As everyone who exhibits regularly knows, shipping cases provide a rich source of delay and hassle in trade show setup and take down. You have wait for them to be delivered to your booth, unpack then, and then wait for someone to pick them up for off-the-floor storage. At the end of the show, the process repeats itself in reverse. What if you could save money, time and hassle at the show by utilizing your shipping cases inside your booth? My apologies to any flea market vendors reading this, but the flea market look is not the image most professionals are going for in their booth design. That being said, if your are going to try this, it must be done the right way, and with the help of a case professional.
Ever notice how much those “incidentals” at the show cost. The cost of renting tables, chairs, stands, podiums, etc. can add a significant amount to the overall show cost. The benefit of renting these items is that they are magically delivered to the booth before you get there, and you get to just walk away from them when you are done. What many people don’t know, is that a fabricated shipping case can easily be built with table legs in the lids, removable flat table tops, graphic ready inner surfaces, and even attractive shelves. The natural rigidity of the cases ensures that these structures are durable enough for use within the booth. With the intelligent use of removable drapery and skirting, you can hide the ugly truth, and nobody will be the wiser.
Another common item transported to shows is the plasma or LCD screen. Because of the large size, odd shape, and fragility of these screens, they already require a specially made case to keep them safe. Custom cases for large TVs can be made with fixtures so that the screen can be removed from the case, and then quickly and easily attached to top of the case lid. Since the plasma case is tall and unstable, the bottom of the case is outfitted with snap-on removable outriggers for stability. Once again, a little drapery hides the ugly truth. Plasma cases with hydraulic lift systems have been around for a long time. Given the lower weight of modern screens, the heavy weight of the hydraulic lift, and the very high cost of these case systems, they are generally not preferable to the system described above.
It is also possible, and sometimes very practical; to build a tradeshow shipping case that opens up in the middle (or in sections) to reveal an attractive surface ideal for hanging graphics. These cases can also be outfitted with attractive wood or metal shelves for displaying your items and literature. In some situations, you can pre-stock your items before the case ships to the show, and be sure that it all gets there and is displayed in the optimum way. The advantage of this is obvious. At the beginning show, just un-pack and setup, at the end, just pack up and walk away. Since your case is your booth, you will also save money by having less to ship, and less to rent when you get there.