Ever think how many ways you could use your trade show display? They are not just for exhibiting only. Spread your dollars wider, the opportunities for uses are endless. There are many ways to use a trade show display, tabletop display, or banner stand. Find out where else these marketing materials can be used.
Many times you have looked at your own exhibit so many times that it’s at a point where you don’t ‘see’ it anymore. Accepting constructive criticism is best to listen to when you can’t see your brands clear message anymore. The solution is a fresh set of eyes. A fresh set of eyes may make all the difference in the world.
To know where to begin on evaluating how your current booth is working you’ll need to ask and outer source – someone who is not related to your business or industry is best. Have someone who is in no way related to the trade show industry or your company look at your exhibit and/or current marketing materials.
Give your ‘fresh set of eyes’ a good look at your exhibit booth and materials. Ask yourself these questions:
What do they notice first?
What impression do they get of your company?
What emotions do your graphics evoke?
Record their impressions and compare how they measure up to your marketing objectives. This fresh set of eyes will be viewing your booth the same way the attendees do – with no prior knowledge or preconceived notions of how the exhibit is ‘supposed’ to look.
A prime example is one of our returning customers, Custom Service Solutions. They came to our graphic design team and wanted a small self-standing sign to distribute to the machine vendors that would be attending the same trade show as them.
They submitted their own artwork and asked our opinion about the layout. We asked, “What’s the main goal?”: to inform customers about a drawing for a free Firetrace System. Our comment back: there is no clear, single message, there is just too much going on. So, with a bit of discussion Custom Service Solutions decided to allow us to come up with a single targeted message.
Here’s our point: by opening up the door for constructive criticism Custom Service Solutions ended up with a clear, concise design that will draw customers in to ask “How can I qualify?” Thus, in turn opening the door to obtain a lead, close a sale, or boost their ROI for the show.
Remember as a kid how it was frustrating to get started on that report for school. At a young age having to research and complete a report plus draw a poster can be a daunting task. The hardest part is just not knowing where to start or even when to stop researching and start actually writing and drawing. The same even happens with adults and choosing a trade show display.
The same even happens with adults and choosing a trade show display and the first step in research is knowing the questions to ask in narrowing down what style suits your brand best. Here are 8 – that’s right – 8 questions to ask yourself.
What are the long-term goals? Do you have multiple shows lined up or none at all? Here’s an online trade show calendar that’s totally free to browse, research and use.
How many booth staff will need to attend each show? One, two, three, etc. people to set up? This will help on what type of booth you choose. Simple 1 person set up look at banner stands or 3 or more with custom interactive features look at a custom built display suited to your needs.
How many shows are out of your state – as in travel plans? Will the booth need shipping cases? If so, how many and will they be shipped ahead of time or need to be taken on a plane or in a car.
Do you have a budget? If so, what’s the magic number. If you’ve deligated the research part, make sure you inform that person of the budget they’ll need to work within. Don’t save it for last.
What type of product or services are your promoting? This is very important in choosing the right display.
If you have a product to display, how will you display it? Will you need to display product on shelving or off of a grid system?
When the display is not being used can it instead be used at other events? Maybe have it set up in your entryway or meeting room. You don’t just have to pack it away.
Lastly, will the booth you’re eyeing fit in the space you are renting? 6′, 8′, 10′, 20′ or more…
You’re now 8 steps closer to narrowing down the right display for your specific needs. Now you should be right on top of the display that’s right for you – it’s time to stop researching and purchase the booth and it’s accessories.
Remember, time might be running out as the show date rapidly approaches on your calendar. It’s time to purchase, it’s now or never, it’s go time, it’s on, ready-set-go. You’re nervous and you have every right to be – especially if it’s your first time. But, if you use the 8 points we’ve outlined above the best display will be easy to decide to buy.
Let’s clear this up right away. The repetition of doing the same thing every trade show event, every year is NOT branding. It’s simply boredom.
Routine is comfortable, it’s safe and it’s a rut you don’t want to be in especially at a Trade Show. Trade shows should be everything else but routine.
Say you go to X show each year, you bring the same display using the same graphics, you hand out the same literature even use the same giveaways, you may even wear the same clothes. By now I’m sure you’re pretty bored. And so are your customers.
Effective branding is not just a logo or certain color scheme; it’s not a product either. A brand is a promise of a clear-cut benefit and value that is fitting to your users.
It’s tough to decide whether you should step out of the branding box at a trade show. Here are some arguments as to which side you are on.
To effectively promote your brand does not mean you need to keep with the same everything. It can mean change too. Take a large corporation for instance, for example, ExxonMobil. They’ve been in business for over 125 years. Check out ExxonMobil’s history here. They’ve changed their logo over the years as often as needed to keep up with the current market. And it hasn’t slowed the company’s progression.
So, really it’s okay to take your trade show routine in a different direction. In fact, you really should Break the Routine all together today. Here are two quick pointers on what you can do to increase attention to your graphics.
According to a study by the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, there are two simple elements that can enhance graphic effectiveness.
1. Adding a border to focus attention on your sign helps the viewer read it 26% faster. That’s a big advantage in a fast-paced marketplace.
2. By presenting special information in a second color, you increase the reader’s retention by 78%. So whatever is most important on your sign, whether it’s a phone number or a keyword, try using an accent color to draw a better response.
Sometimes change does not need to be a full complete logo overhaul like ExxonMobil. Maybe a small graphic update with a new focus is all you need to make the next trade show better than ever before.
This is the biggest part of attending Trade Shows and possibly the most overlooked is Planning in Advance on where you’ll be exhibiting. Who isn’t a procrastinator now and again but planning ahead for a trade show is what will make or break it.
Sounds simple but it can be if you do your homework. If you’ve never attended a show before and want to start it will make a difference if you research the shows that will be worthwhile for you to attend. With numerous trade shows every year in the United States, there should never be a loss of places to exhibit.
Researching potential shows to find out where your company or product best fits is a must-do. We’ve taken the guesswork out of searching for other potential hot trade shows to attend. With the use of our free online Trade Show Calendar, you’ll easily connect with finding other trade shows you’ve been missing out on. We’ve got a completely free, always updated way to get in touch with the latest trade shows all around the USA! It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s all FREE.
Give it a try today. Locate the show when you want and where you want. It’s all online so access our trade show finder from work or your home office. It’s that easy. Use this free online tool to find other trade shows you’ve been missing out on.
Here are a few places to start your research:
– Ask your local and area Chamber of Commerce leaders
– Contact any Associations or Organizations you belong to
– Ask friends or colleagues in the same business as you and get their advice
Good luck in your search for potential trade shows to attend! While you’re finding new venues to exhibit at don’t forget to give some attention to your trade show booth needs as well. If you are in need of a trade show display, or just need an updated look for your brand then take a look at our Trade Show products. Partner with Affordable Exhibit Displays today to perfectly present your image.
Exhibiting at a trade show can offer you another avenue to get in front of a lot of customers and prospects in a relatively short period of time. With trade shows going on in convention halls all around the world, new contacts are made every day. Knowledge sharing is happening right now!
Education is what trade shows are all about. Whether attendees are catching up on the latest trends and techniques discussed at seminars, exhibitors informing buyers about their newest products/services or show-goers walking the aisles expecting to come out with more information than with which they arrived, knowledge was the main objective – getting it, expanding it, using it. And make sure you know what the most important trade show investment is.
Attending a trade show – even during a down economy – can be the best vehicle to obtain that knowledge and receive ideas that can help you make educated decisions on how to help your company move forward. Move forward by learning something new like that special technique or process you’ve been putting off, move forward by introducing that new product you’ve worked so hard on, move forward by getting that edge you need.
Or if you feel your business is in slow mode, you may need to apply some creative thinking to your business – step out of the box and tap into your creative side. Attending a trade show can pump up your creativity locked inside and provide the momentum needed to take the action to move forward. Get that push you need from a trade show!
Here’s another reason to consider: visibility is important. If you’ve consistently attended an industry show in the past and suddenly do not, your absence may send a negative message about your business to your employees, suppliers, and worse – your competitors. Keep going even if you think the profit is not there – what you don’t know is that it is.
The TRADE SHOW is an ideal vehicle to obtain the knowledge that you need to help you strategize, improve operations and make smart decisions to help you compete and win. You and your business should be a part of the action – starting right now!
PS: How about this tip: Remember that most shows also publish daily news bulletins — both print and online — use that to your advantage for recognition before, during and after the show.
Generating leads and making sales are your priorities and your trade show booth – both the physical space and the display – can help you do this. When you are displaying in a trade show environment, you want to project just the right image for your company; one that makes potential clients want to learn more after their first glance.
So let’s walk through some of the most popular options to choose from in the wide variety of displays out there today. We are sure one of these will suit your specific show needs.
BANNER STANDS …
Tempt your potential prospects with a versatile banner stand. These are a hit in the trade show industry! These lightweight portable displays are designed with your transporting needs in mind and most come with an easy to carry bag. Add your eye-catching banner design and potential clients and competitors will notice your company.
