Ultimate List Of Essential Tradeshow Materials

You’re all set up with your promotional materials and you’ve finally chosen the best floor for your trade show booth. Now what? Don’t forget to pack all of the essential tradeshow materials that you will need during the show!

What are the most important items to have in your trade show booth?

Stock up on all your important promotional materials, such as brochures and flyers, so you can provide potential customers with information about your business.

But that’s only one element of your trade-show prep. The advice that follows will ensure you have everything you need to better engage with customers, make a great impression on people, and have a successful trade show for your business. 

There’s a range of items you need to ensure you pack before a trade show.

Let’s look at them in a variety of categories, such as stationary, booth items, and additional items that will come in handy or save you from an uncomfortable moment.


example of essential tradeshow materials

You will need to ensure you stock up on stationery as part of your tradeshow materials. These include the following:

  • Pens and pencils. These are types of items that seem to disappear all the time. You want to ensure you’ve got many pens and pencils in your booth for potential customers when filling out forms or providing their details.  
  • Stapler (with staples). A stapler will come in handy when you want to give people price lists or pamphlets, as it will ensure that individual papers don’t get lost. 
  • Clipboards. Buy a few of these and keep them in your booth. They will come to the rescue on days when your booth is very busy and not everyone has a writing surface available to them.
  • Markers. Mistakes can happen, even when you’ve tried to be meticulous, so you want to ensure you have markers handy for anything you have to correct on the fly. For example, if you have to blot out an incorrect item or price on a price sheet, or you’ve realized you need a better directional sign in your booth and writing it out with a pen doesn’t make it as visible as it should be. 
  • Superglue. You never know what can happen around your booth that requires quick repairing. That’s where superglue can come in to save the day.
  • Notebook. This is an important item to pack in your bag so that you can keep a record of potential leads.
  • Name tags. These are great for you and your team to wear so that people will instantly know your name and what company you’re from.
  • Shipping tape. This will help you to pack products after the trade show so you can transport them back to your office or home with ease. 

Items To Attract People To Your Booth

  • Product samples. If you’re selling products, having product samples in your booth is a fantastic way for people to try out what you’re selling.
  • Freebies. Who doesn’t like a free item? Give these away at your booth to attract people. Examples of freebie items include t-shirts, caps, water bottles, and stickers. Make sure all the freebies are branded so that people will remember your company.
  • Snacks. Even if you’re not selling tangible products, sometimes it’s useful to have snacks, like sweets, chocolates, or custom cocktails, in your booth. You could even find a way to add your business card or other promotional materials to the snacks you’re offering. Remember that having snacks on hand is also a good idea for you to keep hunger at bay as you’ll be on your feet for several hours without having a chance to leave your booth! 
  • Product launches. Do you know that 92 percent of people surveyed said that they attend trade shows to see new products get featured? Use this fact to your advantage by releasing a new product in your booth and using banners or displays to highlight the release. 

Trade Show Displays and Materials

Buying vs Renting Literature Racks

You don’t want to discover halfway into a trade show that you don’t have all the materials you were hoping to hand out to people.

Use this checklist of tradeshow materials to ensure that you have everything with you.

  • Business cards (and a container for them). This is one of the most essential items you need if you’re trying to promote your business. Make sure your business cards look professional and have up-to-date contact information. Store them in a business card container so that they won’t get lost.
  • Promotional literature. If you’ve got company materials such as brochures, make sure these are placed in an area of the booth that experiences high amounts of traffic. You should also use a literature rack for them so that this material is easy for anyone to access should they want to learn more about your products or services.
  • Accent lighting. You should use lighting to draw more attention to products and your booth in general. You can use it to highlight certain products or offers. Consider the use of a backlit booth, such as the ones available on American Image that will ensure you can create a more eye-catching display. An example of a product you can purchase is the light box display that includes LED lighting so you can create backlighting for your graphics.
  • Counter. You will need some surfaces on which to write and place your items, but if you don’t have one you could use a shipping case instead! The Expand Podium Case opens up and turns into a counter. It also can accommodate your graphics. In fact, it’s big enough to accommodate a 10-foot pop-up display and retractable banner stand. What’s great about this podium case is that at the end of the trade show you can easily pack it up and take it home.
  • Table throws. If you have tables in your booth, make sure you cover them with table cloths or throws. These will not only look professional, but they can display your company branding. American Image offers a variety of table covers and runners so you can get the best one for your booth.
  • Backdrop banner. Installing a banner on the back of your booth makes it easily visible so it will attract people to come to see what your company is all about. You could display your latest products or just have your company logo up there so that everyone can see it. Make sure that if your banner has wording on it that it’s large enough so that people can see it from far away.
  • Trade Show Booth Kit. If necessary, do some research to identify the best trade show display ideas to use and the best trade show display companies to work with. You may even want to rent or buy custom trade show displays to optimize your trade show presence.
  • Flowers and/or plants. You might not think these are important in your trade show booth, but they help to create a positive, appealing atmosphere. They can conveniently be used for whatever type of product or service that you’re featuring in your booth.
  • Music. Have you considered playing some feel-good music in your booth? You can do this easily with the use of a Bluetooth speaker. Music is a great way to boost people’s moods or make them relax, especially because trade shows can be noisy events.
  • Furniture. While you will require furniture items such as counters and tables, don’t forget to think about the comfort of people visiting your booth. Consider adding stools or couches to your booth so that people will view the space as a sanctuary where they can relax and unwind. 

Personal Care Items

It’s important to ensure that you look professional and give people the best impression, as they’ll be more likely to do business with you.

With this in mind, you should pack some essential personal care items. These include:

  • Hand cream. No one wants to shake hands with someone who has rough, unmoisturized hands. 
  • Eye drops. Air-conditioned spaces and allergies can cause your eyes to become red, so you want to bring back their sparkle with eye drops. 
  • Lint remover. This can be used quickly to remove lint from your clothing so that you look well put together. 
  • Tissues. Whether you have a runny nose or you just need to clean up a coffee spill on your jacket, a box of tissues will come in handy. 
  • Hand sanitizer. Since you’re going to be shaking hands with many people, you want to ensure you keep your hands hygienic. Having hand sanitizer in your booth will also protect potential customers from germs and bacteria. 
  • Breath mints or gum. These will ensure you always have fresh breath so you don’t feel unconfident when talking to people.  
  • Comfortable shoes. You don’t want to feel uncomfortable when standing for hours at a time, so make sure you have packed a pair of comfortable, supportive shoes. 

Additional Essential Trade Show Materials

Additional Essential Items

There are some extra items you need included in your tradeshow materials, to help you to keep your gadgets juiced up or help you to better clean your trade show booth.

  • Extra chargers and power banks. You’ll have devices with you, like your smartphone and laptop, with which you can show people your website or stay in touch with your business colleagues while you’re at the trade show. Don’t rely on how trade-show organizers might provide electrical outlets, as sometimes there are simply not enough of them. Bring extra power banks.
  • Tablet. This device can be highly convenient for people to instantly learn about your company, products, and sign up to your email list. It’s much more convenient and can work well to gain more leads.
  • Zip ties. These are strong and come in handy for a variety of tasks. For example, they can be used to keep your booth neat by organizing your device cables and wires.
  • Vacuum cleaner. You never know when someone will spill crumbs on your carpet. A dirty booth can bring down the entire image that you’re trying to produce. Make sure that you have a small vacuum cleaner so that you can quickly clean up to keep your booth looking clean and hygienic.
  • Stain-removal products. If there are spills and stains that have occurred in your booth, you want to ensure you can quickly and effectively remove them. So, make sure you bring easy-to-use stain-removal products to get the job done.
  • First-aid kit. You never know when someone will get injured in your booth, so a first-aid kit with items such as plasters, bandages, and disinfectants can come in handy.
  • Storage space. You will require space to put your personal items, as well as items belonging to your staff members, otherwise, your booth can become cluttered and untidy. You can find storage space in clever ways, such as by storing items underneath a table that has a long, flowing tablecloth over it so that the items are not visible to people entering the booth.  

Related Questions 

Can you choose your own carpet for your trade show booth?

Can you choose your own carpet for your trade show booth?

You should check with trade show authorities to find out what color their carpets are.

Although you don’t have to exactly match the color of the fairground carpeting, you should ensure you avoid a lot of contrast in your carpet as this could create visual barriers.

Almost all shows allow you to provide your own trade show carpet; in fact, some require that you do so. So select colors that work the best for you, or even consider trade show flooring with your branding information printed on them.

What should you do before your trade show begins?

Prepare your booth before a trade show by giving it a quick clean, storing your belongings so that they’re not in view, setting up your trade show display stands and promotional belongings, and stocking all the products that you’re going to be showing people. 


You want to make a success of your booth at your next trade show so ensure that you have all the essential items and materials you need.

In this article, we’ve featured some of the biggest must-have tradeshow materials that you need to pack before you attend your next trade show, from promotional material items to personal care items, and more!