At a trade show, you want to have more than just a backup plan. In addition to Plan B, be ready for the unexpected with Plan C and D. Here’s an easy way to do this: Prep a trade show emergency kit (i.e. A “gang box”) with anything the team might need.
Yes, there are the most obvious items such as:
- Your promotional material
- Any branded giveaways
- AV equipment for the display
But don’t forget the small stuff either. Here’s a complete list of what to include in your trade show gang box.
The Basic Box of Trade Show Essentials
- Items to Assist in Display
- Bowls or boxes to host giveaway items and business cards
- Table linens to make your table look polished
- Office Supplies
Bring extra staples and a staple remover!
- Tape dispensers
Normal tape and double-sided tape - just to be safe.
- Pens, Pencils & Highlighters
Bring more pens than you could possibly need. People will accidentally take them. Some will disappear like a magic act.
- Sticky notes
- Rubber bands
- Paper clips
- Duct tape
The ultimate cure for anything.
- White Out
- Breath mints
Although gum can also help with any onion bagel or post-lunch breath, mints are ideal because chewing gum in front of prospective clients may come across as less professional.
From removing splinters to tweaking equipment, it’s amazing how handy these can be.
- Miniature sewing kit
Seam busts ot pants rip? With no time to go buy a new shirt, a quick sew can be a savior.
- Safety pins can also be a great fix, especially if extra low on time.
- Boxcutter for opening boxes of giveaways
- First Aid Kit
With the lifting, preparing and running about, cuts and scrapes can happen. You’ll be glad you had that band aid and antiseptic.
- Stain remover
I recommend a stain removing pen, such as the Tide To Go pens.
- Hand Sanitizer
- Technology Items
- Extension cords
- Zip ties - To keep those cords in check.
The Ultimate Box of Trade Show Needs
Those are the very basics. For the most comprehensive box, here’s the ultimate trade show checklist of necessities.
At a minimum: Screwdrivers, pliers, a small hammer, flashlight, Exacto knife & measuring tape. These basics can get you through most situations that arise.
- Paper towels
- Staple gun
- Light bulbs
Bring extra ones for whatever type your exhibit is utilizing.
- Plastic bags & Ziploc baggies
Although, if your smart phone has a great camera, this is probably moot.
- Fishing line
Clear fishing line can come in real handy, such as for hanging company signage.
Bring a variety of types: Clear packing, electrical, gaffers, masking. Different types will be better for the job.
- Mega Lint Roller
- Extra Booth Items
Bolts, screws, connectors. Look at the little details that are enabling your booth to come to life - and bring more of them.
- Multi-tool such as a Leatherman or Gerber
This is the checklist for what to bring for smooth trade show success. To make sure you’re taking care of everything before the trade show, check out: The Ultimate Checklist for Trade Show Exhibitors.