8 Trade Show Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Marketing Goals

Achieving trade show success depends on a lot of controllable factors. Right from choosing the right spot to training the people on the floor can have a significant impact on the conversion rate.

There are many seasoned companies who routinely participate in trade shows and hit the marketing bullseye every single time. Others end up overspending on things that do not matter while ignoring factors that do make a difference. To ensure you don’t end up being part of the latter group, the following are 8 trade show mistakes that you need to avoid.

Not Finding Out The Type Of Audience

Just selecting the busiest and the most popular trade show may not help your cause. You need to pick shows that attract your target audience. Research how well your competitors did who participated in the show last year. It also makes sense to ask the organizers about the type of people they usually attract with their demographics marketing insights.

Go to the social media pages of the trade show and research the profile of the people who are leaving likes and comments. These are the audiences who are likely to attend the show.

Reusing Last Year’s Trade Show Display

There are two things that you should never do when creating a display, using last year’s display or settling for a dated design. Many small companies outsource the work to contractors with little knowledge about trade show displays. This is a big mistake as they often lack the knowledge and innovation to create a crowd-pulling exhibit.

Contact a company that specializes in making trade show booths. For instance, an exhibit custom built will always look more polished than an exhibit built by regular contractors with limited experience about trade show booths. Trade show displays from Exhibits NW continue to introduce new designs to top last year’s displays.

Not Paying Attention To The Marketing Literature

It doesn’t take rocket science to understand why boring pamphlets and marketing materials don’t yield any results at a trade show. People walking in these shows are approached by dozens of sales executives and they are handed many pamphlets and cards.

A text-heavy pamphlet won’t get any results. Instead of explaining the product feature in details, concentrate on promoting the call to action. Incentivize people for showing up at your booth. A scratchcard with attractive discounts and gifts is a good starting point. Also, use creative design techniques to make your printed marketing materials stand out. Some creative pamphlets have pop-up elements while others are printed on non-paper materials.

Not Fighting For A Better Spot

Before all the spots are booked, organizers at trade shows remain pretty accommodating. Utilize that to negotiate a better rate for your booth or fight for a better spot that’s likely to receive more foot traffic.

Trying To Sell When You Should Be Capturing Leads

Some trade shows are good for selling stuff, while others are better for gathering leads. If your service is expensive and is targeted at businesses, trying to capture leads is a much better approach than trying to sell. If you manage a few sales, consider it good luck, but your primary target should be to impress and get names and numbers. This will give you enough time to convert the list of leads after the show is over and thus enjoy a better conversion rate.

Giving Away Free Stuff No One Wants

Keychains, pens, and fridge magnets do not work. Try and find gifts that people actually care for. If you are planning on giving away free gifts make sure they are in line with the interest of your target audience.

Hiring People With Poor Conversation Skills

You don’t want people who are too into the script. Instead, you want smart individuals manning your booth who can charm and hold a conversation. It’s also important to hire people who are smart and knowledgeable about the trade. For example, when trying to promote a bike it’s always a good idea to hire people who are recreational bikers and have a fair bit of knowledge about riding.  They are much more likely to use strong relationship science to build rapport with the people walking in.

Not Being Around Your Booth

While it’s important to have enough marketing staff to attend all potential client and customer enquiries, it’s also important for business owners to be present near the booth. Many business owners attending the event often want to speak directly with the owner for high-value orders. It also gives you the opportunity to keep staff morale high at the booth and thus boost conversation rates.

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