"All It Takes Is One" and Other Trade Show Myths

Posted by Tom Hand on May 19, 2016 7:30:00 AM in Trade Show Success


The trade show industry, like all industries, has its fair share of myths. Whether you're new to trade shows or an old hand, you've probably heard your fill. Which are fact? Which are fiction? Luckily, new sophisticated CRM systems, marketing automation platforms, and other technologies are exposing many of them for what they are: unfounded.

Here are three of our favorite trade show myths and the data that debunks them.

1. All It Takes Is One

This is an oldie, but a goodie. The hopeful refrain of sales teams on every trade show floor. The myth that keeps every exhibitor team pumped, optimistic and on their game. It's been handed down year after year, show after show, lulling B2B exhibitors into believing it only takes one good sale, one great connection, one key lead, to move the sales process forward thereby justifying the expense and time invested in the trade show; that "all it takes is one" to deliver a positive return on investment.

This seems like sound logic. The new customer is worth $250,000, $25,000 was spent at the show... the math makes sense. Or does it?

"All it takes is one" is an excuse for poor planning and lackadaisical pre-show promotion. There are 20,000 attendees. Just set up the booth. The "one" will be there, right? Not necessarily.

Basing your marketing efforts on this myth is a fool's folly. Do a post-show analysis. Chances are "the one" did not materialize. If "the one" did materialize, what is the actual return on investment? Have you run the numbers?

Now imagine what a strategic pre-show, on-floor and post-show plan would do for those results. No assuming, no guessing, just good old irrefutable data. You wouldn't be leaving "the one's" materialization to chance. In fact, your strategic efforts would likely garner not just one, but potentially many new customers making your return on investment soar.

Let this myth go. Strategize, execute, evaluate. Don't leave finding "the one" to chance.

2. Location, location, Location

Location, location, location. As in the real estate market, trade show success is all about location. Or is it?

The myth says a prime location - on a corner, by an entrance, near the food court - positively affects trade show results. In all honesty, it doesn't.

As with Myth #1, what really gets results is a strategic, executable, trade show marketing plan with specific goals and benchmarks. Location may contribute to your success, but you shouldn't hang your hat on it.

3. Trade Shows Aren't for Selling

This is probably the most damaging trade show myth. If trade shows aren't for selling, than what are they for?

Are trade shows an opportunity to listen to and understand your prospective customers' needs and challenges? Yes. Are they an opportunity to discuss industry challenges and how to address them? Certainly. Are they an opportunity to build trust and advance relationships? Absolutely. Are trade shows an opportunity to finalize a deal if the customer is ready? Heck yeah!

What many of us overlook is that trade shows can be key to the selling process. They allow you to meet customers face-to-face, interact one-on-one, truly connect. Behaving like a carnival barker or a used car salesperson doesn't work - trade show setting or not. What works is genuine connection.

Focus on your prospective client's needs and challenges, communicate how you can help them, but do so in a respectful, down-to-earth manner. Yes, this is selling and the trade show floor is a perfect place for it to occur.

It's easy to buy into "common truths". We all get busy and preoccupied and jumping on the bandwagon is easy and convenient. But it isn't profitable. Take time to examine the myths and hearsay. Oftentimes, they're remnants from when accurately tracking results wasn't possible. Let technology work for you. Optimize your trade show return on investment by letting your data be your guide. You'll be glad you did.

What trade show myths have you heard? How have you debunked them? We want to know! Share your stories in the Comment section. If you're trade show marketing plan involves upgrading your display or if you need help designing your booth, contact us. Our experts would love to help you. Call us at 888-777-0223 or use the Live Chat feature on our website to speak with one of our helpful customer service representatives.

About Ace Exhibits

Ace Exhibits is on a mission to become the #1 resource for portable trade show displays in the United States and Canada. Our products are made in the USA and meet the highest quality standards in the industry. Based in Los Angeles, CA, we source local materials to reduce our carbon footprint and keep our costs low thereby keeping our prices as competitive as possible.

In business for over ten years, we thrive on innovation and change. We're constantly developing new printing techniques and continually experimenting with design and materials to keep our displays practical, relevant and cutting-edge. We offer three-day order-to-floor shipping and all our products have a limited lifetime guarantee.

From simple stand alone displays to complex all-in-one packages with frame, graphic, lighting, and accessories. our team can help you design the perfect display for you. Call us at 888-777-0223 or use the Live Chat feature on our website to speak with one of our helpful customer service representatives.

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