The ultimate trade show toolbox

The ultimate trade show toolbox

Organizing an exhibition booth is not an easy task and you will need a strong checklist to make sure you don’t forget half of it. An important step of the stall preparation prior to a trade show is the organization of a good exhibition toolbox. But what should it contain?

Cleaning products

You did not join an expo to wipe the floor and clean tables. Yet, and keeping it clean is part of the magic!

Organize a set of cleaning products and every morning and evening:

  • clean the floor – no more dust, no more traces
  • clean tables
  • dust your shelves
  • wash your screens

Everyone needs to contribute! If you remember to prepare a broom, screen cleaning spray, wipes and rags as well as a duster, you should have all you need.


We call it a “toolbox” for a reason, right? Have a few basic tools ready: a pair of pliers, a few screwdrivers of various sizes and shapes, a small hammer, some glue, some nails & screws and some strong tape should be enough.

You are not planning on building your booth yourself. Yet, if your shelf is acting up or one of your displays falling apart, you’ll be glad to have a few tools ready for a quick fix!

Office supplies

It is always a good thing to come prepared. While you don’t plan on doing admin work, proper office supplies can come very handy on a booth.

Make sure your toolbox contains some paper sheets, a handful of pens, a stapler with extra staples, some tape and blue tack, a cutter and a good pair of scissors.

With such equipment, whatever happens, you have a plan B!

Wifi / 3G device

Your trade show organizer promised good WiFi signal. Do you trust it?

Wifi is truly essential in an exhibition stall (read more about “The importance of internet on your booth“) and you can’t fully rely on your event organizer to provide stable internet signal.

Make sure one person in your team is equipped with good quality 3G/4G and that his device can easily share the signal with others. You need to have your plan B ready “just in case”!


If you haven’t participated in business events before, you might not know it, but exhibitions and trade shows are exhausting. These fairs drain your energy and you need to recharge and re-hydrate yourself often.

Buy packs of water ahead of time – count 1.5L per person per day – and store it in your booth. Buying drinks at the trade show will be way more expensive and time consuming – come prepared!


For the same obvious reasons, you will want to have some snacks in your booth. For your staff, prepare healthy food: fresh fruits, energy bars, etc. Let them pick what they want when they need it: you will have them more focused and save some money in the process.

One rule though: no staff eats at your booth! If a teammate in hungry, let him take a five minutes break outside the booth to enjoy his snack.

But snacks are also great as small treats to attract and retain your visitors. Forget about healthy food and think sweets. Candies, chocolates, muffins… anything that would appeal to your visitors is worth exploring! Don’t put all at once (or you will run out very quickly!) but refill it regularly.
You can also read more about the 5 rules for food planning at exhibitions.

Business cards

Obvious, right?

But business cards vanish incredibly fast in trade shows. Let your sales & marketing team carry their own but prepare an extra stack you could distribute when others are running out – better safe than sorry!

Phone & tablet

Some people like to carry their laptop in the booth – while it is convenient to write, it makes you look like you have no interest in the visitor. Prefer a tablet or phone to check your emails or show something to a visitor every now and then.

Having the right device connected to the internet isn’t superficial – you should use one to capture leads details, show demonstration videos, send emails, display your website, etc.


What other items do you usually put in your toolbox?


The Exhibitor.

The ultimate trade show toolbox
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