Have you been at a Trade Show and suddenly needed an aspirin, or band aid or even scissors and there were none? Being on the Trade Show floor we have heard many stories, sometimes the stories are stressful and other times a little funny. Needless to say we all have been there, so here are a few things that you should be sure to have in your Trade Show Toolkit.
First the basics, you know the pens, paper, business cards, stapler, paper clips, rubber bands; your general office supplies. Some other handy supplies that are not as common are Velcro strips or sticky dots, double sided tape and safety pins, but something that you probably would not think about is duct tape. We all know that duct tape can fix anything in a pinch, so that of course is an essential. Here is a bonus; duct tape is actually fashionable these days so you can most likely find a colored tape to go with your booth so if you do have that last minute fix, it won’t stand out or be an eyesore.
A basic tool kit that has a screw driver, hammer and pliers is another essential. Other very important items to be sure you have are extra extension cords, box cutters, fabric steamer, a sewing kit, glass cleaner and paper towels. Another couple of must haves are baby wipes and adapters. No it is not likely that you will have any babies at your exhibit, but ask any mom and they will tell you that baby wipes are amazing, they can clean just about anything, from permanent marker to spots on the rug, a definite must have.
Don’t forget the adapters; most exhibits these day have computers, monitors, tablets, music players or some other electronic device and all the wires and adapters packed with them. This is why it is essential to have an assortment of extra adapters in your tool box, separate from all those electronics. You hopefully will not need them, but it would be better than being in a pinch at the last minute.
Another great toolkit item would be a first aid/mini medicine cabinet. Having band-aids and aspirin are essential, but don’t forget the throat lozenges, eye drops and of course chewing gum or breath mints to keep your breath smelling fresh. It would also be beneficial to have a few power bars and water bottles to help keep your staff going. Finally don’t forget a camera to take pictures of your booth and to capture the booth experience for everyone.
It is important to check your toolkit after each show so that you can replenish any used items and be ready for the next show, but with all the last minute preparation this may get pushed to the side and forgotten; a trick to avoid that is to put your extra thumb drive or disc with your graphic images inside your tool kit. That way you have checked your tool kit for the essentials and you know that your backup is in a safe place.
Finally, when planning your travel and hotel stay for your show, take a few extra minutes to research local vendors and save their contact information. If you should have a last minute emergency printing need or need to replace a specialty item; such as neon light bulbs or other unique items, you will know where to go and relieve the stress of trying to locate and replace anything if the need should arise.
Hopefully you will not need anything in this essential toolkit, but as the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry.