Tips to Avoid Trade Show Failures

The good news is that the first tip is to prepare in advance. Since you’re reading this, you can cross that off your list.

And now, here are more tips based on our experience to help you achieve trade show success.

Do Define Your Goal or Goals

Attending a trade show is a great way to:

• launch a product
• demonstrate your products
• boost brand awareness
• generate leads
• create deeper connections with customers
• establish authority
• make business contacts
• learn more about your customers’ needs
• familiarize your sales staff with your products or services

and much more.

But we don’t recommend that you go to a trade show without considering which goals are most important to you. To do so would be like firing toward a target without checking to see where you hit.

Do Not Leave the All the Work to Your Banner

A trade show is about much more than a clever display. You will get out of it what you put in. So make sure that you have a plan and a cohesive display that aligns with your values. Make the most of your exhibition space, posters, giveaways, competitions, promotional materials, and refreshments.

And make sure your staff are knowledgeable and able to represent your brand, because they’re not just there to hand out flyers. Your banners can attract visitors, but it’s up to your staff to engage these potential customers and satisfy their needs.

Do Start Marketing Before the Trade Show

The trade show is a giant marketing opportunity, so many businesses forget to promote the trade show event itself. Social media and associated technology, however, makes it ever easier to let interested people know about trade shows before the big day.

If you do so using an email campaign or some well-timed, thoughtful social media posts, you can generate buzz that gets more people to your booth. You can also consider offering an incentive for people to visit other than the chance to meet you in-person. You might offer gifts, discounts, or competition prizes based on attendance.

Do Not DIY Your Trade Show Displays

There’s a difference between having a budget and skimping on your display. A professional design firm can help you toe the line.

It’s possible to have a well-designed, clear, and effective display without overspending. If you cut too many corners, however, it will be clear to everyone. Remember that the job of your banners is to attract attention. The only thing worse than poor design is poor design that is blown up and hangs above your staff like a storm cloud at a trade show. Since your trade show is about communicating all that is essential about your brand, money is well spent on professional design, particularly trade show banners.

Do Include Social Media

You might think that trade shows are all about in-person interaction. This is a very big part of a trade show, but such an event is also a perfect opportunity to connect with visitors beyond the event. Note that not many of them are doing this by snail mail.

Including your social media information on your banners, posters, and other promotional material helps you connect with your potential clients where they are. And it lets them interact with your brand in the way they choose, when they choose.

Do Not Forget to Follow-Up After the Trade Show

Making connections at trade shows is great, but it’s critical not to wait for all those leads to contact you. Maintain momentum by following up quickly.

According to Salesforce, as many as 8 out of 10 exhibitors fail to follow up after a trade show. This is a huge waste of time and money. Of those that do follow up, many businesses wait until weeks after the event.

We recommend that you get in touch with leads within a day or two of the trade show, while the event and your interaction with the individual is fresh. By following up, you will demonstrate your commitment to customer service, that you can be prompt and professional, and that you care about gaining their business. It’s not pushy to follow up on a lead. Not following up, however, is one of the top ways to fail at a trade show.

Do Ask Your Best Staff to Help

As we mentioned earlier, attending a trade show is about more than just handing out flyers. At least, it should be, but you wouldn’t know that judging by every booth!

A trade show is a fantastic opportunity for your business to demo products and services, establish authority, and connect with customers. Your most knowledgeable and helpful staff would be ideal when it comes to staffing your booth.

Because one of major advantages of attending a trade show is the chance to learn more about your customers, we recommend that you staff your booth with people who can listen and empathize with your visitors as well as talk about your brand. After a trade show, sales staff are likely to be sharper and more able to think on their feet when selling, so it really is worth investing in good human interaction at your trade show.

With the right combination of strategic goal setting, design, materials, and staff preparation, you can steer clear of the gutter of trade show failure. The Exhibit Company is committed to your success.

We understand that planning a great trade show goes beyond your marketing material. But we also know that excellent design can help make a cohesive experience that is rewarding for you, your business, your staff, and your customers.

Get in touch with our friendly staff today. We’re looking forward to learning more about your business and helping you achieve trade show success, whatever your business’s size and whatever its industry.