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

Tradeshow marketing

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

How to Effectively Use a Roll Up Banner Stand

Guest post by Brantley Graham

164 - Another Trade Show

A roll up banner stand is an excellent way for a company to make the most of their presence at a tradeshow or exhibition. By controlling every aspect of your customer’s experience at your booth, it is possible to manipulate how they perceive you. However, in order to be able to do this, there are a lot of things that you are going to have to keep in mind. In order to properly take advantage of the benefits of banner stands and banners, you will need to have a very close attention to detail. All aspects of the banner set up should be considered, including lighting and assembly of the unit.

The first thing you should keep in mind when purchasing a roll up banner stand is that not all stands are created equal. There are stands that are ideal for businesses that travel frequently. These stands are fast and easy to set up, require very little in the way of assembly, and pack down into small, lightweight cases that are easy to transport. For those who need a larger set up, there are larger stands that are heavier and bulky, but are compatible with larger sized banners. This can be useful if you are planning on doing a long term branding campaign at one location. When you are selecting your stands, you should carefully consider how much money you wish to invest and how often you wish to travel. These factors will make a big difference in which stands will best fit your needs.

In addition to picking the best roll up banner stand for your needs, you will also need to take care to pick the best banners. Having banners that match your stands is very important. However, having banners that successfully pass the message you want and demand interest in your business is vital if you want your investment to be profitable. When you go to purchase your stands, you will have the option to order banners at the same time. Many businesses choose to take advantage of this option. If you do not have a design completed, you may also be able to request assistance in making a design for your banners. When you pick your design, you want to make certain that you are able to control how your clients perceive your company. If you are branding, you want to make certain that your logo and company name are both clearly visible. In many cases, a simple design is much more effective than a cluttered and busy design. Take your time picking your banner design as this is one of the most important aspects of your purchase.

Once you have purchased your roll up banner stand, you will need to make certain that you properly care for it. Whenever you finish with a stand at an event, check it over for damage. If either the banner or the stand gets wet, dry it out completely before putting it into storage. Damp equipment can cause health problems, discolorations on the banner and odours. Taking proper care of your equipment can help guarantee that it will last you for years to come.

Visit TSNN.co.uk to place a quick quote for Roll Up Banner Stand for conference, meeting and other events from display boards suppliers. TSNN.co.uk is the largest UK conference and event website and by submitting a quick quote, your requirements will be sent to multiple suppliers so that you can find various items including exhibition stands and display boards.

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

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photo credit: eyeliam

The Big Problem With Tradeshow Lead Collecting

TELEFON

Companies spend boats full of dollar bills on tradeshow marketing. They’ll spend to train their staff, spend to put up a great booth, spend to spiff it up with cool graphics and maybe contrive an outstanding demo of their products.

They may do it so well, in fact, that they’ve got hundreds of folks clamoring for their product. These hot prospects leave contact information and details on their wants and needs in regard to the product or service.

Then they go back to their office, expecting a follow-up call or email. Or brochure, or postcard. Something. Anything!

But they get nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Squat.

Why? Because the company with the booth dropped the ball. They didn’t follow up consistently. The sales staff didn’t see the value in the leads. Or they made a couple of calls, ran into a few dead ends and assumed that all the leads were equal. And stopped calling.

Or the leads were delivered to the sales staff, but someone there didn’t do much with them. Because it was, after all, a pretty big job. With hundreds of leads, the idea of calling or writing all of those folks was intimidating to say the least! So the follow up was far short of what was necessary to drum up more business. Which was, in fact, the whole point of going to the tradeshow.

So often the long chain of events that starts with the decision to exhibit at a tradeshow falls apart with a single weak link.

In this case the tradeshow leads were collected – a lot of them! – but there was minimal follow up, mainly because the system broke down. Or expectations were unrealistic. Or the manpower to follow through wasn’t available. Or the will was weak. Or something.

Before heading off to the tradeshow, make sure the ‘back end’ is set up. Put your system into place which takes into account the following:

  • How will the leads be distributed?
  • Who will follow up?
  • What is the nature of the follow up?
  • How many leads are expected?
  • Is the manpower sufficient to handle the new show leads?
  • Is the budget in place to make sure the follow up happens?
  • Is someone actually in charge?

Tradeshow leads – by themselves – are worthless. Like a great idea that sounds cool over a can of beer, nothing happens until the action takes place.