The two main types of banner stands are: Retractable banner stands: Similar to a household window shade, pull the banner up from base and hook to top of the center pole. The banner graphic retracts down into their metal base, they generally come with a carry bag and set up time is seconds. Great for the quick, one-person shows.
Non-retractable banner stands: Simple design includes a weighted base and center pole with roll-able banner material. Roll your custom banner up manually for storage. They generally come with carry bag and set up is also within a few minutes. Typically weighing about 6-15 lbs. They also work for the one person shows. Some models even connect together with magnetic to form a large graphic wall.
Banner stands come in a wide variety of sizes. Widths and heights vary per stand model. Typically, you will see a width of 24”-36” and a height from 72”-84”. A banner stand can be used alone on the floor, set on a table or in addition to your already existing display unit. Use during the one day show, in a church setting, business lobby, career fair, or during your next big presentation to impress the higher-ups. These simple stands have the ability to impress in any setting.
TABLE TOP DISPLAYS or FULL-SIZE DISPLAYS …
Attract attention with a table top display and use it as a powerful resource to showcase what you have to offer. Table top displays are perfect when you’re limited by space or budget. And how easy they are to use by a single person — simply unpack, unfold and set on a table. Take advantage of the left over front space on the table by displaying handouts or small products, use a laptop for demonstrations or as a writing area. Being so portable and lightweight anyone can be on their way to fantastic trade showing with a table top display.
Control the flow to your presentation are with a freestanding full-size display. Utilizing the floor display is a great way grab attention. Free floor standing most are approximately 90” (7 ½’) tall and come in a wide variety of widths most commonly 6’ to 20’ wide. These booths are designed to be portable so they are easy to bring from one event to the next. Most are single person set up but some require two or more to help.
Table top and full size displays are available in these most common styles: Panel display: with permanently connected panels or individual panels that connect together- Traditional style – May have double sided or single side panels- Usually covered with a VELCRO® receptive fabric- Easy graphic changing
Pop up display: modern style with a characteristic curve – Modern style – Generally comes with everything you need to get started- Usually has VELCRO® receptive fabric panels, aluminum frame and a wheeled compact shipping/storage case- Easy graphic changing- Optional wrap around graphics available- Generally come with a manufacturer’s warranty on the frame components
Full size free standing floor displays have the ability to connect multiple units together forming larger versions for nationals shows but can be used independently for the state-wide shows.
ACCESSORIES …Accessorize and complete the function of your booth by adding these items:
– Tall folding director chair – rest your feet and sit at eye level
– Podiums or counters – interactive stations or use as a barrier
– Folding tables – travel without worry of table size
– Throw covers or Table runners – cover the table and show your image
– Literature stands – holds handouts neatly in one spot
– Projector screens – PowerPoint presentation made easy
Typical trade shows are loud, crowded and filled with colorful distractions. How do YOU stand out? Just like good advertising, effective trade show display graphics can make or break your show image and impact upon the passers by.
Trade show displays are 3-D marketing that comes to LIFE! This is an advertisers dream: interactive, touch, feel, use and see all right out there for you to use. And for a sales person, there is nothing better!
You may have tried these medias to get your name out there:
> Newspaper ads: small with little creativity allowed along with a broad audience that can flip the page in seconds
> Brochures: very specific and full of color but may get lost In the paperwork shuffle
> Billboards: large and eye catching with a broad audience traveling by in seconds
>>> A trade show display is unlike any other media allowing you to provide large images full of color and pizzazz AND all in front of your target audience with you standing right there to catch the sales. At a trade show you have 3 SECONDS… that’s it. That is all the time you have to spark the passers by and inspire them to ask questions that convert into sales.
BUT HOW? YOUR MAIN GOAL: APPEAL TO YOUR CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS AND WANTS. A message that is short and to the point is the best angle to take. Here are some tips that may ignite the creative side in you allowing your company to display its best image.
1. Photos or illustrations? Photos are always preferred over illustrations. Photos are more credible, easily understood and have a bigger impact with the consumer. Take your own photos or for more generic photos use high quality stock photography. Good websites we have found are www.bigstockphoto.com or www.istockphoto.com.
2. Colors and tones:
> Limit the main colors to less than three
> Complimentary colors = red + green, orange + blue, yellow + purple
> Monochromatic colors = several shades of the same color are harmonious and stable
> Cool colors like blue, green and white are professional yet they may not be attention grabbers
> Warm colors like yellow, orange and red attract more attention but use them wisely since overuse can cause an overload and defeat the purpose
3. Words, words, words… how many words should be used? Try and keep it under 10 words or less and no more than 5 lines. You don’t need to list all your product information on your display; that might lead to information overload – save the details for your handouts. Lead with your strongest benefit first then the next relevant benefits to follow – if you have a 30 year warranty and no one else does, then shout it out! Most importantly, keep to your branding guidelines and keep all text within the top half of the display design.
