Today, I set up my new desk from IKEA.  For anyone in the trade show world, IKEA is great to know about.  Everything is shipped in flat boxes.  The designs are completely modular and let’s just say that if all the trade show exhibits were built like this we wouldn’t have to buy new pieces very often.  The extent of this design savvy would put a lot of exhibit builders out of business if IKEA were the competition! Just remember that if using IKEA for trade shows, there are four very important factors to consider: 1) Weight – IKEA furniture is built with a lot of processed wood.  Processed wood is much denser, and therefore, much heavier than regular wood.  Weight significantly impacts your costs, because freight handling costs (drayage) are based on weight, and freight handling is usually your number two running cost, after the cost for exhibit space. 2)  Labor intensive – IKEA furniture is shipped flat.  All of the pieces for everything from chairs, to bookcases, and even kitchen cabinets are bundled-up in very carefully, tightly packed boxes.  As a result, there are a lot of pieces to assemble for all IKEA furniture.  This will affect your set-up time and also the resulting cost of I & D labor. 3)  Value - The cost of IKEA furniture is extremely low in most cases for the cutting edge, modern aesthetics.  As long as the furniture looks are consistent with your exhibit, these furnishings will look great in your display and will not take away from the quality look of even the finest well-constructed custom booths. 4)  Shipping – IKEA takes particularly long to process online orders.  There are two weeks of order processing time in addition to the week of shipping that may be required to have furniture delivered at or near the trade show venue.  This comes as a surprise in today’s last minute world. 5)  Store pick-up - IKEA  currently has approximately 30 stores in the US, and they tend to be in suburbs of major metropolitan areas.  There are major metropolitan / trade show destination hotspots missing from this list such as New Orleans and Las Vegas. In many metro areas where IKEA does reside, the stores are 30 miles from the convention centers, so research carefully if you are planning to pick up furniture during the set-up period. For more information regarding this and other trade show tips and tricks please see our facebook page: