A Trade Show Checklist for Packing a “Gang Box”

First Aid for your trade show display
First Aid for your trade show display

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.

MUST HAVES

Don’t leave home without them:

  • Roll of Velcro
  • Scissors
  • 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

 

PERSONAL ITEMS

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
  • Comb

 

OPTIONAL ITEMS

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.

 FB Displays and Designs trade show display

Reflecting on Thanksgiving 2014

Reflecting on Thanksgiving 2014
From our family to yours, we wish you the best of health and fortune this Thanksgiving and beyond.
Happy Thanksgiving from FB Displays & Designs

Even if you’re not from Western New York, you probably heard that we had a terrible storm here over the past week. Many towns just south of Buffalo received several feet of snow, paralyzing the region.

With all of the travel bans, I was not able to drive into the office Tuesday through Friday of last week. (Not that I would’ve been able to get out of the driveway, anyway!) While working from home, I had the local news on in the background, and couldn’t help but notice how many of our clients & colleagues were affected by the storm. Some had to close their businesses for days, others experienced significant damage to their warehouses & operations. This storm has, no doubt, had a serious impact on our local economy. The weather forecasters said this would be a storm of historic proportions & they were (unfortunately) correct.

Personally, many of my family & friends were in areas that were hard hit, some not able to dig out of their homes until Sunday, most now dealing with the potential for flooding from all of the snow melting. I’m grateful that through this whole ordeal, those close to me were safe & experienced only minor damage to their homes.

With the storm happening so close to Thanksgiving, I think everyone in Buffalo will be a little more focused on what they’re thankful for this year.

If you haven’t heard it before, Buffalo is often referred to as the “City of Good Neighbors.” This week, with the worst conditions upon us, our region lived up to that moniker. Examples of neighbors checking in on one another, digging each other out, and many other kindnesses are all over the news. I’m thankful to live & work in Western New York, where this is “the norm.”

I’ve shared a few of my own photos from the snow storm below, some are on the lighter side, showing our dog all bundled-up to go out into the “SnowVember” weather-

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Written by John Leberman, Marketing Coordinator for FB Displays & Designs.

FB Displays and Designs trade show display

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14 Easy Ways to Get Extremely Motivated!

With the start of every new year, it’s commonplace to set new resolutions in both our professional and personal lives. Unfortunately, many of us tend to start strong but lose momentum before we know it. In order to provide everyone a little inspiration, here are 14 quick strategies to get (and stay) motivated this year:

1. Condition your mind. Train yourself to think positive thoughts while avoiding negative thoughts.

2. Condition your body. It takes physical energy to take action.  Get your food and exercise budget in place and follow it like a business plan.

3. Avoid negative people. They drain your energy and waste your time. Spending time with them is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot.

4. Seek out the similarly motivated. Their positive energy will rub off on you and you can imitate their success strategies.

5. Have goals–but remain flexible. No plan should be cast in concrete, lest it become more important than achieving the goal.

6. Act with a higher purpose. Any activity or action that doesn’t serve your higher goal is a wasted effort and should be avoided.

7. Take responsibility for your own results. If you blame (or credit) luck, fate or divine intervention, you’ll always have an excuse.

8. Stretch past your limits on a daily basis. Walking the old, familiar paths is how you grow old. Stretching makes you grow and evolve.

9. Don’t wait for perfection. Perfectionists are the losers in the game of life.  Strive for excellence rather than the unachievable.

10. Celebrate your failures. Your most important lessons in life will come from what you don’t achieve. Take time to understand where you fell short.

11. Don’t take success too seriously. Success can breed tomorrow’s failure if you use it as an excuse to become complacent.

12. Avoid weak goals. Goals are the soul of achievement, so never begin them with “I’ll try…” Always start with “I will” or “I must.”

13. Treat inaction as the only real failure. If you don’t take action, you fail by default and can’t even learn from the experience.

14. Think before you speak. Keep silent rather than express something that doesn’t serve your purpose.

What other methods do you use to keep yourself motivated?

SOURCE: Geoffrey James, Inc.com “Sales Source”

Snap Out of It! Five Ways to Avoid the Afternoon Energy Slump

Most of us are probably familiar with the mid-afternoon energy slump. After spending your morning energetically tackling your workload, you find yourself crashing after lunch. Whether you feel sleepy, exhausted or just lethargic, here are five ways to keep up your energy levels throughout the afternoon.

Go Light on Lunch

The biggest cause of that sleepy feeling is overdoing it at lunch time. If you eat a huge mid-day meal, your body’s going to be putting its energy resources into digestion. Make sure you have a healthy breakfast to see you through the morning, and you won’t be starving when lunch time comes around. Try healthy food options such as a wholegrain turkey sandwich or a salad. Add a couple of pieces of fruit.

