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24 Hours to Improve Your Trade Show Booth

It is easy to let the design of your trade show booth fall to the wayside as you go about your daily routine at the office. You may notice the date of the trade show approaching on the calendar, and you may tentatively plan out the design of the booth, complete with a table, a banner or special signs and freebies to hand out to the attendees. However, if you are like many who follow this plan for trade show booth design, you inevitably will feel a sense of last-minute stress and anxiety right before your trade show starts. Whether you are heading to your event tomorrow or you have already set up your booth and have realized how dismal it is compared to others, you may be looking for some fast, affordable ways to dress up your booth.

Think About Music and Lighting

It is imperative that you find a way to get your booth noticed, and you can incorporate different sensory elements to its design with minimal time and effort required. You can easily invest in portable lighting solutions and sound systems to appeal to the senses, and this can make your booth instantly different than others. For example, you may simply need to visit a lawn and garden or a party store to find great lighting options. Consider shining a spotlight on your sign or even placing a colored light under a tabletop to make your tablecloth glow with character and appeal. When it comes to music, think about a type of music that may appeal to your target audience and that may be suitable for your company’s marketing needs. While you want the music to be loud enough to be heard at this type of event, you do not want it so loud that your team cannot communicate with attendees who stop by. An alternative to music is to pick up a sound effects CD to play, such as an ocean waves sound track for a marine company.

Make Your Tables or Displays Pop Out

You can use lighting to draw attention to your tables and displays, but you can also use three-dimensional elements. For example, if you have a floral company at a wedding and bridal trade show, showcase your talents by bringing a large floral arrangement onto the table. Even if you cannot bring your product or service into the trade show as a tabletop display, you may be able to bring other themed elements into your space. For example, you can bring a decoration from your office or store into your booth design.

Think About Your Apparel

Most booth hosts at a trade show will be dressed to impress, and there is something to be said for looking professional. If you are representing a mortgage company, a law firm or another serious type of company, you may want to stick with your professional attire. However, if you are hosting a booth for a boat company, you may want to dress the part by wearing water shows, a swimsuit and other beach-themed attire. If you are hosting a booth for a wedding dress company, you may consider wearing a bridesmaid dress. These steps will help you to differentiate yourself from other booths to get noticed and may help you to better capture the spirit of the goods or services you offer.

Offer Better Freebies

You may have already planned to hand out some rather boring freebies, like promotional flyers or brochures. These may contain great information that you want to pass along to your target audience, so you do not want to discard these items altogether. However, you may want to accent them with other freebies that people can get excited about. It may be too late to order customized promotional items, but you may still be able to hand out candies, coupons that you can print out at the last minute or other similar items.

While you may not have put much thought into the design of your trade show booth until now, the fact is that you do still have time to make a big difference on your booth design. You can consider incorporating some or all of these elements, and you can easily transform a rather banal booth into one that will garner the type of attention you desire.

7 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making With Trade Shows

Not Doing Your Homework.

With the Internet on our smartphones, it’s easier than ever to find a trade show not far from where we live. So, before you commit your company to attending a trade show, visit a couple. See what other companies are doing. Make a list of likes and dislikes. Note the gimmicks, the giveaways, and see what catches your eye. Start planning your trade show booth/display based on your research.

Not Having Buy-in From Management.

This sounds like a no-brainer, but not having buy-in from management means the difference between a gorgeous or run-of-the-mill display. Management should be able to help with strategy and finance, and perhaps, construction. It would be ideal for management to approach you first. But if they don’t, and you’ve done your homework, you can explain why the trade show will be important for the company.

Slapping together your display.

This is where you get to shine. Based on the products you sell, you can build or purchase a beautiful display customers will remember. I know a forestry company whose owners built chairs, a round table and small A-frame from knotty pine. It was gorgeous. Of course, not everyone can do that, but you can use your strengths to create a display that makes the most of your products.

Ignoring your audience.

You love your company. But why should I or any other customer? Take a look at your display from the customer’s point of view. What does your booth say to us? Are you a medical company? How do we know? Are you a manufacturing company? Are there smudges on the display? Do you need to repaint? Or repair? Remember, this may be the first time I’ve ever seen or heard of you. Take a step back and view your display from the customer’s eye.

Offering a giveaway I won’t keep.

It’s fairly well known that a company can put its logo and contact information on just about anything these days. And though we will always have a use for written materials, customers love novelty items. How about a stress ball shaped like a kidney if you’re in health care? Or a refrigerator magnet? Water bottle? Mini-hand sanitizer? Pedometer? Even a pen. You get the picture?

Sending the wrong staff to represent you.

Your trade show is not a lemonade stand. Be sure to send skilled staff who are used to greeting the public, not shy interns who had no choice about working the weekend. They also should know enough about your company to answer basic questions. Literature comes in handy, but brochures should never replace face-to-face contact and a warm smile.

Not asking for feedback.

Because you offered great giveaways, like pens and magnets and water bottles, your customers will remember you. Aren’t I optimistic? And the brochures they took have your email address, and we know they will offer you feedback, because you asked. Chances are you will receive only 1 percent, if any, feedback but that’s better than none. Just be sure to ask for the feedback. Perhaps you can have a jar for business cards and send a follow up survey via email. Let the customers know ahead of time that you will be doing this.

5 Things You Need to Know Before Working at a Trade Show

There are many good tips for those preparing to work at a trade show. Some are more important than others, though. Here are 5 of the best tips that I think will help you make the most of your trade show.

Know the Show’s History

Before you ever setup shop in a trade show, you need to ask specific questions. How long has the show been around? What kind of crowds does it attract? Rich? Middle-class? Large? Small? Does it have enough parking? And if not, is there public transportation? All of these questions are important. They affect how well you can promote your product. So get the info. Make sure the event is promoted properly. Ask other vendors how they’ve done in the past and what they expect to do in the future. In short, do your homework.

Look Professional

Your display needs to attract attention. It doesn’t have to be big or flashy. You don’t need a gimmick, although they can be helpful. But you do need signs and photos so people will know what it is you’re selling. Have a working floor model if possible. People like to inspect products before they buy, and it’s difficult for them to do that if you don’t have one ready and in tip-top shape. No one wants to buy something that’s looks like it fell of the back of a truck. Unless you want to attract the “yard sale” crowd, make sure your booth looks professional.

Have a Product

This seems like it should go without saying, but you need to have something to sell. If your product is unavailable or doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, then you won’t do well. You will lose customers. This also means having literature and trained staff. Pamphlets and knowledgeable staff are just as important as having a product. They help sell your product. They give it a human appeal by making connections to attendees. Think of product literature and staff as the background for your product. Nothing you sell will look good if the presentation is sloppy or not there.

Have Business Cards Ready

Business cards or promos will make you memorable. Many attendees don’t buy right away. Sometimes they like to shop around. When they are ready to buy, they won’t remember you if you didn’t give them something. It can be as common as a business card. It can be a keychain. Whatever it is, make sure it’s not nothing. “Just looking” doesn’t mean they won’t buy, but you won’t get them back if they can’t remember your name.

Don’t Scare People Away With Your Sales Pitch

Attendees are often like deer, you don’t want to spook them. Pushing your sales pitch too early or too strongly will scare away customers. Make eye contact with passersby. Be friendly. You don’t want to sit there and seem uninterested. But once you have interest, don’t push too hard. A little small talk can go a long way. attendees will feel at ease, and they will be more likely to buy because of it. Explain what your product does. Show them what it does like a friend would, like you are just really excited about your product can do. Then you can start your sales pitch. Attendees want to know how your product can help them, but they don’t want to feel pressure. The simple approach is best. You need to make potential customers feel safe and shape your pitch to their exact needs. It needs to be about them.

5 Best Mobile Apps for Trade Show Exhibits

Trade shows can be pretty chaotic events for the exhibitors and attendees alike. With the emergence of mobile applications, trade show exhibits have become more simplified and streamlined. There are many apps available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Mobile and Blackberry devices that help with a variety of trade show exhibit functions. The following lists the five best mobile apps for trade show exhibits.

One: Conference Compass

Established in 2009, Dutch Company Conference Compass, creates apps for a variety of platforms and conferences. When the European Society for Cardiology hosted an event, an impressive 12,000 interested individuals downloaded this app which provides push notifications for announcements, conference maps, slideshows, keynote speaker information and other customizable functions.

