Trade Show Tips

ELITeXPO Show Site Desk

Tips for Getting Your Exhibit Shipped Back to You After a Trade Show

While most of us are veterans handling outbound shipping
from an event, some are quite new to the procedures.  Both yourself and
ELITeXPO want to be sure your booth items are recovered from show floor on
schedule, as required.

So, I’d like to take a moment and quickly explain what your onsite rep and/or the dismantling crew should do after an event closes.  Follow these steps and move-out will run very smoothly for all parties involved (Onsite Rep, Dismantling Crew, General Contractor, and finally, the Driver recovering the exhibit).

These items are very important to be sure the General
Contractor (GC) loads your total pieces left in your booth on OUR truck.

  • Prior to show break – be sure you have OUR Outbound shipping docs (Bill of Lading/BOL & Labels) which are located in a Pink Envelope.

If not located, contact your Rep so they can Email immediately, or if enough time, send out another packet to Rep’s Hotel.  Last resort, you can use GCs labels on site.

  • Obtain a GC’s BOL/MHA from their Service Desk on show floor.  This document is VITAL to the GC as it tells them which carrier to load your shipment on.

  • Once GC’s BOL/MHA is obtained.  Notate ELITeXPO as your Carrier and be sure the “Back to Warehouse” option is checked.

This allows us to regain possession of your shipment if something happens during move-out, whether our doing or GC’s.  Remember, we have a “No Force” Guarantee.

  • Pack up all items and be sure each container/case/crate is closed and secured.

  • Label EACH piece, even if items are going to be skidded.  If items are palletized, please place (4) labels on the outside shrink-wrap so they are visible from all sides.

  • GC’s BOL/MHA MUST be returned to their Service Desk once you are done packing.  This document should notate number of pieces left in the booth area on show floor.

i.e.  2 Black Cases, 3 Cartons, 1 Wood Crate, 1 Carpet, 1 Pad.  If items are palletized, please note 1 Skid containing (10 Cartons – 2 Black Cases).

  • Finally, please call your Rep to advise GC’s BOL/MHA# and number of pieces.  If you can Scan/Text GC’s BOL/MHA to you Rep, this is very helpful. Takes a few seconds.

Hi John, I’m at the ABC show in Chicago.  Freeman’s MHA#123-456789 and there are 10 pieces in booth.  7 Cases and 3 Cartons non-palletized.

Our Rep will then contact/forward the GC’s BOL/MHA to
our dispatcher and the driver recovering your exhibit materials so they can
match everything up with the GC’s Freight Supervisor.

We hope these tips will assist in providing smooth move-outs


-TheEventDoctor - Rich Ryczek 
ELITeXPO Senior Account Executive & Project Coordinator


We Continue To Stand The Test Of Time!

Chuck Michel is ELITeXPO’s VP of Trade Show Services, Musician, and St. Louis Cardinals Fan

After my band finished a late-night gig the other night at a local St. Louis establishment there were a few folks that joined me for an after-show beverage. While we were hanging out and chatting the inevitable question was posed where someone asked what business I happened to be in. At first, I wondered ‘Is this because they figured that I had better not quit my day job after they heard me playing guitar, or is this just the typical ice breaker question that inevitably always comes up in many conversations’? I trusted my instincts and decided to go with the latter of the two!  After my brief elevator speech where I made mention that I was involved in the trade show industry, one individual commented, “Boy, those have gotten to be really popular these days, there seems to be so many more of them now and for every industry.”  I smiled and said yes, fortunately for those in our business it’s true, there are many of them!  But what I realized is her comment indicated to me that she (along with many others) probably didn’t realize that trade shows have been around for centuries, actually dating back to beginning of time.  So, I thought why not share a little history on the industry that keeps ELITeXPO ticking every day.

Trade shows, in various forms and venues, have
been around since the beginning of time. In medieval times in Europe, produce
and craft producers visited towns for trading fairs, to sell and showcase their
products and services.  They took
time to talk one-on-one with potential buyers and explained why their offerings
were better than others that were available. Then, sellers negotiated a
purchase price (or bartered goods or services) until a mutual agreement was met
with buyers.

At one time, exhibiting per se was one of the only ways to market
or sell goods. And perhaps served as a necessary survival tactic to provide for
families. The exhibit industry can trace its roots to the ancient bazaars of
the Middle East. During the 1700’s these exhibitions became somewhat
commonplace in Europe and North America.

forward a few centuries and trade shows, as we know them today at ELITeXPO,
became very popular in the 1960s. Since then sellers and
buyers come together in events of all sizes and types – from simple to
sophisticated.  From small street fairs to multi-million dollar shows in
huge exhibition venues to virtual trade shows on the web, trade shows remain
key to facilitating the exchange of goods and services. No doubt, the concept
of exhibiting and face to face marketing will stand the test of time.

While the general format of trade shows
has remained consistent over the last 20 or more years, the increasing cost to
exhibit has led to changes in the exhibit product industry. Just a little over
10 + years ago, right about the time that we started our Tradeshow Services division
at ELITeXPO, trade show exhibits were often custom designed and fabricated from
plywood or similar substrates and a variety of laminates. Then there was a
quick evolution to Pop-Up or quick set up ‘toolless’ portable exhibits that to
this day are still popular for the 10’ wide spaces and I feel safe to say will
continue to be so. Today trade show exhibits have evolved to the
ever-popular manufactured exhibit ‘extrusion systems’ with large, high impact
fabric Silicone Edge Graphics (SEG). This application, along with a myriad of
custom accessories and elements can make for a very dynamic environment. For
example, in addition to the vibrant large format fabric imaging (both backlit and
front lit), interactive technology is becoming a very important medium in the
booth environment. These interactive mechanisms (touch screens / interactive gaming
/ interactive live presentations) not only afford the opportunity to educate
and reinforce a brand or product, but many times also offer a form of
entertainment. We like to call this ‘edutainment’ because it’s the best of both
worlds. Educate the attendee on your product, increase brand and product
recognition, and at the same time make the experience both entertaining and

Today’s sellers and buyers come together in events of all sizes
and types – from simple with small footprints to massive gatherings with
Islands and double deck structures that can be very elaborate and

From small street fairs to multi-million dollar shows in huge exhibition
venues like McCormick Center in Chicago or the Orange County Convention Center
in Orlando (to name a few), trade shows/events/symposiums remain key to
facilitating the exchange of goods and services across all industries. And in
my humble opinion, nothing, I mean nothing, takes the place of face to face
marketing. No doubt, the concept of exhibiting has and will stand the test of
time…and that’s good news for all of us in this constantly evolving, ever
changing and exciting industry!

Have A Good Show!

Cheers… Chuck

Las Vegas

If I Were a Trade Show Booth

Submitted by Chuck Michel

ELITeXPO VP of Tradeshow Services

As we embark on a new decade, many of us have approached 2020 with resolutions that we hope to put into play. For some it could be eating better, exercising more, spending wisely, etc. The list goes on and on, and for the most part we have heard them all.

So, let’s have some fun and humor me for a few…

“If I were a tradeshow booth what would my ‘2020
resolution(s) be?”

I’m an inline, sometimes a 10’ x 10’, other times I’m a 10’ x 20’, heck on occasion I even go big and head on out as an island. So, as we head into 2020, I started thinking what should I do differently this year?

Heading out to a weekend show as an Inline;

  • First thing that comes to mind is that in 2020 I am going to make it a real point to brighten up my overall appearance and go backlit on all my graphics! I mean, not that I haven’t been colorful in the past, but it’s time to stand out among my peers and really brighten up my approach! So, this year I am going to go all SEG with backlit LED illumination.
  • I also have to admit that I have a tendency to run from show to show, you know ‘Places (shows) to go, people (attendees) to see and things to do’. I will say, that based on last year, I feel that I really need to cut down on the time it takes me to prep and get ready for each show/event. With that said, I think this year I am going to really streamline my prep time and go more with tool-less extrusion wherever and whenever possible. Let’s face it, with these events being so time sensitive, I can’t afford to be late for the opening of the show, so cutting down on how long it takes me to get set up and ready to step out on the floor is paramount for me in 2020. Rude or not, I know for a fact that the show won’t wait for me to be ready to go, so I need to be up and ready to do my thing as soon as it’s show time!

