Foot about to tread on a banana skin - Trade shows mistakes

5 Common Mistakes Companies Make at Trade Shows

Job fairs, trade shows, exhibitions are a great way of promoting your brand and driving business to your company. They present opportunities to build personal relationships that are beyond the capability of digital marketing or phone and email contact.

In other blogs, we share ideas about what you can do to increase your chance of success. In this one, we look at five all too common mistakes you’re far too smart to make!

1.     Missing opportunities to promote your appearance at trade shows

Some companies so confident in their display and their strategy for the event that they forget about promoting their appearance ahead of time. Showing up on the day itself with a great display will, of course, attract walk-ins but are they the right people?

Businesses thrive from the bonds they build with their customers. Your old prospects are as important as the new leads you will get from each trade show you will attend. Take advantage of social media and email marketing and let everyone know where you are going to be and when. Have a giveaway, such as a report, that clients and prospects can collect from you reps on the stand.

2.     Poor use of technology

Overusing technology can be an expensive mistake, particularly if you’re not used to using it and don’t have a technician on hand to address any issues. Being too frugal and sticking to old school displays can make you look out of date and unengaging. Use digital displays where they will enhance your stand — and attract the right kind of audience – or if they make the way you capture leads easier or more efficient.

Make sure all staff have at least a basic understanding of how the technology works. Create a troubleshooting document and give it to everyone.

3.     Using the wrong staff

Some companies will hire in professional stand staffers who are great at engaging with people and understand how to get people to your display. But if they don’t understand your product or service they can do more harm than good.

If you use your own best team make sure they know the updates on your products and services and are highly capable of interacting with people and securing leads. Real employees who can speak positively about the company are worth their weight in gold and can be taught many of the skills involved in staffing a stand. Consider mixing junior staff with the seniors so you can reach a wider range of prospects.

4.     Not having a backup plan 

The worst mistake you can make when planning trade shows is assuming everything will go perfectly and not having a Plan B. When things go wrong and you don’t have a back-up, you panic. And panic is a sure recipe for failure. Consider what could go wrong and what you would do if it did – have a fun, creative brainstorm session well in advance,

5.     Leaving trade show logistics to the last minute

Logistics is a vital part of attending trade shows. Businesses may come up with a great booth design, signage and giveaways for the event but don’t think about how they’ll get it to the venue or built in their stand space.  It’s not something to leave until the last minute. A specialist event logistics company can help you project plan your appearance and advise on the most time and cost-effective way of getting your materials to the right place at the right time.

When your brand’s reputation is on the line you won’t want to leave this to a generalist courier firm.

If we can help you think through your appearance at your next trade show or event, call us on 0203 475 2700  or email