Two: EventPilot

Developed by ATIV Software, the company recently-released its 6th version of the EventPilot software. This application is a critical organization tool for those who are in the medical and scientific communities who are managing multiple parallel sessions. The software allows for the use of filters and sub-sessions to create and manage your personalized schedule. The best feature is the integrated color coding for different events. This app is available on all major platforms including Amazon Kindle Fire.

Three: Inside Guidance / ART Basel

Of all the mobile event apps, this is my favorite. Created by Berlin-based Company InsideGuidance, this app offers the most artistic use of a floor plan I have ever seen. Built specifically for watch and jewelry show, Baselworld, this app delivers an extensive 3D layout of the exhibition floor with information, videos and pictures of each station. This app has expanded to other shows with the most recent being World Newspaper Week in Vienna, Austria. The app can be downloaded from the app store or online for the iPhone and iPad.

Four: QuickTapLead

This app works exactly as described, exhibitors can quickly tap your phone for follow-up information. It allows them to capture leads easily through the use of a mobile tablet or supported device. The best aspect of this app is you can set it up within a few minutes, does not require an internet connection and can send all lead information to Salesforce. Additionally, QuickTapLead is a pay as you go service so no monthly charges are required. This is perfect for the exhibitor who only attends a few trade shows per year.

Five: Widjet / dmexco

Based out of Cologne, Germany, the dmexco app excels at personalization. For those who like to customize every single detail to your liking, do not miss this app! The company boasts an extensive event program and the app allows you to develop your own schedule. The coolest new feature is the QR code generator and associated scanner which allows you to gather virtual business cards. Of course the QR code can be generator or customized to your liking.

Event apps have changed the trade show game by improving our experiences when aimlessly wandering through the extensive maze of the exhibition show floor. These apps can help you create a meeting schedule for potential leads, learn more about the different exhibits on the floor, collect potential lead information and even provide a 3D overview of the entire location. These types of apps have been long overdue and the information provided in the apps is improving on a daily basis.

The 17 Most Misunderstood Facts About Trade Shows

If you’re about to start your annual trade show circuit, it’s time to learn the facts. Don’t let these 17 trade show misunderstanding hurt your bottom line.

#1: Most exhibitors fail to make realistic goals.

After sinking the funds into a show, you’d think most exhibitors would have a detailed plan of action. Well, guess again. All too often, you show up, set up your booth, and wait for the leads to pour in. The exhibitors that do best have daily leads and sales goals, and they work actively to meet them.

#2: Marketing is up to you.

Sure, the show has been marketed online, through the media, and in every industry rag out there. That doesn’t mean your potential buyers have heard of it. Whether you use direct mailers, take out your own industry ads, or just advertise in your shop, generating your own traffic to the trade show ensures that at least a few attendees are interested in your product.

#3: Staffers are often under-trained.

It’s way too common – the staffers at the booth have minimal sales experience or knowledge of the product. Sometimes, they are even temporary workers hired just for the show. Don’t be this person! A trade show is a first impression, so send your best and brightest, most personable staff to the show. Also, make sure your booth has at least one experienced person on duty at all times.

#4: Trade shows are about leads, not sales.

You likely won’t fly home from the show with a million dollars in your pocket. Yes, you’ll make some sales, but you probably won’t close any longterm deals on the show floor. Make your show about getting some product into buyers hands, while generating viable leads that you can follow up on after the show.

#5: Print trumps digital.

This may be the digital age, but your average trade show attendee is there because they prefer the face-to-face, traditional way of doing business. Don’t skimp on your print materials in lieu of going all digital. The best option is provide both print and digital promo materials.

#6: Experts draw the crowd.

What? You have celebrity sponsorship? That’s great, but not that big of deal at a trade show. Bringing in a celebrity may attract some looky-loos, but your real buyers want an expert on hand to answer their questions. If your expert also happens to be famous, then you’re in luck.

#7: Change is good.

Do you use the same displays and booth year after year? Many trade show attendees also go to the same shows every year. They aren’t there to see the same ol’ thing, they are looking for something new. Change up your displays so you can catch their attention again. If possible, roll out new products just before the trade show so you have something new and exciting to offer.

