These days, the cost of nearly everything has increased exponentially. For businesses that do trade shows, even the occasional local or regional events, this translates to the cost of shipping trade show displays to each event…and that can add up! Read on for some tips on how you can reduce your shipping costs and keep some of that money for your company’s coffers.
For starters, it helps to trim down the weight of your trade show displays. Instead of large, bulky displays, consider switching out to a modular exhibit or other light-weight option, such as banner stands, pop-ups or table-top stands. You could even use dynamic signage in place of walls or a background. These tradeshow stands can be customized to your brand and pack as much punch as a bigger exhibit would, but are less costly to transport.
Your boxes of marketing collateral, promotional products and other trade event necessities are another area you can save. When packing these up to go, choose only what you really will use and strategically place them in your boxes to maximize the space, so there are fewer boxes to contend with.
Shop Smart for the Best Deals
It’s not uncommon for businesses to set up travel arrangements or re-order office supplies with a budget in mind, shopping around for a balance of the best deals and service. So why would you do any less for your trade show shipping? Decide what you are willing to spend to get your tradeshow stands and materials to the event destination (and back), then check around to find the best deal. It may take some time from your day but the savings is often well worth it.
Other Ways to Save
Lightening your load and deal-hunting doesn’t conclude the mission for cost-effective trade show shipping. There are plenty of other ways to cut the fat, if you just look for them at every stage and creatively apply them. For example:
· Plan ahead to get the cheapest price – Shipping companies are similar to airlines and manufacturers, in that they will often lower their quote if they know in advance that you’ve got them booked to ship your trade show displays for an event, as a definite. On the same token, send your shipment in advance to avoid the expedited charges you’d see if you wait till crunch time.
· Ship everything at once – One of the biggest mistakes even trade show veterans make is to break down their shipments, sending a bit here and there. Considering that many shipping costs are based on the driver’s time and the fuel used, this is NOT saving you any money! Combine what you can and send it all at once, wherever possible.
· Consider handling your own shipping – If you’ve got the resources to do so, why not buy or rent your own truck and either haul your tradeshow stands yourself or hire a small team to haul it for you? This option allows you to customize the size truck you’d need for all your materials and puts you in better control of things like fuel expenditures (as opposed to a padded fee via another company), your delivery team and the delivery time.
You may find that, in time and with creativity, you have developed a perfect system for cutting the costs of shipping your trade show displays. As long as it adapts to reflect changes in price and your trade show needs, you could continually find more of your original budget in the ol’ company treasury.
Skyline Chicago is part of the global Skyline Exhibits network that includes more than 1,500 employees worldwide. Skyline Chicago is a leading provider of custom Chicago trade show displays and portable Chicago trade show exhibits. Founded in 1980, Skyline Exhibits is the source for unforgettable face-to-face marketing experiences. The company holds more than 100 patents and has been repeatedly recognized for its creativity, innovation and performance.