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Avoiding These Three Mistakes Will Ensure Trade Show Success

Christine O'Kelly
Jun 13, 2008
To ensure the success of a trade show booth, effective time management is crucially important. With numerous possible customers moving through trade shows, it is imperative that the staff of your trade show booth work in a well-organized and resourceful manner to boost sales. Preventing the following typical trade show marketing mistakes will help your trade show booth be the most profitable and productive ever.

Don't Forget to Make a Plan

Don't drive around blind, set specific goals for your trade show booth before you arrive and accomplish them before you leave. Running around without a plan of where you want to go and what you want to achieve will get you nowhere. By making a plan of your trade show goals, you will know what to focus on during the show and you will know if you were successful after the show is over.

In addition to making a plan of your goals, think about the sales leads that you want to gain from the show. Trade shows are not just about making sales during the show, they are also about building relationships for future sales. Make sure your trade show booth reflects your company as it currently exists and as it plans to be in the future.

For instance, one possible plan for a trade show booth might involve introducing existing customers to your new products or services or showing your existing products and services to new customers. If you have a plan, it is easy to design your trade show marketing materials to reflect your goal.

Don't Wait Until the Last Minute

It is vital to get a jump on sales by marketing your product or service to potential customers a good amount of time prior to the trade show. By marketing online and through direct mail, you can let your potential customers know specifics about your trade show booth, including the date, facility directions, location of your booth, and more. Add in a bonus for your customers by providing a coupon or some sort of special offer, redeemable when they visit your trade show booth.

Taking the time to plan the marketing points of your trade show booth ahead of time is critical to accomplishing your goals. Booth design, artwork, signs, personalized promotional products, and other trade show marketing materials should be ready and in place long before the day of the trade show. If you wait until the last minute to make changes, you are sure to experience plenty of confusion, expensive overtime costs, and a loss of customers and sales.

Don't Have an Insufficient Staff

Many times, the success of your trade show booth comes down to the skills and availability of your staff. Make sure you staff your trade show booth with enough people to handle the number of customers you expect. You'll lose sales if you have a line of customers waiting to speak to a staff member. People are impatient when it comes to business, if you have a long line, your potential customers will move on to the next vendor.

You want to have enough staff members, but be careful you don't overstaff your booth. Too many may intimidate your potential customers, causing them to feel that pushy sales people may jump them on when visiting your trade show booth. In addition, too many staff members versus a lack of customers will give the impression that something is not right with your product or service. Educate your staff members about every aspect of your products or services so they can confidently answer questions without the need to go to someone else for an answer.

Not making a plan for your booth, putting off trade show marketing, and having an insufficient staff are typical mistakes that result in a loss of current and future sales. By avoiding these mistakes, you'll create a winning trade show booth that will keep your customers from moving on to your competition.
About the Author
Christine OKelly is an author for Jonathan Edelman, a trade show marketing consultant with more than a decade of experience. Jonathan is the founder of Ideas 4 Now, a trade show marketing company offering products like Money Machines that drive traffic to trade show booths, and the premier trade show vendors directory Trade Show Vendors.com.
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