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Avoid These Common Mistakes at Your Next Tradeshow

As a business owner, you want the most bang for your buck. You want to be able to reach the masses on a shoestring budget. Ensure your advertising and promotions are hitting the target for this upcoming tradeshow season by avoiding these unfortunate mistakes.

1. Poor Signage

I enjoy attending tradeshows and meeting local business owners and entrepreneurs. Being a marketing guru, I am always paying attention to signs and advertisements. It almost never fails, visiting various booths and out of the corner of my eye, I notice a booth with what, from a distance, looks like a postcard-sized sign. As I pass by the booth, not only is it difficult to decipher the company name, it also gives the impression that the business is poorly run by people who don’t care.

Ensure your signage, especially company logo, is prominent and readable from across the room.  Horizontal vinyl banners have become much more affordable and will give a professional appeal to potential clients.

2. Poor Planning

Most business owners pre-book their tradeshow booth months in advance to avoid hearing the dreaded “We’re all booked up.” After the initial booking, the date seems to creep up without notice. Planning early can mean less surprises when the show begins.

It’s best to brainstorm with your employees to get ideas about the upcoming show. Discuss previous shows and ask yourselves “How can we improve on last year?” You may need to bring in extra product samples, plan a show special, order more business cards, plan a more interactive booth layout or pick up a door prize. If you require any printed materials, remember to allow time for design AND printing. Most jobs require a minimum two weeks from start to delivery.

3. Poor Follow-up

A tradeshow is a great way to brand your business and connect with potential clients. It can be one of the best forms of advertising–putting you directly in front of your customers, displaying your products and services, and answering any questions they may have.

Days following a tradeshow tend to become very hectic and potential customers can be put off. If you gather any information from potential clients, make sure to follow up with them in the following week. The people you meet are considered warm leads and have a greater chance of becoming a customers. Contact them before the competition does, even if you are already booked up.

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