6 Minute Read

Heading to a Conference? Pack these Things:

As a digital marketing manager I have been to a lot of conferences. I have helped plan, organize and setup for a lot of the conferences that my clients attend. Keeping everything organized and getting it all delivered is not always the easiest task. There have been many times where we have had to come up with a creative idea last minute because we forgot something. That’s never fun. One of our mottos at Red Branch Media is if you have done it at least 3 times there should be something that can help you do that. I have decided to come up with a checklist of stuff you shouldn’t forget. Enjoy!

Before you arrive here’s a list of things you need to send to the tradeshow to save you countless trips to the ABC store.

1. Business Card Collector

There is a lot going on during conferences, in sessions and on the expo floor. If you attend a show like SHRM national you know that a creative idea is a must to grab attention of conference-goers. Most companies will come up with a giveaway to attract people to their booth and grab leads. If you are at a conference that doesn’t provide a badge scanner ask attendees to drop their business cards in a bowl or a box. This way you will be able to collect their information without having to write everything down. Don’t forget a big stack of your own cards!

 2. Sign-up Sheet

It’s common for people to forget their business cards or even run out of them. A quick and easy solution is to have them write down their contact information. Also, instead of saying someone can’t enter your contest because they don’t have a card you can obtain it for that reason as well. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect! Apps like MailChimp and VerticalResponse allow you to collect email addresses electronically with a smartphone or iPad.

3. Printed Material

You never want to attend a conference without printouts explaining your company and what products it sells. Some people might be in a rush and an easy one-page overview of your products or services will help them become familiar with you. Sure, people toss a lot of paper after conferences but you can give them a sweet landing page just in case they don’t keep your printed material.

4. Swag

If you are debuting a new product or service try and come up with a giveaway that coincides with the new launch. If you were going to launch a new mobile app you might want to give away a camera attachment for an iphone or a selfie stick. Here are some other great ideas of swag that I have personally enjoyed getting: portable phone chargers for phones, chapstick, USB t-shirts and hoodies (personal favorite) water bottles and blankets. Keep in mind that you need to brand ALL of your swag. You don’t want them to forget who gave them the awesome hoodie! (Just don’t brand it so much that no one wants to wear it…)

 5. Table cloth and Signage

If you can’t put your brand in your booth then there is no point in purchasing a booth. Don’t forget signage and your table cloth. I suggest you keep your design simple and make your logo huge. Make a statement that will burn your name into the buyer’s minds. Too much text or design on your tablecloth can be a distraction and make it unclear why you’re there.

6. Writing Utensils

It might seem obvious to some but when you are without it can be the worst. Imagine wanting to take down information and you have to borrow a pen from another booth. Come prepared, pack pens, especially really great ones. If your swag has pens, make sure they’re the ones everyone loves like Uni-Balls.

7. Monitors or Televisions

People love interactive. If you are a software company you should play a live demo of your product for those that are walking by or if you are busy they can check out while they wait. It might also be useful to show off your employer brand in between takes. You might find a potential candidate when attending a show.

If you are attending a tradeshow and forget some of these items there are usually stores around to help you out but you will blow your budget. Stay on top of what you need. Take this list and turn it into a checklist so you’ll be set.

Already have the basics? Then pack things like gum, bandages, gel insoles for long hours in the booth, chargers for weary conference goers and batteries.