10 Common Trade Show Mistakes

The best booth design cannot replace informed planning, a wise marketing strategy, and more. The following 10 mistakes are common at many trade shows across the country. Are you routinely making them with your business?

  1. No Prior Planning

    – Running a busy company is a full-time job, and plenty of other things rise up that need your attention. But showcasing your company at a trade show is not something to do off the cuff. An obviously thrown together display and program reflects poorly on your business and leaves a bad first impression.

  1. A Cheap Display

    – Saving wherever you can is smart business sense; but your trade show display is not the place to cut corners. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so go all out to make a great one. The extra money you spend is an investment in the future of your company and its growth.

  1. No Pre-Show Marketing

    – Attracting possible clients at a trade show is not a random occurrence. Market your presence in advance in strategic locations so attendees can plan to seek you out when they visit the show. Give people a good reason to visit your booth by offering a free giveaway or reduced deals for goods or services.

  1. No Follow-Up on Show Leads

    – Some sources claim that up to 80% of leads obtained at trade shows are not followed up. Why invest the time, expense, and effort and then not reap the benefits? Leads equal possible sales. Have a plan in place before the show begins to follow up on every lead within 3 days of the last day of the show.

  1. Failure to Measure Results

    – What we value, we measure. After the show is over and the follow-up is completed, measure the results. How many leads were gathered? How many of those leads resulted in a sale? How much did you spend on the trade show, divided by the number of sales?

  1. Using the Wrong Booth Size

    – Dinner for 15 at a table for 10 is uncomfortable, if not absolutely impossible. If you plan to be busy, create a booth large enough to handle the traffic. A small, inadequate booth tells potential clients that you have a small view of your company. If you think small, they will, too.

  1. Using the Wrong People

    – Experts give 3 seconds for a trade show participant to notice your display and choose to stop or move on. The display is an important part of that, but so are the people you send to represent your company. Getting attendees to stop is only the beginning. Representing your company in a professional and knowledgeable manner is vital to success.

  1. Going to the Wrong Show

    – Does the show you are planning to work fit your business and its mission? Will the right type of potential customers attend this type of show? Even if you have showcased your business at a particular show in the past, times and businesses change. Trends change. Research a number of trade shows connected to your business and choose those that have the best chance of bringing you into contact with the best leads.

  1. Not Using Technology

    – Video and music are sure to catch the attention of trade show participants. Have a tasteful presentation running continuously with some tablet computers handy for individualized information. Be sure to show passersby’s how they can follow you on social media and invite them to use a particular hashtag when posting about your display. Everyone today has a camera inside their phone. Provide a photo opportunity and ask those who use it to post with your hashtag.

  1. Not Having a Plan “B”

    – What happens if your display is damaged in transit or simply doesn’t show up? Or if a staffer turns up sick? What if the space you reserved is too small for your display? Or there are not enough electrical outlets for all the booths nearby? Mistakes and accidents can happen at any time. If you’re not prepared for everything, you’re not prepared for anything. Have a backup plan for anything that can happen and always remain flexible.

‘Send the new guy’ or ‘use last year’s display’ is certainly not the way to capture the attention of quality potential clients. Don’t allow these common mistakes to reflect poorly on your business and its products or services. Begin as soon as possible to plan your display and presentation. Giant Printing can help! We create custom backdropspop-up displaystable cloths, and more for a perfect trade show display. Don’t settle for a mediocre trade show display for your business. Contact Giant Printing today for all your trade show display needs.