Calculating your tradeshow ROI is pretty straightforward.
Know how much you spent to do the show. Know how much you made off the show. Do
There are any number of ways to increase the ROI, but it mainly
comes down to controlling the main two numbers as much as you can: how much you
spend and how much you make.
have been written about how to put on a great tradeshow exhibit, train your booth
staff, use social media to beckon attendees and more. But for the purposes of
this article let’s focus on keeping your costs down.
Let’s start with booking your space. By booking early, show organizers will give you a discount. So book
early. Book the booth space. Book the electricity, rental carpet, internet,
cleaning, whatever. Several months before the event, check the show website and
put critical dates in to your calendar. By knowing when the various services
are to be booked to get the early discount, you can save a substantial amount
Bring your own.
Exhibiting pros know that when you’re onsite, some of the most expensive things
are the cheap things that you should have in your tradeshow
survival kit. Extension cords, scissors, felt pens, business cards, phone
chargers, extra cables, and so on.
Plan to ship to the
advance warehouse. While this is generally a money-saving exercise, it’s
not always the case so you may have to do the math. But by shipping to the
advance warehouse you’ll often get discounted rates.
Ship only what you
need. Here’s where you may have to work with your exhibit house. Many
exhibits these days are designed and built to be reconfigured into more than
one size. But to make it effective, make sure you ship only what’s going to be
set up at the specific show. Your warehouse can help coordinate the proper
items. Nothing is more frustrating than setting up at a show knowing that
there’s an extra crate that got shipped and you won’t be using what’s inside.
Another note on shipping: be scrupulous about how to use the space in your
crates. Many times a client will ask us to build some extra compartments into
custom-jigged crates so they can ship extra products or samples.
Get rid of items in
storage you no longer use. Yes, it may be great to think that you’ll reuse
that exhibit from 2011 someday. But probably not. No reason to pay for storage
for something that you’ll never use again.
Print only the graphics you need. Tradeshow graphics have a short life. If they last more than one show, it’s because they’re generic or the marketing team is lazy. Or maybe there’s nothing new to promote. In any event, you can save money on graphics a number of ways. Plan on having some of your exhibit graphics designed to be reused for at least a few shows. To save more money, have banner stands or other graphics produced at the show’s city to save shipping costs.
This is a guest post by Vaibhab Kakkar of Digital Web Solutions.
Getting to rub shoulders with the leaders in digital marketing. Hearing their experiences and learning from them. Building useful contacts and partnership opportunities like never before.
Digital marketing conferences bring it
all down under one roof.
And that’s why it’s always great for
aspiring marketers to be a part of these conferences. But, can you or your
fraternity attend all the big conferences? (Like
all of them?)
Certainly not! You’ll need to make a
To help you do that, here’s a list of the
top 9 digital marketing conferences. To make sure these are worth your while
and buck, we have shortlisted these on the basis of content.
So, let’s get going!
1. Digital Summit: Austin
Key Topics: Customer’s
journey throughout the funnel, SEO, email marketing, content, UX.
Date: June 04-05, 2019
With a total of 40 digital marketing
experts assembling under one roof to make the Digital Summit: Austin happen,
the event will certainly be rich with priceless insights.
To start off, the pre-event talks on 3rd
June will include words and wisdom about influencer marketing and popular CRO
Moving beyond that, the conference will majorly
focus on every important factor affecting digital marketing strategies.
So, be it SEO. Content. Email marketing.
UX. Or growing your network along with your net worth, within the two days,
speakers will open up and elaborate about all of these.
Also, failures and success stories don’t
even need a mention.
The tickets are running out shortly and
are priced between $200 to $995. A basic $200 ticket will simply allow you
access to the masterclass, while a $995 platinum pass will include everything from
lunch to exclusive keynote meetup & platinum swag.
As the call to actions on websites and in
ad sets are crucial for converting prospects into leads, the CTA conference
will shower useful knowledge about how you can optimize your CTAs to the max.
Talking about techniques for writing
brilliant CTA copies, choosing the right CTA colors, links and much more, this
conference will guide you with everything you need for CTA optimization.
Super early bird passes are priced at CA$426.93
for existing Unbounce customers and CA$747.93 for everyone else.
Grab your passes here before the super-early bird period goes off and the prices go high.
Also, to get a rough idea of how the CTA conference events usually are and how the last one was, you can have a look at the speaker videos from last year’s event.
3. Nottingham Digital Summit
Key topics: SEO, PPC,
Location: Nottingham, UK
Date: July 03, 2019
Take your digital marketing skills to
another level with over 700 delegates and 26 expert marketing speakers and
trainers. The grand event in Nottingham is going to have some of the digital
industry’s leading thinkers, visionaries, and practitioners.
