Top Ten Things You Never Want To See In Your Convention Displays

We’d call these ‘rookie mistakes’, except we see them in convention displays year after year, often from presenters who should know better.Xpressions Pop Up 3D Display qtr-20-

There are certain things that people see in what might otherwise be the best trade show booths, that immediately turn visitors off. With so many exhibitions to choose from, and so many things competing for their attention, it’s only natural that visitors will tend towards the tradeshow displays that make the absolute best first impression.

So, whether it’s your first trade show coming up, or your hundredth, take a look over this list and make sure you never see any of these mistakes in the convention displays that you manage.

Top Ten Things You Never Want To See At Your Convention Displays

I. Eating And Drinking: It’s fine to keep some water bottles around for discrete sips as the day wears on – everyone knows you need to drink – but aside from that, all eating and drinking should be done well away from your trade show display. It looks unprofessional and tends to encourage people to keep away, rather than engaging the staff as they should be. When someone just needs a quick snack, give them a ten-minute break to go eat it somewhere else.

II. Cell Phones: There are legitimate uses for cell phones and tablets at a trade show display, but as a rule, there’s no reason for them to be out unless you’ve given someone a reason. It’s all too easy, especially during a lull, for your expo booth staff to get drawn into Facebook or a round of Jetpack Joyride. All of a sudden, the message they’re sending is that they care more about games than sales. Phones should be turned off or to vibrate unless they have an official function, and no checking messages except on breaks.

III. Typos: They can happen to anyone, even if plenty of people have all approved the copy. None the less, if you see something with a typo on it, it needs to be removed from your booth. It’s best if you can find a way to seamlessly fix or replace the element, but you simply cannot afford to have mistakes on display with so many people walking by.

IV. Empty Handout TraysYou should always be sending visitors to your convention displays home with something to remember you buy, and hopefully multiple things. You cannot afford to run out of products and materials to give away, or else you’re just watching leads walk by. Always over-prepare! At worst, you have more materials to give out at future functions. Or, keep a spare box or two of leftover promotional items, and take it to shows in case you run out of other materials.

V. Clueless Staff: Few things are more frustrating for convention attendees than to ask exhibition staff basic questions, and get inadequate answers. Anyone who is a part of your trade show display staffing team must have enough functional knowledge of your products and services to answer most questions they hear during a show. These people are your brand ambassadors. If they don’t know your product, it will drive away a lot of potential work.

VI. Gum. No. Never ever. Nobody likes talking to someone who’s Waveline Media 10x20 Convention Displaychewing gum, especially not in an official capacity. There should be an absolute zero-tolerance rule. That said, bad breath is a significant issue at many trade shows, especially those with more exotic menus. Breath mints are a much better idea than gum. You might even bring some mints along, perhaps company branded, to keep your staff from being tempted.

VII. Arguments. While, of course, most convention-goers are civilized folk, there’s always one in a crowd. Maybe you get off on the wrong foot, maybe they’re just having a bad day, or maybe they’re even ringers from another company. Whichever it is, your staff should all be trained in keeping their cool and dealing quietly with people who are trying to start trouble. The moment your staff’s voice is raised, the situation becomes very hard to recover gracefully. And hopefully it goes without saying – no internal arguments either!

VIII. Empty Space. Space is too precious to waste in a trade show display. If you discover you have a couple square feet left over, find something to put there! The same go for your walls, and possibly even overhead space if there’s room to hang materials. You don’t want to be cluttered, but at the same time, if you are not clearly making use of all the space available, your booth can appear rushed or incomplete.

IX. Visitors going ignored. The only excuse for not addressing a visitor with a question is if you’re completely overwhelmed. Otherwise, anyone who visits your booth needs to be acknowledged promptly, and attended to accordingly. If you’re busy with another visitor, try to at least make eye contact so that they know they’re wanted.

X. Silence. OK, OK, you can’t see silence. Never the less, silence is deadly for most exhibition booths. Everyone around you is making noise, and you need to be as well! Whether it’s staff inviting people to drop by, music playing, promotional videos, text-to-speech transcriptions of your Twitter feed, or anything else – the sounds you make will carry further than people can see you. It’s just another way of standing out that you should look to use whenever you can.

The bottom line here is, every possible thing you can do in crafting a better first impression will gain you more visitors and leads in the long run. Trade shows are not the time to get sloppy. Put your best face forward, and make your next convention display a success!

For more information, check out our article on why you need trade show displays and the wrong message that your displays might be sending.

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