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

Event Marketing

Do the Yelp Dance!

You’re at a tradeshow, it’s time to close up the booth and head out for dinner and drinks. Maybe catch a Tweetup. Or maybe it’s still several weeks to the tradeshow and you want to schedule a Tweetup. How do you find a good place to meet, or to have dinner and drinks?

Try Yelp. They’re quickly building a reputation as an information provider that offers reviews of businesses – from people that have patronized the business. From Yelp’s website: “Yelp allows consumers to share the experiences they’ve had with local businesses and lets business owners share information about their business with their customers. Simply put, it’s word of mouth–amplified.”

Word of mouth – amplified.

This works from two directions: if you have a business that’s near a convention center, you’d better be listed on Yelp. If not, it takes a few moments to set up an account.

If you’re a small business, you’d better be looking at building a customer community program this year. Starting building an email (and SMS) list so you can offer specials and promotions to those customers. If you’re at a tradeshow or convention, Yelp is a great resource: on a recent vacation I used Yelp to track down a number of restaurants that I never would have otherwise found. All were worthwhile – some more than others – but each Yelp review gave insight into other customers’ experiences and thoughts.

Of course, Yelp can be a double-edged sword if you’re a small business. Treat a customer badly and you might create a firestorm of negativity – deserved or not. With new location-based and customer-review services popping up, it’s going to be a harder line for businesses to walk.

Besides Yelp, your business should be visible and listed on Google Maps and Facebook. Consider looking at newer and not-so-well-known platforms such as FireEagle,  Loopt,  Gowalla,  or Rummble or any of another hundred or more LBS-services.

With more and more people going mobile, the niche-oriented businesses such as Foursquare and Yelp will become bigger and bigger players. Not only can you use them to connect with people, find a great restaurant or coffee shop or tire store, as a business you’ll find a competitive advantage by being first to be found by that small but growing number of people using the services.

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Is Foursquare the Next Killer App for Tradeshow Marketing?

The year: 2016

The scene: a busy tradeshow floor in Chicago

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The situation: almost half of the exhibitors at the show are welcoming visitors to the show, who are ‘checking in’ via Foursquare (or some similar app – who’s to know what will survive that long). After then check in at the booth, they’re rewarded with a couple of spiffs. Maybe a free download just for show visitors, a store discount, or a chance to win something cool. Maybe they get a free one-on-one with the CEO. Doesn’t matter, could be anything of value. By checking in, they also automatically are asked if they want to opt-in to receiving special offers via text message or old-fashioned e-mail.

When visitors check the stats in Foursquare they see that hundreds of visitors have also checked in at the booth, as well as many others. There’s a thriving online community of people who are also connecting face-to-face thanks to location-based-marketing apps. It could be Facebook, could be Foursquare or any other of the LBS (location based services) apps that are thriving in the new, increasingly connected world. With the deep personal profiling that has grown in the past few years, it’s easy to connect with people who are interested in the same things, or have certain characteristics in common, such as location, similar job titles, or even off-job interests like golf or skiing. Meetings are arranged either by users or companies who have an interest in bringing these small groups together. Kind of like a Tweetup on steroids.

The scene is not that far from reality. Location based marketing is exploding. Mobile marketing is right behind. Some people are already starting to use the mobile and GPS tools to great effect. Sarah Perez writes on Read Write Web that the key to success for your location-base app is to find a way to reward people for their activities. So what’s your reward?

Indeed. Give something of value to a group of people that are hungry for that item and you’ve started opening the door to a new client-customer relationship.

While Lopez refers to a recent study by Forrester Research that shows ‘only 4% of U.S. online adults have ever used location-based apps such as these, and only 1% out of those that use them do so more than once per week’ – just think back to the middle part of the last decade where people were just getting excited about podcasting and blogging, both of which are now well established. Web 2.0 was the new buzz. Since 2005, the incredible growth of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube has been the focus of countless media spotlights.

