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10 Biggest Tradeshow Mistakes

Trade Show Exhibit
Image Courtesy of Cliff VIA FLICKR

We’ve built enough trade-show booths and been around the trade-show floor enough to know when mistakes are made. When it comes to the trade-show, there are a lot of things that you have to do ahead of time if you want your booth or product to stand out. Trade show displays are just part of the puzzle, the rest is something that you have to carefully think about.

Here’s our top ten list of trade-show mistakes not to make!

1. Using beat up trade-show displays. It’s painful to watch someone trying to set up a display that has seen better days. Things don’t stand up, parts don’t work, electronics malfunction – some people even use tape at the last minute to get things to happen as they should! If you are on a budget, we can help you find trade-show displays that actually work!

2. Paying more than you have to. Whoever is organizing the trade-show you are about to attend has a lot to do. That’s why many trade-show organizers send out early bird forms. When you get that form, sit down, fill it out, and send in your fee. If you wait until the last minute, you will be paying more than you have to (and who wants to do that?).

3. Choosing the wrong team. Some companies choose to send salespeople based on appearance and not on experience. Make sure that the team you send understands your product, what you’re selling, and how you want to sell it. It won’t pay off to send a team that looks great but doesn’t know what your product does or how to appeal to people that may want to buy the product.

4. Not marketing ahead of time. This might be the most important thing of all. Use social media to get the word out that you will be at an upcoming trade-show. Not marketing to the many people that use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Google Plus is a really big mistake. You have to market your company at all times, and that means letting your followers know about your upcoming trade-show appearance.

5. Talking at people. Salespeople often make the mistake of talking at people instead of listening to people. Don’t make this mistake. Ask questions, listen, and try to understand where the people you meet are coming from. Selling is often more about asking questions than speaking at someone.

 6. Forgetting to pay attention. Take a good look around you when you’re at the show. Find out what people are doing, what they are saying, and how customers are responding. Is one booth more popular than the rest? Why? Find out, take notes, and use those notes for next time.

7. Skipping technology: people expect to see some form of technology at a trade-show. You don’t have to spend millions setting up the most expensive cameras and televisions that you can find. Use some form of tech, though, and integrate that into your trade-show booth. Not using technology is a really big mistake that can easily be avoided.

 8. Not understanding where your market is. Are you sure that the people you’re targeting will be at the next trade-show you attend? How can you be sure? Have you polled your audience? Have you asked your existing clients? No? If not, you may be making an expensive mistake!

9. Setting up a small booth. There’s nothing wrong with trade-show displays that are smaller in size, but you don’t want a booth that’s too small either. Figure out what kind of space you need to display everything that you want to show off, and don’t choose a booth size that’s smaller or larger than you actually need.

10. Skipping the free giveaway. Really, this one’s so easy; it’s hard to understand why people don’t give away stuff for free at shows. People like free things. Simple, right? Pick something that you can afford to give away for free, and people will come to your booth. What could be easier?

If you need help designing your trade-show booths or have more questions for us, just ask. We want to make sure that your trade-show display goes off without a hitch. And, if you find yourself about to commit any one of these mistakes, make sure to give it a second thought. Call us today for additional details and information.

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