What Not to Do at a Trade Show

While there are plenty of things you should do to prepare for and find success at a trade show, there are also plenty of things you should not do. By avoiding a simple list of what not to do at a trade show, you will be able to avoid becoming one of the horror stories. Here are some of the things you should never do when exhibiting at a trade show. The Things You Shouldn't Do at a Trade Show

Some of the things on this list may seem like common sense. Whether you're new to exhibiting at trade shows or you're a veteran, if you want to find success, avoid doing any of the following:

  • Smoking and eating in your booth
  • Show up late for your booth shift
  • Cross your arms and close off the conversation with a prospect
  • Lean on the furniture in the booth
  • Drink alcohol during the day
  • Eat spicy or garlicky food during the day
  • Talk bad about your competition
  • Leave the booth unattended without letting anybody know
  • Talk to your colleagues while ignoring prospects
  • Stand with your back towards the aisle
  • Use the phrase, "Can I help you?"
  • Use your phone while prospects are around

These are just a few of the things you should avoid doing at any trade show you attend. Some of the things on this list will make you appear as rude or uninviting to prospects.

A few other things you should never do when it comes to trades shows include:

  • Design your booth to look the way you personally prefer it to look - Instead of worrying about how you think your trade show booth looks, you should be more concerned with the way it will speak to potential prospects.
  • Use a fish bowl to collect business cards - Instead of just asking people to drop a card in your fish bowl, you should engage and qualify leads at trade shows.
  • Forget to follow up with your leads - Trade shows are primarily a place to gather leads. If you don't follow up, your investment may not provide the return you're hoping for. It's best to follow up within 48 hours of the show ending.
  • Assume it was a bad show when all you did was sit behind your table for 3 days - You need to be aggressive and meet people as they pass by.

If you want to have a successful show, you need to make sure you avoid these very important things. Always follow up with prospect as quickly as possible. If you collect your prospect's information electronically, it will be much easier to follow up through email or social media compared to sending something through the mail.

Along with this comprehensive list of the things you should avoid doing when exhibiting at trade shows; you should also double check all of your ordered materials before the show. Most trade show horror stories start because something didn't show up or something wasn't ordered correctly. Avoid these potential mistakes by double checking everything.