5 Common Trade Show Mistakes

By Frank Coutinho | May 03, 2018
Photo by: Exhibe Portable Trade Show Table Covers

When running a business, whether a new one or an established one, it is very important to drive new customers and build awareness for your company’s goods and services. If done correctly, trade shows can be a fantastic way to reach your target market, make industry contacts, learn more about your industry, get new business ideas, and build brand awareness, among others. However, preparing for your first trade show can be a daunting task if you have never participated in a trade show before. In this article, we will cover 5 common mistakes individuals and organizations make when presenting at trade shows, and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Untrained Booth Staff

Many companies assume that just because their staff is knowledgeable about their company’s goods and services, they will behave appropriately with visitors and potential customers at their booth. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Your staff must be trained on a variety of topics such as how to greet visitors, how to answer common questions, how to listen effectively, among others. Many companies and individuals just “wing it” and show up to trade shows with no preparation or practice. While this may work out fine many times, they can lose customers and awareness in the long-term to their competitors who were more prepared.

2. Poor Follow Up on Leads

Yes, trade shows are very effective in bringing leads to your company. However, if you do not follow up appropriately with your leads after the trade show, they will never become your clients, and you will not receive a return on the time and money you spent at the trade show. Follow-ups can appear difficult or intrusive but with the right systems and practice, it is a skill that can be mastered.

3. Attending the Wrong Trade Shows

This is a common problem companies make, especially when they have never attended a trade show before. It is important to get in touch with the trade show organizers to understand what market their trade show is targeting to ensure your company and message is an appropriate fit. You can also ask for the advice and suggestions from your suppliers, and strategic business partners.

4. Ineffective Booth Display

A common mistake companies make is using booth display signs that are cluttered or use small fonts. Similarly, they use boring, bland tables that do not differentiate their company from their competitors who are located right beside them. Many humans are very visual and can spot minor details about your display very quickly. Just one or two display mistakes can throw off a potential customer. An innovative solution to this problem is to use customized logo table covers or form-fitting cover tops that are offered by Exhibe Portable. Small changes like these can have a massive impact on the success of your trade show.


5. Just Staying at your Booth

It can be tempting to just stay at your booth all day long, especially if you have a lot of people interested in your company’s services. However, trade shows are also a fantastic opportunity to learn from your competitors, to see what they’re doing, what they’re showing, what they’re saying etc. This is a great learning opportunity to see how your company can improve its display, booth, and communication, and how to better differentiate your company’s goods and services from your competition.

There you have it. These are 5 of the most common mistakes companies and individuals make when attending trade shows. If you are new to attending trade shows or are an experienced pro these are a few simple actionable steps you can implement today to dramatically improve your results as a trade show attendee.


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