks, shock mount skids, and zero-tolerance internal foam lining. So, no matter what you’re taking to your exhibition, we have the cushioning options for it.
Special features for your tradeshow crate
The best feature a custom tradeshow crate has is the one you require. Because they are custom built, there are many possibilities. Commonly requested features include easy open hinges and latches that can be fastened and unfastened without tools. Have a booth element on casters? Add an internal tie down and a ramp to roll the equipment from the crate onto the tradeshow floor. Your custom trade show shipping case will make set-up and tear down quick and easy.
Shipping your tradeshow case
Once your trade show shipping cases are packed, the final step is getting them to the exhibition center. Unlike other shipments that can arrive one or two days late with minimal fuss, your shipment must get there in time for the exhibition.
There are a few ways you can ensure the timely arrival of your packages. For example, you can pay for next-day delivery with a well-known courier company, or you can pay for the services of a moving company instead.
Moving companies are only suitable for journeys of a relatively short distance, but they tend to be more reliable since you book their services for a specific date and time. If you need help deciding which courier company to use, ask your crating company for recommendations. They might have relationships with reliable shipping companies that can get your trade show display to the venue on time.
International transport of your tradeshow case
Going to a trade show near you is pretty straightforward. All you need is to find a trusted shipping or moving company, and they’ll take care of your parcel’s journey. Sometimes, however, it’s more beneficial for your business to go to a trade show abroad.
Whether you want to enter a new international market, or connect with existing partners from other countries, attending trade shows abroad can be an excellent profit-booster. But, of course, you’ll have to pay extra attention to the equipment you take.
First, check whether you can legally export everything in your trade showcase to your destination country. Once confirmed, you’ll need to find a shipping company with experience sending packages abroad. You’ll likely be required to complete some extra paperwork.
Shipping abroad takes considerably more time than shipping from state to state. Therefore, booking your package to arrive a few days earlier is advisable. You can also plan to keep it in nearby storage before the event.
Top tips for trade show success
Make a list
From the moment you know when your trade show will be, get started on a list. You’ll need to make an itinerary of exhibit components, marketing literature, products you’ll give away, furnishings, and anything else you plan on taking.
It’s worth measuring the dimensions of your materials and weighing them. That way, your crating company, and carrier can provide accurate quotes.
Decide whether or not you’ll ship to a storage unit or warehouse nearby or directly to the site of the trade show. Of course, you’ll avoid storage costs by sending it directly to the show, but you’ll also give yourself a slimmer margin for error if, for any reason, the shipment gets held up.
It’s helpful to plan how your booth will look to inform your inventory. Take the booth’s dimensions into account, so you’ll know what will fit and create an attractive exhibit.
Know the regulations
Before you transport any trade show display material, check that it falls under the trade show’s regulations. Taking your materials only for one of the exhibition’s organizers to tell you to take them down is a worst-case scenario.
Even if you only have to remove one component from your exhibit, it will leave your booth looking incomplete. To avoid this, check the rules around the size, shape, and elements of your trade show exhibit before packing it.
Check the dates
Some exhibitor spaces assign a particular time and date by which your freight must arrive at the exhibition hall. The schedule tends to be based on the location and size of your booth. If you disrespect the day and time, you’ll negatively impact other exhibitors and delay your own set-up, so make sure you organize your shipment’s arrival for the timeframe required.
Select an experienced courier
Whenever possible, work with a shipping company with previous experience organizing trade show shipments. Upon arrival at the exhibition center, there’s often a long wait for unloading the booth and products because you’ll have to wait your turn among other exhibitors.
With this in mind, please discuss with your courier whether they’ll be willing to build wait time into your quote. Also, make sure there’s somebody on hand to support you with manual handling when you get to the trade show or ask your crating company for pallets to help bear the load.
Choose a collapsible display
Opt for a collapsible or foldable display if you’re looking for ease of transit. These provide excellent value for money, and this kind of display is also easy to move from location to location.
Suppose you want a large background for your booth but are worried about fitting it in a crate. In that case, a collapsible display offers a great way to have an attractive, eye-catching background without a large shipping overhead.
Having potential customers or partners come to your stall for a chat is one thing, but the goal is to create a relationship. So, make sure to pack marketing deliverables as part of your display to give new connections something to take with them.
Business cards, leaflets, or even QR codes work well as part of a stall. That way, you can introduce newcomers to your products with an introductory chat, then provide them with more information to look at in their own time.
Get the contact details of all those who visit your stall, too. That way, you can keep up the momentum after your first meeting.
FAQs about Trade Show Shipping
Guarantee your trade show products safe arrival
Here at South Shore Crate and Pack, we know that having your booth and products arrive intact can be make or break for your business. After all, showcasing your products in all their glory is what a trade show is about!
Thanks to years of experience supporting businesses just like yours, we’ve got you covered when it comes to your trade show packing and shipping needs. Not only can we build custom crates for your trade show, but we also have relationships with trade show shipping companies. So, we can help get your booth from A to B in perfect condition.
You could risk it and opt for flimsy cardboard boxes that struggle to handle more than a few pounds of weight. Or you could let an expert crating company take it off your hands, so all you have to worry about is your sales pitch.
For more information, get in touch today.