3 Things You Need to Know about Trade Show and Expo Security

Trade Show And Expo Security Tips: How To Secure Your Trade Show Booth

Exhibiting at trade shows can be good for business. They can help boost sales and grow brand awareness, plus they offer networking and learning opportunities you can’t get elsewhere. But they’re a lot of work and not everyone’s cup of tea.

Love them or hate them, how do you prepare for them? Is booth security on your priority list?

It’s easy to ignore security during the stress of planning. You might even think it’s the host venue’s responsibility – but that might not be smart.

3 Reasons Not to Trust Venue Staff With Trade Show Security 

First, not every venue you deal with will have on-site security. Second, even when they do, you won’t want to rely on them entirely.

Trusting on-site venue security can be a costly mistake for these reasons:

1. Venue staff may not be trustworthy

You don’t know how credible or well-trained their security agent is. And even if he/she is reliable, there are typically other venue staff around. Your valuables might be endangered by opportunistic workers who will take advantage of their access to a show floor full of expensive goods.

For example just this year, two forklift operators were caught stealing from the world’s largest firearms tradeshows. If any expo were secure, you’d think it would be this one. But if some of the world’s biggest firearms producers experienced theft from a couple of forklift drivers, it could happen to anyone.

2. Expo and event security staff are often untrained.

The security staff at trade shows, expos, and other events are usually un-armed civilians. Their main duty is to guard the perimeter of the trade show and check ID badges. 

While this is a crucial component for expo security, who’s to say your potential thief isn’t a fellow exhibitor?

It’s important to know that venue staff is typically untrained in loss prevention and safety protocol. There’s little to nothing an un-armed badge-checker can do to prevent or halt a criminal in case of on-site theft or violence.

3. Even reliable venue staff can’t provide total security. 

Even when your trade show venue provides security, they probably can’t guarantee 24/7 monitoring. Valuables are at risk of being swiped during the daytime hustle and bustle of the show, but they’re especially at risk after-hours. Your venue security likely can’t – and won’t – guarantee comprehensive safety of your valuables. 

So what can you do? 

Prevent Trade Show Theft with Common Sense and Professional Security Services

Fortunately, there are several ways to protect your trade show display at your next event. 

From easy steps to take before you hit the road to high-tech mobile surveillance cameras designed just for trade shows, here are a few practical options:

Use common sense. 

Do what you can to stop trade show theft by taking proper precautions. If you need help, there are many places online to find tips for a successful trade show, including security pointers.

There are several things you can do to stop theft at your trade show booth, including: 

  • Only bring what you need
  • Use empty product boxes for display
  • Mislabel storage boxes
  • Secure valuables with cables or locked cases
  • Keep personal items with you
  • Train booth staff to be aware
  • Buy insurance for the show

Even when you prepare for the worst, you can’t expect the unexpected. That’s where professional security solutions come in.

Rent a mobile video surveillance system.

One of the best options for trade show security is video surveillance. Mobile trade show video surveillance sets up surveillance cameras quickly to protect your belongings at all times.

These high-tech systems offer crime-deterrent features including:

  • strobe lights, to startle would-be thieves
  • sound systems, for mobile operators to communicate with the site
  • 180-degree cameras to capture a full view of your booth
  • motion sensors that capture and transfer images in real-time

Definitely contact a security company about renting surveillance cameras for your trade show if you’re concerned about overnight protection or switch theft, which is common with small valuables.

Mobile expo video surveillance can give you the ultimate peace of mind. You’ll know there are professionally-trained eyes on the show floor in real-time, at all times. And with remote monitoring, when something suspicious is detected, venue security and local police are sent to the site immediately.

Hire professional security guard services.

At this point, you might be asking, “should I hire security for my trade show booth?”


The answer is: not always. But when you’re handling costly goods like guns, jewelry, and specialized tools, you want the best protection available. In this case, hiring security guards for your event might be best.

Law-enforcement trained security guards will provide top-of-the-line security. Unlike venue staff, you won’t have to question their credibility or ability, knowing they’re either off-duty or prior police-trained individuals.

Hiring armed security officers is simpler – and more discreet – than you might think. You can get a quote online and have someone on-site and in the background in less than a day.

Remember: Even if you don’t think your exhibit items are in danger, you’re still at risk for trade show theft. Display items and personal items are easy-access, high-value targets.  

These include:

  • Tablets and smartphones
  • Audio/video systems 
  • Digital storage like USBs
  • Access keys
  • Bags and wallets

If you have a trade show or expo coming up, use these tips as you prepare, and call your venue in advance to see what kind of security they provide for these types of events. 

Give us a call if you have questions about the type of security you need or to request a quote. Whether you need to hire armed security guards for an event or source video surveillance for a trade show, we’ve got you covered. 

You can also request a quote online for any of our professional security services and we’ll get back to you ASAP with a customized proposal.

SHARE IT: