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10 Must-Have Items for Any Trade Show

10 Must-Have Items for Any Trade Show

Employees jump through the hoops of emails, social media dealings, and searching for the right traditional venue just to make concrete impressions on their clients and potential business associates. Fortunately, trade shows present unparalleled opportunities for companies to showcase their merchandise and also offer some excitement.

Due to the nature of trade shows, one can compare it to a theatre performance. Nothing beats a great performance; however, without adequate sets, inventories, and preparation, such events will end up being disappointments. Next time you’re hosting a trade show, it is crucial to bring these items as it will ensure you have a spectacular performance, rather than be the recipient of verbal criticism.


As you plan for the trade show theme, it is fundamental that you have multiple banners, sign-posters, and direction guides that are well-positioned, visible, and classy to attract clients to your booth.

Marquees play a vital role as it’ll make or break your trade shows, especially if you are planning to be part of an outdoor event. It will be hard to find your trade show booth unless it’s a high quality marquee you are using to portray your brand name and company logo.

Exhibition Media

Without proper exhibition-media, attention is lost. For this reason, while setting up displays, you must have an interesting presentation-media, which could be in the form of a slideshow presentation, video clips, or demonstrations with visual aids that can keep customers interested and engaged.


Everyone loves gifts–they always put smiles on our faces. Before the event, you could make customized items like t-shirts, caps, cups, wristbands, calendars, or tote bags. These items will have your company logo, slogan, and a unique color scheme displayed.

If your promotion is good, it could draw the attention of attendees all around the event. You can then acquaint them with your products or services.

Company Cards

At the conclusion of the event, most attendees are going to be exhausted. At this point, business cards could come in handy as they are portable, convenient, and easy to keep. These portable cards help ensure that patrons will remember and keep in touch with you on a long-term basis.


Most times, success comes not from what you offer, but the method by which you deliver what you offer. Promotional services are vital, hence do not waste the potential they carry due to poor delivery.

Business cards should have a solid stand. Promotional items should be kept in jars and boxes. It is advised you have a clear, well-organized pattern for placing items on a table. Otherwise, your booth may appear disorganized, which could be negatively interpreted by potential customers.

Supply Boxes

“Duct tape fixes almost everything.” Better still, have a Macgyver tool kit on standby. These kits should contain pens, staplers, pins, rubber bands, scissors, paper clips, zip ties, and threads that can help hold posters in position on tables without anything falling off. Partly hanging posters and poorly placed table tarps could be disastrous. It is, therefore, worthwhile to bring a supply box to the event as it will help you or possibly help fellow attendees at your booths.

Power Cables and Extension Wires

In situations where your booth is dependent on technology, ensure you bring along all necessary wiring. Nothing can be more disappointing than having technical challenges right in the presence of a potential customer.

Surprisingly, you may not use your extension wires or power cables. This can be lent to other business exhibitors as a kind gesture.


Trade shows are like sporting events, you must gather momentum, remain focused, and should be well-hydrated. Take a snack and a bottle of water just in case there aren’t any pit stops close by. You could also get extra water bottles for potential customers.

Banners and Backdrops

Trade show attendees take notice of banners and backdrops all around the event. You want an eye-catcher for a banner–one that is irresistible and will leave customers with no choice but to head straight to your booth.

Healthcare Products during COVID-19

You definitely want to keep yourself and the trade show attendees safe and healthy. It is a great idea to offer free hand sanitizer and masks to your attendees so that they feel you care for them, too.

How Exactly Do You Make Your Stand Exceptional?

Firstly, your banner and printed marquee has to be attractive and should display your product, logo, and short line of text for tag lines.

Banners and text displayed should be written boldly. Standing banners that explain product specifications or benefits should also be present. You must maintain consistency in your color scheme for your brand, as well.

Pre-Show Selling Tips

Your marketing strategy shouldn’t be centered on the trade show booth alone. A pre-show marketing show could help warm you up for your exhibition.

Outlined are some pre-show marketing tips that could serve as a checklist:

  • Rehearse a sales pitch and introductory statements multiple times.
  • Purchase adverts on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
  • Make reservations for a cameo on a local show or radio program.
  • Advertise your exhibitions to email subscribers.
  • Promote your event on all your social media platforms.

With practice comes perfection, and with a comprehensive trade show checklist close by, you will be able to avoid common mistakes. Any extra ideas should be clearly jotted down.

A successful trade show is determined by the number of attendees converted into buyers. Implement these tips before kick-starting your first trade show booth.

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by Dirk DeBie // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.