Creating the perfect trade show stand can give your business a real boost, in terms of attracting new customers and boosting revenues. But there are a number of common pitfalls you'll need to avoid if you're going to make the best possible use of your advertising space. Here are ten big 'no-nos' for your trade show marketing:

1. Clutter/litter - you can't leave notepads, half-drunk cups of tea or empty crisp packets lying around on your desk. It looks unprofessional and gives the wrong impression about your business.

2. Distracted staff - even if you've got a company of fire-breathing jugglers advertising in the next booth, you've got to focus on your own activities and your own visitors. If your people get distracted, you may miss out on valuable leads.

3. Too much information - the 'no clutter' rule also applies to the information on your stand. If there is too much to digest, trade show visitors won't be able to take any of it in.

4. Too much space - but conversely, you shouldn't have vast areas of space on your stand with no visual stimuli. It's all about creating the right balance, ensuring there is enough to engage visitors but without bombarding them.

5. Late arrival - if you're not there on time, you might miss out on a conversation with some of the best customer prospects. By the time you are setting up, they might be signing a valuable contract with one of your biggest rivals.

6. Unmotivated staff - anyone who is manning the stand at a trade show needs to be fully briefed, and motivated to mix it with visitors. If they aren't interested in speaking to potential customers, there is no point them being there.

7. Casual dress - it's important to wear smart dress for trade shows. You're looking to impress high-value, influential people, and they will expect you to be wearing a suit.

8. Poor lighting - if visitors can't see the display on your stand because of poor lighting, they will simply move on to the next one. As a back-up it may be worth bringing spotlights with you to focus on key parts of the stand.

9. Aggressive sales tactics - if you come on too strong with passers-by, they won't be able to get away from you quickly enough. You've got to give trade show visitors a certain element of choice!

10. Underestimating demand - if you're distributing leaflets, pamphlets or complementary 'goodies', make sure there are enough for everyone. You don't want all your marketing goods to go to time-wasters, and then find the best prospects are left with nothing to take away. It is better to have a surplus than a shortage.