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

Video

10 Things NOT to do in Your Social Media Tradeshow and Event Marketing

Instead of posting another Top Ten List, I thought I’d put it to video. Just a smidge over four minutes long. Enjoy!

 

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Social Media Tradeshow Marketing from the Bob Marley Songbook

If you’ve read this blog for awhile or know me at all, chances are you have discovered that, yes, I am a big Bob Marley fan. Have been since the mid 70s. Saw the guy on tour. Twice. Not to mention the tattoo.

So I thought it might be fun to thumb through Marley’s extensive library and pull some song titles for social media tradeshow marketing inspiration. And I thought it might be fun to grab some YouTube videos along the way… So here we go…!

Stir it Up

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6U-TGahwvs

Before the show, get on Twitter and Facebook and let people know you’re going to be at the show. If you don’t stir the pot, so to speak, the only thing you have to depend on is how your booth is viewed and how your staff performs at the show itself. On the other hand, if you ‘stir it up’ on social media, you can spread the word about your booth (is it new?), where to find it, who and what are going to be there and generally create a bit of buzz.

Get Up, Stand Up

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7iXcKKpdx0

Not getting a fair shake from the show organizers? Getting a raw deal from a supplier? Well, don’t take it lying down! Get Up, Stand Up! Stand up for your rights! Be assertive (not aggressive) in making sure that you are getting the full measure of what you’re paying for. Be mindful of what you deserve – and think of those around you. Stand up for their rights as well when the time is right.

Rat Race

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GVzsuDsxW8

Yes, you’re in the rat race. There are hundreds, possibly thousands of exhibitors who are all trying to stand out from the crowd. No worries! As they say in Jamaica, soon come! Just realize that you’re part of the mix. Not only will you have a lot of competition, you can BE a lot of competition for the rest of the exhibitors. Present your booth and staff on a Positive Vibration and you’ll find that you won’t be Waiting in Vain.

Sun is Shining

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBDVarvFqYI

What’s your outlook? Are you spreading positive vibrations, or are you Mr. Stick-in-the-Mud? If you believe that the sun eventually shine down on you, let your followers and friends online know about it!

One Love

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHbVa8CZZH4

Your clients and customers must feel some love for you in some way. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be buying your product or service. So return the love. When customers stop by, ask them if you can photograph them for your Facebook page. Or get them to sit down for a one-minute testimonial. Show them love by sharing the testimonial on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. They’ll love the recognition!

Crisis

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nk-Mwh962c8

At some point you will be faced with a crisis – small, medium or (hopefully not) large. Keep in mind, this happens to everybody! If you can keep your head while everyone else is losing yours, you’ll appear as the cool, calm collected individual that people can depend on. Always have a Plan B in mind.

Wake Up and Live

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2Y-KZ0CYDM

Tradeshows are a jam-packed, chaotic environment that goes by really, really fast! Before you know it, they’re over, and you’re left wondering ‘what happened?’ Don’t let that happen to you. Take a few moments during the show to bask in it – to soak it all in – and if the spirit moves you, to share it with your social media community.

Exodus

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWw_gP0vDfE

The show is over! Hallelujah! You can get back to normal, whatever that is for you. But at the end of he show, don’t forget about those social media followers. Tweet out your thanks, photos, videos and other items at the end of the show. It’ll help remind those followers who you are and what you do. And if you do take time to thank people by name (individual or organization), you’ll be seen as that much more human.

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Ten Things to Put in a One-Minute Tradeshow Teaser Video

So you’re going to shoot a tradeshow teaser video to get people to be aware of your upcoming appearance whetting their appetite to see your company’s exhibit at the show. But you’re rarely messed around with video. Maybe you don’t like getting in front of the camera. Or you don’t know what to put in a brief video.

Well, let’s take a look at ten things to think about when assembling your video.

1. Know whom you’re talking to

What is your intended audience thinking about the issue you’re going to talk about? Are they well informed? Ill-informed? Mis-informed? The more you can understand the mindset of your audience, the better your video will be. In the case of creating a short video that relates to a tradeshow appearance, does your audience know anything about you company or your product? Are they familiar with the show? Do they have the proper context for your presentation or are they coming in from the cold?

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

2. Pick a single topic and stick to it.

You’ve seen videos that try to do everything and cover a lot of ground. In the case of a short teaser video, know exactly what the topic and don’t waver. If you have more than one reason to invite people to your booth, do more than one video.

3. If you’re going to be on camera, rehearse your presentation a few times, but don’t overdo it.

There are other ways to create a video than to use a video camera. A screen-capture program, for instance, is a great way to put a video together without actually getting in front of a camera. But if you’re going to put your face onscreen, rehearse it a few times until you feel comfortable with the bullet points you’re going to cover. And yes, you should just cover bullet points, and NOT read a script. By rehearsing it a few times you’ll get comfortable with how you’re going to say it. Record a few times and go with the best. Don’t worry about perfection – there’s still no perfect presentation – but just relax and let it flow and you’ll be fine.

