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The Ultimate Trade Show Display Checklist

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

Planning a booth for an upcoming trade show? Whether you have experience or not, participating in a trade show can be a huge undertaking. You want to make sure everything goes smoothly and looks professional for the big event.


This trade show checklist will help guide your preparations to ensure you have every detail planned out and nothing is forgotten.

6 Months Out

Ideally, you should start your preparations at least 6 months out from the date of the trade show you are attending. At this point you should:

  • Establish a game plan for your trade show program with at least 3 main goals outlined. What do you hope to gain from participating in this trade show?

  • Register with the trade show administration to reserve your place. Sometimes space in a particular venue may be limited, so you want to be sure you have made your reservation.

5 Months Out

Now that a month has passed you should have an even better idea of your goals and plans for your trade show program. At this point you should:

  • Set your budget. Evaluate your current financial situation, look at budget data from last year, and take into consideration any other financial information. Your budget will be a major factor in what your trade show display options are. If you participated in a trade show last year, calculate your return on investment to help you set a realistic budget.

  • Brainstorm ideas for your program and display booth. It doesn’t have to be set in stone at this time, just gather some basic themes for now.

  • If you have a display booth from a previous trade show, look it over and give it some serious thought. Decide if you need a brand new display or if just certain elements need to be changed or updated. Will it help you achieve the desired goals you established a month ago and your current goals today? If not, it’s time for something new.

4 Months Out

  • Find a