Did your jaw drop open the last time you filled your gas tank? U.S. gasoline prices have jumped to high levels due to a combination of stronger oil demand from China, frigid U.S. winter temperatures, and tension in Egypt and Libya. The national average is currently more than 50 cents higher than a year ago. What does this mean for you and your events?
During times like these, it is important to think and act smart. It is clearly going to cost you more to ship your materials to shows, but there are some things you can do to keep your budget in check.
Plan in advance. Taking your time with thorough trade show planning pays off. The more time you have - the better. If you can ship your display via Ground services or give your trucks plenty of time to make it to your destination, you will get the best rates. When shipping to the show, it is best to ship to the Advanced Warehouse. Although they require that the shipment be received earlier and there will be an increase in your material handling costs, you will avoid the potential wait time if you ship direct to show. Often times a truck can sit for hours on end waiting to check in, and they will charge you for that time.
Can’t avoid sending something last minute? You may want to consider using businesses that are local to the show instead of shipping anything. For example, are you passing out literature at the show? Check into printing companies located near the show site. If you can get the files to them, they can print them and you can pick them up or have a courier drop it by the show or your hotel. If you are shipping your monitors to the show, it may be worth comparing the cost of shipping back and forth to renting one or purchasing a new one in the show city.
Although shipping costs are going up, planning in advance can help you reduce the crunch on your budget. If your booth is costing an arm and a leg to ship, it may be time to consider looking into lightweight display options like extrusion and fabric. These tend to require fewer crates that also weigh less, both of which will help reduce your shipping costs.