We asked 10 exhibit-industry experts to share their opinions, advice, and perspectives on material handling and drayage.
"The word drayage sends shivers down the spine of every trade show manager I know because it's a difficult thing to justify to management."
— Christopher Kappes, vice president, sales and marketing, RES Exhibit Services LLC
"It's crazy how getting an exhibit from the dock to a booth space costs more than it does to ship it from California to New York."
— Judy Volker, marketing director, Iatric Systems Inc.
"Drayage rates should be simplified – something along the lines of a flat rate per square foot. It's not like anyone works harder based on weight."
— Rob Deschenes, president, Exhibit Central Inc.
"Think 'monopoly' and you realize why you are paying an arm and a leg for drayage."
— Bob Stinson, international agent development and support, Airways Freight Corp.
"Exhibitors are downsizing or cancelling programs, not because trade show marketing is ineffective, but because rising costs are squeezing their exhibiting budgets."
— Mel White, vice president of marketing and business development, Classic Exhibits Inc.
"Drayage is an expense that should be budgeted for and carefully considered when designing and shipping a booth."
— Nicholas Galioto, trade show manager, The Lubrizol Corp.
"Drayage is often used as a slush fund so that show organizers can have a zero balance for all the other items they request from a general service contractor. There's no transparency on what it covers."
— Glenda Brungardt, CTSM, tradeshow/event manager, HP Inc.
"My biggest gripe is that we never seem to be able to accurately predict our final drayage costs in spite of thinking we did everything right."
— Larry Kulchawik, independent trade show consultant, Larry Kulchawik Consulting
"Shifting material handling into booth space costs would eliminate the sticker shock for exhibitors when they receive their invoices on site."
— Jack Thompson, CMP, CEM, president and owner, Expoexpert Inc.
"The thing most exhibitors forget is that material handling isn't just the cost to rent a forklift."
— Sarah Griffin, senior client services specialist, Penton