Great tips for your Exhibition Toolbox

Trade Show Tools: What’s in YOUR Toolbox? I gained a lot of my trade show experience when I started working with a start-up company in 1998. There weren’t a lot of systems in place at that time so I was an active participant in the creation, development, and implementation of new guidelines.Trade Show Tools-BLOG GRAPHIC

I didn’t know what an event “toolbox” was let alone what to put in it! As I got several shows under my belt and was able to do my own assessment, I did eventually create my own toolbox; and it actually requires shipping and a labor call to get myself set up nowadays.

Although the GSC (General Service Contractor) comes fully equipped with their own tools, often referred to as a “gang box”, I wanted my own. If Show Management or an Exhibitor approached my desk, I wanted anything that they could possibly ask for to be readily available instead of having to track down an employee or Union member for said item.

Throughout my early years in the Trade Show Industry, my toolbox went from nothing to something grand! I would put myself in my customer’s shoes so that I could anticipate whatever their needs might be and plan accordingly.

Here’s an overview of what today’s “toolbox” consists of:

3-Hole Punch
Acrylic Display Holders (Used to display my floor plan w/alpha reference)
Binder Clips
Booth Carpet (Always!)
Box Cutters
Business Cards w/Card Holder
Candy (Mints) w/Candy Dish
Carpet Tape
Custom Furnishings (Used at larger events to create an “Exhibitor Lounge” at my desk)
Double-Sided Tape
Easel or Chrome Sign Holder
Enlarged Floor Plan w/Exhibitor Names and Alpha Listing
Executive Leather Chairs

Animated Teacher

F&B (Prearranged with the Catering Manager to include lots of H2O and snacks)
Floor Plan Copies
Fresh Flowers (Ordered from the Floral Provider)
Lava Lamp (Just because!)
Masking Tape
Nail Kit
Name Badges
Paper Clips
Pencil Sharpener
Permanent Markers
Post-It Notes w/Holder
Power Strip
Promotional Pens w/Holder
Printer (Once upon a time!)
Push Pins
Registration Counter(s)
Rubber Bands
Screwdriver(s) (My preference…the flat/Phillips combo!)
Sewing Kit
Shipping Tape
Show Site Service Forms (Work Tickets, Drayage, Empty Stickers, Labor/Rigging, Shipping, Shipping Labels)
Shrink Wrap
Sign Hooks
Staff T-Shirts
Staple Gun/Staples
Staple Remover
Velcro (Squares and Rolls)
Zip Ties (Various Lengths)

These are just a few of my favorite things! I’ve gone from a simple “box” that you could hand-carry to needing a truckload of items that require shipping and a labor call! It’s  always good to be considered the “client” on the trade show floor; after all, I was, and doesn’t that just get everyone hoppin’! My work space would be set up in record time and I was open for business!

So, what’s in YOUR toolbox? Please share with me below! Next up…how to take your Service Desk mobile in the Trade Show hall and what you should include!