20 Essential Items for Every Trade Show Packing List

With the big exhibition fast approaching, your trade show packing list might not be the first thing on your mind. After all, you’ll undoub...
Trade Show Shipping
December 3, 2019
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With the big exhibition fast approaching, your trade show packing list might not be the first thing on your mind. After all, you’ll undoubtedly have a number of concerns regarding the products, expenses, venue, and various other features. While the product and your sales pitch will naturally form a central focal point, the fact of the matter is that the seemingly small additional features can leave a huge mark on your trade show visitors. You only get one chance to make a winning first impression, and ensuring that you have all the necessary items to keep things running smoothly is essential.

Throughout the trade show planning procedures, you need to accept and respect U.S. Trade Show Regulations as well as the rules set by the venue authorities. In addition to working within the legal parameters, you’ll need to ensure that the trade exhibition is built to achieve the desired outcomes. A trade show packing list ensures that you’re prepared or all eventualities while also providing the peace of mind needed to turn your attention back to the process of selling.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Items to Include on Your Trade Show Packing List

The trade show packing list serves many purposes. Aside from the increased organization, it ensures that you are ready for every possible situation while staff members will have the necessary items to adapt to every scenario. Furthermore, it prevents minor hiccups from derailing your hopes of success on the day, leading to a far smoother operation – inevitably boosting your morale and confidence throughout.

When building your trade show packing list, it’s imperative that you cover every base. While you do not want to waste time and money on buying and transporting products that won’t be required, being caught short on the day is the last scenario you’ll want to find yourself in. To prevent this, consider the following;

  • Employees need to feel comfortable and cast a professional image at all times
  • Visitors need to feel informed and receive the same level of encouragement to buy your products regardless of what time they visit
  • The trade show will get busy, particularly at peak times, which can lead to trade show booth damage and other issues that could harm brand image
  • Your trade show booth must be ready to process orders and transactions at all times

With the following trade show packing list at your disposal, the little mishaps that are likely to occur during the running of your exhibition won’t disrupt your progress, productivity, or profitability.

1. Extra Business CardsExtra Business Cards

The trade show isn’t only an opportunity to sell products, it’s a chance to sell your brand. Sales staff remain the unique selling point of every business, and striking positive interactions with clients is one of the best ways to stave off the competition from other companies at the trade exhibition. Business cards can make the meeting more memorable.

Investing in extra business cards for each of your sales team is highly advised for a whole host of reasons, including but not limited to;

  • A lot of clients, particularly B2B clients, won’t complete their orders today. The business cards serve as a reminder to the meeting and encourages them to call in a few days.
  • Business cards are another positive marketing material that showcase the brand while providing guests with the information that they need.
  • They are one the most convenient products for visitors to take. Given the volume of items they’ll receive from others, avoiding unnecessarily large printed materials is vital.

Business cards are extremely cost-effective, so it won’t matter if the vast majority end up in the bin. They are also the type of product that could turn up in their wallets or business files days, weeks, or months after the meeting – at a time when they are more inclined to complete a purchase.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

2. Markers, Pencils and Pens

It may sound a little obvious that you’ll need pens, pencils, and markers on the day of your trade show event. However, it’s very easy to overlook this factor unless you have actively included them in your trade show packing list. It’s always good to take more than you think you’ll need too, as an influx of guests or misplacing a few products could disrupt everything.

Given that you will be writing things down in various situations throughout the day, it’s vital that you’re prepared for all situations;

  • Writing pens are needed for completing order forms and other one-to-one interactions with clients, such as producing a quote
  • Writing pencils allow your staff to write out their calculations or keep track of stock and other issues in a manual method to back up the automated versions
  • Markers are used in a range of situations such as explaining unique selling points through group demonstrations and other public talks

3. Tape

A roll of tape can come to your rescue in a range of situations. From repairing damages caused by the sheer volume of people walking around the venue to sealing boxes, tape makes a big difference. You might not appreciate its importance on the day, but you’ll certainly miss it if you forget to bring it.

4. Stapler and Staples

Staplers are among the most commonly used pieces of stationery in a range of business endeavors, and the trade show event shouldn’t be any different. While some interactions can be completed via digital communications, there are many items that should be printed either through necessity or client preferences. Obviously, a stapler needs staple too.

There are two main situations in which a stapler will be needed;

  1. For stapling customer documents together. This could include their invoices, warranties, order confirmations, and more.
  2. For stapling files needed by the company. This could include your invoices and order receipts, receipts from expenses, and various details from the day.

5. Post-It Notes

Trade show exhibitions are hectic environments, especially for first-time vendors. Staying organized is one of the most important challenges of all, and will help you remain calm while also easing the managerial elements of the day. Post-it notes are one of the simplest yet very best tools for doing this.

Post-it notes can be used in two main ways;

  1. To post messages between colleagues, ensuring that you’re all on the same wavelength even when it’s too hectic to arrange meetings within the team,
  2. To make a quick note of tasks that you must come back to once you’ve completed the current assignment or sale.

6. Notebook

You might be used to making notes on your smartphone in day-to-day business, but the traditional route of writing in a notepad is the more practical solution for the trade show. A notebook will enable you to jot down personal notes to keep you on track throughout the day or explain things to prospective clients with greater clarity.

A notepad for each staff member and a notebook for the cash register area should suffice.

7. First Aid Kit

The good news is that you probably won’t need the first aid kit. However, there’s nothing worse than not being prepared for medical emergencies. Your first aid kit should include bandages, band-aids, wound cleaning materials, and other items to support staff of visitors following a trip, fall, or cut

A thermometer should be included too.

While you could borrow items from the event organizers, quick action is essential for providing the best level of care in an emergency. A first aid kit allows you to do it.

