10 of the Most Common Exhibiting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Businesses choose to exhibit because it provides the ideal opportunity to interact with prospects. It’s a chance to present your business at an industry focused event. Decision makers are guaranteed to be in attendance, so there’ll be ample opportunity to sell your products to those with business authority.
But for everything to be a success, you’ll need a solid exhibition strategy. From initial stand booking right through to event finish. With so much on the line you’d want to be aware of some of the most common exhibiting mistakes. Avoiding them could mean the difference between a successful show and a disappointing one.
With years of experience in the industry, Black Robin Exhibits sees these common exhibiting mistakes happen much too often. But luckily for you, we list the 10 most routine errors when it comes to exhibiting and most importantly how to avoid them.
- No Underlying Plan
- Spending Too Much on Stand Space
- Last Minute Organising Panic
- A Busy Exhibition Stand Design
- Spending Too Little on Stand Space
- Poor Marketing Strategy
- Choosing the Wrong Staff
- Not following up on Post-Show Leads
- No Post-Show Marketing
- Don’t forget to Celebrate
Treat your exhibition event with the same mind set as you would with any other part of your business. Yes, you should be achieving brand awareness but get the best ROI (return on investment) by having clearly defined goals.
Whether it’s expanding your prospect list, acquiring a set number of qualified leads or building on existing client relationships, these are more achievable when set out before you exhibit at any trade show.
It may seem temping to snap up the central stand space that’s positioned to receive a lot of foot traffic, but it may not be wise to splash out a large proportion of your budget on space. There’s still stand design, marketing and travelling costs to consider.
Around 30% of your budget should be attributed to stand space. There’s no point in having a high density space, if you can’t fill it with a great looking stand.
There’s relief once you’ve got your stand space sorted. Because there’s plenty of time to plan the design of your display and any associated logistics. Too much time even, that it’s easy to push any exhibiting tasks to the back of the list.
Then before you know it, it’s a month until show day and still no exhibition stand planned! Ideally you will need at least a few months to plan your stand. It takes weeks of liaising with your chosen stand contractor to get the right design, then there’s also staffing, travelling and hotel arrangements to make.
By a busy exhibition stand design we mean a stand that has too much text on it. To the point where its message become confusing. Don’t make the mistake in believing delegates will want to stand around reading large blocks of text.
That would steer them away. Instead have striking graphics accompanied by a clear message. This will get people’s attention and you’ll be more likely to engage them in conversation.
If you’ve stuck with spending up to 30% of your budget on stand space there will be plenty left to invest in your exhibition stand design. Every business will be striving to have the edge and with these top 5 exhibition stand ideas you will too.
High-level branding will get you seen from a distance, whilst a rotating header creates movement. This isn’t the time to cut costs. With money wisely invested in stand design you can be sure to reap the benefits on show day.
You know where and when you’ll be exhibiting, but don’t make the mistake in presuming others will magically know. Build an effective marketing strategy in the lead up to your exhibition. Create social media campaigns, change your email footer to include the exhibition details and roll out some promotional material.
Whichever you choose, you’ll be driving traffic to your stand long before the exhibition day.
Staff your exhibition stand for success. You’ll want your best sales people on the job. The ones that know the products inside and out, yet are also professional and engaging. No folded arms or back turned to the attendees. The right staff will make a huge difference in gathering prospects.
Be sure to take a suitable number of staff for your stand size. As the event day is long, your staff will need to take coordinated breaks to stay on top on their game.
Congratulations the show’s over and you have loads of leads. It’s time to continue the work and follow these up. With the data you have gathered, tailor content to engage your new prospects. Pick up the phone or send an email campaign and soon you’ll (hopefully) have some exciting new clients.
Make sure to do this when the exhibition is still fresh in the prospect’s mind. It’ll be a mistake to try follow leads up a month after the show.
There’ll always be some attendees that were on the fence. This is where post-show marketing comes into play. Connect and nurture with prospects on LinkedIn, create post-event blogs and utilise the attendee list usually available from the show organiser.
You’ve invested time and money into your exhibition and now it’s time to make it count.
It’s a big team effort to pull off a successful exhibition. Celebrate the positives, after months of planning your business has pulled it off! If any exhibiting mistakes did occur, learn from them. Because you’ll want to keep exhibiting after such a promising event.