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When trade shows were first launched as a networking opportunity for businesses and their partners, they attracted a lot of enthusiasm from both companies and visitors. Nowadays, however, things are taken a dramatic turn. While trade shows still attract visitors, they have become synonymous with a waste of time and money. Countless businesses fail to record a positive return from their participation in networking events. Even visitors have come to expect nothing more from trade shows than a pleasant way to spend a day out of the office. Is it the end of networking events?

Of course not! But the alarming trends reveal that businesses need to work on their trade show strategies. Indeed, many attend without any other objective than being there because that’s what the competitors are doing. You can’t turn up and hope for the best. An exhibitor event can serve a variety of purposes, from raising your brand awareness to helping you close more deals with new leads. However, there is no secret formula: If you want your trade show to be a success to need to put your strategic hat on and prepare for it. These are the top 3 mistakes that are causing numerous missed opportunities to businesses. 

Give your visitors gifts they want to use

 No, you can’t get a cheap stand

Sure enough, booking your stand for the next trade show doesn’t come for free. But don’t be tempted to save money on the stand design; you want to work with visual advertisers such as Vivid Advertising to stand out from the crowd. Most visitors only stick to the few brands they know and tend to walk past any other stand. However, if yours attract the eye, you’re likely to meet new leads and maybe make new contacts. Investing in your decor is all about making your brand more prominent and visible.  

Yes, your show countdown campaign matters

So, you’ve written a tweet a couple of days before the show to let your followers know where you will be. Surely, that is more than enough, right? Wrong! You need a pre-show campaign to create a buzz around your presence at the event. It’s a fantastic idea to create a dedicated landing page that will capture users who are interested in the show. You’ll need to pour some SEO love into it, but be careful about the risk of over-optimizing your content. Indeed, while it’s tempting to make the most of your keywords, be sure not to rely on keyword stuffing to create informative content. Instead, focus on answering the questions your audience might have about the trade show and your brand.  

Nobody cares about your free gifts

When was the last time you used a promotional pen? If you can’t remember it’s probably because too many companies pick low-quality items. Your audience ends up not using them because they simply don’t work. From the pen that doesn’t write to the polo shirt that doesn’t have a proper size, faulty or cheap gifts are not doing your business any good. If you’re going to present visitors with giveaways, make it worthy of their attention! 

Trade shows are not designed to be prepared on the cheap. They require strategic thinking, creative design, and attention to details. Companies that fail to invest time and effort in their trade show activities never experience a positive ROI. But the truth is, networking events work if they’re done correctly! 

 

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