  • I also think I am going to spend more time
    talking to you. I think a nice reception counter would be a good idea, perhaps
    even one with a charging station or an iPad kiosk built in. This way we can hang
    and talk a bit, reference the iPad for presentation for digital media support,
    and at the same time you can charge your phone. At the end of the day I want
    you to feel like there is a reason for staying and talking. I also want to make
    sure that my reception counter can double up with some storage. I tend to carry
    a bit more with me these days and some say I over pack, so storage capability
    underneath the counter is going to be something to pay attention to this year.

  • Speaking of storage, I realize that many would argue that ‘doing more with less’ is a smart strategy to follow. With that said, another 2020 resolution I plan to strive for is to avoid looking cluttered! In these inline spaces, when it comes to functionality, each sq. ft. is premium space, going forward I plan to be smarter as to how I use it.

Go BIG or Go Home!

  • Earlier I had mentioned that sometimes I find
    myself in situations where I have to step out to the show as an island. You
    see, I’m lucky in the fact that a few times a year I get to hang with the big
    players on the show floor. Now I will be the 1st to admit, the
    pressure is on when I head out as an island. And let me tell you, it’s not easy
    being exposed from all 4 sides. I mean, you are now in a situation where you
    need to be both ‘open’ minded, not to mention that you are really putting
    yourself out there for everyone to see. Truth be told, you are a bit exposed if
    you know what I mean.  And no matter what
    angle they approach you from, it’s all about you!

  • With that said, for the island events I participate in 2020 I plan to make sure that all the key product and or demos I want to show off are easily accessible from any angle you approach me from. This year I also want to make sure that my visitor finds it easy to navigate their way through my booth once they enter from any direction.  Getting around needs to be user friendly as traffic flow is important me, What I don’t want is people to feel like they are lost, let alone feel like they are trapped when visiting with me. Remember the hedge maze at the Overlook Hotel in the film ‘The Shining’? Not on my watch… therefore I plan to really focus on mapping out an intuitive floor plan within my booth.

  • I feel that I need be more visible from afar.
    You see last year I found myself in a few situations where I was at the back of
    the show with many booths and a maze of aisles between my location and the main
    entrance way. Going forward I plan to look at incorporating some overhead
    signage. Overhead signage is going to afford me some branding visibility from a
    great distance. I also will explore several ways to integrate my overhead sign.
    I can either hang the sign from the convention hall ceiling via rigging, or I
    can look at building up and have my signage supported by the booth. There are a
    lot of cool overhead sign options, with back lit, motion graphics, in addition
    to those that rotate.

  • An island footprint also means lots of floor
    space. This year I want to make sure that the flooring my guest stand on is not
    an afterthought and is well integrated into the overall design.  The reality is flooring is another whole area
    to get creative with, another area to make a statement, not to mention make
    those that visit with me feel more comfortable! With today’s flooring options
    there are so many possibilities to consider. It’s not just carpets anymore, as
    there are now options that include substrates made of wood, rubber and foam
    materials. The choices are many; be it tile, vinyl, eco-friendly green choices,
    digitally printed imaging and more. There are even back lit options that allow
    you to project images from underneath which is quite a clever way to extend the
    brand and or your messaging. All great options to consider based on the booth
    design, the amount of traffic, cleaning requirements and of course budget
    considerations. Oh, and this year I plan to add as much padding as possible. I
    don’t want you to feel like you are standing on concrete and I want to visit as
    long as possible.

  • One thing is for certain, this year I want to be
    more interactive, I want to step up the way I communicate my message to you.
    Truth be told interactive technology is constantly changing, improving and
    becoming more and more innovative. If you don’t incorporate technology of some
    sort within your booth you are missing the boat, and frankly I feel that I
    might come off looking a bit antiquated. For example; it can be something as
    simple as recharging stations for smart phones and tablets. These charging
    stations can be a great way to keep somebody engaged, and if done correctly can
    be a smart way to draw crowds. Be careful about the latter, as you don’t just
    want anyone in the booth because tire kickers tend to take up valuable space. I
    talked earlier about wanting to be brighter, well nothing visually speaks
    louder than large format flat screen monitors. Couple that with interactive
    touch screen technology and you now have a vehicle that offers both eye
    catching appeal while at the same time engaging and educating the atendee on
    product. Add a few interactive games that incorporate your product and we have
    now added a little entertainment into the mix.

Yep, I have a lot of resolutions that I have put out there
to consider this year. And even if I can only accomplish a few of the above,
there is no doubt I will be taking steps towards some great improvements!

Have A Good Show!