The world is going mobile, and GPS-related services and location-based marketing is poised to take off big time. There’s huge potential there for the masses. And even now, as the Forrester research points out, the current small group of users of Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, MyTown, Brightkite are all very influential. People look to them for opinions and leadership. Friend ask what they’re up to and who’d they buy from.

It may not be the time to jump into location-based marketing quite yet for a tradeshow, but if you did you would not be too far ahead of anyone.

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photo credit: abulhussain

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Different Drum

Do you march to the beat of a different drummer? Or do you fall in behind other exhibitors, advertisers and marketers lock-step, following the same marketing and exhibiting methods that have been used for years?

I first heard the phrase ‘march to the beat of a different drummer’ when I was a pre-teen – just about the time I started to learn to play drums in the school band. Just about the time I was recognizing rock drummers such as Dave Clark, Ringo Starr and Charlie Watts.

YES! I thought. I play to a different drummer! Even though I had no idea what it really meant. I just assumed that it was a cool to march to your own beat – whatever that beat was.

Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not always a good thing to march to your own beat. Some people do that and end out on the fringe, where no one wants to follow and the audience is sparse. As a marketer, you’re looking for the largest possible audience for your specific message.  For some products and companies, that market is in the millions. For others, it may be much smaller, in the hundreds or even dozens. Or less. Just depends.

Marching to the beat of a different drummer means to follow your instinct and gut as much as it means to follow the numbers or stick to a ‘tried-and-true’ path.  In the conclusion to ‘Walden’, Thoreau writes, “If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away.”

The creators, inventors and marketers who marched to a different drum were also ones who changed the world. Look at the life stories of folks like Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple, Bill Gates of Microsoft, 3M’s Art Fry (who invented the Post-it note), Alexander Bain (fax machine – in the 1840s! – look it up) or one of many others who saw things differently.

At your next tradeshow, look around. Who is doing things differently? Is the wacky company that’s making a giant 7-foot-long shoe out of cardboard in their booth? Is it the company that chopped a VW bus in half to make a mini-micro bus to fit in their ten-foot booth? Is it the exhibitor that chopped and painted an industrial storage container and made it into a unique booth?

What grabs your attention? What draws crowds at events?

Now: what can you do in your tradeshow marketing efforts that show off your extraordinary beat to a different drum? And how can you do that in such a way that it gets people attention, invites them into your world, shows them that you are different in a good way, and yet doesn’t cross that imaginary line into fringe or bleeding edge?

And if you can do that, will you tell the rest of us how it’s done??

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photo credit: dominic bartolini

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13 Common Trade Show Mistakes (part 2)

Guest post by Mel White, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Classic Exhibits – see part 1 here

7. Poor Follow Up on Leads

Why would you bring your own rope to your hanging? And, yet, the vast majority of exhibitors spend considerable cash preparing and participating in a trade show and then neglect the leads they gathered at the show. Well, either they don’t value the leads or there’s no plan on how to handle them. Most of the time it’s the latter. What’s the saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

8. No Daily Booth Preparation

When your in-laws come to town, you spend days cleaning, organizing, and stressing over dust bunnies. Three days later, you don’t care anymore. There are dirty dishes piled in sink and clothes draped over the recliner. The same scenario happens for most exhibitors. They polish and preen for hours before the show opens, and then by Day Two, they ignore the smudges, the carpet boogies, and the stray candy wrappers.

Every day is a new day in Exhibit-Land. Like Disneyworld, it’s gotta look perfect before the guests arrive. Assign that task to someone every day and create a checklist. Otherwise, it won’t get done, or the person with initiative will do it and resent it.

9. Partying and Socializing

It’s a trade show. You’re suppose to socialize and party during the off hours. But . . . and here’s the BIG BUT . . . you need to be smart about it. First, you’re on company time. Even when you think you’re not on company time, you’re on company time. That’s just the way it is. If the company expects you to socialize with clients, then socialize and be on your best behavior. If someone has to tell you what that means, then you shouldn’t be socializing with clients.

