Trade Show Booth Essentials – What to Bring to a Trade Show

trade-show-eventWhether it’s your first trade show or your fiftieth, when a trade show is pending, every exhibitor needs to be properly prepared. While the packing process does get easier as you do more and more trade shows, it’s still helpful to have a handy trade show checklist on hand to tap into as you prepare. Here is a closer look at what you will need in preparation for an upcoming trade show and improve your marketing prowess.

Essential Items for the Event

As you prepare for the event itself, these are the items you will need to have on hand:

  • Business cards – You need more than you think. Everyone who walks by your booth will want to grab one, and you may misplace a box or two in the flurry of events. Running out means missed marketing opportunities with attendees.

  • Display items – It almost goes without saying, but make sure you have your booth items on hand, like your posters and banners, so you can set up your display. Don’t forget the electronics and TV screens you may need to attract attendees.

  • Trade Show Displays – These are absolutely essential to showcase your brand and get noticed!

  • Trade Show Tablecloths – Don’t leave a bare table out on the show floor, tablecovers are a must for bringing your booth together.

  • Presentation media – Don’t forget the media you need to make your booth presentation effective!

  • Writing utensils – Pens and pencils tend to disappear, so have a large stash.

  • Stapler and staples – From handing out stacks of pamphlets to last minute repairs to something on your display, it’s always great to have one on hand.

  • Markers – Have plenty of permanent markers on hand that you can use for everything from removing typos to making a quick promotional poster.

  • Tape – Tape of all types is helpful to stick things to your booth display, make emergency repairs, or tape down wayward cords to avoid tripping hazards.

  • Trade show tablecloths – Have a variety of sizes of your trade show tablecloths so you can fit whatever size table you have to work with in your booth.

  • Extension cords – For lighting and electronics, you’ll need to be able to plug in, and the plug may not be close to you.

  • Scissors – When you need them, nothing else will do, so have a few pairs of scissors in your kit.

  • Miscellaneous office supplies – Pack sticky notes, paper clips, clipboards, and loose paper, so you have the supplies on hand when you need them.

  • Power strip – If you arrive and find that you only have one outlet available to you, a power strip will be invaluable.

  • Promotional items – T-shirts, stress balls, cups, pencils, clips, and any other branded item that you’re planning to give away needs to end up in your bins as you prepare for the trade show.

  • Bags – You will want trash bags, zip-top baggies, and shopping bags, preferably branded shopping bags, to complete your trade show supplies.


Personal Comfort and Care

Make sure you take care of your own needs, too. Here are some personal care and comfort items any exhibitor may wish to have on hand.

  • Water bottle – Trade shows are hot work. Even indoor trade shows require many hours on your feet talking to people. Bring plenty of water or an empty water bottle you can fill.

  • Snacks – You may not get a convenient lunch break, so have some healthy, protein-based snacks available.

  • Comfortable shoes – This is not the time to pull out the stilettos. Focus on comfort, because you’ll be on your feet most of the day.

  • Breath mints – Mints are better than gum, which makes you look unprofessional, but have something to take care of bad breath issues.

  • Sunscreen – For outdoor events, make sure you’re properly protected.


Just in Case

Emergencies happen. Make sure you are prepared for anything that can occur with these extra supplies.

  • First aid kit – Bandages, OTC medications, and disinfectant will help for any problems that arise during the trade show.

  • Safety pins – Don’t let a wardrobe malfunction get you down! You can also use safety pins to pin trade show tablecloths and banners that aren’t cooperating as you wish.

  • Zip ties – Are your wires and cords running every which way? Zip tie them in place!

  • Photos – Take pictures of your assembled booth. That way, you can look at pictures easily to see where each item belongs as you set up.

  • Extra tablecloths – When an event attendee spills their coffee all over your white tablecloth, have a spare on hand to ensure you can keep presenting well.

  • Paper copies – Have paper copies of every form you’re using, even if you plan to fill out forms digitally. Paper copies mean you can continue to collect information, even if your technology fails you.

  • Detergent pen – Small spills and stains on both tablecloths and clothing can be addressed with detergent pens.

  • Superglue – Superglue can fix most potential problems!


Get Help Building Your Trade Show Booth

Getting prepared for a trade show starts with the right trade show booth. Contact FLS Banners today for help creating your own trade show booth!

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