Posts tagged #Last minute delivery to Frankfurt Book Fair

Carrying an extra suitcase to Frankfurt Book Fair doesn't make sense.

We’ve said it for years, it’s the core of our offer that you shouldn’t need to carry that extra case with you just before a major fair. So you can probably imagine how delighted we were when an email came in with the following text:

“After packing, carrying and getting annoyed about an extra suitcase to the past bookfairs, your offer sounds like a perfect alternative.”

It makes sense to let us do the lifting, carrying and driving. With that said you might still be a little nervous about handing over those precious, hard worked on last minute items that you need for your meetings. If it helps you feel more comfortable about working with us we are always happy to come along and say hello face to face giving you a chance to get to know us, decide whether you like us and can trust us enough to get your last minute material to your stand.

As an alternative we’re happy to put you in touch with people that have used Book Fair Vans in the past and you can ask them directly what it was like to work with us.

Feel free to leave a comment below, email us or call 020 3287 4198 and we can take it from there.


The questions people ask us.


As we get closer to each book fair that we work on it’s fair to say that we get emails or phone calls asking us to answer questions that people have and that’s fine we are always happy to answer them and find out a little bit more about the people who are asking.

We have realised that we are probably not making it easy enough for you to find out about us and in an attempt to do something about that we thought a blog post with answers might just help.

If you can’t find the answer to yours on this post do let us know,  we can answer it for you and then add it to the blog in case someone else needs that answer another time.

What do you do?

We run a late van service for publishers and associated companies that exhibit at trade fair like Frankfurt, Bologna and London.

The people we work with tend to have a problem getting material to their stand when the know or have realised that it won’t be ready until the last minute and it is either too heavy or there is too much of it for their staff to take to a fair themselves.

Recently we have noticed that we are taking more material for publishers who have a smaller presence at a trade fair, usually with one or two people working from their stand or simply accessing the fair as a visitor.

We also work with people who gear their production processes to be ready just in time

What do you carry?

Typically it’s a mix of catalogues, dummies, presentation material and graphics for peoples stands. It’s also included Computer equipment, boxes of wine, the MD favourite chair, the office coffee machine, mints, chocolate, stuffed toys, boxes of meeting notes, gift bags, virtual stand hosts and portfolio cases.


We time our departure to offer people as much time as possible to get every ready that they need on a stand.

For Bologna 2014 we are leaving central London at 14:30 on Friday 21st March and arriving at the fiera Sunday 23rd March with delivery to stands from 09:30.

Frankfurt 2014 we see us leaving central London on Monday 6th October at 14:30 arriving at the Messe on Tuesday 7th October with delivery to stands from 10:00.

What does it cost?

We work on a simple per kilo price which means that you only pay for what you send out to a fair with us. There is no minimum number of boxes or weight to worry about which means we are happy to take that one box that you have.

 We would expect to finalise our charges for Frankfurt by the end of July 2014. Please feel free to email us and we will let you know as soon as the rate is confirmed.

How much for cash, how much for an early booking, how much for trade, fire sales and “I’ll call you the day before you leave to check how much unsold space you have.”

It’s not how we work and the answer is always a polite but firm no.

When do I find out how heavy my boxes are.

The glib answer for this one is usually “When you try to lift them!” but the real one is that we weigh all your boxes as we load into our vans and we will tell you how many boxes you have given us and their total weight. We will confirm that with an email to you on the way to the fair and we always ask you to sign for your boxes when we collect and deliver.

Can you leave later?

The honest answer is that we can’t.

We work to the last possible minute to get your boxes to the show and we have a responsibility to our other customer and BFV staffers to make sure we arrive in good time and are making sure that we allow enough time to do the job in a safe way.

More or less boxes than I said I would have.

We have designed the service to work on an on demand basis so if you have been good enough to give us an estimate of boxes before we arrive and you have over or underestimated it’s not a problem we’re happy to take whatever it is you have ready for us.

If you charter an entire van from us we work to a maximum load which is governed by the weight that the van can carry and that is usually 1500kg.

How do we keep in touch on the journey to a book fair?

All our vans carry mobile phones (and someone other than a driver to answer them), internet connection, tracking via Glympse and email access. Do ask us for details if you would like to keep in touch on the run to a book fair.

Proof of Delivery.

