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10 Mistakes Exhibitors Make

By Blog

trade show mistakesYou’ve got a tremendous investment, not only in money, but also time and hopefully training in marketing your business at trade shows. Don’t get in the way of your own success!

Here are the 10 mistakes exhibitors make again and again:

1)      Underselling your company with bad graphics: All too often I’ve seen companies represent themselves at trade shows with a patchwork of a “display.” I’ve seen vinyl banners wrapped around foam board, dented or dinged up displays, and a variety of hodgepodge displays.  Represent your company in the best light possible.  A less-than-professional appearance does not give your prospect confidence in you or your products and services.  This type of display will send prospects running to the competition.

2)      Putting way too much text on your display:  You’ve got literally seconds to get someone’s attention as they stroll around the show floor.  No one will stop to read a lot of text.  Please understand that you cannot tell your entire company story on your tradeshow display.

3)      Not promoting your presence at trade shows: So you’ve got a great looking booth and you’re all ready to go.  So where is everyone?  Why don’t you have any traffic coming into your booth?  What have you done to promote your presence at the show?  Let your clients and prospects know about your trade show appearances by using an e-newsletter and social media.  Plan the launch of a new product/service around a show to create a buzz.  Send invites directly to those prospects that you may not have connected with in the past.

4)      Not training your booth staff and discussing proper expectations: So your booth staffers are sitting down instead of engaging with prospects.  Are they more concerned with playing games, texting, or chatting away while prospects stroll right by your booth?  Make sure you set the proper expectations before the show.  Don’t make the assumption that because you have professional sales people they will understand the nuances of how to work in a trade show environment.  Staff your booth with people who are as good or better than you!

5)      Not listening to your prospects needs: Don’t be so excited to get your message across and sell your product that you miss out on important info about your clients needs.  Also, be sure to be aware of body language and pick up any visual cues that may help you understand your clients’ needs even better.  Take advantage of everything that a face-to-face interaction has to offer.

6)      Depending on a fishbowl to bring in qualified leads: Lose the fishbowl!  Is this type of giveaway really giving you the qualified leads you are seeking?  Be an expert provider of solutions and you don’t necessarily need a generic giveaway contest to drive traffic to your booth.

7)      Hauling too much literature to your booth: Most of the literature handed out at trade shows doesn’t make it past the garbage can in your prospects’ hotel room.  Instead, write “Show Sample” on a copy of your literature to display at the show, and then get your prospect’s contact info to email or mail the info to them after the show.  It will also save you the expense of shipping your heavy literature around.  This gives you a great call to action to follow up with your prospect after the show.  Explore technology to get information in your prospects hands.  QR codes and mobile marketing platforms are great ways to do this.

8)      Not planning for trade show success: We don’t plan to fail, we fail to plan! In talking to clients who haven’t seen the results they were expecting, this is something that is very prevalent.  If you don’t have a good plan in place you won’t be able to show an ROI to justify future shows and all you’ve really done is waste a lot of time and money.  Discuss timelines with your trade show marketing consultant, get feedback from industry peers, do your homework.

9)      Not informing your exhibit service partner: Make sure that the service/crews handling the logistics of your booth understand what’s going on with your booth.  Get them a lists of shows for the year so that your booth gets from one show to the next, deciding which shows you have time to ship to the advanced warehouse and which events you may have to ship direct to the show.  Discuss any unique items such as products in the booth, monitors, height limitations, etc.

10)  Not following up on leads: Though is seems like a no-brainer, you need to make sure that your leads are called on in a timely fashion.  Discuss next steps, quoting, future meetings, and provide any additional information they need.  It’s time to deliver on the promises and the expectations that you have set at the show.

Mistakes of course are common and learning from them is the key.  What mistakes have you made as an exhibitor or have you seen that can help your peers?  Share with us below!



The Dos and Don’ts of Using Promotional Products for Marketing

By Blog



Have you heard of promotional products and how they can turn your business around?

Now, you might be asking yourself: how can a simple gesture of giving handouts and items help your business? The answer is quite simple. They can help improve your marketing campaigns.

Yes – promotional items can be very effective marketing tools which you can utilize for communicating to your target audience and for brand recognition. In fact, many businesses all over are now using this strategy to increase their success rate and to further enhance their business.

Take note though: although handing out giveaways and free items is a good idea – there are certain things that you will need to take into account. And by doing so, you’ll be able to minimize or even eliminate unnecessary risks – and maximize benefits at the same time.

With that in mind, let’s discuss some of the dos and don’ts of using promotional products for marketing:

The DOs

Put Your Brand Name or Logo in Strategic Locations

Remember that the purpose of marketing is to make people know your company (or business) and what you are offering to them. That same rule goes when using promotional giveaways for marketing.

Print your company name or logo on the items you’re handing out. This is important, as it can help in your branding efforts. As much as possible, place your emblem (or name) on strategic locations, so that more people can actually see it. And the more the people who see your business name, the better will it be for your campaigns.

Offer Quality Items

In order for this marketing method to work, you will need to give people items that they can actually use. Don’t invest in cheap, low quality products, as it might not give out the right message for your intended audience. When you give out quality items, you are actually telling your audience that what you are offering (or selling) is of high-quality as well.

Of course, this does not mean that you should spend an unreasonable amount of money on your handouts. Promotional products such as pens, pencils, post-its, USBs, umbrellas and etc. aren’t really expensive items – but you’ll be surprised at how effective they can be.

Have Various Options

Chances are – your business will have various segments that you will need to reach out to separately. Being so, it would be handy if you had different types of products to offer to them. If possible, invest on products for women, men, teens, seniors – or whatever group that you will need to focus on.

The DON’Ts

Don’t Be Cheap

Consider promotional products as a worthwhile investment. If you are able to give out the right set of products to the right people – then the better the results will be.

So, don’t make price your only consideration. As much as possible, find products that may not really be that cheap – but are actually usable, interesting and will help spread good word about your business.

Don’t Forget to Do Your Market Research

Market research will always be important in your marketing efforts – whatever the method may be. After all, it is only when you are able to study and understand your audience that you’ll be able to connect with them.

In other words, you need to determine which products will be most viable for your market. Find out what your potential clients would like to receive and find ways to give them those products. Once you make this possible, then you can expect more people to appreciate the gesture – ultimately helping you reach your goals in the end.

Don’t Be Political

If you have particular religious or political views and beliefs (and are planning to apply them in the products you’re handing out) – please don’t. Otherwise, you run the risk of alienating particular genders, groups, ethnicities or segments in your target audience – thereby defeating the purpose of your marketing campaigns. To be safe, only use promotional products that are “neutral” – and usable as well.

Happy Marketing! 🙂