Marketing & Branding

Trade Show Checklist: How to Prepare Without a Headache

Winning at the trade show game is no easy feat, especially if it’s your first time packing your bags and heading to one of these events. With all of the noise and chaos swirling around you (and the overwhelming pressure to network), it may seem downright impossible to prepare without getting a fall-to-your-knees kind of headache. After all, there’s so much to think about—from what you’re going to wear to whether or not lunch will be provided. But what if we were to tell you we have everything you need to survive, right here?

While we can’t guarantee there will be lunch, we can offer the next best thing—a useful trade show checklist featuring advice about every aspect of the trade show experience. “How to Prepare for Your Trade Show” will walk you through the most important trade show know-how. You’ll find questions to ask yourself, as well as tips and tricks to ensure a positive, pain-free experience!

So get ready to organize your next trade show booth with a calm and clear mind!

Before the Tradeshow

There is a lot to think about when it comes to preparing for your first trade show. You have to make sure you secure a booth space, bring enough employees, and provide exciting promotional giveaways. Not to mention, you have to find the conference room and think about the overall presentation of your booth. A misstep with decorations and giveaways can send the wrong impression about your business. For instance, a fitness studio offering collectible cookie tins as their promotional giveaway may have a difficult time gaining the interest of exercise enthusiasts.

Tradeshow Packing List

You should obviously bring basic toiletries like a toothbrush and deodorant. The last thing you want is for customers to flee from your booth when they get a whiff of your body odor. But there’s definitely more to consider when packing for your trip. How awful would it be if your laptop died right in the middle of your fantastic PowerPoint presentation? You should make sure you have a charger, as well as a number of other lifesavers like scissors, packing tape, and a healthy supply of energy bars, to name a few. It’s never safe to assume the venue has everything you need to decorate your booth, keep your devices charged, and make sure you’re well-fed. If you’re unsure, you can always call ahead of time and ask questions.

Promotional Giveaways

Promotional products are a fun and inexpensive way to promote your brand at your next tradeshow. Think about it– who doesn’t like getting free things? From premium pens to squishy stress relievers, handing out promotional giveaways is a guaranteed way to get your booth some well-deserved attention. Just imagine your customers walking away from the show with an armful of useful items emblazoned with your unique logo. Every time they squeeze that stress ball or jot down a note with the custom pen you handed out, they’ll be thinking about how much fun they had at your trade show booth!

During the Tradeshow

Trade shows are a test of unwavering endurance and resilience. In order to bring your A-game, you need to keep your customers interested and engaged throughout the show. Posting pictures on social media with your clients and team by the booth keeps everything fun and eliminates the pressure. This is your moment to showcase your brand personality and let everyone get to know your business. Make sure you arrive early and get your ducks in a row before your competition. Imagine getting red in the face blowing up balloons while the booth next door is already decked out and dazzling clients. The early bird gets the promotional worm.

After the Tradeshow

Congratulations! You’ve just survived your first trade show. We’re going to start a slow clap in your honor, but there’s still work to be done. You’ve got to figure out what to do with your leftover giveaways, connect with new contacts, and reflect on the experience so you can improve next year’s show. This is your time to decompress, learn from any mistakes, and make a plan for your next event. And then you can breathe that sigh of relief.

With confidence in your brand and our handy trade show checklist, you now have everything you need for a successful event. From plane tickets to spare batteries, you’re well on your way to becoming a trade show MVP. And remember, we offer more than just a headache-reducing trade show checklist.