Trade Show Booth Set Up Tips

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Categories: Trade Show Tips

Your next show is barreling down the highway at 100 mph and you’ve got a million items still on your checklist before you head off to your show, but setting up your trade show display doesn’t have to be a dreaded task.  By planning ahead and following some simple and basic steps, you can spend your time focusing on the things that matter the most… Maximizing your return from investment on those spendy trade show dollars.  Here’s a look at some of the Best Practices that I have learned along the way that you might find useful:

Create a Booth Set Up Procedure and Share with Teammates

One of the most critical things you can do to assure that your company has everything covered for set up is to take 30 minutes and literally write up the entire process from start to tear down and keep in a folder that is shared with your other team members.  Make a point to ensure that everyone is on the same page.  If anything changes on this crucial document make sure everyone is aware of it.  Here are some example items that should be listed on it as general items:

  • List of All Items for your Trade Show Booth (Counters, Back Walls, Literature Stands, etc)
  • Dimensions & weights of of each box and hard cases of your displays. 
  • Printed Copy of Set Up Instructions inside each box along with digital copy in the shared folder
  • List of Set Up Times for each display item

Create a Trade Show Checklist

In addition to the procedures and documents written out and shared with everyone internally, you will also want to create a comprehensive pre-trade show checklist that you can use to make sure you don’t miss anything.  It will have important dates, forms and other information that could otherwise be easily forgotten.  Here are some recommended items to keep:

  • Early Ordering Deadline (for ordering labor, electricity, etc from the show)
  • Target ‘move-in’ date (especially important for shipping items directly to your booth at the show)
  • List of contact names for the show manager in case you need help with anything especially once you are at the show (name, phone, email, etc)
  • Freight or Shipping Labels (have these handy before leaving for the show)


The more organized you are and the more that everything can be documented, the fewer fires will have to be put out come show time.  This will also prevent any one person from being the key set up person since if they don’t attend the show, anyone else who is properly updated on everything will be able to step in and make sure everything runs smooth.  Your time and energy is best spent preparing to talk to customers and not put your booth together!

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