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5 Trade Show Mistakes to Avoid

It’s a fact of life that mistakes happen. So whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned trade show professional, you’ve probably made a mistake or two. By following these tips you can avoid the 5 Most Common Trade Show Mistakes.

1. Going Too Big

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Go Big or Go Home,” but if you’re new to trade show marketing you don’t need to start out with an over the top exhibit. A 10 inch display which includes hardware and mural with panel shelves is the best way to go. Your first trade show event is really where you learn what works for you and your company.

Most organizations probably attend multiple trade shows during the year, so you’ll probably learn when it makes sense to “go big” or a little smaller.

2. Going Too Small

A smaller trade show exhibit will generally get less traffic, especially if it’s not well situated on the trade show floor or it’s too small. Small displays usually include a trade show table and table-top display. But unless every company around you has the same type of display, then you’ll probably get missed unless you’ve done your trade show pre-marketing well.

What you really need to do is determine your trade show goals so you can identify what you want to accomplish and then design a booth to achieve those goals.

3. No Specific Goals

Your company shouldn’t attend a trade show, just for the safe of attending a trade show. You should have specific goals, you want to accomplish. Once you know this, putting together your trade show display will be easier. Your trade show goals will usually coincide with your company’s short-term or long-term goals. But most companies respond to this question with “to increase sales” or “to generate more leads.” Are those really your goals? Or do you just feel that must be your reason for attending the trade show?

If you work with a trade show professional one of the first things they want to know is your goals. By knowing this they can help you to put together a dynamic exhibit that presents your company in the best light.

4. Cluttered Graphics

When you look at your trade show display, do you understand the message and the graphics or does your eye race all over the display because there is too much going on. All that clutter is really not good, if you want people to process the information and remember your company name. You need to send a clear and straightforward message to your audience. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use colorful and witty graphics.

Your  message should state who you are, what you do, and what problems you are solving in less than 4 seconds. Everything else is just pretty paper over the package; it’s what’s in the package that counts.

5. Giveaways, Not anything will Do

It’s great to have items to giveaway; It brings trade show attendees to your table and get people talking about your company. But if you’re giving away giveaways just because everyone else is doing it, then you need to re-think your reason. Granted everyone likes free stuff, and the Doctor’s office that gives away pill cases is smart. The fitness company that gives away pedometers know what they’re doing, but the beverage company that gives away calculators? What’s the point?

The same rules apply for prizes or sweepstakes. The drawing should create a buzz at the show, and entice people to stop by your booth, then it’s up to  your team to engage them in a conversation. Knowing you were able to collect hundreds of leads from attendees interested is winning an iPad is great, but how many were qualified leads. I’m sure you’ll only want quality leads?

Your trade show exhibit is only limited by your imagination and your budget, so contact us today and we’ll help you make the most of your next trade show experience.


5 Trade Show Mistakes to Avoid was last modified: February 24th, 2015 by J.M. Field Marketing
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