We use a proof of delivery system called Workmobile which means that we don’t rely on a paper based system , that said we do run one as a backup. Workmobile lets us book in the amount of boxes we collect from you, record a weight for each and captures a signature.

When we deliver to your stand we will ask for a signature, remind for the amount of boxes and take a photograph, just to be safe. If you are not on the stand when we arrive we will ask your contractor to sign and get their name as well again just to be safe.

The signatures, photos and boxes weights are available for you to see either online or via email, which ever you would prefer.

Return journey’s

We regularly survey our clients to find out whether we can offer them a return service and it seems that just over 85% of what we deliver to peoples stands either returns to London with a contractor, is donated to one of the book charity's or is left behind and this makes it uneconomical for us to offer a return service.

What do you need from me?

Usually very little, we don’t ask you to fill out forms and sign your life away at a time when you’ve got more that enough to do, without us adding to the workload. We like to know how we can reach your or your colleagues at the fair, what time you are arriving in the hall, who we should send and talk to about our invoice and a rough idea of what’s in the boxes. That’s about it.

Labelling Boxes

Our journey to a book fair does not involve your boxes being processed through multiple depots however just to be safe we recommend you follow the label conventions set out by the fair you are exhibiting at for example:

Bologna Book Fair

Your stand contact

Your hall and stand number

Bologna Children's Book Fair

Piazza Costituzione, 6

40128 Bologna


Frankfurt Book Fair

Exhibitor name, hall and stand number

Frankfurt Book Fair


Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1

60327 Frankfurt am Main



London Book Fair

Your stand contact

Your hall and stand number

London Book Fair

Earls Court Exhibition Centre

Warwick Road


SW5 9TA.


What does it cost to book in with you?

We run a list of people who have asked us to speak with them, usually a day or two before we leave for a fair to see whether or not they are going to need our help. We will never charge someone for being on a list of people that might need help and in fact we’d rather know about what you might need in advance and find out that you don’t need us closer to departure.

If you would like to book in with us and confirm closer to a fair email us at and we can go from there.

I’m outside of London can you still help us?

We regularly have people contact us who are outside of London that need help. We always try our best to help them particularly when they reach out at the last minute. The best route to getting your last minute material to your stand is to send us an email or have a conversation with us by calling 020 3287 4198. We can usually find an answer and give you clear deadline times and costs involved. Because of the distances and time involved we won’t be able to offer collections on the same day as we do with our London collections but we usually find a way to give you a full day to get ready the day before.

Can we get a reference from you?

We are lucky enough to have people that we have worked with over the years who have volunteered to offer us a reference or testimonial and we are happy to introduce you to them. We usually prefer to have a short conversation with you about what you might need to send out to a fair to make sure you end up talking to someone who has sent a similar amount of boxes to make sure you get an accurate experience of working with us.


Coming to a town near you

We're delighted to announce that our really last minute service is reaching out from it London base for Frankfurt 2013.

If you are based in Bath, Brighton, Cambridge, Cheltenham, Chichester, Lewes, Oxford, Reading and Swindon we now offer you the chance to enjoy collections on Monday 7th October with delivery to your stand the next morning.

We hope to offer more areas as we get closer to Frankfurt and will make announcements on our site as new locations are added but we're always happy to hear from people who think they might need last minute help in areas that we have not listed.

To find out more, suggest another area or book in with us please call 0203 287 4198, email or tweet us @thebfv


Frankfurt 2012 – We are leaving later to give you more time to get ready.

Frankfurt 2012 – We are leaving later to give you more time to get ready.

We’re sure that you all have Frankfurt Book Fair dates marked on your calendar, highlighted on a wall chart and just in case anyone had forgotten and needs reminding you’ve added it to your email signature as well.

So no one needs us to tell you that it’s happening between Wednesday10th to Sunday14th October. We didn’t think so…

One date we would like to share with you is Monday 8th October. We can take a wild guess and say that it might be your last full day in the office before heading out to renew your relationship with a patch of the Messe that is forever (well at for 6 days anyway) yours. It’s also the day that we are leaving for Frankfurt to renew our relationship with European roads and the wide open spaces that surround each hall at the Book Fair.

Collections will happen up to lunchtime on the 8th with delivery to your stand during the morning of 9th in time for you to arrive from the airport and get ready to unpack all that hard work that has become your last minute, must have material for the stand.

