“A good system shortens the road to the goal.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Choosing the right shows, booth space, staffing, in-booth activities, promotional materials, demos and presentations are just a few of the decisions that need to be made to execute a successful exhibit. Warehousing your exhibit properties may also be on that list of decisions that need to be made. And with that comes the need to organize properties, which can be an unwieldy beast. When you choose an Exhibit Services management company to warehouse your precious cargo, they must focus on all the little details and be a close collaborator with you on goals, expectations and budget.

Here are four steps for successful property warehousing to discuss with your Exhibit Services provider pre-show so that your booth looks as you envisioned and can be assembled on-site with the least amount of headaches:

  1. Set up all properties. Ask your provider to erect all properties in their warehouse with your On-Site Management team.  This will give you and the provider familiarity with your properties before the on-site install and will help identify any structural or graphic issues ahead of time, so they can be repaired or replaced.
  2. Take photos and measure. After the properties are assembled, make sure 360-degree photos are taken.  Print them out and have them included with the crate of components so your on-site team can share visuals with the I&D labor.  Oh, and don’t forget!  You need weights and measurements of everything too.
  3. Use an inventory program. Your Exhibit Services provider will use one of the many software programs specifically designed for trade show property management.  If you are changing from one warehousing company to another, now’s the time to rename and make changes to your organizational system if needed.  If you are starting from scratch, work with your warehousing provider to come up with names for your properties that you will both recognize and understand. Have your warehouse build your database with a crate numbering system that is easy for you both to manage and expand upon as your inventory grows. Add the photos you took to the inventory system for quick identification of items.
  4. Use a 3D booth layout program. These can be used to build an online 3D version of your booth properties. Now the layout can be designed, the electrical coordinates can be added, and you or your exhibit house can print in 2D and 3D for show orders and install.


Trade shows are fraught with surprises and mishaps. You don’t want a miscalculation with your properties to be one of them. So, work closely with the company warehousing your exhibit. If you want your trade show booth to appear as you envisioned, heed Emerson’s sage advice:  A good system shortens the road to the goal.

Mary Kemmer, CTSM, TPG Operations Manager

Related article: 3 Tips for Transporting Your Trade Show Exhibit