Second, trade shows may seem like a friendly gathering, and they can be, but they are actually a competition. What you say, where you say it, and who’s around when you say it, can have painful repercussions for you and your employer. We are all on high alert for hints, innuendos, and outright gossip about our competitors. It’s amazing what someone will tell you, or someone next to your will reveal, after a few drinks.

Finally, and this should go without saying, socializing should not interfere with your show responsibilities. Pace yourself cowboys and cowgirls. Showing up at the booth sweating tequila (no matter how good the tequila was) isn’t attractive.

10. Packing and Unpacking

I know. You’re tired, and you want to get back to your room, the airport, or home. That’s understandable. We all feel that way. But how you unpack or pack your booth will make your life much easier or much harder. You know deep down in your heart that it’s the right thing to do. Ultimately, the key to any successful trade show is planning and organization.Your exhibit is no exception.

Carefully unpacking the exhibit and organizing the packaging materials makes the assembly go faster and the repacking much easier. You eliminate the head scratching that invariably occurs at the end of the show. When you take the time to repack the exhibit right, you ensure that the exhibit arrives at the next destination in good condition and ready for the next show. Think of your exhibit as yarn. You have a choice. You can either toss the loose yarn in the case and hope for the best. Or you can wind it carefully into a ball.

11. Participating in the Wrong Shows (not participating in the right shows)

This one is tough. Too often, you never know until you participate. It’s kinda like “Mystery Date” where you don’t know if the person on the other side of the door is “dreamy” or a “dude.” The best advice is to ask your suppliers or strategic partners who may participate in the same show. What’s their take on the trade show and has it been beneficial? If possible, ask for specifics such as lead numbers, sales from the show, and promotional ideas. What works and what doesn’t work.

In the end, you have to decide based on your own experience. Sometimes the show would have been better if only you had done this or that. That’s fine. You’ll make the adjustment next year. Other times, it wasn’t a good fit because you’re selling candy at a diabetics convention.

What you don’t want to do is allow tradition or momentum to dictate whether you participate. Just because you have (or haven’t) gone every year, shouldn’t determine whether you go or don’t go this year. Take the time to evaluate your marketing goals and determine whether the show contributes to those goals. If it does, then go.

12. Not Walking the Show and Talking to Competitors, Suppliers, and Potential Partners

It’s tempting to just hang out in your booth. After all, it’s safe and comfortable. But trade shows are two way streets. Potential customers are there to learn and discover new products, services, and suppliers. You’re there to work with those customers . . . but you’re also there to learn and discover as well.

Every show is an opportunity to improve your “game.” What are your competitors showing? What are they saying? Are there any new products or services which would benefit your company? Are there trends you’ve overlooked and need to study and implement?

No one is asking you to spy, but friendly conversation goes a long way with friends and foes alike. It’s all in your attitude and your approach. Don’t be afraid to say “Hello!” and ask how the show is going. You want to be seen as warm and friendly, and not as a medieval fortress with the drawbridge closed. Obviously the same rules apply as the “Party and Socialize” section — namely, you need to be smart about what you share (and don’t share).

13. No Pre-show Marketing

This may be last, but it’s certainly not least. In some ways, it should be #1 if only to get your attention. There’s no reason, absolute no reason (unless you want to fail) not to have a pre-show marketing plan. You can spend a little, or you can spend a lot. At a minimum, you should contact your customers to see if they are attending the show. What they tell you may influence what you bring to the show and what you feature in your graphics.

Beyond that, the opportunities are limited only by your imagination and your budget: from pre-show mailings and emails to advertising and contests, and from show sponsorships to industry press releases. You already spend much of your time trying to attract attention to your company throughout the year. Take that energy and creativity and apply it to your trade show marketing. If there was ever a venue for taking risks, it’s a trade show. The conservative, Namby Pamby approach rarely works in trade show marketing.