We’ve made the change to offer you as much time as possible to get what you need ready and shipped without having to persuade people in your teams to make do with two less pairs of shoes in their suitcase, suffer the effort of carrying extra luggage to and from various check-in desks for overweight baggage and avoid the costs of using big name courier services.

Nothing else has changed. We are still proud to the people that only charge you for what you send, without a minimum weight or asking you to fill in forms that mean you second guess exactly how much you need to send out weeks in advance of having it all ready. You can still track you boxes and find out who signed for your delivery if you’ve not arrived at your stand when we do.

If you would rather have us come and see you, like we have for a good few year on Friday 5th, because Monday doesn’t work for you,that’s fine just ask. We’re happy to help whenever you’re ready. Change doesn’t always work for everyone and we wouldn’t want to put you through it if you don’t need the extra time.

To get started call 020 3287 4198, email or tweet @thebfv and we’ll go from there.


Beam me up Scotty

The sale of Edvard Munch's The Scream has made taken plenty of column inches over the last few days.

We suspect that during the next few week many of us will strike a Munch like pose and scream inwardly at the injustice of a deadline that doesn't work. That conversation, memo or email about when you have to be ready might just be the worse thing about the run up to Bologna Book Fair.

It's probably because we are the last people out of London to a Book Fair that we get to find out how much pressure people are under to get their last minute material completed. Some conversations have been about working to deadlines that have a little slack in them, another implied that colleagues in teams working on the show seem to think that there is a secret delivery run that involves a conversation with Mr.Scott and the Enterprise teleporter team.

Whether you favourite Montgomery Scott is the original James Doolan or Simon Pegg and his recent re-creation of the role we'd happly sign them up for a show or two, but one is sadly no longer with us, the other, we suspect would cause a budget problem and his Scottish accent really worries some of us at the bfv.

All this got us thinking. What do you do?

Do you give a deadline out to others and keep a little something up your sleeve or take Aaron Neville's advice to "Tell it like it is" and run the risk of others thinking that you've kept a little bit back because that what always happens.


Tyron Goes to Frankfurt

Just like you we all talk about what we do with our friends. BFV staffers get lots of positive interest when they say "I've just got back from Bologna or Frankfurt". On the face of it why wouldn't we? Of course those of you who end up working on a stand know the reality of attending a trade fair, too much work, not enough hours in the day, hotel rooms that blend into one and let’s not forget Wi-Fi that never works in the way it should, strange meals in restaurant that don't match the reviews and an intimate knowledge of the city you are in as long as that's on your route from hotel to hall and back again.

It's fair to say that we get a lot of unsolicited offers of help from people that we all know or meet to come along on our next trip. Once we have explained how tough the work is, how long the driving days are, how much manual labour is involved and how little time there is to shop most withdraw with good grace however the odd few make it onto a list of people we can call on. 

Tyron is one of those rare people that did. Known to several of us at Book Fair Vans he fits with our policy of working with people that we know, like and trust so when we needed some extra help with London collections for Frankfurt last October he moved from the list to working with us.

After a day of visiting clients he headed back to BFV garages thinking in his own words that “This was easy" and not quiet understanding what "All the fuss was about.” Those of us who have done the odd trip or twenty to Frankfurt thought his comments were a little glib not to say premature as he had done the easy bit when his last insistence overlapped with an incoming call from a client needing another van and driver to get there under-estimated load to Frankfurt he gamely volunteered to drive out.

480 miles later in one day he arrived at our hotel telling everyone he could how tough a day he'd had and to be fair to Tyron it was a tough one, a late departure, delays on Eurotunnel and foul weather between Liege and Frankfurt was more than a baptism of fire for anyone.

As the evening went on, just like the fisherman and the tale of the one that got a way, the weather got worse, the delay longer and as for the time he left London well let’s just say he come close to making a fully loaded van travel quicker that a F1 car round the Nurburgring which he is sure he lapped on the way. All this was very entertaining but it was topped the next day when the business of unloading and dropping to stands happens with Tyron deciding that he simply couldn't walk round the Messe without wearing his sunglasses.  

