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Insuring Your Trade Show Success
By Anthony Bevilacqua

Trade shows are an important marketing and business development tool for any type of business. Almost every day of the year, somewhere in the United States, there is a trade show.

You’ve handled all the preparations – marketing materials, video and booth equipment and supplies, rehearsed your five-second speech, made all travel and lodging arrangements, including dinner reservations at the finest restaurant for your best client. But don’t forget to properly prepare your insurance, too!

Here is an insurance checklist every business can utilize to make sure their business insurance is as well prepared as the rest of the arrangements:

  1. Don’t assume you are covered. Did you contact your professional agent or broker about the number of trades shows you participate in each year, and where you travel to exhibit in them? A typical insurance program provides very limited coverage for property and liability away from your regular place of business. Further, insurance policies will not cover your property in transit, liability for the booth at the show, or workers compensation injury when you travel outside the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico unless you specifically endorse several policies to do so.
  2. Carefully evaluate the coverage, or lack thereof, for rental cars you use while traveling on business. There is a special coordination of coverage required between the rental car company contract, your business auto policy, your personal auto policy and the credit card used to pay the bill in order to avoid a major financial loss in the event you are involved in an accident while in possession of the rental car.
  3. Don’t sign any Exhibitor Agreement without sending it to your professional agent or broker for review. It is not uncommon for the convention venue to require high limits of liability insurance, name the venue as an additional insured, and transfer the entire convention venue’s liability to the exhibitor, even if the venue is completely at fault for the injury or damage! Good for them, bad for you.
  4. Taking your personal laptop to a show for company business purposes? Check with your business insurance agent or broker to make sure it is covered against theft or damage because your homeowner insurance policy will not pay if it is damaged or stolen.

Have fun, make connections, eat, drink and sleep well (maybe) because you’ve covered all the bases, including your insurance!

Anthony Bevilacqua, CPCU is President of Anthony & Company, an independent insurance agency with special insurance and risk management services tailored to the needs of the commercial and residential development community. You can reach Mr. Bevilacqua at (908) 806-8844 or email him at

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