Exhibition Displays: Pre-Show Checklist
The final early-morning hours before an exhibition starts are, arguably, the single most stressful time of the entire show. You want every detail on your exhibition displays to be perfect, and there always seems to be last-minute tasks to take care of, rarely seeming to leave you quite enough time to double-check everything before the doors open. On top of that, you’re probably running on low sleep and possibly jet-lagged to boot, adding to the fun.
If you want your show and your exhibition displays to go off without a hitch, you need to make the most of those last hours when you’re putting the final touches on the displays stands, trade show banners, demo kiosks, and generally making sure you got all of your trade show supplies and that everything is perfect and ready for action.
Here’s a quick guide to the most important things to double-check on your exhibition displays during the countdown.
A Pre-Show Checklist For Your Exhibition Displays
- Check your spelling: Even if you’ve done it a dozen times already, look over any major printed materials on your exhibition displays, especially large messages like banners – maybe ask the guys in the trade show booth next to you to read it too. It’s better to take it down or make a quick substitution than to have a sign up with any sort of typographical error – being remembered as the funniest goof is not the path to success.
- Verify all your services are in place: You’re likely going to have hired some outside services at your exhibition displays, from internet or wifi connectivity, electricity, cleaning staff, and possibly even guest presenters. Make sure you have copies of any relevant documents, including contact numbers, in case something isn’t working correctly or anyone fails to show.
- Have a box of emergency supplies: When you walk into the exhibition hall, you should have a box with you that will hopefully cover any minor emergencies that crop up. Twenty bucks at an office supply store can save you a lot of hassle. It should include things like:
- Pens, sharpies, and highlighters
- Headache pills and antacids
- Some spare company shirts
- A multitool like a Leatherman or Swiss army knife
- A multi-socket extension cord
- A small screwdriver set
- Anything else you might need for on-the-spot repairs.
- Check your wardrobe: Everyone should be dressed in matching clothes while working at your exhibition displays, even if it’s just slacks and a business polo shirt. Make sure everyone’s clothes are neat and stain-free. And wear comfortable shoes! There’s no shame in wearing flats, loafers, or possibly even tennis shoes at a convention.
- Preview your presentations: If you have anything that requires outside technology to run, such as a live slideshow presentation, make sure it works BEFORE the show starts. This is the time to make sure your USB thumbdrive has the right pictures on it.
- Turn on all your demo machines: Verify all demo products and other electronics like iPads on trade show display kiosks are fully charged and working properly. There’s still time to throw things on a charger before the show starts.
- Turn off all non-vital gadgets among the staff: No one should be twiddling with anything electronic unless they have a reason to that’s directly related to your exhibition displays and materials. Cell phones should be switched off or put on vibrate, and any other tablets or eReaders stowed until after the show.
- Put extra materials somewhere accessible, but inconspicuous: Always bring extras of anything that you’ll be giving out to the public. Plan to have someplace to store them inside the exhibition displays, such as inside a counter or under a desk, so they’ll be immediately accessible when you need them.
- Get ready to greet your first visitor: You should have your “game faces” on well before the official start time, just in case someone makes an early appearance.
The pre-show countdown is your last chance to ensure your exhibition displays will be a success. Make the most of the time you have!