Tips for avoiding unexpected setbacks at your next trade show.
Whether someone is a seasoned veteran or heading to their very first trade show, you can ensure that before each and every trade show begins, exhibitors all across the venue are typically asking themselves the same frantic questions― Have all of my cases arrived? Did I leave my exhibitor pass back at the hotel room? What happened to all of the extension cords we packed?
If you’ve ever been to a trade show before, then you realize just how many details can go into the success (or the failure) of your trade show experience, and just how much panic each of these questions can ensue. However, while there are some things you simply can’t control when it comes down to trade show preparation―a missed plane or a lost hotel booking―there are several preventative steps that you can take to ensure that it doesn’t throw you off your game.
Here are just a few tips and tricks to ensure that, if any problems arise at your trade show event, you will be well equipped and properly prepared to deal with these inevitable surprises:
Work Ahead of Deadlines
There are a large amount of forms and paperwork that you must fill out if you wish to be an exhibitor at a trade show event, and with each of these forms comes a multitude of deadlines. These forms could involve anything from the name and contact information of your company to the paperwork that ensures your spot at the trade show event. Therefore, it is always important that you submit all of your paperwork well before the deadline in order to guarantee your spot and avoid any problems.
Factor In Time For Problems and Errors
If your trade show exhibit and displays have to be assembled and ready to go by 9:00am the day of the convention, do not wait until 8:30am to start setting up. You never know if you are going to run into a batch of set-up errors or unexpected technology problems. Always ensure that you factor in time to sort out errors when creating your team schedule.
Create A Trade Show Emergency Kit
You never know what problems you may run into the morning of your event, or even halfway through it. Therefore, always be prepared. Here are just a few emergency items that you should always keep with your trade show booth:
- Duct tape – Like the saying goes, you can fix anything with duct tape
- A hand-held steamer – Great for removing wrinkles from fabric that occur during shipping or storing
- Clear packing tape – Can help to repair tears or rips in laminated display graphics
- Any screws, nuts, dowels or nails that may be necessary for setting up your exhibit
Keep Calm And Carry On
At the end of the day, when everything is going wrong and you just can’t seem to get things together, take a step back from the chaos and take a deep breath. Ask for help if you can’t seem to figure something out, or talk to trade show vendors to see if they can help you resolve a problem. At trade shows, things can go wrong even when you’re doing everything right. Therefore, be sure that you don’t lose your cool and always make the best of each and every situation.