Any event manager will know that running a large conference, exhibition or expo is no mean feat. It’s not a job for the disorganised, and between managing attendees, speakers, staff, set-up, marketing and sales, there’s so much to do. An event executive worth their salt will work tirelessly for a year to 18 months to get every detail in place for the day.
Getting goods to your event? That shouldn’t be an additional stress.
When considering the shipping and logistics side of any event, you will want a company who is careful, communicates superbly, and gives excellent service. You may even want to consider a company who specialises solely in event and exhibit transportation services, and here’s why:
Exhibition venues aren’t the easiest
destination for couriers
Beyond the issues that come exact timeliness and parking, non-specialist couriers aren’t permitted to just ‘bring your goods’ into the venue, even if it’s a smaller box of marketing materials. To prevent security scares, any parcels must be delivered by authorised individuals, and signed for on site. Just like with attending your ticketed event, if you’re not on the list, you’re not getting in. That goes for your parcel too.
Besides this, often exhibition equipment is bulky, heavy or otherwise awkward to transport. They may require a forklift or cherry-picker to move, and in this case you’ll want a delivery team with expertise.
Getting your stuff there on time (and in one piece)
Before the exhibition itself, every crate could be handled as many as 50 times, and so the correct labelling and documentation is essential. You won’t want any customs hiccups and arranging for your goods to be transported offshore may put you at risk. Any mishaps in labelling could mean your prized exhibit is delayed or even denied entry completely.
Most specialist exhibition forwarders will utilise palletised shipping to transport multiple cargo heading for one destination: it makes sense to keep many of these smaller loads lumped together. Along with being practiced at sending goods either cross-country or cross-seas, they will know any affecting regulations which will apply to goods exporting to the country of destination. For example, some countries will ask for pallets to be treated with fumigators before entering the country: in this case, a specialist will have an entire team dedicated to organising this process for you. They will also be expert at consolidating, packing and securing a pallet so there is no damage to your cargo, and will be able to advise and even organise insurance for the shipment throughout its journey.
Having a specialist on-site
A specialist event logistics carrier will also provide on-site personnel who are able to arrange the delivery of equipment to a specific location within the venue: whether that be an exhibition stand, catering stand or workshop arena. It’s not a job that can be underestimated. Loading and unloading equipment from vehicles may require specialist equipment – not to mention all hands-on deck! Not what you want to be rushing around doing last minute when you have an exhibition to co-ordinate.
If you have specialist or precious materials present, there’s added peace of mind for all involved. Many logistics contractors will also arrange to store anything not required on the stand away for you, ready for when you need them. Repackaging exhibits and exhibition paraphernalia at the end of a show is also a huge job, as is locating the materials to do so.
When the show winds down, they’ll get going again
Speaking of the end of a show, whether your goods need to move on to the next event, to a warehouse or back to HQ, it’s good to have someone on hand who already knows the layout of things, so no handover is necessary.
If you need it, you may even be able to source a company who can arrange storage for your goods. Warehousing space will be the last thing you’ll want to try and arrange after your successful show, so finding a carrier who can arrange long or short-term storage makes life easier while you put your feet up for a well-deserved break.
Sarah O’Connell, contributing editor