Short & Sweet Trade Show Shipping Tips

There are pages and pages of advice online about how to pull off the perfect exhibition, build the best stand or save the most money. In this blog, we explore some tips and ways that can make the planning and logistics elements of your exhibition cost-effective and as stress-free as they can be. We bring you our Short & Sweet Trade Shipping Show Tips!

This obviously doesn’t cover every possibility and scenario, but they will put you on the right path to asking the right questions to help your exhibition or show be a well oiled, smoothly executed affair.

A few things to consider to keep your shipping costs down:


β€’ Consider the size of each item when purchasing furniture for your stand. Remember heavy, outsized items will cost you more to ship. (Or you could simply hire/rent what you need). Check with your preferred carrier for their weights & dimensions details.


β€’ Go as lightweight as you can – freight weight is a major factor in charging rates, the lighter you can go without compromizing your stand design, the better.


β€’ Stand materials – aluminum frames, popup designs, fabric coverings and compact but super-bright LED lighting systems are dramatically reducing the weight of stands. Does your old, heavy stand need a bit of a modern facelift?


β€’ Go modular – where possible, try and keep your stand & furniture items modular. This means you will get more use out of them (good for sustainability, but also your budget!) & they will pack more compactly for transportation. This also gives you flexibility for the future if you need to add to or reduce the size of your stand for a particular show

β€’ Go multi-use wherever you can. Can the function of 2 items be combined to cut down on the furniture on your stand, this helps keep your stand clear of clutter and will reduce your freight costs. For example, a bench or reception desk that is also a storage unit.

β€’ Reusable – be aware of the environmental impact of single-use items & the costs of some show facilities and services. Would it be better to add a vacuum to your show kit rather than paying at every show to hire the organisers? Coffee pod machines are undoubtedly convenient, but expensive to run. Perhaps a bean-to-cup machine would offer better value over numerous shows.

β€’ Design with building in mind. Complex or unusual designs may take longer to erect on site. They may require additional manpower so have the potential to incur additional costs


β€’ Don’t leave it to the last minute! This is when costs can get out of control and take on a life of their own if you are not careful.

β€’ Pack everything together. If you have literature, furniture or props for your stand, shipping them with the stand consignment will save you money & stress

β€’ Label everything! This will save you or your stand builders a lot of time at the setup and gives you a handy checklist to work from

β€’ Drayage (if exhibiting in the USA) ensure your stand and show kit is packed according to their guidelines and your carrier adheres to the drayage contractors time slots. (See our more detailed blog about Drayage here)

β€’ Ship as early as you can. If shipping large amounts of freight overseas, sea freight is the cheapest option, but also the slowest. For large fragile items, it can also be the safest way to move them.

β€’ Use an advance warehouse if possible. Coupled with shipping early this helps avoid unexpected handling costs at the setup, as your carriers are better placed to ensure they hit the delivery windows and avoid out of hours charges or unwanted delays to your delivery


β€’ Use technology where applicable – do you really need to send 5 boxes of heavy printed catalogues? Could they be supplied electronically to enquiries at the show, or supplied on preloaded USB sticks/thumb drives instead?

Small Print & details

β€’ Read your show information thoroughly – make sure your logistics supplier is aware of and sticks to the delivery window allotted, late fees or out of hours can incur additional handling charges


β€’ Build a relationship with the event organizers. Respond in a timely manner to their queries and supply all your company information promptly. Support award schemes or product showcases that the organisers are running. Have them on your side in the unlikely event that something in the plan goes awry

β€’ Grow your relationship with your logistics provider – they are experts at this and will be able to advise you the best methods of transport, pitfalls to avoid, assist with import/export paperwork and generally make your life a heck of a lot easier! Got a question? Ask them & pay heed to their advice – there is every chance they have encountered this question before.

Are you considering exhibiting in the future? Give us a call to discuss your ideas and we can assist you in planning, shipping and delivery of your exhibition equipment in the safest and most cost-effective way. Our experts are always on hand to offer any advice or alternative suggestions to ensure your exhibition is a success.

USA: Tel: +1 815 516 5084 email:

UK/EUROPE: Tel: +44 203 780 0666 email:


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