Tradeshow Exhibitor Resources

Tradeshow Exhibitor Resources

TTS Logistics has dedicated this page for the exhibitors to provide you with shipping tips, industry definitions, invoice/cost definitions, and pre-show marketing tips.

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat” -Theodore Roosevelt

Tradeshow Tips

Tradeshow Tips

Learn tips-of-the-trade that will give you ideas on increasing your ROI when exhibiting at your next show.

Tradeshow Industry Definitions

Industry Definitions

Understand standard industry terms that can sometimes confuse the new exhibitors to the trade show industry.

Shipping Best Practices

Shipping Best Practices

Review shipping strategies that will help you cut costs, claims, and make your life a little easier.

Tradeshow Tips

Proven Ways To Boost Your Exhibition Results Planning, Preparation, Presentation, Follow-up

Set measurable objectives not only for the show itself, but also for each of the specific promotions your company will be doing.
The easiest way to compute the numbers is to take the total exhibit hours, multiply by the number of staff members on duty per shift, and then multiply by five.
Determine the value of a customer, either based on an average sale or over a course of a given time. In your calculations remember to include direct mailers, print advertising, giveaways and promotional costs.
After the show exhibitors should be able to recall your primary message. Slogans and advertising messages should be repeated throughout the year, stressing the benefits of using your products and services reinforcing this concept.
When you only have a few seconds to grab attention, use a quick-scan sheet to highlight the key benefits of your product or services. 60-85% of all show literature is thrown out. Bring enough materials to distribute to 5% of your already determined contact number.
You’ll save on shipping costs; your overall waste factor will be considerably reduced; offer to mail the show materials; you’ll obtain the names and contact lead information.
Direct Mail promotions before a show can “prime the pump” and deliver a 33% larger audience that’s ready to learn more about what you have to offer.
Ask visitors for the name of the other decision makers in their organization to boost your follow-up impact.
Remove barriers between you and visitors, and create a warm, friendly discussion area to increase sales interaction.
FBusiness suits can be too intimidating, but dress too casually and you may lose credibility.
Maintain your enthusiasm and energy. Some of your most serious prospects may be those racing through the exhibit hall just before it closes.
Too often the people chosen to represent the entire image of the organization are left to fend for themselves. Select the right people to staff your booth. Arrive early, work hard and stay late. Conduct preshow meetings to identify goals and objectives. Agree on guidelines for interacting with visitors and qualifying customers.
Each show has its own idiosyncrasies and obstacles. After each show, evaluate your staff performance. Fine-tuning can help you to know and understand how to make the future shows a success. There is always room for improvement.
Companies often send several representatives to the major shows. Restrict visitor interaction and booth break times. Time is money and every minute lost is a possible sale lost. Assign specific tasks to avoid fumbling around the booth.
Hot contacts should find a handwritten note on their desks upon their return to their office. All visitors should get a letter thanking them. This simple gesture is commonly ignored. Remember 90% of all show visitors make a purchase from an exhibitor within nine months of the show!
“I’ll be with you in a minute.” In a minute, your customer will be long gone! If you can’t speak with someone immediately, ask “Are you able to wait a moment while I find someone to help you?”

“We don’t do that.” When a customer wants something you don’t provide, say “Let me see how we can help you…”

“Our policy is…” Your only policy at a tradeshow is to solve customer problems! Skirt potential problems by saying, “in most instances we can…”

“I don’t know.” Replace this phrase permanently with “Let me find out for you.”

“You have to call…” Never tell a customer what to do! Instead, say “We recommend…” or “We suggest that you…”

“No.” Never issue a flat “no”! If you really can’t help, soften the blow with “We may not be able to, but I can help you find someone who can.”

*Take immediate action wherever needed and always plan for the unexpected!