And another great thing about it?
Starting off at $50, the event is going
to be the cheapest on this list. In fact, the costliest pass itself is priced
at only a hundred dollars.
Which is why the event is supposed to be
attracting a large number of aspiring and amateur marketers looking forward to
honing their skills.
Grab your passes here, before the day is all sold.
Key topic: Digital
Location: Seattle, WA
Date: July 15-17, 2019
An electrifying and highly energized
digital marketing conference, MozCon may just be bursting many digital
marketing bubbles this year.
And with all the speakers and attendees
from all walks of the marketing business, it may just be a perfect place to
network with like-minded marketers and marketing enthusiasts.
By being a part of this event, you’ll get
to learn about SEO, mobile, growth, analytics, content and a lot more.
The exact location of the event is The
Washington State Convention Center situated on Pike Street.
To get an idea about what follows in MozCon 2019, you can have a look at the speakers who were there at the 2018 MozCon.
The price that one has to pay for
attending the event varies for members and non-members of Moz. While members of
Moz can avail a pass for $799, non-members will be required to pay $1,299 for
the same pass.
To get your tickets before the early-bird deals expire, click here.
5. eTail Eadigitalst 2019
Key topics: Retail and
Location: MA, Boston
Date: August 19-22, 2019
If you are a retailer looking forward to
expanding your brand by exploring and bagging on new digital retailing
opportunities like e-commerce, this conference can change your stars.
eTail has been inviting and gathering top
retail executives from around the globe for 20 years now. The key USP of their
conferences is that they bring their “how-to’s” from leading retailers. This
motivates newbies and other experienced-yet-aspiring retailers to scale their
businesses on their will.
The tickets for the conference are reasonably priced between $1,299 to $3,899. For further details and booking your place, you can check out their official website.
Discount coupon for eTail passes: Retailers can use MKTERMS19 to avail 20% off on current prices.
Key topic: Inbound
Location: MA, Boston
Date: September 3-6, 2019
What makes INBOUND stand out of all the
other digital marketing conferences on this list? A stand-up comedy show.
But calm down, that’s not the highlight.
Apart from lighting up the mood with a spot-on stand-up show, the event is
going to discuss in detail some of the most effective inbound marketing
strategies and techniques.
Also, the event will include innovative
discussions and presentations relating to inbound. This is to make sure that
the attendees get the most of the killer inbound growth tactics.
Speaking of the strength, INBOUND is
going to be totally houseful with over 25,000 guests arriving at the venue from
more than 100 nations. The past INBOUND events became famous for getting
influential speakers like Michelle Obama, Deepak Chopra, and Brian Halligan and
Dharmesh Shah on-board.
Apart from that, the event is charmed up with an instagrammable ambiance, the INBOUND studio, and platforms for interviews, videos, and curated content (which can also be reinvented for IGTV).
Prices range between $299 and $1,399. For booking your seats, go check out their register page.
7. Social Media Strategies Summit: NYC
Key topic: Social media
Location: New York
Date: October 15-17, 2019
With over 63% of customers expecting companies to offer services via their social media channels, the need for investing rightly in social media marketing is real.
Helping you with the same, Social Media
Strategies Summit: NYC is going to talk in details about crafting, managing,
and optimizing all your social media marketing strategies.
That’s the first aim of the conference;
instructing the attendees about the nuts and bolts of a successful social media
strategy to position their brands for success.
The tickets start at a price of $1,399 and go up to $2,289. To see various pricing features and to book yourself before the prices go up, see their pricing page.
8. Internet Summit
Key topics: Digital
marketing using Facebook, Google, Pinterest, and several other platforms
Location: Raleigh, NC
Date: November 13-14, 2019
For all the digital marketing enthusiasts
who are always hunting for new marketing tactics and using new media platforms
for expanding their reach, Internet Summit can be a boon.
Speakers include Dave Isbitski from
Amazon, Diamond Ho from Facebook, Caroline Hubbard from LinkedIn, Seth
Weisfield from Pinterest, Ben Morss from Google and many more from other
Also, the event will cover topics like
email marketing, storytelling content, mobile marketing, UX design and
optimization, analytics, etc.
And the best thing about the summit
provides is a continued learning experience with access to speaker slides and
recordings after the conference, so, you don’t have to worry about forgetting.
Standard ticket prices start at $445 and go up to $1,195. However, if you book before July 24, 2019, you can save $200 on each pass that you buy.
