interlinkONE recently attended Print ’09 in Chicago, IL. This trade show was a large show lasting six days long and we had some great new things to show. Some of those items included our new banner, new collateral and new show panels.  So we were excited to get to Chicago.

With that said, it was my task to get all of these items in the booth bin and on its way to Chicago.

Packing the trade show booth bin was a week long process once I started. It takes a team effort to get the booth ready. Organization and preparation is key.

To help ensure we didn’t miss anything, we created and worked off a checklist.

(To download the PDF of a sample checklist, click here.)

Once everything on the list was checked off, it was time to start packing. Getting everything in the booth bin was like putting together a puzzle. I learned a lot in getting it done…. Hopefully these next steps will help for future shows, and might even help you the next time you head to a trade show:

You’ve got to start with the biggies….. Place all of the  large items in the booth. Then, move on to the small items (i.e. extension cords, small collateral, tape, etc…). Avoid the urge to squish everything – if you keep it neat, you’ll make the most out of the limited space you have.

Before you lock the cover on the bin, take out your check list and check it once, twice and three times. Make sure you packed it all! There’s nothing worse than getting a call of panic from a team member when they are at the show – “Where is the ________?”

Another tip that might be helpful to you is to include the Return Shipping Label with the booth. This way, when the team packs up to head home, they can easily apply the Return Label and drop it right off at the mailing center. This saves a lot of time after a long show.

I am happy to say that the booth bin and box made it to Chicago in one piece and they had a great time at the show.

I hope my experience helps you for any future shows that you may exhibit at!