How to Compile a Trade Show Binder

Trade shows can be an effective promotion and sales tool for your large or small business, but they can also be a complete waste of time and money if not done right. Whether your trade show booth is a huge success or dismal failure hinges on your advanced preparation. Get the best return on your investment by adding an organized trade show binder, pricing sheets and solid promotional materials to your booth.

When you are exhibiting at a trade show, there are five essentials you need: your booth, trained staff, promotional materials, laptop and a trade show binder.

The contents of the trade show binder, which is a reference guide, includes the tools and information that your staff needs while talking with booth visitors.

Here’s how to compile a trade show binder, and what to include:

The Three Ring Binder

Your trade show binder should be a three-ring binder with D-shaped rings that can hold a large amount of materials. Choose a brightly colored binder that will be easy to locate at your booth.

What materials will you need at the show? Use the binder tabs to separate materials into categories. It will help your staff find the information quickly. Make the tab labels as general or specific as you’d like. Major categories may include:

  • General company information. Important people, departments, corporate offices and phone numbers.
  • Training. Instructions and materials from the pre-show training. Cheat sheets with sales information and exhibit staff phone numbers.
  • Sales. Up-to-date lists of contact information for your sales office, dealers, distributors, and demo center in this section. This section will probably be used most often. List names, phone numbers, and addresses of key people and facilities in your sales organization, and include branch offices should a booth visitor asks, “Who’s your rep in Philadelphia?” Pricing sheets should be added.
  • Product. Copies of all product brochures, spec sheets, photos, samples, and more.
  • Marketing. Company and product logos, CDs, special fonts and all exhibit graphics. If graphics are lost or damaged, or incorrect, you can easily recreate at the show.
  • Staff. Place copies of your staff’s airline itineraries, hotel confirmations, and exhibit-staffing schedule in this section of the binder.
  • Finance. The company’s earnings statements should be in this section. Staff may be asked for the latest annual report or recent news articles about the company’s latest earnings report.
  • Press kit. If press stops by your booth be ready with a press kit that includes current press releases. If you plan a press event, keep extra invitations in this section’s heavy-duty sheet protectors to hand out.
  • Stationary. If you ship leads back to the office, include pre-printed corporate overnight shipping forms. Tuck a few fax forms and some corporate stationery into sheet protectors at the back of the binder, including No. 10 and brochure-sized envelopes.

    As you compile resources, talk to sales, product and marketing departments to find out which materials they find most useful.

    Lastly, set up a binder table of contents. You can color-code this section to match the colored tabs used to separate the categories.

4 Trade Show Binder Tips

  1. In each tabbed section, insert heavy-duty sheet protectors or inside pockets to hold the documents you’ll collect. It alleviates the need to hole-punch documents.
  2. Keep the binder in a central location in the booth. Make sure that staff members know where to find it and what’s in it.
  3. Updating your organized binder is easy. Keeping it updated stops your booth staff from answering “I don’t know” or the time consuming search for someone who knows the answer when attendees ask difficult questions.
  4. The information in the binder is confidential. It should not be removed from the information counter. Keep the book locked up when it’s not being used.

Following these tips insures your booth staff will be confident, efficient and productive.

Don’t visit a big-box retailer for your company’s trade show, sales, product, marketing and other department binders. Get a durable, quality three-ring binder the first time around. Consult with a three-ring binder specialist to help you find the perfect binder for the job.