Trade Show Mistakes to Avoid

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Trade show presentations take a lot of time, effort and money to organize but it is all worth it if it helps you to boost sales, increase brand awareness, clear stock, or introduce new products to prospective buyers. However, just as trade shows present the perfect opportunity to grow your business, they can also be full of pitfalls that can hinder your company. Thus, we would like to give some advice on how to avoid these five common trade show mistakes:

  • Poorly designed display booth: You will have plenty of competition at most trade shows and a well designed, eye-catching display is essential to stand out from the competition. A well seamlessly designed, colorful trade show exhibit also helps give customers a sense of what your company is about. A poorly designed, cheap exhibit will cause potential leads to walk away from your booth either in confusion or disinterest. Our custom trade show exhibits can make sure that your company’s message is clear, convincing and attention-grabbing.
  • Going too small: Small trade show exhibits generally get less traffic than larger ones. Always go with as large a display as you can afford. Be sure to also use multi-media presentations to really wow audiences and capture their interests.
  • No specific goals: There are a number of reasons that companies attend trade shows. We stated just a few of those reasons in the introduction to this post. Determine before you attend the show whether the goal is to increase brand awareness, clear stock, introduce a new product line, etc. This will help you design your display and craft your message in the most effective way.
  • Wrong person in the booth: The wrong person in the exhibit booth can damage your business. Ideally, the person who you put in the booth should be someone who is knowledgeable about your company and its products/services. He/she should also be personable, articulate and able to connect with the public.
  • Poor follow-up on leads: Many trade show exhibitors fail to follow up on the leads they have gathered. This is a waste of time and money since setting up an exhibit is a considerable expenditure of both. First, have a plan on how you will contact leads and what you say to them and then follow up.

As we’ve stated, the opportunities to benefit your company are unlimited as long as you avoid these common pitfalls that many trade show exhibitors make. However, it’s about more than avoiding mistakes. You must also impress your potential clients. Our 10×20 trade show booth is one way you can do so. It is easy to install, dismantle and can be made to adapt to any trade show.   

6 Smart Ways to Make Your Next Trade Exhibit Stand Out

Trade shows are an excellent way to generate leads and to introduce your product to prospective clients. However, it is easy to be overlooked by merchants who may have a bigger booth and a flashier display than smaller exhibitors. This is why it is important to know a few tricks that will help you stand out among even the savviest merchants. Here are six things you can do to stand out among the trade show crowds to make the best impression possible.

  • Start long before you get there: Spend the weeks and even months before the trade show thinking out your exhibit and how your will present your product or service to the audience. Make sure that you have handouts like T-shirts, fliers, pencils and other promotional items ready.
  • Wisely use audio-video materials: Use interactive A/V presentations to draw attendees to your exhibit like months to a flame. Your well produced presentation can be as simple as a monitor a keyboard and a computer or as intricate as a wide screen display so long as it is engaging, informative and interesting.
  • Be hospitable: People enjoy doing business with people who make them feel special and appreciated. Provide your prospects with pleasant conversation, refreshments, etc., to let them know that they are the focus of your marketing efforts.
  • Hold a giveaway contest: Giveaways are an excellent way to build a mailing list and if your company does not hold one you may be missing the opportunity to gain some A-1 prospects. Just be sure that your giveaway is fun and that the prize(s) will be something that the public will find valuable.
  • Invest in a great exhibition stand: Invest – and that is the key word – in the best exhibit you can to make your display stand apart from the others. You don’t have to spend a fortune for a custom stand that can wow the audience and put your product in their minds.
  • Hire a celebrity spokesperson: If your budget allows it, hire a celebrity to help you sell your company. The celebrity you choose doesn’t have to be an A-lister, it can be a local celebrity.

Using these tips you can compete with some of the larger exhibitors. You can also gain parity with the big boys (and girls) with a 10×20 trade show booth. Our custom trade show exhibits can adapt to a variety of different products and industries.   

The Winning Trade Show Event Coordinator

Six important things you can do to improve success.

1. Follow Up on Show Leads

After you’ve spent considerable cash preparing and participating in a trade show be sure that when you get back to the office you follow up on show leads. You’d be surprised at how common it is for companies to neglect the leads they gathered at the show. Place proper value on the leads you’ve gone to so much effort to acquire. 

2. Do Your Daily Booth Preparation

It’s easy to get up for the first day of a show.  Remember that Day Two is just as important. Don’t ignore the smudges,  make sure the carpet is clean, and remove any stray candy wrappers. Every day is a new day in Exhibit-Land. Like Disneyworld, it’s gotta look perfect before the guests arrive.  If you have a Double Deck Exhibit, be sure and check the upstairs. It’s easy to overlook empty coffee cups but make sure that you don’t!

Next, create a checklist of things that your team can improve upon from day one.  A former baseball player recently stated that before he left the ballpark after a game he wanted to have talked to someone about his plan for the next game. It’s a good idea to sleep on your plan for the next day.

3. Partying and Socializing

It’s a trade show and it’s usually good to socialize and party during the off hours.  Just be smart about it and make an effort to make the time worthwhile. It seems like common sense but seek out after hour events where you can improve your relationship with clients, potential clients or suppliers. If none of that is available then by all means have some fun. Just don’t overdo it and remember that your first priority is to be fresh for the next day.

4. Packing and Unpacking

How you unpack or pack your booth will make your life much easier or much harder for the next show. The key to any successful trade show is planning and organization. Your exhibit is no exception.

Carefully unpacking the exhibit and organizing the packaging materials makes the assembly go faster and the repacking much easier.  You eliminate the head scratching that invariably occurs at the end of the show. When you take the time to repack the exhibit right, you ensure that the exhibit arrives at the next destination in good condition and ready for the next show.

5. Choose your shows carefully

This suggestion is more for companies on a budget and needing to make choices between shows. Sometimes you just have to throw your hat into the ring and so to a show to see if it works for your company. You can, however, do some homework before making the decision. Call up industry contacts you have and pick their brains. Ask questions like “What’s your opinion about this show”, “If you were in my shoes and had to pick, would you do this show”. Ask your suppliers or strategic partners what’s their take on the trade show and has it been beneficial? If possible, ask for specifics such as lead numbers, sales from the show, and promotional ideas. What works and what doesn’t work.

In the end, you have to decide based on your own experience. Sometimes the show would have been better if only you had done this or that. That’s fine. You’ll make the adjustment next year.

6. Walk the Show and Talk to Competitors, Suppliers, and Potential Partners

It’s tempting to just hang out in your booth. After all, it’s safe and comfortable. But trade shows are two way streets. Potential customers are there to learn and discover new products, services, and suppliers. You’re there to work with those customers . . . but you’re also there to learn and discover as well. Every show is an opportunity to improve your “game.” What are your competitors showing? What are they saying? Are there any new products or services which would benefit your company? Are there trends you’ve overlooked and need to study and implement?

No one is asking you to spy, but friendly conversation goes a long way with friends and foes alike. It’s all in your attitude and your approach. Don’t be afraid to say “Hello!” and ask how the show is going.