One of the most important parts of any trade show or exhibition is setting up. This might seem like an afterthought compared to the actual show, but it is not something that should ever be overlooked. A good setup can make the difference between a professional, well-run stand and one that is stressed and disorganised.
If your setup goes poorly, it is very easy to misplace things. You might end up rushing to get everything together and end up putting something to one side and forgetting about it, or having to forgo an entire section of your stall because you have run out of time and attendees have started coming to see what you have to offer.
In order to have a good setup, one of the most important things you can do is arrive with plenty of time! You might not like an especially early start, but having an extra hour to set up can make a huge difference. Ideally, you will be completely ready to go with a good ten minutes before any attendees start coming in.
You can make things easier when setting up by creating a map or plan of where everything is supposed to go. This can be a simple labelled sketch of your stand, as long as it means you have something to quickly reference when setting up so you don't have to try and construct your stand from memory.
Speaking of plans, you should bring a map of the venue with you when you are on your way to the exhibition. Knowing exactly where your stand needs to go is another way you can save vital time, rather than having to ask around and work it out for yourself.
Finally, you could do worse than having a quick practice setup beforehand. This will not only shave minutes off the beginning of your exhibition, it will also give you a good idea of anything that needs changing so you are not forced to make last-minute alterations to your stand on the fly.