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The Complete Trade Show Checklist: Everything You Need to Pack

Always forgetting something for your trade show booth? Use this trade show checklist to make sure you show up with everything you need to exhibit with success. Whether it’s your first time exhibiting at a trade show or you’re a seasoned pro, you’ll want to be sure you have everything you need.


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The Complete Trade Show Exhibit Packing List Infographic

Trade Show Checklist for Your Booth

You’ve already designed a booth for your next trade show event. You’ve purchased the booth, arranged to have it shipped to the correct location, and paid to have it set up. What other trade show supplies do you need for the event?


When creating your trade show planning checklist, consider what marketing or promotional items you will need for your booth. 

  • Signage 
  • Promotional items
  • Business cards 
  • Name tags
  • Business card holder
  • Comfortable shoes

These should all be on your trade show packing list. Less obvious items, however, are sometimes overlooked. Name tags for your sales representatives might make it easier for your customers to connect to your staff. Some sort of business card holder or organization system will help you collect business cards from customers so you can follow up with them later. Something else people often forget is that you’ll be on your feet a lot for the entirety of the trade show event. While you want to make a good impression, you also want to make it through the entire event. Make sure you have a pair of comfortable shoes to wear while on the trade show floor. 

If you have a sales pitch prepared, add that to your trade show checklist. You’ll want a copy of that nearby in the booth so you and other sales representatives can review it. A portable steamer or vacuum will be necessary to keep your booth looking sharp throughout the entire event. Check with your trade show event rules first to make sure you are permitted to clean your booth yourself without hiring union labor, but many shows will permit you to tidy your booth during the event. Velcro is another often overlooked item when making your trade show planning checklist, but it can be very helpful to have if you need to fix or attach something to your booth at the last minute. 


Office Supplies To Include On Your Trade Show Checklist

Most people remember to include some of the basic office supplies on their trade show packing list. 

  • Pens or pencils 
  • Highlighters 
  • Sharpies 
  • Post-it notes 
  • Rubber bands
  • Paper clips
  • A stapler
  • Scissors 


These are common office supplies people remember to bring when preparing for a show. If your booth requires dry erase markers, make sure to pack plenty of those as well as an eraser. Raffle tickets are also a must if you’re planning to conduct a raffle at the event.

Other items that are often overlooked when creating your trade show checklist are equally as important. When packing tape, you’ll want to bring duct tape and clear tape. This will help you be prepared for any last minute fixes you need to make for your signage or booth. Wire or string and safety pins also come in handy for last minute fixes. Some people like to bring an all-in-one tool that includes items such as a screwdriver and knife. Just check with your trade show’s rules first to make sure you’re permitted to bring those types of tools.

Lastly, headache medicine is essential to any trade show checklist. When you are at an event, you won’t have time to stop because of a headache so you’ll want to be prepared.


What Technology Items You Should Bring

Your trade show checklist should also include any technology you might need at your trade show event.

  • Pack any PCs, laptops, or tablets you might need
  • TVs and/ monitors
  • Extra cords
  • Cable wires
  • HDMI cables
  • Power strips
  • Extension cords
  • Extra batteries
  • Zip ties
  • Chargers
  • iPads or any other devices

You’ll want to make sure there are enough devices for all of your customer representatives. You might need to pack extra if you plan on having some out for your customers to interact with the tablets directly. Make sure you pack any TVs or monitors that you plan to display as part of your booth as well as any media players you might need. Before you pack all of your devices, make sure to test each one out to ensure they will work correctly at the event.

In addition to your technology devices, your trade show planning checklist should include plenty of extra cords and cable wires to hook up your devices. You might not know how long your connection cords will need to be so make sure you bring extras. Plan to bring extra HDMI cables, power strips, and extension cords as well since you never know what you will need until you get there. Bring extra batteries for any equipment that will need batteries. The last thing you need is to run out of batteries during the event. Zip ties are important for any trade show packing list to keep all of your cords organized and out of the way. Lastly, don’t forget to bring chargers for your cell phone, iPads, and any other devices you need to use.


Other Items to Include on Your Trade Show Checklist

Lastly, your trade show packing list should include some other miscellaneous items that will help you be prepared for anything that comes your way while you are exhibiting on the trade show floor. 


  • Water/ beverages
  • Snacks
  • Gum or breath mints
  • Stan remover pen
  • Ziploc baggies
  • Hand sanitizer
  • First aid kit


The first types of items you will need are items that will keep you going strong after working long hours at the event. If your booth is very busy, you might not get a lot of time to eat or drink. Keep plenty of water and snacks nearby so that you can keep yourself hydrated and well-fueled. You will be able to do your best at the event if you are taking care of yourself. 

Because you will be interacting with a lot of customers in person, you also want to present yourself well. Have gum and breath mints within easy reach for when you are interacting with customers. Also, keep a stain remover pen handy. You won’t want to have to meet with all of your customers while wearing a stained outfit. A stain remover pen will help you remove any stains you get during the show right away so you can greet your customers with confidence. Ziploc baggies are also recommended for your trade show checklist because they will help you and your customers to stay organized–allowing you to put your best foot forward when meeting with your customers.

Finally, don’t forget to make safety a top priority. You and your customers will be meeting a lot of new people on each day of the trade show event. This allows germs to spread quickly. Make sure to include hand sanitizer on your trade show planning checklist. You won’t be able to accomplish all of your goals if you are feeling sick at the event. Also, be sure to pack a first aid kit. You never know when you might need one, and you don’t want to be caught unprepared. 


The Full Tradeshow Packing and Planning Checklist

Here’s the complete list of everything we’ve mentioned in this post. This will help make preparing for your next tradeshow a seamless experience.

Booth Items

Office Supplies Technology


  • Promotional items
  • Business cards.
  • Business card collector
  • Name tags
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sales pitch
  • Velcro
  • Portable Steamer/ Vacuum
  • Pens/pencils
  • Sharpies.
  • Post-It notes.
  • Rubber bands.
  • Paper clips.
  • Duct tape & clear tape
  • Wire or string.
  • Dry erase marker
  • Headache Medicine
  • Safety pins
  • Stapler
  • Highlighter
  • All-in-one tool (screwdriver and knife)
  • Raffle tickets
  • PCs/ laptops/ and tablets
  • Media player
  • Device chargers.
  • Extra cords and cable wires (HDMI, power, extension cords)
  • Zip ties.
  • Batteries
  • Water
  • Gum and breath mints
  • Hand sanitizer
  • First aid kit
  • Ziploc baggies
  • Stain remover pen


Any Questions?

This trade show checklist will help you prepare you for any trade show event. Follow the list carefully to have a successful trade show event. If you have any questions about preparing or exhibiting at a trade show event, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to help. In the meantime, happy exhibiting!

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