Reasons For Trade Show Failure

By Lawrence J. Reaves

Unfortunately, it’s easier to fail at a trade show than to succeed. Success at a trade show requires a lot of commitment from you and your team members, advance planning and an adequate budget. If any of these items are overlooked, then there’s a chance your trade show may fail.

Trade shows are a popular method of advertising your company’s products and services and a good trade show exhibition will increase your customer base and therefore increase sales. Never forget that a bad trade show exhibition can not only cost a lot of money, but can result in loss of sales and your company’s image may get tarnished.

Take a look through the following common mistakes that can result in failure at a trade show. By keeping these in mind it’s likely you will avoid the problems and make your trades how exhibition a success.

Leaving it too Late


If you decide too late to attend a trade show then there will not be enough time to get everything in order. Ideally you need to book your booth at least six months, if not earlier, in advance. You also need to start organizing for the trade show as soon as you have confirmation that you have a space booked.

Inadequate Planning

You may have starting getting ready for the trade show in time, but if the planning is inadequate it doesn’t matter how long you have, it’s unlikely it will come together cohesively. Select your team and start planning meetings. Delegate jobs to all team members, don’t try to take everything on yourself, because you think you can do it better; it won’t work. Itemize everything that needs to be attended to. Set deadlines and stick to them; slippage results in a rush toward the end and things get missed.

Late Booth Preparation

Your booth is the central place at the trade show. Never underestimate its importance. It must be designed in a way that attracts visitors. Your company name and logo need to be clearly displayed and should ideally be visible from a distance. The booth must look appealing, the lighting correct. Make sure you plan the layout of your booth in plenty of time so when you arrive you know exactly where everything goes.

Failing to Check Electrical Items

It’s of little value having a great booth design, but when you go to start a demonstration or turn on electrical equipment, it doesn’t work. Test everything the day before the show opens as this gives to time to get things repaired or replaced. Ensure you take spare parts such as light bulbs.

Follow up Failure

You may have had a great trade show and consider it a success. However, if you get back to your office and fail to follow leads and referrals then your trade show exhibition will have been a waste of time and money. Leads and referrals go cold, if not attended to quickly, so make sure you delegate a follow up process to your staff and have them report back to you regularly.

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