7 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Trade Show Booth
We’ve all been to trade shows and observed the difference between a successful trade show booth and one that simply tanks. The former is crowded with people and runs low on swag and business cards while the latter struggles to attract any attention. They’re probably making these classic mistakes that you want to avoid.
1. Lack of Branding
It’s not uncommon to pass by a trade show booth with no clear understanding of what the company is and what they stand for. Don’t be that person! Use multiple methods of branding to make it easy for consumers to identify your brand.
It starts with the design details. Your backdrops, tablecloths, flyers, staff shirts, and more should all be stamped with your brand name, colors, message, etc.
One important component of good branding is an effective message that consumers will have learned as they walk by. For example, you might point out how a portion of your sales goes to a certain charity. Print this message in large, clear lettering on the backdrop of your booth so that people are more likely to stop and look.
2. A Lackluster Display
Don’t forget that your display may be the first encounter a consumer has with your business. If it’s lacking finesse and vibrance, their first impression likely won’t be positive.
Instead of pinching pennies, look at it as an investment. Pay for great graphic design, backlighting, multimedia productions, excellent swag products, and more. Your goal with a great trade show display is to increase brand visibility, attract foot traffic, leave a good impression, and drive action from passersby. You can’t do that with a lackluster display.
3. Ambushing Passersby
Have you ever been corralled into a conversation with a trade show attendant? It’s not a pleasant experience, and you don’t want to do that with your consumers. Instead, create a display that simply invites conversation.
You could also politely ask those who pause or slow down when walking past your booth if they’d like to know more about your company. If they say no, don’t pressure them. If they say yes, give a brief overview of what your business offers and let them guide the conversation. If they continue asking questions, they’re probably interested, whereas attendees who stop talking after the introduction have already lost interest and are not worth your valuable time at the show.
4. Giveaways with No Purpose
Failing to put thought into your giveaways will lead to few leads in the long run, thus spoiling your investment. Pens, notepads, stress balls, and other swag can be useful, but they must have a purpose. Don’t say no if someone asks for a pen, but don’t just hand them away to everyone who passes without showing interest.
Additionally, develop swag products that trade show attendees will use. Otherwise, the products will get buried in a drawer or thrown away.
5. Untrained Booth Staff
Putting the wrong people in your booth is a big no-no. Those who are too timid to strike up a conversation are unlikely to generate as many leads as you need. Choose individuals who are easy to talk to, great with customers, and understand how to make sales.
Additionally, train the staff members who will be manning your booth on proper trade show protocol. It’s a little different than a typical sales presentation, and some of your staff will likely need a refresher.
6. No Lead Follow Up
The goal for all trade show presentations is to gather more leads for their business. You might have a great strategy for gathering those leads, but it doesn’t end there. You must also follow up.
Too few businesses follow up after they collect names, email addresses, and phone numbers, creating a dead lead. As soon as you get back to the office, make following up on leads a priority! Otherwise, you’ll lose the momentum you gained for your business at the show.
7. No Social Media Connection
A trade show is most effective when you use social media to promote it and keep the momentum going afterwards. At the start, you might use a social media event page to alert consumers of your participation in the booth. Generate excitement over it and encourage those in town to come visit.
At the presentation, use QR codes so that consumers can learn more about your business. You can also offer a special gift or discount for those who follow you on social media.
After the show, follow up on your leads through social media. Reach out to those who followed you during the show, offer special discounts and promotions in the days following the show, and post about the success of the event. This will keep consumers engaged and make your investment worthwhile.