Blake Mintz is Regional Vice President of Sales for GES in Canada...

An exhibitor webinar was recently conducted for Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), a Top 10 Canadian Association Trade Show (in terms of size) that rotates through major Canadian cities. The show boasts 240 of the industry’s major companies as exhibitors, with almost half of the companies shipping from outside Canada. We worked with the CPMA team to understand what specific information their exhibitors need. The common message was to concentrate on how to save their exhibitors the two most precious trade show commodities: time and money.

We realized that presenting materials on customs, transportation and material handling would address their largest budget items and alleviate the majority of exhibitors’ anxiety.

We left CPMA’s exhibitors with five key points:

  1. Be proactive and place orders early; benefit from the advance show price savings available.
  2. Communicate early about what is being shipped. GES customs representatives can save you time by guiding you through completing the proper documentation.
  3. Identify what goods will be returned after the event; doing this will result in the most cost-effective, customs clearance method possible.
  4. Consolidate, label and pack your shipments properly; avoid unnecessary individual transportation, customs and material handling charges encountered by sending separate shipments. Avoidspecial handling charges for ‘loose packed’ items and be sure to palletize, shrink-wrap and band your skids.
  5. Respect move-in and out schedules and times - you will be rewarded. You will stay on budget if your shipments arrive during straight-time hours. You will avoid unnecessary delays and unanticipated carrier charges for waiting time and/or forced freight charges resulting from arrangements not being made for your freight to be picked up at the end of a show.

These are simple cost-saving initiatives every show manager should share with exhibitors. The types of exhibitors vary on every show, so don’t hesitate to contact your official services provider to identify tips that will be relevant to your exhibitors. With the steady strain on budgets, simple tips like these go a long way to illustrate to exhibitors how much they are valued and appreciated by show management and their service partners.

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