Many clients I work with struggle with many of the bits and
pieces of their tradeshow exhibit, including furniture Some clients prefer to
own a handful of stackable chairs that stay in their exhibit shipping crates
when not in use. Others like the idea of having a fresh new look and budget for
furniture rentals every show.
There’s no right or wrong answer. It’s just whatever works
best for you.
Certainly, there are pros and cons to renting an exhibit,
which is a bit part of any exhibit house’s overall business. Same with furniture.
Let’s look at some of the pros and cons.
Pros – Advantages of Renting:
Selection: Furniture rental companies are vying your business just like any other supplier. And to remain competitive, their selection has to be deep and wide. Which brings us to the next thing:
Shiny new: Renting furniture means you’ll get a piece that has only been used a few times, if at all. There’s a lot of turnover in the furniture rental industry and to stay on top, companies have to offer high quality. Which means that they are offering their best. If you get a piece of furniture that is scuffed or damaged, chances are you won’t use that company again.
Ease of use: This is one of the biggest drawing cards. Most furniture rental companies have warehouses near the major metro areas. When you rent chairs, tables, sofas, loveseats or whatever, it shows up at your booth space. At the end of the show, you just leave it there and the furniture company picks it up. And most bigger shows will have a local rep on site to deal with any issues that come up.
Damage: your furniture will get tossed, bounced, dropped and damaged eight ways from Sunday. It’s the nature of the tradeshow world. And after a while, it gets old and worn out.
Storage: when you rent furniture, you don’t have to pay to store it.
Shipping: when you rent furniture, you don’t pay to ship it. It just shows up. The price is all-inclusive.
Cons – Advantages of Owning:
Less Cost: not necessarily a negative, but weigh the cost of renting furniture a half dozen times over a year vs owning and storing a set of furniture, and undoubtedly the cost to rent that many times will be higher than purchasing something and using it six times.
Storage: If you have sufficient storage space and the chairs fit in your shipping crates, you don’t have to worry about them.
No Surprises: When you own furniture, you don’t worry about renting something turns out to be different than what you expected.
Less Hassle: Don’t have to deal with yet another vendor.
Is renting furniture the right thing for you? Talk to your exhibit house. No doubt they work with at least one good furniture rental vendor that can answer your questions.
Webster’s defines “ruckus” as “a disturbance or a commotion.”
A disturbance can be good or bad, depending on your viewpoint and the circumstances. The word “disturbance” is non-judgmental. “Commotion” is the same. It’s not necessarily inherently good or bad; positive or negative.
But you can insert your judgment into your ruckus, into the
disturbance or commotion you make.
At tradeshows, GoPro’s Nick Woodman used to famously create
a commotion by standing on a table, hooting and hollering, gathering people
around, showing off the GoPro camera and give away prizes. The company’s market
cap zoomed to almost ten billion dollars before coming down to earth. Along the
way GoPro created a new category in the digital camera world. Now that’s a ruckus.
That’s one way to shake it up.
Meduri Farms decided to invest in a new island exhibit and
double the size of their footprint at the International Food Technicians Show.
Their first time with the new exhibit they tripled their leads. That’s another
way to shake it up.
Dave’s Killer Bread dedicated much of their branding space
at 2019’s Natural Products Expo West exhibit to the idea of giving felons a second
chance. That’s yet another way to shake it up.
There are plenty of ways to use your tradeshow space to
shake it up, to make a ruckus, to cause a disturbance or commotion for a good
cause. Or to double your leads. Or to grow a company.
It’s a holiday here in the US as we honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Are you taking the day off? Are you working? How do you get downtime when you need it? And yes, you really do need it! What is motivation? And do you really need it? What about focus? Is that better?
So many questions. I take on a few of them on this morning’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee:
Tradeshows and events have been running since 1851, the 1st one being “The Great Exhibition” in London. It’s safe to say the exhibition world has drastically grown since the 1800’s, as have the price tags that are part and parcel of today’s exhibition experience.
Organising an event takes time, patience
and some form of budget to support the design of an exhibition stand or display
accessory. Within the industry you’ll be faced with many questions regarding
the costs and the necessities.