You can imagine the looks from the stand contractors as Tyron arrived to deliver consignments! Suffice to say he took it all with good humour and he's firmly on our list of people to work with because he delivered and repaid our trust.

You might be wondering about the picture, we couldn't persuade him to pose for a picture and this is the best likeness we could find, oh and its got sunglasses as well Tyron….

Tags Last minute delivery to Frankfurt Book Fair Frankfurt Book Fair Last minute delivery to Bologna Book Fair Bologna Book Fair Tyron goes to Frankfurt


We Know you Trust us and we'd Like to Prove it.

When we get back from a book fair and have finished everything that needs to be done, we sit, meet and talk about what we might need for the next one. One thing that kept cropping up on everyone lists of things to do was a proof of delivery system (POD).

We are meticulous with making sure we know what we picked up, how much it weighs and where it needs to be delivered to. Our system works and perhaps more importantly we don't want to ask you to spend time filling in forms, completing faxes or replying to stacks of emails, we don't like doing it and suspect you feel the same. From what you have told us forms seems to lack a human touch and a level of personal service that we feel goes against what we believe we should do which is getting what you need to a book fair at the last minute with the minimum amount of fuss.

While a POD system is on everyone's list of things to do it has caused a great deal of discussion and the odd heated debate or two because too many systems needed to significant change how we work with you.

After some testing on live projects we have found something that works the way we already do meaning that from Bologna Book Fair this year we will be asking you to sign on your drivers mobile phone when we pick up your boxes. In the hall we'll do the same and if we are leaving your boxes with a contractor or third party we will take a photo as well so you can see where they were left.

Photo's and signatures can be emailed to you on a opt in basis as well as other information that we capture like the weight of each box we collect and delivery. Knowing who signed for your boxes when you get to the stand might just help if you can't instantly see them and remind that person that they did take them from our driver.

The system is able to do plenty of other things as well as take signatures and photos. Each pick up and delivery can be location tagged and if like many of our clients you work with other departments who have different budget lines for a book fair we can provide you with a complete list of everything that was sent to your stand and even send a separate invoice to other departments or individuals.

If you would like to know more about the system or want to see a demo us do let know.


What does it weigh?


We've had quite a few comments and a little confusion on our charging system. In the past we've had prices for different sized boxes and even different contents, for example catalogues packed straight from your printer. So for clarity and simplicity we are changing this for Frankfurt 2011.

We will charge by the kilo for each box we collect from you, regardless of size or contents, making it easier for you to know exactly what you're paying. It's as simple as that. Nothing else has changed, we stick firmly by our no minimum charge policy and our claim that we're the last people out of London to a European book fair.

Your boxes will be weighed, you'll get a confirmation email shortly after collection. If you would like us to weigh your boxes when we collect them, just ask, we're very happy to do that.

Nice and simple, fair for all, we hope you like it.


When it comes to Frankfurt Book Fair we all work in dispatch.

We regularly talk to people who are their companies last form of dispatch.

It doesn't seem to matter that they are working in rights, production, sales, marketing or are even on the board, when it comes to Frankfurt Book Fair and those last minute, worked on over the weekend presentation materials, you work in the dispatch department.

Aside from wondering what carrying that extra load from the office to home, into the cab (you get a cab to the airport don't you?), to check in, through security, along the walkway, into the plane and finally like an Olympic weightlifter pressing that load above your head into the luggage locker does to your energy levels; we've not even going to mention getting from Frankfurt am Main to the hall before the biggest trade fair of the publishing year.

But it does make you the heroine for those few short moments before people unpack and paw over that dummy while you hope that the pain in your shoulder or lower back will ease up.

Most important of all though you did it and it didn't cost your company a extra penny, after all you used the baggage allowance on your ticket, even if that did mean you left things like extra shoes behind, after all who needs shoes, not men anyway.

If you know you're the last member of the dispatch team to leave the office before Frankfurt Book Fair it might just pay to check the new, that's right new, checked and hand luggage allowances that many airlines are now operating, seems as though they have worked out what we've all been doing for years.

In tough economic times it seems that established airlines like British Airways, Lufthansa and the younger ones like BMI and Ryanair want to maximise your spend with them. Even the old perceived benefits of booking business or first class to get a larger allowance seems to be changing and you might find your last minute material attracting excess charges and or being loaded in to the hold.