4. Fancy production or not?

In most cases, there’s no need for fancy production. If you’re a service company such as a dentist or accountant, just be real and show people who you are. If your company is a high-end video production company, yes, you should show your chops! But in most cases, expensive production is lost on YouTube. It depends on the expectations of your audience, which are being lowered continuously thanks to a lot of low-end video production.

5. Authenticity

Want to impress people? Don’t try and be someone you’re not. If you can show who you REALLY are – your AUTHENTIC self – people will find that much attractive than a horse-and-pony show that has little to do with who you are.

6. Don’t waste time – respect people’s time and use it wisely

If you have 60 seconds worth of information, don’t use three minutes to get it all out. Be short and sweet and then get it over with. Respect people’s time. If they get used to your short (and respectful) videos, they’ll have a greater inclination to come back and see more.

7. Don’t do a hard sell – talk conversationally

This goes back to authenticity. Most people don’t speak in a hard-sell mode in social situations. Imagine you’re in social situation and you’re talking casually with a friend or colleague. Now, use the same approach on your video and you’ll be fine.

8. Solve a problem

If you can describe how your product or service solves a problem in 60 seconds or less (and you should be able to do that!), you have a great chance of getting people to show up at your booth or shop. What exactly does your product do? Do you have a proven result? Tell how your solution will improve their situation. Share it.

9. Subtitles can increase response.

Okay, I have no evidence to support this! But to my way of thinking, by showing subtitles you are reinforcing your message. Of course, there are a few people that don’t hear well and the subtitles may assist them in understanding what you’re talking about. Plus, it’s a good place to put a phone number or web URL. Most video editing programs allow you to insert text on the screen. Again, don’t overdo it – but use it.

10. Put a smile in your voice!

One of the first and best lessons I learned when I got into radio as a teenager: put a smile into your voice! It comes across…really!

 

 

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Six Ways to Use Video at your Next Tradeshow

If you’re not used to shooting video, it can be a major mental shift to be able to have your video camera ready to go at all times. A small Flip video (or similar) camera can help alleviate that some, but it’s still a bit of a shift to go from not shooting video at your shows to shooting a LOT of it for present and future use.

One way to be prepared is to simply be prepared: in the booth, keep your video camera out and attached to a tripod. That way it’s only a moment away from being able to turn the switch and shooting testimonials or demos.

Another way to always be prepared is to ensure that you always have enough power. In some cases that means extra AA batteries; in other cases it may mean that you are able to plug your video battery into a USB or AC outlet anytime. A full-power camera is easier to use than one that’s down to it’s last 10%!

Next, have a list of videos that you’d like to shoot – or at least a list of possible ideas. Here’s an incomplete list of things that you might consider at your next tradeshow:

  1. Testimonials: nothing like a satisfied customer telling potential customers how well your product or service works. The more details, the more believable (but make it short!).
  2. Demos: if you’re able to demonstrate how your product works inside your booth, shoot that demo a few times and put the best one up on your YouTube channel.
  3. Guests: if you have a celebrity or other type of guest, have them sit down for a short interview.
  4. The Boss: is the CEO stopping by and can he be counted on to be a good ‘face’ of your company or product? Then make sure you get him on video discussing something cool, new or important about your company or a specific product.
  5. Q&A: if your product makes people curious as to how it works, shoot random visitors asking questions (get their permission) and then show someone from your company explaining the answer.
  6. Other Products: do other exhibitors have products that can be used in conjunction with yours? Get one of reps from that company to your booth (or go to their booth) and get some video showing how that combination might work to benefit potential customers.

Yes, some of these may take more work than others. But if you come back from your tradeshow with a few hours of videos, this gives your marketing staff oodles of ways to use that video and roll it out on your YouTube channel, blog, website and Facebook page over the next several months. Be sure to put a package together to post a few weeks before next year’s show as well to promote the upcoming appearance.

People like to watch video online – the stats that support this keep growing all the time. Find ways to get people to spend a few moments with YOUR video and you may have a new customer.

 

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The 75-Year Old Ski Bums

What can we learn from 75-year old ski bums? Well, personally, that’s exactly what I’ll be in a couple of decades, so I thought this video was really fun from that angle.

Next? These folks are HAVING FUN! Naturally, since they’re skiing. But given that I’ve been a ski bum since I was about 7 years old (knee-high to a grasshopper), I’ve always tried to incorporate skiing into my daily job. Or vice versa.

What else? They do their best at their skill level. And still take chances, even at 75+. I like that. We should all know our limits and know when to push them.

That’s enough lesson-learning from this. Watch this and have fun! And…it’s only 4 minutes!

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Telecommuting In Style

Are you stuck in the office all day long, five days a week? Happens to all of us. Happens to me most of the time. But every once in awhile I get inspired and take my work to the ski resort. Can’t do it every day, because on many occasions I have to meet clients in person. But if that’s not the case, I can often handle a lot of the details of work remotely, via a smartphone or laptop.

