Trade shows are a fantastic opportunity to present your brand, showcase your products, and engage with potential customers. However, with such potential comes a myriad of pitfalls, many of which can derail your efforts. Over the years, we’ve seen businesses make these missteps time and again, reducing their return on investment. Today, I’m here to guide you through some of these most common mistakes and help you navigate the bustling world of trade show exhibits more effectively.
The first and most common mistake that I see arises from companies that don’t have clearly defined objectives for their show. By ‘winging it’, they often find themselves in a whirlwind of chaos without a proper direction.
Establishing well-defined objectives for a trade show is paramount. Once these goals are clearly outlined, it not only gives direction to your team but also helps shape your pre-show, at-show, and post-show strategies.
No Pre-Show Marketing
Another common oversight is the lack of pre-show marketing. Companies invest significantly in the actual event, but what about the 30, 60, 90 days leading up to it? With platforms like social media, and your sales team at your disposal, you can amplify awareness about your participation in the event.
Not Setting Appointments
Consider this: when attendees go to trade shows, up to 80% of their time is pre-planned. It’s essential to be part of that scheduled 80% by setting up pre-scheduled meetings with potential clients and stakeholders. If you don’t, you might miss out!
Post-show, a critical, yet often overlooked step is following up with leads. All too often, I’ve seen stacks of leads abandoned inside exhibits. With today’s digital landscape, it’s easier than ever to keep track of these valuable contacts using various lead generation programs.
One idea is to designate a responsible individual for these leads. Having someone accountable ensures that all potential business opportunities are pursued post-show.
On the more functional side of mistakes, a frequent misstep is having graphics that are too busy. While it might be tempting to jam-pack information onto your exhibit, think of it like a billboard. The aim is to capture attention swiftly. Overloading with text or images can detract potential visitors.
Updating graphics can also be costly, especially if done frequently. Instead of using too many details on them, try keeping the graphics simple and engaging. Once you’ve piqued an attendee’s interest, you can get into the details through AV content, interactions with your team, or other personalized communication methods.
Conclusion: Avoid The Common Mistakes
Trade shows are an invaluable platform to boost your brand’s visibility, but they come with their challenges. By steering clear of these common mistakes and crafting a well-defined, holistic strategy for pre, during, and post-show phases, you can ensure a successful and productive event.
And remember, if you’re ever in doubt or need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help guide you to trade show success!