If you're returning to the same trade show or exhibition year after year, it's crucial that you have something new to offer consumers.

It might be the case that you've launched new products or services over the last 12 months and are planning a drive on your most recent solutions.

In this case, by default you'll refresh your trade show marketing approach, in order to promote what is new.

But if you're largely advertising the same solutions as last year, you need to find a way of putting a different slant on things.

Some attendees will remember your stand from the previous year, particularly if they took the time to speak to you and engage with your products.

If you're going to have any chance of converting them into customers this time around, you have to give them additional incentive to come and speak to you again.

If they are confronted with the same people, promoting the same products at the same stand - with nothing new in terms of visuals - the chances are they'll consider their time better-spent somewhere else.

If you use the same stand and they don't remember you, this is also a problem. It means your message isn't necessarily getting through, and the stand isn't succeeding as it should be in increasing awareness of your brand and the profile of your organisation.

Every year you attend the same trade shows, you should aim to take a novel approach to freshen things up. This is not only to give attendees something new to look at, but also to keep you on your toes.

If you travel around the country with exactly the same stand and exactly the same marketing pitch, year after year, you're simply going to go onto autopilot. And this is risky.

When consumers speak to you about your products and services, they want to feel as if they are engaging with a real person in a real conversation.

They aren't interested in taking a sales pitch from a marketing 'robot', who has been delivering the same lines day-in, day-out for a number of years. It's quite possible they will simply walk away.

Being lazy in terms of your trade show marketing lets your products down, and reduces the likelihood of making a sale.

It might only take a few hours to spruce up your stand, redesign the layout and refresh the information. And a few hours more to alter your pitch,

But this is time well invested if regular attendees recognise the effort you have made, and decide to come and pay you another visit this year.

And be sure to back up any in-person trade show marketing with a well-optimised website that continues the conversation.