Trade Show Display Exhibit
How to Plan for the Unexpected

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For success with your trade show display exhibit, don’t fall victim to "Murphy's Law" – also known as "Ziggy’s Law" – that suggests if anything can go wrong, it will. While this negative (albeit sometimes comical) outlook doesn't help in any business situation, live events do make your circumstances more vulnerable.

Therefore,  it is always good practice to assume that things may not go exactly as planned.

Be ready to overcome surprises and obstacles that can happen at any live event. Here are ways you can prepare for the unexpected:

  • Carry a quantity of promotional literature, giveaways, and other key sales items with you in case your shipment gets lost or does not arrive in time. A small quantity of items can get you through the first day and you can have an additional supply shipped to you overnight, if necessary.
  • Bring office supplies such as pens, paper, tape, paper clips, markers, stapler, scissors, screwdrivers, extension cords, etc.
  • Put your business card and contact information inside, as well as outside, all shipped boxes and suitcases in case they are lost.

  • Pack a small first aid kit. You never know when it will come in handy.

  • Be sure you have your registration packet with you and a list of phone numbers of all key contacts at the event.

  • Leave a copy of your travel itinerary with your family and co-workers.

  • Call the exhibit sponsor two weeks before the event to confirm all details, booth space, etc. Ask where and when you will be able to pick up your shipment. In addition, get the name of a local printing and shipping store.

  • Confirm your hotel, car and other travel reservations one week before the event (assuming they have been made at least a month ahead of time).

  • Take at least 25% more literature and giveaways than you think you will use. When opportunity knocks, you will be prepared.

  • Check all banners, signs, lights and accessories in your trade show display exhibit before you leave. Make sure everything is in top condition.

  • Make a copy of email addresses and social media accounts for your team, key prospects and clients who may be attending the exhibition. Keep these handy in case you need to communicate any key information during the event.

  • Schedule a meeting with all exhibit staff once you arrive at the show to go over last minute details. Give everyone a typed summary of your key sales message that you used in training with them. It will serve as a final reinforcement and help ensure message consistency.

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