To create an understanding of what you
need, along with the tradeshow essentials, take a look at a list of costs to
consider before booking your event: –
Booking your stand space
The Exhibition Stand
Stand accessories, such as
banners and displays counters
Promotional items – Leaflet,
pens and lanyards
Transportation for you and your
full stand design
Additional extras such as
seating, lighting and interactive monitors
With all costs considered, it can appear
daunting. Yes, it is an investment, but when tackled correctly a successful
event can help towards business growth and place you on the right path to build
new relationships and gain potential customers.
If you’re still searching for the reason to
attend your first event, we’ve listed 4 benefits that you’ll be able to take
away from the experience.
Attending a tradeshow puts you in the best
place possible to build new relationships. Your brand and stand will attract
potential customers, therefore leading to conversations with other industry
It doesn’t have to stop there. Use your
time wisely and explore the exhibition floor. Take it upon yourself to visit
other business spaces. Doing so, presents another opportunity to strike up
Outside of social media and online
platforms, exhibitions offer amazing brand exposure. Your selected displays
will home in on what your brand has to offer and your unique selling points.
All of which will be visible through custom artwork and promotional items.
The blank canvas that a stand or display
product provides is priceless. Use the space to promote, intrigue and capture
Learn and Expand on Industry Knowledge
Whether you have been in the industry 1 year or 50, there’s always something new to discover. Use the time to find out about new competitors, up and coming trends, innovative design and alternate display options.
Networking with other businesses allows you
to ask new questions and educate yourself. As a brand, to learn and to grow is
to develop new ideas and progress with new trends.
From the relationship building, brand
exposure and the want to expand your knowledge, you’ll be able to begin further
growth within the business. Be sure to take business cards and contact details,
so when the shows over, you’ll have the correct point of contact.
Use the new found information and contacts
you have gained to your advantage. Connect on LinkedIn, send follow up emails
and keep your brand relevant and current so your details are at the forefront
of their mind.
Extra Tips on How to Make Exhibiting
Do your research and ensure you
are attending the right show for YOU
Check your stand position and
Use social media and email
marketing to promote your attendance
On the day, take contact
details from those who you speak with and make contact the following week
Make your brand memorable by
choosing the right stand design and delivering a presence
Create a list of goals to
achieve on the day
Position the co-workers with
the greatest knowledge and understanding of the business on the stand space
Vicky Peat is a Marketing Executive for Go Displays based in Peterborough, UK. As a content marketing writer within the Exhibition and Tradeshow industry, Vicky enjoys sharing industry knowledge to encourage and educate new and experienced exhibitors.
When it comes to tradeshow marketing, anything goes. Right?
Well, maybe not everything, but certainly it’s a time to try things. Do things
Or. Maybe not. Tradeshows are fraught with risk. You’re
putting a lot of money on the line. Generally speaking, the cost of tradeshow marketing
is about a third of a company’s overall marketing budget. Which means that it’s
a lot of money in play, making it hard for a company to risk much.
In a sense, tradeshows can be an interesting mix of the
precise and the experimental.
The precision is important, to be sure. Your tradeshow staff
is your front line. The most important piece of the puzzle. They need to know
what they’re doing and why. If mistakes are made, or if your staff isn’t as
well-trained as they could be, your company might miss out on a good amount of
Your exhibit is important. It’s the 3D representation of
your brand, and if it’s not spot-on, it’ll send mixed messages to your audience.
Your products, demos and sampling have to be well-thought
out and well-executed. Make some mistakes in these areas, and again, you’re
leaving potential money on the table.
Precision is important in these areas.
But tradeshows are also ripe for experimentation. You have opportunities to do surveys, market research, unusual activities, oddball booth items and much more that will grab eyeballs and attention without impacting the precision needed in other areas. VR, smoothie bikes, live music, projection mapping, unusual use of video….the list is endless as to how creative you can get at tradeshows and still do all of the precise things that you need to do to engage with attendees, capture leads, have an exhibit that captures your brand precisely.
Tradeshows are a balancing act no matter what you’re trying to balance. Adding some experimentation along with the precision gives you flexibility, a little tension (which makes people stop and look), and keeps you, your visitors and your competitors on your toes.
