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Trade shows are essential to networking and career building. Each one you attend requires time away from your job, so it’s important to make the most of every opportunity. If you were making mistakes, you would want to know, right?

We’ve listed out the six most common trade show errors and how you can avoid them from coming in between you and your success.

1. Poor Display Booth

No matter how friendly and polite you are, the number one thing that will attract visitors is your display. What does your signage look like? Are your colors bright and vivid? Is your messaging clear? Do you have promotional products to hand out? The best exhibits also contain tangible elements that lead to memorable experiences. Consider what you can incorporate for people to touch and interact with.

2. No Clear Goals

Even though most businesses attend trade shows for exposure, there are other goals to reach. Before attending an event, clearly define what your goal is. The reason for doing this is to have a way of measuring success. For example, is your goal to gather as many leads as possible? Is it brand exposure? By determining what your goal is, you can develop a plan for how you will reach it.

3. No Social Strategy

If you’re not using social media to develop relationships, you’re limiting your potential. Online networking is effective for a couple of reasons. First, you can let people know that you’ll have a booth at an upcoming trade show, hopefully increasing traffic to your exhibit. Second, you can reach out to people after the event. To easily connect with others (and others with you), order custom promotional products with your website URL or social media handle printed on them.

4. Sending the Wrong People

Some businesses think that all a booth needs to flourish is a person to stand there, smile and hand out business cards. However, you need the best individuals to represent your product or service. These individuals should be able to answer questions accurately, engage in thoughtful discussion and develop positive relationships. Don’t be afraid to take the best staff out of the office. It will be worth it!  

5. Not Handing Out Promotional Items

After leaving your booth, how will a lead remember you? Trade show promotional items connect your brand to your audience. You can choose to hand out promotional products to everyone who visits you, or you can reserve a higher quality promo item for your best leads. It all depends on your goals and whether you’re after quality or quantity.

6. Not Following Up

As we touched on in #3, social media is an excellent tool for keeping in touch. It’s so easy, you have no excuse not to follow up with trade show leads! Make sure you connect within a reasonable time frame, otherwise your leads may no longer be interested. Some will be more qualified than others, and that’s OK. Move your best leads through the funnel and continue to nurture the others.

These six mistakes are common, but they can be avoided. With all of the resources that go into trade show planning, you owe it to yourself and your business to make the most of each one. To order custom promotional products for your next trade show event, call Inkwell Global Marketing today!