Convention vs Expo vs Trade Show – Differences
Trade Show Mistakes to Avoid
The competition at trade shows is fierce with every booth jostling for attention. Standing out from the crowd has never been more essential. Creating eye-catching displays and designs is crucial if you want people to notice your business.
Equally important is avoiding simple mistakes that can quickly turn your booth into a turn-off. You wouldn’t believe the number of times the following errors are made, and while they won’t completely kill your trade show success, they will severely hamper it.
Don’t fall foul of these slip-ups. Take care to avoid them and enjoy the rewards of having one of the best booths at trade shows!
Getting the booth size wrong
Bigger is better right? Well, no, not necessarily.
Having a cavernous booth with very little display material will look empty and devoid of personality. Similarly, having a booth too small can make you look cramped and chaotic.
Look at what materials and items you want to display, how many people will be staffing your booth and calculate how much space you actually need.
By getting it right, your booth will look professionally installed and well organized.
Scrimping on the design
Everyone is trying to budget these days, and it makes sense to be frugal with your booth design and layout. However, being too stingy on the budget will make your booth look, well … budget.
No-one is going to be drawn to a booth that has photocopied literature and posters or tatty carpets and furniture.
Investing in a well thought out design will look polished and appealing.
Pay up for professional printing and wall displays and buy display pieces and furniture that are up to the job of being moved around and used a lot.
Not only will your booth last you for many trade shows, but the upscale design will also draw people in which is ultimately the aim of any trade show!
Drop the barricades
The amount of people that barricade themselves into their booth by placing a table along the front is staggering. Yes, it’s nice to have a table to sit at, but you’re not doing yourself any favors by having it in the way.
The barricade you’ve created stops people from entering your booth. It’s not very welcoming, and it restricts the amount of visitors you can have at your booth at any given time.
If you absolutely have to have a table, keep it out of the way by placing it along the back or side of the booth, so it opens up the space for visitors.
Stand don’t sit
Sitting at a table is a big no-no as it places your visitors at a different eye level to you. This makes engaging people in conversations harder and is trickier to get people’s attention in the first place. You can’t make proper eye contact, and it can make you look bored or uninterested if you’re sat slumped in a chair.
However, trade shows are a long and grueling event, so it’s natural you are going to want to sit down at some point.
Wearing comfortable shoes will go a long way in maintaining your stamina as will taking regular breaks. Co-ordinating your staff well and having enough people to man the booth will mean everyone stays energetic throughout the event.
If you absolutely must have seating in your booth, invest in high stools which place you at the same eye level as someone who is standing.
Know why you’re going
You’re probably going to a trade show to get more sales or leads. But, how many?
Look at your objectives for the show and lay them out clearly for the staff operating the booth.
If staff know they need a 20% increase in sales or at least 50 leads it will motivate them to achieve the goal.
If you’re targeting a specific type of customer or you’re promoting certain products, make sure everyone knows exactly what they need to do on the day to meet the objectives.
Give staff an incentive
As mentioned above, trade shows can make for a seriously long day, and it can be hard to keep staff motivated, especially if they’ve been on their feet for hours on end.
There’s nothing worse than having bored or tired looking staff in a booth. It’s an instant turn off to anyone who was hoping to understand more about your business.
By giving staff an incentive, you will help them stay focused throughout the day. It could be a competition to get the most leads or a challenge to talk to the most people. Inspire a bit of competing between them and watch the results flow in!
Get paperwork in order
Such a common mistake is not having the necessary paperwork to capture leads or sales.
Or, if you’re using a tablet or laptop, not testing them to see if everything is working correctly.
Fumbling for the right paperwork or keeping people waiting while you try and get the wifi working is a sure fire way to lose business rapidly.
Get your paperwork in order and organized, and make sure you have enough of it.
When using technology, test, test, and test it. Then test it again!
Now you know the secrets to a successful trade show. By avoiding these mistakes, there will be no more wondering why people don’t want to visit your booth. Instead, you can relax in the knowledge that you have a professional, well-designed booth allowing you to enjoy the day and watch the leads and sales flow in.