Participating in an exhibition is an excellent opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and services, network with industry professionals, and connect with potential customers. However, like any endeavour, exhibiting at a trade show comes with its own set of challenges. Here we will explore some common problems encountered by exhibitors and provide tips on how to overcome them.

1. Insufficient Planning and Preparation:

One of the primary reasons exhibitors face difficulties at an exhibition is a lack of proper planning and preparation. Insufficient time allocated for stand design, logistics, and promotional materials can lead to challenges and unorganized operations. Aim to start your planning – and the stand design process – 6 months in advance of the show, and try and have everything tied up and ready to go at least 2 months before the opening day of the show.

2. Poor Stand Location

The location of your stand can significantly impact the success of your exhibition. Exhibitors positioned in less frequented areas or hidden corners may struggle to attract footfall and engage with potential customers. While stand placement is often determined by the organizers, early registration and clear communication with event coordinators can help secure a more favorable location. If in doubt, your stand design agency can offer advice and guidance on what will work for you.

3. Ineffective Stand Design

A poorly designed experience can mean the difference between a packed stand and a virtual desert. Exhibitors must create an attractive and functional booth that aligns with their branding and goals. The number one area where exhibitors fail is in not having a clear objective to their stand presence. Think about the journey that you want to take your visitors on, what messages do you want them to take away from your stand? A premium stand agency will help guide you through this process.

4. Lack of Engaging Staff

The presence of knowledgeable and engaging staff members is crucial for exhibitors. Staff members who lack enthusiasm, fail to engage with attendees (lock the phones away!), or are not well-informed about the company’s offerings can hinder the exhibition experience. To address this issue, exhibitors should provide thorough training to their staff, emphasizing product knowledge, effective communication, and customer engagement skills. Consider taking on some pre-show training for your team to prepare them for the big day (the Exhibition Gold Standard is a great place to start).

5. Inadequate Pre-Show Marketing

An exhibition’s success depends on attracting the right audience. Exhibitors who neglect to promote their participation in advance may struggle to generate interest and draw visitors to their booth. Utilise various marketing channels such as social media, email campaigns, and personalized invitations to inform existing and potential clients about your exhibition presence.

6. Difficulty in Generating Leads

While gathering leads is a primary objective for exhibitors, some may find it challenging to capture contact information or qualify leads effectively. Lead capture technologies, such as digital forms or interactive touchscreens, can simplify the process. Additionally, training staff to engage in meaningful conversations, ask open-ended questions, and actively listen can lead to more valuable leads.

7. Technical or Logistical Issues

Technical glitches or logistical challenges can occur unexpectedly and disrupt an exhibitor’s operations. Faulty equipment, unreliable power supply, or delays in logistics can impact even the best prepared plans. A quality stand agency will have experience in dealing with these “known unknowns” and will be able to close out any issues quickly and efficiently.


Exhibiting at a trade show can be a rewarding experience, but it requires careful planning, attention to detail, and effective execution. By addressing common problems such as insufficient planning, poor stand location, ineffective stand design, lack of engaging staff, inadequate promotion, lead generation difficulties, and technical/logistical issues, exhibitors can maximise their chances of success at an exhibition. Remember, a well-prepared and engaging presence will significantly enhance the overall exhibition experience and contribute to achieving your desired goals.

If you have any questions or want to discuss any challenges you’ve been having, contact us today and we will get you back on the straight and narrow!