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Your Expo Toolkit

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I once heard a speaker say that exhibition planning should include reference to Murphy’s Law – “What ever can go wrong, will.” There is so much that is needed to mount a successful appearance that attempting to plan for everything, in the face of Murphy and his law, seems futile. However, what a lot of planners have included a toolkit containing items to mitigate those things that can go wrong including everything needed to handle last minute emergencies. These incidental items can save you not only last minute grief but can also avoid in additional costs when you have to purchase them on the show floor at exorbitant prices.  

The online dictionary Wikipedia defines incidental as “happening or likely to happen in an unplanned or subordinate conjunction with something else.”

 To create your box of incidental items, by first list the major categories of items that should be included. This will tie nicely into your show budget. Each category of the budget reveals the potential for a problem that if thought about in advance can be avoided.   

The next step is to add the details of each category. For example your tool kit checklist might look something like this: 


  • Flash drives

  • Laptop stand

  • Power ba

  • Batteries and charger

  • Wires

  • Power adapters


  • Hammer  

  • Multi-head screw driver

  • Nails, screws and pins

  • Knife

Personal Health and Hygiene           

  • Breathe mints

  • Air freshener

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Granola bars


  • Touch-up paint

  • Step stool

  • Tape – double-side, duct and Scotch

  • Velcro


  • Gravol and other stomach ailment remedies

  • Emergency help contact information such as local doctors and pharmacies

  • Contact information for local consulate or embassy personnel


  • Pens S

  • Sharpies

  • Writing pads

  • Stapler

  • Sewing kit

  • Shipping way bills for incoming goods

  • Shipping labels (for returning items)

  • Contact information for shop management

Your list will be considerably larger and more inclusive than this example, but this will give you a good starting point. 

Of course, Murphy is a pretty devious fellow and the best emergency kit will always be lacking something include one more addition – a form so you can record items that will make your emergency kit a bit stronger in the future. Keeping your checklist open-ended will allow you to reduce the impact of last minute situations.   


©2014 by Barry Siskind