10 Ways to Ensure an Organized Trade Show Booth

Trade shows are the most cost effective way to meet the most amount of customers and prospects in the least amount of time.

But amongst all of the positive benefits, connections we make, and fun times we have…trade shows are hard work and very tiring. We have to be “on” in the booth, around the expo floor, and every point in between. We walk more steps than normal. And we get less sleep than at home. So wouldn’t it be nice to make our lives easier and more efficient by having an organized trade show booth?

Here are 10 ways to keep your trade show booth organized and open for business:

  1. Briefcase Storage: With all of the tech tools that we carry and use to provide a visual representation of the story we are telling…wouldn’t it be nice to have a place in the booth to store our bags? We all have them, and we all need easy access to them. A little manipulating of closest and cabinet space with shelving units, cubby holes, or lockers will go a long way to avoid headaches…and back aches!
  1. Coat Rack: Speaking of storing personal items, we need to store our coats as well. The coat check line is always long. And how often have we forgotten to retrieve our coats or had them “misplaced?” Hooks can placed on closet walls or hidden behind a curtain in meeting rooms. But don’t only have hooks in cold climates. They are just as useful when the weather is warm. Think of when the convention center has not turned on the air conditioning…and all we want is to take off our jackets until we cool down.
  1. Umbrella Bin: Now that we have mentioned the weather…think of how often it rains during a trade show. Although we like the rain during show hours because it keeps attendees inside the convention center, it is a mess to get caught in while traveling to the show. Something as simple as plastic bags or a big plastic bin can keep all of those umbrellas out of sight without watering the floor of the booth.
  1. Water & Snacks: But we do need water and nourishment for our bodies, especially with all of the talking we do in dry atmospheres. There never seems to be a place to get a quick drink or bite to eat near the booth, the lines are super long once we get there, and let’s not even talk about the prices! Think of how much time, money, and energy will be saved by providing water and healthy, energizing snacks in the booth!
  1. Charging Station: Speaking of energizing…how often do our mobile devices lose their juice halfway through the day? Something as simple as a power strip in a cabinet with a few common chargers will keep us “plugged in” to our contacts and our data without having to leave the booth or miss important info.
  1. Master List of All Employees at the Show: And isn’t it awful when we miss important info, conversations, or contacts because we stepped away from the booth? Plus, sometimes we do not know all the employees because we never met them before or because they are from a different location. Keeping a master list of every employee at the trade show…even if they do not have booth duty…is an easy way to take care of attendees. And adding cell phone numbers allows for instant access to ensure than impromptu appointments are never missed. On top of that, everyone should have a paper and/or digital copy of this list because we never know when attendees will want to reach out to one of our colleagues…or where we will be when they ask!
  1. Schedule of Booth Staffers: And one of the things that attendees always ask is “when will so-and-so be in the booth?” Having a schedule of booth staffers allows attendees to return at a time that is convenient for them. This schedule is also beneficial for internal use because it allows company employees to know who is in the booth at all times, as well as their area of expertise.
  1. Envelope for Business Cards to Take Back to the Office: But what about all of the employees who are asked about but are not onsite at the trade show? An easy way to get them a message is to have a large envelope and write personal notes on business cards for distribution when the “envelope handler” returns to the office.
  1. Office Supplies: And speaking of envelopes, how often do we need an office supply at a trade show? No matter how “paperless” a booth we have or how prepared we are when we travel, we still need the basics like pens, highlighters, sticky notes, tape, staplers, rubber bands, paper clips, scissors and anything else that will make our life convenient on the trade show floor. A small plastic bin can house everything all in one place.
  1. First Aid Kit: More items that can be housed all in one place are basic first aid items such as band aids, antiseptic ointment, pain relievers, Tums, Imodium, allergy medicine, cough drops, and Kleenex. Clothing malfunction items such as safety pins, needle/thread, and hem tape are always appreciated for a quick fix as well!

I have worked with exhibitors who have brought foot massagers, gel insoles, vitamin C packets, and even ice cream to their booth! So be sure to think of anything and everything your booth staffers need to make their lives easier and more efficient within your organized trade show booth.