What to Pack for a Successful World Expo
We all know that trade shows are tough. There’s a lot of walking, talking and networking to do and not much time to do it in. We asked our @RechargerMag Twitter followers and our Recharger Magazine Facebook friends what their No. 1 thing to pack and bring to trade shows is, and we received some great tips. So we have compiled a list of items you should pack and bring to the show to maximize your World Expo experience.
Exhibitors, don’t forget:
- Company materials – Will you be handing out any marketing material to attendees? If so, one thing to keep in mind is the weight and size of your handouts. Many trade show attendees fly in for the show, so they may not have the room for product catalogues or copious leaflets and brochures from every booth. Your best bet may be to consolidate all your important information onto one vibrant and intriguing page. Include who you are, what you do, your contact information, your website address and any show specials.
- Giveaways – Whether you’re handing out promotional items or holding a drawing, don’t forget your giveaways. Trade show attendees love swag, and it will draw them to your booth.
- Booth kit – Whenever Recharger exhibits at trade shows, whether it’s in the same city or on the other side of the world, we bring our trusty booth kit. Our kit includes a box cutter, tape, a small stapler and extra staples, paper clips, rubber bands, pens, extra business cards of all the employees attending the show, Sharpies, wet wipes and/or a bottle of cleaner, extra S hooks, an extension cord, hand sanitizer, band aids, Neosporin and pain relievers. Even if you don’t use half the items in your kit, you’ll have peace of mind just having them with you. But I’m willing to bet your booth kit will come in handy more than a few times during the show.
- Exhibitor information and/or order confirmations – In case there are any logistical issues, don’t forget to bring any order confirmations and/or any exhibitor information you may have. You’ll want to make sure that the items you reserved are in your booth when you arrive, and if they’re not, you’ll want a contact number for someone who can rectify the situation quickly.
- Booth décor – The show floor will be packed with exhibitors. How are you going to stand out? Most exhibitors crate and ship their booths and the décor before the show, and if that’s the case, @BradAtInkCycle said, “The real number one thing (to pack and bring is) the key to the crate!”
Attendees and exhibitors, don’t forget:
- Business cards – Trade shows are all about meeting new people, meeting face-to-face with already established clients and networking. Every time you talk to someone, they’ll want your business card and vice versa. @SHendersonIA advised: “Seriously, take more business cards than you think you will need!” And if you’re already running low before the show, order more now so you’ll be sure to have them in time for World Expo.
- Notebook and pens – Just because you read this blog, heeded its advice and brought enough business cards doesn’t mean everyone else at the show did. And if that’s the case, you might find yourself in a situation where the person you want to follow up with forgot business cards or ran out. No worries, because you have a place to jot down all the things you need to follow up with at the show.
- Mints and/or breath fresheners – I know, I keep saying this, but it’s true: Trade shows are all about talking to people; in fact, they’re all about talking to as many people as possible! Bad breath happens to the best of us, but you don’t want to let it get in the way of doing business, so bring some mints or breath fresheners that you can pop in your mouth every so often.
- Snacks – Stash some small snacks in your Expo bag, briefcase or purse. The days are long, and when they’re packed with meetings, you may not have time for regular meals. Having a granola bar, apple and bottle of water will be your lifesaver. (Tip: Although water is still not allowed through airport security, apples, granola bars and most snacks are. And all these items, even water, can be easily packed in your checked baggage.)
- Pill box – It’s always a good idea to have your preferred choice of pain relievers and antacids with you at trade shows. Maybe you stayed out too late the night before and have a bit of a hangover or the rich food at lunch has your stomach in knots. Having something on hand will hopefully have you feeling better in no time. (One brilliant discovery recently made by the Recharger staff is Tums breath mints: antacid and breath freshener in one!)
- Comfortable shoes – This is a big one. Trade show floors are not kind, and even if you’re wearing comfortable shoes, your feet, legs and back still might hurt from all the standing and walking. Don’t make it worse by wearing new or uncomfortable shoes. @SHendersonIA said comfortable shoes are her No. 1 thing to pack and bring to a trade show to maximize the experience. @BradAtInkCycle agreed. He brings two pairs of shoes and socks for each day of the show.
- Devices and their chargers – Phones and tablets have become our lifelines. @Your_MPSA and Actionable Intelligence said the iPad is the No. 1 item on their trade show packing list – and for good reason. Smart devices are our computers, calendars, cameras, videocameras, gaming and entertainment centers, books and phones (occasionally) all wrapped up into one. If you’re anything like most of the Recharger staff or smart-device users in general, if you forget your device and/or let it die, you’re going to feel out of touch and disheveled. If you’re a particularly active smartphone user, it may be worthwhile to invest in an extra battery or two as well as an external charger. Charge the extras before you hit the show, and that way you’re almost sure to make it through the day without running out of juice.
An additional bonus to having a smart device is being able to access the World Expo mobile site right there in the palm of your hand! Check out www.worldexposhow.com on your smart device today!
While at the show, don’t forget:
- Show guide – There is so much going on at World Expo this year. More than 70 classes are being offered, live demonstrations and presentations are happening at the Managed Print Pavilion, there’s the keynote, and the Readers Choice Awards will be handed out. It’s a lot to keep track of. But the World Expo Show Guide contains all the information, agendas and schedules for your convenience.
Stop by the Recharger booth at the front of the hall to pick up Recharger’s World Expo issue – containing the scoop on World Expo instructors and their classes, staff picks for food and fun in Vegas, a guide to the best of Las Vegas and the official World Expo 2012 Show Guide.
Have other trade show tips or items to pack that we missed? Leave them in the comments section below.
We hope you have a great World Expo!
Posted by Katherine Fernelius on Jun 29, 2012