You’re prepared to impress potential leads, meet with clients, and network with other professionals in your industry. To make sure nothing interrupts your flow or disrupts your exhibit’s success, it’s important to be prepared! Whether it’s performing a minor exhibit repair or treating a scratchy throat, packing a trade show survival kit is a must. A well-stocked kit will help you deal with any small problems that arise and prevent them from becoming bigger ones.
Electronics, Communications, and Essential Info
To stay in control of your trade show booth, you need to stay in close contact with your team. A well-charged phone is a must, so you can stay in touch when someone needs to step away.
There’s also the rest of your booth to think about. If you’ve incorporated digital elements into your trade show display, you’ll require a range of accessories for those too. For every accessory item you need, such as USB cables and adapters, bring at least one spare. Keep the spares in a handy location, so you can replace them quickly if you need to.
- Spare batteries and chargers for phones and any other electronic devices you bring
- Contacts lists (for vendors, sales teams, and trade show coordinators) – Consider printing a copy.
- Flash drives, including blank drives and drives with backups of essential information – Include copies of all your booth graphics, brochures, and other printed materials in case you need to reprint items. Also add backups of digital media and any set-up and operation instructions for your booth and displays.
- Power strips – Pack the kind with surge protection.
- A small digital camera (if your phone doesn’t have a good camera)
- Cables, cords, and adapters for all digital display elements, plus backups
- Peripheral devices, such as computer keyboards and mice, plus backups
Office Supplies and Writing Materials
Even in the digital age, you still need a supply of writing materials on hand to record important information. Plus, there’s a myriad of items that are just useful to have around, in case you need them. Pens have a way of going missing, so bring plenty of spares!
- Binder clips
- Business cards
- Notepads, sticky notes, and note cards
- Paper clips
- Packing tape
- Pens, pencils, and markers
- Plastic bags in various sizes
- Rubber bands
- Stapler and staples
- Tacks or pushpins
Spills and other kinds of mess are almost inevitable, so be sure to add cleaning supplies to your emergency kit. They’ll also help keep your exhibit spotless from day to day of the event:
- Cleaning wipes
- Dustpan and brush
- Glass cleaner
- Lint-free cloths
- Multi-purpose cleaner
- Paper towels
- Screen cleaner
- Stain remover
- Vacuum – A small portable one is your best bet, so you don’t have to find the space for a full-size cleaner.
Health, Hygiene, and Personal Care
You and your team need to be on top of your game throughout the trade show, so stock your survival kit with a range of quick remedies for minor ailments. Make sure to pack the following:
- A small sewing kit with needles, thread, pins, and safety pins
- Allergy and headache pills
- Antibacterial wipes
- Disposable mini toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Eye drops
- First aid kit (including Band-Aids®, bandages, alcohol wipes, cotton balls)
- Gum and mints
- Hand sanitizer
- Hand cream
- Lint remover
- Non-perishable snacks
- Safety pins
- Stain remover for clothing stains
- Throat lozenges
Exhibit Repair Supplies
As prepared as convention hall personnel generally are, the assembly of exhibit stands does not always go according to plan. You can’t afford for a loose fabric panel to prevent you from having a flawless booth. A well-built custom or rental exhibit shouldn’t need repairs, but if shipping is a little rough, it’s good to have a backup.
Minor exhibit repairs are generally simple tasks, and they’re a lot quicker to take care of yourself than wait for show services to send someone over. Carry these essentials in your trade show survival kit, so you can take care of minor repair jobs quickly.
Note: We’re talking about minor cosmetic issues from shipment damage. Do not attempt any structural repairs yourself.
- A Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman® – You can use this multipurpose tool in so many different ways, you’ll find yourself reaching for it constantly!
- Allen wrenches
- Box cutter
- Cable ties
- Double-sided tape
- Duct tape
- Glue (e.g. wood glue and plastic adhesive)
- Hammer and nails
- Measuring tape
- Screwdriver and screws
- Small drill
- Touch-up paint
- Twine or nylon cord
Keep Your Kit Well-Maintained!
This trade show survival kit will give you the tools you need to manage most problems and keep your exhibit and your staff looking and feeling sharp. As you attend shows and understand your needs, add useful items, and remove those that don’t come in handy.
Once you’ve put together your trade show survival kit, bring it with you to every event! And once the show is over, review the contents to make a list of items that need restocking or replacing. This way, you’ll always have a well-stocked kit ready to go for each event.
Want to make sure all your bases are covered? Get in touch with the professionals at ProExhibits to guarantee you and your team are 100% ready for any eventuality. Whether you need advice about your exhibit design or tips for your staff, ProExhibits has a solution!