When a company participates in a trade show, it’s an immense amount of pressure to “get it right.” Companies have a million priorities to sort through, and as they gather together the right “DO’s” it’s important to take hold of a few trade show “DON’Ts” as well.

1.     DON’T Minimize Staff Selection

When it comes to a trade show, the staff a company selects to represent itself is everything. Exhibitors may only have a few seconds to engage with potential customers, and those staffing the exhibits are the ones responsible for multiplying the time in that window and closing deals or at least having strong leads. It is so important to choose staff carefully and wisely given that these few seconds can be the ones that lead to new clients. Most companies have the options of bringing their own people, hiring from an agency, or a little bit of both. Don’t skim on selecting who goes to the trade shows. We highly recommend investing in the best of the best; whether that’s your people or an outside group.

2.     DON’T Leave Your Leads

Whether a networking opportunity or a lead opportunity, follow-up is crucial. As they say, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Have a plan to follow through with leads and begin right after the trade show ends. Likewise, know this follow-up plan before the show begins, and have it in mind so you know what kind of contact information you need to gather at the show and what specific conversation points you’d like to bring up later.

3.     DON’T Fail to Network

One of the purposes of a trade show is to lead generate and network. Sitting back at a trade show and watching business cards collect in a fishbowl is an event that we don’t recommend for anyone. Companies need to be aggressive, making a certified effort to meet and greet everyone at the show. This allows exhibitors to sift through the best prospects, establish a presence and generate leads. The only way to reap qualified leads is to engage with them.

4.     DON’T Use Company Jargon

Companies tend to have their own general business jargon. Whether it’s acronyms or industry-specific words, be careful to use them only with potential clients and customers who understand the jargon. It’s easy to assume that those entering your booth know the industry, but in the small chance that they don’t, using jargon unfamiliar to them could deter them from doing business with an exhibitor.

5.     DON’T Look Like Everyone Else

Exhibitors don’t need to go over the top to establish a unique presence, but it is important to differentiate among competitors. The goal is to attract people to the booth. Whether it’s a new product update, a new product launch, make it unique and creative through your exhibit display.

We could keep going with don’ts, but we want to hear from you. What other don’ts would you share?