Trade show mistakes are so common many organizations get more wrong than they get right. Trade show mistakes are costly. Any business that puts time and effort into vetting shows, building displays, and training staff has a lot to lose from trade show mistakes. Here are some of the top trade show mistakes that with a little preparation can be avoided.

The Wrong Staff

First of all, if you have to force someone to work a show do really expect an exuberant show staffer that projects a positive image of your organization? I guess you could get lucky, but I’d bet against it.

Another problem is not having enough staff. How do you know you don’t have as many people as you should? It’s when you can’t schedule breaks without leaving the booth empty or when personnel work all of the show hours. How many trade show staff members will you need?

Lack of or inadequate training is another problem, as well as accountability. I once walked a show where my company had a booth; I circled back around and watched from a distance as our two staffers sat in the back of the booth talking to each other while they ignored attendees including a prospect who walked into the booth.

I came forward, helped the attendee, set an appointment, and then asked each employee if they knew what to do when a visitor entered the booth. Next, I asked if they thought they were meeting company expectations. One said no she wasn’t, and then went to work, while the other complained and never showed up again, which was probably best for all.

Also, be sure to set expectations for cell phone use. How many shows have you attended where the majority of show staffers are sitting in the booth on their phones?

The Wrong Stuff

Shoes, be sure to have comfortable shoes and a change of shoes. It’s hard to greet visitors with a smile when your feet are killing you. And dress appropriately for the show.

Be sure to bring plenty of business cards and collateral material.

Bring cleaning supplies and a small vacuum.

Bring Breath mints.

Have plenty of office supplies in the booth.

Working a trade show? Don’t forget these items.

The Wrong Booth

Your booth should have one driving message, not ten. You need to grab attention not confuse people as they walk by your station.

Location, location, location, even the right booth in the wrong location doesn’t work.

Booths that are cluttered are uninviting.  Don’t you want people to walk into your booth and ask questions?

Another big no-no for most shows is having a table blocking the booth. Put the table in the back, let people walk into your area.

The Wrong Show

So, you’re an HVAC company, and you set up a booth at an arts and craft fair. It might work, but I’d wager there are shows that would fit your service better and have a better ROI (Return on Investment).

Another consideration is cost of the show. Can a show be too expensive? Yes, it can. Before spending top dollar on a show, check its attendance, and the audience it targets. Another method of vetting shows is by looking at what organizations are participating.

Avoid these Trade Show Mistakes

Making these trade show mistakes can be costly. The good news is these trade show mistakes are easily identified and avoided. Chose and then train the best staff, bring enough supplies, and dress professionally but comfortably. Decide on a message and then let professionals design your booth, and pick the best location in the right show. If you’d like our advice or input, Contact Us, we won’t steer you wrong.

Photo Credit: ar130405 ID: 2081172 Provider: Pixabay