Trade Show Frequently Asked Questions

in Shipping Help

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How do I pay my tradeshow bill?

The Decorator requests that credit card authorization be kept on file and will charge all balances to that account. Since the decorator doesn’t bill, all outstanding balances must be paid in full at the close of the show. Having a credit card on file (WITH THE DECORATOR) makes payment quick and easy.

What’s the difference between the advance price and the floor price?

Materials ordered with full payment up to three weeks before the start of the show qualify for advance price discount.

Does the decorator arrange for the electricity at the show site?

Electricity for your booth is generally handled by the convention facility. The Exhibitor Manual kit contains a separate electricity order form imprinted with the address, phone and fax number of the facility where the show will be held. Complete and return it to the location indicated on the form to place your electrical hook up order.

How big is my booth? / What’s my booth number?

The booth size and number should have been specified in the contract you signed with the sponsor of the show. If you haven’t received this information, please contact your show management representative.

Should I ship directly to the show site?

If you want to ship your materials directly to the show site, they must be received on exhibitor move in days. Shipments received after the show’s opening will be assessed a late fee. You also have the option to ship directly to the decorator’s warehouse, where they will store your materials up to 30 days prior to the show. Warehouse freight is brought to the show site before exhibitor move in. This eliminates the guesswork involved in getting your materials to the show site during move in. If you choose to ship your materials directly to the decorator’s warehouse, please make sure they receive them at least 5 days before the show opens so the additional 25% surcharge will not be incurred. All charges are explained in the exhibitor kit.

Will UPS or DHL (or any parcel carrier) pick up at a show site?

UPS’ schedule makes it difficult for them to pick up on location; however, they have been known to extend this service in some cities. We recommend using FreightTo.com and one of our trained professionals or the official show carrier. Federal Express is available in most cities; however, a Fed Ex air bill and plastic sleeve are required to ship from the shows. On some show sites, The decorator will provide a parcel forwarding service. Check at the Service Center to see if this service is being offered.

Do I receive any discounts for using the show carrier?

The decorator offers discounts for shows, but FreightTo.com has the advantage of more carriers to choose from. This gives you the opportunity to look for good rates through show designated carriers on our website.

Can I bring my own freight?

Different states have different laws governing labor. If you live in a right-to-work state, you can unload your freight yourself provided you have your own equipment and do not require a forklift. However, you should look into any local restrictions before you venture too far on your own.

Can I move in early? / Can I stay late?

We understand that you want to set up as quickly as possible and that you might need a little extra time dismantling your exhibit; however, you must receive permission from the show management for an early move-in or to extend your stay. While The decorator has jurisdiction over the loading docks during move in and move out, the decorator can work with the show management as best they can to accommodate your requests. Of course, the decorator can force the floor at any time.

What is Drayage?

The term “drayage services” is used to describe the services required to supplement the services performed by the carrier transporting materials to or from or trade show warehouse. The services usually include: receiving the materials from the carrier at the advance warehouse or trade show dock, storing materials at the advance warehouse, loading materials on trucks and transporting them to the show site, unloading materials and placing them in the booth, collecting and storing empty containers during the shows, return of empty containers to the booth after the show, and transporting material from the booth to carriers at the loading dock after the show. Exhibitors pay drayage charges for these services. Drayage charges are paid to the trade show contractors and are separate and independent of the freight charges which are normally paid to a freight carrier.

When do I ship my materials to the Show?

First, consult your manual about move-in times. Then decide whether to ship to the advance warehouse or directly to the show. Ship early enough so that your materials arrive at the advance warehouse one to four weeks prior to show opening or ship directly to show site so that your shipment arrives during exhibitor move-in hours or your assigned target time if you have one.

What is Freight Targeting?

Freight Targeting is the assignment of arrive time for certain exhibitors’ exhibit materials. Target times usually begin before general exhibitors move in and are assigned to exhibitors based on booth location or amount of materials shipped to the show. Assigned target times are used to promote an orderly move-in process and eliminate delays and confusion by everyone arriving the same time without prior scheduling or communication. Freight targeting allows exhibitors to plan better for hotels, on site labor and set-up schedules. Target times for most shows can be coordinated by calling the decorator freight department one month prior to show opening.

How much does it cost and how can I save money?

The drayage rates are published in the exhibitor kit. Freight from common carriers and van lines is charged by the hundred weight (CWT). Freight from small package carriers is charged by the piece. Savings can be realized by shipping via common carriers to avoid possible per carton or van line surcharges, furnishing accurate weights or weight tickets with your shipments, proper labeling/addressing of shipments, and scheduling shipments to arrive during straight time rather than overtime periods. We are available to answer any questions or help with your tradeshow shipment.