It’s a scenario far too many exhibitors are familiar with: you’re at the trade show, your trade show display is up and running, you go to reach for something, only to realize that you’ve forgotten it. With all of the planning that goes into trade show marketing it can be difficult to remember all of your exhibit essentials. Avoid the possibility of any future trade show blunders with a well-stocked emergency exhibiting kit that covers all scenarios. Below is a list of some must-have items in your trade show emergency kit.

Office Supplies

This may seem obvious, but pens, business cards and other office supplies are very popular at trade shows simply because everyone uses these items on a daily basis, especially when marketing at a trade show. Some useful office supplies to have nearby are:

  • Business cards: Pass these out to attendees to promote your brand and yourself
  • Pens/pencils/markers/Sharpies: Bring plenty for your staff
  • Staplers/paper clips: When dealing with documents, you’re bound to need them
  • Scissors: Just in case you need to do some cutting
  • Notepads: It’s never a bad idea to have extra material to write on
  • Calculator: Bring one for each member of your staff


You never know when an trade show display emergency is going to pop up. It is best to be prepared with a wide assortment of tools that can help you make a quick fix no matter if your have a custom trade show exhibit or a portable display. Key tools to have include:

  • Flashlight: You never know when you may need an extra light
  • Screwdriver/Hammer/Screws: It’s always good to have the basic tools around to fix your exhibit
  • Measuring Tape: For any architecture-related issues
  • Duct Tape/Packaging Tape: A quick fix for (almost) anything
  • Box Cutter: Many don’t think to bring a box cutter, but you’ll never be sorry you did

Cleaning Supplies

Trade show marketing veterans know that emergencies may arise that require cleaning supplies. Best to be prepared with a wide variety of items.

  • Paper Towels: For any spills or light cleaning
  • Carpet Stain Remover: Booth staff and visitors can track dirt into your exhibit space (and don’t forget coffee!)
  • Adhesive Remover: Keep your exhibit looking like new every day on the show floor

Miscellaneous Trade Show Marketing Items

There are many miscellaneous items that can come in handy for you at your exhibition!

  • Breath Mints: Your staff will be engaging with attendees all day, make a good impression with fresh breath
  • Sewing Kit: Wardrobe malfunctions can happen at any time
  • Ziploc Bags: These can always come in handy
  • Tissues: Everyone needs to blow their nose now and then
  • Hand Sanitizer: As you’ll no doubt be shaking many hands, it’s best to fight germs so you can stay healthy for the duration of your show
  • Basic Medicine: Keep your staff healthy and on their feet with aspirin, antacids, eye drops, throat lozenges, and other over-the-counter treatments
  • First aid kits: For minor medical emergencies
  • Hair ties: You can never have too many
  • Batteries: Never be caught off guard by faulty batteries when you have extra
  • Phone Chargers: Bring backup chargers for iPhones and androids…your staff will thank you

Do you have any additional ideas for the perfect trade show marketing emergency exhibiting kit? Share them in the comment section below!