Freight handling, also called drayage, costs are usually the second highest costs of exhibiting at a trade show, second in stature only to the cost of exhibitor rental space. Packing and shipping your display materials to reduce these costs is critical. Freight Handling Penalties of up to 50% of total freight handling fees are awarded for packing methods that do not conform to show guidelines as specified by the general contractor and late shipments.
For your booth at a trade show, the greatest long distance visibility that you can create is with a hanging sign. So by all means, if you are allowed (usually you must have a island space) consider such a sign. However, when you go out to design the sign, consider these key life cycle cost affecting variables:
If you are using labor from an EAC, or in some cases the general contractor to assemble your exhibit, you need to keep in mind the minimums required by that contractor. In general, there is a 4 hour minimum charge for labor (whether teamsters, carpenters or stagehands) and 1 hour minimum charge for electricians.
There are some very strong opinions about whether or not to ship into the advanced warehouse when moving your exhibit into a trade show. At most shows there is a premium charged for this service, but at almost no show is the premium so high that you should completely eliminate the possibility of using the advanced warehouse.
Instead, I usually base this decision on how tight the installation and dismantle set-up schedule is.
For those of you who are not familiar with Amazon Prime, an offer from the on-line retailer Amazon.com, this membership is a way to greatly reduce your costs on shipping of purchases through the Amazon website. While not all purchases qualify, almost any commonly used trade show supply can be purchased through an Amazon.com Prime supplier and it is easy to tell if the purchase qualifies for Amazon Prime shipping on the prodcut listing pages.