Trade shows are great opportunities for companies and businesses to network and acquire new leads. However, being successful at a trade show is no easy feat. Many times, simple and careless mistakes can be made that will detrimentally affect the level of success a company experiences.
1. Failure to set objectives
A lot of companies tend to see the process of acquiring a spot in a trade show as the end objective, and then proceed to have no plan of action at the actual event. Going to the trade show is only part of the procedure. It’s important to establish clear objectives and goals to be met during the event itself to fully take advantage of your time there. Some examples of effective objectives include networking, acquiring leads, or making sales.
2. Not having a big enough budget
Having a budget that is sufficient enough to cover all of the show’s costs is imperative. It is extremely common for trade shows to have unexpected costs and late fees for missed deadlines. As such, it would be wise to plan ahead and come up with a budget that is ready to combat any unexpected issues that may arise. Furthermore, you should come up with a budget that will do your exhibit justice. Often times, exhibitors will not have a big enough budget to create a booth that truly showcases what their company or brand is about. Be more generous with your budget and you’ll most likely run into less problems.
3. Staffing unfit employees
Your exhibit should be a representation of your company. This, of course, includes not only the booth itself, but the employees working there as well. If the staff members working the booth are unenthusiastic, bored, and full of complaints, it will reflect poorly upon your company. Furthermore, different employees are fit for different occasions and uses. Some shows you may want someone that is good at conversing and making sales, other shows you may want someone that is adept at explaining the complicated technicalities of your product. As such, make sure to select the right people for the position as they will ensure operations are running smoothly and efficiently, which will reflect positively on your company as a result.
4. Complicated booth design
Often times, exhibitors will attempt to make their booth as inclusive and informational as possible by adding a myriad of different features and material. Although this may seem like a good idea since the goal of a trade show is to show off your company in the best way possible, it can also be detrimental to you as it makes your booth look extremely clustered and complex, which can confuse your audience as a result. Instead, try to make your display simple and clean, including only the information that is relevant to your customers.
5. Not following up on leads
This is one of the biggest problems exhibitors face that could easily be avoided. Your job isn’t done when the trade show is over; you still have to follow up on the valuable leads you acquired at the show. Try to come up with a lead management plan prior to the show so that you and your sales team have a concrete strategy to follow once the event is finished. Getting those leads were the main objective of attending the show, so don’t let all that hard work go to waste!