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Don’t Sell Yourself Short, Deux | Five More Things Not To Do As An Exhibitor

We bring you five more mistakes commonly made by exhibitors– mistakes that can undermine the effort and expense that go into exhibiting at trade shows and conventions.


1.) Not Listening.

The expo floor is crammed with distractions– people, videos, demos, contests. It’s tempting to simply hand out your giveaways and scan badges. We must remember why we’re at the tradeshow: For one-on-one contact with prospects, customers, etc. It takes just a few moments to talk to a booth visitor to find out what they need and how your company can help them.


2.) Too Much Literature.

Brochures are a great leave-behind piece for meetings, but there’s no real place for them at the front of your booth. Exhibitors must remember that they are at the expo for face-to-face contact, not to stand by passively while people grab brochures and fliers. It’s a waste of time, money and paper. Maybe use a couple of brochures (perhaps in binders) as talking points, but offer to follow up with your prospect with a PDF version after the show.


3.) Planning To Fail.

The old cliche is true: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Many components work together to bring about a successful tradeshow presence, and they don’t simply happen on their own. You must plan the logistics, marketing, demos, training, budget, travel, displays, everything– beginning six months before the show. Ideally, you’ve selected your booth space one year beforehand.


4.) Not Informing Vendors/Service Partners.

Your vendors want to do a good job for you and retain your business. They can’t help you much if they don’t know you’re attending a show. Exhibitors who have a logistics firm store and ship their displays for them need to provide a schedule of their tradeshows. Advance planning like this can save you hundreds of dollars on freight and drayage. Similarly, your display and graphics provider can help you get that aspect of the show done well in advance to avoid rush charges and overnight shipping.


5.) Letting Things Slide.

Even after all the time and expense of the tradeshow, some exhibitors never follow up with the people they’ve met. What a waste! After the show, get on the phone and (at bare minimum) thank them for coming by the booth. Good advance planners will have fulfillment packets (either hard copy or electronic) ready to go. Enter all of the contact data from the show into your CRM database asap. Import attendee list provided by the show and process/sort them so you can convert them to customers.


More mistakes– and tips– will be outlined in upcoming blogs.


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