20 Must-Have Items for Your Next Trade Show

April Cassidy

| 5 min read

You have a trade show coming up in a few months.  The last thing you need is a logistical headache while you are trying to get things lined up perfectly to showcase your brand’s products and services.

Of course, you want to be sure you have absolutely everything you need to make the investment well-worth your organization’s time. Your boss and the people at the show have got to be impressed.

A trade show is an incredible opportunity to spread the word about your organization and to become known by more potential customers. It’s all about creating a riveting first impression.

11 trade show tips

A trade show booth is a large commitment of time and resources. Here are some tips on how you can get the most bang for your trade show buck.

  1. First Impressions Matter! People will form opinions about your brand based on your displays, your branding, and your presentation in less than a second. 

  2. Make sure your message is clear. Can people immediately tell what you do, how you can make their lives better, and how to do business with you? Make sure your message is not confusing. If it is, you will lose opportunities.

  3. Give people a way to engage. Whether it is an interactive computer program on a touch screen or an experience people can participate in, everyone loves to get involved in something fun.

  4. Provide wonderful-smelling snacks. Delicious food can draw a big crowd.

  5. Have a lead generator—like a prize or contest. Provide something valuable to people for free in exchange for their email addresses. 

  6. Understand your audience. Who are you targeting? What will appeal most to that particular group of people about your product or services?

  7. Share on social media! Be sure to share your upcoming event on all your social media sites. Make it fun and encourage people to respond by asking questions or planning giveaways for free tickets or merchandise.

  8. Give product demos. If you sell a product, have an active demonstration that people can watch so they can see how wonderful your product is in person.

  9. Have chairs at your booth. Many people may get tired of standing and will look for a welcoming place to sit. Make your booth a place where people can relax and get to know your products or services.

  10. Be generous! People love free stuff. (Make sure they have to come into your booth for it.) If you have things that are valuable to your audience, they will keep the merchandise and share it with others, expanding your reach and advertising. Plus, when you are generous, people have a tendency to want to reciprocate.

  11. Follow up. Promptly begin an email nurturing campaign to build trust and help promote sales to the people who provided email addresses to you.

Our top 20 custom trade show display recommendations

Here’s a checklist you can use to make sure you cover all your bases for your next big trade show. Which of these items does your organization need?

  1. Books/workbooks/notebooks

  2. Booklets

  3. Business brochures

  4. Business cards

  5. Business presentation folders

  6. Catalogs

  7. Custom banners

    • Retractable banners

    • Retractable banner stands

    • Retractable pop up banners

    • Welcome banner

  8. Custom bookmarks

  9. Custom button pins

    • Photo button pins

    • Personalized button pins

  10. Custom calendars

  11. Custom door hangers

  12. Custom magnets

    • Refrigerator magnets

    • Car magnets

  13. Custom notepads

  14. Custom posters

  15. Custom stickers

    • Bumper stickers

    • Laptop stickers

    • Vinyl stickers

    • Die-cut stickers

  16. Custom table runners

  17. Name badges

    • Plastic id cards

  18. Rack cards

  19. Table tent cards

  20. Trade show display wall

    • Portable trade show displays

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