During a typical day at the office, any supplies you might need are easily accessible and it’s unlikely anyone would ever consider running out of staples to be a “crisis.” When you’re on the trade show floor however, it’s an entirely different story. Needing anything from Velcro for attaching graphics, to duct tape for a quick fix can become quite the dilemma. . . and an expensive one at that. If you’re in need of a roll of tape ten minutes before an event starts and the only supplier is Show Services, you may find yourself paying unreasonable prices. To avoid ending up in this situation altogether, it’s essential to pack a “gang box” for your next trade show.
A gang box is an event survival kit containing items to help you in almost any scenario. Experienced exhibitors bring a “gang box” with them to every event and ensure that it’s restocked before every show. Below is a trade show checklist of both the basics as well as a list of items for more extreme scenarios.
Don’t leave home without them:
- Roll of Velcro
- Super Glue
- Scotch Tape & Double-Sided Tape
- Duct Tape or Gaffer’s Tape (Doesn’t leave as much residue as duct tape)
- Mini Stapler/Staples/Staple remover
- Black Sharpies, Highlighters & White Out
- Box [or two] of Pens (trust me, they grow legs!)
- An assortment of sticky notes, message pads, and three-by-five note cards
- Binder clips, paper clips, rubber bands, straight pins, safety pins, zip ties
- Paper towels and gentle cleansing solution (for wiping down booth counters)
- Screwdriver set (both Phillips and flathead)
- Measuring tape
- Box Cutter (make this easily accessible)
- USB/ jump drive of all booth graphics, handouts and brochures (Make sure to know the locations of the nearest FedEx Kinko’s or other copying outlets prior to the show)
- Extra copies of demo/presentation/software & videos
- A/V & Computer/network cables
- Extra copy of your Setup/ Installation instructions for your display
- Pictures of your booth completely set up from all angles (makes it easy to know which graphics go where)
- Grounded, UL-rated surge protector strip
- Electronic copies of your Show Order Forms/ Confirmations, Shipping Documents, and Reservations
Sometimes, you can’t leave the booth and these could be life savers:
- Quick dissolve breath strips (or another kind of mint)
- Pocket Packs of Tissues
- Small first aid kit
- Hand Sanitizer or Wet Wipes
- Small Lint Remover
- Stain Removing Pen
- Antacid, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Tylenol (have all of them on hand, people have allergies or preferences)
- Hand cream
These items might save your exhibit in case of any last-minute emergency. Think of any scenarios where these might come into play, no matter how extreme and pack the items that could save your booth. Shipping these to your show will cost you far less than having Show Services repair your display:
- Staple gun with extra staples
- Battery Powered Screw Driver
- Extra light bulbs (make sure they match the ones in your booth)
- Extra screws, nuts, bolts, fasteners, standoffs, etc.
- Wire Cutter
- Calculators, clipboards & order forms, (if you write orders at the show).
- Strong Shipping Tape
- Double-sided carpet tape
- Shrink wrap
- FedEx / UPS Shipping Envelopes/ Pouches
While these items are all recommended, we encourage you to add anything else for your specific needs. What do you pack in your trade show tool kit that may be different from the items we listed? Add them in the comment section, below! Learn more about exhibiting at trade shows in our other blog posts or by heading to our website.
Written by John Leberman, Marketing Coordinator for FB Displays & Designs, Inc.