In spite of a few minor technical glitches, Gwen Hill of Exhibit Force and I had a fun conversation that touched on a lot of problems that exhibitors and exhibit managers face: namely, dealing with the heavy-duty record-keeping, communication and collaboration requirements of an exhibit program. It’s a great look at the various ways that Exhibit Force is positioned to help thousands of exhibitors in their management programs.
ONE GOOD THING: Air conditioning! It’s summer. It’s hot.
For years, here at TradeshowGuy Exhibits, we’ve teamed up with great partners for various tradeshow display products: exhibit designers and producers, display products manufacturers, I&D labor teams and more. For example, our Exhibit Design Search website provided by Classic Exhibits is the standard-bearer of the branded exhibit search tool. We also work with the good folks at Orbus, a company that provides a wider range selection of exhibit graphics and accessories that tend to fall into a lower price category. They have an unbranded site of exhibits and accessories here.
Now we have another partner to show off. Creative Banner offers hundreds of products through our branded website here.
You’ll find banner stands and displays, accessories, banners and flags for indoors and outdoors, floor displays, retractable banners, signage, table covers, table top displays, event tents and total show packages. After working with them quietly for a couple of years and being impressed with their product quality and quick turnaround time, as well as flexibility on customizing some items, we decided it was time to have them fire up a branded site for us. So click on through to the other side: TradeshowGuy Exhibits – Tradeshow City USA and take a look! Let us know what you think!
Infographics do a great job of quickly communicating information in a fun and effective way, especially if you’re like me (and 65% of the rest of the population) and are a visual learner. So let’s sift through some of the great tradeshow infographics floating around on Pinterest these days.Click through to the Pinterest posts, or browse the infographics below.
I sat down with Jay Tokosch of Core-Apps on this week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee. Jay’s been in the industry for about eight years, and is CEO of Core-Apps, which creates apps for show organizers, show management software, apps for exhibitors and more. Check out Core-Apps when you get a moment, and be sure to look at the ShowcaseXD app here. Fun and lively conversation – check it out:
ONE GOOD THING: I saw the movie Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets over the weekend. Critics say it’s the standout movie of the summer, and I don’t disagree. It’s a gorgeous movie, a pretty good story led by a couple of unknowns, but supported by a notable cast including Clive Owens, Ethan Hawke, Rihanna and Herbie Hancock (!). Good stuff. See the trailer here.
No doubt there are over a million tradeshow blogs dedicated to just the single topic of tradeshow marketing, wouldn’t you say? More? Less? No matter how you add them up, it seems like a lot. And now and then I peruse the Google machine to see what new listings show up. Not to brag, but what’s interesting to me is that this blog – the TradeshowGuyBlog – shows up on a few of these lists. Nice! Let’s review:
10 Tradeshow Blogs You Need to Read is from Exponet, and for some reason I made the top listing. Hey, the guy even acts as if he knows me. Published last month, he even mentions the TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee podcast/vlog, so you know he’s on top of it! TSNN and Exhibitor also made the cut on this list. (Unfortunately, in October 2018 this link no longer works)
Never done tradeshow marketing before, but wonder if it’s something to finally seriously consider? Let’s take a look at seven signs you might recognize in your business that could steer you towards opting for tradeshow marketing as one of your marketing tools.
When your business has nearly maxed out its current marketing reach. One of the best and most cost-effective ways to reach new markets is through tradeshow marketing. You have access to buyers and decision makers far outside your local or regional markets if you set up an exhibit at a national tradeshow.
When you’re selling enough product so that you’re banking a decent amount of change, giving you the option to spread your wings a little more in the marketing arena.
When your product or service creates a buzz all on its own. Putting it on display at the right show can open even more doors.
When you have a great partner that’s already exhibiting and is willing to bring you along for the ride. Let’s say they have a larger island booth but for a fraction of the price of exhibiting in that big of a space, they’ll bring you on as a complementary product or service.
Your sales have plateaued, and you’re looking for a new source of prospects. Making the jump into tradeshow marketing is a great way to kick-start new sales and lead generation.
