Three Common Trade Show Mistakes

Posted on February 9, 2011

www.createacardinc.comTrade shows are great way to market your business, but if you don’t handle situation correctly they can be a monumental waste of time, energy and money. Below are three common mistakes that many exhibitors make that compromise their ability to make the most out of a potentially lucrative situation.

Cheesy Booth Presentations

Too often businesses are tempted to skimp on the backgrounds for their trade show booth, but since the overall eye appeal is a major factor this should be a priority number one in your budget. Invest in slick, a professionally generated graphics, logos and banners on durable materials that won’t show wear and tear after a few shows and make sure your staff knows how to assemble them properly.

People are not in the mood to read a lot of text in a trade show atmosphere, so come up with crisp, concise language that has a playful tone. Instead of handing out tons of literature, create catchy giveaway items with your contact information — especially your website — prominently displayed. Any tasteful “special affects” that you can add to attract the eye are fair game at a trade show, so be bold and experiment with contemporary colors, rotating displays, flashing lights and alluring audio.

Expecting Too Much

Don’t think just because you invest a bundle on your presentation and have a lot of catchy giveaways that your clients will show up at your booth if you haven’t let them know you are going to be at the trade show in the first place. It is crucial to have a broadcast strategy that starts at least one month before the event to notify all of your customers, affiliates and interested parties about your participation in the trade show, what information or special deals they can expect to find and general information about the area where the trade show will be held.

Devise some intriguing trade show coupons or special local offers for visitors to your booth in your pre-trade show literature. Also be sure to provide internet links to relevant web sites that could help them do their own research and hopefully encourage them to attend.

Losing the Sale

Don’t calculate your trade show success by how many brochures your hand out or business cards you collect, but instead by how well your staff harvested crucial contact information, interacted with potential clients and were able to listen to their concerns and answer inquiries from attendees. Data collection techniques should be established, tested and double checked before every trade show and be constantly refined to capture maximum data in a minimal amount of time.

Another mistake too commonly made is that a lot of material collected is mishandled after the trade show. Be sure you have a staff member delegated specifically to establish professional follow-up procedures and respond quickly to contacts, questions and any loose ends. Make sure that no potential customers get overlooked and your collection and retrieval methods are constantly streamlined for better results in the future.

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