Trade Show Logistics: Problem Solving on the Show Floor

Posted by Sharon Kendrew on Oct 22, 2015 9:00:00 AM
Sometimes, there are memories that really stick with you. This one taught me a lot about the necessity of effective trade show logistics. Every detail matters!


Learning the Hard Way 

The trade show was in Chicago, and we were on site with a client. It was a Saturday night and the last day of set up. Our client's booth looked fantastic; the show was opening the next morning at 8 a.m., we were exhausted and ready to crash.

On the way out, I walked by a "naked" booth - a great rental that added structure to the 20 x 20 space but was clearly designed to feature a product. However, there was no product in sight. Two gentlemen were standing in the midst of empty space with arms folded across their chests, and as I recall -- steam coming out of the ears.  

"Looks like something's missing?" I asked. Ok, perhaps I could have been a bit more subtle but...I wasn't. 

One gentlemen was the company's VP of Sales and the other was the Logistics Manager. This was their big show - all hands on deck, company president flying in -- they were rolling out their new product. Unfortunately, it was in a warehouse across town.

As it turned out, the Logistics Manager booked their trade show shipment with their regular freight carrier. A freight carrier that didn't deliver on Saturdays. Nightmare on the show floor. 

Helping the Right Way


I sent my client off to dinner and asked the two gentlemen if I could help. After a few phone calls, our Chicago office was on its way to recover the freight at the local warehouse and were scheduled to deliver it the next morning.

Show contractors are known for being rigid with move in and move out schedules -- and rightly so. Their job is to ensure the show runs smoothly and in order to do so, exhibitors and carriers must adhere to specific targeted schedules. But move in was over, and this client needed their freight.
We were able to track down a show foreman and with a guarantee that we would have a truck in the dock at 6:00 a.m., (not 6:01), he agreed to accept the shipment. I suggested the two gentlemen go get some sleep, get up early, and be back to the convention center before 6 on that Sunday morning. And please...bring donuts.

It''s been 10 years since that weekend in Chicago. The show was a tremendous success, both for our client and for the two gentlemen in the "naked" booth. Their equipment arrived on time. The president arrived on time. And all was well on the show floor. We have had the privilege of watching the "naked" booth guys succeed in their industry over the past 10 years, and are thrilled being a part of that success. Trade shows are a lot less frustrating. Equipment arrives on time. And most importantly, no one has steam coming out of their ears.
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Topics: Tradeshow Shipping, Tradeshow