8. ScissorsScissors

A reliable pair of scissors should always be included in your trade show packing list. They can be used for a variety of tasks ranging from cutting paper materials to trim excess fabrics or correcting any slight faults that may surface during the course of the trade show event.

They can also be used for cutting bandages in first aid situations.

In most situations, you’ll only need one or two pairs of scissors between the entire team, even during the pre-trade show preparations.

If you have any left-handed workers attending the event, be sure to get some left-handed scissors too.

9. Extension Cords and a Power Strip

The event will supply power, but you’ll probably need to bring the power outlets. Even if you don’t, it’s best to equip yourself with the right extension cords and features to satisfy your energy needs. Aside from having enough sockets, it’s the best way to confirm that the voltage requirements will be met.

Extension cords also need to be of the desired length.

Make a list of all trade show booth fittings that require electricity, and be sure to pack enough power facilities to keep them powered throughout the day.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

10. Clipboards 

Your selling team will often have the opportunity to complete assignments and customer interactions at a desk or on a hard surface, but not always. Clipboards will be invaluable during those moments. More importantly, you can hand clipboards to guests so that they can fill in forms, which will capture their client data.

For an even bigger impact, consider branded clipboards with your logos and colors.

11. Trash Bags or a Garbage Receptacle

Trade show days pass by at a mile per minute, but this does mean that a lot of trash will be produced, especially if you are providing refreshments for your guests. Show respect for the event organizers and maintain the image of a responsible brand by using trash bags.

For the best results, you can use a garbage receptacle too.

If nothing else, this will prevent the threat of your trade show booth become a mess.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

12. MintsMints

The human interaction between salespeople and prospective customers will have a huge influence on their consumer decision, and you don’t want to let any aspect let you down. Packing breath mints will help maintain positive communications, and could subconsciously boost the client responses.

Conversely, bad breath will deter clients.

The addition of mints to your trade show packing list will also enhance the confidence levels of your team.

13. Safety Pins

Safety pins can be utilized in a range of situations to prevent minor hiccups from escalating into something far worse. Whether it’s pinning a ripped item of clothing back together, or keeping products in place during a demonstration or display doesn’t matter. The humble safety pin can have a telling impact.

They don’t cost much or require much room, so pack lots.

It’s likely that other vendors will need them too, and letting them use your spares can keep them on side and be used as bargaining power elsewhere.

14. Extra Shirt or Blouse

Personal appearances are a key ingredient in the recipe for success, and you will rightly invest time and effort into selecting the right attire. However, trade show events are long days, and your shirt or blouse is likely to need replacing at some stage due to stains gained through spillages, dirt passed on from clients, or sweat.

Or you could suffer a lost or broken button.

Either way, imperfect attire can leave a bad impression. Furthermore, a change of outfit can restore your personal comfort and confidence.

15. Hand Sanitizer

The trade show is an event where your staff will come into contact with hundreds, potentially thousands, of people throughout the course of the event. Carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer could be your secret weapon in the war against germs, which can stop your staff from getting ill.

  • Flu like symptoms can destroy motivation levels and harm client interactions.
  • Hand sanitizers additionally promote cleanliness, which aids the overall appearance, and prevents dirt being passed onto the customers.
  • Ensure that all team members have a travel bottle on their possession.

16. Bottled Water and Snacks

Packing bottled water and snacks serves two main functions. Firstly, they can attract people to your trade show booth and keep them there for longer Secondly, keeping your team hydrated and energized will lead to improved production and customer services.

The on-site alternatives are likely to cost a fortune.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

17. Phone Charger

Smartphone and tablets are used for far more than simply making calls. They can be equipped with apps to send emails, show videos to clients, capture their information, record, update social media, and even process payments. Sadly, you won’t be able to see any of those rewards if the power dies.

A portable charger (or even taking the main charger) keeps the energy running all day long.

18. Screwdriver, Box Cutter and Tool Kit

Throughout the duration of the event, your team will need to unpackage a lot of items from boxes while you may need to assemble or fix items too. Given that time is money, ensuring that your team have the right tools to complete those tasks in the quickest time is vital. Without them, time and money will be wasted.

A full tool kit is the best option by far.

Besides, without the right tools, ripping boxes by hand will create an unprofessional appearance.

19. Paper TowelsPaper Towels

While the trade show venue is likely to boast the right facilities, it could take you an age to locate them. As such, you must take your own supplies. Paper towels are an essential feature that will help your team attend to spillages and accidents within the trade show environment.

Pack a few packs to see you through the event.

The purpose of having them is so that you’ll have quick access when certain situations surface. Keep them under a table or in another easy to reach location.

20. Storage Boxes

Storage boxes will be useful throughout the day as you transfer stock and marketing materials while they can also keep items safe and protected during the event and make things easier once it’s ended.

Solid materials are far better than cardboard in most scenarios.

Meanwhile, you may wish to consider the possibility of stackable boxes, in either the same size or descending sizes.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Let R+L Global Logistics Help with Trade Show Shipping

For your trade show event to be considered a success, you will need to take a lot of accessories with you to the venue. From overcoming obstacles to keeping your staff comfortable, those items can make a significant impact on productivity, profitability, and your sanity. Your focus will naturally be on other priorities, though, which is why finding an outside expert to take care of those logistical challenges can be hugely beneficial.

Here at R+L Global Logistics, we specialize in the logistics and transportation of key items for trade show exhibitions throughout the country. This can extend to trade show booths, equipment, an all other accessories that could be needed while we also support installations. This enables you to focus on the actual preparations including team briefings and similarly important features that will lead you to greater success and sales. Get a quote today.

When choosing a logistics company, you need to ensure that all elements are under control, and this includes the trade show freight shipping packing list items. We’ll offer a professional and reliable service that keeps your mind at ease and establish a winning foundation for maximum success.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

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