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  • Maximizing Your Investment ,The Basics | Mar 23, 2023
  • Write by Author Name
  • Maximizing Your Investment ,The Basics | Mar 23, 2023

What Not to Do at a Trade Show

A trade show is a great way to get your brand noticed. Apart from creating a lasting impression on clients, the perfect trade booth can help you maintain healthy relationships with new clients and generate more sources of revenue.

With so much at stake, planning for a trade show can be rather demanding. A lot of effort must go into getting everything in place—from ensuring your booth is set up in the perfect location to settling on the most appealing graphic designs.

Considering the number of factors involved, there’s also scope for mistakes to be made. No matter how seasoned you may be or how many trade shows you’ve been a part of, there is some benefit in learning from some of the most common errors exhibit contractors make. 

So, let’s look at what not to do at a trade show.

Miscalculate Your Budget

A trade show budget involves striking the perfect balance between the cost of rental exhibition booths, travel, and lodging for your employees, planning for show services, and setting up a custom exhibition display, among others. Miscalculating budgets is a common mistake that everyone, from first-timers to trade show veterans, tends to make.

Allocating too much money for graphic design only to find your booth in an inconvenient location, for instance, is an error that could have several negative consequences. Making sure you’ve spent sufficiently on your rental exhibits, on the other hand, only to realize you couldn’t afford flight tickets for some of your best sales staff, is equally harmful.

Have a Messy Booth

You may get too much furniture in your excitement to have the perfect booth. Or maybe you miscalculated the space you’d have and had to stack things on top of each other to make a place for your staff. 

A messy booth can prove to be a disaster at a trade show. Your show exhibit is a reflection of your brand. Having unnecessary brochures lying around or too many empty cups in the corner is something you should avoid.

The simple rule should be to aim for a clean and elegant design that’s inviting to visitors. Clutter, as you would imagine, is a big turn-off.

If you’re still unsure about the way to go, consider investing some money into an exhibition booth design company. A trade show booth designer can help you get the most impactful displays at an upcoming trade show.

Be Idle 

With the money you’ve invested into making your 20 x 20 trade show booth a success, you don’t want your staff wasting their time—sitting around looking at their phones and not communicating with potential customers. 

It makes your brand look disinterested and, thus, unlikely to generate any new leads. When at a trade show, remind your staff and yourself to stay alert and engage with visitors at all times so that you can get the most out of your investment. 

Perfect time management doesn’t simply involve your staff scanning badges randomly. A trade show isn’t a numbers game. Generating high-quality leads is much more useful than stacking up business cards of visitors who are unlikely to engage with your brand in the future. 

Give Out Irrelevant Freebies

Giveaways and freebies are a great way to engage with visitors and have people remember your brand. At the same time, poorly thought-out freebies are also a way to put visitors off your brand and leave you with a bunch of unqualified leads. 

Giving out an item that has absolutely no relevance to your product is one of the most useless ways to spend your money. No high-end trade show exhibits rely on cheap freebies to communicate their message. Putting your brand’s name on low-quality freebies, such as plastic bottles or pens that break in minutes, is the easiest way to make your brand memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Forget About Pre-show Marketing 

Most of us assume that visitors will flock to our displays once we have a custom exhibition and give our speakers undivided attention. However, this is very unlikely. Most successful brands, in fact, carry out pre-show marketing campaigns to let potential buyers know that they will be present at the event and maximize their time there.

As many as 82% of booth owners say they receive increased traffic when they engage in pre-show marketing, while 85% of trade show planners say they wouldn’t open a stall without prior marketing. This can help ensure that there will be some traffic at your booth, even before you’ve set up the stall. 

Gaumard at IMSH

Have Messy Graphic Design

Booth design is an essential aspect of success at an expo. Good design can explain to visitors what to expect before they even begin to engage with your staff.

However, cluttered graphics is a mistake many beginners tend to make. Maybe you’re trying to say too much in too little space, or perhaps you haven’t set up your booth with a clear enough focus. To maximize your ROI, it’s essential to ensure that your graphic design is neat and to the point.

Before you set up your trade show display, take some time aside to brainstorm a clear message that you’d like to deliver with your design. The aim here is not to give too much information away, so you build some intrigue while at the same time giving enough information out so you can grab attention away from competitors. 

If you’re struggling to figure out the right expo booth design, consider employing one of the hundreds of trade show booth design companies on the market. They can help inspire you to create custom trade show displays that’ll stand out from competitors. 

Forget to Follow Up on Leads 

There’s no point going through this entire process and putting in such a heavy investment if your exhibition booth isn’t translating to high-quality leads. Simply showing up and installing a show exhibit isn’t enough to make a profit. A trade show is meant to open up your brand to potential customers. It’s on your salespeople to then follow up with them and close the leads long after the show wraps up.  

Final Thoughts 

The benefits to having your own trade show booth cannot be understated. Impactful displays are well worth the investment for any brand looking to generate more awareness and increase its conversion rates. By avoiding the common mistakes we’ve listed above, a brand can ensure that they’re maximizing its potential and making the most of the investment put into the show. 

Remember, a show exhibit isn’t a magic wand you wave to get more customers—it simply facilitates the possibility of more revenue. The rest depends on you. 

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