It's officially trade show season, and exhibitors are understandably excited about showing off their new products and services. But be careful; lots of companies overspend in preparation for the conventions and attend unnecessary shows with no gain. Let's go over some common traps that companies fall into during trade show season:
1. Too much space
According to CBS News, one of the most common mistakes exhibitors make is going too big. Just because the booth next door to you is impressive in size, doesn't mean that yours is too small. "Money spent to make that booth look as elegant and professional as possible is generally better than money spent for more real estate and all of the additional expenses that come with it," says trade show veteran Michael Hess. Therefore, instead of renting out extra space, make sure your trade show tent looks presentable and appealing.
2. Too many representatives
You may be tempted to send multiple representatives from your company to exhibit at the upcoming trade show. But remember: The more people you send away from the office, the less work will get done at home. Plus, expenses due to airfare, meals, entertainment, hotels, and transportation really add up. Figure out how many people you can afford to send away, and stick to it.
3. Too many last-minute changes
A big event rarely goes off without a hitch; there's always going to be something someone forgot to do, bring, or say. But with proper planning, you can avoid making last-minute (and potentially costly) changes.
4. Too many shows
Of course you want to show off your product or service to as many people as possible, but more shows doesn't always mean more sales. According to Hess, "You should always question a show that will mainly put you in front of people you see in the normal course of business." If your reps regularly see the dealers you'd see at a particular show, you might want to spend your money elsewhere.
5. Too much inaction
Simply sitting at your booth is not the same as "having a presence." You've got to engage attendees. How you draw people in is your choice -- perhaps you want to include a sign-up sheet, or maybe you'd prefer to hand out trade show giveaways. Do whatever you think will get attendees to act.
Before deciding when and where to exhibit, consider the reasons, the expenses, and whether or not you can afford to miss the show. If attending is absolutely necessary, constantly keep an eye out for ways to cut waste.