#8: Branding is often over looked.

Skip the suit and tie, or boring plain polo. And whatever you do, don’t let the staffers dress “business casual.” Everything needs to be clearly branded with your company logo, from the staffers shirts to the table cloth on the folding tables. Make sure everything you hand out also has your logo and contact info. It does you know good when the buyer gets home, remembers your amazing product, but can’t recall the name.

#9: It’s not all fun and games.

Trade shows often seem exciting to the initiated. Come on, you get to fly to a new city, stay in a nice hotel, and live off the company expense budget. Time out of the office! The truth is, a trade show is a lot of work. Don’t let your staff treat it like a vacation, and keep everyone on task. This means no after hours partying or late nights.

#10: Your neighbors may be your enemies.

I’m not talking about competing products. No, by enemy I mean they may undermine your business without even realizing it. While it’s nice to be friendly with your neighboring exhibitors, don’t get trapped by the chatty neighbor that detracts your attention from prospective buyers. Even worse is the neighbor that slowly encroaches on your display space. Be professional, be friendly, but maintain your boundaries.

#11: The attendees are also the buyers.

Most companies send their buyers to trade shows, not their buyer’s assistant. A good first impression is a must.

#12: The last day is just as important as the first day.

Buyers tend to spend money on the last day of the show, after they have checked out all the exhibitors. Don’t ruin a sale because you’re getting antsy to clean up.

#13: Many buyers prefer the face-to-face time.

That’s right, no hiding behind your display. Greet everyone that glances at your booth and engage them in conversation.

#14: Gimmicks aren’t always necessary.

Contests and such may give you a lot of leads, but are they leads for buyers or leads for people that want to win free stuff? Feel free to use contests, but make sure the prize is something that would only appeal to potential buyers.

#15: Overcrowded booths turn buyers off.

You don’t need to bring the whole shop to the show. A few clean and easy to read displays go much further than an overcrowded booth.

#16: Leads aren’t followed up.

Many exhibitors never follow up on their leads. Guess what, they aren’t going to call you. Have a plan in place to contact every single lead within two weeks of the show, when the excitement and memory of your display is still fresh in the buyer’s mind.

#17: Cleanup poses the greatest challenge to your booth.

When it’s time to break down your booth, don’t rush. Most damage to trade show displays happen at the end of the show, when you’re rushing to get out of there.
Don’t let this list overwhelm you. Arming yourself with knowledge will help you master the trade show circuit and avoid a lot of the most common misunderstandings.

Ask Me Anything: 10 Answers to Your Questions About Trade Show Booths

Questions, questions, questions! Trade shows are full of questions. People want to know more about specific products and services. They want to know what items will be popular a year from now. However, people often have questions about the actual trade show booths! You might have a few yourself. Below, I took the time to answer ten popular trade show booth questions. Hopefully, you can find an answer to a trade show booth question that has been nagging you in the back of your mind.

What is a trade show booth?

Yes, some people wonder exactly what is the purpose of a trade show booth. A booth at a trade show is an opportunity to introduce products and services to a gathering of like-minded people. They allow people to discover new ideas and products in their industry. They also allow folks to meet new people in their industry.

How can I get a trade show booth?

You can get a trade show booth by registering with a trade show. Unfortunately, this will often cost you money. Does that bother you? It really shouldn’t. The idea is you will make back the money you spent on your booth in future sales and networking gained from your exposure at the trade show. It’s actually a really great deal. You pay a fee to have someone else organize a big party for potential customers and clients.

How do I make a booth?

Trade shows will often have a bare bones set up. They might provide you with some tables, lightening, and basic electronic equipment. The rest is up to you.

I want people to stop by my booth. How can I help make that happen?

You can sometimes pay a premium fee at a trade show for a booth located in a high traffic area. This will help make the largest number of people notice your booth. It also helps to have an appealing display. A gregarious person should also man your booth.

What on earth is a gregarious person? Why does he or she need to be in a trade show booth?

“Gregarious” is an awesome word that describes someone who likes to meet people. They are eager to talk, explain, and get people excited about new things. You need someone like this to run your booth. No one wants to be bored at a trade show.

