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Critical Ways To Avoid Epic Trade Show Failure

successful tradeshowThe extensive benefits that trade show exhibits offer to organizations of any background and size is irrefutable. Where else can start-ups go head-to-head with industry forces on a level playing field that not only allows them to further their promotional reach, but also enables them to personally engage with hundreds of prospective clients conveniently convened all in one place?  When teamed with a comprehensive and diverse marketing plan, attending trade shows can prove a formidable piece in the overall promotional plan for success.

Trade show Displays:  Success Comes At A Price For Every Business

However, like any marketing endeavor, participating in trade shows comes with a possibly lofty price tag.  Beyond the investment in the trade show displays themselves, there are a vast assortment of other expenditures to consider.  Staff training, travel and a slew of other random disbursements can quickly add up, making securing optimal return on investment at every single event not only a focused goal, but an imperative requirement.

Despite the large margin for executional error at trade shows, there are some tried and true strategies to help guarantee success.  If you’re hoping to avoid the big “Epic Fail” label at your next function, try these critical pre, during and post-show tips to help eliminate these possible miscalculations and missteps.

Minimize And Eliminate Room For Error With Trade Show Exhibits

The pre-show phase is all about planning, planning and more planning. Researching the very best exhibits offered in your industry is a critical first step.  Ask questions like: Have we participated before?  What were some of the results yielded?  What, if anything, do we want to do differently this time?  Staying focused on previous benefits and achievements will solidify your return venture as a leading exhibitor that clients want to check in on again!  Beyond determining which events to attend, the pre-event phase is also when you select which team members will man the trade show booths at the function.  Finally, once your team is chosen – train them!  Having an ill-prepared staff is a surefire way to achieve epic failure!

During the show itself, companies need to stay vigilant about executing everything that was strategized before the function.  Every member should look professional and the displays should remain organized and operational at all times.  Meet, greet and manage all the available contacts that wander into your booths using the pitches that were practiced well in advance of the function itself.  Remember, the goal of the day is always about gathering as many quality new leads as possible.  Your team should be ready to graciously extract themselves from empty conversations and dialogues to quickly move onto warmer, more promising engagements for maximum results.

Once the convention has finished, it’s time to ward off the final threat of failure facing your organization.  Many businesses simply move on to the next function without carefully gleaning through the leads, contacts and business cards gathered.  Major marketing misstep!  Always ensure that every lead, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant, gets followed up on.  It may not convert immediately, but if monitored closely and properly, these leads can yield biggest return on investment possible: a sale!

What's Working In ExhibitingUse the What’s Working In Exhibiting white paper to help avoid huge mistakes at your next trade show.  Click here to receive a free copy of the guide that includes almost 100 tips for the 7 key areas of exhibit marketing. 

About the Author

Scott Price was President of Skyline New Jersey and is currently retired.

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