Who wants their last minute dummmy's in the hold after all airlines never lose luggage do they?

Love those jacket ideas.

It’s great that your team hits the nail on the head with the jackets but how do you cope with getting the graphics printed when you’re working like mad to get the jackets and dummies made? Major marketplace gatherings like Frankfurt Book Fair only come round once a year and that can mean a new title has to be pushed to market. With any push deadlines get squeezed, time, patience and money often end up being in short supply.

When it comes to graphics I go back to the days when a computer was something you saw in a sci-fi movie and quick turnaround was a week. Anything shorter was going to get expensive unless you had a regular supply of work and a good relationship with a graphics house. Even then it was touch and go if you were short of time. It was simply about the amount of days it took a person or a team of people to create what you wanted in what was a labour intensive industry and how large your budget was.

These days we work to much tighter time frames, digital technology means that the market place expects a faster turnaround. All our worlds are much more last minute dot com based with people working in marketing  and sales needing to be able to adjust a campaign to support a drive towards an emerging trend or a new product that has a small window to hit.

Large format graphics on a stand or in a retail environment catch the eye and focus the attention like nothing else. When you marketplace is a major event like Frankfurt it might just make the difference between a buyer st opping and saying hello or heading off somewhere else.

So how do you cope with getting the graphics printed w hen you’re working like mad to get the jackets and dummies made? My four step advice is:

 Talk and be completely honest about how much time you don’t have. That way you can get an honest answer that you can rely on.

Origination. It’s a simply rule quality in = quality out.  Whether experienced or a novice it’s always good to ask what works and what doesn’t.

 Use once or make them last. This can affect the time needed to complete you graphics so it’s always good to know.

 Time slippage. If you deadline moves it’s always good to know before you origination arrives.

It might sound like simple advice but you’d be amazed how many people when they are pushed to the point of panic f orget to talk about the simple things!

Frank Baptiste is another of our trusted friends. Frank, who has known Daniel for long that either of them cares to admit, is a director at Colorset UVI a London based large format digital graphic house. You can reach Frank by email or call 020 7234 0300.

Tracking your boxes

We posted recently asking whether it would make a difference to you if we used some form of tracking software it seems that it would.

After some searching and testing we've decided to use Glympse not as a way of telling you when we will be delivering but as a way of comfirming the timing we agreed with you.

Glympse works as a way of showing in real time, where we are, what speed we are travelling at and how long before we arrive in the hall. You can access it via email, text message or even through a twitter account. Just ask us to send you a link and we will take care of the rest. All you'll need to do is click on the link and watch us on the map.

Whilst we completely trust you the people who will be using this we need to be mindful of our team and their locations and hope you will understand that when it comes to overnight stop locations the links will be switched off, just in case anything untowards happens, after all who would have thought that twitter would get hacked.

Tips for a successful exhibition!

With mere weeks to go until the Frankfurt Book Fair, now is the time to make the most of the big selling opportunity you have amongst other brands.

Who’s going to be more successful on the day? It’s the businesses that consumers emotionally engage with; those that offer a clear, positive perception of what their business stands for.

Why should your brand take centre stage? Businesses that don’t have a brand or see the value in having one will fail to retain customer’s long term. The success of their business will rely on them probably being the cheapest in the market. Here’s how we look at it, if you had two identical books, both selling for the same price and one was published by Penguin and the other by an unknown publisher, which one would you purchase? Chances are you’d take the Penguin one every time. Why? Because we all have a positive understanding of what the business stands for.

So how can you be more like Penguin and stand out against other businesses in Frankfurt? Neue Media’s years of brand-led design experience allows us to offer you a few choice pieces of advice.

Those that have invested in a consistent brand will stand out. Take Penguin, it’s a brand synonymous with classic literature; its brand values are what attract customers, people will engage with them, remember them for what they are and offer not for individual book promotion.

When customers visit your exhibit what message/s do you want them to take away?

Your messages, both written and visual, should reflect the essence of your brand. Is your exhibition instantly recognisable as yours? If your logo wasn’t visible – would visitors still guess it was you?

Make sure everything on your exhibition has a consistent look and feel. An exhibition that looks like it’s been thrown together at the last minute simply communicates confusion and an amateurish approach to business. Remember each touch point of your business from business cards; sales rep emails and displays all represent the business. 

