October 2016 - Hytner

5 Trade Show Mistakes To Avoid


Not everyone is perfect, it can be hard at your first few events to get absolutely everything right, it takes a while to learn what works and what doesn’t for your business while at trade shows. However some mistakes are completely avoidable before you even turn up to the event, so here are five crucial things to avoid, so you don’t make costly mistakes.

Having A Cluttered Trade Show Design

It takes a relatively short amount of time to catch someone’s eye when you are at a tradeshow. Some say you have as little as 5 seconds to fully grab the attention of one of the attendees at any given event. From this 5 seconds, someone needs to see what your business is about, what you do, how you run your company and most importantly any information you want someone to see should be immediately visible within those 5 seconds. It’s true what they say:  first impressions do count!

Being creative with your design is crucial to ensuring that you stand out from the rest of the exhibitors and more importantly give people that urge to check your stand out and see what you are doing at the event. Some things to avoid are mismatching of colours, overload of text that can’t be read easily either because of the font choice or its position on your stand.

Focusing on quantity of leads

We all know that one of the main benefits of trade shows and events is to get leads and build relationships, however focusing on the number of these that you get rather than how helpful they are going to be to your business is a crucial mistake that many people make. Many act as though it is a race to talk to as many people as they can, rather than giving fewer people more attention and the time to talk to and build some real relationships that add value to your business.

Forgetting Social Media

This is one massive mistake that many make! It’s easy to turn up to an event and be completely engrossed with  the people actually at the event, effectively forgetting everyone that couldn’t make it in person.. For businesses that have an engaged audience this is a massive mistake, believe it or not, people will still discover your business while you are away, people will still want to engage with you, and without you posting anything this will all go to waste.

Ignoring Your Leads

This is a mistake that many have made in the past… You spend all of the time and money at events to ensure that you get all the data you need. Make sure you have people to follow up on and build vital connections. To completely ignore them following your event is a massive mistake! The best thing to do,with the leads that you gain after the event, is to send them a message or something personalised, this starts a conversation with them and shows them that the information they gave away is not just a waste of time.

Having Untrained Staff

At an event the people that showgoers will be interacting with is the people that are on your stand for the whole day, this means your staff are crucial to your success at a show. All of your team should know your product or services inside out; this ensures that they can answer confidently any questions that someone may have, guaranteeing to the attendee that you are the expert you claim to be..

If a competing company has staff that don’t do this, then you instantly have one up on them, people going away from the show will have a much better first impression of your business.

Additionally, there are a few things that employees may find themselves doing that is completely inappropriate for the trade show floor, some to look out for are; using their mobile phone, eating, ignoring attendees walking past, not wearing the appropriate clothing etc. Do all that you can to monitor these and put a stop or find a better alternative – for example shifts at lunch times to make sure someone is always available to speak.

Reboot Your Trade Show Giveaway Strategy


Tradeshow giveaways have become commonplace, they provide a brilliant opportunity to generate more interest in your company and gather more attendance at the show. However, many companies out there who have implemented a giveaway of their own have rarely considered upgrading, updating or even changing their process. So, here are some action points that will help you effectively reboot your trade show giveaway process and hopefully lead to much more success.

Choose relevant prizes

A key area that makes a giveaway successful for the business is having a prize that is relevant to the company doing the giveaway. It involves choosing a prize that represents your business, the environment you are in, the audience you appeal to and the quality that they expect from a prize. If your prize matches all of those components, then you have a winning formula for creating the perfect giveaway that people will be interested in, communicate with and find appealing.

In another sense, it shows the competition entries how you view your business and the customers that shop there, for example, if your in the car parts business, a relevant prize could be a set of alloy wheels, that shows that you care about the people and value those who follow your business by giving away a premium high-cost product. So, you can use it as a way to positively promote your business and create a strong brand impression, in that sense, it is brilliant marketing for your business.

Think about the attendees

This might seem like a fairly obvious point, however, it’s one that most companies forget. That means ensuring that your prize is appropriate, convenient and easy to transport out of the trade show. Most of the people attending the show will use some form of transportation and therefore you have to take into consideration how easy your prize is for them to take home. If it’s particularly heavy or very tall then it is likely that you have just given the person a burden rather than a prize. Alternatively, you could offer to have it delivered to their residence if it’s too much of a hassle for them.

That doesn’t just apply to the winner, you also need to ensure that it is feasible for you to get the prizes there, ensuring they have bulk storage options is one way to ensure that you can bring plenty of giveaway items without sacrificing much of your space.


Your budget is a crucial factor that will decide whether you make a good return on investment from a giveaway or if eventually comes back around to bite you. Finding the perfect balance between a relevant product and a reasonable price is essential, you can’t splash out on a flashy prize and suddenly expect the ROI to make up for the costs. The balance is absolutely crucial in this processes success, so ensure that the prize balances relevance and price. The best advice is to look around and take the time to consider your product and how you expect the visitors to your booth will react to it.

Boost Your Brand

Why hold a giveaway without any connection to your brand? As mentioned before holding a giveaway is the perfect marketing opportunity.our brand will be all but forgotten following your giveaway if you don’t give the people something to remember then you would have wasted a perfect opportunity to leave a lasting impression on many potential customers.. When looking at a product to giveaway, think about how it represents you, how the person will benefit from it or use it and most importantly give them something that makes them feel special, maybe add a degree of personalisation to make the prize one of a kind, and to make them remember you add some branding in there too. Using this procedure also allows people to get an impression of your business, usually results in people having a real attachment to your business long after your trade show or event.

Make an impact

When at a tradeshow it doesn’t always have to be about showing off or causing a giant scene, sometimes something as little as a business card holder can be a much better gift to attendees than a brash expensive prize. With smaller (and cheaper gifts) you can giveaway many more than one big prize to one individual, but it can also be personal, you could add a variety of designs for different industries. This would ensure that you keep your item relevant, customisable and easy for the winner to use whilst ensuring you can giveaway to a lot of people improving the overall impact of the giveaway.
So there it is, with these points in mind, you have the perfect start to rebooting and improving the giveaway strategy at your event.