Welcome to “Exhibitor Lounge” sponsored by Exhibit Edge.com. I am your host and Trade Show Mixologist, Michael Gray. Here, each week, you receive simple, practical, and proven tips to improve your trade show marketing strategy and get better results while maximizing your budget.
Ok, the show is over, you have packed up your shipment, palletized everything and turned in your Bill of Lading. You walk off the show floor and head home. Next week you find out that your freight was forced off the show floor and you need to pay a much higher price to get your freight released and delivered back to you. This “forced freight” scenario happens all the time. So what can you do to avoid this problem?
Here are some simple steps you can take to help ensure that your freight gets loaded onto your prearranged carrier.
- Get the phone number and name of the pickup driver. You would make this request ahead of time with your shipping company. They can call their “Cartage agent” at the show city and find out the drivers cell number and give it to you on the same day as the show dismantle. Having this number puts you in direct contact with the driver to know that he has checked in for your shipment.
- If your shipping company will not provide this information, get another shipping company.
- Make sure that the driver has checked in for your booth number. He may be there but he could be picking up for multiple shipments. If he does not check in for yours it will be forced.
- Ask at the service desk if your driver is “on the list” when you turn in your Material handling form. If they do not have that information at the desk then walk to the freight desk or driver check-in area to make sure your driver is there.
- Call back to your shipper and have them give you a progress report on the driver.
- Call the shipper earlier in the day to make sure all arrangements are set for the move out and go over the driver check-in time with them.
- Make sure that you put the shipping company name on the outbound material handling form. This is critical because, if you don’t, then the show contractor can automatically give your shipment to the show carrier.
- Put the most generic name for the carrier on the material handling form. Don’t say Ramar United. Ramar is the name of a local trucking agent in the DC area. Instead you should just say “United Van lines” on the form.
- Mark your shipping labels with the carrier name and Bill of Lading number (every piece).
This level of follow through is standard procedure for display houses; at least it is here at Exhibit Edge.
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.