There’s nothing worse than showing up for a tradeshow and realizing you forgot something you need. Showing up prepared also makes it easier to make friends right from the beginning because you can let them borrow your supplies! The following is a list of items that are easy to forget on your way out the door to capture those leads. Some may be lifesavers and others just make the experience more enjoyable.
Printable Trade Show Packing List
- Signage – Make sure you have all you will need, nothing is worse than leaving out a portion of your company.
- Promo Items – Brochures, post cards, flyers etc. get left behind more often than not.
- Business Cards – Hand out your contact information to as many qualified leads as you can.
- Business Card Holders – They look so much nicer than messy stacks of business cards slung across the table.
- Giveaways – The Loot: pick something that makes sense for your goals, just don’t give it away for free and be sure to fend off the adult trick-or-treaters.
- Containers to hold your giveaways – Candy dish, pen cup, etc.
- Bowl for Business Cards – Keep everyone’s information in one place to take back to the office for follow ups.
- Name Tags – Everyone wants to know your name as well as what company you are with.
- Table Linens – Let’s be honest, those trade show venue tables can look pretty rough.
- Presentation/Video/Media – Have you ever gotten to a place and forgot your PowerPoint?
- Pens/Pencils – Make sure you don’t have to go on an African Safari to find an ink pen when you get there, unless it’s all part of your plan to meet new people.
- Scissors – Inevitably something will need to be cut during set up or tear down.
- Sharpies – Great for marking boxes and making last minute signs.
- Notepads & Post Its – Make sure you write down those people who make good prospects for your company.
- Rubber Bands – Don’t lose all those business cards you just collected.
- Paper clips – You can bend paper clips and use them for the most unconventional purposes.
- Stapler – Ok, maybe for papers you can just a paper clip but bring the stapler too. The stapler can come in handle to tack all sorts of unsuspecting things together.
- Tape – Scotch, Duct, Masking, Packing, Double Sided – any kind of tape you can think of, you’ll need one kind or another.
- Computer/TV/iPad – People love to see things on a big screen.
- Computer/iPad Charger – Devices won’t last all day with constant use, make sure your device makes it through the entire trade show.
- Appropriate Cords to Connect Computer to TV/Monitor – It’s so frustrating when you have put in all the work to have a great presentation and you can’t show it to anyone because your HDMI cord is in your living room 20 miles away.
- Extension Cords (more than one) – Chances are there are only going to be a few outlets for several booths and you may want to place your TV or computer monitor in a location not so close to an outlet.
- Safety Pins – Have you ever had a wardrobe malfunction? There is no better time than when you are going to meet hundreds of people!
- Straight Pins – Just in case the safety pins don’t work.
- Snacks – Keeping all of your employees fed and watered will help keep them at the top of their game.
- Gum/Breath Mints – Skip the onions for lunch but in case you forget.
- Hand Sanitizer – You are going to shake hundreds of hands today, sanitize before you eat that snack.
- Wire or String – Sometimes hanging up signage can be a challenge.
- Zip Ties – These help keep computer wires looking nice.
- Back up Shoes if you are Wearing Heels – Comfortable shoes are so worth it, especially at load out time.
- Photos of Your Assembled Booth – Enlist the help of your colleagues when setting up and use photos as a guide photos to remember where everything belongs.
- First-Aid Kit – Don’t bleed all over your prospects.
- Ziploc Baggies – You think I’m kidding, but they can really come in handy (see #6).