Exhibiting at too many exhibitions

You must pick the right exhibitions and set measurable objectives.

Understand what you want to achieve at each show and its relevance to your industry, don’t go to general shows as they are not your specific target audience.

Things to consider are staff training, making sure they have the correct knowledge on the products and services and they are not too stretched.

Travel to and from shows, no sense having one in Paris and two days later another in Scotland.

Each show requires planning, so don’t commit to another show if you lack the time and resources to do it right. Otherwise, it wastes your overall investment

Choosing exhibition space based on cost

Following on from above, choosing a show based on price (cost per square metre) or size (most visitors) is always an easy option.

If you are willing to do the research you will find the exhibitions with the highest concentration of your target audience, and that deliver the best return on investment

Choosing products or services based on cost

While it’s tempting to choose the lowest-priced exhibition displays or go with a service provider based on cost, it may end up costing you more in the long term.

Not all cheap products are bad, but generally there is a reason they are cheaper (the materials used in cheaper popup displays are made from thinner grade metal and after a few uses can bend and lose their shape, or even snap) If you are planning on using these products for a number of shows over the year, then a good quality item with a warranty will last whereas the cheaper ones may need replacing half way through the year meaning you pay twice!

Most experienced exhibitors know that buying the best quality and service will pay dividends, in terms of time saved, problems solved, and overall results generated.

Poor communication

There can often be a disconnection between sales and marketing; it’s essential to have completely open lines of communication between them.

What information does the sales team need gathered from your stand visitors? How and who follows leads up? Choose the best sales people to man the stand, no point using your telemarketing staff for face-to-face sales! Above all avoid poor communication.

Choosing the wrong staff

Following on from above, as the exhibitor you are the gatekeeper to your stands. You must only have the best staff: people who have a can do attitude, dress smart and look the part, know your products/services and work hard for the entire duration of the exhibition. 

Assuming leads are followed up

You spend a lot of money exhibiting and a huge part of this is to generate leads/sales, make sure these are followed up and have a procedure in place for this.

Choosing the wrong promotional giveaways

You should avoid going for fad items or gimmicks unrelated to your industry, ideally go for promotional items that are tailored to appeal to your target audience.

The best exhibitors put their efforts into understanding what makes their clients tick, rather than going for next trendy generalized giveaway.

Trying to do too much with your stand

A lot of the time, less is more! Rather than trying to do everything on your stand, limit the amount of products and focus on specific items and activities that can be achieved successfully. Otherwise, without careful prioritization, your stand can turn into a jumble sale.

Focus on the Brand and have clean clear graphics and messages, do not cover up key information with products.

Bad use of Technology/AV

It’s a great idea to use technology on your stand to bring in potential clients and wow people, but make sure it work’s as it should. There is nothing worse than having an  iPad but it’s not interactive.

The best exhibitors use technology that adds value to the visitor experience, and integrate it from the beginning of the exhibition design process. Don’t just have it as an add-on!

Doing the same thing at every show

The best exhibitors continually evolve, you must take calculated risks to stay relevant and be successful.

You must make the best choices and pursue effective marketing strategies in order to achieve your goals.


Not advertising your presence at exhibitions

A common mistake made is not creating awareness among your existing customers about your participation in an upcoming exhibitions, don't assume they will just turn up!

As soon as you have booked your space at the exhibition, update your email signature, website, Google+, Facebook, Twitter. Social media is a very cost effective and great way to spread the word .

Email all of your existing clients and offer some form of giveaway/competition on the stand, generate a buzz and get them interested.

Market research opportunity


Exhibitions can be used for you to gather useful information about your Brand, Products or services. You will get a clear perspective of your company’s image, product competitiveness and competitor’s product.

Each visitor to your stand can provide you invaluable insight and feedback. It's an excellent opportunity for free market research.

We hope this information has been helpful to you and please feel free to leave us some feedback or add to this with your own experiences?

Alternatively give us a call on 020 8702 8100 or drop us an email at hello@arisdesign.co.uk if you require any help regarding your exhibiting needs. 


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