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6 Myths About Trade Show Planning: Busted

6 Myths About Trade Show Planning: Busted

Here’s a good one I found on LinkedIn. I did a little trimming, so if you want to read the entire thing, GO HERE.

Many expo planning myths are floating around out there, and they are undermining the efforts of the exhibitor. Time to dispel some them. Here are a few to start with.


Myth 1: You’re Not Selling

While some exhibitors may not be making any cash-for-goods transactions at a trade show, they are definitely selling a concept. At first it may seem that booths which are not making transactions are wasting time and money, but the correct way of thinking is that a company is selling itself– its brand, its image– to a targeted group of prospects that may one day become major partners or clients.


Myth 2: Anyone Can Do It


Thinking of sending your “B” team? It’s important to do more than simply send warm bodies from your office to represent your company. Booth staffing takes a certain kind of person. This is the face of your company. Make sure your staff wants to be there and knows what to say to engage prospects.


Myth 3: Party On!

Trade shows are a party? Not so much. While it’s true that most show itineraries are packed with receptions and networking lunches, it’s a lot of handshaking and talking about your business. Very little about traveling for expos is glamorous… unless you have a very generous budget that’s not being spent on show marketing (unlikely)!


Myth 4: If You’ve Seen One You’ve Seen ’em All

Another one of the trade show planning myths, which is baffling, is that they are all the same. To say that an international trade show attended by everyone in your industry is the same as a small local trade show in a rural location is absurd. What IS true, however, is that not all expos offer the same return. Some may simply not be worth the time.


Myth 5: Virtual Is Just As Good

Some have said that the nature of technology and communication will make “virtual trade shows” the next big thing. While the concept and preliminary attempts are exciting, you just can’t beat face-to-face connections! We are human, and humans like contact with other humans. Think about it: hundreds, even thousands of your ideal prospects under the same roof, just waiting for you to solve their problems.


Myth 6: No One Goes

Trade shows still attract a lot of attention. Rosters for most expos are booked out well in advance. While show attendance dipped in the 2000s after 9/11, the numbers have bounced back. According to CEIR (Center for Exhibition Industry Research), the trade show industry has been experiencing steady growth for the past 18 quarters (more than four years).


Yes, trade shows cost money, but so does getting your product to market through advertising and all other channels. And the opportunity to make connections with suppliers, customers, and prospects in one location at the same time is priceless. For this simple reason, trade shows will continue on for some time to come.



What are YOUR thoughts on all this? We’d like to hear your comments!

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