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common trade show booth mistakes

Common Trade Show Booth Mistakes

Common Trade Show Booth Mistakes- Missed Opportunities

Trade shows are an invaluable resource for business owners. Trade shows are the perfect platform to highlight new developments, network with potential clients and competitors, brand your company name and offer new product lines as they emerge.

The unfortunate side of this is that too often businesses make mistakes that could otherwise be avoided and ruin perfect trade show opportunities. Don’t get caught making these common trade show booth mistakes.

What is the Right Amount of Space?

Most companies will use a form of modular truss booth for their platform when creating their presentation. It is easy to overestimate or under estimate the 10 x 10 trade show boothamount of space that you will require. Before you even think about purchasing a booth, think about what and how you want your display to look and what you intend to include. Lay all of the artifacts out on the floor as you would in a presentation and see what size is required. Most companies start with a 10 x 10 modular truss display. The 10 x 10 truss trade show booth is a convenient size and keep in mind aluminum truss displays are typically modular in design so increasing your booth size as your business grows is a very simple process.

Common Trade Show Booth Mistakes – Graphics and Signage

Rule number one – “Do not have anything visible in your trade show booth that is hand written.” This situation sends a clear message of unprofessionalism and will steer potential clients away. Make sure all of your graphics are professionally created and printed. Make sure your logo is present and visible, “This is key for company branding”. This is one of the most common trade show booth mistakes.

Talk To Your Competition and Potential Partners

Many people make the fatal mistake of not checking out their competitor’s displays and booths. Worse, they do Common Trade Show Mistakesnot take advantage of the opportunity to network with their competitors. Trade shows are the prefect forum for analyzing your competition, sharing success stories, discussing market trends learning more about your business and products and most of all, your next partner or supplier could be in the next aisle just waiting to meet you.

Common Trade Show Booth Mistakes – Audio Volume

Unless your selling sound equipment, keep your audio turned down for a couple of reasons, first, loud music will turn people away even offend in some cases. Second, common trade show booth mistakesyou do not want to be screaming over the top of your music or audio tracks when you are talking to potential customers. It is not only rude, but you want to make sure the public clearly hears your message.

Flat Panel Displays and Monitors

Flat panel displays are an excellent way to bring people in hover again unless you are selling big screen TV’s, you will want to keep you monitors to a reasonable size. The largest we recommend is a 40” flat panel. It is better to go smaller than larger. A smaller monitor will bring people into your trade show booth to get a better look. Large monitors allow the public to see your monitor from a distance. Remember, the idea is to draw the public in to learn more

Common Trade Show Booth Mistakes – Environment

Make sure your trade show area is comfortable and inviting. It is a good practice to have a couple of chairs available for people to sit on. Typically when couples come into a trade show, one will show more interest than the other. You want to make sure the person who is not showing interest can be made comfortable while the other inquires about your company and products so they are not rushed out by an uninterested partner.

Keep things simple, people do not like to exert extra energy when it should not be required, make it easy for the public to get your message but in a peaceful comfortable manner.

Common Trade Show Booth Mistakes – Overhead Obstacles and Obstructions

Do not have things hanging down that potentially touch the public’s face. Banners, flags and graphics should all be displayed in a manner that is not intrusive to the public and at all costs do not have anything mounted in a manner that could harm someone. Keep in mind that also goes for items that are low to the ground. Many people will bring their children, so make sure everything is placed in a safe manner.

Get the Right Staff

It may not be right however the public will judge you on your presentation including the staff. Make sure all of your staff are properly dresses, friendly, engaging and most of all, that they are well versed in your products or services. Lazy, unmotivated, shy staff will not bring in the public. You can have the perfect trade show booth that attracts the public’s eye, but if your staff is not engaging, all will be lost.

Trade Show Booth Planning

The worst mistake you could make would be to not develop a proper plan for your trade show presentation. No successful company just wings it. The plan should include in detail, your presentation size, and location of materials, products, brochures and services. In addition all accessories in your booth should be in a detailed drawing. Develop a well thought out customer engagement plan that details your message and overall goals.

Proper placement of materials within the booth is critical and should be well thought out and documented.

Plan how you and your staff will engage with the public as they approach your booth, do not be forceful, do not be over baring, be polite, patient and answer questions honestly. People can see right through a person that is not properly versed on your business and the public will lose interest very quickly.

 Trade Show Dry Run

No matter how busy your schedule, it is crucial that you take the time to complete a 100 percent dry run. Set up your booth including all graphics, lights monitors, products and information. Have your working staff present and try to ascertain what questions the public will be asking and have your staff answer these questions until they have the answers fully memorized and are comfortable with the information.

After The Trade Show is Over


After each trade show, review with your staff, what went right and what did not go so well. This is an opportunity that many presenters overlook and miss out on potential opportunities to improve. Keep notes on how people reacted, how did they enter your booth, what was their feedback. Look for common trends an monopolize on the good ones and change the bad ones.

Summary Instructions

  • Create the right size of trade show booth
  • Create attractive professional graphics and signage
  • Talk To your competition and potential partners
  • Get the right staff
  • Develop a detailed plan
  • Do a complete dry run in advance of your trade show
  • Do a complete dry run in advance of your trade show

 For over 30 years, VersaTruss Plus has been delivering high quality truss trade show booth kits. Visit us online at https://versatrussplus.com

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The author

About R Joy: R Joy has been in the Exhibit and Display Truss business for over three decades. He has been instrumental in some of the most intricate and expansive aluminum truss display structures and booths. His focus has been on creating a quality truss product that is not only economical but provides superior cosmetic appearance and longevity. Over his extensive career, he has created not only one of the most widely used aluminum truss exhibit modular systems but has taken pride in providing exhibit and display truss to the smallest organizations to some of the largest corporations worldwide.