It’s something I’ve been pondering for several months: making some modest changes to the frequency of TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee. That time has finally arrived, and on this week’s episode I go into what that means.
What happens when you, as a company, take a stand on an issue important to you on the tradeshow floor?
As with pretty much everything, the answer is: it depends.
I don’t see it all the time, but there are a few examples where supporting a cause is a big part of a company’s tradeshow exhibit. A part of their public-facing stance.
The first one that came to mind was a recent update to an exhibit we did for Dave’s Killer Bread. Dave Dahl, the famous Dave of the namesake brand, had a, shall we say, interesting history. As a result, in 2019’s updating of the exhibit for Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, DKB focused a large part of their messaging on an issue important to them: making sure felons have a second chance. Their main counter and backdrop behind it were graced with statistics and images offering their take on the issue.
Another recent project seen at Expo West was Kashi’s spare booth warning of the lack of organic farmland in the U.S. There was no product to taste or see, just a simple 20×20 exhibit that displayed their concerns.
Another client, Bob’s Red Mill, made a change to their overhead banner touting that the company was an employee-owned company.
Once you start looking, it’s not hard to see the causes that companies support in their tradeshow booths. World’s largest B Corp. Zero waste to landfill. 100% organic. Save the Bees. The free-from market. And on and on.
Sure, you could say that especially in the natural products world, showing off your bona fides is just good marketing. And that’s true. But many companies go beyond that and plainly support causes as part of their tradeshow exhibit that a few years ago would be rare.
It’ll be interesting to see how this continues to unfold, and if it’s as obvious in other industries.
One of the ongoing challenges I find with exhibitors is working with show services. There seems to be some sort of mystery about what they do and don’t do, how much they charge, how to save money on it, and much more. I caught up with Jeff Quade, EVP of Exhibitions at GES to talk about all of these topics and more. We started with the news that shows are moving back into Las Vegas.
Sure it’s a gas to post lots of stuff online during a tradeshow. But are you missing some opportunities about the kinds of posts you send out? Here’s a short video showing a round ten types of posts that you might want to include at your next tradeshow:
Nothing like having everything in one spot, right? With these stands doing yeoman’s work in your booth space, you’ll find a little extra space for other things, like more visitors?
3-in-1 and 4-in-1 stands offer choices of tablet (iPad or Surface) holders, hand sanitizer, and literature holders in one compact, convenient stand. And of course, they can be fully branded, powder-coated, with anti-theft locks, and wire/cord management that gives it a clean look.
Take a gander:
Contact us for more information. Go to our full Exhibit Design Search at TradeshowBuy.com.
Over the last week I’ve been pondering the differences between having very specialized knowledge or training, such as being a commercial jet pilot or brain surgeon, versus having more generalized knowledge, such as knowing how to use MS Word, or posting things online. I got to the point where I decided that I’d ruminate on it for awhile for this week’s vlog-slash-podcast:
A couple of months ago I interviewed Michael F. Schein, founder of Microfame Media, on the TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee vlog/podcast about his new book, The Hype Handbook. He sent me a PDF copy of it and it languished on my iPad for several weeks before I finally got to it.
And I’m glad I did. It’s a fun and worthwhile read. It’s chock full of entertaining examples of how hype has been used for good and not so good ways in the world. Yes, it’s great to see how hype is used in good ways, but to Michael’s point, sharing stories of ways hype has been used to nefarious ends is really useful, once you break down what was actually done.
From Alice Cooper’s promoter trying to sell tickets in London to the founding of the Nation of Islam; from the Greek God Hermes to Andrew Loog Oldham’s brilliant positioning of the Rolling Stones and more, it’s all here: how the right hype at the right moment can create big splashes, long careers or even legends. Not only does The Hype Handbook give you a great collection of historical stories as examples, Schein breaks down the twelve hype strategies and shows you how you can use them to your own advantage.
Become a Trickster; Make Love Not War; Find a Void and Fill It; Embrace Theater and Drama are just some of the twelve indispensable success secrets you’ll find in The Hype Handbook.
As in any business or marketing book, you could find fault with a few things here and there, and if I had to point out a few shortcomings, it’s that I doubt I could use all twelve of the methods described. Most people probably couldn’t. But if you find one thing to use that shows off your product or service or company in a light that you otherwise wouldn’t have come up with, the price of admission is more than worth it. It’s a great read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Last April I had Rama Beerfas of Lev Promotions on the show to talk about how the pandemic had affected her world. Thought it was time to check in again and see what has changed in the meantime. Yes, at least some things have changed, including the challenges of promotional product vendors to bring items in from across the sea. Check it out: