Published on February 8, 2024

What Is Drayage and Material Handling at Trade Shows?

What Is Drayage and Material Handling at Trade Shows?
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Trade shows are excellent opportunities for businesses to network, build brand awareness, and showcase their latest products and services. However, participating in one of these events comes with its own set of challenges. One of the most significant obstacles that businesses must navigate is the logistics of transporting and setting up their exhibits, also known as drayage. Explore what drayage and material handling mean for trade shows and discover practical tips on how businesses can make drayage easier for themselves while attending.

Trade Show Drayage

Drayage refers to the process of transporting exhibit materials from your business or fabrication warehouse to the exhibitor’s space within a trade show venue. The term drayage comes from the word dray, which was a cart historically used to transport heavy loads. At trade shows, drayage involves the handling of various materials, such as booth displays, banners, promotional materials, and products you will showcase at the event.

General service contractors appointed by the trade show organizer often handle drayage and shipment assistance. There are many factors that affect the cost of drayage, including the volume and weight of the materials, the distance between the loading dock and the booth space, labor costs, and the amount of time spent on handling the materials.

Material Handling at Trade Shows

Exhibitors and event coordinators often refer to drayage as material handling and use the terms interchangeably. At trade shows, material handling encompasses the strategies used to manage the flow of materials from storage to exhibit spaces, including maintenance and delivery. Properly managing material handling at trade shows is vital to ensure a smooth and efficient experience for exhibitors and attendees alike.

How To Make Drayage Easier for Your Business

Making drayage simpler for your business while attending trade shows is achievable with careful planning and communication. Understanding your deadlines to prevent delays, shipping things yourself, and consolidating your shipments are all strategies that can help keep drayage costs down.

Additionally, you should consider working with a trade show exhibit company that covers material handling themselves to take the logistics off your business’s hands. At West Coast Exhibit, we handle your trade show exhibit rental from shipping to storage, which helps create a smoother, more efficient trade show experience for your business.

By understanding the concepts of drayage and material handling at trade shows, businesses can better prepare for the logistics involved in exhibiting at these events. With proper planning, communication, and organization, drayage can become a seamless and stress-free process for exhibitors. Next time you plan to participate in a trade show, remember these concepts or choose a trade show exhibit company like West Coast Exhibit to handle the logistics for you.

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