Trade Show Security

Cord Reel and Security Tether for increased trade show security

Cord Reel and Security Tether

Security is currently a hot topic. Wherever large groups of people gather in public, lurking in the back of everyone’s mind is most likely the question of whether or not they are entering a “safe place”. However, despite current events causing many people to experience hyper-vigilance, don’t let that cause you to overlook the security of your own exhibit, trusting in trade show security measures to manage everything from the time you setup your tradeshow booth until you take it back down.

Many exhibitors have set-ups that include valuable electronic equipment. In addition to the possibility of the common thief walking up and swiping a costly device, in some cases there is also the possibility of corporate espionage by competitors looking for an opportunity to gain an edge. What are some effective ways for an exhibitor to tighten trade show security without turning off visitors?

Cord Reels

Retractable cord reels are standard security options for most retailers of electronic devices. The cord attaches to the device with the opposite end of the tether secured to a counter or tabletop, allowing interested consumers to engage without walking off with the device in their pocket. There are models available that are not just a security tether but also serve as a power cord.


locking tablet holders enhance trade show security

Locking tablet holders enhance trade show security

Professional trade show display suppliers have counters and tables designed specifically for secure exhibition of electronic devices. Devices are integrated into the design eliminating any need to tether a device.

Secure Storage

portable lock box

Portable Lock Box

Exhibitors often have surplus promotional materials that need a safe place to be tucked away until needed for restocking purposes. In a perfect world such things could be stacked discreetly under a table and forgotten about. However, it not being a perfect world, it is not unheard of for competitors to wander trade shows looking for an opportunity to pilfer such items, thus gaining an advantage. Staple’s low profile, portable lock box designed to slide under a bed is the perfect solution.


Security Camera

Security Camera

Security cameras are great but may seem like overkill for trade show security in a small trade show booth. However, for moments of distraction or if leaving the exhibit altogether is necessary, it is easy to convert an old smartphone into a security camera that can be monitored from any location. Many apps are free so the only additional thing necessary is an internet connection. Instructions for how to set up a portable security camera system are easy.


personal safe

Personal Safe

Many exhibitors travel with critical documents such as passports, driver’s licenses, and trade show passes in addition to cash and credit cards. In addition to making duplicate copies, documents should be stored safely. Although most hotels offer free use of safes, that is really not the best place to secure these items. Secure valuable documents and cash in your own small, personal safe designed for just that purpose.

Common Sense Security

Trade Show Security 1

In addition to item security, exhibitors need to be aware of their own personal security.


  • Be informed of any travel advisories related to your destination.
  • Don’t wear exhibitor badges outside your venue.
  • Travel in pairs or groups.
  • Carry only the cash and credit card you need.
  • Don’t dress flashy.
  • Perform regular check-ins at scheduled times.
  • Utilize security escorts whenever possible.

Practice the safe travel habits and common sense tips that industry experts advise.

Transportation Security

Trade Show Security 2

Most trade shows publish a security manual available for exhibitors and virtually all agree that airports, taxis and hotels will all mark a person as a vulnerable traveler.



  • Safeguard your possessions by keeping them in your possession or secured safely.
  • Attach easy identifiers, such as bright ribbon, to all luggage in addition to traditional name tags.
  • Use taxis and other public transportation that are stationed at authorized pick-up points.
  • Upon arrival at your hotel, request the desk clerk to write down your room number rather than saying it out loud.
  • Upon entry into your room, become familiar with all security devices, such as peepholes and door locks, making sure they work properly.
  • Acquaint yourself with emergency routes and locations of emergency exits.
  • Don’t ride elevators with single occupants.

Trade show security is about the show, and all of the other traveling that is required. Keep your exhibit safe and secure. Trust the experts. Exercise caution. Stay informed.