So is a trade booth show like a carnival booth?

A little. A very little. You don’t want to be pushy. However, people do come to a trade show looking to be impressed with new ideas and products. You want your booth to capture interest. You want people to come to it and remember it when they leave. It must be engaging.

How can I make my trade show booth engaging?

First, you should always have promotional items to give away. Pens, calendars, and stickers with your information on them is always a good bet. You also need a good demonstration of your product or idea. It needs to be something they can actually hold or watch. You want to build excitement!

How many people should run a trade show booth?

You should always have at least two people. One can run the booth in case one has to leave. It also means you won’t turn people away if one of you is busy talking.

Can I visit another trade booth while running one?

Absolutely! However, you must make sure your own booth isn’t neglected.

Is there anything else I should know?

Have fun! Enjoy yourself and the opportunity to share ideas and network with your trade show booth.

20 Resources That’ll Make You Better at Trade Shows

When planning a trade show, you need to draw from the experiences of others to make your trade show a success. Luckily, there are numerous resources out there to help you plan the best trade show possible. If you’re looking for a list of resources to help you, here are 20 that will help you.

1. Trade Show News Network – This online resource is known for giving the best information for designers, exhibitors, producers, attendees, and marketers.

2. Trade Show Week – Trade Show Week is a principle source of news and information. They are known for delivering timely and insightful market intelligence.

3. Trade Show Exhibitors Association – The trade show exhibitors association is designed to help marketing professionals. Trade show event marketing and management professionals will be given the information necessary to help them sell their product or services.

4. Corporate Promotional Gifts – If you need promotional items for your next trade show, this is a great place to begin.

5. Franchise – Franchise for Sale provides people with access to the best franchise opportunities. The opportunities are listed in an easy to use format.

6. Small Business Opportunity – If you want to learn about the top small business opportunities, this site is perfect for providing the most comprehensive directories of business franchise listings.

7. Small Business Franchise – Small Business Franchise can help you learn about the small business opportunities available through their comprehensive business directories.

8. Point of Sale Resources – This resource offers information and articles about point of sale systems that are used for retailers and businesses.

9. All Showcase Directory – This particular directory will offer information on affiliate marketing, discount shopping, hotels, travel, and discount shopping.

10. Megri Web Directory – This site offers rich content created by human editors. The information provided was selective.

11. LuckyExhibits.com – LuckyExhibits.com specializes in the selling of high quality exhibits of all sizes and styles. They will help clients save as much as 50 percent to 80 percent on the cost of a booth.

12. AnythingDisplay.com – This company specializes in producing pop-up trade show displays, kiosks, literature racks, and light boxes.

13. Camelback Displays – Camelback Displays offers booth accessories that will work for all types of organizations and industries. There is always a sale at this particular store.

14. Trade Show Displays or America Image Displays – With this company, you can expect to get numerous eye-catching displays. The prices are competitive also.

15. PrintDesigns Banner Banner Stands – This particular company provides a full range of display stands along with roller banner stands and pop-up stands.

16. Displays2Go.com – This particular company has an inventory of over 7,000 unique products. The company also offers live customer service and same day shipping.

17. Northwest Creative Imaging – This trade show accessory provider has one of the largest selections of pop-up displays available.

18. EliteXPO – Trade show shipping is this company’s specialty. They ship domestically and internationally and also offer warehousing and shipping supplies.

19. BusinessKnowHow.com – This particular company offers advice and information to help business owners improve their marketing efforts.

20. Nomadic Display – This company creates custom modular and portable trade show displays. Exhibitors will benefit from the expert advice of display consultants and great customer service.

If you want to be better at trade shows, there is so much information available to help. You’ll be in a much better position to shine at your trade show when you take from the best of these resources. Review the resources and put your best foot forward at your next trade show.

10 Things We All Hate About Trade Show Booths

Trade shows are a fun opportunity to accomplish many goals. You can learn about new products, interact with people from other states and even other parts of the world and even sometimes get free stuff. At the same time, trade shows can also be really annoying in certain ways. Here’s a list of some of the worst things about a lot of trade show booths.

