Love them or hate them, trade shows are where B2B companies make connections and sell products. That means as a marketer, you have to be prepared as an exhibitor, and avoid common mistakes at the trade show booth. How? Let’s go over 7 of the most common mistakes made by veterans and rookies alike at trade shows.

Don’t Block Yourself Off

One of the most common things to do at an exhibit booth is place your table lengthwise, parallel with your backdrop. But this is a huge mistake.

When you do this, you’re putting a barrier up between yourself, your demo, and your product. It makes it hard to get up-close-and-personal with customers, which can harm your selling strategy.

If you need a table, place it perpendicular to the booth, running along the side. This lets you have a place to store pamphlets and other such items, without blocking off your booth.

Failing to Define an Objective

If you go to a trade show without an objective, such as “collect 50 qualified leads”, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. If you don’t have a goal, you can’t achieve it. It’s just that simple.

Don’t Stress About Your Budget

Trade shows can be a big expenditure. But it’s worth shelling out extra money for a premium booth. A trade show booth is an investment, and if it’s eye-catching and attractive, you’ll bring in more customers, which will maximize your ROI. Don’t pinch pennies, think long-term.

Publicize Your Presence in Every Way You Can

For your trade show booth to be effective, potential clients have to know you’re there. Sponsor some aspect of the show, use social media, advertise in trade publications, do whatever you can to announce your presence.

Send Veterans

Trade shows aren’t the place for rookie sales and marketing professionals. They’re where your company makes its money and you need to send the best of the best to make sure your investment in a trade show pays off.

Do Your Research (Before the Show)

If you don’t do your homework on a particular show, you may end up signing up and then realizing that it’s not your ideal market segment, and still be committed to running a booth. Ask previous attendees about the show and see if the competition is attending. These are good ways to make sure you’re going to the right trade shows.

Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up

We could write that 1,000 more times. Your trade show leads mean nothing if you don’t follow up with them. Put together a qualified lead contact strategy before the show and follow it to a T afterwards to make sure you maximize your chances of a successful sale.