9. Digital Marketing Leaders Summit: Hong Kong, 2019
Key topic: Digital
Location: Hong Kong
Date: December 13-14, 2019
One of the greatest digital marketing
conferences taking place in the last month of 2019, Digital Marketing Leaders
Summit: Hong Kong will uncover the secrets of SEO, influencer, email, and
social media marketing.
The conference is going to have some of
the leading thought and internet marketing leaders from across the globe.
To get an idea about their previous events, have a look at the list of their previous speakers.
Early bird passes are priced at $799, $899, and $ 1,099. To know more about what the three passes offer and to book yourself before the early bird offers go void, visit their registration page.
For marketers and entrepreneurs trying to
step-up their marketing game, the concept of digital marketing conferences can
turn out to be a game changer.
But with hundreds of such conferences
taking place every year, choosing the best one can get you in sweat. To ease
things out for you, here we talked about 9 of the top digital marketing
conferences, hand-picked by us, so you know what you just can’t afford to miss.
Hopefully, this helped you.
Don’t forget to share this piece with your marketer friends to pick the right conference for you and to book tickets before the seats dry out.
Vaibhav Kakkar is the CEO of Digital Web Solutions, a globally trusted agency with a full suite of digital marketing & development solutions. Vaibhav believes in building system over services, and has invested in multiple tech startups including RankWatch, NotifyFox and a CRM software to help scale up client agencies from scratch to niche-leaders with million dollar turnovers.
One of the booths I visited at last month’s NAB Show in Las Vegas was Time Lapse Cameras. They had done a good job of outreach with a couple of press releases and the follow up back-and-forth emails – and the fact that this type of tech appealed to my inner geek – I looked forward to visiting them.
Which lead to an eventual chat with Josh Banks and Marie Ferguson of TimeLapseCameras.com for today’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee. Add to that the fact that they came away with one of the NAB Products of the Year, well, it made for a fun conversation to learn more about their products:
Check out more from TimeLapseCameras.com here:
And this week’s ONE GOOD THING is the trailer from the upcoming Terminator movie:
Are you faced with authors call “writer’s block” when it comes to coming up with ideas for your next tradeshow promotion? Or need to come up with a unique exhibit design or presentation that perfectly fits your company brand?
I wish I had an answer. You know, like the Staples “EASY” button. But it ain’t that easy. Not if you want an idea that can be fully executed and give you remarkable results.
So where do ideas come from? Ideas that actually work?
There are several places to look for and generate ideas, so
let’s go over a few.
What have other people done?
At your next tradeshow, whether you are an exhibitor or an
attendee, take some time to walk the floor and see what others have done. There
are going to be so many ideas that you won’t be able to capture them all. And to
take it one step further, if you see an idea you like, imagine how it would
work if you folded that presentation idea into your brand and products. And you
know that anything you see at a tradeshow had to go through a lot to make it to
the floor. It had to be created as a concept, then discussed at length to see
what would work and what wouldn’t. Then a 3D designer had to determine how to
put that concept into the real world. Then, once all parties had signed off on
the idea and concept, it had to go to fabrication, where the builders had to
figure out how to build it. Not always easy, especially if there are some unusual
or outlandish ideas that need to be brought to life.
But remember, just because it was brought to life and used
at a tradeshow doesn’t mean it actually worked, that it actually achieved what
the creators thought it would achieve. Which means it’s also worth asking “how
well did that work?” Probably the only way to find out for sure is to ask the
exhibiting company after the show how it all went for them. But by doing that
you might be tipping your hand that you’d like to use their idea for
What gets written about?
To see what is creative and actually works, pick up a copy of Exhibitor Magazine. To my way of thinking, all tradeshow marketing managers should get a subscription to this bible of the exhibit industry. Nearly every issue there is an in-depth look at tradeshow exhibits. Not only that, there is a breakdown of how the idea worked, how it fit with the company’s overall goals, what the results were, and often the cost. Even if the idea doesn’t exactly fit with your product or brand, use it to kickstart your own creative thinking.
Beyond Exhibitor Magazine, search online for creative
tradeshow exhibit ideas. There are a lot of them floating around, and any one
of them might be the inspiration you’re looking for.
Talk to others in the industry.
Networking can do a lot of things. One thing it does well is
spread good ideas. By talking to other exhibitors, designers, managers and
executives in the industry is that no doubt they’ve all seen some memorable
tradeshow exhibits along the way. Ask them what they recall, what they liked,
and how it worked. Make notes. And if you get a great idea that leads to
something, be sure to thank ‘em!
Creative thinking can often be generated in-house with a handful
of people. You may have even been in a brainstorming session or three in your
career. If done properly, they can be brief and productive.
Combining ideas from other sources.
