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Exhibitors' Pre-Trade Show Checklist

By Alyson Hendrickson Wentz, CAS

Before you leave for that all important trade show, make sure you've made this list and checked it twice.

1. Make all last minute calls to ascertain that booth, products, promotional literature, etc. have arrived at the show site.

2. Call airport, train station, rental car company and hotel to confirm arrangements.

3. Go over your show objectives so you have them memorized, and will know if you're meeting them.

4. Make sure that all of your sales follow-up packets are put together, or will be put together while you're at the show.

5. Brief booth staff on proper etiquette, dress, and, of course, how to best make an at-show sale, or qualify a prospective customer. Make sure booth staff is aware of the show objectives, and how to best meet them.

6. Pack carefully and thoroughly:
•    business cards (bring twice as many as you think you'll need)
•    cell phone and/or pager
•    mini tape recorder (for keeping track of ideas)
•    laptop and/or hand-held organizer
•    itinerary of client meetings, special events, educational sessions, etc. (make sure key people at the office have a copy of this, too)
•    contact information on where key clients and/or vendors are staying
•    contact information on where booth staff are staying
•    plane or train tickets
•    credit cards/checks
•    comfortable shoes
•    first-aid kit
•    aspirin
•    show materials (directories, tickets, invitations, etc.)
•    appropriate show attire (perhaps a logoed golf shirt, or denim shirt)
•    trade publications, reports and memos to read on the plane

7. Check your e-mail and voice mail for any last-minute problems, concerns, etc. Make sure all of those that might try to contact you have been notified of your plans, or will be redirected to someone who can answer their questions in your absence.

8. Go over ongoing projects or important orders with the people that will be manning the office while you're away.

9. Do a last minute check of suitcase and briefcase to make sure you have all of the necessary items.

Straighten desk, so that upon your return you can dive back into projects in the order in which they need to be handled.

11. Make a to-do list for things that must be done your first day back.

Alyson Hendrickson Wentz (, independent promotional consultant with Geiger, and freelance writer/editor. Location -Hatfield, PA, USA