Have you ever found yourself at a trade show wondering why people don’t seem to care about your booth? You spent so much money preparing for the show, you planned for so long, and you even opted to get custom-made trade show displays just for the occasion! The brochures are ready, your staff is waiting to entertain customers, and all your hard work promised that it would turn out well for you.
What’s wrong? Why are people just walking past your booth without a second glance?
As it turns out, your display isn’t exactly drawing in crowds due to some simple mistakes. Don’t worry though, here are some of the most common mistakes that trade show displays can have, and how to fix them:
Considering how much you probably spent on your booth (and it’s likely a huge chunk of your operating expenses), you want to be able to put as much of your message in your displays as possible. However, there is such a thing as too much; people don’t really get where you’re going with it!
The most important thing about having a trade show booth is being able to get your company’s story across. When people walk up to your booth, they want to be able to immediately understand your brand’s core message and know how they can benefit from using your product or service. If these two things are not immediately apparent from a glance, people just aren’t going to spend time at your booth.
Making your booth accessible isn’t always about where your booth is located. Although it is important to pick the best possible place to set up your booth, you also have to consider how people will move around once they are inside. Are there too many things cluttering the pathways like tables, chairs, and display racks? Are people going to keep on accidentally bumping into things? If the booth feels cramped, even people who are interested in your company will just want to get out as soon as possible.
During a trade show, there will be times when there is a lull in foot traffic. Generally, these periods are early morning, lunchtime, and dinner time. Unfortunately, untrained and disinterested staff will also tend to check out during these periods.
Instead, you should train your staff to look at these “lulls” as opportunities instead of drawbacks. These periods are great for creating deeper and more personal connections with the people who are still walking around trade shows because your staff will be able to focus on them.
No one wants to walk away from a trade show holding a bunch of papers, no matter how beautiful or informative you think yours are. That’s how every other trade show booth owner views their own printed material! At best, these people will pick out the printed material of booths that actually made an impression on them. At worst, they’ll just throw the whole lot away.
Focus more on your oral and visual presentation at your booth, as these tend to have a longer-lasting impact on attendees. In fact, you’ll know how much of an impact your presentation has made if the people go out of their way to ask for your printed material (especially for your contact details or product brochures), rather than having your staff ask if they want to take the printed material with them when they go.
It’s no secret that many trade show attendees go to trade shows simply for the giveaways. However, giving away freebies just for the sake of giving away freebies will do more harm than good. Not only will they cost you more in advertising, but most people aren’t going to keep generic stress balls, lanyards, and pens around, especially if they’re promoting a brand that they don’t really care about.
Focus on giveaways that have a direct connection to your business and are useful. For example, if you have a sporting goods company, then it’s a great idea to give away water bottles. But if you have a cleaning service, it doesn’t make any sense!
A quick and easy tip if you don’t have any ideas? Small food items! You can get your company’s name printed on generic chocolate bars or mints. People always love a snack, and they’ll remember your company in the process. Just make sure that you’re working with a reputable company that will make high-quality food items for you; you don’t want to worry about liabilities from people who got sick from eating your giveaways.