Conferences and exhibitions in their various forms and guises are an essential part of pretty much every business.

For some, it’s an important way of selling their product, showcasing it to those who could become loyal customers in the future or launching a new product and growing their user base.

Others like to be on the other side of the trade floor, checking out the exhibitors, listening to talks and networking with other like-minded individuals.

Read more: The office supplies every new business needs

Whatever the reason for your attending a conference, tradeshow or exhibition, here are the supplies and products you need to ensure it all runs smoothly.


Conferences are busy places with lots of places to be and people to speak to, so it’s important you keep track of everything you need to do.

Having a diary or timetable with you will keep you organised and on track so you don’t miss anything important, whether that’s speaking on stage or a lunch meeting with a customer.

If you don’t fancy carrying around an actual timetable with you then just do it all on your phone. Fantastical 2 is a great calendar app that should let you note down everywhere you need to be.


Virtually all conferences and exhibitions will need you to present some form of ID to get in, and if you arrive without it then it could end up being a little embarrassing.

Ensure you have all the necessary ID with you, whether you’re exhibiting or just there to browse.

Check out all of our ID accessories and stock up if you’re running low.


Lanyards are a lifesaver at trade shows and conferences, and they’re perfect for keeping your ID on show.

They can also be used to keep the conference schedule close to hand (like they do at music festivals) so you know what talks or exhibitors are coming up.

Read more: Make your own ID cards

Lanyards can also be branded, making them an excellent marketing tool, either just for a bit of brand awareness or as a giveaway on a stall. Anything you can do to get your company’s name and logo in the minds of potential customers.

See our full range of lanyards.

Brochures & promotional material

If you’re exhibiting at a show, then you need to have a healthy supply of brochures and other promotional materials for people to take away with them.

It can be something as simple as a flyer, but if you really want to make an impact then it’s worth giving away nicely designed product brochures or something similar.

Our binding supplies can help you produce attractive promotional material to grab the attention of potential customers and ensure people go away from your stand with something memorable.

Business cards

As well as company promotional bits and pieces, it’s also wise to carry around some business cards with you - a sort of personal promotional material.

Read more: Killer job interview tips straight from the experts

You can then easily pass your details onto those you network with, which will hopefully result in increased leads for your business, new partnerships, or maybe a job opportunity if you’re looking for one.

Presentation material (and backups)

If you’re presenting at the show, whether on stage or just from your company’s stand, ensure you have absolutely everything you need.

You might be able to use some equipment borrowed from the conference, but if not then make sure you have a microphone and any computer/projection equipment you need.

Also make sure that all of your presentations are backed up. The last thing you want is for your computer to pack up or all your data to be corrupted right before you go on stage.

By backing up everything onto a USB flash drive or on a cloud server you have somewhat of a fail-safe should the worst happen.