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

Tradeshow marketing

Are Tradeshows Worth the Investment?

This is a guest article by Vicky Peat

Tradeshows and events have been running since 1851, the 1st one being “The Great Exhibition” in London. It’s safe to say the exhibition world has drastically grown since the 1800’s, as have the price tags that are part and parcel of today’s exhibition experience.

Organising an event takes time, patience and some form of budget to support the design of an exhibition stand or display accessory. Within the industry you’ll be faced with many questions regarding the costs and the necessities.

To create an understanding of what you need, along with the tradeshow essentials, take a look at a list of costs to consider before booking your event: –

  • Booking your stand space
  • The Exhibition Stand
  • Stand accessories, such as banners and displays counters
  • Promotional items – Leaflet, pens and lanyards
  • Transportation for you and your full stand design
  • Additional extras such as seating, lighting and interactive monitors

With all costs considered, it can appear daunting. Yes, it is an investment, but when tackled correctly a successful event can help towards business growth and place you on the right path to build new relationships and gain potential customers.

If you’re still searching for the reason to attend your first event, we’ve listed 4 benefits that you’ll be able to take away from the experience.

Build Relationships

Attending a tradeshow puts you in the best place possible to build new relationships. Your brand and stand will attract potential customers, therefore leading to conversations with other industry professionals.

It doesn’t have to stop there. Use your time wisely and explore the exhibition floor. Take it upon yourself to visit other business spaces. Doing so, presents another opportunity to strike up relevant conversations.

Brand Exposure

Outside of social media and online platforms, exhibitions offer amazing brand exposure. Your selected displays will home in on what your brand has to offer and your unique selling points. All of which will be visible through custom artwork and promotional items.

The blank canvas that a stand or display product provides is priceless. Use the space to promote, intrigue and capture your audience.

Learn and Expand on Industry Knowledge

Whether you have been in the industry 1 year or 50, there’s always something new to discover. Use the time to find out about new competitors, up and coming trends, innovative design and alternate display options.

Networking with other businesses allows you to ask new questions and educate yourself. As a brand, to learn and to grow is to develop new ideas and progress with new trends.

Business Growth

From the relationship building, brand exposure and the want to expand your knowledge, you’ll be able to begin further growth within the business. Be sure to take business cards and contact details, so when the shows over, you’ll have the correct point of contact.

Use the new found information and contacts you have gained to your advantage. Connect on LinkedIn, send follow up emails and keep your brand relevant and current so your details are at the forefront of their mind.

Extra Tips on How to Make Exhibiting Worth While

  • Do your research and ensure you are attending the right show for YOU
  • Check your stand position and location options
  • Use social media and email marketing to promote your attendance
  • On the day, take contact details from those who you speak with and make contact the following week
  • Make your brand memorable by choosing the right stand design and delivering a presence
  • Create a list of goals to achieve on the day
  • Position the co-workers with the greatest knowledge and understanding of the business on the stand space

Vicky Peat is a Marketing Executive for Go Displays based in Peterborough, UK. As a content marketing writer within the Exhibition and Tradeshow industry, Vicky enjoys sharing industry knowledge to encourage and educate new and experienced exhibitors.

Tradeshows Are a Mix of Precision and Experimentation

When it comes to tradeshow marketing, anything goes. Right? Well, maybe not everything, but certainly it’s a time to try things. Do things differently. Experiment.

Or. Maybe not. Tradeshows are fraught with risk. You’re putting a lot of money on the line. Generally speaking, the cost of tradeshow marketing is about a third of a company’s overall marketing budget. Which means that it’s a lot of money in play, making it hard for a company to risk much.

In a sense, tradeshows can be an interesting mix of the precise and the experimental.

The precision is important, to be sure. Your tradeshow staff is your front line. The most important piece of the puzzle. They need to know what they’re doing and why. If mistakes are made, or if your staff isn’t as well-trained as they could be, your company might miss out on a good amount of potential business.

Your exhibit is important. It’s the 3D representation of your brand, and if it’s not spot-on, it’ll send mixed messages to your audience.

Your products, demos and sampling have to be well-thought out and well-executed. Make some mistakes in these areas, and again, you’re leaving potential money on the table.

Capture someone’s attention!

Precision is important in these areas.

But tradeshows are also ripe for experimentation. You have opportunities to do surveys, market research, unusual activities, oddball booth items and much more that will grab eyeballs and attention without impacting the precision needed in other areas. VR, smoothie bikes, live music, projection mapping, unusual use of video….the list is endless as to how creative you can get at tradeshows and still do all of the precise things that you need to do to engage with attendees, capture leads, have an exhibit that captures your brand precisely.

