ClickCease How to protect your trade show exhibit | Godfrey Group


A trade show offers you the opportunity to provide your consumer with an immersive experience that gets them excited. And these days, companies from all different industries are taking advantage of that opportunity and incorporating trade shows into their marketing mix. 

Now, if you’re planning to make trade shows a staple in your marketing efforts, there are several things you can do to protect your trade show exhibit. With most vendors traveling to and exhibiting at several shows a year, it’s vital to keep all of your components safe and intact at all times.

How to protect your trade show exhibit

Protecting your trade show exhibit on the showroom floor

While it’s not fun to think about, trade shows aren’t totally exempt from people behaving badly. And for that reason, it’s important to employ some common sense security in an effort to keep your trade show exhibit safe while on the showroom floor.

Like with any big vendor event, there will be large crowds of people milling about at all times throughout the exhibiting hours. So we would advise that you don’t ever leave your booth unattended. It’s also smart to keep high-value items under lock and key at all times if possible.

If you happen to have trade secret items and non-display valuables in tow, keep them out of sight.

Introduce yourself to and get to know your vendor neighbors on the showroom floor. You may have to rely on them or they may have to rely on you to keep an eye on the exhibit at some point.

It’s also a good idea to chat with the security staff and find out what they typically see most often. They’re usually a great resource for out-of-the-box tips to keep your trade show exhibit safe.

We would also advise that you keep your stuff organized so that you’re able to notice if anything is awry at a glance.

Protecting your trade show exhibit overnight

In the event that the show stretches across multiple days, there are a few things you can do to ensure your trade show exhibit stays safe overnight.

First things first, understand that trade shows typically have security on hand to surveil the showroom floor during the overnight hours. But we wouldn’t advise that you rely solely on them. Make a plan to remove any unsecured valuables from the exhibit each night. Indoor shows are typically fairly secure overnight, but you can’t ever be too careful with your valuables. 

As you close up for the night, take an inventory of your display items and ensure that everything is set up properly. This includes checking to make sure that your large digital items such as TV screens are mounted in a secure fashion.

Protecting your exhibit in transit

The first thing you’ll need to determine when it comes to protecting your trade show exhibit in transit is how do you need to pack up your display. Some displays can easily pack down into tote bags or cases. Others might require wooden crates. And while shipping crates and shipping cases might sound similar, there’s actually quite a big difference in the trade show industry. 

Shipping cases are typically molded plastic shipping containers, often with wheels, that can ship by UPS or FedEx. Portable trade show displays will almost always ship in cases.

Shipping crates, however, are typically custom-built, large wooden containers that hold larger exhibits. These crates can often weigh upwards of 500 lbs and some can even weigh thousands of pounds. Crates must ship by truck and need to be handled with forklifts and pallet jacks. 

You’ll also want to protect your trade show exhibit with the proper insurance. There are many insurance options available, however, these are the three most common for shipping trade show items:

    • Carrier or Van Line Insurance: This type of insurance is typically included in the base price for the service the carrier or van line offers. It’s important to note, however, that in most cases this is a “limited liability” type coverage which means that the company may not cover the full cost of your materials. We’d advise that you examine the level of insurance that the carrier or van line provides so you can make an informed decision.
    • Extended liability insurance: Your shipping carrier may allow you to extend their liability coverage. It might cost a bit more, but it’ll guarantee that your materials are fully covered.
  • Corporate insurance: If you want your trade show materials covered from the time they ship to a show to the time they return to your headquarters, this is the right choice for you.
  • If your trade show display requires transport by crate, we offer safe storage in our North Carolina warehouse.