Be bold and beautiful my friend. The show starts in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

–Mel White

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photo credit: emilyonasunday

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13 Common Trade Show Mistakes (part 1)

Guest post by Mel White, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Classic Exhibits

In Pieces (An Auditory Experiment)

Mistakes happen whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned trade show veteran, but you can avoid the 13 Most Common Trade Show Mistakes by following this advice. So, let’s take a few minutes, while your competitors are reading about Lindsey Lohan or watching reruns of Jersey Shore, to super-size your trade show marketing skills.

1. Going Too Big

We all want to think we’re the big dog on the block, but we’re not. If you’re new to trade show marketing, starting with an inline 10 x 10 or 10 x 20 may make more sense. You learn what works — from graphics to display configurations — before investing in an island exhibit. For example, you’d be surprise how many folks think they need an enclosed conference room only to discover that their clients are more comfortable with an informal meeting area.

Most organizations participate in multiple trade shows each year. There’s usually a pecking order to those shows where some are more important than others. It may not make sense to “go big” at the secondary trade shows, when you could invest that money in your main show (where you’ll generate more leads and kick the bejesus out of your competitors).

2. Going Too Small

In general, smaller exhibits get less traffic than larger exhibits, if for no other reason than location. Bigger exhibits typically are centrally located, closer to the entrance, and along the main aisles. However, the largest benefit of bigger exhibits is square footage and height. Island exhibits can include presentation area(s), multiple kiosks, seating areas, ample storage, large format graphics, overhead signage, product displays. While these are still possible in inline displays, the space limits how much can be done.

There’s a school of thought that says, “At the very least, match the square footage of your main competitors.” Here’s another idea . . . determine what you want to accomplish at the show and what it will take to exceed those goals, and then design a booth that achieves them. It’s not rocket science folks.

3. No Specific Goals

For whatever reason, some companies are on autopilot when it comes to their trade show marketing. If you ask them what they want to accomplish, their response it usually “increase sales” or “generate more leads.” Really? If those are your only goals, then you might as well toss in “World Peace” and “Ending Global Hunger” too.

Chances are your trade show goals coincide with your overall marketing goals. The skill to execute them in a 3D face-to-face environment. That’s where working with a knowledgeable exhibit professional makes all the difference. Just because you are a superstar at marketing, it doesn’t mean you know diddly about trade show marketing or exhibit design. A smart trade show professional will spend much of their time asking you what you want to accomplish.

4. Cluttered Graphics

Think back to the bulletin boards in your elementary school classroom. Does that memory make you smile? That’s very sweet . . . now do exactly the opposite for your trade show graphics. All that clutter may have been perfect for developing minds hyped up on Elmer’s glue and Crayola crayons, but our older brains can’t process that much information in 3-4 seconds. We need clear, straight-forward messages. That doesn’t mean your graphics can’t be colorful, witty, and creative. They just can’t be thematic chaos. The message should state who you are, what you do, and what problem you are solving in less than 4 seconds. Everything else is just pretty paper on a package. We like the pretty paper, but we like what’s in the package a whole lot more.

5. Giveaways for the Sake of Giveaways

It’s funny how free pens, stress balls, and rulers can give us an inferiority complex. They have them. We don’t, so we feel like a second-class citizen on the trade show floor. At the next trade show, we have trinkets, and we spend half our time giving them away just to justify having them in the first place. Don’t get me wrong. I like free stuff. But the free stuff better have a purpose. A bank that gives away nifty calculators. Smart. The chiropractor who gives away a pen shaped like a spine. Also smart. But when a software company gives away plastic water bottles. What’s the point?

The same rules apply for prizes or drawings. The drawing should create a buzz at the show, and should serve as a mechanism to engage potential clients in conversation. Fish bowls where attendees drop off business cards to win an iPod attract leads, but not quality leads. Do you really want a stack of unqualified leads for your sales team to sort through? Probably not.

