One of the quickest ways to lose money and have a bad show is to come unprepared. We’ve all done it, gone to a show and realized that we forgot an important item – or two, or ten..
This leads to panic mode and often runs to stores to spend money, which in turn cuts into profits. If you are not an organized person by nature, or even if you are, a great checklist is a must!
Here is my itemized check list that I use for every show. Yours may vary a bit based on your display and products, but it’s pretty universal. Customize as you see fit.
- Canopy & Weights (I use ropes and cinder blocks)
- Rain Covers (for outdoor events)
- Fans (if needed some fairs get stuffy indoor and out)
- Cords/Extension Cords
- Table Covers & Skirts
- Tape (duct tape or heavy duty tape)
- Table Stands
- Tiered Shelves
- Your Products (yes I’ve left home without half of them before lol double check!)
If you are doing indoor events, it’s ok to go with cheaper canopy tents, but if you’re like me and want to do a range of indoor and outdoor festivals, the best investment you an make is a durable, EZ-up canopy with walls. They are water resistant, flame retardant and will keep your products safe and provide shelter from the elements. A full set that features the canopy and all four sidewalls is around $280 or so. If you are just getting your feet wet, perhaps you want to borrow one from a friend, but if you are sure you’re going to do shows going forward, this is an investment you need to make.
I love my EZ-up because once you get the hang of it, you can easily set it up unassisted if you have to. Also, the canopy top leaves room for a hanging custom banner or sign to give your space that personalized appeal. A good canopy is your best investment in your business and you can use it as a tax write-off as well.
- Business Cards
- Receipt Book
- Record Book
- Office Supply Drawers (I have a plastic set for portability and organization)
- Card Reader / Processor
- Brochures or Pamphlets
- Cash Box (with change!)
Office supply drawers like the set below are less than $10 prime, are compact and fit well for travel. I keep extra price tags, receipts, pens, a calculator, tape, my cell charger all of it together in this set of drawers. Easy to manage and keep everything conveniently in one place instead of rooting through boxes and bins when I need things. It works well and it’s cute and functional!
- Cooler with drinks/snacks
- Repair Kit for products/displays
- Paper Towels
- Spray Cleaner
- Lint Roller
- Sharpies, Pens
- Notebook (for writing down ideas, notes, etc)
- Cell Phone
- Batteries (If you have items that need them like lights etc.)
- Medicine & Bandages
- Jackets (if needed)
This list is a great starting point and if you have everything suggested here, your show should go off without a hitch.