If you are planning to attend your first event or trade show since the recent shutdowns and reschedules, several things are handy to have on-site when preparing for your show while you are on the floor. It is easy to forget that sometimes bringing a few simple, but important, items can make the difference when setting up your booth or event structures.
In part 1 we will focus on the personal items you as an individual can bring to help keep things moving during setup or even on the show floor once the show begins.
What you should consider bringing in your kit
Being prepared for the unexpected can really keep things moving forward in a positive and constructive manner allowing your labor teams to complete the tasks at hand faster saving time and money. Here is a list of items I consider when overseeing any trade show or event.
• Critical contact information
I can not say this enough. Having access to all of the personnel and vendors involved without tracking down contact information saves so much time. Making sure they have your contact info as well can make all the difference.
• Tape measure
How many times do you have to ask your I&D crew for one? It is easy to include a 6’ to 12’ tape measure without weighing you down. Even a sewing measure can work.
• USB drive and access cloud storage
Having schematics for your booth and a copy of your graphic files are really important. Finding last-minute errors on critical messaging and having the ability to resolve those issues really helps. It is hard to believe that connectivity issues are a thing these days, but some event venues have restricted broadband access. USB drive is very handy when you can not access your cloud storage and allows you to keep moving forward.
• Sharpie and non-permanent writing utensils
Forms and stickers need to be filled out often. Having your own permanent and non-permanent writing tools is a great idea.
• Band-Aids or small first aid kits
I can not count how many times I either cut myself or had a blister. A small first aid kit can works wonders! I also recommend having extra non-latex gloves and N95 masks as well.
• Breath mints
bad breath is just rough for everyone involved. Having breath mints or mouthwash can really be handy when on the road. I discourage chewing gum as it is a bit unprofessional and can end up being deposited as litter.
• Utility knife or scissors
using your car keys to cut things is a bad idea. Having your own cutting tool is very helpful! Just make sure to pack it for shipment so TSA does not ask you to leave it behind.
• Business cards or QR codes
Business cards are really handy, they seem to come in handy for shows and events and are just a bit handier than pulling out your phone. Printed QR codes are just as easy. You can have a sticker on your shirt or event badge to speed the process up.
• Comfortable footwear
After being on the convention floor for days before the show (in my comfy sneakers), my feet dread show day. without proper support your knees are feet are going to be screaming for mercy. Make sure you have really supportive and comfortable shows and insoles that are designed for standing for prolonged periods.
• Hand sanitizer and hand wipes
shaking hands and touching common rails or surfaces are how we all come home with germy friends. Keeping your hands clean and sanitized will reduce your chance of catching a cold or virus at the event.
Much cheaper if you bring a roll versus purchasing one from your I&D company. $4.00 versus $50.00 is a crazy premium. I find clear packing tape is just about the best universally. A small roll of electrical tape is also a good idea for wire connections.
• Micro sewing kit
Things happen. Snag your coat or pants on a sharp corner or possibly you have a tear in a fabric graphic. Those tiny portable sewing kits are dynamite and solve a ton of issues.
• Phone cord and battery
Those lipstick-sized chargers are a lifesaver and take up very little room and an extra charging cord is handy.
• Ibuprofen or Tylenol
The older you get the more things hurt. Standing on the concrete for hours while supervising really can add discomfort. Having some relief if needed can help.
Overall these items can fit into a small bag, purse, or even cargo pants and can save you so much time and money. Being prepared can really make any show or event go so much smoother. People notice when that particular person seems to have an answer for all unexpected issues that crop up. This list of small and easily found items can be your best friend during shows and events!