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What Should You Bring to the Business Show?

A business trade show is an incredible opportunity for you and your company to meet potential customers, network with people who are influential in your industry, and see what services and products other companies are promoting.

The planning that you need to do for trade shows begins with a lot of materials! There’s a long list of items that you’ll need to bring during a show or expo, ranging from your booth, to office supplies, to your tech. The Pittsburgh Business Show recommends this comprehensive list of items.

Must-have Trade Show Itemspittsburgh trade shows

  • Your Booth and Signage. This is the centerpiece of your appearance at the show and quickly conveys your brand to attendees. You may have a set of carrying cases that houses the booth pieces. If you were not the last person to use it (and even if you were), you should take all the pieces out and arrange them so you know that the booth is intact. Also, if you need a dolly or other equipment to transport your booth, make sure you bring one or rent one from the trade show.
  • Promotional Items. You should bring “freebees” to attract people to your booth. Popular items include mugs, shirts, and flash drives. Have something (like a clear bowl) to hold the items in so they’re not strewn across the booth. Also, don’t forget name tags for you and your team.
  • Marketing Materials. Bring business cards, sales sheets, brochures, flyers, and folders. (Also, at the end of show, re-stock right away for the next show.) Bring a few business card holders and some literature racks to keep everything looking organized. It’s important to have a way to organize all of the business cards you receive—even just a box with a lid will do, until you can start sorting them. Also, find out if the trade show tables will be covered, or if you need to bring linens. If you don’t have custom linens, you can order them online.


Tech Tools

Both big tech and little tech items will likely be a part of your trade show experience. There are some necessities that you’ll be bringing in addition to your “big-ticket” items. These can also be used for Pittsburgh networking events that are held in the evenings during shows, so ensure that they’re packed carefully and can be safely wheeled into the convention center or a nearby hotel.

  • Chargers and Extension Cords. Boring, but oh-so-necessary. If your booth doesn’t have electrical nearby, you will need enough extension cords to power TVs, screens, computers, and tablets. Chargers and extra batteries are great if you don’t have access to a power supply. Create your own docking station that holds everything you need to keep the power on.
  • Computers, TVs, Tablets, and More. Many trade show vendors use screens to show videos, interviews, PowerPoints, and highlight materials. Additionally, having a tablet or two that you can use to demo software or apps are crucial to attracting potential customers. Make sure all the apps you need are loaded and ready.


Office Supplies

No matter how technologically advanced your company is, you’ll still need some workaday office supplies. What if the Wi-Fi is disrupted, or your iPad decides to go on the fritz?

Here’s what you should bring: Pens, pencils, sharpies, post-it notes, paper clips, staplers, rubber bands, notepads, heavy-duty tape, scissors, and twine. Also, bring gum, hand sanitizer, and some ibuprofen that you can stash with your other office items.

Be sure to keep these items on a checklist that you can bring with you to trade shows. If you’d like to be a vendor at the Pittsburgh Business Show on April 19-20, 2017, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, log in to the PBS website at to learn more. Thousands of business owners will be attending, and you’ll be able to talk to them about your company’s products and services.