Trade Show Checklist
Decide which show to do. Walking a prospective show first is always recommended to ensure your brand will fit with the show.
Apply to the show. Upon acceptance, the trade show will send you your booth number. Try to get as close to the front, near the food or near the bathrooms. Think HIGH TRAFFIC areas.
As soon as you receive your booth number, start to market. Email blast your buyers, direct mail stores, phone campaigns and talk about it on your social media channels. Try to set up appointments for buyers to review your line.
Read and review the booth manual in detail.
Coverage. You need at least 1 other person there to help you with covering bathroom breaks, set-up and takedown.
Booth decoration. Order shelving and/or furniture.
Order backdrop. The standard is to have colored set paper, but you can also have a custom-printed tarp background which really personalizes the booth.
Order lighting. Jewelry especially needs extra lighting to make the crystals and metals pop.
Order rug if necessary.
Order electrical and wifi if you want to use your laptop. Electricity does not automatically come standard with a booth. Internet at the trade show can be spotty and it is best to have hard PO’s if you are using an online ordering system such as Joor or NuOrder.
Print linesheets and have Look Books on hand.
Prepare a linesheet movie and have it loop on your ipad or laptop. (use Keynote or similar program)
Take advantage of the trade show promoted events such as the buyer’s lounge, display cases near the entrances and the show guide.
Have a game plan for moving in and moving out. Where will you store your empty boxes? Or will you take them back with you to the hotel?
Carefully plan the delivery of samples to your trade booth if you decide to send your samples instead of bringing them with you for set-up.
Plan at least 4 hours for set-up.
Bring a tarp to cover your booth or sign up for Booth Seal (NY shows only.)
Always have a goal going into the show. It can be a certain sales goal or meet a certain amount of new buyers. Establish your goal and FOCUS on it.
Read, read and re-read the show manual.
Things to bring to the show:
Binder clips (especially helpful with the backdrop)
Double stick tape
All-in-one tool (screwdriver, cutter etc)
Gum or mints
Candy for buyers?