Trade Show Emergency Kit – What to Pack


trade show emergency

With so much to do and plan for, trade show planning can feel like you’re preparing for a trek across North America. Hosting a trade show booth has more benefits for your business than a trek, and it’s a great way to expose your business to new customers. When you’re in the process of event planning, you always hope for the best and prepare for something to go wrong. Get ahead of the inevitable and consider creating a trade show booth emergency kit in order to protect yourself from disaster. Here are a few necessities to prepare in your trade show emergency kit in order to make sure your show, and display, go as smoothly as possible.

Office Supplies:

Having extra office staples on hand will ensure you don’t have to worry about having a place to jot things down or something to hold together a big stack of papers. Don’t get stuck using a napkin from your lunch to take notes from a conversation with a prospective customer.

  • Business cards, always bring more than you think you need
  • Paperclips
  • Stapler and staples
  • Notepad and pens
  • Sticky notes
  • Folders
  • Clipboards
  • Sharpies

Booth Maintenance:

You’ve prepared for every eventuality and you even paid for expedited shipping and setup for your trade show display. If Murphy’s Law decides to make an appearance on trade show day, be prepared for the worst by having these supplies on hand to make emergency repairs with.

  • Duct tape or electrical tape
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tablecloths
  • Twine or nylon cord
  • Screwdriver
  • Box cutter or Exacto knife
  • Cord keepers or ties
  • Ziploc bags or Tupperware
  • Extension cords


It’s tough to go a few hours without your smartphone, let alone having to deal with a technology issue at a trade show event. In today’s connected world, your laptop and cell phone are essential must-haves to keep with you at all times. Having access to all of your information at a moment’s notice is invaluable.

  • Phone fully charged and an extra battery pack
  • Phone / device chargers
  • HDMI cables and extra connections
  • Laptop (it doesn’t hurt to have a spare)
  • Laptop charger
  • Laptop bag(s)
  • Flash drive(s)
  • Hotspot or backup wifi / data connection

Personal Care:

Those trade show booth exhibits don’t run themselves. Having an amazing staff supporting your trade show booth is just one piece of the puzzle. Being on your feet all day talking to people can take a toll on your body, especially if your staff aren’t used to it. Carry these essentials with you so that you, and your staff, can stay healthy and do your best work.

  • Pain reliever
  • Water
  • Snacks (not sticky, perishable, or messy)
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Tissues
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Breath mints or a toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Safety pins
  • Bobby pins

Having these trade show booth essentials is a solid start to any trade show emergency kit, but this basic foundation can easily be personalized to fit your needs. Think back to your past experiences, have you ever wished that you had something on hand at your trade show display? If you’re offering giveaways do you have a container? What about props for your social media photo postings? Pack that with you into your emergency kit, it will probably be important again later. If you want more ideas, the U.S. Small Business Association has more suggestions for making sure that your trade show exhibit goes smoothly. Contact us for more ideas about how to make your next trade show booth a success!


  1. Make the Most of the Time You Have at a Trade Show and Improve Your Sales Process - Exhibit Experts - […] can occur at any time, so make sure your employees are prepared, trained, and ready to answer any and…

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