We hear it a lot in the trade show industry- businesses that decide it’s just not worth it to exhibit because it’s never done anything for them or they spent too much and received too little in return. When you dig deeper, you often find out they’ve made some egregious trade show mistakes that got in their way. Learn from their trade show mistakes and do things the right way.
Is Your Exhibit One of Your Trade Show Mistakes?
Right out the gate, you have to ask yourself if one of your trade show mistakes is actually your exhibit itself. Is it old? Are your graphics tired, cluttered, and faded? Is your counter chipped and cracked? Do people look past your exhibit when you want them to make a beeline towards it? If so, your exhibit may very well be one of your trade show mistakes.
Take an honest evaluation of your exhibit. If it’s older than 3 years, dirty, doesn’t quite have the same pizzazz you thought it used to have, or it’s showing its age, it’s probably time for refurbishment or replacement altogether. You’d likely be a better candidate for an exhibit rental that you can update every year or few, store without damage, and trot out to your next show with the confidence your graphics will look fresh and clean.
Marketing to Your Industry and Show
Many people think that showing up to the trade show is the accomplishment, that they’ll naturally attract a ton of people to their booth. In truth, the busiest booths are often the result of advanced preparation, namely marketing. If you’re not reaching out to customers, prospects, industry peers, and press, you’re making one of the gravest trade show mistakes. You should start early and create a comprehensive marketing campaign that encourages traffic to your trade show booth. Otherwise, you may be hearing crickets while you stand on the trade show floor. This is one of the easiest trade show mistakes to prevent and can be very helpful towards driving traffic to your virtual front door.
Did You Invest Effort in Training?
It seems like it would be intuitive to be able to work a trade show booth. However, to some people it’s not. Many companies make trade show mistakes like lack of booth staff training, figuring these nice congenial people at work will translate into great staffers on the trade show floor. Go figure, some people get shy around strangers. Others don’t know the product as well as you thought they would. And some simply can’t communicate very clearly. This is why it’s important to engage in trade show training prior to the show. Don’t make one of the most preventable trade show mistakes by assuming your employees are all trade show savvy. Give them the support in advance that they need.
Your return on investment (ROI) is dependent upon many factors, including your spending, budget, training, marketing, and your exhibit itself. With all of those factors to consider, it’s helpful to keep in mind these trade show mistakes and the ways in which you can avoid them.