Exhibiting at a trade fair is a big investment, which often takes up a considerable portion of a company’s marketing budget. This is why you will want to make it worth every penny.
15 possible points of failure to avoid:
1 – WRONG EXHIBITION
Choose the exhibition that helps your company to meet its brand marketing objectives within the desired audience and market area – the exhibition you choose must be relevant to your business.
2 – BOREDOM
Don’t underestimate the importance of standing out from the crowd, and remember that B2B doesn’t have to mean Boring to Boring! If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got – dare to do something different.
3 – NO CLEAR MESSAGE
Designate what you want to promote, sell, brand, or communicate in an exhibition, and to whom. Who is the ideal client? Make your key message easy to remember.
4 – ASSUMING THEY KNOW WHO YOU ARE
Don’t assume the trade fair visitors know who you are and what you do. Practice your sales pitch and make sure all the graphics at the stand are clear and communicate your message in a meaningful way.
5 – NO PLANS NOR GOALS
No plans nor goals often also means no results. What do you want to get? Leads, contacts, requests for offers? If you make this clear, everything will be easier when the show goes on.
6 – NO TARGET AUDIENCE DEFINITION
The thought of defining your target group with a heavy hand and thereby leaving so many people outside might feel frightening, but it is rarely the wrong way to go. When the stands contents are designed with a clear focus on the target group, they will attract exactly the kind of people that we want to reach – that is, the truly potential customers.
7 – NO PRE-EVENT PROMOTION
Over 80% of the visitors use show previews to help them plan their visit. Think about it.
8 – POOR FIRST IMPRESSION
A trade fair stands acts as your company’s temporary office and showroom. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and that impression is formed in a matter of seconds. If your stand looks like it has been slapped together at the last minute, it doesn’t give very good impression about your company.
Still, if you really want to fail, check out our 10 easy tips for ruining a first impression!
9 – NONSENSE GIVEAWAYS AND LOTTERIES
A lot of money can be spent on promo gifts that don’t relate to your message. Bowls of candy filled to the brim, piles of cheap giveaways, and lotteries – all of these are easy ways to lure masses of people to your stand. Having people write down their contact details in the hope of winning a lottery is a sure way to gather an impressive pile of nonsense contacts.
10 – SAYING “NO” TO SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media can be useful not only before and after a trade show, but also during the event. You can post photos and greetings of the event on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, and share what happens as the day goes on. Live streaming through Periscope or Facebook Live Streaming app is also an interesting opportunity. Remember that Social media accounts are like seat belts: they’re only effective if you actually use them.
11 – WRONG PEOPLE AT THE BOOTH
Don’t send “just someone” to represent you at a trade fair – send a mix of experienced employees who can make decisions and negotiate! Also, send those who are able to make the potential customers fall in love with your product or service.
12 – NO FOLLOW-UP
Visitors receive so much information during a trade fair that they do not necessarily remember much about the sales pitches afterwards – therefore, a prompt, personalized follow-up is the way to make some sales. Contact your new contacts as soon as possible (=while they still remember you!).
13 – NO POST-SHOW EVALUATION
Measuring your performance will enable you to evaluate how successful you were or weren’t, identify areas of improvement, think what to do differently next time and most importantly: prove your return on investment.
14 – NOT EXHIBITING AT ALL
When a company starts seeking costs savings, the first thing to be cut is quite often the marketing budget. Yet it might be a good idea to think again before cutting on trade fair expenses – if sales are lagging, instead of staying inside the office and increasing sales calls, it is better to go out, network and get new contacts – for which a trade exhibition is an excellent setting.
Getting sales deals will be easier if you don’t let the difficult situation weigh you down and keep you from moving forward. If you’re out of sight, your out of mind.
15 – DIY
It is, of course, understandable that when your hands are full of work with trade fair arrangements, you might be left with way too little time to generate ideas for quality contents. That is why it might be useful to outsource the design and construction of the stand and the management of all the little things involved – for example to us.
We take part in hundreds of trade fairs all over the world every year, and if there is someone who is in the know of all the newest trends and ideas, that will be us.