Tradeshow Marketing

Last-Minute Trade Show Checklist For Exhibitors

Ready for the upcoming trade show? Here’s a last-minute trade show checklist to ensure you’re prepared to succeed.

Trade shows can prove highly profitable for any business. But success only comes to those who’ve planned their exhibit to the tee. From booth design and product demos to trade show activity and staffing, several elements work together to help with the event objectives. And it only gets more challenging when the event is just around the corner.

In this scenario, something small but significant could easily slip out of your mind and result in chaos during the event. Here’s a last-minute trade show checklist to avoid this from happening-

(If the event is still a few weeks or months away, here’s a Trade Show Planning Guide with before, during, and after the event tips to help you plan better)

Last-Minute Trade Show Checklist

1- Trade Show Booth Logistics

In most cases, the booth providers manage the logistics of a new booth. They'll transport the booth to and from the event location and hire professionals to install and dismantle it. However, you'll be responsible for the logistics if you're using an old booth at the event.

"Ensure the transportation services are booked in advance, and you confirm the same a few days before the event."

As for installation and dismantling, trade shows generally have official contractors for the same. You can typically find details about them on their event website. In most events, you can hire these services while booking your booth. If you've hired an outside contractor, ensure you call them before the event to confirm your booking.

2- Ensure Booth Game is Customized for Your Brand and Event Objectives

Gamification is an effective exhibition strategy to attract and engage the audience. But the game should revolve around your brand and trade show objectives for the best results.

“For instance, if you’re launching a product at the event, a booth game like custom trivia can have questions that help attendees better understand your new offering.”

Even the game visuals should be customized with your brand logo, colors, etc., to provide players with an engaging experience and make your brand memorable. So, before the event, check whether or not the booth game is adequately customized.

[READ: How to Choose the Best Interactive Trade Show Activity?]

3- Double-Check the Lead Collection Strategy

One of the most significant aspects of exhibiting at live events like trade shows is meeting people and collecting leads. And hence, it sure makes sense to double-check the lead capture strategy so that it works as expected during the event.

“As trade show lead loss is a common problem with traditional methods like business card collection and badge scanners, many exhibitors have upgraded to online lead collection methods.”

For instance, trade show games like custom trivia challenges digitize the lead collection process. Before playing the game on an iPad, tablet, or smartphone, the attendees fill up a short lead form and submit it. The game is connected to an online lead collection platform that the exhibitor can access during and after the event.  

4- Promote Your Exhibit Online

With only a few days remaining before the event, it's time for the last-minute trade show marketing push to ensure the maximum number of people visit your booth.

“While you might have already sent invites and published a press release well before the event, a polite reminder just before the event is an absolute must.”

You can use various digital channels to send this reminder. For instance, you can use social media to create a buzz about your exhibit. On platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, you can create posts around the major attractions of your exhibit, new products/services, trade show activity, prizes, and more.

[READ: 5 Digital Strategies to Promote Your Booth]

5- Don’t Miss the Backups

One of the essential tips for exhibitors is to have a backup for as many things as possible. Many things can go wrong during the event, even if you've planned it for weeks and months.

“The backup plan can help prevent or at least minimize the damage if something untoward happens during the exhibition.”

For instance, what if some marketing elements like displays don't arrive on time? What if there are no proper cords to connect your laptop or projector at the event? What if one of the booth staffers fails to reach the venue on time? A backup plan can save you in such situations.

6- Charge All Gadgets and Carry Extra Batteries and Cables

Many different gadgets like laptops, iPads, tablets, and phones are used by exhibitors for various reasons during the event.

“Ensure all the gadgets you’ll need are properly charged before the event.”

And as you don't want gadgets to run out of charge during the event, it'd be wise to carry extra batteries too. Also, don't forget to carry the chargers to charge the gadgets at night for the next day. For devices like projectors, TVs, printers, etc., carry the right cords/cables and a few extras. Oh, and don't forget those extension boards with enough wire length to cover your entire booth area. 

7- Check the Readiness of Your Booth Staff

Your booth staff should know everything about your company and products to provide satisfactory answers to visitor queries. They should know the product pitch like the back of their hands to create and right brand image in front of the attendees.

“Before the event, assess the readiness of your booth staff and provide them with all the assistance they need.”

If you've ordered custom uniforms for the staff, ensure everything arrives before the event.

[READ: Trade Show Booth Staff Training Guide]

Some Other Last-Minute Tips for Exhibitors

  • Reconfirm hotel and travel bookings
  • Carry enough brochures, flyers, etc., according to the expected crowd
  • Alternatively, you can carry a printer and print the materials as required
  • Pack some snacks and water for the booth staff
  • Purchase internet for your trade show booth
  • Carry miscellaneous items like pens, notepads, tape, highlighters, first aid kits, etc.

Refining Your Trade Show Plan for Guaranteed Success

Planning a trade show can be an arduous task. But if you do it correctly, it can significantly benefit your business and boost your market reputation. Keep this last-minute trade show checklist handy to ensure you don't miss out on anything important.

If a fun and engaging trade show activity is what you're looking for, our custom trivia game can help. We build engaging trade show trivia challenges according to our clients' event goals to help them stand out and succeed. Schedule a free demo to see how we can add a unique touch to your exhibit through our interactive trivia challenges. 


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