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Avoid These 8 Common Mistakes at Your Next Trade Show

May 07, 2019

Your first trade show doesn’t have to be a trial run. Knowing what to watch out for will help you do things right the first time around and ensure that you don’t have to learn the hard way. Take note of these common mistakes and watch your booth be a success!  

1. A cluttered display

For trade show attendees, your booth will be their first impression of your company. Ensure it’s a positive one with a booth that doesn’t look thrown together. Also, make sure that visitors can tell what your company does just by taking a look at your exhibit. If there’s too much to read on your display and the font is too small to read from a distance, it’s likely that they may not waste their time coming to get a closer look if it doesn’t capture their interest right away.

2. No defined goal

If you spend a large sum of money on an exhibit with no plan of how you’re going to make that money back and grow your sales, it’s likely that your exhibit isn’t going to get you the ROI your company is hoping for. If you don’t tell your booth staff what goals you expect them to meet, they may spend their time at the show with no urgency to gain quality leads. Working with a trade show professional will help you define clear goals for your booth, rather than just saying you want ‘more sales.’ Even if you don’t meet your exact goal, you’ll have an idea of what you can change the next time to have that success.

3. The wrong size booth

A large part of trade show success is making your booth interactive and to do this, sometimes it takes more space. Having more square footage and height is going to attract more people and allow them to experience more in your booth. Island exhibits (as seen above) give you the versatility to include presentation areas, seating, kiosks, large and impactful graphics, product displays and/or other elements. More people engaging with your booth will equal more leads. Depending on your goals, you’ll want to take the size of your booth into consideration when looking at how much attention you want to attract and how many people can be accommodated. Work with a trade show expert to figure out what size booth best fits your goals.

4. A lackluster booth staff

If you’ve hired someone to stand in your booth and hand out business cards, you’re missing the point of a show floor team. Your booth staff needs to be engaging and have the knowledge of your company that it takes to answer the questions of guests and portray your company in a great light. This face-to-face marketing opportunity is the perfect chance to create new relationships with potential buyers, so don’t take it lightly and make sure that the people in your booth are prepared to establish a good rapport and make a lasting impression!

5. Exhibiting at the wrong show

Depending on your industry, it’s likely that you can find multiple trade shows to attend each year. However, exhibiting at all of these trade shows may not be your best bet. It’s great to get exposure, but if you are spending less on the size and quality of your exhibit because you’re spending so much on your numerous booth spaces, travel expenses, and show services, you may want to consider cutting down on shows and targeting the few that will get you the best outcome. This allows you to invest more into your exhibit design to ensure you’re a standout at your show. Visit our Skyline Trade Show Calendar - a searchable database of trade shows from around the world. Search by your industry and find the shows that will get you the greatest outcome. 

6. No social media

Don’t make the mistake of avoiding social media when it comes to your next trade show. If people are just figuring out that you’re attending a trade show when they see your booth on the floor, you’ve likely missed out on an opportunity to create excitement around your brand beforehand. When guests walk by your booth from a distance, they may not notice that you’re doing an amazing giveaway or offering some great samples. Sharing these types of things on social media prior to the show will help get you discovered easier by those who are interested in what your company is marketing and give them an incentive to visit your booth. Click here to see some great before, during, and after-show social media tips to get people excited about your booth.

7. Not walking the show and checking out your competitors

Trade shows are a chance for you to get a good look at what your competitors are doing. What details of business are they emphasizing that are making them stand out? What are attendees resonating with most at their booth? Walking the show and gaining this insight will help you up your game when you know exactly what you’re competing against. It’s a way to continue propelling your industry’s standards upward when there is always a competitor working to improve themselves beyond the status quo.

8. No follow up

You can probably see how this would be a mistake, but it’s common. If you don’t have a plan to follow up with the leads you obtained at a trade show, what’s the point? It’s also very important not to wait too long to follow up because while you’re letting your leads sit in a pile on your desk, other businesses are following up with those potential customers.  Click here for four great tips on following up with leads after a show.

Reach out to us today! We’ll help you find the perfect exhibit that fits your needs and enhances your brand.       

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