Trade shows are an excellent way to get the word out about your company and find new customers. Unfortunately, some exhibitors don’t get the results they anticipated. Avoid these common mistakes that make your experience at a show more stressful and jeopardizes your chances of getting as many visitors to your booth as possible.
Don’t Bring Booths That Are Difficult To Set Up
Don’t invest in trade show booths that have a bazillion pages of instructions. Look for display booths that are easy to assemble, so you don’t have to waste valuable time trying to get your display up. If you can snap together your booth quickly, you will have time to walk around and scope out your competitors before the show starts.
Beg, borrow or steal space to set your trade show display before attending the show. You’ll know if you have everything and you’ll know how long you will need to get ready.
However, there’s a much more important reason to set up your booth before the big day. Put up your banners, just temporarily, and walk past the booth. How long did it take you to walk by? It probably took you just a few seconds to walk by your booth. This is how long you’ll have to grab people’s attention, which brings us to the next thing you should never do with your trade show booth.
Don’t Overload Your Booth
Pick one or two messages to get across at the trade show. You might want new leads, to make sales or to introduce a new product. Focus on one or two ideas and then have your booth’s graphics and literature focus on these goals. Don’t overwhelm people with 50 different messages as they walk past; keep it simple.
Don’t Make Your Booth a Blinking Nightmare
Trade shows are often loud and chaotic. Make your booth seems like a sanctuary to weary attendees. Have room for leads to sit down while you talk to them. Avoid garish blinking lights, unless you happen to distribute blinking lights. A trade show is not a carnival. It’s really tempting, especially at your first trade show, to do everything possible to get passersby to notice your booth.
Don’t Haphazardly Staff Your Booth
Don’t pick employees to staff your booth based on who will work weekends. Take your most experienced employees to the trade show, ones who excel at customer service and sales. You don’t want a great lead to walk up to your booth and see an 18 year-old cramming a sandwich in his mouth. Be willing to shell out extra money to get your best people to staff your display. While family members may volunteer to come to the show and help out, don’t use them unless they are very familiar with your company. If you don’t staff your booth with the right people, you’re just wasting your time and money.
You have only one chance to make a good first impression at a trade show. Don’t blow it by making any of these mistakes.