Whether you are taking on your very first trade show or have had a booth at multiple events before, one can always learn from the mistakes of others. We have been keeping a close eye on what works at trade shows and what doesn’t. We have encountered a couple of common mistakes that have been repeatedly made by exhibitors and effected their success at events. We decided to share these with you to help you achieve all your marketing goals at the trade show of your choice.


It is important to hire people who are not intimidated by talking in public to man your booth. You might have multiple employees who are well informed about your products or services but are not comfortable with talking to leads at your booth. Charisma is a very important for captivating the attention of your leads, so make sure that you get the right person for the job. Choose someone with an uplifting and positive attitude.


Certainly, the purpose of exhibiting at a trade show is to make some sales, but exhibitors regularly forget to create a memorable experience for the attendees. Attendees want an interactive experience. Offer fun activities like virtual reality headsets, a selfie booth, props, games or competitions, and you’ll gain a lot of leads without even trying. Instead of ambushing every individual walking by your stand make them come to you. You want people to remember your booth and brand weeks after the trade show.


Trade shows and exhibitions are a great way to generate plenty of leads, but instead of just adding them to your mailing database after the show, you should follow up with them personally. People aren’t used to being given the time of day, so sending them a personal email shows your interest in working with them. Don’t let the leads you’ve generated at the trade show just disappear into the abyss. Make the most of them – follow up and convert!


We’ve all heard the saying, “Go big or go home”. If your competitors are doing a 15x15 stand you should consider matching that or go bigger. Look at the exhibition or trade show floor plan to see what your biggest competitors are doing. You want to position yourself competitively by ensuring that you stand out above all the rest. Every company thinks they have a special something to stand out and if you’re not above the crowd in both size and design, there’s risk that you go unnoticed. A good rule of thumb is to do more or less what everyone else is doing.


Before committing to a show – do your research! You want to go where all the right prospects are. People regularly forget to do proper research before deciding on which exhibition to attend and end up not making a return on their investment. Let’s be honest, exhibiting at an exhibition or trade show is not cheap, so do sufficient research. Ask co-workers, industry partners, scout the social media pages of other companies in your industry to see which shows they have attended. Find out as much as you can before committing and spending money on a trade show or exhibition.


Basically everyone is on social media these days and yes, we know there are people out there who consider it to be a waste of time or frivolous. But it’s an excellent resource when it comes to marketing your trade show appearance. There are several ways that social media can help you come trade show time. For starters, teasing your booth weeks before the big event by posting photos on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is a great way to build excitement and interest in your company. Posting your company’s hashtag on the walls of your booth and encouraging attendees to use your hashtag when they take a photo is a great way to get some free marketing that spreads beyond your own followers. Post-show, it’s always a good idea to tag certain people who you exchanged contact info within your posts, letting them know that you’re still thinking of them and a potential sale perhaps.


So now you know the top 6 most common trade show mistakes. Some of you might be kicking yourself, wishing you knew about these before you went off on your first trade show journey. Four quarters design Studio can help you avoid making these mistakes, or any mistakes at all. Our comprehensive process has a proven track record to give you a competitive edge. Our team includes project and production managers, and designers to help you achieve your company goals. We also provide a turnkey service, as we handle all aspects of your booth from start to finish, such as booth design, pre-production, branded gifts, booth setup and build. This allows you to focus on your business while everything gets done for you – stress free.


Contact us

Follow us