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

Fun

6 Classic Rock Songs to Help You Become a Better Tradeshow Marketer

Let’s have a little fun, and rock out a little at the same time. Let’s find inspiration from some of the old classics and see how they play into your tradeshow marketing plan.

The Who: Who Are You: Yes, you need to know who you are as a company and an entity so that you can clearly communicate that information to your visitors using the elements of your exhibit, how you interact with visitors and help them solve problems.

Beatles: Can’t Buy Me Love. You might be able to spend your way to increased market share or a bigger booth space, but if you want your customers or clients to really love you, it takes more than money. It takes passion, belief, engagement, and follow-through.

Rolling Stones: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. As a marketer, it’s a great feeling to come off the floor after a successful tradeshow. It means you’ve done a lot RIGHT. But don’t get too satisfied. You can do better next time – and your competition still is trying to take clients and customer and make them theirs.

Jimi Hendrix: Are You Experienced? Experience counts for a lot in the tradeshow world. The more experienced booth staffers, for instance, the better they’re able to engage with attendees. The more experienced your exhibit designers and fabricators, the better the exhibit. And so on. Experience counts for a lot. And don’t forget that many of your visitors have decades of experience behind them as well.

Dire Straits: Love Over Gold: Yes, we do it for the money. But when I see people that do it for love – and are really loving what they’re doing – that is something that’s hard to compete with. If your competition is LOVING what they’re doing and you’re not, and all other things are equal – who’s going to come out on top?

T. Rex: Bang a Gong (Get it On): one of the most important pieces of exhibiting at a tradeshow is to tell people that you’re there. Let that information ring out everywhere: press releases, local TV/Radio if appropriate, social media, email blasts, phone calls, direct mail and more.

Pebble Beach concours d’elegance and Beyond

it’s not a tradeshow, but it’s an event of tremendous proportions. It’s historic week on the Monterey Peninsula, and I’ve been attending for over a quarter of a century. Since I first attended in 1989, it has grown to include multiple related events, including historic car auctions, vintage auto tours/rallies, historic auto races and more. It’s frankly hard to keep track of it all! It’s pulled off mostly by volunteers, and has so far managed to remain a mix of the one-percenters (who probably show most of the cars at Pebble) to the average historic/vintage auto buff. And very few celebrities – except for Jay Leno, who MC’s the raffles and a few other things to wrap up the Sunday show (get some new jokes, Jay!).

As I mentioned, I’ve had the good fortune to attend the show over 25 times, and get in a few golf swings at Pacific Grove Golf Course along the way. I thought it might be fun to share a few photos of the event. Check ’em out:

8 Ways to Completely Sabotage Your Tradeshow Appearance

While it’s great to know all of the things you should do at a tradeshow, it’s also enlightening to flip the coin and figure out ways to sabotage your tradeshow appearance. Y’know, to hopefully avoid doing so.

  1. Take any person from the office who’s willing to come. So what if they are new, or don’t know the products well, and are young and well-known partiers? You only need them to show up at the booth during show hours, no doubt.
    sabotage your tradeshow appearance
  2. Don’t tell anyone, such as potential or current clients that you’re going to the show. They’ll find you there anyway.
  3. Bring a notebook to write down the name of anyone that might be interested in your products or services. Low tech is best.
  4. Grab a handful of old product sell sheets. If there are any changes, you can jot them in the margins. Don’t want to let them go to waste.
  5. Plan on setting up the booth yourself. Even though you’ve never done that. After all, you’re an Ikea pro.
  6. Don’t bother to check out last year’s (or the year before’s) graphics. A picture is a picture.
  7. Wait until the last minute. Hey, the show’s only next month, right?
  8. Do the same thing next year as you did this year.

Put your effort into doing at least half of the preceding tips, and no doubt you’ll sabotage your tradeshow marketing efforts. And plan on updating your resume soon!

13 Tradeshow and Event-Related Twitter Accounts to Follow

Hey, doesn’t everybody use Twitter? Okay, not everybody, but certainly a lot of folks do. It’s the go-to immediate social media platform to post quick-hitting comments, links and videos. You can track chatter about topics galore, and if you’re trying to keep up with social media interaction relating to a specific tradeshow, just plug in the show hashtag and you’re seeing dozens and dozens of tweets, photos and videos.

Frankly, it’s tough to find a tradeshow-related Twitter account that doesn’t commit one of the sins of tweeting: too much self-promotion, nothing but retweeting, or just ignoring the ability to personally relate by tweeting our photos or individual comments.

Let’s get highly subjective and track down a baker’s dozen of tradeshow and event-related Twitter accounts that you might take a look at:


Julius Solaris, Editor of Event Manager Blog, Author.

 


Melissa P. Michel, tradeshow and event specialist, and in case you didn’t notice, a softball fanatic!

 


ExpoStars: Team training, booth staff, effective engagement.


Sarah Michel, The Wonder Woman of Networking, VP of Connexity, CSP at Velvet Chainsaw.

 


Kyle Hillman, CMM, Hillman Events, wearer of all hats

 


Liz King. NYC based Event Planning Superhero

 


BizBash: Ideas, News and Resources for Event Planners & Experiental Marketers

 


EventBrite: The world’s largest event technology platform.

 


Shawna McKinley, Event Sustainability

 


Sparks Marketing: Brand experience agency.

 


Corbin Ball, CSP CMP, Event and Tradeshow Technology Analyst

 


Rachel Wimberly, TSNN,  Editor-in-Chief of the Tradeshow News Network

 


Adrian Segar, Conferences that work, consultant for interactive, innovative, attendee-driven events.

 


MelmWhite, Classic Exhibits, VP of Business Development for exhibit manufacturer Classic Exhibits

 


Anders Boulanger, Tradeshow Crowds: Infotainer that draws crowds

 


There you have it. Take a closer look. And let me know about other Twitter tradeshow and event activists that I should know about!

14 Best Tradeshow Infographics on Pinterest

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.

  1. Pipeliner Sales: 7 Keys to Getting Leads from Tradeshows
  2. Xibit Solutions: Anatomy of a Tradeshow Booth
  3. Inpex: Tradeshow Etiquette 101
  4. Media Mosaic: How to Boost Traffic at Your Tradeshow Booth
  5. Infographicality: Six Things to do Before Your Next Tradeshow
  6. Solutions Rendered: Creating a Successful Tradeshow Booth
  7. Skyline: Bad Booth Staffers
  8. Proj-X Design: How to Get the Most out of Tradeshows
  9. NWCI Displays: Tradeshow Booth Regulations
  10. Pardot: Marketing Automation for Tradeshows
  11. Bartizan Connects: Countdown to ROI: A Timeline to Plan for a Tradeshow
  12. Exponents: How to Get in to the Mindset of Attendees
  13. Skyline: 25 of the Most Common Tradeshow Mistakes
  14. Nimlok: Tradeshow Elements


Tradeshow Blog Listings: A Short List

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:

And a couple blogs that I land on frequently include:

So…go blog wild!

Let Freedom Ring

Here on the USA’s Fourth of July Independence Day, let’s let freedom ring and celebrate in the tradeshow world.

No matter your political, economic or social stripes, I have no doubt you could make the case that our freedoms are under fire from many directions. But in the USA we still have the freedom to make the best case we can for our products and services: things we have put our careers on the line for and our talents to the test.

Let Freedom Ring

So let’s celebrate.

Celebrate your ability to go anywhere for any reason in this country to promote your business, products and services.

Let freedom ring and celebrate the willingness of buyers to show up at your tradeshow booth and palaver about your products, perhaps placing an order or making arrangements for a future discussion.

Celebrate the freedom to pitch your products in retail stores, online and through industry-focused tradeshows.

Celebrate your ability to hire the best people you can find to create those products and help market them at the tradeshow of your choice.

With freedom comes responsibility: you have the freedom to exhibit as modestly or extravagantly as you can. You also have the responsibility to present the best image that you and your team can assemble based on your ability and resources. You have the responsibility to squeeze the most out of those talents and resources as you can muster.

As an American, I have the freedom (and responsibility) to quibble about the way our country is run, and no doubt if you and got together over a beer we’d find we disagreed on a lot. But I would be that we’d probably agree on more than we disagree on.

