4 Types of Trade Show Survival Essentials

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February 19, 2015
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4 Types of Trade Show Survival Essentials

What can help you get through those long, busy days of standing, smiling and selling at trade shows? Here are a few potent items to pack for your next event:

  1. Light, Power & Hardware

    • Flashlights – Avoid crawling around on all fours under your table to find that pen you dropped, or plug in your dead phone.
    • Light bulbs – Make your posters, products, and people stand out.
    • Extension cords – Don’t get stranded in a center booth with the nearest outlet 20 ft. away.
    • Tape – This isn’t your clear, flimsy Scotch tape. Bring gaffer’s tape for anything visible, like wires, and duct tape (for anything you need strength for and don’t mind getting sticky). Other helpful tapes: packing, double-sided, masking, and electrical.
    • Tools – Bring a multi-tool (like a Leatherman) for convenience, but also consider packing a hammer, screwdriver set, and blade along with anything else necessary for your unique setup.
  2. Hygiene & Personal Care

    • Comfortable shoes – You will be on your feet for up to 12 hours, possibly on concrete. Don’t obsess over fashion.
    • Insoles – Ok, so you have to look good. Lessen the impact of uncomfortable shoes by investing in some good insoles.
    • First Aid Kit – Cut? Headache? Coughing? All can happen in an instant. Make sure you can treat common ills quickly.
    • Tissues – Everyone needs a tissue at some point during the day..
    • Hand Sanitizer and Lotion – Avoid that tradeshow plague yourself, and keep your hands soft.
    • Mints & Mouthwash – Don’t let that food court snack and strong coffee get in the way of a sale.
    • Deodorant – Sweat less, smell better.
    • Lip balm – I can speak from personal experience that this is a bare necessity, from working on the A/V crew to walking the floor in a winter month, trust me.
    • Snacks, Water – Keep your energy levels high, you don’t know when you’ll have to postpone lunch.
  3. Office & Other Supplies

    • Pencils, Pens, Highlighters and Markers – Have some in your pocket at all times, more under the table, and hundreds to give away.
    • Notepads – Have them everywhere, you’ll need to write something down eventually.
    • Push-Pins – Have an important memo that needs to not float away when the HVAC kicks on or someone rushes past the table? Stick a pin in it. Literally
    • Business Cards & Marketing Swag – Probably the most obvious, have hundreds.
    • Cleaning – Windex, paper towels, dust wipes, trash bags and anything else to keep your booth sparkling.
    • Velcro – Hide cords, hang fabric, save lives.
    • Sewing Supplies – For that moment when your only pair of dress pants rip. It happens.
    • Tape – This is where your Scotch Tape claims a much-earned spot in your arsenal.
    • Table-cover – Is it supplied by the venue, is it part of your booth, did you just spill coffee all over the first one?
  4. Computing Power

    • Laptop – Capture leads, run videos, slideshows and power-points, or find cat gifs while you’re on break.
    • Tablet – Need an efficient and more lightweight way to present materials? Use a tablet! (With Showcase, of course).
    • Phone – Take notes, make calls, text someone, we all know how to use a phone. Just don’t leave it in your car or hotel room. It’s also the easiest way to post a tweet and Instagram.
    • Camera – Take better photos to use later in a wrap-up newsletter, blog post, and on social media.
    • Chargers & Power Accessories – Keep all your gadgets topped off. Phone and laptop chargers,a Mophie or other portable battery charger and even built-in case chargers.


Download a printable version of our checklist


Did we miss anything, or is there something special that you want to share that you just can’t make it through a show without?


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