Industry trade shows are a chance for companies large and small to put themselves in front of an audience they would not normally get a chance to meet. How your business presents itself at the show will be seen as a reflection of your business as a whole.
Here we look at five critical trade show pitfalls to avoid. Keeping clear of these will ensure you give prospective clients the best possible impression of your company.
Don’t Eat at Your Stand
We’ve all seen it. Whether it’s a trade show, exhibition or even a local craft fair, it never looks good when you catch someone crouched behind their stall trying to wrestle a sandwich into their mouth.
You never know when that critical lead might come walking up to your stand to ask about your business. You don’t want to be spraying bread while you make your sales pitch or shaking hands only to notice you’ve spread mayonnaise up their sleeve.
Make sure to eat a big breakfast before the trade show. This will keep your energy up through the day. If you can get away from the booth to have a quick lunch you should but never eat at the stand.
Don’t Talk on Your Phone
There are likely to be lulls where no one comes by your stall. These may even last for hours. The temptation to call someone out of boredom will be strong. You must resist it. Murphy’s law dictates that the moment you make that call a potential client will walk by.
If you are on the phone at a stand it gives the impression you aren’t that interested in promoting your business. If you seem uninterested in your own business a potential client won’t expect you to be interested in theirs.
Keep your phone on silent. If it’s an emergency take the call away from the booth. Even if you can’t get someone to cover for you it still looks better to have an empty booth than someone on the phone ignoring potential clients.
Don’t Have a Bland Stand
If you are building a stand, putting a little extra effort in to design is not going to break the bank. It will however make a big difference to how you are perceived. At best an uninteresting stand will blend in and not be noticed. At worst it will come across as a lack of effort and passion for you business.
The same goes for promotional products. Try to be smart about your giveaways. Consider how they represent your company and are relevant to your sector. A really clever promotional product will stick in people’s minds.
Don’t Go in Without a Plan
Many people think it is enough to just show up at a trade show. It’s not. Your competitors won’t be sitting back waiting for miracles to happen and neither should you. Think about how you are going to make the most out of this investment.
Not only do you need to have your sales pitches perfected you also need a strategy with some measurable goals. This might as simple as talking to a set number of people but meeting those goals will put you ahead.
Don’t Turn Negative
You will get tired. It is inevitable. Even a one day trade show can be exhausting. You might have gotten fewer leads than you were expecting. It can be easy at this point to get a little fed up and let your bad mood slip into your conversations.
Complaining about the set up of the event, sniping about your competitors and grumbling about how slow business has been are all to be avoided. If you find yourself getting grumpy that’s when you need to dig deep and use your natural charm and positivity to gather up those final few leads.