6. Booth Staff Not Trained

I know you’re telling yourself, “My staff knows the products and they know the company, why should I have to train them?” True. Now recall the last time you went to the mall to shop. Those employees knew the products, and they knew the company. Did you feel like you received exceptional service. Did they approach you promptly, ask you open-ended questions, listen, and show you exactly what you wanted? Probably not.

Training before the show and before the show opens each day ensures that everyone understands the mission, that everyone knows their role, and that everyone gets their questions answered. Think of a trade show as a job interview. Every person who walks in the booth is deciding whether to hire you (or not). Can you really afford to lose a sale?

Stay tuned for the rest coming up next week!

(previously published at Tradeshow Tales, the blog of Classic Exhibits, and re-published with permission)

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photo credit: dusk-photography

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4 Tips to Run a Successful Trade Show

Guest Post By Steve McMains

Dwell on Design 2010

Trade shows are great ways to promote a product or the brand identity of the company. Apart from that, you can also use a trade show to measure your competitors, there marketing tactics and their latest product development trends. Many companies that cannot afford to go for extensive market research or those who cannot directly communicate with the target market on a regular basis should go for different trade shows.

However, it is not enough to participate in a trade show to get the most out of it. You must prepare well in advance to end the show successfully. Here are some common mistakes done by many new companies along with tips to avoid them for better result.

Open your booth to visitors: Do you really think setting up a great looking booth is enough if the visitors do not feel comfortable? Many trade show participants often sit tight behind a 6 ft table and wait for the visitors to get in. However,smart marketers remove the table and try to get the visitors inside. In this process, you are actually walking a few steps ahead your competitors. This makes your booth more approachable to a prospective customer. If you really need some tables,get some bar-height pedestal tables so that your representatives can communicate or demonstrate the product in a one to one environment.

Keep enough space for visitors: Many new trade show participants often keep the booth crowded with their own representatives. They keep them to tackle heave traffic in the booth. However, there is hardly any need to do so. There is no need to put as many representatives as you can. It is always great to put smart people who can easily identify prospective customers from a crowd and can attend the visitors accordingly. You must remember that you have a very limited period and thus, there is no need to entertain the whole crowd. If you find that a very particular time of the day, you will get huge traffic, you can arrange for more work force. However, once the situation is over, it is better to remove the excess.

Polite, smart and ready to solve problems: This subheading tells all about the quality of your representatives. If the visitors do not feel that the representatives are warm and approachable, there are high chances that your trade show will turn out to be a failure. So make sure that they greet visitors with a warm smile and ask your representatives to keep their cell phones switched-off. While selecting your representatives make sure that they are well dressed and have a good sense of decency.

Company and Product knowledge: We often see that companies hire people from different agencies to represent them in a trade show. These people often do not have enough information about the company or the product. If they are your first line for interaction with the visitors, this is not a problem. However, if they are the only people representing your company in the trade show, there is a problem. If you hire these people, make sure that they know whatever they are supposed to know and put a person of your company present there so that people can approach him or her for further information on anything.

Event marketing can be very profitable. It just needs some more attention from you.

Steve is a media professional and writes for different online publications on media and advertising industry. For more information on event marketing, he recommends you to visit http://www.adweekmedia.com/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_McMains

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photo credit: Charles & Hudson

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Podcast: Interview with Pooja Dhawan of FashionSpy.com

Want to find out how Facebook can work to draw people to your tradeshow booth? Listen to this podcast interview with Pooja Dhawan of FashionSpy.com. She’s a wholesaler of womens young contemporary fashion and she has used facebook and other social media outlets successfully in marketing for the past couple of years.

Imagine selling your product just by posting a photo on your Facebook wall! Pooja has done that – and much more.

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Can Mobile Marketing Improve Your Tradeshow ROI?

iPhone in Canada

Now that a lot of your audience are carrying around smartphones, are you even able to reach them anymore with email, blogging and your social media outlets?

