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

Tradeshow marketing

Tradeshow World Prepares to Return – if the Audience is Ready

Exhibitor Magazine just sent out a pair of reports detailing research on how tradeshow attendees view the coming return to “normalcy” for tradeshows, events and conferences.

In the first report, Enigma Research polled 2000 live event attendees to gauge their level of comfort or anxiety in the potential return to live events. ExibitorOnline’s report is here, along with a link to the full report. There’s no op-tin or cost for the report, but you may need to register at ExhibitorOnline.

Some of the takeaways include:

  • Over a third polled say they would immediately return to shows, but most indicate they’re okay with waiting.
  • Over two-thirds say they’d be likely or very like to travel to another city for an event.
  • While most attendees agree that safety measure such as hand-washing and hand sanitizer and cleaning are necessary, they’re split on other measures such as who should or must wear a mask.

Next, Exhibitor’s senior writer Charles Pappas recently discussed the World Health Organization’s recommendations for tradeshows and events in a webinar. The discussion included takes on a potential vaccine, how the virus is transferred, having asymptomatic people at shows and more. Check the article here and download the full report or watch the webinar at the same link.


New Galleries on Exhibit Design Search at TradeshowBuy.com

Our main exhibit design and fabricator, Classic Exhibits, offers up four new galleries with what looks like a significant addition to Exhibit Design Search. Here are the four new galleries:

  • PlaceLyft Office Solutions
  • Hand Sanitizer Stands
  • Office/Retail Lightboxes
  • Safety Dividers

There’s also a new Interactive Gallery, further down the front page. I asked Mel White, VP of Marketing and Business Development with Classic Exhibits, to characterize the changes:

COVID-19 has forced most businesses to review their work environments as they plan for their employees to return. What they’ve realized is that most, if not all offices or retail spaces, do not protect employees from airborne or surface viruses. Deciding on next steps, however, can be confusing (and expensive) for many organizations.

The Contemporary Office and Retail Solutions galleries in EDS are designed to make those decisions easier. The four galleries show attractive and cost-effective solutions for any office or retail environment. They include office partitions with easily sanitize-able surfaces, protective safety barriers, durable hand sanitizer stands, and customizable LED lightboxes. There are no hidden prices, and the designs can be customized to any situation.

All the products are designed, engineered, and manufactured in the USA by a 27-year old Portland-based company. 

Check out a brief look at the layout here, or by visiting TradeshowBuy.com:

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, June 8. 2020: Micheal McNeeley and Gail Chester

I connected with Micheal and Gail a decade ago when they made their first appearance at Natural Products Expo West. They’ve been back every year, using the national show as a way to connect with more and more buyers, distributors, colleagues and fans.

We finally caught up for a conversation about their company, Lively Up Your Breath, how they approached Expo West, and how they’re dealing with the current COVID-19 pandemic.

And yes, Micheal gives us his song and dance. And it’s a good one!

You can find Lively Up Your Breath here.

This week’s ONE GOOD THING: Seberg, the movie about the FBI’s following, wiretapping and harassment of the actress Jean Seberg in the 60s and 70s.

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, June 1, 2020: Jonathan Tavss

What is the future of tradeshows, events and conferences? While most people in the industry I speak with think things will (mostly) get back to normal at some point, that may still be some time away. Which leaves virtual events as one way of keeping the clock moving forward.

This week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee offers a chat with Kaleidoko’s Jonathan Tavss, who discusses a recent virtual event he helped facilitate, and what the future of tradeshows and events, combined with a strong digital presence, might look like:

Find Kaleidoko here.

This week’s ONE GOOD THING: Ted Chiang’s collection of short stories entitles Exhalation.

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, May 11, 2020: Dale Obrochta

What day is it? Are you counting how many days since you’ve been on shelter-at-home protocols? Or are you in a state that has abandoned all attempts to limit the spread of COVID-19 and things are getting back to normal? Which begs the question: what is normal?

This week on TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, I caught up with Dale Obrochta of PutATwistOnIt.com, who’s been a previous guest on this show. We talked about the challenges his profession is facing in the new normal.