Drink Plenty of Water

Instead of automatically heading for the coffee machine when you feel an energy slump coming on, grab a glass of cool water instead. Drinking a lot of water during the workday will help keep you focused and energized. It really does a more efficient job of waking you up than coffee.

Eat a Healthy Snack

If you took the above advice to go light on lunch, you might start feeling a little hungry mid-afternoon. A healthy snack such as a piece of fruit, a yogurt, a granola bar or a few nuts will give you a sustained energy boost to see you through till home time.

Avoid sugary snacks, though: they’ll pick you up initially, but the slump will just be deeper once they’ve worn off.

Get Your Heart Pumping

If you find yourself falling asleep at your desk, get up and go for a brisk walk. It only needs to be five or ten minutes. Walk around the corridors if you can’t escape out into the fresh air as long as you’re getting your heart rate up.

In general, it’s a good idea not to stay sitting at your desk for more than an hour without getting up and having a quick break. If you tend to get backache or sore eyes after a day at the computer, this can really help. At the very least, do some desk stretches.

Focus on an Exciting Task

Finally, the cause of that afternoon slump is often partly psychological. If you’re working on something tedious, it’s very hard to approach it with much energy. If it’s possible, switch to something that engages and interests you when you feel your energy levels dipping. Rotating between two or three different tasks can actually increase your productivity. If you really do have to get through something dull however, focus on the end result – how you’ll feel to have accomplished it or what it’ll mean to your boss, team or clients.

These tips should allow you to pull yourself out of that mid-day slump and keep your productivity going until you leave at the end of the day. What ways do you keep yourself energized throughout the afternoon?

SOURCE: Ali Hale, DumbLittleMan.com

Is It Time For a Coffee Break?

Like a large portion of the people on this Earth, I cannot start my day without a cup (or two) of coffee. In fact, the team here at FB Displays & Designs, Inc. goes through at least two entire pots every morning! I doubt we will ever catch our Operations Manager, Troy Stover, without his “Three Stooges” mug in hand. The beverage makes up an interesting element of our office culture. For example, we share coffee at our morning meetings and while discussing projects. We also have coffee with our clients when they come here to meet with us. The drink is definitely a staple of our office environment.

From a nutritional standpoint, cream and sugar users aren’t reaping the full potential of the beverage. However, black coffee contains lots of antioxidants and is low in calories so, despite any myths you have heard, here are 5 reasons why coffee is good for your health:

It Protects Your Heart

People who drink 1 to 3 cups of coffee a day have lower rates of stroke than non-coffee drinkers. This is linked to the large amount of antioxidants in the beverage, which may help suppress the damaging effect of inflammation on arteries. Coffee’s antioxidants activate nitric oxide, widening blood vessels and lowering blood pressure in the long run. Since coffee contains more antioxidants than even blueberries, it can be considered the largest source of antioxidants in most diets.

It Diverts Diabetes

Chlorogenic acid and quinides (two specific antioxidants in coffee) boost your cells’ sensitivity to insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar. While studies have shown that people who drink 4 or more cups of coffee a day may have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, there’s also the possibility of caffeine dulling the insulin-sensitivity boost in others, so heavy coffee drinkers should mix in some decaf.

Your Liver Loves It

While the research in this area is limited, it looks like the more coffee people drink, the lower their chance of getting cirrhosis and other liver diseases. One study showed that every 2-cup increase in daily coffee intake reduced liver cancer risk by 43%. Again, it’s those antioxidants—chlorogenic and caffeic acids—along with the caffeine that might prevent liver inflammation and inhibit cancer cells.

It Boosts Your Brain Power

Studies have shown that those who drink between 1 and 5 cups of coffee a day may help reduce the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Those hard-working antioxidants may ward off brain cell damage and help the neurotransmitters involved in cognitive function to work better.

It Helps Your Headaches

And not just the withdrawal headaches caused by skipping your daily dose of caffeine! Studies show that 200 milligrams of caffeine—about the amount in 16 ounces of brewed coffee—provides relief from headaches, including migraines. Exactly how caffeine relieves headaches isn’t clear. But scientists do know that caffeine boosts the activity of brain cells, causing surrounding blood vessels to constrict. One theory is that this constriction helps to relieve the pressure that causes the pain, says Robert Shapiro, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of neurology and director of the Headache Clinic at the University of Vermont Medical School.

SOURCE: Kerri-Ann Jennings, Eating Well Magazine