Sales mistakes made on stand: Are you guilty?

Published on 13/11/2017

Do you want to lose potential clients, miss out on opportunities for leads, or be generally thought of as a company that’s bad to do business with?

Thought not!  Although we have to admit, judging by some of the sales mistakes our team have witnessed at exhibitions over the years, you could be forgiven for thinking those were the direct objectives for some exhibitors. 

We all know how great an opportunity exhibiting your brand at a trade event can be.  After all, how many chances would you usually get to promote your company to such a large audience of industry insiders, experts and prospects, all under one roof? 

To help you make the most of this amazing opportunity, we’ve decided to tell all about some of the worst mistakes we’ve seen salespeople make at exhibitions, so you’ll know exactly what to avoid.

(Brace yourself – some of these are pretty shocking!)

Casting judgement

People judge people.  It’s instinct.  But when you’re exhibiting your business and meeting countless new people, it’s important to treat everybody with the same level of friendliness and respect.

This means not staring at name badges as people walk past, trying to work out who you should be spending your precious time chatting to.  Not only is this rude (people will always know you’re doing it, however subtle you try to be), but job titles are often deceptive – or perhaps even completely made up in some cases! – so you could be missing out on key business.

Not being welcoming

We’re not saying you need to grin inanely at everybody who walks past your stand.  But do smile, and do try to engage people who look interested in what you do, so they don’t go and talk to your competitors instead.  It’s that simple.

Texting, reading or eating on the stand 

We know: who actually does this?  Unfortunately, quite a few people we’ve seen!

It should go without saying that anything that takes attention away from the people around you is a genuine waste of valuable exhibition time (would you want to approach someone staring down at their phone, or engrossed in the latest Dan Brown?)

If you need a break, take one – just take it well away from your stand.

Drinking too much the night before

If you’re staying away for an exhibition, the temptation to have a few drinks in the hotel on the night before can be overwhelmingly strong.  

Resist!  You’ll look, feel and smell terrible – and unless your ideal client is Rab C. Nesbitt, that combination isn’t something you’ll want your brand to be remembered for. 

Breaking down the stand too early

It can be so tempting, can’t it?  The crowd is starting to thin out anyway, you’ll have an easy drive home if you miss the worst of the traffic, and after all it’s been a long week…

Don’t do it.  You never know when your best prospects might turn up, and in our experience there’s a certain kind of arrogance that goes with leaving your stand space empty, while people may still be interested in talking to you – and have often paid for the opportunity to do so. 

(Here at Guardian Exhibition & Display, our friendly team are more than happy to pack up and break down your stand for you, meaning you may just be able to catch that early train after all!) 

A great rule of thumb is to think of your stand as a formal client meeting space.  All the same rules apply – if you wouldn’t chew gum, turn up hungover, leave early or stare down at your phone in a formal meeting, don’t do it on your stand!

So by now we’re sure you know all the wrong ways to work that stand, but do you know the right ones?  Our team are only too happy to discuss all things exhibition-related, and we won’t even ask for your job title!  Get in touch with us here.


