Managing Director, Exhibition Freighting Ltd
It’s no secret that our industry cannot wait to get back to exhibitions and face to face meetings. But of course the big question is, when will this happen? Unfortunately, right now there are no definitive answers, but when those doors of exhibition centres open worldwide, are you as an individual and a company ready to push the ‘play’ button?
Companies need to plan ahead on elements such as stand design, travel arrangements, exhibition space, H&S protection plans, including COVID protection going forward. The key is to not wait until the last minute as it may be too late. This doesn’t mean every item must be ordered and paid for right away, but in a lot of cases forward planning will pay dividends.
Timings have changed. With Brexit, consideration now also needs to be given to the timings and paperwork required for freight movements into Europe. Export invoices for the freight and the relevant customs procedures need to be followed, including import or temporary import into the country/city where the exhibition is being held. You can do this yourself but we would recommend turning to experts to avoid any last minute surprises.
Some tips we can offer from Exhibition Freighting include:
- Plan ahead - Knowing which shows you are going to and making sure you contact and organise them with a recognised forwarder will save you time in the long run. Additionally, make sure you inform other key suppliers about your intention to attend the show to ensure they have you in mind and you have an initial quote on everything, from contacting the stand designer to starting to plan for team expenses such as hotels and flights
- Ensure you have the right paperwork - Check that you have a registered EORI number, which is your company VAT number, but registered for imports and exports into Europe. You are used to completing shipping invoices when shipping to shows in the US or Far East etc, but the same rules now apply for any shipments going to Europe and that includes courier shipments.
- Adapt to the new regulations - All wooden pallets/crates/cases must be heat treated and have the appropriate marks on them to comply with ISPM15 regulations. Again, you may be used to this for the US and further afield but this rule now applies for shipments into Europe.
Whenever we do get back to attending tradeshows in person, and that day will come, preparation is key. Putting practices in place now will ensure your entry back to the show floor runs as smoothly and successfully as possible, and we get back to making the most of the events we know and love.