Tradeshow Logistics – The Importance of Communication
ELITeXPO has been providing tradeshow logistics services for over 30 years now. What’s been the key to our success? Knowing the importance of communication. Making sure an exhibit shipment gets to and from a trade show on-time and in-tact relies on the details communicated between both the customer and our staff.
We ask a lot of questions. When we take an order from our customers, it may feel like a bit of an interrogation. Some may think that shipping an exhibit is just like shipping their actual products from their warehouse to a client but it’s not the same, at all. Tradeshow logistics is incredibly time-sensitive and requires that we make sure we get the whole story from our customers from the beginning. Communicating the details allows for accuracy from the point of correctly estimating costs through getting your shipment delivered, as required.
1) We need to know everything about the items that are being shipped.
• How many pieces you have, their estimated weight, and how big they are?
• Do they contain any type of hazardous materials (which we do not ship) or if they are food items that require special handling?
• Are they fragile, how are they packaged, and are they of high value?
• Are they giveaways that will not be returning via the outbound shipment from the event?
Knowing the description of your items can directly affect the equipment used to transport your items. From the use of a standard straight truck to a full logistics trailer with blanket wrap, straps, and load bars, we’ll send the right equipment to get the job done. It also prompts us to be sure that your shipment is insured correctly.
2) We need to know about where we are picking up the freight.
• Do you have a truck level dock where a trailer can back right up to your warehouse door for loading by a forklift?
• Are you working from a home office where we are recovering the items from your garage in a gated community where we’ll need to bring a special truck with a liftgate and a pallet jack? Will we need to schedule our arrival with the security gate?
• Do we need to bring an additional driver to assist with recovering oversized items?
• Are we picking up on the seventh floor in your building and they don’t allow use of the elevator?
These are things we need to know in advance to allow proper dispatch of trucks, drivers, time allotment for recovery, and to arrange for any additional communication requirements at the location.
3) We need to know about where your shipment is going to.
• Which event are you exhibiting at?
• Do you have an exhibitor manual or Quick Facts sheet?
• Is it best for you to go to the Advanced Warehouse?
• Are you short on transit time and require delivery direct to the venue? Is that even allowed for your event?
• What is your booth number?
• Have you been assigned a target delivery date and time?
• When is your installation scheduled for?
• Do you have the contact information for your show site staff?
This information allows us to make sure your items get to the right location at the venue and are delivered and recovered after the event at the correct time.
4) We will track and trace your shipments throughout transit. This allows for faster reactions to issues that may come up during transit. Weather delays, road closures, equipment breakdowns, and more can cause unforeseen delays in your shipment’s arrival. We will contact you as soon as we know of any delay that might affect delivery. This is why we ask for as many transit days as is possible… Just In Case.
5) Our automated technology allows for emailed shipment status updates.
• Reminder we are picking up your shipment that day
• Your shipment has been picked up
• Your exhibit materials are in transit
• Your shipment has arrived at the destination city
• Your shipment is on a truck and out for delivery
• Your shipment has been delivered
• Your POD – Here’s the information as to who signed for it at the destination location.
Technology is great but don’t be surprised if we call you to confirm information or advise you of any details happening along the way. We want you to know what is going on with your exhibit. We may even request that your show site staff advise us when all items have been packed up after the show and paperwork has been turned in to the show contractor, so we can let our driver know that everything is ready for recovery.
At ELITeXPO, we work closely with our customers so their shipments move as planned, every time. Good communication is the key to successful tradeshow logistics. It’s a two-way street that we like to keep open, with traffic flowing. If you have any questions, we are here 24/7/365 to assist you.