Tradeshows are a balancing act no matter what you’re trying to balance. Adding some experimentation along with the precision gives you flexibility, a little tension (which makes people stop and look), and keeps you, your visitors and your competitors on your toes.


7 Questions You’ll Never Ask Your Exhibit House (Free Report)

Should Your Company Really Exhibit at That Show?

If you’ve attended the same tradeshows over the years, no doubt you’ve seen an interesting phenomenon: some companies attend for years and then just stop.

Why? What caused them to disappear?

Certainly, there are a thousand answers to that question, and much of those answers likely have a lot to do with internal dynamics as much as the show itself.

But I’ve seen it happen frequently.

I’ve worked with some companies that have exhibited at the same show for years, only to decide after seven or eight appearances that they weren’t going to get anything useful out of another appearance.

Why’d you stop going? I’ve asked that question and received a variety of answers:

“We’ve pretty much maxed out our ability to get new distributors, which is why we exhibited at that show. Our focus is on working with those retailers one on one to get more focused on giving them better products based on what their customers want.”

“The show moved a couple of weeks. Meaning it fell into a different fiscal year. And once the new company owners saw how much their tradeshow budget would be increasing for the fiscal year, they got to looking closer at all the marketing. We’ve decided to pull back and re-examine our entire marketing strategy.” This company did return to the show a couple of years later.

“We kept getting lousy locations which we couldn’t overcome. We put our marketing dollars elsewhere.” In this case, we wondered if they couldn’t have done better to market their appearance in spite of the bad location. It’s been done.”

“Our company has matured to the point that this particular show no longer works for us.”

And so on. There are a thousand reasons to continue exhibiting at a show. And as many to decide not to exhibit again, or at least for a couple of years.

Tradeshow marketing is expensive. For companies that are investing in this marketing channel, it behooves them to make sure the dollars are well-spent. And one of the questions that should be asked is: should we really be at that show this year?

It’s worth talking about.


TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, January 6, 2020: David Meerman Scott

I first crossed paths with David Meerman Scott over a dozen years ago. Since then he’s written several books and been a keynote speaker at countless conferences, discussing the changing world of marketing and public relations. On this week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, David joins me to talk about his just-released book, Fanocracy, co-written with his daughter Reiko Scott.

This week’s ONE GOOD THING. Actually, four of them!

Dolomite Is My Name, the new Eddie Murphy movie:

Also: Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel by Lisa Cron.

And: Nicholas Kristoff’s column: This Has Been the Best Year Ever, his annual look at so many good things going on in the world.

And: An Astronaut’s Guide to Optimism. Chris Hadfield’s short video on the good and amazing things in the world amongst the noisy badness:

5 Benefits of Face-to-Face Marketing

This is a guest post from Manon Ghadawala.

These days, business owners spend a lot of their time on the internet. Many do not have actual space for office and spend their time looking for digital marketing strategies and making digital products. You might feel like you are working in a void when you run an online store, even if the work is very rewarding. You may not ever talk to colleagues or even your consumers besides over the phone and through email. Does this imply that face to face marketing has no place in e-commerce marketing?

The answer is: no, it is not so. In fact, digital business owners can profit from face to face marketing as much as a business owner with a physical store can.

What is Face-to-Face Marketing and Why Does It Matter?

Face-to-face marketing applies to any situation where you sell your business to a group or an individual. You get to look at your customers in the eye as you offer your angle or connect with them on an individual level. For example, you may meet someone at a grocery store. They may ask what you do and you say that you create online photography classes for enthusiastic.

The conversation might change at this point. However, if the other person is into photography, they may ask questions about your online class. You can offer your website address or business card where that individual could discover more about your class. This is an instance of spontaneous face to face marketing. You get benefits of this opportunity to let them know about your store and the products you sell online.

So, how does face to face marketing matter? Think back to the time you last went to a retail store. You were unsure what you were looking for but you had a basic idea. You may experience more frequently when you buy electronics. They may know they have come here to buy a tablet, for example, but they don’t know what features will be most beneficial to them. In a brick-and-mortar store, you are checking the collection out, perusing the details of every product, and the price tag also. Eventually, a store representative shows up, asking if you need help.

You accept their offer gratefully and they explain what the tablet is all about and if it meets your demands. The representative might also suggest a few other models that could be suitable for you. You are grateful for their help and it helps you choose, and thus, more prone to buy that tablet right away.

Why does this happen? It is because a personal connection was established between you two. Maybe they shared a joke with you and answered all your questions. All of these things are face to face communication advantages. It just does not always have to happen in a physical store. Therefore, face-to-face marketing matters because it’s a totally diverse experience from digital marketing. You can meet prospects who otherwise would not have known about your online business, and you can address issues and pain points to boost the chances of a sale.

Now, let us look at some of the benefits of face-to-face marketing.

