A smart marketer always learns from other marketers’ mistakes. And such mistakes are common at trade show stands where businesses from a particular industry market their products and services.
A lot of exhibitors often ignore small things when planning their big shows. And more often than not, these errors are related to booth staffing and booth design. And both of them are hands down, your brand reflection at an exhibition. So, if you are reading this article, you want to steer clear of the errors exhibitors end up doing when planning their trade show booth design and training their staff for the final show appearance.
Avoiding these common mistakes will help you come across as a professional, customer-centric brand, and thus, achieve your marketing goals at a trade show.
Creating a safety zone
Your staffers may not be aware of this, but it’s your responsibility to acquaint them with a professional demeanor at trade show stands. Many times, staffers tend to huddle up at the booth corners, by their trade show booth walls or presentation zones to converse with each other. These areas where they congregate are dubbed “safety zones”. Staffers subconsciously look for an escape from the crush of attendees and end up in comfortable zones projecting that they are having a casual staff meeting.
Your potential visitors or passersby, when walking past your booth, would not step in as they might feel they are intruding on your private space or casual meeting. The exhibition halls are usually very huge, and the visitors will most probably not get a chance to walk past your booth twice. So, teach your staff that sitting or standing at their ease can cost you a potential lead.
Presenting a strong pitch and ignoring what visitors are looking for
This has everything to do with your sales script and inexperienced staff members. An overly aggressive sales pitch or presentation is likely to backfire. Understand the simple fact that marketing is a persuasion not pushing or tricking people into buying things. When making your presentations, you need to talk more about facts and the latest trends and less about yourself. The “me me me” approach is going to put off your potential customers simply because everyone says they are the best.
Another thing that can upset your trade show attendees is the information that they are not looking for. It’s always better to indulge in conversations with your attendees and try to understand what exactly are they looking for instead of bombarding them with a mugged-up sales pitch.
Handing out literature and premiums to avoid talking
Keep this simple fact in your mind your exhibit staff is your brand ambassador and they should not cut corners when representing your brand at the show you have been planning for months. Many a time, staff members are unsure about how to strike a conversation with strangers and end up handing out marketing materials like brochures or flyers or giveaways to keep them occupied. This surely is not the way to go about it.
You should only take those exhibition members on board who are good at networking and interested in talking to your prospects. But beyond that you should make it a point to get your trade show booth staff training that will show them how to close a sale, build rapport, and deal with an interested visitor.
So make sure either your staff has experienced trade fairs before and knows how to network with visitors or give them the required training.
Standing at the booth like a security guard
This is also a common mistake many exhibit staff members end up doing in order to come across as proactive. Sometimes, staff members unintentionally patrol the peripheries of trade show booths to make themselves look approachable to visitors. You will be surprised to know this but this can actually act as a wall or a barrier between your exhibition booth and visitors.
While it is important to be proactive and keep your booth lively, staffers need not stand like they are the watchdogs who are on the lookout for something. Sitting behind the desk and waiting for visitors to approach is also not the right way. So, here they surely need to strike a balance between the two.
Mixing the outer edges of the booth with structural elements
When finalizing your trade show booth design, keep in mind that your booth should look welcoming and congenial. Many exhibitors make the mistake of mixing the outer edges of their booth with the internal structures, which blocks a lot of space in between and creates a castle-wall effect which may project that you want to keep invaders at bay.
Whether it’s a trade show booth rental or a customized trade show stand, make sure these barricaded castle-like structures are not a part of your trade show booth ideas. Your booth walls (if any) and internal structures should be aligned in such a way that induces easy visitor flow. They should not get the feeling that they are trespassing instead, keep your booth space open and welcoming.
Keeping a gap between the aisle carpet and exhibition flooring
Even though you know the exact measurement of your booth space, you may not be aware of the carpeting measurement of the fairground. A lot of exhibitors don’t know whether their booth flooring is extending all the way to the aisle carpet and they end up creating a moat or gap which can hinder the smooth visitor flow.
Even though it’s not a physical barrier, it affects the passersby’s psychology, making them feel that they need to cross an impediment to entering both. So, the takeaway for you is that make sure that the aisle carpeting touches the edges of your trade show stand so that there is no interruption in the visual flow.
Barriers due to colour or lighting contrasts
Don’t underestimate the effect of extreme contrasts. They can create visual barriers which might not even strike you as an exhibitor. But as an attendee, it is likely to have a subconscious effect on your psychology. Before you finalize your trade show booth design, you must ask the fairground authorities about the color of the carpets. You don’t have to match your exhibition booth colors or design with the fairground carpeting, but only need to make sure that your booth flooring is not in contrast with the exhibition carpeting.
Lighting is yet another medium that can create striking contrasts and hinder the visual barrier. Overly bright booth spaces as compared to the fairground lighting can create a force field. Visitors usually shy away from entering these ‘force fields’, thinking that they are entering some safe zone. Again, have a word with your trade show booth rental company and make sure that they don’t incorporate lighting which is in striking contrast with fairground lighting.
Insufficient booth staffing
Insufficient booth staff is the last thing you want for your trade show stand. A lot of exhibitors buy big booth spaces and work out the best trade show booth designs but fail to take adequate staffing on boards. Just imagine you have a visitor at your booth, but there is nobody to attend to them, or your staff is busy attending to the other visitors. You can only imagine the impression you will create on the visitors.
If you have a medium or large size booth, make sure you have exhibit staff to manage all the important areas of your booth. For example, there should be an adequate amount of people to manage your demonstrations, presentations, product sampling, meetings, and booth reception.
Creating a low-quality exhibition stand
Last but not least; bear in mind that an exhibition is a place where your competitors have assembled under one roof, and everyone has the best marketing plan to promote their businesses. They come up with the best trade show booth ideas to complement their products and services. You can’t afford to set up a low-quality booth or any booth equipment for that matter. You will either be a part of clutter or end up being secluded because your bad quality booth is creating a bad impression and keeping people at bay.
Whether you want to buy a trade show booth or wish to opt for trade show booth rental, make sure you hire the best trade show booth contractors in Europe who do not compromise with the quality of your booth. And if we talk practically, to exhibit in European trade fairs your booth quality and marketing materials should match European standards. Otherwise, there is a possibility you might face issues setting up your exhibition booth in the first place.
So now that you know what not to do when designing and setting up trade show booth stands, you can incorporate these suggestions into your overall plan and get ready to achieve your marketing goals successfully at your next international trade show.
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