Industry Definitions

Understanding common tradeshow industry standard terms

A General Service Contractor performs many functions at a tradeshow. These duties most noticeably involve moving exhibit freight in and out of the exhibit hall, storing of empty containers, creating floor plans for show management, handling equipment requirements, liaison between convention center and show management, signage, and a multitude of other “behind the scenes” responsibilities.
Also called a waybill; shipping document (required by Interstate Commerce Commission) describing agreement between shipper and freight carrier as to pieces, weight, origin, destination, and billing information.
Weight that is charged by the carrier. Either actual weight or dimensional weight, whichever is greater.
The physical weight of the total shipment when weighed on a scale.
Weight of a shipment based solely on the dimensions of the shipment. In other words, a large crate full of goose down feathers will be charged based on the size of the crate NOT the actual weight of it.
The term used to describe freight that is moved at show site from trucks to the assigned booth spaces.
One hundred pounds in freight parlance.
Exhibit Appointed Contractor; non-official service contractor usually supplies services related to exhibitor displays by exhibitor request.
Installation and Dismantle; a common function EACs perform for exhibitors at trade shows.
A designated area (usually off-site from the convention center) where freight carriers park until they are called to the convention center loading to offload or pick up freight. This is done because of space constraints around hotels or convention centers and also alleviates traffic issues.
Usually indicated by red tape and are the “streets” of the show floor where no freight may be placed due to fire marshal restrictions.
The number of separate shipments each booth contains. A booth may have some of its freight going back to the office while the other part is going back to a display house or another show. In this case, a separate Material Handling Agreement (MHA) must be filled out for each destination.
Privately owned vehicle; usually refers to an exhibitor’s car or truck when they are providing their own shipping.
Number used on a Bill of Lading or Material Handling Agreement (MHA) to track the shipment.
Individual pieces of a shipment wrapped together (usually on a skid) in clear or dark plastic sheeting. Each piece of freight still needs to be individually labeled in case pallet is broken down.
Freight term used for the base on which freight is placed, usually a pallet.
Larger shows will have targeted move-in/out dates. This is done to systematically move a show floor without congestion. It’s similar to loading an aircraft by row number.

Shipping Best Practices

Cut costs, claims, and make life a little easier.

By planning only a few weeks ahead, you can save an abundant amount of money on your shipping costs. TTS Logistics, Inc. only requires one week in advance to get your shipment coast-to-coast, in most cases.
This is a big one! Ensure your items are packed in containers designed for shipping. A common misperception for electronics or plasma type items is that the original packing materials can be reused. Nothing can be further from the truth. The box and Styrofoam used for those materials were designed for a ONE TIME shipment only! Those items were also palletized with the same sized items making the pallet a nice square. Exhibitors normally have a collage of various shapes and sizes creating an odd-shaped pallet. Because of this odd shape, pallets are sometimes broken down to accommodate freight into containers. When this happens, improperly packed electronics can get damaged just by a slight jarring or “bump in the road”.
This is the best way to keep your shipment contained and protected. When doing this, it is still vital that you label EACH piece of freight in case the pallet needs to be broken down. It is also CRITICAL that you indicate the correct number of pieces and description on your Bill of Lading. If you label you shipment as one piece (the pallet), it will be very difficult to recover any piece that comes up missing, if the pallet should be broken down during transit.
Remove all previous shipping labels from you items before affixing new labels. Old labels can sometimes cause confusion on destination if items have been separated from the rest of the shipment. This would be similar to leaving old baggage tags on your luggage when you fly. Porter’s and ticket personnel always remove the old tags before putting new tags on.
Airfreight cut-off times are between 6 and 11:00 P.M. If your freight is delayed out of a show until late that evening, chances are it won’t start moving until the following business day. If you have tight turn around, you may consider upping the service level.
ALWAYS obtain a Material Handling Agreement (MHA) from the service contractor desk, usually located at the back of the hall. If the service desk personnel ask you who your carrier is, inform them that TTS will be picking up your freight. If they don’t ask or a MHA is left in your booth on the last day, cross out any previously typed or written carrier and hand write “TTS Logistics” in the “Carrier: if known” field. If there is any confusion about this process, immediately call your representative at TTS and we will be happy to walk you through the process. Once you have completed your MHA and have your freight packed up with the labels attached TURN IN THE MHA to the service desk BEFORE you leave the hall. DO NOT leave this paperwork on your freight. It will get lost and your freight will be forced to the onsite carrier costing you more in shipping and attempted pick up fees. The following link will help the exhibitor understand some standard industry terms that can sometimes confuse the newcomer to the trade show industry.
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