Are You Avoiding These Trade Show Spoilers?

Are You Guilty of These Trade Show Spoilers?If it seems like no one is in your trade show booth except other exhibitors or people trying to sell you something, you may be falling prey to these trade show spoilers.

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

Trade shows are not a vacationA 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.

Good Selling!


Are You Using These Trade Shows Secrets?

Are You Using These Trade Shows Secrets?Did the trade show season sneak up on you and your team again this year? 

The show date seems distant, especially before the holidays, and we always think there’s plenty of time for planning.  Then the shipping date for the booth and products hits us like a bucket of cold water and the mad rush is on.

The resulting scramble usually means one thing: you’re wasting your trade show dollars.

When you and the team rush to pull off this year’s booth, you miss an opportunity to raise the bar.  Here are some trade show thought starters for you to consider to get the most out of your time and money:

5 keys to trade show success

1. Have a plan and work the plan.  Build a calendar with show milestones and stick to it.  Don’t blow off the planning meeting because the show is 6 months off.

  • Why are you going to the show (and don’t say because we always have)
  • What do you want to accomplish (that you can measure)
  • How you will leverage social media and PR (to drive buyers to your booth or create excitement around your new products or programs)

2. Show and sell.  Bring your product and brand to life in your booth.

  • Load it with new news (products, programs, demonstrations)
  • Have a unified image that leverages your brand identity
  • Have videos and signage that communicate and get attention from the aisle (plus they are great guides for the sales team to use)

3. Answer the question “what’s new” before it’s asked.  It’s the most common question and immediately gives you a chance to launch into your elevator speech on how you are innovating the category and driving their business.

4. Don’t sweat the compromises.  Murphy’s Law says something won’t make it to the show.  Or you need to shift around the booth design on the fly.  No one sees these compromises but you.

5. Follow up.  Have a plan in place on how to handle leads before you get them.

What happens in Vegas could be a team building event

What happens in Vegas could be a team building eventWhile trade shows are a business event, they are also a fantastic team building event.  Leverage that aspect without turning the show into a vacation for the team (and try to avoid the “what happens in Vegas” mindset).

For more great insights on how to maximize your trade show experience and dollars, we recommend reading Heinz Marketing’s Secrets To Successful Trade Show Marketing white paper and Whizard Strategy’s blog post Stop Wasting Money on Building Material Trade Shows.

Good Selling!