Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.
Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.

Event Marketing

What to do Now That the Tradeshow World is on Hold

I’ve certainly blogged about this topic before. But things change, inside your company and outside in the events and tradeshow world. So I think it behooves any tradeshow manager to keep their eyes up and take note of changes in the exhibiting landscape. Here are few things rattling around in my brain:

Be aware of how other shows are unfolding in other countries. How are they dealing with protecting their exhibitors and visitors? It’s easy enough to find information on LinkedIn, especially if you follow fellow industry exhibitors. I see this type of information shared frequently and learned that a very large show was held in Europe lately. This means in some parts of the world, things are getting back to normal.

Know what’s happening with the shows you normally exhibit at. Are they planning to be all virtual next time around? Or do they have firm plans to be back in action at the convention center or hall where they usually have the show? Or maybe the third option: they just don’t know. The local convention center here in Salem is closed until further notice, but they have several groups on long-term contracts that want to come back once it’s okay. Some have smaller gatherings of less than a hundred (which might be okay under today’s guidelines); others expect hundreds, maybe more than a thousand. At this point, it’s hard to know when gatherings that large will be allowed.

Different states have different statuses. California, Nevada, Chicago, DC, NYC. They’re all different and all have different plans for getting back to larger shows. It may not make sense to spend a lot of time digging into each state’s specific plans, but just to be aware that what brings back large shows in Nevada may not be the same that brings them back in NYC or Chicago.

If your company goes to several shows a year, large, medium and small, would it make sense to have a ready-made virtual exhibit that can easily be adapted to fit the requirements of each show? Virtual exhibits are getting more popular, especially when exhibitors and show organizers have the understanding that even when (if) things return to “normal,” virtual exhibits can and probably will be a part of the marketing mix. Learn more about virtual exhibit in this Kevin Carty podcast interview, this Exhibitor Magazine webinar replay which includes a walk-through of the Canon virtual exhibit, and this blog post on what questions might come up around moving forward with a virtual exhibit.

Another thing to keep abreast of is how exhibitors and attendees are feeling about getting back to live events. This piece from TSNN indicates a majority of people are ready to get back on the exhibiting floor.

Yes, things are moving forward. Sometimes we feel it’s at a snail’s pace, but even incremental movement is critical. I suspect at some point, you’ll look up and find that you’re booking travel plans and signing exhibiting contracts and planning exhibit updates.


http://tradeshowbuy.com

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, September 21, 2020: Kevin Carty – Virtual Exhibits

I’ve had Kevin Carty of Classic Exhibits on a handful of times this year for various discussions related to dealing with the COVID Pandemic, how they’re dealing with it and more. But this week I wanted to catch up with Kevin to learn more about virtual exhibits: how they’re working their way into designing and implementing exhibits for clients, and how exhibitors can think about and approach a possible virtual exhibit for their own use:

This week’s ONE GOOD THING: Rain. Sorely needed here on the west coast with all the forest fires still burning. We got a good dose of rain late last week and while it didn’t put the fires out, it gave firefighters a good helping hand.


Subscribe to TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee on Apple Podcasts here.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Tradeshow Marketing here, where the vlog version of the podcast appears weekly.

Awareness Can Lead to Tradeshow Success: Video

The simple act of being aware of what’s going on can transform an average exhibiting experience into a successful one. Here’s a quick video on what you things you might want to be more aware of next time you’re exhibiting.


http://tradeshowbuy.com

Pandemic SWOT Analysis

You’re familiar with a SWOT Analysis, I presume?

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

Year ago, I wrote a brief article on doing a tradeshow marketing SWOT Analysis, which would be a bit different from a more general SWOT Analysis.

But now that we’re in a pandemic created by the COVID-19, how would you approach doing a SWOT Analysis and is it worth doing?

Photo by PhotoMIX Company from Pexels

I would argue that while a formal SWOT is probably unnecessary, it’s not a bad idea to at least examine some of the changes the pandemic has wrought, to see what obvious and perhaps significant changes your company is facing.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

How are you positioned in the marketplace? Do you have new products about to launch? How are you perceived by your customers and clientele? Are you doing things to keep relationships going? Are sales strong or flat? Just knowing these and other related things will help you understand your position in the marketplace compared to your competition and compared to how you might have been with no pandemic.

Opportunities:

With no tradeshow marketing coming for at least another quarter or two, can you put the budget towards something else? Is a virtual event worth the investment? Can you do another kind of outreach for a fraction of the cost of exhibiting at a big tradeshow? Take a look at your options and see if there are missed opportunities that you may have overlooked.

Threats:

Are there marketplace threats you sense but perhaps haven’t put your finger on? Are your supplier lines still open and working well, or are there kinks that may signal something worse down the line? Do you have any competitors that are taking this time to move aggressively into an area that you thought you dominated? Threats are often overlooked because, unless you actively think about them and look for them, they can sneak up on you without you knowing until it’s too late.

All in all, doing a brief SWOT check-in may help you understand how the company is doing and give you insight and context in how you’ll handle the rest of the year and move into 2021.

Moving Forward: 10 Things Exhibitors Should Do Now: Video

After viewing Exhibitor Magazine‘s latest survey data last week from the exhibitor and supply side of the tradeshow world, it got me to thinking about what exhibitors should do now. Here’s a short video:

Check out Exhibitor Magazine online here, and view the Exhibitor Insight Presentation I made reference to as well.