Benefits of Face-to-Face Marketing

Here are some of the benefits of face to face marketing.

  • Produce Better ROI

Imagine you visit a restaurant for the first time and the food and wait staff impress you so much that when a friend later asks your recommendation for a restaurant, this one immediately comes to your mind. You recommend this restaurant because of the awesome experience you had. This is called word-of-mouth marketing. When someone likes a particular product or service, they are likely to tell everyone they know about it.

A similar concept works for face-to-face marketing for your online business. When you meet people, you can create an experience that leaves a positive impact on them. After the person becomes a consumer, you deliver an amazing digital product that meets their requirements. Then, awed by your service, they will talk about your product to other people.  

  • Event Causes Your Audience to Come You

You probably already know that online marketing becomes more challenging over time. It’s not a waste of time surely, but online business owners are finding it more difficult to find audiences organically. Face-to-face marketing takes away the scalability aspect that affects several small businesses. Events can bring you more customers directly than just waiting for customers to find you through customer referrals, search engines, and social media.

We can take the example of our photographer again. They can attend a convention or show for photographers. When they put themselves in those events, they expose themselves to many potential customers.

  • Build Credibility and Relationships

Relationships are what make up a business. The best business owners know that generating relationships with their customers and prospects can enhance customer acquisition and retention. You can consider your own relationship with your local business. You may have been going to the same bakery for the last ten years and you can’t even think about going anywhere else because you’re very satisfied with their products and service. Developing similar relationships with customers online is possible.

  • Make Yourself More Noticeable and Available

People prefer it when businesses make themselves accessible. The people you help also demand those things. If you are incapable to convey on their expectations, you’ll possibly lose a buyer. You can utilize face-to-face marketing to ease your prospects’ concerns. Tell them that you are both available and reliable so that they feel more relaxed buying your product or service. Face-to-face marketing makes you additionally more noticeable. This is particularly valid if you talk at an event or associate in its construction.

  • Communicate More Efficiently

For many businesspeople, interacting in person proves far more comfortable than interacting online. When we communicate in person, we appear more sincere and more natural than when we communicate online, especially through text. They can see your body language, facial expression, and the way you present yourself. Moreover, listening to your voices makes them fully appreciate what you are saying based on delivery.

Summary

You can profit from face to face marketing in various ways. You can produce more ROI, profit from an identified audience, build relationships with potential and prevailing customers, increase your reliability, and interact more efficiently.


Manan Ghadawala is the founder of 21Twelve Interactive which is one of the best mobile app development company in India and the USA. He is an idealistic leader that thrives by raising the company’s growth with his talents. His company is also recognized by the Top Mobile App Development Companies. Follow him on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

7 Best Tradeshow Marketing Actionable Podcasts of 2019

Looking back at 2019 as we tumble freely into 2020, I got to thinking about the many people I’ve talked to over the past three years on my weekly TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee. In fact, you might have seen my blog post recently, 10 Podcasts From 2019 Worth Another Listen.

And they were all good, fun and worth your time to listen.

But I got to thinking about podcasts that actually gave you solid actionable tips to make things happen. And there were several. Let’s recap and give you a chance to dig in again.

Seth Kramer: Seth is a longtime professional presenter and, in this conversation, shares great tips on how to use a presenter, and how to prepare your staff for the influx of people and leads that will result. Other tips include how to gauge the interest of potential clients as they watch the presentation.

Sam Smith of Social Point: Sam talks about the many ways that games can be used to bring people to your booth and keep them there. Tips on creating an engaging activity, how to strategize to accomplish your objectives, and using new technology in tradeshow booths.

Francis Friedman: What’s happening with the Modern Digital Tradeshow? A lot! And Francis digs into how our industry is the foundation of the 1X per year event and the world is a 24/7/365 digital world.

Laura Allen is known as The Pitch Girl, and frankly, her method of distilling the essence of your pitch to a short soundbite is one of the handiest things you can have at a tradeshow when someone asks you what you do.

David Newman is a marketer’s marketer. His ideas work on so many levels, with tradeshows being just one. He discusses how to start a marketing plan, offers tips on marketing videos, how to use speaking (yes, at tradeshows) as a way to market your business and more.

Joan Stewart, the Publicity Hound. Yes, this appeared in late 2018. But hey, this half-hour podcast is probably the best 30 minutes you’ll spend if you’re trying to get a handle on your tradeshow marketing with specific actionable tips. Tips on preparation (get the show manual, try to find a speaking or panel slot), what to do at the show (make sure you have enough handouts such as FAQs, cheat sheets, quizzes, flash drives, etc.), why you should hang out a few times near the media room (get a blogger to write something about your company, let media folks know you’re an expert in two or three areas of your industry and many more), how to visit competitors booths, how to follow up and so much more. Seriously, a goldmine of actionable information related specifically to tradeshow marketing.

