Managing Trade Show Logistics, Freight, Shipping & Material Handling

Logistics and shipping can make or break a trade show. If the exhibit assets do not arrive at the show venue well in time, it will send everyone into panic mode. Not to mention, the lack of careful planning and attention to detail could result in potentially expensive mistakes, while shipping valuable assets to and from a show. Here’s how you can take control:

Make The Right Decisions

Do you have a portable trade show display, or is it a custom one? Where is it that you are exhibiting, at a regional trade show or somewhere international? The answers to these questions will help you in determining if you need to hire a trade show freight carrier in the first place. In case of a portable display, especially the one that you are to use at a regional trade show, you may be able to save on the transportation costs. Being lightweight, this display can be packed in convenient carry bags and cases and taken along.

On the other hand, custom or custom modular exhibits have quite a few delicate components that warrant expert handling. These must be shipped in large crates so as to ensure their safe and timely transfer, and are better left to professionals, who can handle them carefully.

Pick The Right People

Create a checklist of sorts before you zero in on a trade show freight carrier. Here’s what you should focus on:

  • What are the show dates?
  • Are there specific move-in and move-out times?
  • Do you want the exhibit assets to be shipped to directly to the show or would you rather have them shipped to an advanced warehouse?

 

Don’t Undermine Material Handling

Getting the exhibit assets shipped to the show is not enough. One the assets or components are there, you’ll need someone to transport the crates from the loading area to your booth space in the exhibition hall. And that’s exactly what a drayage or material handling contractor does. More often than not, their work also involves removing the crates and boxes post the show and loading them on the truck. Of course, whether you want the boxes to be delivered to a storage facility or to the next show is totally up to you.

Err On The Side Of Caution

Right from choosing the freight carrier to getting the exhibit assets shipped, it is important that you keep tabs on what is happening. For instance, you have to be aware of the inbound delivery deadline to be able to determine if the freight carrier has missed one, because if they do, chances are that their truck will be sent to the back of the line to unload, and that’s not what you want, right? Similarly, unless you have a camera on you, it would be difficult for you to document the damage to your exhibit assets caused by mishandling.

Managing trade show logistics, freight, shipping & material handling is not as difficult as it seems, and with the help of an experienced freight carrier and a considerate drayage contractor, it is very much possible to ensure that your exhibit assets arrive undamaged.

Reasons to Participate In or Pay a Visit to BIOFACH 2018

BIOFACH, the world’s leading trade show for Organic Food, needs no introduction. Those with a passionate interest in organic food don’t miss it for the world, and those who are a part of the sector in some way or the other, well, they are always on the lookout for new contacts and know this is where they’ll find them. Many also have an avid interest in the latest developments and this show is where they get to keep tabs, with ease. Reasons galore. Here’s why you should be at BIOFACH 2018, if not as an exhibitor, then definitely as a visitor:

Reasons to Participate in BIOFACH 2018 Trade Show

  1. You get to meet them all: Your customers, suppliers and more importantly, the potential customers, will all be here. Biggies like APEDA would be here. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be. Call it a get-together if you may, but if you could benefit from meeting the organic stakeholders, BIOFACH is where you should head to.

 

  1. You get to implement your marketing strategies: What is it that you are looking for? Positioning your brand? How about some image building? BIOFACH not only gives you the opportunity to present your products, but also gives you exposure to a powerful PR platform, one that’s backed by close to 1,000 media representatives from 39 countries and extensive media reporting. It’s a win-win!

 

  1. You could learn a thing or two: The BIOFACH Congress will offer extensive information about the organic sector, and whether you are a new market player or someone who’s been there for quite some time, you could very well use whatever you learn here.

 

  1. You could do your bit: Did you know that just like every year, BIOFACH 2018 will also the witness the coming together of representatives from politics, associations and NGOs? Here it’s worth mentioning that several other opinion formers and figures of public interest are also expected to be here. But why would they be here? To discuss the matters that can have a bearing on the future of the organic sector. You ought to be here!

 

Reasons to Visit

  1. You get to meet like-minded people: Whether you are a lateral thinker, a businesswoman, an activist or just about anyone with interest in organic food products, you’ll meet many people out here who share your passion. The best part is that you’ll also get exposure to local and international players and labels.

