Weekly Insights: 3 Pet Peeves About Show Websites

Photo: FreeImages.com/alicja_sto

Photo: FreeImages.com/alicja_sto

As a trade show consultant, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at websites for shows in all kinds of industries. While I’ve seen some that will knock your socks off, many others fall somewhere between “ho-hum” and absolutely pathetic.

While I can’t go into all the reasons show websites fail (perhaps without you even realizing it), here are three pet peeves … not just mine, but also those of exhibitors and attendees who are searching for quality information about your show.

  1. Why should finding basic contact information be like going deep-sea diving without a guide? It shouldn’t take hours of swimming in circles to find out who to call (beyond sales people) regarding basic questions or show details. Have a link on every page of your site to the Contact Us page, then on that include multiple points of contact.
  2. Better yet, why not give us a way to get many of our questions answered online without needing to contact anyone? Provide an FAQ page for both exhibitors and attendees, with links to the exhibitor prospectus and attendee brochures.
  3. Why is your show so great and why should I participate? Offer social proof in the form of testimonials from both exhibitors and attendees, data about who attends, and perhaps a video with clips from the show so we can get a feel for it. (Like for example in this video, which I helped to produce for one of my clients.)

Want more tips on how to make your show’s website a highly-valued tool for both exhibitors and attendees that streamlines both their work and yours? Join us in the Exhibit Marketers Café on this month’s call for show managers where we’ll focus on “Designing a User-friendly, Highly-visited Show Website.”

Exhibitors: What’s your biggest pet peeve about the websites of shows you participate in or are have investigated as future shows to exhibit in? Please share in the comments below.

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Marlys Arnold

With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.

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