Full service events & exhibitions logistics: beyond storage and transport

What's involved in events and exhibition logistics?

3PLs who specialise in the logistics of storing exhibition stands and equipment, and transporting them to exhibitions and meeting around the world are hardly new, but a few enterprising groups don’t stop there. Beyond mere storage and transport, they offer a host of revents logisticselated services (often through industry partnerships, but occasionally in-house) such as the design and construction of exhibition stands, full exhibition capability project management, and even help tracking and maintaining an acceptable ROI for your exhibition presence. Let’s look at these services in a bit more depth.

Basic Logistics

I won’t belabour the obvious, but getting exhibition materials where they are needed, and storing them safely when they are not, is the real core of these kinds of operations. Without a solid logistics core, the rest of the services don’t mean much.

Design and Build

This is more commonly offered as a partnership deal, but some exhibition logistics providers offer it in-house. This makes a lot of sense, as it would be more difficult for a maker of exhibition materials to make contact with those needing their services on their own. As a partner (or a part) of an exhibition logistics company, they have access to a large client list, and benefit from there already being a working relationship in place.

Most will offer a full design service in addition to building and sales, as the overhead for the design offering is fairly small, and will include many of the competencies they already have on hand for building. Most designers will include a 3D rendering of the final design before productions starts, as there can be little confusion about what is expected once everyone can see and manipulate the model.

Exhibition Project Management

Many logistics providers include this automatically, but others bill it as a separate service. It does go beyond simply delivering and assembling the stands and materials, to be fair. Project management incorporates the provision and maintenance of electrical power, internet connectivity, access to any remote data resources, or anything else your exhibition presence requires. Some ‘stands’ these days can get pretty elaborate, and demonstrating finicky prototypes can require a lot of infrastructure.

A good exhibition project management package includes booking and managing exhibition space, complete responsibility for risk assessment and health and safety, hiring and installation of equipment, furniture, lighting, etc, and of course transport and storage.

ROI Assessment

Seeing this offering in a few places surprised me, but really it shouldn’t have. It can be seen as an extension of project management. Who better to make predictions about footfall, conversion, and message penetration than the manager who set out to maximise all of these things, and was on hand to keep them all working throughout? Still, check their figures though to make sure.



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