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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 156 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Hauling Stuff Around  (Read 3454 times)
Veritas Games
Member

Posts: 171


« on: August 12, 2005, 11:56:35 AM »

OK, so I'm totally ignorant of this stuff.  How do you folks get materials to cons?  Also do you leave your stock at the convention center overnight or do you have to unload this stuff each day.

We may be attending GenCon next year, and for the life of me, I have no idea of how I'm going to fly there with tons and tons of materials for display and sale without spending a fortune on carrying this stuff on a plane with me.

Do the cons have a receiving service that can receive your products and booth materials in advance so that you can just ship stuff there?

Thanks.

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Regards,
Lee Valentine
President
Veritas Games
Valamir
Member

Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2005, 05:30:03 AM »

This apparently got lost in the pre con shuffle so I'll offer my experience with Gen Con.

Most big guys show up with a truck or trailer, park in the convention center loading dock which abuts the exhibitor hall and go from there.  Small folks like me just throw some boxes in the trunk and wheel them to the hall on a hand cart.

If you're going to do shipping, I recommend shipping to yourself at your hotel, AFAIK the convention center won't accept shipments.

The hall is locked up at night.  I've not heard any horror stories about leaving product in the hall after hours.  Many booths will cover up with a sheet or tarp.

Plan on some shrinkage, both from nimble fingered customers and honest booth error.  I've lost a couple copies a year in prior years.
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jdagna
Member

Posts: 563


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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2005, 10:13:52 AM »

For getting materials to conventions: Definitely ship to your hotel if you can't carry it with you.  If you're selling books, CDs, DVDs, or anything else that qualifies as media, ship at least three weeks ahead of time using USPS media rate for a big savings.

However, I've generally been able to carry almost everything I need on the plane.  Last year, I brought two people (my wife and a demo person), so we had 6 pieces of luggage that we could check, at 50 lbs each.

If you can't carry it on, see if there are any local people who are driving out there already.  I saved about $200 in shipping for a large display by having another company load it in their truck.

You can ship directly to the convention's receiving warehouse and then they'll haul it out to the con site for you.  However, the drayage fees are absurd (several hundred dollars).  Don't do this.  The only reason you'd want to do this is if you want to ship pallets via a freight company.

In three years of GenCon, I've never had anything stolen from me, either during or after the hall hours.  I have had the advantage of a booth entirely to myself, if that makes a difference.  I simply drape a sheet over displays and make sure that nothing of value is out in the open.  I also take things like my computer and cash box with me.  If you have a nearby hotel, it can sometimes work to leave most of your inventory there and bring more stuff every morning, but I've never had a problem, so I don't think it's worth worrying about.

If you're curious, here's a breakdown of stuff I had at GenCon last year:
Display: 2 cases weighing 70 and 80 pounds each.  About $150 by UPS, but I got friends to take them for me.
Stock: 3 boxes, weighing 50, 50 and 25 pounds, checked at the airport.  (This was more than twice what I actually sold, but I believe in being over stocked).
Misc: 2 suitcases, weighing 35 and 45 pounds, checked at the airport.
(The Misc stuff includes some display items, plus promo samples, demo materials, and things like staplers, receipt books, etc.)
Total cost for shipping: $0.
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Justin Dagna
President, Technicraft Design.  Creator, Pax Draconis
http://www.paxdraconis.com
Veritas Games
Member

Posts: 171


« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2005, 07:44:16 AM »

Are hotels generally willing to accept shipments if you are staying there?  Do you have to pay for the privilege?

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Regards,
Lee Valentine
President
Veritas Games
jdagna
Member

Posts: 563


WWW
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2005, 10:15:44 AM »

Are hotels generally willing to accept shipments if you are staying there?  Do you have to pay for the privilege?

I've never had them bat an eye at it.  Just make sure to call them ahead of timez so they expect the packages and label them clearly
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Justin Dagna
President, Technicraft Design.  Creator, Pax Draconis
http://www.paxdraconis.com
Veritas Games
Member

Posts: 171


« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2005, 05:17:04 AM »

Thanks for the advice.

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Regards,
Lee Valentine
President
Veritas Games
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