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The Exhibitor Manual – Deadlines and Rates

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The Exhibitor Manual can be a little overwhelming as it is filled with information and reads like a foreign language travel guide with a price catalog attached. The manual’s rules, restrictions and pricing are more dependent upon the city you are exhibiting in rather than the show itself.

The general contractor for each show is usually the company that produces and distributes the manual. Most manuals are now online and have a user name and password issued to you by the show organizer or contractor after you purchase your booth space. Once you have access to the manual you should start by identifying all deadlines and rates.

First let’s go over the official Contractor Deadlines and Rates. Today I want to talk about the Material Handling Rates and Form.

  1. Let’s start with Advanced Freight – The show contractor will provide free storage of your crated shipment at their holding facility between certain dates. It is important that you know these deadline dates as a penalty will be imposed if your shipment arrives too early or too late. Penalties are usually 25 to 30% added to the base drayage rate.
  2. Next is: Direct Freight – The starting date and time for direct shipments to the showsite usually coincides with the start of the exhibitor installation schedule. The end of this window, obviously, is when the show opens. Shipping early will result in a penalty like advanced freight or the freight being refused by the facility because the show contractor is not even there to receive it.
  3. Another category that is seen less often is Target Freight – This is when your direct shipment is targeted to be received at a very specific time which is determined by either the location or the size of your booth space. Target Freight deadlines usually are limited to larger shows that require significant traffic control. They can also be used for exhibit spaces that need to be “last in and first out” to maintain access to the hall for drayage. I have also seen target freight schedules established for portions of an exhibit hall when other trade shows need the space and have overlapping move-in or move-out schedules by the facility. If your shipment is “off target” then you will be assessed – you guessed it – a financial penalty.

We will continue with more exhibitor manual details next week.

As always, please respond with your questions or comments and let others know about EXHIBITOR LOUNGE.COM. We will see you next week. Until then, I am your host Michael Gray telling you to RELAX in the Exhibitor Lounge.