Pick up a book on creative thinking and see where it takes
you. One of my favorites is Thinkertoys
by Michael Michalko. Worth the price no matter what you pay.
Any other books or ideas you like that help you creatively?
Make a note and share!
Tradeshow sales is a much different beast than any other
kind of sales.
Picture this: you’re standing in your tradeshow booth with dozens
of competitors lining the aisle, selling to the same market. They’re all trying
to convince visitors that they’re the best solution. The goal is to talk to as
many people as possible, because if you do that, you can gather more leads. And
the more leads, the better off your sales team is. That’s the common knowledge,
and generally it’s correct.
But step back a moment. Let’s examine that interchange a
little more closely.
“Less haste, more speed.”
Instead of doing your best to gather contact information,
such as scanning a badge, or writing down names and numbers and email
addresses, take the time to qualify. I’ve been to tradeshows recently where it
seemed like the only thing that was important to the booth staffer was to gather
as many scans as they could. Maybe it was a contest. But it was one in which
they ultimately lost, because they no doubt ended up scanning dozens or
hundreds of people that have no interest in buying, are not qualified, are not
the decision maker or don’t have the money.
Even though you’re trying to get as many leads in a limited
time, let’s remember a few things.
One, most of the people at the show are qualified to a
certain degree. They may not specifically be in the market to purchase your
product, but they are in the market, otherwise they would not be there. If they’re
not a potential buyer, there’s a good chance they know someone who is.
Two, a majority of them are decision-makers or can influence
a buying decision.
Three, given the volume of people walking from booth to
booth, you will not talk to everyone. It’s not possible.
Four, knowing that you can’t talk to everyone, take enough
time with the ones you do talk to to qualify or disqualify as soon as reasonable.
Now that you have the right perspective, understand what you
are really trying to do: qualify the leads, and gather as much information
as necessary for a productive follow-up on an agreed-upon date.
What you want to know
Here are the items you’ll want to uncover:
Are they interested in your product or service?
If so, when? If not, do they know anyone that is?
At this point, you will make an A/B decision: if they’re
interested, uncover more information. If not, and if they don’t have any one
they can refer you to, politely thank them and move on to someone else.
If they are interested, ask further questions, as if you’re
peeling back the layers of an onion:
When do you plan to make a decision? Next week, next month, next year? This tells you the urgency of the situation.
How is that decision made? Is it one person, or is it a collaborative decision?
Does the company have the funds committed to the purchase?
The follow-up questions
Once you have qualified them by getting the right answers to
these questions, quickly move on to the follow up questions:
When would you like us to follow up with you? Find a date, and if appropriate, get the time and date scheduled in both yours and their calendars.
How do you want us to follow up? Phone, email, in-person visit (if feasible), sending something in the mail?
That’s the simple, straightforward way to qualify and get
enough information for your sales team to follow up.
Yes, there is a good chance that your visitor will have a
lot of questions about your product or service, especially if it’s a complex
product, such as software or some technical hardware. In that event, answer
their questions on the show floor – take as much time as you need to determine
if they’re a real prospect or not – and then move on to the confirmation and
follow up phase.
Once you’ve confirmed the follow up, thank them and move on to the next.
In such a connected world, there is a lot of value and importance placed in disconnecting from everything for a short while. But do we really do it that much? In this week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, I disconnect from the grid for a few days.
If you do a Google search for “showing up,” you get all sorts of links and suggestions as to what it means. Showing up for a performance, showing up for important events in your life for your friends and family, showing up at work by giving it your attention and energy.
Showing up is important. As Seth Godin put it, though, we’ve moved way beyond simply showing up, sitting in your seat and taking notes. Your job is to surprise and delight and change the agenda. Escalate, reset expectations and make your teammates delighted.
Sure, showing up is important. On a personal and business level to me, showing up means controlling my behaviors and emotions. Knowing that when I set out to do a day’s work, I have a pretty good idea of what I need to do (calls, projects, communications with clients, writing, etc.), and doing my best to do it, every day. For example, I made a commitment in January of 2017 that I would show up every Monday to do a video blog/podcast for at least a year. Once the year was up, I would assess it from a number of angles. Was is working? Was it fun? Was it good? Did it get any attention? Did my guests get anything worthwhile out of it? Did the listeners give good feedback, even if there were very few? Based on my assessment of those questions (not all were completely positive, but enough were) I committed to another year. Then another.
So here we are.
Showing up at a tradeshow is more than just being there. If
you are to take Seth Godin’s perspective, you want to have more than just a
nice exhibit. You want to show up with more than just average enthusiasm and
average pitches to your visitors. You should set high expectations for your
company and your team.
