5 Common Trade Show Mistakes That Will Cost You Dearly

Mistakes are part of everyday life, but some of them can cost you dearly. Thankfully, you can avoid five of the most common trade show mistakes that sadly, drag down entire performances time and again.

Here are the five most common, and avoidable, trade show mistakes:

  1. Not setting objectives

This is the number one most common mistake. Like with any other form of marketing, goals need to be clearly established and there needs to be objective metrics to measure success. Getting a booth, table and displays is an investment. You need to know that the cost was worth it.

  1. Not having a proper budget

Proper budgeting is an essential part of any business activity. It goes hand-in-hand with setting objectives. Bad budgeting has sunk many small businesses. Trade shows can be notorious for raising costs and increasing fees when deadlines are missed, so extra care needs to be taken. Only by having a budget and sticking to it, can ROI be accurately measured.

  1. Unoriginal show selection

Exhibitors often put their schedules on auto-pilot when exhibiting happens in the same stage, year after year. They don’t bother to change their show schedules or even train their employees upfront. This results in stale, boring presentations, with staff unable to answer anything other than canned questions.

  1. Too much clutter

Well-intentioned exhibitors often put in too many products and components in a small place. They try to show potential customers everything they can offer, but instead end up with a cluttered area that turns away more people than it attracts.

  1. Forgetting essential equipment

Forgetting to bring a laptop with the presentation slides, forgetting the hand outs, or just packing the wrong AV cables can ruin your display. This problem is easily remedied by making a checklist.

Presenting at a trade show is an investment in your business’ future. Treat it as such. While it’s impossible to prepare for unforeseen circumstances, you can avoid these five common trade show mistakes. All it takes is proper planning and caution.

Good luck!