Making a Big Impact at Trade Conferences with First Impressions



A trade show display can make or break your company’s reputation in the community. A good display brings in business, allows your staff to network with other business owners and schmooze the local media. A bad one, however, can send the wrong message, giving people the impression that you’re unprofessional. Here are five things that can kill a trade show display, as well as tips on how to avoid them.

Boring Backdrop
Trade shows are a study in over-stimulation. With so many interesting products to look at, so many engaging people to talk to, and so many competing messages, it can be easy for your display to get lost in the chaos. One thing that will ensure you get shoved out of the spotlight is a boring backdrop. A black or solid-color drape just doesn’t cut it. Instead, think large, brightly-colored photos. Don’t let the cost scare you; affordable large format printing is available and will pay for itself in business.
 
Running Out of Literature
Companies vary greatly in what they bring to the world, but one thing all professional, successful companies have in common is their ability to anticipate and plan for the future. If you run out of literature at a trade show, you’re telling potential customers that you can’t anticipate basic business needs. Always bring more brochures or other handouts than you think you’ll need.

Hand-Made Signs 
Hand-made signs are the kiss of death for a trade show display. You want to be seen as a professional, cutting-edge business, not a lemonade stand. Get your signs professionally printed. As with backdrop pictures, don’t be intimidated by large format printing; it’s a good investment. Also, always make sure to go through your proofs with the proverbial fine toothcomb before approving the final print job. Mistakes will cost you. 

No Give-Away Items
Large format printing isn't the only way to grab attention. Give-away items are a big draw for trade show exhibitors. In order to compete for attention, you have to give people reasons to stop by your table. Ignoring the necessity of a give-away will get you ignored. Give-away items don’t have to break the bank; some of the best give away items are inexpensive business staples like pens and pads of paper. These will remind people of your company long after they leave the show. 

Poorly Trained Staffers
Even the slickest display will fall flat if staffers don't look and act appropriately. Customers don't want to talk to slobs, slackers, or anyone who looks intimidating. To avoid this, make and enforce a dress code, pick your most extroverted staff members to work the tables, and spend the resources to give them top-notch "how to behave" training.

 

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