In the world of business, trade shows have become prime events for new companies to network with industry experts, media personnel, and customers. But if it is your first time participating, not only do you need extensive planning, you also need to ensure that you avoid these common mistakes that many rookie exhibitors make.
Going for the big booth
Biggest is not always best in trade shows, especially if you are new. It makes more sense to get a small or medium booth and invest in a high-quality and well-designed exhibit. But the type of trade show exhibit you choose depends on what your business needs. If you have been participating for a long time, you can start scaling up and experiment with different methods of marketing your products and services.
Inadequate planning and goal setting
For trade show veterans, planning for an exhibit is already second nature to them. They know what works for them and how to achieve their goals. New participants do not have the same luxury of experience. For first-time exhibitors, it is crucial to spend time planning and identifying specific goals for the trade show. Activities during the trade show need to ultimately lead to achieving these goals.
Cluttered display graphics
Your displays and exhibition display stands should not be cluttered. Company branding and logos need to be prominently displayed, yet should not be too distracting to the main message you want to convey. High-quality exhibits are great, but keep them to a minimum. There needs to be enough space for your staff to move around and entertain booth visitors.
Ineffective promotional giveaways
It’s always great to give away items to promote your company, but these are too common at trade shows, and attendees are likely to forget about them when they leave. What you need to do is ensure that the promotional product you choose is unique and on-point with your brand. Some excellent examples include a company involved in financial services which gives away handy calculators or a software company raffling off a free version of their product.
Untrained booth staff
Before the event begins, you need to train your marketing staff. Not only do they need to have extensive knowledge about your company and the products you are selling, but they also need to have exceptional customer services skills. Exhibiting at trade shows is more than answering the questions of visitors, but also being able to anticipate their needs.
Failing to network during the event
Trade shows are not only meant to achieve brand recognition, but it is also the perfect time to network with potential business partners, investors, competitors, and suppliers. Focusing too much on prospective consumers is not an effective use of your trade show time. In addition to achieving your marketing goals, you also want to take the opportunity to learn from other businesses. There may be products or services which could benefit your business or trends that you are overlooking. Taking time to strike a friendly conversation with other exhibitors will give you valuable insight into what you can do to improve your company.
To read more on topics like this, check out the marketing category.