Probably – at least you should be able much of the time.

But an ideal scenario is literally in your hands: reaching your audience with text messaging.

Here’s why text message (or mobile) marketing is worth considering:

First: approximately 97% of all text messages are opened and read! Yeah: wow, 97%!

Next: your competitors are probably NOT doing it. Yet. But chances are they will look at it soon.

Also: Texting can spur instant action because of the immediacy of the medium.

One comment I often hear when the subject of mobile marketing comes up: “…but who wants to get spam text messages?”

That’s the beauty. It’s not spam. Your audience has opted-in to your messages through your website or advertisement, and they can easily opt-out if they change their mind.

Let’s say you have a booth at a tradeshow, and you’re going to surprise your audience with a special deal, a celebrity guest, or some other reason to get people to head for the booth. By timing your text message, your audience can open the text (remember, it’s immediately sent), see the invitation, and come by the booth.

If you can narrow your market to a select group of show attendees, chances are good that you’ll get many of them to respond.

“Your only restriction with mobile marketing is the numbers of characters, so my best advice is consolidate and pack a punch with your message,” advises Van Allen, a leading business marketer and business author who uses text and SMS (short message service) technology to grow several business.

So the next question on your lips is (at least it was on my lips): how do you do this?

The difficult, and manual, way would be to send each message out individually.

Nope, you can see right away that’s not gonna work. Not with all you have to do to keep the booth running, right?

Sign up for a service such as Boomtext, Message Buzz or Moto Message, log in to your account, set up your message and when you’d like it go out and you’re set.

Some services I’ve seen have the ability to segment your audience. For instance if you put out an advertisement on “organic yogurt” you might have readers opt-in to get message specifically about organic yogurt. Other readers might want messages only about fruit-flavored yogurt. It gives you a chance to send extremely targeted messages based on the desires of your market.

Once you start thinking, the ideas on how to tie mobile marketing into your tradeshow marketing start tumbling over themselves.

Phone coupons, time-sensitive offers, opinion polls, welcome messages, games, video links…what can you think of?

If you have sent out or received text messaging, what’s your experience been?

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photo credit: jeffwilcox

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Tradeshow Marketing – 3 Critical Steps That Will Ensure Your Success

Guest post by Rashid Kotwal

Alex was both exhausted and excited at the same time.

He’d just spent the day finalising his stand at a major tradeshow, and was looking forward to the hoards of people who’d be streaming past the next day.

It was an expensive exercise. By the time he added up the floor space, construction and personnel costs, he’d spent about $15,000, but Alex was sure it would be worth it due to all the new leads he’d be getting.

Walking through two major tradeshows over the last couple of weeks, I met lots of Alex’s.

Jamey, visiting at Origins

Sadly though, most of them will be disappointed with their results from the show.

Why? Because in many cases they won’t meet the right people, won’t engage them when they do, and won’t follow up.

Interestingly, there are major parallels with networking functions, so even if you’ve never contemplated exhibiting at a tradeshow, the principles I’m about to outline apply in everyday business networking.

So let’s take them in turn.

Meeting prospects…

Tradeshows, like networking events allow you to meet a lot of people at one time and in one place.

So rather than you running around the countryside visiting people, you get them to come to you.

How? By personally inviting them and setting up appointments to meet. That way you know you’ll be busy talking to the right people.

Greeting prospects…

While walking the aisles, I noticed three general behaviours.

Some stand attendants stood in the corridors and actively made eye contact, smiled and invited me to talk to them. Others stood there looking bored and made no attempt at contact. And the last lot sat at the backs of their stands talking amongst themselves or eating.

Guess which ones I spoke to? In fact there were other people I was interested in meeting, but they showed no interest in me, so I gave up after waiting a few minutes.

