Exhibiting at a trade show is a serious investment of time and resources. Don’t let the following common mistakes keep you from achieving the best results possible.

Mistake #1: Not Being Clear About What Your Company Actually DOES

It can be surprisingly easy to forget that not everyone will be familiar with your company or its offerings at first glance. Don’t just invest in graphics and signage that display your logo and brand – make sure you’re also clearly conveying what products and services you provide.

You can do this by using graphics, taglines, in-booth videos, and even product demonstrations. If possible, you may also want to get outside feedback about your booth ahead of time. Ask people outside of your company for input and feedback before finalizing your booth.

Mistake #2: Failing to Follow Up on Leads

Surprisingly, far too many companies allow leads to fall through the cracks after the show. This is an enormous waste of your time and investment. Always be sure to designate a plan for gathering information at the show and for following up on leads afterwards. Remember the saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

Mistake #3: Cluttering Your Exhibit Space

We get it – you want to maximize your presence and show off all the cool products and services your company offers. But it’s important to avoid displaying too many things at once – or you may end up with a booth that is too cluttered and overwhelming for attendees to absorb any of the information you’re trying to convey.

Instead, evaluate your company’s objectives and identify what attendees might be most interested in or what products or services you want to drive their attention towards. Perhaps there are certain products and services you can showcase that might be more applicable at one show or another.

Once you decide what those items might be, focus your exhibit around them. Remember – you can always make other information about your company available in other ways, like brochures or follow up emails.

Mistake #4: Focusing Too Much on Money Instead of Impact

Trade shows are an expensive investment, and your budget should never be taken lightly. But if you’re too focused on minimizing the cost of your investment, you’re going to miss out on some great opportunities.

The truth is, saving a few hundred bucks isn’t going to make a big difference in the long run – and it might even hurt the overall message you’re trying to convey. Stick to your budget, but make sure that you aren’t wasting too much time trying to save a few bucks at the expense of your overall display.

Mistake #5: Making Changes at the Last Minute

Making small tweaks to your exhibit at the last minute may seem inconsequential – but it can end up impacting many elements in your booth’s design. It can also be incredibly expensive and time-consuming to make changes to your exhibit once it’s been finalized.

Avoid this by working with your team to plan out your exhibit and decide on your objectives as early as possible. Be sure to share these plans with your design team, as well. Remember to carefully review every draft you receive to ensure all the desired changes are made well ahead of time.

Whether it’s your first trade show or you’re a veteran of the trade show floor, remember – mistakes are going to happen. The key to success is to learn from your mistakes and use that knowledge to do even better next time.

If you’d like some expert advice on how to navigate the complexity of trade shows and get the most ROI, let us help. Connect with one of our trade show professionals today.