11th Jun 2020
Covid-19 Social Distancing Solutions
learn more
1st Jun 2020
Furlough: Fix: Focus
learn more
18th May 2020
A positive commercial step you can take during lockdown 
learn more
30th Jan 2020
Sustainable exhibiting: Recyclable stand structure components
learn more
6th Dec 2019
Sustainable exhibiting displays: Lightboxes
learn more
22nd Nov 2019
A message from Design-on-Sea
learn more
21st Oct 2019
You’ll wonder why you stuck with that trade show stand for so long
learn more
16th Jul 2019
The best way to obtain and use client testimonials
learn more
10th Jul 2019
Trade shows: Still the proven route to building enquiries and sales quickly
learn more
3rd Jun 2019
Thinking about your exhibition stand as sales equipment
learn more
14th May 2019
The Pros and Cons of Shell Scheme
learn more
3rd May 2019
Now is the time to be planning for that show in the autumn
learn more
25th Apr 2019
PowerPoint is amazing: Here’s how you can make the most of this 
excellent presentation tool
learn more
5th Apr 2019
Is your trade show stand a good ambassador for your business?
learn more
29th Mar 2019
How to transform a shell scheme stand
learn more
26th Mar 2019
5 ways to transform your exhibiting results without spending lots of money
learn more
18th Mar 2019
Two new displays that are attracting a lot of client interest
learn more
24th Jan 2019
One Of The Fastest And Surest Ways To Improve Trade Show Performance
learn more
17th Dec 2018
5 Trade Show Myths That Can Seriously Hurt Your Sales
learn more
10th Dec 2018
Exhibiting Trends For The Year Ahead
learn more
10th Dec 2018
3 FAQ's about exhibiting on small stands
learn more
24th Aug 2018
The Versaform Sales Story
learn more
6th Aug 2018
Transforming event spaces to transform exhibiting and event results
learn more
8th May 2018
An exclusive invitation from the IET: Bits and Bytes at Savoy Place
learn more
11th Dec 2017
Give your event display a professional edge: hire a promotions team!
learn more
27th Nov 2017
Six handy tips to maximise the life of your exhibition graphics
learn more
2nd Nov 2017
Drum roll please...for our brand-new website launch!
learn more
13th Oct 2017
When size really does matter: making the most of a large exhibition space
learn more
29th Sep 2017
Give that ugly shell scheme a makeover! Simple tips to stand out at your next event
learn more
15th Sep 2017
Working the glow factor - why you should use a lightbox at your next event!
learn more
8th Sep 2017
Are you ready for GDPR?
learn more
1st Sep 2017
Take your business on holiday this Autumn!
learn more
25th Aug 2017
Boost your eco-credentials (along with your business) - choose a Versaform stand!
learn more
18th Aug 2017
Get a Head Start On The Competition: Plan For Your Next Exhibition!
learn more
11th Aug 2017
Why You Should Hire a Custom Exhibition Stand This Autumn
learn more
4th Aug 2017
Dressing for Success Part Two - over to you!
learn more
27th Jul 2017
How to Buy an Exhibition Stand: Five Essential Tips
learn more
24th Jul 2017
Dressing for success - eye-catching event branding outside the exhibition hall
learn more
19th Jul 2017
Grow your business with a portable display stand!
learn more
14th Jul 2017
Location, location, location! How to select the perfect spot for your stand
learn more
7th Jul 2017
Get people talking: Simple Social Media Tips for Your Next #Event!
learn more
23rd Jun 2017
Big Ideas: How to Make the Most of a Small Exhibition Space
learn more
8th Jun 2017
Everything You Wanted to Know About Exhibition Stand Graphics (but were afraid to ask!)
learn more
2nd Jun 2017
Come and say hello at the BNC Summer Show!
learn more
31st May 2017
Don't miss our Great Stand Giveaways! How to stay in visitors' minds long after your event
learn more
19th May 2017
How to attract and engage your visitors
learn more
12th May 2017
A Handy Exhibition Venue Guide... Old Billingsgate
learn more
8th May 2017
Renting or Buying...Which Display Stand Option is Best for Your Business?
learn more
28th Apr 2017
A Handy Venue Guide to the Business Design Centre
learn more
25th Apr 2017
A Handy Venue Guide to Olympia London
learn more
18th Apr 2017
A Handy Venue Guide to ExCeL London
learn more
3rd Apr 2017
Why Guardian Exhibition and Display is Your Only Choice for Your Next Event!
learn more
27th Mar 2017
Why you should Embrace Gamification into your Exhibition Stand
learn more
17th Mar 2017
10 Essential Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Exhibition Stand Space
learn more
10th Mar 2017
12 Reasons Why Companies Fail at Exhibitions
learn more
2nd Mar 2017
A Marketing Manager's essential exhibition checklist.
learn more
24th Feb 2017
Our Top 10 Do's and Don'ts for Designing your Exhibition Stand!
learn more
16th Feb 2017
Why Exhibitions Should be Part of Your Marketing Plans for 2017
learn more
14th Feb 2017
How to Deliver a Memorable Experience at your next Exhibition
learn more