What Are the Most Common Trade Show Display Mistakes to Avoid?

When you’re first getting your business out there, it can be easy to jump in feet first without making sure you’ve done the necessary work on your brand. While making sure to book yourself at trade shows is a great start for potential networking and investment opportunities, there’s a lot of thought that goes into creating a successful trade show booth or exhibition display. It might seem like you have plenty of time to develop your business identity and brand, but in reality, first impressions count for a lot, especially when it comes to trade shows. Making a great impression and having a clear brand identity will take you far, so be sure to do everything it takes to prepare your business for the spotlight. If you’re setting up your first trade show booth, here are a few mistakes to avoid at all costs.

Don’t Create a Boring Display

When you’re at a trade show, you’re competing with hundreds, maybe even thousands of other vendors for the attention of important clients, investors, and potential users. Because of this, you can’t afford to have a boring presentation. Even if your business isn’t the most glamorous, your display has to be enough to excite passers-by and get them asking questions. Building a great presentation isn’t hard: All you have to do is bring your best marketing skills to the table when crafting the perfect, succinct pitch. After that, you have to make your product or service look as good as it sounds, with multi-dimensional, interactive displays, inviting advertising, and a well-designed logo that will make your business stand out in a crowd. Don’t skimp when it comes to design: Giving your business a look and feel that sets it apart will help you with brand recognition in the long run. It will also help your trade show presentation draw crowds and get people talking.

Don’t Be Vague

At a trade show, you don’t get a lot of time to sum up what makes your business unique. That’s why coming up with a precise, elegant pitch is essential to success. Along with creating unique visual branding, you’ll need to create a one-line description of your product or services that gives listeners an exact sense of how it can make their lives better, happier, or more convenient. If you haven’t spent time creating a one-line brand pitch, it won’t be long before visitors lose interest. In the world of business and marketing, it pays to work hard and create a memorable identity that isn’t too complex, wordy, pretentious, or vague. Once you have your pitch prepared, you won’t just be better able to speak to potential investors or clients. You’ll be able to identify who your audience is and why they should care about what you’re offering. Making a compelling, one-line argument for why your service is crucial will help you cast a far wider net when marketing your business, especially during the early stages.

Don’t Forget Social Media

In today’s hyper-connected world, no one can afford not to have a presence online. Even if you feel like you aren’t as social media savvy as you could be, you should have set up at least a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account by the time of your first trade show. Not only will it show visitors to your booth that you’re in touch with the reality of the modern marketing and advertising climate, it will encourage anyone and everyone who visits your booth to link up on social media and spread the word. If you don’t feel comfortable setting up your accounts, find an intern who’s a social media whiz and task them with all things Internet-related. Using social media to your advantage during a trade show, such as through giveaways, unique hashtags, and social-only promo codes will help get you more follows, likes and shares, translating to more ad dollars down the line.

Don’t Be Too Formal

Never underestimate the importance of body language when you’re selling a pitch. While you never want to be too informal at a business networking event, you also don’t want to risk seeming stiff or off-putting to potential clients. Practice talking about your business with friends and colleagues to perfect your sales pitch. Ask them to give you notes about your performance. Did you seem uncomfortable or rushed? Could you have taken a more breezy approach while getting the same information across? The art of selling your business doesn’t just have to do with a great sales plan: It has to do with self-confidence and a warm, open approach to public relations.