It’s 2020. Seems like everyone wants something new. After all, this century is no longer a teenager! Hey, if the century were a human, it could almost drink!
So…what’s new in the tradeshow industry?
At TradeshowGuy Exhibits, we work with a handful of vendors: designers, manufacturers and other suppliers in the tradeshow industry.
Our main partner since we started this business has been Classic Exhibits. If not for them, we wouldn’t be in business. Classic Exhibits is a ‘white label’ manufacturer that designs and sells products through a network of distributors. They’ve gone from kind of a kit designer and manufacturer to doing a lot of custom work. It’s where the industry is going, and Classic Exhibits is among the companies leading the way.
And when they introduce something new, it’s good. More than good. It’s groundbreaking. In the last couple of years, they introduced Gravitee, a tool-less exhibit system that sets up easily, breaks down quickly and ships flat. It’s made a difference to clients of ours at Classic Exhibits. In fact, the first time we set up a Gravitee wall with an installation and dismantle crew, they were impressed with how easy and quickly it went up.
Our new Tool-less SuperNova Lightboxes achieves all of those goals. While there may be more “complicated” solutions, there are none stronger or easier. We estimate the new tool-less connectors reduce assembly by 70-80%. Plus, the splines and the corner connectors can stay on the extrusion reducing the possibility of lost parts. Even the translucent knobs are innovative since they eliminate shadows and reflections.
Can’t wait to see these in action.
We also work with Orbus, which provides numerous – maybe countless – options for popups, banner stands, table throws and more. They have high quality combined with budget pricing – a good combination.
And they’re kicking off 2020 by introducing a variety of new products, including digital banners, outdoor tents, shaped signs, smaller (and larger) HopUp fabric stands, and more. Many of these are lightweight, easy to set up by just a person or two, and priced right. See the selection of new designs and products here.
We’ve enjoyed working with other manufacturers and vendors through the years, but when it comes to something new, both Classic Exhibits and Orbus have taken the initiative to keep bringing the “NEW” to the New Year.
If you’ve attended the same tradeshows over the years, no
doubt you’ve seen an interesting phenomenon: some companies attend for years
and then just stop.
Why? What caused them to disappear?
Certainly, there are a thousand answers to that question,
and much of those answers likely have a lot to do with internal dynamics as
much as the show itself.
But I’ve seen it happen frequently.
I’ve worked with some companies that have exhibited at the
same show for years, only to decide after seven or eight appearances that they
weren’t going to get anything useful out of another appearance.
Why’d you stop going? I’ve asked that question and received
a variety of answers:
“We’ve pretty much maxed out our ability to get new distributors, which is why we exhibited at that show. Our focus is on working with those retailers one on one to get more focused on giving them better products based on what their customers want.”
“The show moved a couple of weeks. Meaning it fell into a different fiscal year. And once the new company owners saw how much their tradeshow budget would be increasing for the fiscal year, they got to looking closer at all the marketing. We’ve decided to pull back and re-examine our entire marketing strategy.” This company did return to the show a couple of years later.
“We kept getting lousy locations which we couldn’t overcome. We put our marketing dollars elsewhere.” In this case, we wondered if they couldn’t have done better to market their appearance in spite of the bad location. It’s been done.”
“Our company has matured to the point that this particular show no longer works for us.”
And so on. There are a thousand reasons to continue
exhibiting at a show. And as many to decide not to exhibit again, or at least
for a couple of years.
Tradeshow marketing is expensive. For companies that are
investing in this marketing channel, it behooves them to make sure the dollars
are well-spent. And one of the questions that should be asked is: should we
really be at that show this year?
I first crossed paths with David Meerman Scott over a dozen years ago. Since then he’s written several books and been a keynote speaker at countless conferences, discussing the changing world of marketing and public relations. On this week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, David joins me to talk about his just-released book, Fanocracy, co-written with his daughter Reiko Scott.
This week’s ONE GOOD THING. Actually, four of them!
These days, business owners spend a lot of their time on the internet. Many do not have actual space for office and spend their time looking for digital marketing strategies and making digital products. You might feel like you are working in a void when you run an online store, even if the work is very rewarding. You may not ever talk to colleagues or even your consumers besides over the phone and through email. Does this imply that face to face marketing has no place in e-commerce marketing?
answer is: no, it is not so. In fact, digital business owners can profit from face to face marketing as much as a
business owner with a physical store can.
