A trade show, also called a trade fair, gives your business the unique opportunity to showcase what you can offer customers and clients, perform demonstrations of your products, and market your business. Although the atmosphere of a trade show provides a lot of foot traffic for advertising, there are also some things you should be aware of. While there are other trade show faux pas other than the ones listed here, the following are quite common, which you should strive to avoid doing at a trade show.
1) Don’t absorb too many trade show expenses. Avoid spending too much when you host your business at a trade show. Aside from paying for your booth space, which is often the most costly expense, most everything else can be optional. For example, you have the opportunity to pay extra for electrical outlets, Internet connection, table, displays, chairs, signage and other items. Set a budget before you go to the trade show and plan accordingly. Many of these items can improve your success, but don’t go overboard and end up losing money in the process. In other words, be sure to do a cost/benefit analysis.
2) Don’t choose a poorly-trafficked booth spot. Your booth location is extremely important as it can make or break your trade show success. If you’re able to choose the location, do some research beforehand and find a booth that is in a high-traffic location. You might pay a little more for one of these, but with more of an audience, it is well worth it.
3) Don’t understaff your trade show representative. Another common mistake, and something you should avoid doing, is not having enough staff help at the trade show. You need trade show representatives with you not only to take over when you need a break, but to have another person to communication with visitors of the trade show while you’re doing other things — such as potentially making a lucrative side deal with a visitor. Don’t crowd your booth, but don’t have it understaffed either. It’s important to train your trade show representatives properly so they can talk about your business effectively.
4) Don’t fail to promote your trade show event. Don’t leave your trade show presence promoting up to the trade show organizers; you need to do your part to promote the show. Social media outlets are a great place to start promoting as it is quick, gets the word out, and won’t cost you a thing. Announce what the trade show is for, where your booth is located, and the date and time you will be at the show. Create enthusiasm and encourage visitors to attend. If you send out a newsletter, this is another great place to promote it.
5) Don’t be lax in lead follow-up. Always make sure to follow up on your leads — and ensure that you do so in a timely manner. Provide further information and set up future communications, such as a meeting, with your leads.
Attending a trade show to market your business can be a rewarding experience as long as you avoid these and other common mishaps for your show.