A recent survey revealed that over 90% of exhibit and trade show attendees are actively looking for new products.

So if so many people are interested and ready to buy, why is it that your trade show booth isn’t turning out the results you deserve? Well, we hate to break it to you, but it’s all in your exhibit marketing strategy.

Unfortunately, businesses all over the world and making detrimental exhibit marketing mistakes that are costing their brand hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Lucky for you, you won’t be one of them.

Follow along to discover the seven mistakes that products and services companies are making at trade shows and how to avoid them for your next event.

1. Poor Lighting

One of the most important aspects of your exhibit marketing strategy is an eye-catching and inviting booth. Unfortunately, having a poorly lit display takes away from the impact your hoping to make.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to bring your own overhead lighting rig to every event (although this would make a splash!). However, what you really need to focus your efforts on is opening up your booth to utilize the lighting effectively.

This may mean going to the venue in advance and requesting a stall with good overhead lighting or simply ensuring any tall standing booth pieces aren’t blocking light from important areas.

And of course, if you do decide to add a bit of extra lighting to your products and services, be sure they are impactful. There’s no point giving a spotlight to a blank space on your trade show table, so think ahead and place carefully.

2. Not Having a Plan

You wouldn’t believe the number of exhibitors who show up to a show without any formal plan. Luckily, that won’t be you.

To get the most out of your trade show investment, plan ahead and plan well. This means utilizing social media marketing both before and during the event, having a plan on how and who to draw into your booth, and ensuring effective follow-up is carried out.

Without a carefully considered exhibit marketing strategy for before, during, and after the event, you might as well not show up at all.

3. Boring Displays

Lighting isn’t the only element to invest in when it comes to your booth design. In fact, the appearance of your trade show booth could be the difference between a well-visited stall and an empty one.

To pull off a great design, you’ll need to do your research to discover what your audience is looking for and how to capture their attention. We highly suggest hiring a specialized trade show marketing company to help you ensure your design is up to par.

Trusted booth designers such as our friends at Nimlock know exactly what methods, colors, and attention grabbers to use to make marketing with booths a slam dunk.

4. Displaying too Much

If boring displays aren’t your issue, you may be guilty of doing just the opposite by overshooting your design.

We understand that you have a lot of great products and services to talk about, but stuffing them all into one booth can often be quite overwhelming for your audience.

Instead, try focusing on one or two key elements to emphasize and sell rather than spreading yourself thin with a plethora of options.

If possible, consider lining up your trade show dates with important releases to take advantage of peak marketing time. This will give you something to really push and focus on. Don’t worry, your other products will forgive you for not giving them the limelight this time.

5. There’s No Incentive to Visit

So you’ve got a beautiful display and the right products displayed, and people still aren’t stopping to chat? This is because you haven’t given them any incentive to pay your a visit.

You may have noticed that the booths with the most traffic are often the ones with incredibly interactive displays. This is because there is something going on that trade show attendees don’t want to ‘miss’ by just walking by.

A great way to gather the crowds is to offer this incentive through special offers, interaction, and even giveaways.

If your product or service isn’t worthy of a live demo, keep it simple by opening up a draw for an amazing prize. This will get people to your booth and give you a chance to engage with them and keep them there.

6. Your Message Is Unclear

There’s nothing worse than walking away from a conversation and wondering ‘so… what do they do?’.

There’s a number of reasons why your potential customers may be walking away with this thought. First, because your display was deceiving or featured too many (or the wrong) products as we mentioned above.

Second, your sales team may have been unclear in your message delivery.

While it’s great to draw a crowd, you want to be sure your crowd is the ‘right’ audience for your products and services. This means that enticing them with popular but unrelated things isn’t going to be effective in the long run.

Your brand and message should be clear right from your marketing to the items you put in your giveaway.

7. Not Putting Your Best Marketers on the Floor

If you also run a brick-and-mortar location, it can be tricky to determine which staff to leave at the store and who to bring with you to the trade show.

The answer? Always bring your best representatives to the show.

While you may miss out on a few sales at home that day, marketing on a trade show floor is incredibly tricky and will require knowledgeable and engaging staff to succeed.

If you plan on doing the show by yourself – don’t. Spend the time and money investing in a quality team that is trained and ready to help your business make an impact at the show. After all, this is the first impression many customers will have of your business and you want it to be the best.

Avoiding Exhibit Marketing Mistakes

Now that you know these common exhibit marketing mistakes and how to avoid them, we’re confident you’ll be a smashing success at your next trade show. From carving out a clear and concise message to having the right team on hand to represent you, we can’t wait to see your impressive results.

Want more tips and tricks for your business marketing strategy? Check out our other articles to discover everything you need to know to market, grow, and succeed in the business world.