What is Face-to-Face Marketing and Why Does It
marketing applies to any situation where you sell your business to a group or
an individual. You get to look at your customers in the eye as you offer your
angle or connect with them on an individual level. For example, you may meet
someone at a grocery store. They may ask what you do and you say that you
create online photography classes for enthusiastic.
conversation might change at this point. However, if the other person is into
photography, they may ask questions about your online class. You can offer your
website address or business card where that individual could discover more
about your class. This is an instance of spontaneous face to face marketing. You get benefits of this opportunity to let
them know about your store and the products you sell online.
how does face to face marketing matter?
Think back to the time you last went to a retail store. You were unsure what
you were looking for but you had a basic idea. You may experience more frequently
when you buy electronics. They may know they have come here to buy a tablet,
for example, but they don’t know what features will be most beneficial to them.
In a brick-and-mortar store, you are checking the collection out, perusing the
details of every product, and the price tag also. Eventually, a store
representative shows up, asking if you need help.
accept their offer gratefully and they explain what the tablet is all about and
if it meets your demands. The representative might also suggest a few other
models that could be suitable for you. You are grateful for their help and it
helps you choose, and thus, more prone to buy that tablet right away.
does this happen? It is because a personal connection was established between
you two. Maybe they shared a joke with you and answered all your questions. All
of these things are face to face
communication advantages. It just does not always have to happen in a
physical store. Therefore, face-to-face marketing matters because it’s a
totally diverse experience from digital marketing. You can meet prospects who
otherwise would not have known about your online business, and you can address
issues and pain points to boost the chances of a sale.
let us look at some of the benefits of face-to-face marketing.
Benefits of Face-to-Face Marketing
are some of the benefits of face to face
you visit a restaurant for the first time and the food and wait staff impress
you so much that when a friend later asks your recommendation for a restaurant,
this one immediately comes to your mind. You recommend this restaurant because
of the awesome experience you had. This is called word-of-mouth marketing. When
someone likes a particular product or service, they are likely to tell everyone
they know about it.
similar concept works for face-to-face marketing for your online business. When
you meet people, you can create an experience that leaves a positive impact on
them. After the person becomes a consumer, you deliver an amazing digital
product that meets their requirements. Then, awed by your service, they will
talk about your product to other people.
Causes Your Audience to Come You
probably already know that online marketing becomes more challenging over time.
It’s not a waste of time surely, but online business owners are finding it more
difficult to find audiences organically. Face-to-face marketing takes away the
scalability aspect that affects several small businesses. Events can bring you
more customers directly than just waiting for customers to find you through
customer referrals, search engines, and social media.
can take the example of our photographer again. They can attend a convention or
show for photographers. When they put themselves in those events, they expose
themselves to many potential customers.
Credibility and Relationships
are what make up a business. The best business owners know that generating
relationships with their customers and prospects can enhance customer
acquisition and retention. You can consider your own relationship with your
local business. You may have been going to the same bakery for the last ten
years and you can’t even think about going anywhere else because you’re very
satisfied with their products and service. Developing similar relationships
with customers online is possible.
Yourself More Noticeable and Available
prefer it when businesses make themselves accessible. The people you help also
demand those things. If you are incapable to convey on their expectations,
you’ll possibly lose a buyer. You can utilize face-to-face marketing to ease
your prospects’ concerns. Tell them that you are both available and reliable so
that they feel more relaxed buying your product or service. Face-to-face
marketing makes you additionally more noticeable. This is particularly valid if
you talk at an event or associate in its construction.
For many businesspeople, interacting in person
proves far more comfortable than interacting online. When we communicate in
person, we appear more sincere and more natural than when we communicate online,
especially through text. They can see your body language, facial expression,
and the way you present yourself. Moreover, listening to your voices makes them
fully appreciate what you are saying based on delivery.
You can profit from face to face marketing in various ways. You can produce more ROI, profit from an identified audience, build relationships with potential and prevailing customers, increase your reliability, and interact more efficiently.