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5 Things You Should Never Bring Onto the Trade Show Floor

If you’re trying to help your ROI and achieve better exhibiting results, then this blog post is for you. If you do chuckle at some of these points because it sounds like what you do, maybe it’s time to rethink your strategy on those topics.

1. The Open-to-All Contest

Contests are a great way to attract attendees to your booth. But ultimately, the goal of your show is to qualify leads. Instead of registering attendees for a contest where the prize is obviously appealing just to get their contact information, why not qualify them as a potential client? It’s completely acceptable to host an in-booth contest where the entries should be qualified leads.

Of course, if you’re objective is strictly to get a lot of names to impress your boss and fill your CRM, continue as before.

2. The Cheap promotional Items

If your strategy is to target C level executives by luring them into your booth with a branded $0.75 pen, you may need to rethink. To be the bearer of bad news, the pen in your prospect’s pocket is probably worth ten times that. Please do not waste your valuable image on cheap promotional items. Instead of giving away candy or cheap pens, you’re better off not giving away anything at all.

3. The Flea Market Table

If you’re a trade show, most likely your products are not junk, so please don’t be associated with the flea market look. Although you may have a lot of products to offer, you make it really hard for visitors to engage. Technology use is a better way to display your products, such as online galleries or on monitors. You might be in an industry where people like to see and touch the product, but try to bring your newest products and best sellers and jump on the opportunity to book an appointment to show the rest of your offering.

4. The office Set Up

Just because you are on the show floor does not mean you can’t conduct business and close sales in your booth. If you take 50 sq. ft. of a 10×10 with the money your company is investing in the show, your real estate space might be as expensive as Manhattan. Do your company and yourself a favor and ask for someone else to do the show, or keep your office hours open before and after show hours.

5. Booth Babes

I’m just kidding… I love booth babes because they make me feel like James Bond. But in all seriousness, if you’re going to go the route of booth babes (which I wouldn’t entirely recommend), make sure they are trained appropriately and give proper information to your attendees. Think about the image you portray as a company as well if you choose to use booth babes. Do they really match your standards and quality or are they just a prop to get people’s attention that could potentially lower your credibility? When Mr. Smith comes back to his office and tells his boss he wants to deal with your company because of an eye-catching booth staffer, make sure that he can give credible information. Otherwise, Mr. Smith’s boss may be questioning that posed picture he posted on Facebook.

All in all, if you’re exhibiting at a show, make sure your standards and image match your goals. Looking cheap doesn’t help you in any way. Own your floor space and make the most of it. After all, a trade show can be the best marketing investment your company makes.

measurement-cdIf you’re wondering whether your trade show exhibiting is yielding the results you want and need, get the Measurement Made Easy! CD and calculator. This tool will help you make sound exhibiting decisions and justify the value of your program. Click here to request your free CD.


About the Author

Sebastien Robillard joined Skyline Montreal as an exhibit consultant in 2009 after spending 15 years establishing international business and marketing strategies for companies. He brings experience in the trade show industry through being both an exhibitor and attendee in tradeshows of different industries worldwide. This dual perspective gives him greater insight helping his clients with their Montreal trade show displays.

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