 

  1. You get useful insights: The congress parallel to BIOFACH could be the perfect platform for you to not only keep abreast of the latest trends but also find out what the experts think of these trends. You get to hear their opinions and garner exclusive insights into the developments taking place in the organic sector. Just so you know, there will be a series of round tables, presentations and open panel discussions with top-class speakers that you could look forward to.

 

To cut the long story short, BIOFACH 2018 has to be on your go-to list, irrespective of whether you have some organic food products to offer or are just a trade visitor interested in knowing what would shape the future of the organic sector.

How to Cut Through the Noise in Experience Economy with Trade Shows

Experience Economy” is the in-thing these days; exhibitors all around the world seem to be talking about it, not many of whom have the slightest idea of what it means, to begin with, and those who do, well, they often fail to make the most of it.

Let’s start with what the experience economy is and more importantly, what makes it the need of the hour?

The Introduction

If you have shifted your focus from the goods and services you sell, and are now engaged in delivering experiences that the customers can relish and be a part of, voila, you already know what experience economy is, but if you haven’t, here’s what you need to do – sell your goods and services, of course, that’s what you are out there for, but do it with a different approach – try and emphasize the effect(s) your offerings can have on people’s lives. Once you do that, there’s no stopping you!

Trade Show and the Experience Economy

What is that you aim to achieve through your company’s participation in exhibitions, events and trade shows? Reaching out to the customers? Hosting a conference or organizing a roadshow isn’t going to get you there anymore. You have to look for new, engaging ways. Simply put, unless the customers or the attendees are the core of everything you do, you won’t succeed, not in today’s modern, multi-sensory world!

Ways to Succeed In the Experience Economy with Trade Shows

  • Cash in on shareability: Given the fact that your customers are already using the social media to capture their lives’ moments and share with hundreds and thousands of followers, it shouldn’t be a problem for you to deliver shareable experiences. The icing on the cake is that even those who are not physically present at your events can now be a part, right from the comfort of their home(s), if and when you give the attendees enough reasons to share their experiences online.

 

  • Let them dive in: The attendees are looking for multi-sensory experiences, the ones that they can be a part of and/or relate to. Give them what they look for. Use virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to your advantage, but make sure you deliver immersive experiences if you are looking for genuine emotions or responses. The idea is to grab their attention, and if you can virtually teleport them from one part of the world to another, they’ll be all ears (and eyes), and pay attention to whatever it is that you have to say.

 

  • Appeal to all five senses: There are only two ways to go about any Trade Show – you either stand out from the competition or you don’t. The difference lies in whether or not you know how to incorporate sensory activities into your Trade Show. Choose the right kind of music, be careful while zeroing in on the light activations and offer unforgettable culinary experiences and you are good to go. And of course, if there are some interactive activities that the attendees can be a part of, there’s nothing like it.

 

Here’s the thing: the attention spans are way shorter now, and also those who attend your Trade Shows expect a lot more than they used to. It’s high time you adapt to the change and offer immersive, multi-sensory, and disruptive experiences. Do it now, before the competition decides to make the most of the experience economy, leaving you with little to no choice.

 

How An Audit Of Assets Or The Lack Thereof Could Impact Your Next Show

If you think preparing for a trade show is a piece of cake, think again. You not only need to design and fabricate your booth, but also contemplate fetching (or evaluating) the assets that would make it a booth in the first place. Yes, in the absence of important assets such as branded displays, a lead capture and/or management system, demo gear, and marketing collateral, your booth is nothing more than a box, one that would fail to draw in the crowd.

Of course, whether you design the booth on your own or outsource it to one of the leading exhibition booth designers & builders, either way, you do need these assets. And if you already have them, it is imperative that you conduct an audit, a thorough one indeed, as you ramp up for your next show, more so because if something’s missing or is in dire need of repairs, you should at least have some time on hands to do the needful.

 

Hope For The Best, But Prepare For The Worst

Start off with some of the biggest assets, say, your booth. Dust it off and see if there’s any damage that must be taken care of.

Look closely. Chances are that if you have used the same booth or exhibit for quite a few shows, it would have a couple of rough edges by now. Get them fixed at the earliest.

