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Old 20th February 2009, 09:49 AM   #1
jm3
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Default Trade Show Mistakes

What are some of the biggest trade show mistakes you could make, or have made?

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Old 20th February 2009, 11:20 AM   #2
dimesoftjohn
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Default HUGE mistake

I once worked for a company where the president was so paranoid about having our products knocked off that he literaly built a wall around the booth so pirates couldn't see our products from the aisle. The problem, of course, was that no one else could see the product from the aisle either and traffic to our booth was terrible.

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Old 23rd February 2009, 01:02 PM   #3
itgogitrev
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There's tons of mistakes that our customer INSISTED that we do. The most memorable one was to have a double decker booth with a plexiglass floor. The director in charge of the both design said that the booth had to have it.

It didn't break, it didn't scuff, but the director forgot that not only can you see below, you can see up as well. People were sitting underneath the double decker with camera phones waiting for girls with skirts to go upstairs. Traffic was great until people started catching on... but the people that were coming to the booth weren't interested in the product.

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Old 3rd April 2009, 01:10 PM   #4
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It's definitely always best to think ahead design-wise. A team brainstorming session could definitely help hash out some scenarios where things could go wrong!

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Old 6th April 2009, 08:42 AM   #5
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The biggest mistakes I've seen is not finding something to stand out. In trade shows you are usually competiting for attention, and it's often hard to get if you're just another booth. We always try to find something unique that we can do to stand out, even if it's something like wearing a costume. (i.e. you sell a heritage site, you wear heritage clothes)

The next biggest mistake I see is people running the booth sitting down. They push the table way to the back, then sit down in front of it and wait for people to come. I know it's a pain standing all day, but it looks like you are more enthusiastic about your product, and people will respond to that. I always liked to move the booth about half way up the space, then stand. That way people have room to duck in and look at more, but you also don't look like just another booth as much.

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Old 8th April 2009, 01:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfbe View Post
The next biggest mistake I see is people running the booth sitting down. They push the table way to the back, then sit down in front of it and wait for people to come. I know it's a pain standing all day, but it looks like you are more enthusiastic about your product, and people will respond to that.
I have to agree with the above, as an exhibitor myself, Ive seen phenomenal products being overshadowed by exhibitors sitting down browsing the internet in their laptop, texting away or even worse, leaving the booth entirely unattended and come back hours after only to find that all the booth items were taken away by bystanders who thought they were just free samples ^_^ (true story, thankfully not me!).

As far as other mistakes go, giving away expensive samples/ catalogs to people who sneak into trade shows just to get free samples, my rule of thumb is, if you can't afford business cards, the likelihood of you being able to afford to do business with us is slim, so I always ask for business cards prior to handing out samples or catalogs.

When your doing a trade show for more than a day, don't leave anything you can't afford to lose out in the booth, sometimes the people who have to clean up after the show (janitorial, caterers, etc), see something they like and take it, assuming you have alot more of them and won't notice. Put your items under your booth, cover it with extra linens or put in a storage location, if available.

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Old 29th April 2009, 08:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualChick View Post
I have to agree with the above, as an exhibitor myself, Ive seen phenomenal products being overshadowed by exhibitors sitting down browsing the internet in their laptop, texting away or even worse, leaving the booth entirely unattended and come back hours after only to find that all the booth items were taken away by bystanders who thought they were just free samples ^_^ (true story, thankfully not me!).

As far as other mistakes go, giving away expensive samples/ catalogs to people who sneak into trade shows just to get free samples, my rule of thumb is, if you can't afford business cards, the likelihood of you being able to afford to do business with us is slim, so I always ask for business cards prior to handing out samples or catalogs.

When your doing a trade show for more than a day, don't leave anything you can't afford to lose out in the booth, sometimes the people who have to clean up after the show (janitorial, caterers, etc), see something they like and take it, assuming you have alot more of them and won't notice. Put your items under your booth, cover it with extra linens or put in a storage location, if available.
These are some great tips and ideas!

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Old 28th September 2009, 04:42 PM   #8
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Not capturing the contact information of your prospects.

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Old 1st October 2009, 06:15 PM   #9
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The biggest mistake I've made is not having a strategy w/ clear goals in place to strive for when at the show. A little planning has gone a long way, and the time I didn't have any defined objectives I left feeling as though I had just wasted a lot of time and money.

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Old 4th October 2009, 03:17 PM   #10
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Though not great, I do think that the absence of incentives or lack thereof is quite a serious mistake for such an opportunity. I mean, with a hall overflowing with fascinating products/services, combined with time constraints, people need an incentive to come and visit your booth. First and foremost their primary interest is in “what’s new!” They are eager to learn about the latest technologies, new applications, or anything that will help save them time and/or money. So even if you don’t have a new product/service to introduce, think about a new angle to promote your offerings.

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