With the influx of digitised platforms on the ever-changing landscape of marketing, it can be easy to dismiss classical forms of advertising. However, traditional types of marketing – such as billboards, promotional products and trade shows – still hold a solid place in modern businesses. Although trade shows can be an extremely beneficial exercise for your business, they do come with a few potential pitfalls. So you can get the most out of your next trade show, we’ve put together the 7 biggest mistakes that you need to avoid.
1. Ignoring pre-show marketing
Usually, people already know what booths they’re going to be stopping at before the trade show even begins. Don’t miss out on customers by ignoring the huge opportunity that lies within pre-show marketing.
Take full advantage of the trade show by reaching out to potential customers in advance. You can do this by promoting via email, social media and doing giveaways to be executed on the day of the trade show.
2. Lacking a clear goal
What are you trying to achieve with your trade show booth’s design and layout?
Having a clear vision in your head beforehand will help you provide clearer feedback, preventing multiple (expensive and time-consuming) redesigns.
3. Not utilising social media
Most trade shows have a social media presence, with thousands of followers. For brands that forget to tap into that audience, there can be huge opportunities lost.
Make sure to engage with the show’s hashtags on social media in advance of the show, track conversations, find out who influencers are, and encourage customers to participate.
4. Too much clutter
It’s common to think that the more products you bring to the show, the more likely it is that people will take notice of your booth. However, this is simply not the case.
Instead of cluttering your booth with everything you can possibly offer, limit your focus to one or two key elements, allowing staff to elaborate if need be.
That said, it’s important that you have a few key promotional products on hand, so potential customers can take a reminder of your business as they continue throughout the show.
5. Not properly engaging with attendees
Take a minute to think about how your staff is conducting themselves at a trade show?
Are they on their phones? Are they talking among themselves? Are they eating in the booth? Are they sticking to the booth interior, rather than standing on the outer edges and in the aisles?
While this may seem obvious, it’s crucial to train your booth staff to ensure that they are actively engaging prospects, starting conversations, and projecting the right attitude and body language to welcome attendees and encourage them to learn more about your brand.
6. Unprepared booth staff
There is nothing worse than when a potential customer leaves your booth feeling like they know more about the company than the person who was selling it to them.
Don’t send a team of new interns to work your booth as part of your trade show marketing plan.
Instead, roster on some of your most knowledgeable and best sales professionals, who understand your organization best.
7. Failing to follow-up
The trade show itself isn’t where all the deals are closed. The follow-up process is equally as important as your activities while you are there. A timely and targeted response to potential customers not only showcases that you are a service-focused organization, but it allows you to identify many of the other products or services you may not have been promoting at the show.
Trade shows are a huge part of many business’ marketing budget, and thus there is huge pressure to succeed at them. Avoid the common mistakes by taking these 7 common pitfalls into consideration, in order to maximise your business’ success!