It’s true, tradeshows are one of the best ways to network and get more clients for your business, but if you’re not careful, your investment in exhibiting could end up a disaster. It never ceases to amaze me how much some companies spend on getting booths, displays, hire talent (wink wink) but totally miss the point.
Having a Booth that’s Too Big or Too Small
It seemed to me that many of the usual suspects did not exhibit so naturally some folks felt the need to oversize their tradeshow booths – maybe because they felt the need to overcompensate for whatever it is they were lacking. On the other hand, there were others who had a booth that was too tiny for passersby to notice. Deciding the right size of your tradeshow booth is very important. It should be an ideal size to where it can be seen, but isn’t overbearing. It should also be able to do what it’s there to do, display your products and services. Don’t even get me started on pointless backdrops and people manning the booth who haven’t the faintest idea what it is their company does.
Not Knowing Your Customer and Having No Objectives
It is obvious and evident that not everyone at the tradeshow will be a potential customer. Knowing the profile of your intended customer is ideal, so that you can know who to target with your sales pitches. It may have helped many exhibitors if they brought along a questionnaire perhaps that they could have asked people to see if they would indeed benefit from the service or product that you have to offer. If not, don’t be afraid to let them go.
Having preset objectives is imperative if you want to get your point across. Are you there to promote the launch of a new service or product, or are you there to do a bit of trend research? Tradeshows are the perfect opportunity to see your competitors and potential customers all in one place, so take advantage! Now there will those who are there just to socialize and party (you know who you are) and hey – if that is your objective, by all means go for it. But don’t do it on the company’s dime.
Giveaways without Purpose
A lot of booths at tradeshows give out products to every person who passes without even considering whether they are a good prospect or not. Then the giveaway item should actually be something that will act as a marketing piece. Handing out cupcakes or bottles of soda will make you a favorite, but it won’t make people remember you. What’s more ideal is handing out usable or memorable products with your company name or logo, hopefully one that contains information for your company.
Poorly Trained Staff
This has to be my favorite and a personal pet peeve. At a tradeshow, please have staff members who are well-trained to sell and to interact with the people at the tradeshow. Having shy or overly-aggressive people that don’t know what they’re doing will quickly make your booth the one to avoid. If your staff doesn’t have full details about the product or service and the company they represent, then you’re going to lose more prospects than you gain. There’s nothing worse than talking to a representative that has no more of a clue than you do. Don’t get me wrong – I am all for eye candy but at the end of the day do you want me conducting business with her or your company. I am sorry – what do you do again?
This Affiliate Summit East was definitely an eye opener in many, many ways: A lot of the usual big players are now has beens; Many of the once smaller players are no becoming a force to reckon with; A little respect goes a long way; Some organizations think way too much of themselves while others who should be, well go on doing business they way it should be – honestly and with a clear focus.
Some shout outs to companies I was definitely impressed with (mainly because I got a chance to spend quality time with them): PeerFly, CPA Way, Dedicated Media, Offer Web and Rextopia. Don’t get me wrong – there were many others but for now I will limit it to these.
Companies I was definitely not impressed with – well this is a longer list so feel free to contact me directly to discuss as I do not want to piss them off.