E&E Exhibit Solutions Idea Express Newsletter header
November 2015

Prepare for the Worst
So You Can Enjoy the Best

Planning and preparing for a trade show involves millions of little details. Your team has spent months determining the show specials, product focus, sales materials, training staff, selecting and updating trade show graphics, trade show accessories and making sure your trade show displays are packed and ready to ship to the venue. 

At some point you have to trust that you've remembered everything and get on the plane to the trade show destination. You've reviewed your checklist a million times and feel fairly confident that you are prepared.

Until you unpack that first box or wake from a nightmare only to realize you are missing....

Fill In the Blank

It could be something as simple as scissors or as devastating as the LCD monitor. 

How successful your trade show experience is will depend on how you react to the unexpected.

Do you panic?
Start yelling at your exhibit vendor or the convention manager?
Melt into a puddle of tears?
Head for the bar?

Or do you take a deep breath and examine the situation from all the angles.

Following are a few ways you can respond when it appears that the worst has happened:

  • If it appears that something you believe has shipped is missing from the box(es), make sure you take the time to unpack everything. You may be happily surprised to see that the "missing" item was tucked into another component, was at the bottom of the box or in a different box than you expected. You'll save a lot of impending gray hairs by making sure that you have examined every box before fearing the worst.
  • If, after opening all the boxes, the 'THING"  is still missing, check with the dock manager to see if they have another box or crate for your company that was mis-labeled or misplaced. There are hundreds if not thousands of shipments that arrive on the dock in advance of a trade show and simple mistakes are not uncommon.
  • Still missing? Call the vendor who shipped the boxes to verify that the number of boxes you expected were in fact shipped - trace the shipment to see if there is another crate enroute.
  • If the item is missing or is still enroute and won't arrive for the first day of the trade show begin to consider work-arounds for the missing item. How important is it to your trade show booth? If the sales materials didn't arrive, can a master copy be emailed for reprinting? If the new pop--up graphics are missing, can the correct ones be overnighted to your hotel so that you don't incur additional drayage expenses by having it shipped to the dock?
  • Leave the booth with a trusted co-worker and find a quiet place to brainstorm; coffee shop, restaurant, etc. Spend a few moments making a list of possible solutions to make up for the item that is missing. It is good to have someone with you through the brain storming process because they might have additional ideas to help discover a temporary solution. 
Be Proactive Rather Than Reactive

The above ideas are great for reacting to the situation, but what if you began to prepare for the worst possible scenario before you ever leave for the trade show? 

Number One Recommendation is.....

The best way to accomplish this is to evaluate your trade show participation immediately following the event while everything is fresh in your mind.

  • What worked, what didn't?
  • What did another vendor do that you want to make sure you try next time?
  • What items were forgotten and what work-around did you employ?
  • What do you wish you had that didn't occur to you in advance?
  • What did attendees ask for that you hadn't thought to bring; i.e. product information, product stats, business card magnets, etc.
  • What did you bring that you didn't need? 
By examining your trade show event after the fact, you'll compile a fairly comprehensive guide to help you be better prepared for the next event. 

As business leaders we frequently review the trade show event for sales, prospect names and companies and the ROI of the event. But how often do you assess the nuts and bolts of the behind the scenes details like remembering a first aide kit or office supplies?

Number Two Recommendation is.....

Keep things in perspective. When you Google search "prepare for worst case scenario" the results share great ideas for preparing for:

  • War
  • Famine
  • Stock market crash
  • Natural disasters

Our "worst case scenario" may seem trite compared to others so remain calm. Ask for help. Seek alternatives. Think outside the box. And know that often the worse case leads to opportunities you might not have considered otherwise that might bring about an amazing result. 


E&E Exhibit Solutions Can Help You with a Variety of Trade Show Services:

Granted, there are a number of things that can go wrong, and Murphy's Law has taught us, if it can go wrong, it probably will. So seek professional help for some of the tasks and details that really aren't your expertise. As a leading trade show expert, the professionals at E&E offer a variety of services that help take details off your "to-do" list and give you peace of mind.

We help with:
  • Shipping your trade show displays to your events.
  • Installation & Dismantle Labor: Hire a  highly trained professional labor crew to set up and take down your E&E trade show booth.
  • Trade Show Exhibit Storage: Take advantage of our on-site, climate-controlled warehouses for any size display.
  • Event Management Tools: Our storage clients have access to our secure, web-based event management system to keep track of their trade show exhibit, show schedules and more.
  • And E&E Exhibit Solutions offers a complete line of exhibit rentals


Need Help?
Give us a call!

800 709-6935