How To Avoid Common Trade Show Selection Traps
Selecting the right trade show or exhibition can be a tricky process. Get it wrong and you risk losing a lot of money and time.
Here are some do’s and don’ts when undergoing your selection process.
- Never choose to attend a trade show just out of habit!
Each time you think of attending, be it as a visitor or exhibitor, zero in on the selection criteria.
“We’ve always attended this show” or “We’ve always done it this way” should raise alarm bells.
Always, always ask yourself (and others involved in marketing and sales in the organisation) if you got the results you wanted. Did the show attract the right type of prospects? Did you get the ROI you hoped for? If not, why not?
Unless show attendance is worth your money, effort, return on investment etc. do not rebook a stand.
- Don’t choose to attend the show just because your competition is there.
While there are cases where you just have to be there because your competition is, question this assumption before committing to the show.
Your competition has their own reasons and objectives for attending. Reasons that may not be valid for you. And believe it or not, sometimes they may not have thought through why they’re there either.
So playing a “me too” and “we’ve got to be there” could be a fool’s errand.
You’ll get a far better ROI by selecting a trade show using your own criteria.
- Don’t choose a trade show attendance by the “appeal factor”.
Junkets are fine if you can afford them. Reasons such as “we like the town” aren’t good enough. You’re investing precious and hard earned marketing dollars so the reasons for attending have to be more substantial than the attraction of a town.
Having said that, delegates do often make choices regarding attendance given the location. So put all this into the mix when making your choices.
- Exhibiting is not an easy road. Make sure that your sales team aren’t looking for an easy way out of doing the hard yards – i.e. trying to avoid prospecting thinking that the trade show will do it all for them.
- Be flexible and lateral in your thinking. Smaller trade show, with less attendees might just be a better, cheaper way to go. So look out for regional trade show, rather than a national or even international trade shows.
It may well turn out to be a far better investment to attend one or several smaller shows with a more clearly defined target market. Don’t let your ego get the better of you.
- And finally, consider not taking out a booth at all.
You may get a far better response by becoming a speaker, or holding a prospect/client event outside the show hall (but in the same venue if possible).
You’d specifically invite people who are already attending the show and have them as captive audience.