An aisle between shelves at a short-term storage solutions facility.

Short-Term Storage Solutions for Trade Show Management

If you’re responsible for organizing trade shows, you don’t need a blog post to tell you how many tasks you need to juggle at once.

You’re in constant contact with vendors and coordinating with the venue staff to ensure everything is in order before the big day. But amid all the chaos, one agenda can occasionally fall by the wayside: Finding short-term storage solutions for the thousands upon thousands of items used throughout the event.

3PL providers have the know-how—and, of course, the storage space needed—to keep items in stock and secure. Let’s discuss their role in ensuring trade shows go off without a hitch.

Receiving, Stocking, and Shipping

When it comes to trade show management, there are many moving pieces. You have items your team will reuse during every show, such as signage, furniture, and other equipment, along with merchandise you will give away at each event, like pens and keychains.

3PL providers offer short-term storage solutions for each type of item—and much more. We’ll break down how logistics vendors add value at each step in the process.

Receiving Items

Breaking down a trade show is as complex as setting it up. Fortunately, when you work with a 3PL vendor, you will have one less thing to worry about.

Before the show begins, you can arrange a date and time for the short-term storage solutions vendor to pick up all the items you need to store. And from there, it’s simple. At the end of the show, after all of the booths have been broken down and items stored in boxes, the 3PL vendor can send trucks to ship everything away to a warehouse facility until they’re needed again.

Storing Items

Running a warehouse sounds easy. After all, it’s just a place where many products are stored. How hard can it be?

Warehouses can contain millions of stock-keeping units (SKUs). Keeping everything organized and easily accessible for warehouse employees is a challenge. Short-term storage solutions providers account for this by using technology such as barcode scanning and radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging to inventory items paired with a warehouse management system (WMS). When these different forms of technology are in sync, warehouse employees can quickly discover where items are located and in what quantity so they can soon get them shipped before upcoming trade shows.

Replenishing Stock

During every show, your team will hand out hundreds of items to attendees, from brochures to knick-knacks. Eventually, supplies will run low, and you’ll need to re-stock.

In a nightmare scenario, your team will only learn about this right before the show starts, causing a mad rush at the worst possible time. Luckily, your short-term storage solutions provider has your back. As mentioned, your items are inventoried and represented as a data point in the 3PL vendor’s WMS.

When inventory levels hit a designated reorder point, the team will place an order with your suppliers and have the items shipped to the warehouse for storage. You don’t need to worry about running out of items or paying too much in storage costs.

Boxing Your Items

When setting up a new trade show, short-term storage solutions vendor employees pick the items you need off the shelves and then take them to a packing station before shipping. Rather than dropping items into boxes without any rhyme or reason, they will use software to decide on the optimal box size and arrangement of items in the box.

You can feel confident similar items will be boxed together in packaging that limits damage caused by movement and bumps.

Shipping to the Show

Day-of trade show management is a whirlwind. The last thing you want to worry about is not having the items you need ready to go.

Short-term storage solutions providers can offer you peace of mind amid the craziness. They will deliver the boxed items to the venue at a designated time. Throughout the shipping process, the team back at the warehouse facility will keep track of the delivery status and fill you in if it’s running late.

A Streamlined Trade Show Experience

A truck leaving a short-term storage solutions facility parking lot.

When you first heard the term “short-term storage solutions,” you likely assumed it was just a cost of doing business if you manage trade shows. The truth, however, is that 3PL providers can serve as strategic partners to save you money and streamline your trade show operations.

You may have overlooked a few benefits of working with a 3PL provider.

Preventing Cluttering at the Event Venue

In the days leading up to a trade show, your team must sort through thousands of shipments. It can quickly become overwhelming.

Short-term storage solutions vendors can help cut down on the clutter. Using just-in-time shipping, they can schedule deliveries to arrive at the exact time when the items are needed in the setup process. Your team gets the items they need when they need them.

Choosing the Right Carrier

Some vendors are well-equipped to handle shipping perishable items, while others are skilled at shipping fragile items. However, you may need more time or expertise to find a suitable carrier at the right price if you work in trade show management.

Short-term storage solutions vendors have long-standing relationships with carriers and know which ones are best suited to handle the needs of trade show organizers at a reasonable price point.

Inspecting Items Before Shipping

Damaged signage, booths, and merchandise can overwhelm trade show attendees.

3PL providers can spot items that aren’t in perfect shape before they’re shipped. As items are packaged before shipping, employees of the short-term storage solutions provider inspect each of them to check for damage. If anything looks off, they can quickly replace them.

Let CONRI Help With Your Next Trade Show

At CONRI, we offer short-term storage solutions that can elevate your trade show management. Learn more by submitting a contact form today!