Common mistakes/things people forget to do:

 Make sure you take plenty of business cards with you, running out before the exhibition is over makes you look unprepared.         

Provide a proper display area for your marketing materials so a)people can collect it easily, b)it’s simple to offer to anyone you’re talking to.    

Do not forget to add your website, email, phone number to marketing materials and make sure they work. 

Remember, this is an opportunity to add to your database – have you thought of a way to gather people’s data i.e. phone numbers, emails, areas of interest etc?   

Don’t cut corners by printing your marketing collateral on the office printer, it will send completely the wrong messages.

There are so many things you can do to make your exhibition successful. If you’d like to learn more we’d be happy help.

Lena Robinson is Business Development Director of Neue Media, one of our trusted friends and a person who opinions we rate, particularly when it comes to Branding. You can reach Lena through on twitter @Neue_Media or by calling +44 20 7490 2726.


How many Euros will you get for your pound?

We've searched around the web for the best rates we can find, after all Frankfurt 09 had a shockingly low exchange. This years is not great by any stretch of the imagination but with a little work you can make the most of what you have to spend.

We found a few minutes spent on gave us a list of options and rates. Seems obvious to say this but if you go along and do the exchange yourself you will be offered a better rate than having it delivered.

The search interface is simple to use and the results are displayed in order of best rate. We think this site is a money and time saver but if you don't agree feel free to post a comment below.


The art of burning the candle at both ends and still feeling great.

We have all seen athletes immediately before competing; the sprinters staring intently straight down the track where only their lane exists while the rest of the World just melts away, the actor getting herself into her anti-character whilst waiting in the wings and the All Black’s mesmerising Haka, both preparing them while simultaneously affecting the opposition.

All are great examples of state management in elite performers, but what use is the technique to us in everyday life? How might it help us get through, say, a 5 night stay at a book fair?

I have been on numerous events where my candle has burned at both ends and the morning end is more withered than the evening one but even then we can do things to improve our state, our real state, not just our outward appearance. Here’s a simple exercise to test drive before you arrive in Frankfurt.

Stand in front of a mirror and think about the most miserable day of your life. That might sound a little tough but stick with me. Remember it in all its gory glory, see it through your own eyes, hear what you heard and really feel what you felt. As you go inside and notice those feelings, where they are and where they move to, look in the mirror. This state is not called “down” for nothing.

Now after a few minutes of doing something else, repeat the exercise but with your most fun, and brilliant memory. Hear the laughter, see the smiling faces and feel the excitement. Notice how you physiology is different – how you are standing taller, your eyes have a twinkle and your face a smile. Good init?

That’s not bad, but what is even better is that by adopting the physiology of that happy, excited self, you can actually enter that state. And the really neat thing is you can do it with any state that you have truly experienced – determination, confidence, motivation, anything.  How great will it be to be able seal that deal the day after the night before by adopting the physiology of success regardless of what happened before?

We do have to be careful with this though, because that candle really is melting at both ends.

An alternative strategy might be to manage that state at the other end of the day. How often are the real deals done at the dinner parties, or networking in the evening? And just how many of the people doing those deals are the worse for wear? You might like to manage your state so that you look and feel tipsy when all you’ve had is a couple of spritzers or lemonades. Just imagine how good you would feel appearing to be drunk while all those around you really are! You could do the “Dad Dance” and everybody will either forget or just think you were smashed. AND you’ll be just perfect in the morning.

Rob Cook is one of our oldest and most trusted friends, a Master Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy and a highly qualified cricket coach. He works with people on issues that affect everyday life and athletes looking to get that extra performance when it counts. You can reach him by emailing or call our office 020 7100 3748 and Daniel will put you in touch with Rob.


Tracking software: Would it make a difference to you?

We're thinking of investing some time and effort to find tracking software that we can use on our runs to Frankfurt and Bologna.

We think it might be useful to offer you a way of seeing where we are on our journey to your favourite book fairs.

We see this as a way of confirming that we will be arriving when we told you rather than offering an estimate of arrival time like lots of other carriers do because we agree a time with you before we pick up your boxes.

But before we head off spending time and money it makes sense to ask you whether you think it would help. Do let us know in the comments box below or pop us an email to

As always we have an open mind about what we do and that goes for feed back as well.