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The 3 Biggest Mistakes that Business Event Exhibitors Make

February 1, 2013

exhibitors trade showFor many exhibitors trade show, expo, and event exhibiting is a frustrating experience. They spend a lot of money and time only to leave with a stack of business cards that yield poor results. Even worse it becomes more difficult to engage their sales team in future events because of the time that they waste following up on bad leads.

It is easy to blame the event, but let’s look at the facts. The goal of every other form of marketing is to create an opportunity to meet the prospect face-to-face. Trade shows, expos and events provide that face-to-face opportunity automatically. There is no other form of business-to-business marketing that can yield the results that productive event exhibiting can.

Here are three of the most common mistakes that exhibitors make at trade shows, expos and events:

  1. No Focus – When an exhibitor perceives that “everybody” is a prospect they dilute the power of their message to the specific part of the audience who are actually prospects. You’ll remember that to be a prospect the business must have each of these three characteristics: a need that you can satisfy and the resource and the urgency to satisfy the need…think “need, money, now.” Your individual event game plan is built around the subset of participants that you will target.
  2. Underutilized staff – Most companies put their executives, sales professionals, and subject matter experts in the booth where they talk to everyone who comes through most of whom are not prospects. A better use of these professionals is to have them in preset one-on-one meetings with prospects, existing clients and strategic partners. The exhibit is then staffed by professionals who are experts in engaging and enrolling prospects.
  3. Wrong Call to Action – Does your booth feature a giveaway? Maybe you’re giving away the latest iPad, or a flat screen TV, or you’re spinning the roulette wheel, or you’re challenging attendees to sink a hole in one in a putting game. At best, these types of games yield a subset representation of the average attendee. If this is what you’re doing, why not just buy the attendee list? At least you’d collect a lot of names! If your goal is to engage and enroll prospects into the top of your sales funnel then your call to action has to be something valuable and unique for that audience only.

The right event strategy not only complements your overall marketing strategy, but it helps you fully leverage the most powerful form of marketing, face-to-face interaction with prospects. Done right, events will be you best method to consistently populate the top of your sales funnel with the lifeblood of any business, quality leads.

My Expo & Event Team (MEET) specializes in helping event sponsors, exhibitors and speakers maximize their return-on-investment or ROI.

Feel free to download our latest special report. Event ROI Measurement – Top 5 Mistakes Companies Make