If your tradeshow leads remain in stasis, you won’t write any business. Without action, you’re like the wallflower at the dance thinking about asking the pretty girl to dance. You’re just standing there. In the shadows. Against the wall.

If on the other hand you have a plan – and a system – for tracking the leads, the follow up (phone, email, direct mail, in-person visits), and the inevitable customer wants and desires, you can actually make hay with tradeshow leads.

In a recent chat with Fred Trembley with Tradeshowfollow-up.com, he confirmed what most people in the tradeshow consulting business say: that almost 80% of all tradeshow leads go a-wasting. He says that a system is definitely needed to prevent that from happening.

And I say that if you are able to follow up on most of your tradeshow leads, you’re at least one important step ahead of 80% of your competitors!

Are your leads wasted?

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photo credit: aikijuanma

Send Tingles Down Your Customer’s Spine

How can you engage your customer so thoroughly that you’re sending shivers down their spine?

It doesn’t happen all that often, and admittedly, to get a real spine-tingling moment is rare. But it can be done.

It happened to me yesterday – and it wasn’t something I expected.

In reading some Facebook updates, a FB friend was telling the story of seeing Jimi Hendrix at the Monterey Pops Festival in 1967. You know the story (or maybe you don’t): it’s where Jimi – a virtual unknown at the time – had been given a slot AFTER The Who – who were arguably the biggest draw at the show. But somehow the promoters saw fit to put Hendrix on after the Who.

“…He took a total piece of crap in “Wild Thing” and made it heavy. Serious. In the middle he diddled out the melody to “Strangers In The Night” in a minor key, which got a laugh out of the crowd, then let the music swirl into another feedback meltdown. Now he was down on his knees controlling the feedback with the Whammy bar. I can’t see from where I am, but Jimi douses the Strat in lighter fluid and drops a match on it.. Whoosh. The feedback takes on the wailing tone of a Stratocaster burning to death. The Who finale was Angry…but this guy is sacrificing his guitar for us….”

As an old rock ‘n’ roller, this description literally sent chills down my back by projecting me back to ’67 and imagining what it must have been like.

Can you do that to your audience?

A good demo onstage might (no, you don’t have to sacrifice a Stratocaster!). A terrific story certainly could.

People react to stories. If your story is compelling and hits your audience in the gut, the reaction may be visceral. There’s no better way to get someone’s attention than with a powerful story.

The downside is that for most people it’s difficult to tell a story. And it’s even more difficult to tell a story in a compelling, arresting way.

Start collecting stories about your products and your customers. Ask them how your product or service impacts them. Why did they buy? Why do they keep coming back?

The more stories you collect, the better chance you have of finding that one nugget that succinctly tells the story of your product.

Once you’ve got that, find a powerful way to tell that story to your prospects. Engage them. Enlighten them.

Give ’em chills and they’re yours.

Perception is Reality

Interior Macro-isity

Perception is Reality, right?

What do people see when you send out a tweet, newsletter, blog post; put up a tradeshow booth…what is the perception of what people see?

Are you seeing through the eyes of your visitors, or through your eyes?

It’s not an easy question to answer as we all have our own vantage points. And no matter how hard we try, we can’t completely get outside of ourselves and see things objectively. Especially if we had a hand in creating the sales tool.

But it’s a good question to ask – and to try and find an answer. Or two, or three: what do other people see when they look at your ‘stuff?’ Do they see what you want them to see or do they see something else?

If your goal is to get a tradeshow booth visitor to see that you’re a fun company with an engaging product, is that coming across? If your goal is to get a visitor to see your company as conservative in your approach to the marketplace with your offerings, is that what they’re really seeing?

When you start peeling back the onion of your marketing message, it may take the eyes and ears of a third party – an ad agency, a colleague – to help you see things more clearly. And it may take the services of a professional to craft that message in a way that resonates with your visitor.

Creating the marketing message with the help of an experienced pro may be the best money you’ve ever spent. She might see things that you’re blind to. She can help with a subtle nuance in your message that makes a big impact.

On the other hand, no one knows your company, product or service quite like you – especially if you created it and live it on a daily basis. Even if you’re ‘just’ a tradeshow marketing manager, you still work and live and breath the company’s culture everyday, which gives you insight and a bird’s-eye seat into how you can reach your customers. In a perfect world, the collaboration between you and a professional (writer, designer) will result in a message that touches your potential customers in ways that move them to action.

