Your Checklist for the Days Leading Up to a Trade Show

Business woman making checklist for trade show preparation

The days are getting closer to your trade show, and your team is starting to bustle. Outside of the larger to-dos like making sure your booth design is set in stone and firming up travel plans with your team, keeping all of the little things in order can get hectic. We include a handy trade show checklist below so you can remember the most important things as you approach the event.

A Month Before the Trade Show

Check up on Your Custom Orders – About a month from your event, hopefully, everything you need that is custom made will already be ordered. At this time, give everyone a call, check online, or send an email to make sure the order is processing and things are moving according to schedule. You would be surprised how many last-minute emergencies can be prevented by this step.

People are human, and sometimes little details of your order can get mixed up—size, color, wording, etc. Checking up on your order and making sure everything is moving along is smart—and if you check a few weeks before the event, this padding should give you plenty of time to make changes or go for plan-B if needed. But by all means, the earlier, the better!

Make a List and Check it Twice – Even though you probably have everything in your head and have it all under control, make a list of everything that you need to bring to the trade show anyway. Having an itemized list takes the pressure off of you to remember everything—and lets you pass the list to someone else for double-checking if needed. Write down everything including signs, giveaways, stock, backup stock, display pieces, booth details, chairs, snacks, and water. Write down everything that is essential for those who are behind the booth, too.

Two Weeks Before the Trade Show

Buy What You Need – Order or buy anything you need that doesn’t need to be custom made. Check with the event and make sure that any tables or chairs you counted on are still available. Is there any equipment or supplies you need to get before the show? Are you planning on giving away anything to sweeten the deal for your visitors? Get it now or (plan the specific day you’ll need to pick it up) and your future self with thank you.

Get Covered with Exhibitor Insurance – With two weeks to your event, you still have time to get insurance for your trade show. Getting insurance not only protects you and your business, but the requirement is probably included in the fine print of your event host contract.

Trade show venues are sure to have insurance, but they don’t actually cover events that happen inside or around a booth due to your own display, stock, or accidents. It’s as easy as requesting a quote above or giving us a call. We will help you understand exactly what you need to stay legal and protected.

One Week Before the Trade Show

Practice Your Smile and Sales Pitch – Go over your pitch one more time and maybe even role-play some scenarios. Imagine your visitors at different stages of interest and match that interest up with the logical next step.

Whether someone needs a sample, a brochure or a conversation depends on where they are at in the buying journey. Practice what you might say and have a good “elevator pitch” ready when people ask you why you do what you do.

Start Gathering Your Materials to Pack Up – Although you don’t want your car to be stuffed full of trade show materials for a full week before the event, you don’t want to be scrambling around the office—or worst, around town—to gather everything up that needs transported to the event center. This includes signage, table cloths, handouts, brochures, snacks and anything else you plan on bringing with you. Checking in with any vendors who are creating materials for you to ensure they’ll be done on time (if they aren’t already) is always a good idea.

Make the Most of Your Event

Well, there you have it! While you still have to do some of the itemized lists yourself, we hope this post has helped you organize your thoughts and prioritize as the trade show approaches. Check out our other posts for more great ideas on promoting your booth and making the most of your event.