Small businesses can really make their mark in the world by participating in large trade shows. But where do you begin? And what do you take? Chances are that you will be traveling to the trade show location which means you better bring everything you need because there’s no running home to quickly grab something. Here’s a list of things you can’t afford to forget when packing for a Trade Show.


Researching your venue ahead of time is key to figuring out what will be provided and what won’t. Many trade show venues don’t provide adequate lighting, and some don’t have clear boundaries between booths. Does your booth have electricity? How are you going to brand your booth?


We suggest packing signage that is appropriately sized for the size of booth you’ve reserved. You don’t want your branding to be overwhelming, but you’re going to want your brand to be prominent so potential buyers will recognize and remember who you are. Vinyl signage is a great way to make sure your name is large but also easy enough to roll up and store in a small space. If your booth requires pre-fabricated walls, you may consider printing your company name right on the wall and eliminating the need for a physical sign.


If you’re assembling a booth with unique walls and flooring, you’re going to need to pack some power tools. Remember to pack the appropriate drill bits and backup batteries too. Also, just to prevent disaster, it’s not a bad idea to pack some old-school screwdrivers just in case your drill decides to break in the middle of your assembly. Don’t forget power strips, extension cords, and lighting if those things aren’t provided for your booth by the venue.


Sure, you’re selling your product, but that doesn’t mean it should look boring. Simple additions like a fake plant or fun table cloths can make a huge difference to a buyer just walking by. Do something to make your booth stand out, but don’t be too flashy. You don’t want your product to be lost amongst the décor of your booth, but you do want to make your brand stand out amongst the rest.


Your booth is assembled and it looks great. But now what? You’re there to sell your product or at least tell potential buyers about your brand. Don’t forget you’re running a business and need to have the tools to look professional.

Office Supplies:

Pens, pencils, order forms, catalogs, and a calculator are all things you can’t afford to forget. You never know if someone will want to place an order on the spot or if they’re just browsing and want a catalog to take back with them. Big order? You better have packed a stapler. Basic office supplies seen like a no-brainer to pack, but if you forget them it can make your business seem unprofessional. You’re there to sell, so make sure you have the tools to do so.

Make an Impression:

If you’re looking to entice buyers to stop by your booth, offer them a refreshment. Chances are they have been walking around for a long time, so being offered a drink or snack can make a big impression. It’s the perfect opportunity to give them a business card and grab one of theirs. Also, don’t forget to pack some sort of holder for the business cards you collect. The potential leads you acquire at a tradeshow can go a long way, even after the trade show ends. Make sure they don’t get lost in the shuffle of you packing up. Also, having a take away item is something to think about. Whether it’s a free pen or a free sample product, if you give a buyer something free, chances are they’ll remember you. Bonus points if it’s not cumbersome for them to carry around with them.


Don’t forget to take care of yourself during trade shows. The days can be long, and you have to be “on” for every second, gauging personalities and trying to pitch your product in the best way. An emergency box can save you a lot of headaches, literally.

First-Aid Kit

Any time you’re using power tools, accidents can happen. Even if you’re just shuffling papers on a table, you could get a paper cut. It’s a smart idea to pack a small First-Aid Kit in your emergency box. Include Band-Aids, a simple Pain Reliever, and any medications you might need during a long day. It’s also smart to include hand sanitizer since you will most likely be meeting a lot of new people and shaking their hands in the process.

Misc. Items

If you’re wearing heels all day during the show (or any type of dress shoe), it may be smart to pack some comfortable shoes to wear during setup and breakdown. Other items to consider packing may be: an umbrella, wet wipes, a broom, snacks, and a small supply of water. Chances are you won’t be able to leave your booth very often during the day, so anything that will make your day more comfortable is a good idea to include in your emergency box.


While you can try to pack all of this in your car or ship it freight to your destination, UNITS can drop of a container for you to pack up and then drive it directly to your venue. You won’t have to worry if your shipment arrives in time, and you won’t have to worry about things getting damaged in the move. UNITS has two different size containers, so you’ll never have to choose what’s more important to take. It will all fit!

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