How can you do that? By starting months before the show and
having ongoing conversations about how to get visitors to interact. How to get
them to respond. How to tell your company or product’s story. How to make it
exciting to just visit your booth, exciting enough so that your visitors feel
compelled to tell others to come.
There are no wrong answers, and plenty of right answers.
I’ve been attending tradeshows for nearly twenty years. In
looking back on photos from that era – the early ‘Naughts as the first ten years
of this century are sometimes referred to – things look different. It’s often
subtle, but what the photos from that era show is what’s NOT there. You have to
look closely and compare the images from around 2003 – 2005 with images from
The big changes?
Video: Depending on the show, some are stark and blatantly obvious. For example, I saw so many large video walls at this year’s National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas I lost count. Big, small, portable banner-stand-like video walls, large walls used for training (Adobe and others), most of them extremely high quality.
Some smaller shows or different types of shows may not have
the large video walls (or only a few), but my impression is that a majority of exhibits
have large video monitors. These typically range from around 40” to as much as
70” and all show sharp images. It’s much easier to attach monitors on exhibit
walls when the monitors are so slim compared to what was available a couple of
Fabric Graphics: Printing on fabric has come so far, it’s hard to imagine what it was like at the turn of the century. Printers have gotten so much better and fabrics have also improved that in many cases what you’re seeing on the exhibit walls are fabric graphics printed with such depth and clarity it compares with top of the line paper printing.
LED lighting: Hand in hand with fabric graphics, the evolution of LED lighting has meant better lights for a fraction of the cost. Combine LED lights and an aluminum frame with fabric graphics and voila you have a fantastic-looking lightbox that shines!
Augmented Reality: I’ve only seen this a few times at tradeshows, but I think it’s going to spread. It’s showing up at museums and other permanent installations. Why not tradeshows?
3D Virtual tours: Again, not used so much these days, but check out the recent interview I did with Phil Gorski from Ova-Nee Productions and see what they’re doing in the tradeshow space. I can see this happening more and more to take the physical tradeshow to a larger audience in the digital world.
Virtual Reality: Not something that is taking over the tradeshow world, but it is definitely there and a smart exhibitor that chooses to use VR will plan to do it right. Here’s an interview I did with Foundry45‘s Dave Beck.
Interactive Touch Screens: Depending on the way you want your visitors to interact this can be a big benefit to help show off your company, products and people.
Charging Stations: At the turn of the century hardly anyone thought of the need to charge a portable device. Now it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t have that need a time or two a day during a long tradeshow. Charging stations can be custom-designed and built to fit your brand and to fit seamlessly into your exhibit.
Apps: Of course, there were no apps 15 – 20 years ago. Today it is a rare tradeshow that doesn’t have its own app where you can find exhibitors, information and subscribe to updates about the show.
Social Media: This also didn’t exist back then. Today it almost seems old school to be doing regular social media posting about your tradeshow appearance. I mean, even Grandma is on Instagram, right? But social media is still a good way to post photos, respond to comments and let your followers know what’s going on while your company is exhibiting.
Here’s a novel idea: using the 3D Virtual Tour technology that is often used on real estate to allow potential buyers to virtually steer their way through the home, and use that tech to allow people to visit your tradeshow booth long after the show has ended.
That’s the topic of today’s interview on the TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee. Phil Gorski of Ova-Nee Productions spent a little time sharing how he started the company and how the technology works on a tradeshow booth.
At tradeshows, the game is all about attracting attention.
Have you considered a custom-printed floor?
Every client we’ve worked with that has chosen to use a
custom graphic on a printed floor has been happy with the result. They like it,
it looks good with the rest of the booth, and it gets positive comments from
There are a lot of different floor choices, but what I’m
talking about here is bringing the area below your feet into the overall graphic
design of the exhibit and booth area. When you incorporate a branding element
into the floor as part of the overall look, it adds POP and depth. Take a look
at these examples:
With Schmidt’s Naturals, their iconic flowery design spreads across the 10×40 space. It reinforces their overall brand. And when added to the clean and spare look of the rest of the exhibit elements, the colorful floor stands out.
Wildbrine chose a custom-printed floor that also added to the overall color scheme. The striped green and black floor added another dimension to the bright colors throughout the rest of their simple layout.
Of course, you can create a custom look without printing a graphic below your feet. Another way is to use typical flooring but present it in unusual cuts or angles:
Whatever flooring you choose, there are any number of ways to make it stand out.
Disclosure: Dave’s Killer Bread, Schmidt’s Naturals and Wildbrine are clients of TradeshowGuy Exhibits; the others shown here are not.