Background Colors Too Bright

I know they’re trying to attract attention but no one really needs to pair bright purple AND bright orange AND bright yellow in the same space. Capture my attention but avoid the Day-Glo crayons if you really want my approval.

Boring Booths

At the same time, if you want a lot of great attention go for something fun, new and different. Don’t settle for the same old booth with the same old design I’ve seen a million times before. Surprise me. Make me think. Show me who you are.

Booths That are Too Tall / Too Short

Have booths with shelves and other items that I can actually see. Nothing is less fun than walking into a booth and trying to get something to look at only to have it just out of reach or so low to the ground that I have to squat to look at it.

Confusing Displays

Another really frustrating thing are trade show booths that just don’t make sense. Tell me about your product. Present the information in an exciting but easy to understand format. Don’t make me wonder what you’re trying to say.

Free Samples That Aren’t

Sometimes trade show workers will imply that they’re handing out free samples. That’s nice. Unfortunately you will find the “free” sample is only free if you listen to their speech or buy other products as well. That’s not so nice.

Long Lines

It’s great when a booth is popular. It’s not very great when it’s so popular you can’t even get inside. If you think you’re going to be very popular at the trade show, try and make sure you have enough space for all visitors to visit. Create booths that don’t require people to nearly get crushed or wait over an hour.

Loud Music

Music is fabulous. Music is terrific. Music is one of life’s most important pleasures. But music needs to be appropriate to the venue. Don’t go so loud it is impossible to hear anything else within five feet.

Indifferent Salespeople

Hire people who care about what they’re doing. If you don’t have any interest in your product or your idea, why should someone else? A salesperson should also know everything there is to know about the items or ideas being shown at the trade show booth.

Pushy Salespeople

At the same time, don’t hire people who believe anyone who glances their way is completely and utterly interested in anything related to the booth. Just browsing means means just browsing. Let people have some personal space when absorbing important information.

When Products Aren’t Presented Well

Don’t put any items you have for sale in plain displays. Add a little pizzazz and bring out the bells and whistles if you can. Make walking into your booth a lot of fun. Give the person who comes by a new and exciting thing presented in the most interesting way possible.

In short, bring your A game. You’re showing who you are to a lot of people. Make us feel important and respected just for showing up.

Will Trade Show Exhibits Ever Rule the World?

Trade show exhibits are really funny things when you think about it, aren’t they? I’ve probably attended a couple of hundred of trade shows, and the exhibits after all are really just temporary shelters for people who are selling something. The exhibits have to be able to showcase whatever it is that is being promoted, while at the same time they also have to serve as a home-away-from-home for those of us who are doing the presenting. The best exhibits of all are the ones that are set up to be an office, reception area, a shop, etc. For the shows that I have had to attend, for me, the really good exhibits are the ones that can give you a place to rest, grab a quick eat, and even return phone calls in privacy (well, as much privacy as you can have in such a public place.)

When you walk around any trade show, you can help but sort of be amazed about all of the different exhibits. For the company that I now work for, we have a really good set up — we have counters and locking cabinets. I like this plan so much because it helps control our visitor traffic, while giving me a handy place to lock up my purse, and whatever else I need to have with me. Our new counter is useful because we set up our new iPad and tablet displays — always nice to have them running during those long and boring times which almost always happens in the middle of the day. The last show we went to had a dead time of two hours. I just let the tablet run our company’s pre-loaded videos while I took a quick snooze behind our display tower.

The other thing that I like to think about is a really good display. A lot of times you can find yourself limited by not having enough staff members to go with you to the trade show; and sometimes a wave of visitors will come all at once to your exhibit. I hate to leave them standing alone without getting my attention, because sometimes visitors can be so fussy that they will walk away. We now have an interactive display. This seems to help invite the over flow of visitors to sit, have a free bottle of juice or water (which I always have to pay for, but what the heck), and interact with out exhibit’s iPad until I have a chance to speak with them one-on-one.

After a very long couple of days at a show, I can’t wait to get home. Trade shows are very hard work, and the last thing that I want to worry about, even though it is one of the most important parts of the whole trade show, is getting there, setting up, breaking down, getting back home again, and safely storing everything. Whatever exhibit you are thinking about, I can tell you that this part of the whole trade show process is the most tedious — I HATE IT. By the time I leave the show, I am done. I just want to go home and sleep for about a week. The last thing I want to think about is packing up, so for your exhibit, look for something that is easy to pack up.

After a show is all over, I’m always glad and happy to go home, but the next trade show seems to be just a few months away and the insanity starts all over again. This may sound selfish of me, and I do love my job, but if we didn’t have the really nice exhibit that we have now, I wouldn’t be so happy to go to the shows. The exhibits are really a home-away-from-home, and they actually can help make the time that you stay there, a whole lot easier.

10 Undeniable Reasons People Hate Trade Shows

People who work trade shows fall into one of two categories; those who love the experience, and those who dread even hearing the words “trade show.” This article will be addressing the latter. If you’d rather shoot yourself than attend another trade show, you should find solace in knowing you are not alone. We’ve compiled a list of 10 reasons why people hate trade shows, and justifiably so!

1. Infomercial Hell

Anyone who has seen a TV infomercial knows that they are the most annoying ads to grace the airways. Being at a trade show is like living inside a late night infomercial. There are plenty of blaring sales speeches, useless products, and one fake guarantee after another. It’s enough to justify bringing a bottle of aspirin along.

2. The Endless Crowds

For some reason trade shows tend to attract a lot of people. Dealing with an endless swarm of people can tire out the best of salespeople. If you must attend a trade show in the near future, make sure to bring a lot of caffeine, and a lot of patience.

3. Expect a Low Return on Investment

If you are a business owner or sole proprietor, you should know trade shows are very expensive. When you add up the travel costs, labor, an ancillary costs, you’ll find that you have made a hefty investment. Making such an investment is wise if you can generate a huge profit, but trade shows are hard places to make big sales. Many of the attendees are there to browse, or buy small purchase items. This means that you must sell a high volume to make a profit. However, you have to compete for your customers’ moneybags along with the numerous other vendors.

4. The Day the Trade Show Stood Still

Working at a trade show can be unbelievably boring. In fact, everyday seems to repeat itself like a scene from the movie Groundhog Day. Not to mention that the clock seems to go a lot slower while your immersed in the trade show world. This is a place where looking at your watch will only make you more depressed.

5. Falling on Deaf Ears

Maybe you’ve been the unlucky team member tasked with giving presentations at the show. You’re all set up, microphone blaring as you run through the sales script, and the only motivation is that you might actually connect with a few customers and make some sales. But long behold, it appears that the zombie-like crowd doesn’t even hear what you’re saying. They walk by you with a thousand mile stare, watch you for a few minutes like a zoo animal, and lollygag on. After several attempts you realize you are not even making a difference. You are just a big bag of hot air.

6. Salesman Selling Other Salesmen

Any trade show veteran knows a guy (or gal) who couldn’t distinguish a prospect from other sales people. They start off talking to you about business, and sharing experiences and ideas to pass the time. Then comes the inevitable sales pitch, “Hey Tom couldn’t you use a pair of Ginsu knives for Christmas.” Then it hits you, this guy isn’t your friend or a fellow salesman talking shop, he is trying to sell you!

7. Bad Timing

When a company flies out its sales crew to a remote show, it’s easy to end up with jet-lag. It’s also likely the sales team will be required to wake up early to start working the morning shift. A lack of good sleep, and a situation which is already annoying enough equals a recipe for a rough few days.

8. High Pressure Sales

The high pressure sales atmosphere is experienced by both sides of the coin. Sales reps are faced with increased pressure to close what management perceives as easy pickings. Potential buyers on the other hand are bombarded with endless sales talk and the closest they’ll get to having a gun pointed at their head.

9. Losing Out on Life

Sales managers often present the idea of attending a trade show like it was an all inclusive paid for vacation at the Sandals Resort. They’ll talk about the exciting traveling, promising nightlife, and memorable team building activities. Reality is a lot bleaker though. What it really means is several days on the road, missing out on family life, and losing out on sales leads they have been nurturing at the home office.

10. Sore Feet

Working a trade show is not for the physically weak. It is likely you will have to stand on your feet all day, or do a lot of walking. This guarantees that you will not only be mentally drained, but your body will be aching too!

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