Ever been to a networking function where you’ve experienced something similar? You’re new and no one takes an interest in you, makes you feel welcome and you leave wondering if this was all a colossal waste of time.

And finally, following up…

Generally, you can’t actually buy things at a tradeshow. You’re there to make connections, not lug stuff out the door with you.

So it’s critical that you follow up any prospects you meet. And not just once. You need to keep your name in front of them on an ongoing basis – forever!

Offer them something (an article you’ve written or something else you know would interest them) in return for their business card.

I recommend you use a combination of phone (for the hot prospects), letter, fax and email over an extended period of time. And it’s not always about making the sale. Send them articles you think they’d be interested in, stuff happening in their industry etc. It’s about consistently keeping in contact.

Once again, the same applies if you meet someone at a networking event.

Do all three of these things and you’ll extract the greatest return from your investment in both time and money. Miss one and you’ll leave money on the table.

Rashid Kotwal is an international speaker and author who specializes in on-line and off-line strategies for direct response marketing and sales optimization. He works with sales organizations want to get more business, faster and with less wasted effort.For more information on Marketing, Sales and Customer Retention Strategies head over to http://revealedresources.com.

Copyright 2010 Rashid Kotwal

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photo credit: Benimoto

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Ways to Attract a Crowd at Trade Show Exhibits

Guest post by Chris A. Harmen

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When it comes to standing out among all of the other trade show booths, having something that catches visitors’ attention is key. At trade events, attendees don’t have time to visit each and every booth. They are there on a mission – to seek out the best of the best and give their business to the companies they feel match their organizations’ goals and needs. Some businesses may carry a highly superior product or service as compared to most of their competitors, but they simply do not have the attention-getting gimmick to attract business. Make sure your company does not fall into this category by choosing one of the many exciting ways to catch the attention of attendees at trade show booths.

Entice Trade Show Booths’ Visitors With Giveaways

One of the simplest ways to attract people to your trade show exhibits is to offer something free. Everyone likes the prospect of free things, and the bigger the better. If your company has the budget for it, offer something like a couple of nights free at a luxury resort. If you do not quite have the financial capability to offer something that glamorous, consider a free visit to a day spa or massage parlor, or something as simple as a free meal at a nearby restaurant – maybe one that offers or utilizes your company’s products or services. For smaller companies, even a bowl of candy will bring people into your booth. Position the candy display a little ways into the trade show booths, so it is harder for visitors to just grab the candy and keep walking.

Demonstrations And Technology

There are many basic ideas that can be overlooked when trying to attract and retain potential clients. Product demonstrations at trade show exhibits are always a great way to show off your product and build up a crowd. Consider wearing a microphone with a small speaker to really draw attention.

Make use of technology like internet access, lights, a DVD player/projection screen, or even lasers. Display your company’s professionally designed website in the background, and use spotlights, like colored, moving ones, to draw attention to areas of your booth. If your business has a workshop video or DVD demonstrating what you do, have it play in the background. Lasers can flicker in the background to make your trade show booths seem exciting and tech-savvy.

Hire Show Stoppers And Stay Friendly

Again, if your company has the budget for it, hire whoever you can who will attract attention to your exhibits. Celebrities, athletes, musicians, and comics are all options. Clowns on stilts, jugglers, celebrity look-a-likes, and even attractive models with marketing backgrounds can help bring over potential clients.

Even your own sales staff and booth exhibitors can be showstoppers if trained correctly. Be sure to project energy at all times. Have a couple people manning the booth, so if someone gets tired they can switch positions. Remember to smile and mingle with the crowd. Don’t just remain in the booth’s background.

By enticing attendees with giveaways, demonstrations, technology, and special guests who may stop visitors in their tracks, you will see more traffic and, consequently, more sales after trade show exhibits.

Chris Harmen writes for the leading provider of trade show exhibits Canada Skyline. They offer professional consulting and advice as well as a complete line of Canada trade show booths.

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photo credit: AskDaveTaylor

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