5 Most Common Trade Show Mistakes

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Even the most experienced trade show exhibitors will tell you: there is always something that can go wrong. From electrical requirements, to booth restrictions, to labor rules, to pre-show mailers, there are a lot of components to keep track of. At Iconic Displays, we can help you make the most of every trade show experience by offering extensive support before, during, and after your next show. Keep in mind these 5 common trade show mistakes when planning for your next marketing exhibit.


  1. Attending the wrong show
    This mistake might seem like an obvious one, but it happens more often than you might think. There are a huge amount of trade shows for any given industry across the country, so be sure to choose ones that closely align with your service, product, or overall company goals. The more relevant your company is, the more successful leads you will generate. Be sure to do your research ahead of time to be sure you’ll get the most out of your trade show display booth investment.
  2. Not outlining pre-show strategy or show goals
    Some companies think that simply showing up with an eye-catching pop up display is all you need to be successful at a trade show. This simply isn’t the case. Be sure that your clients and industry contacts are aware that you’ll be attending! A pre-show email newsletter outlining any new products or services you’ll be presenting will help refresh your brand in the minds of your clients and get them excited to find your booth at the event.Setting clear, distinct goals for each tradeshow will help you streamline the process as your company grows. Gathering leads shouldn’t be your only goal. Be sure to outline what new features, offers, or campaigns you will be presenting at this show, and what you hope to achieve with them. Other trade show goals could include meeting new distributors, refining your sales pitch, or testing out new product or service concepts.
  3. Not training your show staff properly
    Time is not on your side in the trade show environment, so it is important that your booth staff be as knowledgeable as possible. If your staff is not alert and engaging with passers-by, you could be losing out on important business opportunities. They should be familiar enough with your company to answer any questions that visitors may have. It also helps if they are comfortable with the trade show process, including set up and tear down. Be sure that your show staff knows how to take proper notes, communicate clearly and effectively, and think on their feet should problems arise. Top-level employees will be more likely to go the extra mile for insuring your company’s success.
  4. Choosing the wrong type of display and not taking care of it
    Depending on your company’s product or service, some types of trade show displays might be a better fit than others. Some businesses might do better to invest in cutting edge display technology for their booths, whereas it might just end up being a headache for others. Backlit lightbox displays or booths with video/monitor components simply make sense for certain brands, but not for others. If technology ends up being used incorrectly or ineffectively, it might be a better idea to invest in more tangible marketing display options. Be sure to look through all of the additional accessories and display options on iconicdisplays.com to find what will suit your business the best.Taking care of your trade show display is important for its upkeep and physical condition. If you purchase your own display equipment, be sure it is stored correctly so that you can get the most out of it for future shows. If you are interested in renting a trade show booth, Iconic Displays offers turnkey rentals that include full shipping, installation, and dismantling services.
  5. Thinking that “more” always means “better”
    One of the first decisions in setting up a trade show display is determining the booth size. If a 30’ x 30’ turnkey booth doesn’t make sense for your brand, then don’t stretch your resources. At the same time, you want to be sure that you have enough space for your potential clients to interact comfortably in your booth. Be sure to come up with a realistic projection of how much booth space you will need to meet your needs.Sure, sometimes a larger custom booth loaded with features does a great job at grabbing attention at trade shows. But a complicated booth set up can also work against you, especially in terms of budget. If your visitors find themselves lost in a giant display, it won’t be advantageous for your company. Approach your trade show booth with a critical eye, and if certain types of displays don’t make sense for your business, then allocate your budget elsewhere.

    The same goes for overly complicated graphic banners and design. It’s important to provide your booth visitors with enough information, but remember that much of it can be communicated by your booth staff. Finding a balance in your graphic design will help you create an attractive trade show display booth, and Iconic Displays can help you every step of the way with our comprehensive printing and design services.

By keeping these common mistakes in mind when planning your next trade show, you’ll be sure to plan the perfect booth for your business. Iconic Displays offers a wide range of trade show booth and design services, and can help you every step of the way. Our quality customer service team is available to answer any questions you may have about trade show display rentals or purchases.