Are You Making Any of These Common Exhibition Mistakes?

Attending a trade exhibition in the not too distant future? Here we’ve compiled a list of common mistakes to avoid…

Setting your Budget Too Low

Exhibitions are an investment in your business that is designed to get you face to face with your audience. The difference between standard advertising and exhibitions is that the people attending already have an invested interest in your products or similar products.

Visitors who attend trade shows are usually there for a reason. Many buyers, managing directors and decision makers visit these events to find inspiration on ways to improve their business.

Remember that the quality of your company and products need to be carried over in your stand design, position and effort.

Stand Size and Position

Stand size should not be compromised. This doesn’t, however, mean that you should buy half the hall. You need to be sensible with this decision because if your stand is too small it is unlikely to get noticed, but on the other hand if it is too big you might blow most of your budget. You need to get the balance right.

Position is always the most important factor at an exhibition. You can have the biggest, flashiest stand, but if it is tucked away in the corner or obstructed, nobody is going to see it. Floor plans are often available before you book so try to find a space in the main traffic areas of the exhibition. Being located near to the entrance, toilets, talk arenas or cafés are always a safe bet because they will generate “through traffic”.

Most exhibition companies will have plenty of movement with the prices on stands. They do not want empty units so make sure that you push for a deal.

Stand Quality

If you are going to invest £1,000s into an exhibition space, does it really make sense to populate it with a £50.00 stand from Ebay?

The fact is, your stand is your image, a reflection of your company. It is the one thing there to draw people’s eyes and attract them to come over and talk to you. A well put together stand is more important than the size of your stand.

You should always have the highest quality stand that you can afford within your budget.

See more: Types of Exhibition Stands – How to Pick the Right Exhibition Stand Type for Your Business


Exhibitions are full of stands doing giveaways. What you need to remember is that during a show a visitor may see hundreds of stands and products. Giving visitors something to take away with them will remind them of your product.

The more unique the giveaway the better. Try to give people something that the visitor will keep and use – pens and stress balls are great, easy options.

Giveaways will not make or break your exhibition experience so if you are not able to spare budget for them it is better to invest that portion of the budget back to other parts of the show.

Unprepared Staff

There is nothing worse than browsing a stand to then find a member of staff has a made a beeline for you asking if they “can help”. At exhibitions you need to be friendly and approachable – it can be incredibly disruptive to the success of your exhibition if members of your team are not prepared for the environment. Remember, this is not a hard sales environment. 9 times out of 10 you will be confronted by a rejection if you approach visitors with a closed question.

As a part of your budget you should enrol inexperienced members of your team onto on a face-to-face sales or exhibition training course.

Not Following Up on Leads

This is arguably the worst mistake in the list. It is all too common to hear people saying that they “were too busy” or “forgot” to follow-up with the people they spoke to at the event. This is a rookie mistake as the follow up is what you are at the exhibition for – leads!

You need to set aside 1-2 weeks after the show for dedicated lead follow-up. Start by sending an email thanking your leads for visiting your stand and wishing them a safe journey home. Some people who visit your stand will contact you but don’t leave it to chance – every lead left unattended is an opportunity lost.

Get Started with Smart Display

If you’re attending an upcoming trade show and are in need of an eye-catching stand, make sure to contact a member of our team here at Smart Display. From initial drawings through to full colour 3D visuals and tech drawings, manufacture, print and installation, our experienced team can guide you through the whole process.

We have a wide range of solutions perfect those looking to maximise their presence at trade events.

Get in touch today