Five Trade Show Mistakes to Avoid
In business as in life, never underestimate the importance of being prepared. As the saying goes, you must first plan your work and then work your plan. This is particularly true in trade show exhibiting where trade show display success is largely dependent on proper planning. Without putting the right plan in place, you will encounter a number of what would be easily avoidable blunders. These oversights can cause havoc on your trade show teamís morale as well as your companyís bottom line. In order to avoid these errors, however, you must first know what they are.
The five major trade show exhibit mistakes to avoid are:
1. Picking the Wrong Show to Exhibit In
By being distracted by an overly hectic work schedule and being short staffed and overworked, hastily made trade show decisions to exhibit in an upcoming trade show can backfire. Because you were unable to put the proper amount of time in to analyze who would be attending and exhibiting in the trade show, you wound up with the wrong
targeted audience. Without doing the proper research to learn about the qualifications of the trade show attendees and how they match up with your marketing goals, you are subject to missing your target and having an unrewarding trade show experience.
2. Selecting the Wrong Location For your trade show display
If you wait until the last minute to decide on exhibiting in a trade show, you may have to put up with a less than ideal location-- behind a pole, at the end of a dead-end aisle, near loading docks, close to freight doors and ceiling water pipes or in a very dark corner. You may be relegated to a site far from the industry leaders, main attractions, guest services, entrances, exits, escalators, elevators, stairs, windows and seminar sites.
3. Having a vanilla-type trade show booth with no intrigue or style
Just imagine a line forming at the trade show exhibit next to yours where there are compelling, dramatic displays with lots of attractions, audios and interactive activity on their website, sensational giveaways and prizes, fresh brewed coffee and hot buns, dancing acrobats and an oversized TV screen with a luxurious lounge for the foot weary trade show attendee. Then imagine your trade show booth with nothing but a drape. Guess who gets the traffic.
4. Having your trade show booth staff poorly matched with your qualified prospects.
If you are attending a trade show that attracts primarily engineers, your trade show exhibit staff should be comprised of engineers who will be able to communicate with its audience in an informative, intelligent way. Itís that simple.
5. Allowing your trade show booth staff to waste time by talking to unqualified prospects. The key is to identify and classify hot prospects and the products and services they are interested in buying. There are new, sophisticated software packages that allow you to identify a half dozen weighted multiple choice questions in advance that will determine how viable a client prospect is. If you do not identify the hot leads and filter out those who are not qualified, then your trade show exhibit staff will only be spinning their wheels. They will spend unproductive time by talking to prospects that do not have the budget, who will be unable to meet a specific time frame and who do not have the ability or authority to purchase your product.
Remember, by avoiding the major pitfalls of novice trade show exhibitors, your trade show display experience will be able to stay on track and you will have a successful trade show exhibiting experience. This applies whether you have a custom trade show exhibit, a custom modular trade show display or a trade show booth rental. It also applies wherever you exhibitóbe it the McCormick Convention Center in Chicago, the Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland, the Moscone Center in San Francisco, the Santa Clara Convention Center or the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.
About the Author: Dick Wheeler is President of Professional Exhibits & Graphics, headquartered in Sunnyvale, California with showroom in Sacramento. Firm is full-service premiere trade show exhibit, graphics and management services company. http://www.proexhibits.com