So Tuesday of this week I took my work to the slopes at Hoodoo Ski Bowl, my ‘home’ resort. And had a ton of fun while doing it. And answered a few client calls, an email or two and communicated with the office on a critical project as well. Yeah, the first time you might feel a little odd about actually taking a client call on the chairlift, but when you’ve handled the issue, you hang up and smile…

Can you work remotely? Can you find a way to mix pleasure with your job? It doesn’t always mean heading to Cabo or the ski resort. It might mean you’re taking meetings offsite to your favorite coffee shop. Or finding a way to engage with your clients or prospects through social media while you’re enjoying a day off. The lines are blurring and will continue to blur between our “work” hours and our “off” hours as we get deeper and deeper and more familiar with tools such as smartphones and the online platforms that allow us stay in front of other people’s minds much easier than before.

Even at a tradeshow you can easily stay in touch with people in other cities, keeping your business going in several areas while also seeing people face-to-face at the show.

Today’s work world means getting adept at using all of the available tools – and knowing which ones work for you and which ones to leave aside.

Some of the tools I use which help me work remotely include Dropbox and Carbonite. They allow me to access documents from anywhere and either work on them or email them when needed. Checking in with your community by using Facebook is also very useful and not time-consuming at all. By linking several accounts together (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn) you can reach people on all of those platforms by interacting with only one.


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Do Pretty Ads Ring the Cash Registers?

Like millions I watched the Super Bowl over the weekend, not only to root for the Packers (!), but to gawk at the ads. Lots of clever ads put together which were damn entertaining. According to the Portland Business Journal, some of the most popular were produced by Portland’s Weiden + Kennedy, well known for creating great Nike ads over the years. They created the Chrysler and Coca-Cola ads which got a lot of critical and viewer praise.

My favorite (and it’s hard to choose, so if I were to write this article tomorrow, my fave choice might change) was the very popular VW ad with the mini-Darth Vader called “The Force.” It went viral before the Super Bowl and by Monday had garnered over 16 million views on YouTube:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R55e-uHQna0

While the Super Bowl is a terrific showcase for ad creativity, many critics (me included) wonder about the effectiveness of the ads. Advertisers spend around $3 million for a 30-second slot. Not to mention the time, energy and money that goes into creating the ad. Must be another three mil, at least, right?

That’s a ton of money, even if you’re Coca-Cola or Chrysler. As an advertiser you want it to pay off.

If the ad is number one on the popular charts but doesn’t sell more than a few bottles of coke or more than a few new cars, is the ad worth the investment? Hard to justify in my mind. But if the ad creates huge brand awareness and you’re able to point back to the ad as a key point in a rise in sales, you can probably justify it.

Hey, it’s the same with tradeshows – which is just another marketing tactic.

You spend a ton of money (it’s not cheap!), and hope the sales increase as a result.

So…some questions to ask as you prepare your creative for the tradeshow:

  • Is the booth pretty or effective? Or both?
  • Is your graphic message popular or does it ring the cash registers? Or both?
  • Is your in-booth demo clever and does it grab solid leads? Or is it just plain clever..?
  • Do your staffers have great questions for your visitors and do they use those questions to qualify a ton of great leads?
  • Do your leads make a nice pile of paper but fail when it comes to getting them to pulling out their checkbook to purchase your product or service?

It’s the same with websites, by the way. I’ve seen incredible looking websites which did virtually nothing for the business. And I’ve seen ugly websites that were extremely effective at turning a visitor into a customer.

Pretty and popular is nice. But sales effectiveness and lead conversion pay the bills.

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Twisplays Brings Twitter Streams to Your Tradeshow Booth

Going to be involved with social media at your next tradeshow? Will you be tweeting about your event, trying to draw people to your booth?

Joshua Persky thinks you might like to put one of his ‘Twisplays’ into your booth. Not only will the streaming text on the LED sign attract eyeballs, you’ll have the latest tweets about the event appearing in your booth.

Persky spent ten years in the banking industry until the recession hit. Recently he brainstormed an idea to combine a typical streaming display with text from a twitter account. He admits that the product could use some refining: “my developers are taking a little longer than I thought.” Some of his ideas have yet to be implemented but are coming soon, he says.

When did the company launch?

“Basically, yesterday!” said Persky, who added that a recent article on the Mashable website has created a lot of attention. “I’ve met a lot of great people because of that.”

While the Twisplay application can be used for a lot of different things, the idea of incorporating it into an event, tradeshow or convention seems natural.

Of course, seeing a shortened link on an LED display won’t really do you any good – it goes by so fast it’ll be virtually impossible to remember the link if you wanted to ‘click through’ – but it at least might draw you to Twitter to find the actual tweet.

The 26″ x 4″ displays sell for $299. The Twisplay website still is fairly bare-bones, but Joshua was easy to reach and willing to answer questions.

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Playback: Blogging 101 Webinar

Want to learn about blogging? Want to know how WordPress works? Here is video playback of the Blogging 101 webinar I hosted in late September with the assistance of Classic Exhibits.

Keep in mind this is really aimed at beginning bloggers or those who are still trying to figure out what it’s all about and how they might use it. So if you’re an advanced blogger you could probably give this webinar!

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

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