B2B Trade Show Checklist

No Marketing Department? No problem. We made a B2B trade show checklist, made just for you.

Trade shows, conferences, expos are a critical component in most B2B integrated marketing programs. If you want to make the most of the time, manpower and money you’ve invested, then you’ll need a complete B2B trade show strategy—one that’s used all year round.

Luckily, we’ve prepared our B2B Trade Show Checklist to help you get started.

Download the High-Res Version of Axiom’s B2B Trade Show Booth Checklist

These days, most small- to mid-sized companies won’t use a full-time B2B trade show manager – at times, these tasks are bundled with other marketing roles.

But, this stretch in resources is a gamble. A big one.

Without a trade show manager, a company is left vulnerable to a small return for a whole lot of work. And we’re talking a lot of work here; just see some of the jobs a B2B trade show manager is expected to do for each show.

 Trade Show Marketing Manager Responsibilities

  • Evaluate opportunities
  • Prep your trade show plan with the year’s budget & schedule
  • Craft the appropriate messaging
  • Develop creative & booth environment experience
  • Promote your presence at the show
  • Sourcing—man the booth with the right team per show
  • Fabricate trade show booth exhibit
  • Order power & exhibit elements (power, carpet, plants, etc.)
  • Logistics (i.e. bill of Lading, right to work or union state, set ups & tear downs, shipping & storage of trade show booth assets)
  • Measure / analyze results & trade show booth analytics (before / after event)
  • Refine & finesse execution based on the findings
  • Complete effective follow-ups on leads generated from each show

Quite a lot of roles for one person—or even one team—to do by themselves. It’d be a lot easier if you had a trade show evaluation checklist, right?

All jokes aside, let’s talk about the biggest mistakes in B2B trade shows.

What most people don’t know is a huge percentage of  trade show costs are in the logistics—travel, shipping and set up fees—not the development of trade show booths and the trade show marketers who craft these key messages.

So it’s in these logistics where the most expensive human errors happen. Unsurprisingly, mastering the art of trade show management optimizes the precious marketing dollars. In fact, it’s the best way to avoid those classic pitfalls for trade show flops.

1)  DIFM Solution – B2B Trade Show Booth

One popular solution to the resource and logistics dilemma is to outsource the B2B trade show management function to a trusted marketing communications partner. This goes beyond a trade show checklist template. If you go this route, you’ll be partnering with an expert who will:

  • Research the relevant shows (for your audience)
  • Develop a budget
  • Trade show planning, scheduling and logistic requirements
  • Assist in (or lead) the development of trade show booth design and creative (aka: the fun stuff)
  • Q.C. the fabrication of trade show booth assets
  • Manage the ongoing shipment, installation, tear down and storage (aka: the least glamorous stuff)

 The end result: a company’s internal marketing team are relieved from hours of labor, and the risk of costly errors. They also get a visually impressive, thematically moving trade show marketing with clear, concise messaging.

2) DIY Solution – Trade Show Booth Marketing

If outsourcing these tasks to a marketing expert isn’t feasable, we’ve revamped our “B2B Trade Show Checklist” to help guide the complex world of planning, managing and QC-ing your company’s participation in key industry events. It covers all things trade show marketing in one convenient checklist, including:

We made this free trade show planning checklist for marketing managers, so you can stay on top of all the marketing and logistics roles throughout the year. If you like our trade show marketing checklist, or if you’d prefer a different topic, let us know below in the comments.

Want more Trade Show marketing? Download the Trade Show Marketing Checklist.


Or, if you’re searching for help with your trade show prep, or to discuss your digital marketing strategy as a whole, contact Axiom – we can help.