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, August 31, 2020: Jane Gentry

In the midst of a pandemic, what’s a nationwide staffing entity to do? In this week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, we find out how one agency is doing it, anyway. Jane Gentry, CEO of Fusion, spoke with me about how they’re addressing the myriad issues surrounding staffing events and retail outlets both physically and virtually.

Plus, she shares some great tips toward the end about how to make more sales and maintain great relationships. Take a look/listen:

Find Fusion online here.

This week’s ONE GOOD THING: Twitter.


Subscribe to TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee on Apple Podcasts here.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Tradeshow Marketing here, where the vlog version of the podcast appears weekly.

Virtual Events Questions

I’ve been thinking about virtual events and have a few questions:

Let’s say that Organization A is going to convert their typical in-person event that normally hosts, oh, let’s say, 3500 exhibitors and 80,000 attendees. It’s a pretty big show. Millions of dollars generated in business. A big deal.

Now because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will have to go virtual, if the organizers decide to move forward with the event. Something like CES2021 comes to mind, which recently announced they were going all-digital, although it could be any number of large shows.

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around how it would work. And yes, several questions come to my poor little brain as I try to understand how it will work. I would think that exhibitors will need some sort of platform that they’ll provide for online attendees to land on at their main site that will then take them on a tour of the various virtual exhibitors.

Let’s start with the organization that is putting on the virtual event:

  • What are you offering attendees and exhibitors?
  • How will you implement it?
  • What are attendees looking for? Will you be able to give them what they want?
  • If you have live sessions, will they be available for playback later?
  • What platform will you offer exhibitors for their exhibits, and how will those virtual exhibits be designed and constructed? Will they be from a template, or will you offer custom design services?
  • How will those services be priced?
  • How much time do you need to implement those services, assuming that you can provide them to all of your exhibitors in a timely manner?
  • Is the final online presentation available for a limited time, or can exhibitors take it with them to another venue?
  • What flexibility and options will you offer your exhibitors for their virtual exhibit?
  • If an exhibitor already has a virtual exhibit done by another provider, will you willingly link to that virtual exhibit from your platform and make it as seamless as possible?

From the attendee’s viewpoint:

  • Why should I attend?
  • What do I get by attending?
  • How much will it cost me to attend?
  • If I pay the admission fee, will I have access to all programs for a limited amount of time or will it be open-ended?
  • Who else is going to attend?
  • Will I be able to get a list of other visitors in any way, shape or form?

From the exhibitors’ viewpoint:

  • How will the organizers promote and publicize the show?
  • How will they attract people to my booth?
  • What options are available to “boost” the attendance in my virtual exhibit?
  • How will I know who is there, how long they stay in the virtual space, what they clicked, etc.?
  • What is the cost to partake in the virtual tradeshow?
  • How long will the virtual exhibit remain available to visitors?

No doubt, you’ll have other questions. I’d love to hear them. I can’t think of everything, right?


It’s a good time to mention that the good folks at Classic Exhibits, the main exhibit manufacturer we work with, is now offering virtual exhibits – and they’re pretty impressive. Take a look here.

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, August 24, 2020: John Pugh and Marcus Vahle

It’s been several months since we caught up with John Pugh and Marcus Vahle of Share Experience, a company they launched less than a year ago near Pittsburgh on the banks of the Ohio River. With the pandemic affecting the events industry, every company in the space is looking for ways to offer value to their clients. Share Experience has moved into virtual production and making sets for virtual presentations – and much more, as you’ll learn on this wide-ranging discussion.

A quick note: I had a minor audio issue on my end – my microphone was turned too high, and I had to tone it down a bit in post-production. It does sound a bit distorted due to modulation, but I mitigated it as much as possible 🙂

Check out Share Experience.

This week’s ONE GOOD THING: Michael Shaefer’s Business Grow, where you can subscribe to his newsletter.


Subscribe to TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee on Apple Podcasts here.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Tradeshow Marketing here, where the vlog version of the podcast appears weekly.

How to Find a Whole Lot of Tradeshow Marketing Tips (Video)

With tradeshow marketing on the sidelines, now is as good a time as any to brush up on your tradeshow marketing skill and knowledge. And here’s a great place to find a whole lot of tradeshow marketing tips – all in one place, and all worth their weight in gold. Check out this short under-three-minute video:

Find all of these tips at TradeshowBuy.com!

Corporate Events and Meetings Will Return Soon: Will You Be Ready?

It isn’t a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. And it’s possible that in some areas of the country, small meetings and corporate events are already back, or on their way. And that may mean that some of these venues, such as hotels, small conference centers, or corporations with their own event centers, are not prepared.

They’ll be looking for workstations, counters, branded LED lightboxes, monitors, charging stations, hand sanitizer stations, and more. Chances are they don’t have all of these items readily available. And it may not be a good approach to try and purchase all of these things, and then try and store them from show to show.

Nope, it’s probably a better idea to RENT these things. Which is exactly what you get when you team up with TradeshowGuy Exhibits and Classic Rental Solutions. We’ve worked with the designers, project managers, and fabricators at Classic Exhibits for nearly two decades and know they offer high-quality top-of-the-line material. And with the pandemic afoot, they’ve turned their designers loose to come up with a variety of items that you might need for an upcoming event. Rent, don’t buy, when it comes to things you’ll only use a time or two a year, especially when event requirements may change from event to event.

Click on these images for larger information sheets, then click through to the more thorough website info pages below:

For more information:


http://tradeshowbuy.com

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