What you should and shouldn’t be doing at exhibitions

When it comes to exhibiting, there are some basic mistakes people make that can really effect performance as an exhibitor.

Interested to know what they are?

Below, we’ll go into more detail on what NOT to do at your next exhibition.

How to make an exhibition successful

Don’t follow the path to failure

Let’s start with the what not to do…

These may seem simple, but we’ve seen plenty (and we do mean plenty) of bad habits from numerous exhibitors.

Do not eat on your stand

As tasty as this looks, no visitor wants to talk to a member of staff with a mouth full of burger and fries!

We’ve seen so many people eat while ‘exhibiting’ and it just doesn’t work.

Yes, we all get peckish and standing up for 6+ hours will take its toll… but it’s no excuse to start eating!

Scroll down to the Do’s section to see what you should be doing.

Do not place promotional items at the front of your stand

“But promotional items will lure people to our stand.”

Yes, they will lure people to your stand, but only for one reason. They just want the freebie.

Put them on show, but not accessible to passers-by. You can also store them away and hand them out as a ‘thank you’ for talking. A promotional item is your free ticket to engage in a few seconds of conversation with a potential client. Use them wisely.

Do not dress inappropriately

We’re not talking about wearing swimshorts and sandals – it’s all about wearing suitable clothes that goes with the theme of your event.

Is your event in the construction industry? A suit and tie may work if you’re pitching a multi-million pound deal. Perhaps branded t-shirts and smart jeans may work a little better by offering a more relaxed and inviting look for your exhibition visitors.

You’ll still look the part with your logo/brand name on your clothing and a lot of people will be thinking: “They look professional, they know what they’re doing, let’s go and talk to them”.

Do not be that annoying person

As an exhibition visitor, it’s highly likely you have objectives in mind for what you want to achieve during your exhibition walk.

Someone who keeps on talking and approaching people in a loud and aggressive manner is going to deter a lot of people from even going near your stand.

Don’t ask rhetorical questions or use terminology your customers won’t understand. Someone who is polite, engaging and not too invasive is far more likely to generate high quality leads.

Don’t be that annoying person.

Do not use your phones/laptops during the exhibition

Never ever use your mobile phones during the exhibition. As an exhibitor, this can be one of the most damaging things you can do.

Using a phone or laptop should be illegal in the exhibitors handbook. It’s uninviting for visitors, it shows you don’t care, and ultimately the perceived view of you will reflect on your brand too.

If you’re dying to use your phone, wait until your lunch break, and use them somewhere far away from your stand. Or, if it’s an emergency, make sure a member of the team can cover you.

Of course, if you’re using an ipad on an ipad stand [link] to take down leads, this is acceptable.

Do not start setting up when your exhibition starts

Don’t arrive at 8:59am for a 9:00am start.

If your event starts at 9:00am, you will get the early birds in at 9:00am precisely. Those people are probably the most keen and the most likely to give exhibitors their custom.

Arriving as you would see as ‘on time’ would mean setting up your stand while the early birds make their way through the exhibition hall.

Do this and you’ll be losing leads and sales from those keen visitors.

Turn up early so you can set up your stand and make sure everything looks in top shape before the exhibition doors open.

As we’re on the topic of assembling exhibition stands, we have witnessed so many pop ups, banners and fabric displays that weren’t assembled correctly. As an exhibition company, we’re not too happy about this.

We’ve seen end panels on pop ups not attached, zips on fabric displays left unfastened and even roller banners assembled at different heights to each other. This isn’t good guys…

Our top tip: have a  practice run through assembling your display before the event takes place, and make sure your on-stand team are the ones who are practicing this.

Feeling embarrassed? Don’t worry, there’s still time to change…

Exhibit with success following these tips

You don’t need to be an expert.

Just follow these easy steps and you’ll have the foundations to make your next event a successful one.

Here are a few points to use as a checklist:

  • Have you double checked your exhibition and stand location?
  • Is transport booked/sorted?
  • Is accommodation needed/booked?
  • Do you have appropriate clothing to wear?
  • Have you created a lunch rota?
  • Do you have exhibition displays to use?
  • Have you practiced assembling them?
  • Do you have enough staff to man the stand?
  • Are your staff trained for the event?
  • Have objectives been set?
  • How are you going to review the performance of the exhibition?
  • Do you have marketing material to take with?

How do you exhibit with success? Let us know in the comments below!

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