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


Outdoor Retailer Summer Market on the Horizon!

Hey, I’m heading to Outdoor Retailer in early August. Salt Lake City hosts this fun and engaging national show twice a year: one for winter market (think skiing!) and once for the summer market (boating, hiking, bicycling and more!). Thousands of exhibitors and tens of thousands of attendees take over the Salt Palace Convention Center the first week or so of August.

…and I’ll be there doing some tradeshow booth performance tests. You know, a look at how companies are using their tradeshow booths to live up to the promise of gathering leads, attendee engagement and delivering a brand message.

Check out my invitation:


Join me at Expo West in Anaheim for the TradeshowGuy Booth Performance Test

Natural Products Expo West is the biggest natural products tradeshow in the US, with some 3,000 exhibitors and 60,000 attendees. Yes, it’s the big time.

2014 will be my 12th consecutive year at the show. Many of my tradeshow clients have been exhibiting there for year.

For example, come see Aisle7 in booth 1668, gDiapers in booth 3605, Hyland’s at 1804 and of course Bob’s Red Mill at booth 3546.

One thing I like to do at Expo West and other tradeshows is check out the booths. There are thousands of them and with that many to look over, frankly, it’s a bit overwhelming! This year, however, I’m going to try something new. I’m going to take a look at a few dozen booths with the specific intent of seeing how they do in the TradeshowGuy Booth Performance Test!

If you’d like to have me subject your booth to the performance test, just tweet me at @tradeshowguy and I’ll be glad to swing by and take a look!


Social Media Audit and Policy (webinar re-play)

Roger Pike and I just completed a one-hour webinar this week on performing a Social Media Audit and creating a Social Media Policy. Every tradeshow marketer should be aware of these two critical pieces of the marketing puzzle.

Social Media Audit: This portion of the webinar guides you through the process of taking a basic social media audit. It’s something that every company engaged in social media (and if you’re not, why not?) should be doing. Determine your base line and set goals for each social media platform.

Social Media Policy: Every company is engaged in social media, whether they know it or not. Every employee represents your company. How are your employees representing you? Do they know what your expectations are? (go to 21:30 in the video to jump ahead to this section)

Check out the video:



Use a Webinar to Promote Your Tradeshow Appearance

I must get two dozen webinar invitations a week. On average, I attend one or two a week. Some are useful, most are not that great.

So is the webinar-as-promotion tool saturated? Overused? I suppose it depends on where you’re coming from. Many attend webinars, but even more people do not. And most companies don’t use webinars to show their expertise on a specific subject.

Webinars are useful when they are narrow, drilled-down topics, when they’re used to show expertise or to promote a specific product or skill.

But I think the exhibit industry is missing one area where a webinar might prove to be a very useful promotional tool: to promote an appearance at an upcoming tradeshow.

Here’s a brief video I put together to explore this topic:

Download the slide deck here.


3 Case Studies in Social Media Event Marketing (Videos)

One way to learn is to see what other people have done. You learn from both successes and failures. Here are stories of three successful efforts at using social media to promote events or appearances at tradeshows.

Check out these three short videos.

Let’s start with Portland, Oregon’s gDiapers – maker of eco-friendly kid pants:

And then move on to a US company called Relevansi that managed a multi-country, duo-hemisphere event long distance:

Finally to Criterion, a company in the manufacturing sector that used social media to get more leads and attention at a tradeshow:


8 Great Ways to Use an iPad Kiosk at Your Tradeshow Booth

iPads and tablets are pretty cool. The concept of having a hand-held tablet with amazing computer power has apparently taken over the world (thanks, Apple!) and launched a dizzying array of imitators and competitors. In spite of the competition, the iPad remains the most popular tablet, especially among tradeshow exhibitors.

In fact, several companies are now vying for your business by designing and creating iPad stands or kiosks which present the iPad to your visitors so they can interact.

But exactly what all can you do with that iPad in a kiosk?

And why would you want one?

If you have a problem getting information to people in a timely way at a tradeshow, an iPad stand might be the answer. If you have a need to engage people in an entertaining way, an iPad kiosk might be the solution. If you have a goal in mind that fits with one of the following ideas, an iPad kiosk may be the ticket!

While this is certainly not intended to be the complete list, use it as a thought-starter. Perhaps you can come up with other ideas on how that iPad kiosk can be used.

Product Demos: a visitor stops and with a few touches, is seeing how others use your product and how they might envision how it would work for them.

Photograph album: people love photographs, right? Of course: just look at the success of photo-sharing apps and sites such as Flickr or Instagram. With beautiful photos, you can show how other customers use your product or engage in your service. Depending on what your product is, those photographs can show details they might otherwise see, or the inside story of how it’s made. Lots of possibilities here.

Sign up for newsletters: want to capture a visitor’s email or other contact information? Set up a sign-up sheet for your regular newsletter (you do have a newsletter, don’t you?).

Send information without having to print something: face it, a tradeshow can be burdensome if you’re collecting sell sheets or printed product information. But you can encourage people to sign up for free PDF’s that can be sent via email, thus avoiding having to carry home a piece of paper. Eco-friendly – and it ends up in their email inbox instead of the round file.

Games: does your product or service lend itself to a short interactive game? You might consider having an app designer put something together that lets visitors learn about your stuff in a fun and engaging way by creating a game around it.

Product design: many items, such as clothing or house paint, lend themselves to an interactive experience where the user can compare one color with another to see how they like it.

Survey: want to do some market research? Setting up a short survey on an iPad kiosk allows folks to chime in on those questions which keep you up at night. You can keep it anonymous, or offer a small prize in exchange for their name and email address.

Quiz: perhaps your product can be positioned in such a way that a brief quiz is engaging. Come up with a handful of multiple choice questions or trivia questions to engage people.

These are just a few of the ways in which an iPad kiosk might help to engage visitors at your booth. Can you come up with anymore?

In the meantime, here’s a quick video from our iPad Kiosk supplier, Classic Exhibits, that shows how you might set up your own iPad kiosk. Remember, if this can solve a problem or satisfy a need, if will be a worthy investment.

Check out the pricing at our Exhibit Design Search right now on iPad and Surface kiosks.

Click Here to Get Your Digital Copy of My New Book


Branding in Social Media: Who Are You?

Just back from a week in Whitefish, Montana, to do a little sight-seeing and skiing and soaking in the hot tub and hiking and dining and drinking great coffee and drinking great local brew…well, here’s what I came up with on branding while standing on the slope at Whitefish Ski Resort…



GoodBelly Looks at Expo West Social Media Marketing

I spent a few moments with Ariel Scott, the Marketing Manager  with NextFoods at the GoodBelly booth in Anaheim this past weekend during Expo West 2012. Since I dig their products so much (tasty and good for ya), I gave her a chance to expound on the products. Then I asked her about how GoodBelly uses social media marketing…take a look:



Social Media at Expo West

I talked to a handful of exhibitors at Expo West and asked them about how they use the various social media tools available. Here’s a trio of the responses:



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