Our Top 10 Exhibition Mistakes to Avoid

Category: Event Marketing

Exhibition Mistakes

Both new and experienced exhibitors make plenty of mistakes, and for the most part, they're all avoidable. Whether you're working with an in-house team or with an exhibition company, you can maximise your impact at every event you attend by avoiding these potentially costly errors.

Ignoring the Exhibitor's Manual

Even if you're an experienced exhibitor, and even if you've attended the same event in the past, you can't afford to make this mistake. Check and double-check all the information the organisers provide you with and make sure you meet all their requirements within the allotted time to prevent last-minute stress.

Failing to Define Your Goals

Attending exhibitions costs money, and attending is pointless if you don't make some return on that investment. Equally so, if you don't define your goals beforehand, you have no objective methods of knowing whether you've actually had a successful event. Think about what you want to achieve, set some targets, and then figure out how to meet them.

Choosing the Wrong Staff

Too few people—or even too many people—staffing your exhibition stand can spell disaster, but it's generally better to have too many than not enough. Likewise, each person staffing your stand needs to be able to communicate in a confident and friendly manner, and be a knowledgeable and positive representative for your brand.

Your Exhibition Stand Doesn't Represent Your Purpose

Exhibition stands need to provide information quickly and clearly, and that information needs to be consumer-oriented. Assume that people don't know your brand, and make sure your stand tells them who you are, what you do, and what problems you can solve for them, with succinct text and clear, informative graphics.

Making Poor Use of Social Media

Social media can bring you more visitors, but not if your messages lack creativity and ignore your audiences’ needs. It's not enough to tell people you're at an exhibition, you need to make them want to visit your stand.

Not Providing Take-Home Information

It's essential that you provide visitors with something they can take away with them, even if it's just a small brochure. Providing that take-home info vastly increases the chance that visitors will return to your stand, or contact you after the event.

Not Practising Your “Elevator Pitch”

Can you explain your brand in 30 seconds or less? During the course of a single day you'll be talking to dozens, even hundreds of people, and few will want to spend more than a few minutes at a single stand. Practice before exhibition day to make sure you're ready, and if you have staff working with you, make sure they do the same.

Letting Your Attention Flag

Exhibitions are exhausting, but you can't afford to let it show. There's nothing wrong with taking a break, but it's best to do this out of sight of visitors. If you're at your stand, you're paying attention—not using your phone, eating, or doing anything other than being ready for the next visitor.

Refusing to Talk Price

Exhibitions are competitive, and visitors want as much information as they can get—so you can't afford to hesitate when it comes to talking price. Even if your prices are highly customisable, you can still provide a minimum-maximum price range to a potential customer.

Failing to Follow Up on Leads

A shocking number of exhibitors fail to follow up on leads they generate at events, which really makes you wonder what they're doing there in the first place. Don't waste those opportunities—follow up on every lead.


Posted 19th October, 2015

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