20 Dumb Things Exhibitors Do

Are you wasting money with your tradeshow exhibiting? Last week I put up a blog post that poked fun at tradeshow visitors with the “Top 10 Annoying Things Tradeshow Attendees Do” – so this week I thought I’d turn the mirror around with Dumb Things Exhibitors Do.

No, don’t think anything of the fact that this list is twice as long as the other list! I just happen to see if from the exhibitor’s point of view – and it’s my job to point these things out, anyway.

So…the list, sir?

  1. Show up understaffed.
  2. Neglect to train your staff.
  3. Show up with nothing more than a booth and some people – and no plan.
  4. Forget to update the graphics to reflect new products or services.
  5. Fail to keep the booth as clean as possible.
  6. Ignore visitors.
  7. Stand in your booth with your arms folded (body language says – ‘stay away’).
  8. Wait until the last minute to call your graphic production company with a change of graphic plans.
  9. Wait until the last minute to do anything – exhibit planning and execution usually takes more time than you think.
  10. Being indecisive and letting time slip by and being forced to make quick decisions that may not be the best for the company.
  11. Think that the tradeshow and convention is your time to party, baby! 3 am? Sure, why not?!
  12. Bring a generic brochure to a show where you should be promoting a specific product or service.
  13. Think there’s only one way to do things – and remain inflexible to possible changes. Even in the midst of a show.
  14. Fail to listen to your customers. A tradeshow is a perfect place to do mini-polls and customer research.
  15. Failing to take a break when you clearly need it.
  16. Failing to collect pertinent information for each prospect: just enough and not too much.
  17. Neglecting to confirm with your prospect exactly when your next contact will be and what that contact will address.
  18. Not taking advantage of early booking for next year’s show before you leave this year’s show – it usually saves you some $$ and gets you a decent spot.
  19. Fail to watch every nickel and dime – so you can plan next year’s show taking into account this year’s cost savings!
  20. Debrief your staff at the end of every day while it’s fresh on their minds – and implement good suggestions the next day!

Feel free to add to the list of course. Just take a moment, sign up as a blog user and leave your comment. It’ll make it easier to add comments to the next post.

To see a list of 101 things a tradeshow exhibitor SHOULD do, check out the e-book “101 Rules of Tradeshow Marketing.” (PDF link)

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