You’re ready for a laser-focused marketing event. Putting all your skills and talents on display at a tradeshow means you’re ready to show off to a ton of potential customers. You’ll benefit in new leads and increased brand awareness.
You’re ready to move from a small/local company to a regional or national company. If your product is ready for prime time (production and distribution), putting those wares on display at a tradeshow can open doors to new retailers and distributors that can help you achieve those higher goals.
No doubt there are other signs, but these 7 signals should alert you to the possibility that tradeshow marketing – if you haven’t done it yet – might be a good bet for your marketing dollars.
TradeshowGuy Tim Patterson on his weekly podcast, looks at how to get out of a creative slump, whether it’s writer’s block or some other creative endeavor, using brainstorming and other techniques to come up with new ideas.
What does it take for great tradeshow lead generation? Success comes mainly from paying attention to details. For instance, you probably made the effort at your last tradeshow to either scan someone’s badge, or got a business card and made a few notes on the back. But to really go the distance for a great lead, know that the success comes in executing the follow-up.
Naturally, you’ve gotten the lead’s name, company and contact info. But to be thorough, make sure that you’ve also got:
What product or service they’re interested in: be specific
How best they prefer to get a sample, if desired. Is it email, snail mail, telephone call, in-person visit?
When do they prefer to be contacted for follow-up? Date and time of day that works best for their schedule.
Where? If you are meeting offsite, such as a coffee shop, confirm the address. If it’s at their place of business, make sure you have the right address and not a satellite office or production facility.
Who are you meeting with? Is it just the main contact, or will there be other people involved?
Why are you meeting? Is the meeting a preliminary discussion, or is it to close a sale, or something in between?
When I was in journalism class in high school, we were instructed to get the 5 W’s and the 1 H: who, what where, when, why and how. It’s the same with sales follow-up.
Finally, make sure that your prospect understands the method of follow-up, along with the other pieces so that there is no mutual mystification – make sure all parties understand what is going to happen and when.
Once you’ve done that, you’ve nailed down a good lead. You’ve done your job on tradeshow lead generation. Now go close the sale!
On this morning’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, a quick romp through time management and time blocking and how it can help bring a little structure to your day. Also, some of the specifics of tradeshow lead follow up.
It’s a good question: what does a tradeshow manager do? And frankly, you can come at this question from a few angles.
For instance, is the tradeshow manager (or coordinator, or project manager) employed by the company internally, to make sure the tradeshow appearance is as flawless and successful as possible? Does the tradeshow coordinator work for an exhibit house, tasked with making sure the new (or stored) exhibit is shipped to arrive on time, and get set up, dismantled and shipped back? Or does the company find a third party to coordinate the logistics from show to show on an as-needed basis?
There are several things to determine, such as: what is the scope of work? What tasks are expected of the tradeshow coordinator? Is there a marketing department that makes decisions on which shows to attend? Who determines the budget and where does that money come from? And so on.
Wearing several hats is not uncommon for someone with the larger and somewhat vague title of tradeshow coordinator. Mainly, she is responsible for:
Determining what shows to go to (usually in coordination with a larger team that vets the various options)
Scheduling or securing the booth space and coordinating logistics such as electricity, internet, cleaning, badge scanner and more
Work with vendors such as exhibit houses or printers for any updates to the exhibit
Scheduling exhibit shipping, I&D (installation and dismantle), return shipping, storage
Booth staffer hiring, training, scheduling and coordination of any special clothing such as branded t-shirts; develop and/or coordinate any pre-conference training for staffers
Coordinate with sales and marketing for any special product demos, etc.
Hire in-booth presenters if needed
Track expenses as required
Coordinate lead generation activities, system and delivery of leads to sales post-show
Pre-show marketing: mailers, emails, any specific phone invitations
Post-show follow-up communication
Record keeping: maintain show schedules, project checklists, exhibit management, photos from each show, logistic and travel expenses show to show and year over year
Each individual position may include more or less from this list, but these are the main tasks on a tradeshow manager’s job description list.
And, just for fun, I looked at tradeshow manager job listings across the USA recently. There are a ton of openings. Just sayin.’