Trade shows and conventions can be a marvelous experience with the large number of booths, vendors, and merchandise available. Seeing these cool booths can motivate you to host a table booth of your own, but be careful to avoid committing these common mistakes and cliches. You don’t want your booth to become that booth with a negative rap. This can cause attendees to avoid your booth. Some people may even take their negative opinion of your booth online, perpetuating your booth’s bad name, warning others to avoid it. Here are the six most common clichés to avoid at your trade show booth.
Free Stuff Frenzy
Everyone loves free stuff, but not when it burdens them with useless clutter. Avoid handing out too much free stuff at your trade show booth, especially items that serve no use or purpose. Only give out one or two items at most. Limit your free gifts to simple and useful stuff like lanyards or tote bags, but skip out on keychains, plush toys, and rubber wristbands. Giving out large numbers of free products will also outshine your actual products available at your booth. You might find attendees stopping by your booth just to nab the free stuff and move on without taking a look at your actual products and services.
You don’t need loud music to get the attention of attendees if you are already presenting great and unique products and services at your booth. Often times, loud music drives away customers since they can’t discuss their opinions about your products with one another. They might have trouble focusing with a speaker blasting into their ears. Loud music also tends to be a conversation killer and customers won’t be able to ask your booth employees questions about the items for sale. Not only can loud music annoy, but it is often against trade show floor rules, and for a good reason. The trade show might even charge a fee for blasting ear-bleeding music.
Small Talk Chatter
It can be friendly and polite to chat with customers and answer their questions, but let’s cut to the chase. They know you are there to sell them products and services, so chatting them up with endless small talk can scare them away. Customers have a limited amount of time to shop and look through all the booths and vendors at the trade show, so they don’t want to spend too much time with someone that will talk their ear off about the weather or if they have seen any movies recently. Ask them one or two small talk questions, but make sure to quickly move onto the important topic at hand which is your products and merchandise. Maybe limit small talk to simple conversations like asking if they’re having fun at the trade show.
Trade shows may display booths with tons of gimmicks employed. Some of the time these gimmicks include spokesmen and women who know little about the products, services, or merchandise. Sometimes you might see them in costumes, often times irrelevant to the merchandise being sold. Skip these gimmicks since they can distract potential customers from your merchandise. Don’t hire jugglers, fire breathers, and especially female models. Even if the gimmick is relevant to your merchandise, it can still seem ridiculous. For example, everyone is laughing at the booth who hired a guy in a monkey suit handing out free bananas to promote their new banana scented body lotion.
Topical Theme Topper
You may be tempted to jump on a hype train or explosive trend, such as slapping a unicorn theme onto your financial counseling services booth because the new hit thing is unicorn themed products. In reality, these two topics are completely irrelevant to each other and end up falling flat or gimmicky. Be honest with your merchandise and services and avoid topical themes that have a shelf life. This may not be winning over potential customers. In fact, they might avoid your booth if it is sending a message not aligned with the company.
Logic Trumps Creativity
Each trade show will give vendors and booths a pre-determined amount of space, which is wonderful. They might help you set up or provide your booth with free tables and chairs for your employees. Make sure to utilize this space in an efficient and organized manner to ensure customers and attendees don’t get confused while they’re browsing. Avoid making your booth design and layout too complex, but also don’t make it too simple that it fails to catch the eyes of attendees. It should be well organized, attractive, and appealing. Avoid cluttering the space with fixtures and large signs, as this will cut into the space available for your products. Don’t go too crazy with rainbow banners and setting down products willy nilly. This will make it difficult for customers to find products and for your employees to search for them. Keep it simple, but not so simple that it is just a table with a plain black table cloth and a sign. A little effort and attention can go a long way!
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