As a worldwide leader in designing and manufacturing trade show displays for the past 25 years, we have seen our fair share of trade show mistakes. This is a shame because trade shows are where businesses discover new clients and capture new leads. The entire infrastructure of a trade show is designed to generate business for you. The sad truth is that no matter how much networking you do, how much money and time you invest, or how good you are at running your business, you aren’t going to walk away with more business unless you play the trade show game right. Here are five common trade show mistakes to avoid like the plague.
Beginning Marketing at the Trade Show
Don’t start reaching out at the trade show. Your marketing efforts need to begin far before opening day. Trade show marketing can cost a little or it can cost a lot. At a bare minimum it should include reaching out to your customers and learning whether or not they are attending the trade show. Sending out a survey to current customers regarding the trade show can be incredibly helpful in informing your other trade show decisions. The ways to generate interest before your trade show are innumerable. Send emails, write a press release, have a contest or competition. Be creative, loud and have fun while doing it.
Collecting Leads Using Pen and Paper
The pen is mightier than the sword, but apps are mightier than pens—at least when it comes to collecting lead information at trade shows. Apps like Leadature can scan business cards and automatically send emails to leads, while survey-based apps like QuickTapSurvey make it easy to collect lead info and valuable market info in one fell swoop.
Having Abstract Goals for the Trade Show
A trade show plan is like a business model. It needs to be underpinned by smaller, more specific, more attainable goals that lead to a more abstract goal, like “getting more leads.” Getting your name out there is not an end goal. Collecting 40 new leads is a concrete goal. Have a different goal for each day of the trade show.
Putting the Wrong Person in the Booth
This is one of the most common trade show mistakes. You want the person at the tip of your trade show spear to be personable, knowledgeable, and dedicated. Don’t hire temps unless it is absolutely necessary. Remember: trade shows can be expensive. Don’t let all your other investments go to waste by having someone in the booth that drives away/fails to collect leads.
Getting the Trade Show Display Wrong
Another of the most common trade show mistakes? Getting the size of the trade show display wrong. Smaller trade show displays generally generate less traffic, but not always. In some industries and in some trade shows, having a private conference booth built into an island display may be overkill. Sometimes less is more. Sometimes not. Psst! We can help you figure it out!
Make Your Next Trade Show Count with Empire Display Solutions
Empire Display Solutions helps companies make bigger impacts and have better experiences at trade shows. Whether you need show services to streamline your trade show or a fast turnaround on a rental display, pop-up display, modular display, outdoor display, or a brand new custom exhibit, we have the knowledge and the experience to deliver on time and help you achieve success. Contact us today for more information!
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