How to Choose a Carrier for Deliveries to the Convention Industry


Major deliveries are made each day to the convention industry - trade shows, conference centers, hotels, and more. Throughout our years in the business, we’ve found that these deliveries are some of the most tightly controlled, so it’s important you find a carrier who understands the logistics and procedures of each venue.

Of course, we’ve been delivering to the Atlanta Convention Center for many years, but have also worked in DC, Chicago, New Orleans, Orlando, and Miami, to name a few. These experiences have taught us a lot about making deliveries to the convention industry. Here are some tips for finding the best carrier for your next convention delivery.

Find a Carrier who has Delivered to that Location Before

When it comes to receiving, all major convention facilities are very tightly controlled because the logistics receiving is designed and controlled by unions. This means that procedures for loading and unloading trucks are highly regulated.

Because of this, it’s critical your carrier is prepared before even arriving on the property.

First, the carrier will need to go to a marshaling yard. This is an area where all of the trucks converge to get paperwork that tells them the specific location to bring the delivery.

Ideally, you will find a carrier who has been to the convention center or location before, so he knows the facility’s layout, like where the marshaling yard is located. This will ensure your equipment arrives on schedule.

An Experienced Carrier will know the Procedures

A good carrier needs to be able to navigate the systems and procedures that are in place in any situation, but especially at big conventions and trade shows. There’s so much activity going on at these events, and it can be very chaotic if things aren’t heavily controlled.

There are many steps that take place from the point the truck arrives at marshaling yard to the point when the show actually begins.

Say your company has rented a 20’x10’ space to set up your display. Your equipment will need to get from my truck to the loading dock, then to the convention hall, to the room where the trade show will be held, and finally to your specific numbered space.

In order to get your display materials to their final location, the carrier will need to interact with many different people. First, the show foremen will meet with the carrier to get a loading door and number to get loaded. Then, they’ll send a forklift driver to come to the door to unload you. Loaders and unloaders will take it from there.

The convention industry is process-heavy and very procedural, so it takes some experience to navigate it smoothly. Plus, all convention centers operate a little bit differently, so it’s best to find a carrier with experience in many different locations.

Search for a carrier with extensive convention experience, preferably to the location of your next event. Experience and knowledge of the industry are the keys to a successful delivery.