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Did you fail at an exhibition because of these mistakes?

The show is over, but the outcome was not even close to what you imagined. A grand booth made its impact, goals were set, marketing gimmicks were in place, but your prospects didn’t land to your booth, no leads were generated or maybe did not return back happy.

What went wrong? Every minor mistake counts and you probably did not realise you were making them.

For any business, exhibitions are a phenomenal platform to explore unending networking opportunities. However, along with a myriad of amazing possibilities, each show demands time, money and the challenge to rightly manifest the brand’s image.

So, before you start investing in the next event, here is a list, compiled by industry experts, things to avoid at exhibitions.



Did you position your brand in the wrong exhibition?

Among the haystack of exhibitions, one of the biggest challenges is to recognise the one that will help you meet the motive behind exhibiting—whether that is to generate leads, develop your brand’s identity or foster relationships. Even though historic background and popularity are two crucial factors in choosing the right show, there are several other things to keep in mind before taking the final call.


Think through the following to land up in the most fruitful show.

  • Prepare a list of all the industry-specific trade shows.
  • Interact with the marketing team to understand their sales objectives.
  • Is your target audience going to be a part of the show?
  • What exactly is your purpose of exhibiting? Launching a new product or service, brand positioning or networking?
  • Are your competitors participating in similar shows?
  • Will the show give you satisfactory returns, considering the resources you will invest in the whole process?


Does your booth lack character?

A major share of your audience will get driven away if your booth is bland and lacks character. An appealing booth should ideally narrate the story of your brand. It should have sensorial elements to grab the attention of visitors.

So don’t just exhibit, also express. Discuss ideas with your booth contractor and make sure that they understand your vision and is resourceful enough to pull it off.

  • Does the contractor have an in-house production setup or is a third-party vendor?
  • Do they have relevant experience and the required technical knowledge to pull off a seamless show?
  • Do they cover everything? Will you have to go to another provider for audio visual screens? Is there a provision of designing, building, graphics printing, shipping, installation, project management and dismantle?
  • So how would you assess your contractor? Usually, a Request for Proposal (RPF) is sent to the contractor before they showcase what they have to offer. Make sure that your RPF is very detailed and all your concerns are assessed. The proposal itself will help you realise if the contractor is capable enough to convert your vision into a visual exhibition experience.


Did you do your homework on social media?

Social media also gives you the added advantage of reaching out to your prospects before the show. Connect with your prospects online and give them a heads up that you will be at the show, tell them where to meet you. Do this with an e-invite or a newsletter. A successful social media campaign will help attendees recall your brand on the big day.



The much-awaited day is here and you are ready to indulge in engaging interactions with the attendees. However, to your surprise, not many visitors show up. Not the ideal situation, right?

Why did this happen? You have most likely made one out of these three classic mistakes.


Did your staff fail to impress?

You have a fully-equipped, beautiful booth radiating your brand’s ideology loud and clear. But is your staff trained well enough to handle the array of questions that they might be bombarded with? Do they have basic exhibit etiquettes? Are they hospitable? Will they be able to handle any crisis?

Your staff is the face of your brand. Among the myriad of responsibilities, one big duty of the exhibit manager is to organize pre-show training sessions with the booth staff. Your training sessions must include:

  • The exhibition goals of the company.
  • The ideology and the concept of the exhibit.
  • The technology in the exhibit.
  • The target audience and how to recognize the potential prospects.
  • The verbal and the non-verbal communication essentials.
  • How to deal with the competition on the stage.


Bonus Tip: Take real-time notes and quickly formulate solutions. During the exhibition, as everyday calls end, make sure to have a group meeting with all the staffers to discuss the difficulties they faced. Then re-strategise.


Did cultural differences come in the way of your success?

Okay, so now that you are in the right show, your goals are clear, your staff is trained and you have visitors showing interest. However, you are not able to make any impact on them.

There are high chances that in a scenario full of prospects from different geographies, the cultural difference has become a hindrance.


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