Where Does My Freight Go? A Trade Show Guide

Pablo A Vargas
October 11, 2023

Whether you are a trade show veteran, or it’s your company’s first trade show venture, it always pays off to know the process. Trade show shipping is a niche service that has special requirements for your shipping team, your business, and for us. That’s why it’s important to be prepared and know what to expect at every step of the shipping process. We created a quick guide to show you the different variables you might encounter while shipping to a trade show. Take a look!

#1: Prep & Pickup

Once you figured out the materials you’re shipping to the show, it’s time to get them moving! Depending on your timeline and budget, it may be more convenient to ship your freight to the show’s advance warehouse or directly to the show site.

1. Advance Warehouse - location where exhibit materials are stored before an event. The warehouse is normally associated with the show and close to the venue.

#2: Before the Show

For shipments going to an advance warehouse, the show decorator will take care of transporting them to the venue dock at the time of the show.

If you’re shipping your materials directly to a show site, the driver will need to report to the marshaling yard first. There, they will receive a paper with a check-in number that will allow them to go into the venue dock.

2. Marshaling Yard - Your driver should check in at this location. this is a staging area for drivers, where they are given a check-in number required to identify the truck and the exhibit materials that it transports.

3. Material Handling - Move items from the dock to the exhibit floor, then back to the dock after the show.

#3 It’s Showtime

During the show setup, the decorator will be in charge of retrieving your exhibit materials and bringing them into the show booth. From then on, it is up to you or the Installation & Dismantling (I&D) company to set up your exhibit.

4. Storage For Empty Containers - The decorator will retrieve your empty containers and store them for the duration of the show.

#4: Move-Out

After the show, your materials will be transported back to the venue dock, where they will be picked up by one of our drivers. From there, you may choose to transport them back to your facility, ship them to another warehouse, or forward them to your next show or event location.

5. Marshaling Yard - For move-out, all drivers should check-in at the marshaling yard before transferring your materials out of the show venue.

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