Find Dale here at PutATwistOnIt.com.

This week’s ONE GOOD THING:

Book and Novel writing software: Scrivener.

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, May 4, 2020: Working From Home

Here on Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be With You!) I spend a few moments on discussing working from home, and how things have changed – and haven’t – in the COVID-19 Pandemic.

This week’s ONE GOOD THING: Muck Rack, the daily journalistic wrap-up of the country’s top stories. My favorite daily newsletter.

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, April 27, 2020: Ken Newman and Robert Middleton

We’re all in a quandary: what to do to work our way through the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic and still work with clients in a meaningful way. For this week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, I caught up with two busy marketers, one in the tradeshow world, and one not.

Ken Newman of Magnet Productions and Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing agreed to sit down with me one-on-one in Zoom meetings. I was curious to get their take on what to do and how to approach the current unprecedented situation.

Ken Newman’s Magnet Productions

Robert Middleton’s Action Plan Marketing

This week’s ONE GOOD THING:

Foo Fighters Live in Concert 2006 Hyde Park London

Taking Time to Review Your Tradeshow Marketing Systems

The tradeshow, event and conference industries are not dead. It’s just sleeping. It’ll awaken at some point again and roar to life.

In the meantime, time on your hands. Maybe, maybe not. I certainly have time on my hands. And I have to bring in a little income.

So, I’m driving for Uber Eats and delivering food three to four hours a day. Not bad money, actually, for the time involved. My older son, who’s in his late 20s, had been working as a cook in an upscale restaurant which had to close when the coronavirus restrictions here in Oregon went into place. When we went skiing together a month ago, he told me that he’d been driving for Uber Eats a few hours before he went to work, and then a few hours after he got off in the evening. Now that the restaurant closed, he’s doing it eight hours a day, six or seven days a week. Likes being in his car (it’s new), listening to music, and bringing food to people.

I thought, I can do this. And making a few extra bucks (it’s actually pretty good pay) was enticing. It took a short while to get signed up and approved, and now I’m delivering food from restaurants to people a few hours a day. Sometimes lunch, sometimes dinner.

It gives me a lot of time to think. And listen to rock, or podcasts. But definitely time to think.

And I got to thinking about systems. What kind of systems does it take for an Uber driver (or Door Dash or Grub Hub or any of those companies) to get an offer to drive, accept it, pick up the food and deliver it in a timely manner while it’s still hot?

The driver needs:

  • A car
  • Smartphone with app
  • Address to pickup
  • Address to deliver

The smartphone has all of those items, other than the car, built in. GPS. Mapping. Internet connectivity.

The customer needs:

  • An app to order food from
  • An address for the driver to deliver it to
  • A way to pay (credit or debit card) they can use through the app

The restaurant needs:

  • A system that receives incoming orders and gets them to the kitchen in a timely manner
  • Ability to prepare food quickly and have it ready for pickup within a few moments

As I drive from a restaurant to a drop off point, it’s common to get another offer to pick up another order before the current one is delivered.

During my drives, I keep thinking what an intricate system this is. What an elaborate dance it is to transmit an offer to a driver that’s in the area, about to drop off one order, to deliver another order. As an Uber Eats driver, it’s all optional. Don’t want that one? Don’t take it.

Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

Then I get to thinking about the systems built around tradeshows and events. About what the show organizer needs. What the exhibitor needs. What the visitor needs.

Think about the systems that must be in place for all of that to work to a positive effect on a regular basis. Design and fabrication of tradeshow exhibits. Shipping, setup/dismantle logistics. Travel and lodging. Product development and production.

As a participant, you only can see and control what’s immediately in front of you. But as a tradeshow marketing manager, you can exert a lot of control over how your company exhibits. How your product is presented, how your company is represented by the exhibit and the booth staff. Who sets up the booth, who handles shipping and so on.

Now that the tradeshow and event industry is on hiatus, maybe it’s a good time to examine your systems that hold everything in place from your perspective and see what can be improved.

After all, while I don’t mind driving a few hours a day delivering food, I’d rather get back to the tradeshow world full time soon.

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Tradeshow Guy Blog by Tim Patterson

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