What to Put on Your Checklist for Trade Shows

The Ultimate Trade Show Checklist

Whether you’re getting ready for your first trade show or your 100 th, you need to be prepared. There’s no worse feeling than realizing too late you left something important at the office. Especially because at a trade show you may not have time to fix or repair. We’ve compiled this complete trade show checklist to help you have a successful exhibit.

Trade Show Essentials

  • Booth Display: Your trade show booth display is the centerpiece of your presence. It should include banners, backdrops, and any other items that visually represent your brand.
  • Graphics and Signage: Clear, informative signage helps attendees identify your booth and understand what you offer. Include your company name, logo, tagline and key messages to elevate your brand.
  • Promotional Materials: Prepare an ample supply of brochures, flyers, business cards and other printed materials that provide information about your products or services.
  • Giveaways: Branded promotional items such as pens, keychains, notepads or tote bags can be memorable and useful giveaways to engage visitors and promote your brand. Remember to bring containers to organize small items.
  • Audio-Visual Equipment: Consider bringing audio-visual equipment like screens, monitors, projectors and speakers to display videos, presentations or interactive content.
  • Table Covers: Covering up the venue’s old, ratty tables will make your booth look more professional — particularly if your table cover has a colorful logo.
  • Technology: Don’t forget necessary technology like laptops, tablets and touchscreens for product demonstrations, lead capture or interactive experiences. And make sure to bring the corresponding power cables.
  • Lighting: Set the right ambiance and highlight your booth using appropriate lighting techniques such as spotlights, LED strips.
  • Extension Cords and Power Strips: Ensure you have enough extension cords and power strips to connect and power all your electronic devices and lighting.
  • Name Tags: Never assume the event organizers will provide a name tag. Bring your own to make sure everyone knows who you and your staff are.

Other Trade Show Supplies

  • Office Supplies: Bring everything you would normally need to use at the office to write down information or hold documents together, including pens, notebooks, post-its and paper clips.
  • Tool Kit: Carry a toolkit with essentials like staplers, zip ties, scissors, tape, Velcro, hooks and any other items you might need for quick adjustments or repairs.
  • Business Card Bowl or Folder: This gives you a place to store all the business cards you collect so the info gets back to the office for follow-ups.
  • Snacks: You’re going to get hungry during the day. Bring a few snacks to tide you over until mealtime or get branded snacks to hand out to visitors.
  • Post-Show Shoes: Your feet will get tired at a trade show, especially in dress shoes or heels. Have comfortable footwear to change into while packing up at the day’s end.
  • Hand Sanitizer: You’ll shake a lot of hands, and you don’t want a cold to hitch a ride home. Use hand sanitizer regularly to fight off germs.
  • First Aid Kit: If you accidentally cut yourself while setting up or handling equipment, you’ll be glad you have bandages and ointment.