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Ep 106 – Busting Myths! Forget What You Think You Know about Trade Shows!

It’s time to BUST some MYTHS!! Forget everything you Think You Know about Trade Shows! There are 8 Common myths and misconceptions which nearly every business has about trade shows that is holding them back and ruining their results!

Believe me – I have been there and held these myths as beliefs.  And you may believe one or all of them.  But I want to completely bust these apart.

1) Too much work, Overwhelming

  • I get it.  There’s so many details preparing, setting up, and during the show to keep track of. And often the show itself can be frustrating. Things don’t show up.  Your staff isn’t there on time.  The results are less than you hoped for.
  • Here’s the thing – if you make the time, plan and delegate properly, you’ll get through it without getting overwhelmed!  Make time, plan and delegate!

2) Trade Shows are Tiring

  • These shows can definitely be exhausting!  Long hours on your feet, at times not eating right, and especially a lot of down time and you can be exhausted.
  • Now what I want you to think about is let’s compare it to having a good workout that kicks your butt.  Or a long day of yard work or doing something that is a physical accomplishment.  You’re tired but at the end you feel great mentally.
  • Tell you what you work a show with the right attitude and really work the show so you have activity the entire day – engage  with people, walk the show, get info, attend appropriate workshops – and you’ll be tired, but the good kind of tired!

3) Making sure we have the best display pieces, banners, literature and giveaways is the most important

  • Yes these are definitely important.  You want to have great looking stuff with the right messaging and branding.  But that stuff is no where near as important as knowing how to engage your audience! 
  • What would you do if your display pieces didn’t show up?  We discuss this in great length in Episode 13! 
  • Don’t rely on the stuff – you will have a better show guaranteed!!

4) Getting badge scans or business cards is a good goal

  • Took me a long time to learn this one.  These are not good goals.  Period.
  • If that’s all you come back with is a stack of business cards or have someone at your booth just scanning every badge that comes by, you’re going to be extremely frustrated after the show!

5) My staff are veterans – they know how to work a show. I just need to tell them when to show up.

  • I have seen some of these “veterans” who really know their stuff when it comes to products and knowledge just stand around on their phone, or leave the booth to take a call, or only talk to someone who comes up to them first.
  • You have to train each person with how to work a show – how to engage people, how to network with the other booths, and how they are key in helping hit the show goals.  Train them on the right stuff.

6) Trade Shows are a huge Expense

  • They are expensive no doubt.  Especcially when you factor in travel, meals, time away from the office, shipping, and all the other costs.  It adds up.
  • Here’s what I want you to do – look at it as an investment!  Let’s pick some numbers – if your show costs $10,000 but you close $50,000 in sales, is that an expense?  NO!  5x on your money is a great investment and you should be happy to do it every day! 

7) All days or hours of the show will be busy

  • Anyone who has worked their share of shows knows there are down times, especially the last day or last hours of a show.  But any show can have slow times.
  • Here’s what happens – during the slow times, exhibitors just complain and get frustrated.  Shoulda known.  Always dead the last day of the show.  And they just stand around looking at their phones or talking to each other.
  • Here’s what you need to do – Plan for it!!  You know it’s going to be slow at times – and if you didn’t know that – I’m telling you.  Just have a plan.  Take turns walking the show.  Research the other exhibitors ahead of time and put together packets of info for those you want to connect with – then do it.  See who can be a vendor or supplier.  Go check out your competitors.  Take pics.  Do research. 
  • Just have a plan so when that down time happens, you make the best of it!

8) It’s a good show or a bad show – I have no control!

  • I hear this all the time.  And its rarely true.
  • You have control!  Want more leads?  Engage with more people.  Want more sales?  Engage with more people!  And do it quickly.  Don’t chit chat.  Engage, qualify, get their info, and then get them out of your booth.  It’s that simple.
  • You are in control. Stop making excuses!!

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About the author, Jim

Jim Cermak has over 30 years of exhibiting, planning and working trade shows. As a Professional Trainer, he helps companies transform their results at trade shows, expos, events and conferences.

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