Trade shows are still one of the very effective marketing strategies in the business world. According to a report, the U.S. trade show market is expected to reach $14.5 billion by 2024.
Trade shows are a huge investment. Businesses put a lot of time, effort, and money into ensuring they get it right. These events allow businesses to interact with their target, generate new leads, increase brand awareness, and boost sales.
With so much at stake, it is crucial to avoid trade show marketing mistakes and get the best from your investment. If you are planning to exhibit at a trade show, here are some common mistakes you should avoid.
1. Failing to Plan and Have a Budget
Planning a trade show exhibit can be very expensive. Before you choose to take part in a trade show, you must budget for all the expenses that come with it. Some of the vital things that you need to budget for include:
- Booth space
- Exhibition stand rental
- Staff costs
- Trade show materials such as brochures or flyers
- Giveaway or promotional items
- Logistics such as transport, shipping, and storage
For example, if you are traveling out of town, you must have a budget for accommodation, staff allowance, and more. Also, if the organizers do not offer Wi-Fi, you must factor such services into your budget.
Failing to budget for the event can lead to overspending or having a less inviting exhibit. Therefore, to have a successful trade show, ensure you have a solid plan, budget for it, and work within your budget.
2. Not Marketing the Trade Show
While a lot of money circulates the trade show game, this money mainly comes out of the pockets of exhibitors and attendees. Exhibitors spend thousands of dollars on booth space, making displays, décor, and more.
Also, though trade show organizers market the event, they do not fully market individual brands or exhibitors. Therefore, to get the best out of your investment, it is crucial to have a robust marketing plan for the event.
In today’s digital age, social media offers a reliable marketing platform. As you plan for the trade show, include a social media marketing strategy and utilize the power of platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Marketing to your clients and target audience before the event will increase the number of attendees in your booth and, in turn, increase your brand awareness.
3. Booking the Wrong Size Exhibit Space and Booth
It is crucial to know how much space has been allocated to you by the organizers. This way, you will know the right booth size to rent. If you rent a bigger booth, you may have an awkwardly-looking display.
On the other hand, with a small booth, you will have a lot of unused space. Also, the exhibit will be overcrowded with your staff, furnishings, banner stands, and displays. To avoid this, know the space allocated to you and rent a booth that fits it.
4. Trade Show Marketing Mistakes: Poor Display and Disorganization
Your trade show display and décor are a vital part of the event. Trade show exhibitors go all out to ensure they stand out and are attractive. If you show up with a poor display, wrong graphics, or an overly decorated display, you may fail to attract crowds to your stand.
To avoid graphics clutter, you need to work with display or graphics experts and invest in an attractive trade show booth that will showcase your brand well. Also, do not fill your booth with unnecessary furnishing or promotional items during the event.
5. Booking the Wrong Trade Show
Though trade shows offer ideal marketing platforms, not all trade shows fit your type of business or brand. Before booking a show, do due diligence and know if it fits your brand. Some of the things you need to consider include costs, the kind of attendees, and competition.
Get to know if the show is in a high-traffic area or if several people attend shows there. Also, know the costs, including your marketing costs. This way, you will determine if the potential ROI is worth the expense.
Knowing the exhibitors who will be at the show is also crucial. It may be best to book a trade show with as few competitors as possible. Book a show that will appeal to your clients and target and add value to your brand.
6. Not Bringing Your A-Team
During a trade show event, you have very few minutes to retain the attention of your audience. While your attractive display may capture their attention, what you offer at your booth is the most important determinant of the event’s success.
This is why it is vital to only have the best team manning the booth. Your trade show staff are also the face of your company. If you hire temporary staff, you need to train them to do more than just give out brochures and business cards. The ideal staff should:
- Have a good attitude
- Understand your products or services
- Have basic trade show etiquette
- Know how to sell
- Know how to engage attendees and be inviting
- Collect data
Failing to train temporary staff or bring your best sales team can cost you leads. Ensure your staff can handle all questions, understand your company values, and know all about your brand.
7. Failing to Follow Up on Leads
Though collecting data such as the contact information of the attendees is vital, the data you collect will be of no help if you fail to follow up on the leads. Having a post-show marketing strategy is the best way of getting value for your investment.
To maximize your trade show marketing efforts, learn how to turn leads into customers. Get fresh ideas from your marketing and grow your business with different sales outreach strategies.
Get the Best From Trade Shows Exhibits
Trade shows allow businesses to interact with their customers and target them at a more personal level. However, since several other companies, including competitors, also parade their brands during trade shows, it is crucial to avoid these common trade show marketing mistakes.
If you are planning to attend a trade show, we are here for you. Contact us, and we will help you get the best strategy to market your brand.
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