Some simple tips to follow:
> A single sentence, phrase, or word
> Use concrete facts that are a benefit – what makes you different
> Your tag line or one sentence that says it all
> Bullet lists are always a great way to show benefits
4. Utilize power words (power phrases or action verbs) – these are words used to help make a statement stronger and will effectively state your products benefits.
Use power words such as:
> Exclusive or Ranked
> New or Uncovered
> Sold or Established
> Or in a phrase such as:
> Power, Performance and Speed
> Guaranteed on time, every time
> Save time. Save Money.
5. List your Website as the contact instead of your street address, phone or fax numbers which most likely won’t be remembered. Display your website by making the name a different color than the “www” and “.com”. Or if multiple words make up your website, try displaying it like this: AffordableDisplays.com. Capitalizing the first letter of each word will make it easier to read.
6. Here are some don’ts to keep in mind:
> Don’t use highly technical vocabulary unless you are certain the reader will understand
> Don’t use font types that can not be seen from a distance
> Don’t use long paragraphs
> Don’t use low quality photos (such as from the web), they will only take away from your design
Final note: clearly communicating your company information in as few words as possible will benefit you in the end. Showing large, high quality photo(s) & colors will promote your products and make it easier for people to remember you.
Lastly, add lighting to help brighten up your booth space to draw the focus to your display design. This will create a warm inviting atmosphere that will attract your prospects to you.
Don’t get caught in the embarrassment trap at your next show, start planning ahead! Take your display out now and check to see if your display and design covers all the bases mentioned above. If it doesn’t then you’ve got some work to do. Get great graphic designing from AffordableDisplays.com for your next trade show display.
Preparing for and attending your next presentation may be a lot of work, but the real value of being at a trade show — why it’s worth your time & money — comes when you follow up on the leads and contacts you make. Here are a few simple ways to capture those leads:
–Business Card Gathering is a great way to have all of your potential prospects information in one spot.
–Create a lead gathering form to fill out and staple their business card to. It could also be a survey for your prospect to fill out with four to six simple questions and a section for them to note contact information to follow up.
–Obtain their information in a less obvious way by asking them to sign up for your Newsletter or by having them sign up for a giveaway on your service or product. A win-win situation!
All attendees want to give their information in a very short period of time, so try to keep it simple. Also, be sure to organize all forms and business cards at the end of each day of the show, while all is still fresh in your mind. Positive response is everything in the business world — not just by the first impression either, the second and third count too.
Establishing an instant bond is crucial when introducing yourself. A little thought and practicing can go a long way in achieving the best YOU that you can give.
Meeting new people is something everyone in business deals with on an ongoing basis and it all seems like common sense as to what you should do. Here is the simple stuff: smile, make eye contact, and maybe even offer a nice confident handshake.
Do you do it every time you meet someone new? Probably not. Here are the reasons why you should. Try a nice bright smile (fresh breath too) which is inviting and creates the feeling of a warm positive vibe. Eye contact shows you are focused on listening and you care. A controlled handshake demonstrates self confidence; a minimal squeeze is all that is needed.
You offered a smile, made the eye contact and shook hands. Now, what do you say?? Being a specialist in your specific field is what sets you apart from the rest. Properly conveying what you ‘specialize in’ can make or break the interest from a potential client standing in front of you asking, “What do you do?”
Your Goal: respond with a well-chosen description to engage them in conversation.
Let’s start with some examples. Take a lawyer for instance. When you hear someone say “I’m a lawyer” your automatic thought is a question. What kind of lawyer are you? Stop the questioning in advance with your well thought out response. Try this, “I practice entertainment law and I draft contacts between film and production companies and movie stars.” Now that gets your listeners attention.
Or let’s take a writer. “What do you do?” Response is “I’m a writer.” Again, well, what kind of writer is the question that will instantly pop in your listeners mind. “I work with non-profit organizations writing their monthly newsletters that are sent to their sponsors.”
Specific and to the point is what you need to aim for in your response. Work out what you do by coming up with a few responses that will pique your listeners curiosity to make them want to talk to you longer. Hook, line and sinker.
Remember… practicing does make a difference in the quality of your actions and responses so start rehearsing in the mirror or to your spouse or friend. You may even chuckle while doing it creating the warm vibe you are aiming for.