No Regrets: A Trade Show Supply Checklist Everyone Should Use

There’s nothing worse than getting to a trade show only to realize that you were supposed to supply your own tables, cords, and signage – and more. Here’s a checklist that will prevent that from ever happening to you.

Trade show

Aromatherapy Products

Some trade shows are stuffy. Aromatherapy can help with that. Sticks or vials of various scents can revitalize and refresh the air. It’s especially helpful if you get tired after a few hours of heavy traffic at a show or event.

Lavender, cinnamon, chamomile, benzoin, cedarwood, clary sage, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, neroli, patchouli, rose, sandalwood, and ylang ylang are some of the most relaxing essential oils you can buy.

Set out the oil, or incense stick, at the beginning of the show and just let the essence waft throughout your booth.


You’ll need displays. That might sound obvious, but it’s not to some. Nomadic Display Pop-up Displays are niche products, and they’re best suited for displaying small products that aren’t easily displayed up close or where it would be difficult to run a demonstration for a large group of people.

The display effectively enlarges a small product, allowing you to give an “exploded” view or diagram of it. This can be incredibly helpful for people who learn visually or like to know more about the details and inner workings of what you’re selling.

Bluetooth Speaker

Bluetooth is all the rage these days, and they’re essential for giving slick demonstrations of your products or services. Bluetooth speakers can also be used to play music, creating a strong, positive, vibe around your booth.

Digital Camera

A digital camera is a good piece of equipment to have if you’re giving a demo and want to capture the moment. You can also take pictures of your booth in action and post them up on social media – social proof.

Hand Sanitizer

Nobody wants to shake hands with a dirty hand, and you just don’t know where that person’s hand has been before it was at your booth. Keep a couple of containers of hand gel accessible for you and for visitors.

Power Cords And Strips

Most events will provide basic power supply, but you’re responsible for cords and power strips for your equipment. Even if power supplies are provided, you’re going to want to bring your own just in case.


Bring your company signs. This should be obvious but it’s easy to forget. Signage is an integral part of your booth.

A Booth

Trade show booth

While we’re at it, don’t forget the booth. Professionally-designed booths make you look, well, professional. They also “wow” the crowd and draw visitors in. Once they stop by, you hit them with your value proposition. Think local for these. If you’re exhibiting in Amsterdam for example, get your bulky materials and exhibition stands in Amsterdam so you don’t have to travel with so much.

Network Switch

Network switches are useful when you need extra posts for employees at the booth. Let’s say you need to plug in something for demo machines or computers. Wireless connections at most events are notoriously poor. So, anything you can do to ensure your demo goes off without a hitch is a plus.

Ethernet Cables

Ethernet cables are another thing you want to make sure you bring with you. The event might have cables there for you to use, but you don’t want to depend on them.


Velcro is for wire management. Most events won’t have this available for you, and you’ll want it to make your booth look nice and neat. There’s nothing like a booth with wires going everywhere that makes a person want to walk in the other direction.

Keyboards, Laptops, and Other Computer-Related Stuff

Don’t forget your computer stuff – laptop, keyboards, wired mice, a large monitor, and covers to protect everything when they’re not being used


After a long day, and under those fluorescent lights, you might end up with a headache. It’s not uncommon. Aspirin will help.


Hand out mints to guests, or pop some after lunch – especially if you just ate something full of garlic.

Office Supplies

Office supplies are a necessity if you’re printing off brochures for people, or a price list.

Boxes With Wheels

You can buy these at Office Max, Staples, or other office supply stores. They look like small plastic crates with wheels on them and a handle. They’re incredibly useful for toting around equipment, which will be nice at the end of the day when you’re tired.

Pro Steamer

It’s not something you think you need, but when your shirt is wrinkled and there isn’t an iron within 10 miles of where you are, and you can’t leave your booth, you’ll want a freshly-steamed shirt so that everyone you meet gets the best you possible.

Business Cards

Don’t forget the business cards. When that visitor walks away, they shouldn’t be walking away empty-handed. A business card can be an invitation for you to call them or just a friendly reminder that you’re there when they need you.

Photo credits: S C Hargis/Flickr, Red Touch Media/Flickr


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