10 Critical Supplies You Need for Successful Trade Shows and Events

Having a successful experience as a B2B trade exhibitor requires planning and having the right tools on hand to make sure that the show goes smoothly. With so many moving parts, from getting to the venue, managing your team and actually getting people inside your booth, you don’t have to feel frazzled by the pressure. We have put together the ultimate tools and supplies guide that you didn’t know you needed but that comes in handy for creating a solid B2B trade show experience for you and your visitors.

Business cards

Despite the rise of the Internet, business cards still play an important role in B2B buying, especially at events and conferences. More than 70 percent of people will judge your company by your business card, according to statistics. It is very important that you don’t forget to give out business cards at trade shows. Make sure you print off a fresh batch for you and your team so that if a visitor asks how to contact you, it is as seamless and easy as simply sharing your card. Make an estimation of how many cards you will need and bring enough so that you don’t run out.

phone charging station
G.U.S Multi-Device Charging Station Dock & Organizer

Charging stations for electronics

Smartphones are such a vital tool in our daily lives—that is, until they run out of power! The last thing that you want to happen is for your phone to run low on battery when you are talking to a prospect at a booth who may want to exchange numbers for a follow-up call. To solve this potential problem, make sure that your booth has charging stations for all of your team and an extra charging station for visitors who might want to charge their smartphones as well.

Beverages

Don’t be so caught up in the excitement for the trade show that you forget about the one thing that will keep your energy levels up: water. Your visitors and everyone on your team should have access to water and light beverages to help them stay hydrated and energized for the trade show. One unique approach that you can use which ticks the box of having water and promoting your company is having private label water with your company’s logo on it. This way, when your visitors or team are drinking water, your brand will be front and center.

Banners

The last thing you want to do is head to an exhibit without your custom banners. Without trade show banners to advertise your booth, it may be difficult to be seen or noticed by trade show attendants. Work with your design team to determine which banners will work best for your booth and how to best to design them to grab the attention of potential customers.

Storage for brochures and flyers

For carrying brochures and flyers, you should be using storage containers so that they don’t become frayed or damaged. Every visitor to your booth should receive a brochure or promotional flyer that looks like it has come fresh off the printer. Storage containers will maintain the visual integrity of your promotional papers that you give to visitors.

Swag

Promotional products are definitely on the list of top supplies you need for a trade show. Eighty-one percent of people who receive promotional items from businesses keep them for at least a year, according to researchfrom Promotional Products Association International. You can choose from useful promotional items that will be kept, such as pens, notepads and tote bags. Make sure that every visitor to your booth receives your promotional items to increase your company’s brand awareness during the exhibit.

Extensions

If you are going to have large electrical equipment such as TVs or monitors to play video, you should absolutely bring extension cables that are able to handle the needs of the equipment that you are going to use. Don’t assume that the venue will have spare extension cords to give you if you accidentally forget yours.

Company Shirts

Each B2B company makes its own decision as to whether trade show staff should wear branded company clothing, uniform or professional clothing. You could opt for the former and use name tags. However, it looks more cohesive to bring company shirts so that your whole team has a uniform look. This makes it easier for visitors to identify your team and your company. A top tip we have if you are going to take company shirts with you is opt for shirts made from soft cotton without polyester as cotton is more breathable.

Company Credit Cards

Displays for conference collateral
Brochure displays image courtesy of displays2go.com.

Depending on the nature of how your company operates, a spare credit card could come in handy. This is especially relevant if you meet with potential buyers who you may want to entertain in the evening, for example. Factor in potential emergencies and have a financial buffer for you and your team by bringing a spare company-authorized credit card.

Conference Booth for Trade Shows

Mini tables

You probably have factored in taking the main tables for your exhibit, but what about smaller tables? If you are going to a big exhibition with a larger team, you shouldn’t just rely on one or two large tables as this will create a lot of congestion at your booth. Make sure that you go with smaller tables to direct more foot traffic to other members of your team and to make your exhibit look more seamless.

More than 12 percent of all travel spending in the U.S. is spent on meetings, events and exhibitions, according to the U.S. Travel Association.This includes everything needed to ensure that a company’s trade show exhibit looks great and will achieve their goals. With this in mind, don’t forget the importance of these top 10 supplies when you are planning your next trade show exhibition. It is always the smallest details that provide the biggest impact.

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Leslie Pierce

VP of Marketing at Half Price Banners
Experienced VP of Sales & Marketing with a demonstrated history of working in the wholesale industry. Skilled in Luxury Goods, Sales, Retail, Store Management, and Sales Operations. Strong marketing professional graduated from Rockhurst University.
Leslie Pierce
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