If the booth designer has an in-house warehouse, and that’s where your booth is at the moment, do stop by for an inspection. Again, doing so would give you the time to get the modifications done, if any.

And if you don’t have a booth to begin with, needless to say, get one designed at the earliest.

 

Is Your Marketing Collateral Worth Its While?

You do know that marketing collateral could get the word out, but so do the other exhibitors at the show, and in all probability, the attendees would go home with dozens of pamphlets, pins and lanyards. Or would they? Maybe not. Many of them will throw away the “prized” collateral on their way out.

Here’s what you could do:

Take along two different types of materials. The first one could be just a piece of paper, which you can hand over to just about anyone, who comes in or merely passes by your booth.

The second type however needs to be of relatively better quality; like a glossy booklet or a press kit perhaps. Do not keep them out in the open for all to see. They are better concealed, and should be handed over to only those with the purchasing authority. You could also consider giving them to your qualified leads.

Better still, go paperless. Offer digital copies of your material, especially if the millenials form a great chunk of your target audience; anything digital goes down well with them for obvious reasons.

Just so you know, even 3D-printed coasters, scratch-off cards and vibrant stickers make for great marketing collateral – basically, anything and everything that does the trick and is unlikely to make its way into the trash can.

 

Are Your Technologically Ready?

When conducting an audit in the weeks and days leading up to your next show, do keep a tab on the latest technology as well – because that’s the only way you could offer the attendees an immersive experience – something that they look forward to. Depending on what you sell or offer, you may need some or all of them:

A computer terminal

AR & VR equipment

Interactive displays

Beacons, geofencing or any other location-aware technology

 

More importantly, if your product could benefit from a demonstration, make sure you do a test run to get a reality check before you bring it to the table.

In short, don’t let the niggles prevent you from putting up a good show. Conduct an audit, a timely one for that matter. Being forewarned is forearmed, remember?

Is Automated Event Registration Worth Its While, Or Good For Nothing?

Event management is no piece of cake; if anything, it’s quite the opposite – there’s a lot you must do, but chances are that you won’t have enough time to do it all. And that’s when automated event management comes into the picture – it takes the burden off your shoulders and gives you time, and time is money, right?

Word is that automation is on the rise; exhibitors from all over the world are using it to their advantage.
And not just shows, marketing automation has paved way for successful roadshows and award ceremonies as well.

But the question is: is it yet another flavor of the week, or is automation here to stay? More importantly, what good could come out of it, if you do plan to give it a shot for your next trade show? Let’s find out.

It’s Not New!

Automated event registration is not something you would have heard of for the first time – it’s been there for quite some time now. Seasoned event professionals across the globe swear by it, and maybe rightly so. After all, it does help you maximize engagement, and with correct implementation, could boost the event attendance by up to 20%. And don’t you agree that the task of registering guests and passing on the necessary information to them could take ages, and even worse, it’s a quite a mundane one, to begin with? Well, if that’s a yes, here’s some good news. Cloud-based registration tools could offer you a much better experience. So, it’s a win-win!

Or Is It Now?

You may have chosen the best available online registration software for your next show, but one thing’s for sure – it would warrant some management – quite less, agreed, but definitely not nil. Oddly enough, if you have your hands full, even that little work would add to your woes, thereby defeating the very purpose of embracing automation in the first place. Here’s what may be a deal-breaker:

– You’d still have to deal with enquiries; can’t let them go

– Not all your delegates may be as tech-savvy as you are. And if they are not, be ready to hand-hold and take them through the sign-up process

– And what about payments? Card or invoice, either way, you could land in the soup!

Is there a way out?

Thankfully, There Is!

Find an expert, one who could help you get the most out of automated event registration, but do make sure that the expert or partner you outsource to, does justice to the job. Here’s a checklist that could come in handy:

– Is the software easy to use? Or would the attendees have a hard time comprehending it?
– Is an instant confirmation on the plate?
– Are the fee payments being handled? Or you need to take care of them?
– Does it offer value for money? Is it only about registration or could the attendees also expect their travel and accommodation needs to be taken care of?
– What about social media? Is some kind of integration possible, or is it a big no-no?

The bottom line is that automated event registration could be a game changer, provided you know how to go about it and are able to avert the loopholes involved.