No matter how well you prepare for your show, there will always be unanticipated emergencies that come up. Here’s some items that could help you in a pinch when things don’t go quite according to plan. 

Staff & Personal items

Bottled water- bring your own is cheaper than buying water at the show 


Lint roller

Anti-bacterial hand gel & Hand lotion- to keep your hands moisturized and clean for all of those handshakes!

Breath mints

First-aid kit: pain relievers, band-aids, disinfectant, cotton pads, burn cream

Booth Maintenance Items & Tools

Clorox wipes, glass cleaner with rags and/or paper towels- have your staff avoid eating and drinking in your booth, but if a mess does occur it’s good to have something to clean it with.

Backup light bulbs

Duct tape- it’s a serious life-saver!


Packaging tape- for boxing smaller items during dismantle

Utility knife

Tape measure

Velcro- in case of graphics emergencies

Promotional items & Office Supplies

Staffer schedule/ contact info/ list of back-up staff members

Extra batteries if you use a wireless mouse or keyboard

Extra giveaway items- handy if demand is higher than expected

Stapler with extra staples/paper clips

Extra promotional literature and marketing materials

Business cards and business card holders if you have counter space

Pens, pencils, and highlighters

Notepads and post-its

Calculators — One per staff member. Everyone has calculators on their phones nowadays, but having an actual calculator looks more professional than whipping out a cell phone.

Hopefully many of these items don’t end up being necessary except to provide you some peace of mind. If you attend shows regularly it’s likely you have a similar list already. Make sure at the end of your show to make note of anything it would have been nice to have so that you can add it for next time!