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

Video

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.

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.

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:

Changes at Chicago’s McCormick Place

I don’t usually do hard news on this blog, but I was contacted this week by The Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau (CCTB), who asked if I might be interested in taking a look at the following story. Having been to Chicago a couple of times for events at McCormick it’s good to see this consumer-focused legislation moving into place.

(Dateline: Chicago)

Downtown Chicago

Changes were announced this week that “truly changes the landscape here in Chicago,” according to David Causton, McCormick Place General Manager.

What are the changes?

New legislation that wound its way through the Illinois General Assembly that basically gives the customer (the exhibitors) a new bill of rights.

For instance, “The legislation grants exhibitors the ability to do their own electrical work or contract it out, and bring in their own food for personal consumption.” That from the press release issued last Friday, May 7th by the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau (CCTB).

According to the e-mail I received this week from Maura Cheeks on behalf of the CCTB, the legislation is waiting for Governer Quinn’s signature to become law. He’s expected to do that soon.

As Maura put it: “The new legislation will create a new business model for McCormick Place. This important first step was the collaborative outcome of state, city, business and industry leaders to bring a host of positive changes for our meeting and convention customers, exhibitors and attendees.”

Check out links here for more on the story:

The CCTB’s official statement in support of the bill.

The CCTB’s President, Tim Roby, has presented a webcast with Dave Causton, General Manager of McCormick Place, to discuss how these proposed changes will benefit Chicago’s convention customers and exhibitors. View the webcast and video comments here – or click to view now:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1R9IAkOCxHY&feature=player_embedded

Along with the CCTB website, check Chicago Meeting Matters for background, fact sheets, videos and other information.

Wow. Hard news from Tradeshowguy Blog. Whodathunkit?

Skiing and Social Media Tradeshow Marketing (Seminar Coming!)

What does skiing have to do with using social media to market your tradeshow booth? Very little. Okay, it’s a biiiiig stretch! But nonetheless, earlier this week I managed to get up to Hoodoo Ski Bowl in central Oregon to do a little skiing…and daydreaming about using social media, Twitter and…well, you’ll just have to watch the video:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HshK8roKLrU

And yes, I am planning a live/local seminar (wow, I sound just like a local TV newscaster –Live, Local!) coming up on April 8 here in Salem, Oregon. Are you in the area? Can you come? Find out more by clicking here.

Early bird registration is still underway, which means you save $10. And IF you manage to read the fine print, you’ll see that you are actually getting my whole Social Media Tradeshow Marketing Bundle AND the live seminar…for ten bucks less than the current price of the bundle. Hmmm…is this a clever marketing ploy, or just plain stupidity?

Are Your Potential Customers Online? Duh.

I love these short statistic-packed videos that keep popping up and lay out the latest data on online consumption. And yes, we are a world of ‘net consumers. Watching videos (average of 182 a month!), blogging (53% of all websites are blogs!), sending emails, dealing with spam…it’s incredible how the numbers stack up.

Thought you’d like to take a look:

JESS3 / The State of The Internet from Jesse Thomas on Vimeo.

Upcoming Webinar: “How to Close More Biz at Tradeshows Using Social Media”

In just two weeks – Feb 17th at 1 pm Pac / 4 pm Est to be precise – I’ll be doing a one-hour webinar on what strategies and techniques you can use to close more business at tradeshows by drawing more people to your booth via your online social media activity. This means looking closely at how you can use Twitter, blogging, YouTube, Facebook and other social media sites to get people engaged with your upcoming show and ultimately with your brand and company. Here’s a quick look at one thing that we’ll be going over.

What do you want to learn about using social media to market at tradeshows? Leave a comment and I’ll be sure to cover that in the webinar!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSZWRz7I3x8

To sign up, go to this link: http://tradeshowguyblog.com/seminar

Shout Out to Bob’s Red Mill for Winning the Golden Spurtle

If that headline mystified you – because you don’t know what the heck a ‘spurtle’ is – you’re not alone.

For starters, a spurtle is is a Scottish kitchen tool that dates back to the fifteenth century. The ‘Golden Spurtle’ is awarded each year in Scotland to someone who cooks some darn fine porridge in the World Porridge Making Championship, in Carrbridge, Inverness-shire, Scotland, on ‘World Porridge Day’. As the website states, “The title of World Porridge Making Champion is awarded to the chef deemed to have made the best traditional porridge using oatmeal, water and salt.”

From what I can gather from talking to the folks at Bob’s Red Mill, the competition, which is put on by the Scots, is usually (if not always) won by a Scot.

Not this year. In October of 2009, Matt Cox of Bob’s Red Mill (an Interpretive Exhibits client), claimed the title and the Golden Spurtle. The follow six-minute film of the event is a bit of a kick.

Our congratulations to Matt and Bob’s Red Mill! Our big question is: you are going back to defend your title, aren’t you, Matt?

Core-Apps demo of “Follow Me” at NAMM

In October Jay Tokosch appeared on our podcast to discuss “Follow Me,” an iPhone app that is customizable for tradeshows to help direct you to various booths, locate yourself, and generally help your whole tradeshow experience.

Jay just sent me a note with a link to a YouTube video that Core-Apps just tossed up that demos the app. This quick video definitely shows how cool the app is.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MP-VRiPYQew

Listen to the podcast with Jay here.

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