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The Ins and Outs of a Successful Trade Show Move-in

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Amy Button
Amy Button

Content Marketing Manager

Get set for trade show success by checking off these priorities before the show opens

Exhibiting at a trade show brings your brand to life and provides an environment to connect face-to-face with customers and prospects. But before you can wow attendees with your products and services, you need to make sure your booth environment is ready to go when the show doors open.

Fret not, dear exhibitor — we’ve got your back. Knowing what to expect and keeping track of all your must-tackle priorities before go-time helps you feel prepared (and less stressed!). Use this quick priority list as a guide to ace the move-in process and get your booth party started!

Dress the part and stay alert

  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes during set-up — air conditioning and heating are not typically turned on during move-in.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. A pre-show expo floor is essentially an active construction site with potential hazards for the uninitiated. Eyes up — forklift ahead!
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Check out your space

  • Make sure all exhibit materials and shipments have arrived.
  • Confirm all work orders have been completed (or are in process) including electrical/power, furniture rental, flooring/carpet installation, audio visual, and any other arrangements to outfit your booth.

TIP: Bring all order confirmations and freight tracking numbers to show site. Questions? Visit the Exhibitor Service Center for answers.

Mind your empties

  • Remove everything you’ll need (and anything valuable!) from your boxes and crates — containers won’t be accessible during the show.
  • Once the containers are emptied, label each with “empty” stickers. These labels alert the material handling team which items are ready to be moved to off-site storage.

TIP: Empty stickers are available at the Exhibitor Service Center. You’ll need at least one for each container you plan to store until the show closes. Label each with your company name and booth number.

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Labor ways

  • If you ordered labor to set up your booth, check in at the labor desk.
  • While you’re there, confirm tear-down labor so you won’t be scrambling at the end of the show.

TIP: Order labor in advance to ensure discounted pricing. Reduce additional labor costs by:

  • Diagramming your setup and numbering crates accordingly
  • Including electrical needs and repacking instructions
  • Pre-wiring equipment and organizing/color-coding all tech needs
  • Providing a mobile contact number for any questions that arise during setup.

Keeping track of these move-in essentials will help you manage the process like a pro, allowing you to focus on the important next step — connecting your brand to your audience in a well-organized and inviting space.

Ready to learn how data can help you understand what your audience truly wants? Download our insights paper.

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