The most successful tradeshow booths are the result of collaboration between several people, giving each person a stake in the message, but not surrendering to the whim of an individual. But committee meetings can only go so far: any successful message has to have a passionate advocate who has an understanding of the product/service and the impact that a customer feels when they commit to your company by pulling out their wallet.

So. Get a second opinion. And a third. Feed their comments and opinions into the hopper, chew them over and let them inform your creation, but not control it.

And remember it’s all fluid: markets, products, people. What works today may not next year. Or vice versa.

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photo credit: LadyDragonflyCC – Home from Vacation

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

Tradeshow Press Releases Increase Your SEO

8-things-every-press-releas

A terrific guest post by Brad Shorr on Heidi Thorne’s excellent blog ‘Promo With Purpose Today’ got me to thinking.

In the post, Brad discusses how long-term thinking and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can help to bring more people to your website. And Brad says that press releases are an excellent way to seed your company’s brand throughout the web.

I can’t agree more.

But with apologies to Brad, I’d take it a few more steps.

If you’re planning a press release, come up with a short list of a half dozen keywords that people might be searching for in regards to your tradeshow appearance. Perhaps you’re in the food industry and you want folks to find your products and scheduled appearance.

Your first sentence should contain at least one or two of those keywords and the name of the show. Search engine algorithms tend to look for keywords within the first several words of an article or release. So don’t waste time getting to the point.

In the body of the copy, be sure to include the other keywords that you’ve targeted. Sprinkle them generously – but don’t overdo it. It’s got to be both search-engine friendly and human-friendly (readable!). It may take a little re-working, but you’ll know when it reads right.

At the end, be sure to include all of the pertinent contact information, including links to your company’s website and blog (the link-backs that Brad mentioned).

Press releases have jumped from old media to new media quickly – and the change really took place a few years ago. Press releases can be found by anyone searching for specific keywords – they aren’t limited to reporters and bloggers. And as Brad stated, you may actually get an immediate lead from your release.

Two of my favorite resources to improve your press releases include a book and a website.

Check out David Meerman Scott’s “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” and Joan Stewart’s terrific website Publicity Hound. Be sure to subscribe to Joan’s weekly newsletter which is easily one of the best newsletters I open each week.

And while you’re at it, run by David’s blog here.

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photo credit: Bohman

Banner Design Ideas for Trade Shows

Guest post by Danny Jessen

Being involved in the retail and trade show display business and seeing pull up banners go out to customers on a daily basis, I think I have a  good feel of what makes an effective banner design. And when you consider that the artwork and graphics are the very element that will “make or break” your banner display, you may want to read on!

Colours are King

Though you may feel limited to a particular colour palette that compliments your corporate colours and logo, great results can be achieved using colours that create strong contrasts. Whether its light on dark, or dark on light, or colours at the opposite ends of the colour spectrum, contrasting colours are very effective at catching the viewer’s eye. So be bold in your use of colour, but don’t over-do it. Try using just 1, 2 or 3 strong, contrasting colours – any more and you’ll start losing impact.

Artwork: Sometimes Less is More

It can be tempting to try and get the most value from your trade show banner by loading it with images and artwork. Despite the temptation, I find that the vast majority of the time, one large image is more effective that a number of smaller ones. Multiple images act to dilute the visual impact of your banner as each image competes for the viewers’ attention. On the other hand, having one large, primary image creates a strong focal point that is very effective in the kind of open trade show or retail environments in which banner stands tend to be used.

Keep it Short and Keep it Sweet

In both trade show and retail environments the key function of a banner’s design is to grab the attention of the people passing your store or exhibition stand and entice them to approach. Bearing in mind that you may have just seconds to achieve this, large amounts of written information are most often counter productive. Keep your message short and simple by using large text, bullet points and images where possible. A clear “call to action” can be effective in having people approach, upon which a staff member, some printed material, or both can leave them with more detailed information.

I guess in summary, you could say that when it comes to trade show banners, simplicity is the key: Simple yet bold use of colour, clear and strong images to create a focal point, backed up with some brief written information and a “call to action”.

Effective banner design is not rocket science, but unfortunately more often than not, trade show and retail banners end up being less than effective. But now all you’ll need to do is follow these 3 simple rules to good banner design and you’ll be sure to get the most from your next banner stand investment!

Do you have any more ideas for producing effective trade show banner designs?


About the Author:

Danny Jessen is Marketing Manager at Slimline Warehouse Australia a trade show and retail display company, specialising in
Pull Up Banners.

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

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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