Here’s what NOT to do. That is, if you actually want to drum up any business.
1. Skipping booth training for the sales team. They may be experts and know the customers but it’s critical to get everyone on the same page.
- Make sure they understand roles, booth flow and products – especially the new ones.
- Reinforce basic points like don’t chat with each other all day or make phone calls in the booth.
2. Having too many employees in the booth. Remember that you are there to sell your product, not to socialize.
- Have only those actually working the booth wearing logo-wear.
- Everybody else should be in business casual.
- Non-logoed team walks floor and looks at competition, new products and trends.
- But have someone dedicated to scanning leads and handing out literature.
- Designate one contact for press and other media inquiries.
3. Being unprofessional – ever – especially when talking about (or to) the competition. Don’t complain about the way the show is run or how unhappy you are that your boss made you attend.
4. Passing on show marketing opportunities. There are many options, with something that could fit almost any budget. They range from pre-show mailers, upgraded directory listings and ads, event sponsorships, hall banners, etc.
5. Hoping customers will visit. Be sure to schedule appointments, dinners, coffees – all translate into a commitment from your customer to take the time to hear your message.
A trade show is not a vacation
A trade show is not a vacation, even when it’s in a fun place like Las Vegas or Orlando. Those locations help create a draw for the customers you want to visit with. Remember that you are on a business trip. Your pre-planning and actions at the trade show will either make a wonderful or terrible first impression on those visiting your booth.
For more great insights on how to maximize your trade show experience and dollars, we recommend reading Classic Exhibits article 13 Common Trade Show Mistakes and Whizard Strategy’s blog post How Manufacturers Can Get the Most Out of IBS.
For other thoughts on trade shows from Channel Instincts, see our post Are You Using these Trade Show Secrets.