Tradeshow Marketing

5 Trade Show Booth Activities That Can Cost Your Dearly

Not enough traffic at your exhibition booth? Check out this post for trade show booth activities that might be costing you dearly.

Exhibiting at a trade show is a significant investment. Preparing for D-day involves planning, budgeting, labor, and sweat. But sometimes, even the most carefully planned exhibition appearances fail to deliver the expected results.

[READ: Trade Show Planning Guide]

And the culprit might not be your booth design, promotional game, or marketing pitch. Instead, it could be a combination of commonly overlooked trade show booth activities sabotaging your success.

Here’s a list of such booth activities to help you avoid them-

1. Having a Cluttered Booth

A cluttered booth is not the same as a buzzing booth. You want a buzzing trade show booth, yes. But not a cluttered booth. 

Your booth represents your brand on the trade show floor. If it is messy and cluttered, the visitors will perceive your company similarly.

The clutter could be due to all the extra stuff you've brought with you to the event or trash like paper cups and drinking bottles. But nothing of that matters- a messy booth is a major turnoff for the trade show attendees.

How to fix it?

  • Select a booth size carefully according to your needs
  • Consider the available booth space when designing the booth
  • Only carry things you’ll absolutely need at your booth
  • Carrying a printer to print stuff as required could be a better alternative to carrying stacks of brochures to the booth
  • Talk to the event organizer to know more about the cleaning services available at the location and make reservations if required
  • Follow COVID-19 protocols if applicable to the event you’re participating in

2. Booth Staffers Busy with Their Phones or Eating

There are some activities for trade show booths that instantly discourage people from entering your booth. And having booth staffers busy with their smartphones or eating is at the top of the list.

It is essential for trade show booths to have a welcoming and friendly vibe. However, when your staffers are scrolling through their phones with a disinterested look on their faces or eating, it immediately makes your booth unwelcoming and one that people would like to avoid.

[READ: Trade Show Booth Staff Training Guide]

How to fix it?

  • Provide adequate training to your booth staff
  • Make them aware of basic booth etiquette
  • Have enough staffers according to the booth size and expected traffic
  • Give staffers adequate breaks
  • Hire professional staffers if you don’t have enough time to train your in-house team

3. Making Visitors Wait at the Booth

Nobody likes to wait, especially at a trade show with hundreds of booths. So, unless you have a celebrity at your booth or something that a visitor is genuinely interested in, they won't appreciate the wait time.

Longer wait time or queues is often a sign of a mismanaged booth. It could be either because the traffic is way more than expected and you don't have enough staffers or your staffers spend a lot of time with every visitor.

How to fix it?

  • Custom trade show trivia can be an excellent way to keep the visitors engaged when your staffers are busy with other prospects
  • Divide booth staff into Greeters/Hosts, Crowd Gatherers, Presenters, and Sales Staff
  • Use interactive display screens to keep the visitors entertained in the queues
  • Qualify visitors based on their interest in your product/service so that more time is only reserved for people with the highest conversion potential

4. Offering Cheap or Boring Giveaways

I understand that you have a budget to stick to, but cutting costs on giveaways might not be the best option, especially when there are other effective ways to reduce trade show expenses.

The giveaways incentivize people to visit your booth but also create a perception of your company. Offering something cheap, boring, or too common might fail to attract visitors. And worse, it can even damage your company's reputation.

[READ: Ultimate Guide to Choose the Perfect Trade Show Giveaway + 10 Giveaway Ideas for 2022]

How to fix it?

  • Think about unique giveaways that align with your brand and target audience
  • If you’re on a tight budget, consider offering giveaways only to people who play or are top scorers of your trade show game
  • Don’t forget to customize the giveaway with your brand logo
  • If you participate in multiple trade shows in a year, ordering giveaways in bulk could prove highly cost-effective
  • Choose and order the giveaways in advance to avoid the last-minute rush

5. Using Traditional Lead Collection Methods

Lead collection methods like collecting business cards, paper-based forms, or even badge scanners don’t work anymore. It's because these methods are impersonal, dull, and monotonous.

In this age of personalization, where brands are aggressively looking for innovative ways to engage with the audience and boost brand awareness, a traditional lead collection method might not be the best choice for your booth.

[READ: Trade Show Lead Management Plan: What Is It and How to Do It Right]

How to fix it?

  • Use methods like interactive trade show games that can digitalize the lead collection process while also being fun and engaging
  • Collect enough contact data from every visitor
  • The lead collection strategy should help you qualify the leads
  • Ensure that the booth staff is well-versed with the lead collection strategy
  • Have a proper lead follow-up strategy for the best results

Leaving No Stone Unturned to Ensure Trade Show Success

These are 5 booth activities that might prevent you from achieving your trade show objectives. If you're working on a trade show plan or the event is around the corner, keep an eye out for these activities, as they can ruin an otherwise perfect trade show plan.  

If you’re looking for trade show booth activity ideas that could contribute to your event objectives, attract traffic, and collect leads, custom trade show trivia can help. Check out Our Latest Work section to know how our fun and engaging trivia challenges can help you organize successful events.

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