Common mistakes made by exhibitors and how to avoid them

Examine and steer clear of the common mistakes made by exhibitors globally

Whether you are exhibiting for the 1st time or a seasoned participant at exhibitions, there are some pointers that are critical and should be taken care. Exhibitions are not only a significant monetary investment but also take up a lot of time and effort. It takes a whole team to make a tradeshow a grand success. Here are some key points that will elevate your participation strategy and are must-haves for every exhibition.

Avoid these commonly made mistakes by exhibitors

Underselling your company with unhealthy graphics

Usually, corporations represent themselves at trade shows with a patchwork of a “display.” Crumpled vinyl, faded prints or low-quality media spoil the entire show of the booth. High resolution, light-weight media is ideal for printing. A less-than-professional look doesn’t provide your prospect confidence in you or your product and services. This sort of show can send prospects running to the competition.

Putting an excessive amount of text on your display

 You’ve got virtually seconds to induce someone’s attention as they scan the show floor. Nobody can stop to read loads of text. Keep in mind that you just cannot tell your entire company story on your exhibition show. Make your communication crisp and balance it with good imagery.

Not promoting your presence at trade shows

The show has started, you’ve got a good looking booth and you are all set to go. But, is your booth yet awaiting walk-ins?  Why haven’t you got traffic returning to your booth? What have you done to market your presence at the show? Let your prospects know your trade event appearances via an e-newsletter and social media. Set up the launch of a brand new product/service around a show to make a buzz.  Send invitations to those prospects that you just might not have connected with in the past. Make your show participation a part of your email signature and advertise to all your clients and stakeholders about your trade show presence.

Not training your booth staff and discussing correct objectives

If you have seen that you booth staffs sit most of the time instead of interacting with prospects, then you need to train them to bring in the walk-ins. Set the correct expectations before the show, do not assume that having skilled staff is enough. Understand if they are going to perceive the nuances of exhibition surroundings and make the most of it. Train them with mock prospects on interaction, opening statements, product propositions and more. If your booth is large divide it into sections and designates particular people for every section so that you can maximize on your footfalls.

Not understanding the pulse of your prospects

Don’t be so excited to induce your message across and sell your product that you just miss out on necessary data concerning your client’s needs. A customer-centric approach always works better than a product-centric one. Do not have a ‘one product fits all kind of strategy, try to customize to your client’s needs.

Relying on a fishbowl to bring good leads

Having a fishbowl on your information counter filled with visiting cards do not qualify as valid leads. In exhibitions quality of the lead is more important than the mere quantity. Don’t keep the misconception of equating the number of business cards collected with trade show success. Random business cards won’t help you know the requirements and purpose of the prospect visiting your booth. Make notes behind cards detailing what the client needs and why did he or she seek out your booth.

Too many Handouts, Brochures, and Marketing Collateral

It’s hard to digest but most of the literature manuals given out at exhibitions end up in your prospect’s dustbin. Make the most use of technology for sharing your brochure. Have QR codes on your table that the client can simply scan if he/she is interested to know more about your company and products. This will prevent the expense of shipping your literature and will be a certainly measurable way to see how many people are genuine prospects. To make it even simpler have an iPad where the client or you can email the brochure after taking client consent.

Insufficient planning for exhibition success

We don’t plan to fail, we fail to plan! For exhibitors who haven’t seen the results they were expecting, this could be one underlying reason. If you don’t have a plan to handle the situation then you won’t be ready to gain ROI to justify future shows and every effort you’ve made. Discuss timelines together with your exhibition company, get feedback from organizers, do your homework.

Not informing your exhibit service partner

Certify that the service crews handling the provision of your booth know what’s happening with your booth.  Get them a list of shows for the year in order that your booth gets from one show to following, deciding which shows you’ve got time to ship to the advanced warehouse and which events you’re compelled to ship directly to the show.  Discuss any distinctive things like product within the booth, monitors, height limitations, etc.

Not following up prospective leads

All the efforts won’t be worth it if you don’t have a lead management system that allows you to capitalize and follow up on your leads on a timely basis. Discuss next steps, quoting, future conferences, and supply any extra data they require. It’s time to deliver on the guarantees and also the expectations that you have set at the show.

Mistakes are milestones to learning for success. So if some mistake does happen, learn from it to make the next show an even grander success.

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