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Trade Show Survival Checklist

February 6, 2012

By Kristen Levine, Wizard of Paws

Trade Show Survival Checklist

Fetching Communications Trade Show Packing Checklist
(Pack list is reviewed and updated after each trade show attendance)

Employee packing list:

  • Comfortable, professional attire for working hours (type of dress depends on the show, seminar or conference—discuss with management prior to show)
  • Appropriate shoes that are comfortable enough for long hours on a trade show floor. One may choose to change into heels for important meetings or dinners, but are not expected to wear heels with professional attire
  • Some exhibit halls prohibit rolling carts or laptop bags, so bring a shoulder or cross body bag that can be worn comfortably all day, even if it’s full of materials
  • Energy bars, dried fruit, nuts or some kind of non-perishable, healthy snack to get you from meal to meal in the event you are too busy for a sit down meal
  • Carry a bottle of water to keep you hydrated. Exhibit hall beverages (including water) are often $4 each
  • Aspirin/ibuprofen (or your favorite, legal pain killer)\
  • Business cards (25-100 depending on size of show/conference)
  • Smart phone, (recharged daily)
  • Phone charger
  • Laptop with charger
  • Data card (if applicable)
  • Pouch to keep receipts
  • Company credit card
  • Drivers’ license
  • Cash or personal credit card for personal incidentals
  • Breath mints (not gum)

Company packing list:

  • Lanyard holders
  • Trade show folder (containing any and all materials needed)
  • Flash drives
  • Notebook
  • Stapler/staples
  • Pens, highlighters, sharpies
  • Paperclips
  • Presentation materials
  • Camera and charger  (To be used to photography your booth display. Cameras are not allowed on the show floor.)


  • Each attendee will create a trade show folder to keep agendas, maps, and any other important show documents handy
  • Keep trade show, hotel maps handy for navigating
  • Employees will be at least 10 minutes early and fully prepared for any meetings during the trade show
  • Take the necessary time to orient yourself with locations of places you will need to be and allow for ample travel or walking time, and other logistics
  • Print important documents prior to leaving for the trade show as you may not have access to a printer while traveling
  • Eat healthy and get a much sleep as possible before and during the show

We’d love to hear any additional items or tips you may have for attending trade shows.

3 Responses to “Trade Show Survival Checklist”

  1. Great list, Kristen! I really had to think about it to come up with something to add. Here’s one thing: bring your camera charger, too. At a multi-day show, you’ll take lots of pictures, either of the things you’re seeing on the show floor, or at the great tourist sites that are often in the same cities as your show. I’ve been burned a couple of times when I didn’t have it. Now I even bring an extra camera battery, also charged.

  2. Tobi Kosanke says:

    Mant trade shows, including Global Pet Expo, do not permit cameras on the show floor (to protect exhibitors from theft of new product ideas.)

    • admin says:

      Thanks Tobi, we know photography is not allowed in the New Products Showcase, but didn’t realize they weren’t allowed anywhere on the show floor. I posted this question to the GPE Facebook page and was told that you are however allowed to take photos of your own booth.

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