In Tip #20, we talked about managing your inventory and keeping a list of everything purchased. As the event date nears, you’ll need to get all these items to the event site.
Before shipping, organize your packages by function. You can use large letters to label (A for Registration, B for General Session, C for Gala Dinner, D for Meeting XYZ, E for Office Supplies etc.) or simply label each package with the date and event it is for. However you choose to organize yourself, make sure it’s something you and your staff can work with. Once you arrive on-site, it will be easy to locate things and can save you a lot of time.
Options for Shipping:
- Drive-in. If the event is local, you can simply drive your packages over yourself. Pack a dolly or cart to help or ask the Venue staff in advance if there will be someone to assist when you arrive. If you’re short on event staff and need to advance a few things, ask the Venue if they have a space for you to drop off your packages a day prior. You’ll most likely need to deliver through a Back of House or Loading Dock area, so ask about its location and operating hours.
- Courier. Couriers operate locally and internationally and are a good choice if you require personalized attention, or have very specific directions for delivery. Again, you’ll most likely need to deliver through a Back of House or Loading Dock area, so ask about its location and operating hours.
- Mail. Use a standard shipping service like USPS, FedEx, or UPS. Before you ship, ask your Venue Manager for specific directions to ensure your package isn’t misplaced or discarded. Be clear about the expected delivery date and always save the Tracking Number! Ask the venue manager about storage fees imposed by their mailroom. Many venues have rules in place of how much in advance of your event you can have your packages shipped.
Are you expecting pallets or crates? Ensure the storage room you’ve booked at the venue has an entrance door wide enough to fit. If not, ask about available staff to break down the pallet, and what the costs are, if any. Determine what the truck size of your driver is and check with the venue that the truck will fit in its loading dock. Also ensure that the driver is prepared with a pallet jack. The venue will not always have one or will have policies in place that prohibit lending it. Seems like a lot of trouble to go through, but your shipping packages because you need them and don’t want to end up with lost packages or re-delivery fees.
To save money, and if you do not need to necessarily review something before it arrives at the venue, consider shipping online purchases directly to the venue. You can also use a local printing company to print all of your posters, programs, agendas, or menus. Many times the printing company will deliver to you for no cost at all. Again, keep in mind storage fees imposed by the venue and time your package deliveries to avoid such fees.