After attending a day long trade show conference you’ll never be so thankful for the invention of Tylenol in your life. While expo services offer great advice on how to design your trade show exhibit and what marketing materials to provide, there’s so much more to plan for.

Never attend a trade show conference without a comfortable pair of shoes, some protein bars, and a coffee. Speaking from experience, safety pins are truly a lifesaver for pesky posters that refuse to stand or defective pop up banners.

Regardless of your opinions of trade show conferences, most of us agree on their importance to your overall marketing campaign. While the long hours can be brutal on your feet, the return on investment from a well-coordinated trade show exhibit can be invaluable. Think of how early SXSW conferences launched gave the Twitter the start it needed to become one of the biggest brands in the world.

Life is about planning and execution. Without the tools for success readily available, we’d all inevitable fail. Using our own insights and trade show experience, we’ve prepared this personal checklist on everything you need for your next trade show conference to be successful.

Trade Show Display Materials

Trade show banners and signage should be designed to stand out from the crowd and attract the attention of attendees from other booths. Pop up banners and roll up banners are a cost-effective way to attract attention to your booth. All signage should be branded, meaning that colors, logos, font, etc. should be consistent with your brand’s aesthetic design.

We recommend hiring expo services that can help you create a custom modular display that will attract attendees and allow them to smoothly interact with your exhibit. Be sure to bring enough posters or signage that’s visible from all angles of your exhibit and can be seen from a distance.

Visual Media

Once you have attendees flowing through your exhibit, you’ll need presentation materials that will keep them engaged and leave them with a positive impression of your brand. A common favorite is a slideshow or a video presentation that tends to attract a mass crowd.

You’ll need a computer or tablet for this, as well as the necessary electronic materials. This includes:

  • Power strips
  • An extension cord
  • Micro USB charger
  • Computer or tablet charger

Marketing Materials

What’s the point of attending a trade show conference if you have no tools in place to capture leads and measure impact? Never underestimate the value of the business card, especially for networking. Brochures and take-home guides are a great way to leave your attendees with something to remember you by.

Be sure to have a sign-up sheet or electronic email subscription for free merchandise. This will give you a list of leads that you can remarket at after the show. Coordinate all of your marketing efforts to build social media and PR buzz before the show. Follow up by taking lots of pictures and videos to share during and after the show.

Merchandise

One way to leave your brand top-of-mind following an expo event is with some free merchandise. Coffee mugs, t-shirts, or even a free product sample is a great way to keep people engaged with your brand following the show. It also seeks to increase word-of-mouth advertising. Consider that people who attend a trade show will tell six people or more about their experience at a trade show.

General Trade Show Supplies

  • Breath mints
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Pre-show mailing cards
  • Pens
  • Sharpies
  • Stapler
  • Highlighter
  • Post-it notes
  • Scissors
  • Zip-ties
  • First aid materials
  • Flyers
  • Scotch tape
  • Safety pins
  • Beverages
  • Packed lunch!

To be the star of the show you might want to consider delivering a keynote speech, sponsoring the conference, or hosting a party following the show. At Alliance Exposition, we offer expo services that can help you plan and budget for each of these supplies to make the most of your next trade show.

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