4 Common Trade Show Myths

December 06, 2022

Being an exhibitor at a trade show isn't easy. It takes a lot of planning and hard work before, during, and after the show to do it right. At some point, you've probably heard a few trade show rumors from pessimistic vendors about them being a relic of the past or not worth the money and effort. 

But the truth is that trade shows are what you make of them. They can be a business obligation or a way to boost sales for your business. It's your choice. Here are 4 common myths about trade shows:

  • Every Trade Show is the Same.
  • Trade Shows are a Waste of Time and Money.
  • Anyone Can Staff Your Booth.
  • A Trade Show Ordering Software is Unnecessary.

Myth #1: Every Trade Show is the Same.

You’ve probably heard it before, especially after everyone gets back to the office: “If you’ve seen one trade show, you’ve seen them all.” Certainly if you go into every trade show with the same approach and only speak with the same people, this myth will hold true. You can’t expect a different result if you do the same thing over and over again. But every trade show has the potential to be a unique marketing opportunity. It all depends on your approach. Each trade show is an opportunity to meet with new potential customers, generate new leads, and gather new insights into the latest industry trends. It’s up to you to decide if the next trade show will be a brand new experience or just the same old same old.

Myth #2: Trade Shows are a Waste of Time and Money.

If you don’t sell much directly at the trade show, it can be tempting to think that it wasn’t worth the time or money to exhibit there. But just because someone doesn't buy at the trade show doesn't mean it wasn't a success. Trade shows aren't just about making a sale, and there's a lot more to selling than closing a deal. Trade shows move people further along the buyer's journey.  They open up your product or service to a wider audience. And they give you the opportunity to generate leads from a group of pre-qualified prospects

The truth is, trade shows are only a waste of time and money if you don't take full advantage of them. You get back what you put in. With a sales enablement tool, it’s easier to get the most bang for your trade show buck. You’ll want to find a tool that offers support for content and lead collection as well as a product catalog and onsite ordering capabilities.

Myth #3: Anyone Can Staff Your Booth. 

This is technically true, but effectively a myth. Sure, you could certainly pull staff members from anywhere in your business to staff your booth at the trade show, but that may not be the most effective option. It's true that whoever is staffing the booth should be knowledgeable in both your business and your product or service. But it takes more than that to be effective on the sales floor. Your booth staff also needs to have the skills to gather viable leads and help attendees along the buyer's journey.

Your best bet is to staff your booth with people skilled in sales. You need people experienced in generating leads, building customer relationships, and guiding potential prospects through the stages from awareness, to consideration, to decision. Trade show staffing agencies are a smart choice if you don't have enough in-house sales reps available to work the booth. And you need to set your booth staff up to succeed by giving them the sales enablement tools they need to do their jobs.

Myth #4: A Trade Show Ordering Software is Unnecessary.

People who attend trade shows can be at any stage of the buyer's journey. Some attendees are just browsing, while others are considering their purchasing options. And some are ready to buy, they just need that little extra incentive to choose you as their vendor. You have to strike while the iron is hot, as they say. Without trade show ordering software at their fingertips, sales reps on the floor will have a more difficult time finalizing purchase orders. Taking orders by email or pen and paper is inefficient. You need ordering software to sell more efficiently by making it quick and easy for customers to order what they need. Lead orders can also be taken with a trade show ordering software, so no selling opportunity gets missed, even if it occurs post-show!

With the right trade show ordering software, and these four myths busted, you’re ready to hit the trade show floor fully prepared to improve sales and get the most out of the event. Perenso offers dedicated trade show software that integrates with your inventory management applications and CRM. 

Request a demo and learn how to streamline your trade show sales process.