How to Select the Best Freight Carrier for your Trade Shows and Conventions

What key questions would you ask a freight carrier who will be handling deliveries to trade shows or conventions? What would you ask them before hiring them?

Years in the business have taught us that customers planning for a trade show or convention often have different requirements than our more regular jobs. Because of this, selecting the appropriate freight carrier requires some extra research.

Here are 3 questions to ask a carrier to determine whether they’re the best fit for your trade show or convention needs.

1. Is the carrier able to do the job round-trip?

When trade shows are out of town, the materials need to get to the destination and back once the event is over. Make sure to ask the carrier if he’s able to do the entire trip, there and back.

If the carrier is right for your job, the answer is yes. He will either keep the driver and truck at the destination so the same person and vehicle bring the materials back to their origin, or he’ll ensure another truck and driver are available to do it.

2. Is the carrier experienced in making deliveries to convention centers?

While many carriers have experience with deliveries, they do not all have experience delivering freight to convention centers. Understand that this will just mean they will have a learning curve in order to know the nuances involved with handling freight under these circumstances.

The ideal carrier for your job not only has experience at convention centers in general, but also at the specific facility where the event will be held. This is because each convention center has its own procedures from the moment the truck is parked to when the freight is unloaded by the forklift driver. They all have different ways of checking the freight to make sure it matches the paperwork, numbered crates, and booth numbers.

Experience with that specific venue should give you confidence that your freight will be delivered on time, without any complications.

3. How will the carrier handle my materials?

Trade show or convention freight is often display material, so it’s essential that the pieces arrive to the convention center in perfect condition. They also need to return back to their point of origin, where they’ll be stored before their next use.

Whether the materials are loose or in crates, the company needs to know that the carrier will handle them appropriately. Ensure they’re able to accommodate specific handling requests so your materials stay in top condition.

We've got years of experience in the trade show and convention industries, and have made deliveries from New York, to Atlanta, to Miami, and everywhere in between. Because of this, we know the ins and outs of the industry and are here to answer any questions you may have.