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    The 5 Most Common Trade Show Mistakes (Part 2/2)



    And What You Can Do to Avoid Them

    In last week’s post, we discussed two important trade show mistakes to avoid. It’s common to overlook the significance of your trade show presence and how it can impact your business. But in today’s competitive markets, it’s vital that your trade show strategy makes a lasting impression on potential customers.

    To generate good, qualified leads, you need to make sure that you’re telling a cohesive brand story—one that gets to the heart of what it is you really do, while at the same time, putting on your best face to prospects. You only have a few seconds to make your first impression. Are you making the right one?

    Avoid these final three trade show marketing mistakes to ensure true sales success for your company:

          1. “Sales reps don’t care how pretty our exhibit looks.” Not so fast. Many companies who exhibit at smaller events send their sales representatives, and yet it is not uncommon to see exhibits with creases, cracks, and coffee stains. These things happen, but companies would do well to remember that for many sales representatives, these exhibits are representations of your company, brand, and style of delivery—even if only on an unconscious level. Make sure your traveling brand stays neat and clean.Helpful tips:
            • If they are running the booth, train all the sales reps to properly setup and pack the booth
            • Have them take a picture of the booth at each event for you to see to ensure quality
            • Schedule yearly booth cleaning and maintenance
            • Work with a reputable company to take care of your exhibit investment
          2. “Knees have eyeballs, right?” Not really. While there is hopefully no need for an anatomy lesson here, it’s important to remember where you are placing important information and images. It’s a common mistake for many companies not to plan how their exhibits actually function; make sure that yours is considering and using its space wisely for human interaction.Useful insight:
            • Stop putting text and key images at knee-level on your exhibit.
            • Keep the most important text at eye level—approximately 5 feet from the floor; help people focus with one clear message or image
            • Not every inch of your exhibit needs to be covered in text or random images
            • Develop an exhibit strategy and messaging goals that extend beyond the backdrop
          3. “If they can’t read our exhibit, they’ll just come closer.” Or they will avoid it altogether and go to the next guy’s booth. It’s not enough to have good content at a trade show event; you need to make it clearly visible, memorable, and easy to understand—and you must do all of this at a glance. This is not the place to showcase the 100 features of your 45 products.Key information:
            • Text height should be a minimum of 4 feet tall. Make your text 1 foot high for every 3 feet you step back. Thus, if you want people to read it from 20 feet away, then your text should be 6.5 feet high
            • Fonts: Use serif or san serif styles and only two fonts per graphic— clean and simple wins every time at a trade show
            • When it comes to colors, you don’t want your exhibit to look like you got in a paintball shootout 15 minutes before the event
            • Images are more powerful than words and stand the test of time; text should not take more then 3-5 seconds to read, and it certainly shouldn’t look like an eye chart

    No matter the industry, these tips will help you tighten up your brand message, refine your trade show experience, and make a lasting impact on customers that will generate more sales.

    About The Author

    Elton Mayfield

    Elton's career spans media, production, digital and building industry expertise. His diverse experience makes him nimble, innovative, and curious – always pushing the envelope to create extraordinary work that delivers real results for our clients.

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