Hope you enjoy these seven podcast/vlog replays and find some great tips to put to use as you head into your 2020 tradeshow marketing schedule!


5 Things to Do in January Before Your Tradeshow Schedule Really Takes Off

Let’s assume that your company does a fair amount of tradeshow marketing. Maybe a dozen shows, including two or three large national shows and smaller, regional or more-focused shows where your product fits in.

Your first show of the new year is still a couple of months away, so you’re probably thinking you have time to make sure all is right.

And you’re probably on the right track.

But it might be worthwhile to go over your checklist for the new year one last time.

Let’s assume that you had decent results last year but would like to improve on those results in 2020.

Here are a number of areas to look at and things to consider as you plan your show schedule.

Know Your ROI

Return on Investment is critical for tradeshow success. Just because you’re getting sales doesn’t mean you’re making money. Calculating your ROI is, in theory, straightforward enough. You’ll need to know a few things, such as how much it cost you to exhibit at a specific show. Add those numbers up, including travel, booth space, any capital investments such as a new exhibit, any samples you handed out, drayage, shipping – all of it – until you get a final number.

Now, gather all the leads from that show, check with sales to learn how much profit the company actually netted from those leads. Then do the math.

Here’s a link to a blog post on calculating ROI and ROO. And if you’d like to download an ROI calculation spreadsheet courtesy of Handshake, click here.

Expand Your Goals Beyond ROI to Other Things

Beyond your goals of making money, see what else you can do to make your tradeshow investment worthwhile. Drive traffic to your website or social media platforms, track the number of booth visitors, networking with industry colleagues, launching new products and more – these are all valid and valuable things to track.

Plan Some Surveys

A tradeshow is a great place to do a little casual market research. Set up a survey on a tablet, offer a prize to people that answer questions, and see what useful information you get.

Train Your Staff

Really, when was the last time you paid a professional to come in and train your booth staff? The proof is in the pudding. A well-trained booth staff is one of the most important things you can do to increase your level of success.

Hire a Professional Presenter

Perhaps not every tradeshow booth needs a presenter, but if you’re going to get serious about showing off a complicated product, having a professional presenter that knows how to draw a crowd and distill the critical bits and pieces of your product or service in invaluable. And worth every penny.

Beyond these ideas, it always helps to keep your staff informed on plans as appropriate. If your staff knows what you’re planning and what the company’s goals are, and why, they will be much more likely to have buy-in to the company’s success.

Make it a great 2020!

Wake Up and Smell the New Year!

It’s a little hackneyed, I know, but how often do you say to yourself, “Where does the time go?”

I said it again just a day or two ago when I noticed the calendar, did the math, and said, Holy Smoke, where does the time go?

2020 beckons. Are you ready?

I don’t usually do a formal year-end assessment of my business, TradeshowGuy Exhibits. In the past I have shared on these pages and in the weekly podcast, the state of the business. And I don’t plan to do a formal assessment this year.

But, having said that, I can safely say that 2019 was the best year yet for TradeshowGuy Exhibits. In terms of new business, new clients, and total dollars. Which means we must be doing something right.

The challenge of running your own business, and specifically a business in the tradeshow world, is that cycles often determine the amount of business and the number of clients we work with at any given time.

Happy Christmas and Merry New Year!

For example, the first four months of the year were incredible. New projects, new clients galore. The next four months were good, not great. Certainly not like the first four months. And the last four months have seen us hunting and wishing for more business. But like the cycles that we end up living with, I can already see a few months into the future and see things picking up. Perhaps not as grand as it was 12 months ago, but still good.

This year also was the third year of my weekly TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee video blog, which is also posted on SoundCloud as an audio podcast.

Another 100 or so articles, along with the podcast, were posted on this blog, bringing the total posts to over 1000. In November the blog also celebrated its eleventh birthday. If you’d have told me I’d still be blogging eleven years later, I would have probably choked. But wow, here we are.

And personally, I kept up a consistent exercise routine of daily yoga, daily walks (with the dog who insists!), lots of bicycle riding and lots of skiing.

How about you? How was your year? Was it what you expected? What do you have planned for 2020?

Whatever you are looking for next year, buckle up – it should be a wild ride!

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, December 16th, 2019: FUN

What is fun? Why are some things fun to you but not to others, or vice versa? Why do some people appear to have more fun that you, even though they’re doing the same thing?

Lots of things to explore on the nature of FUN on this week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee. Also, today is ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons’ 70th birthday, so he gets a little shoutout!

This week’s ONE GOOD THING: Exhibitor Magazine.

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