Do You Have a Show Kit?

One of the most important steps in exhibiting at shows is pre-planning.  There are emails, notices, and postcards to get out to your customers and potential customers.  But this is a different subject than I plan to address today.

NOTE: In my “Trade Show Exhibiting Secrets!” eGuide, I talk about marketing for wholesale trade shows, but want to address using “show kits” in this article.

In addition to having all your displays, products and order forms, their are other important items to bring to your show.

Tim AdamTim Adam, from Handmadeology, featured an article on his idea of a “show kits”.  Tim suggest pre-packing a bag to take with you for all shows (retail or wholesale). Here are his suggestions:


Craft Show Survival Kit — Part One:  What’s in the Bag?

Change Bag/Box

  • Full of change for the show….
  • Sales Tax and Use License….
  • Credit card processor. In one word: Square….Square is an incredibly affordable and easy way to accept credit cards on the go.
  • Emergency pen, just in case I need to scribble something on a check etc.

Record Book

  • I like to track my sales as I receive them by quickly jotting them down in my notebook.

Vendor Packet

  • …You usually receive a little vendor packet the day of the show, or at least at the setup….You already have your bag with you, and you can just slip it in there when you get it. If you have questions later about hours, tear-down, or venue locations… you have all that information in one place.

Business Cards

  • Even if it is your very first show, it is imperative to have some kind of branding and contact information…. I keep a constant supply of (more than I need) business cards in this bag at all times.

Contact Book

  • Craft shows are a great place to network, advertise, and gain exposure. …Having a newsletter, if only to announce sales and upcoming shows, is an important tool to build repeat as well as future business.



I would also include a full wholesale client packet.  I have been to retail shows where wholesale buyers attend to check out the new products.  In your wholesale client packet, I suggest having the following:

  1. Wholesale Price Sheet
  2. Complete Line Sheet including full color photos of your products
  3. Trade Credit Application
  4. Business Bio Sheet (if you have one)
  5. Business Cards
  6. Sales Book in case a buyer would like to make an order on the spot
  7. Notebook of some kind to track the folks you gave packets to in order to follow up later

In part two of Tim’s article, he talks about what he packs in “the box”.  You can read his article here.

Whether you are exhibiting in a wholesale or retail show, being prepared is a critical step in helping you market your products — and having the assurance that everything is in order and ready to go when you head for the show.

Thanks Tim for the great article!

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