So let’s let freedom ring and celebrate our diversity – and what we have in common – today.

Tradeshow Tweets

When’s the last time you searched for #tradeshow tweets on Twitter? Let’s have a little fun and see what people are tweeting about:

The power of socializing at a tradeshow:

A quick look at #ASD in Vegas:

A good question to ask:

Finishing the show up in Chicago!

Another successful show:

Well, this is big!

Sure, I’ll publish a photo of a Tesla anytime:

Fun video:

Attracting a crowd is important!

A rare moment of being able to sit down!

And finally, let’s grab an international travel checklist:

Natural Products Expo West TradeshowGuy Exhibit Awards

Walking the floor of the Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim, one is overwhelmed by the sheer number of tradeshow exhibitors and visitors. According to New Hope, the organization that puts on the show, there were over 80,000 visitors this year, and over 3,100 exhibitors.

That’s a lot of bone broth, honey, yogurt, Paleo diets and chocolate. Oh, the chocolate!

But there are literally tons of tradeshow exhibits, many of which stand out in unique ways. Let’s capture a few of these and call them out for service and recognition above and beyond.

Best Use of Bodily Function Statistics: GoodBelly

I watched as visitor after visitor stopped at the side of the GoodBelly exhibit and snapped a photo of The Poop Report, an infographic compiled from a survey of over 3000 people who visited the GoodBelly website.

The Poop Report: Good Belly
The Poop Report: Good Belly

Best Long Form Screenplay, er, uh, Exhibit: BabyGanics

BabyGanics have traditionally occupied an odd-shaped island space for years in the convention center, so I was a bit surprised to see that space occupied by another exhibit. It took a moment of spinning on my heels, but I did eventually find the 60′ (70′? 80′?) long exhibit. Just an inline exhibit, but they jammed a lot of longevity and functionality into the space.

BabyGanics Goes Looong!
BabyGanics Goes Looong!

Best Makeover: Nancy’s Yogurt

This booth is near and dear to my heart: it’s the second exhibit project I ever sold when I got into the business 15 years ago. So this is nearly 15 years old. For years, the booth has had the same look and feel. But a laminate makeover gave it an entirely new look and feel. In fact, I admit at first glance I thought it was an entirely new exhibit! But not the case – just a quick re-skin for a whole new look:

Nancy's Yogurt Before and After
Nancy’s Yogurt Before and After

Best Lettuce on a Wall: Indoor Farms of America

Inside Farms of America had a simple concept: show people what they do, and as a result it’s an eye-catching and ‘stop-in-your-tracks’ effect:

Best Lettuce Wall
Best Lettuce Wall

Best Minimalist Exhibit: Kashi

Kashi’s <1% display got people talking and snapping photos. It’s nothing but a large space with a hanging sign, the <1% display and, when you read the fine print, you discover their message about organic farmlands. Effectively done:

Best Minimalist Exhibit: Kashi
Best Minimalist Exhibit: Kashi

Best Use of Cactus Wisdom for Interactivity: Steaz Tea

There’s nothing like handing out cards with pre-printed fortunes to get people to line up. I know I did. Clever, interactive, and engaging in a fun way – a perfect fit for Expo West:

Steaz Teas Interactive Fortune-Telling Cactus
Steaz Teas Interactive Fortune-Telling Cactus

Seriously, I could go on forever with fun and silly awards for exhibits at Expo West: it’s a place with a lot of creativity. Yes, you’ll find uncreative low-budget exhibits that should (and probably did) embarrass the exhibitors, but what’s the fun in pointing those out? They know who they are, and they know when it’s time to upgrade. So let’s go with just one more that caught my eye:

Best Photo-Op Exhibit: StonyField Yogurt

A large painting on a wall and floor made it look like you’re standing in a bowl of yogurt, if photographed at the right angle. So I joined in. Lots of people waiting for their turn here throughout the show:

Best Interactive Photo-Op: Stonyfield Yogurt
Best Interactive Photo-Op: Stonyfield Yogurt

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Tradeshow Guy Blog by Tim Patterson

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