The Show Book: Material Handling, Advance Warehouse, and Reducing Cost

This is the 3rd installment in a series covering the many pages of the Show Book. 

More on material handling and why you should (almost) always ship to the advance warehouse

In our last installment, we covered the basics of material handling. This month we'll offer three tips to help reduce your material handling costs as well as one aspect of material handling that costs a little more, but is always worth it.

Pack Light

When it comes to planning your exhibit space, be realistic about your needs and don't ship unnecessary items. Exhibitors often underestimate the space required for their display, furniture, and even their booth staff. Yes, people do take up space! We often see exhibit spaces packed to capacity with little room left to move around and engage visitors. Isn't that why you're there to begin with? Also be realistic about the amount of collateral materials and giveaways you send to your trade show. Boxes of brochures are especially heavy. Even better, forgo the brochures all together for a greener approach (read more here). Take a good look at your shipment once it returns from the show. If it contains multiple unopened, unused boxes of brochures and giveaways, you are wasting money on both material handling fees and shipping costs.

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10 Ideas for Corporate Gifts

10 ideas for Corporate Holiday Gifts:

Whether you like to admit it or not, the holidays are upon us and with that, the gift giving season. It can be stressful trying to come up with the perfect gift for your clients or your employees, so we’ve come up with several ideas for you. When it comes to clients, doing a little research can go a long way. Some companies have restrictions on how expensive a gift can be or what kind of gift may be accepted (i.e. they may not allow alcohol, or gifts worth more than $100).

For employees, giving gifts they can use, that are tech related or that reflect their interests can go a long way. If you’re able, giving more personalized gifts (i.e. gift cards to their favorite restaurant or store), is more meaningful. But if you do give a standard gift to everyone, now may be the time for understated branding, or no branding at all.

5 ideas for Clients:

  1. Leather Wine Carrier: Want to send a nice wine? Send it in a chic leather wine carrier the client can use after the wine is gone. Go with an embossed or etched logo for an understated, and classier feel.
  2. Wooden Coasters: These wooden coasters are simple and elegant, and great for protecting nice office furniture. 300x200-wood-coasters
  3. Portable Power Bank: Have a client you know is always on the go? They will be eternally grateful for the gift of endless power…or at least extended power for their devices.
  4. Local Gift Basket: Although it takes a bit of organizing, putting together a gift basket with locally sourced items adds a more personal touch. Include things such as locally roasted coffee, hand-made chocolates or candy, handmade mugs, etc. 
  5. Charitable: Is your client highly involved in charitable work? Making a donation to the charity they support could mean a lot to them.

5 ideas for Employees:

  1. Bluetooth Speaker: Who doesn’t want to listen to music on the go?  Bluetooth speakers are also a great way to boost laptop speakers.
  2. Gift Cards: Go beyond a Starbucks gift card and find out what their favorite fashion store is, or what their favorite restaurant is.
  3. Moscow Mule Mugs: Named for the famous drink, these mugs have been taking over the drink scene again. Show you’r300x200-Moscow-Muge on top of the trends with this stylish mug.
  4. Subscriptions: more and more people are loving subscription services. There are many, such as Dollar Shave Club, BirchBox, Graze, BarkBox, Whimsey Box, Club W, Spotify and Tea Sparrow, just to name a few.
  5. Well-being: who wouldn’t turn down a day at the spa or chance to get out on the course? Show you care about your employees health and well-being.

This should give you a starting place for showing your clients and employees you appreciate their business and hard work. For branded gifts, we can help! Contact us at 423.266.5879 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



The Show Book: Material Handling

This is the 2nd installment in a series covering the many pages of the Show Book. 

Probably the single most misunderstood and confusing piece of paper in the entire show book is the material handling form. What are the materials? How will they be handled? Why does it cost so much? And most importantly, do I have to pay it?

A common misconception is that material handling charges represent the cost of shipping your materials to a trade show. Material handling is related to shipping, but is in fact a separate charge for a specific service.

The trade show's decorator or official contractor is responsible for, among other things, receiving shipments of displays, materials, and equipment at the show's advance warehouse or show site. The decorator charges a fee for this service, which is based on the weight of your shipment, how it is packaged, and who delivers it.

The material handling fee generally covers the following:

  • Unloading and receiving the shipment from your carrier
  • Storing the shipment until move in (if you are shipping to the advance warehouse)
  • Moving the shipment from the loading dock or the advance warehouse to your booth space
  • Storing your empty crates during the show and returning them to your booth once the show is over
  • Moving your outbound shipment from the show floor to the dock and handing it off to your outbound carrier at the end of the show

Read more ...