Exhibiting Is an Investment: Don’t Commit These 5 Deadly Trade Show Mistakes

Exhibiting Is an Investment: Don’t Commit These 5 Deadly Trade Show Mistakes

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Trade shows not only help discover new clients, but also helps to raise awareness to your brand. This is especially helpful for a new business and helps you to get a foothold within your industry.

Trade shows allow you to establish relationships with other businesses that are related to your specific product. Additionally, the trade show gives you the opportunity to see what competitors are offering.

The crowds that attend trade shows are there because they are interested in your specific industry. The face-to-face contact gives you the opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

Most trade shows will hold educational sessions that offers the opportunity to learn about what is new within your industry. New technologies and developments can help you to be more competitive.

You may be looking forward to your first trade show or you are wondering what may have gone wrong with ones you’ve done in the past. In either situation, you know that there is a lot of time, money and work involved when doing a trade show. In either situation, you need to be aware of the 5 most common mistakes that exhibitors make.

  1. Your Exhibit is Either Too Large or Too Small

Trade show booth rentals come in all different sizes and price ranges. On the website

you can get a good idea of the sizes that are available and find the right booth size for your purpose.

The size of your booth is going to have a large impact on the cost of your exhibit. You don’t want to overspend on oversized space where your exhibit will look lost. Neither do you want to cut corners with a space that is too small and congested and lost in the crowd.

To determine the amount of space you will need, you will take into consideration the size and number of products you will be featuring. However, your products are not the only items to be considered.

Additional equipment and exhibit props will be part of your exhibit. Include tables, chairs, display cases or racks. Don’t forget that you need room for your personnel as well. If you are going to be doing any demonstrations, you need to take that into consideration. Check out competitors and the sizes they use.

  1. Unattractive Booth Space

The immediate impression of your organization and it’s products can be positive or negative. You want your booth to stand out, there’s a lot of competition offering similar products.

Make sure that your booth clearly shows what products and services your organization provides. Use demonstrations where possible and get the prospective client involved.

Make your booth up-to-date as well as specific to the clientele for this trade show. You want people to be interested in your product and services enough to come in for a closer look. Attractive, concise graphics that show exactly who you are and what you do are sure winners.

While you want to attract attention, you also want to avoid clutter and exhibiting too many products. This can be overwhelming and some of your best products can be overlooked. Feature products and services that fit this specific show. Keep your space open and inviting and avoid blocking yourself from clients by standing behind a table.

If you are feeling unsure of how to set your booth up, there are many websites, you can go to for help designing your space.

  1. Not Setting Specific Goals

Generally speaking, most exhibitors have the same goal; increase sales. Setting more specific goals will lead to more successful trade show results. You are limiting your accomplishments if you only goal is sales. According to Entrepreneur’s website, only 35% of trade show exhibitors found leads that resulted in a final sale.

Think about what you really hope to accomplish by attending this show. Once you determine what your goal is, you can set about making a plan to reach that goal. Brainstorm with partners and team members for ideas of how to reach your goal. You may not reach your goal the first time, but you will be able to determine your weak areas and have a better outcome next time.

Some of the goals you can set are:

  • Number of solid new leads
  • Increase sales by a specific percentage
  • Building customer relationship
  • Networking with other organizations within your industry
  • Exploring new ideas for expansion
  • Reaching out for new employees

You may be unsure of what approach to take to reach that goal. Trade show professionals can guide you to best way to accomplish your goals.

  1. Delayed or No Follow Up

It is a common assumption that showing up and promoting your product or service is all you need to do when attending a trade show. Without proper follow up, you have just wasted a lot of money, time and effort. Without follow up, there is a good possibility that the leads you collected may not remember your specific site. Don’t forget, attendees have visited hundreds of booths at one trade show.

If possible, setting up an appointment with the prospect within the next few days is the ideal approach. Be sure to get business cards so you can follow up through an email or phone call within one to three business days following the show. People’s enthusiasm and memories fade as each day passes, don’t let your exhibit be a faded memory.

  1. Lack of Social Media Exposure

Both before and after the trade show, social media is invaluable. Don’t let your competition leave you behind. Let people know, in advance, that you will have an exhibit at the upcoming show.

Trade shows will have their own social media account, therefore, linking your business to their site may bring more people to your booth. Including your company with a trade show’s social media gives you the power of recognition, trustworthiness, and a higher level of expertise.

Before investing time and money in the next trade show, make sure you are not making any of these mistakes. The advice of trade show professions can answer any questions you may have.

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