Everyone that has ever managed the company trade show marketing effort knows that controlling costs is a very complicated problem. You can budget for the show space, exhibit cost, graphics’ cost and show help but figuring the freight on all your exhibit materials over the course of the year is very difficult.
Many times the problem is a matter of timing. Getting the exhibit materials to the pre-show site within the window of acceptance can result in expedited shipping costs. Trying to schedule for last-minute shows can result in expedited shipping costs. Delays in graphics production or changes in booth hardware can cause expedited shipping costs. A 500 pound exhibit shipped truck freight, having to arrive at a specific time, may have to go out the door for an overnight arrival. This could mean thousands of dollars in freight costs that do nothing for their companies marketing effort.
Most display booth managers are aware that weight and size are the two killers when it comes to freight budgeting. Therefore it is no surprise over the last two decades that displays and exhibit materials, like automobiles, are made of lighter and lighter components. Further, structure has changed so that large exhibits can be made up of the strategic use of smaller components. The pop-up display is an excellent example of this. A full 10′ wide, 8′ tall exhibit shipping in one case that is 40x20x18″ and weighs 80 lbs.
An entire exhibit category (pop-ups) arose simply because of freight costs. Today there are a host of these lightweight, compact display booth types. Midland Display Products, one of the largest distributors of trade show displays in the United States, carries over a dozen lines of these lightweight exhibits. They can now offer a full 20 foot wide 8 foot tall exhibit, complete with lights and full, large format graphics panels that weighs less than 100 pounds and can be shipped UPS ground. When you compare the weight of this display with the folding flat-panel exhibits of just 10 years ago you can see that the reduction in weight is nearly 400%. Even now 10 foot pop-up exhibits that replaced the panel exhibits of the 90’s are themselves being replaced with lighter, more effective components. The standard 10 foot popup photo mural exhibit weighs about 90 pounds. The fabric graphic pop-up that is now becoming more popular only weighs about 23 pounds. This relates to freight costs for company exhibit efforts dropping by nearly 75%. What this means for the owners is the opportunity to afford more trade shows with the budget savings made in freight.
Show services now cost less, also. With smaller, lighter, less complex exhibit systems show labor costs drop significantly to boot. A 20 foot modular display of the past would require two laborers four man-hours to set up. Trade show truss displays can cost even more. That could cost in the neighborhood of $400-$800. Now a 20 foot fabric graphic display system can be set up in 15 minutes by show attendees needing no show labor. Midland Display reports some other clients have saved nearly 40% of show costs by reducing freight and show labor, yet still attending the same amount of shows. Solving the freight weight problem has become more and more attainable by utilizing these newer, lightweight exhibit systems. Despite the “display in a can” moniker some of these trade show display systems have received, it is undeniable that these new systems save time, weight and expense. Add to this a decrease in back problems for those involved and even an indirect benefit is achieved
Source by Bob Albright