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.
“A positive attitude is an individual choice that impacts the whole team.”
The people that staff your Trade Show booth are an investment in the overall success of the show just as the display and graphics are. They make up the ‘feel’ of your booth. Not only should the booth staffers be an expert with your product or service, they must be your most ‘people oriented’ individuals as they represent your image.
Your promotional giveaway is the symbolic item representing your company’s image and reputation. Don’t think so? Well, it does. Your giveaway is your company’s image carried around at the show that can catch potential clients attention and it’s part of your advertising campaign when it arrives home with your attendee. It may end up on their desk at the office or at home working for you day after day.
But, why put so much emphasis on it – it isn’t a pair of diamond earrings or anything? The point is to make your visitors stop by your booth for just long enough to learn something about your company. Having an effective ‘tool’ to grab them and keep them around will help you gather the leads you are trying to obtain.
It’s the second most important visual piece to your trade show marketing efforts – your display being the first. So, before it’s too late, get rid of the ‘Blah’ trade show giveaway. Spark the interest of others at the show with your next giveaway item.
Give yourself some guidelines when choosing your promotional item. A treasure chest full of treats awaits. Most view the giveaway item as either the most fun trade show decision or the absolute hardest. Endless choices, where to start… from memory sticks, bouncy balls, to calculators, key chains, and mouse pads, also mini radios, the always bright highlighter and the ever popular pen — all of these and more. So, what suits you all depends on what your ultimate objective is.
With so many choices available, what will fit your company best? We’re hoping this helps.
>> Sample products are great to giveaway and very effective. For example: a day spa may give away samples of the most popular lotion or facial mask.
>> Develop a theme for the show and base your promotional item on that theme.
>> Tip on saving money – stretch it if you can… Order a higher quantity for a better, lower price per piece. Try this… double your trade show giveaway by turning it into a Thank You Gift for your daily customers. This can save money and promote future uses.
>> Price no object… keep in mind the cost spent doesn’t mean a better impression. You may not have to spend as much as you think.
>> Go Green your objective… recycled promotional products are the latest rave. From tote bags, 100% organic cotton beach towels, bamboo shaft umbrella to a simple ball pen made from 100% renewable corn. Hop on the Go Green train today.
So, what other options are there.
>> Can’t decide on what ‘item’ reflects your company best… opt for the Gift Certificate or Coupon route – a valuable item to encourage future purchases.
>> Information give away… what if you’re a ‘sell your mind’ kind of company such as, motivational speakers, freelance copywriters, graphic designers? You get the idea – pay for their brain kind of a service. Well, they have no physical ‘product’ so what could they give other than the traditional pen? How about a “How To: Booklet”, DVD or CD with custom label – free information on tips and techniques is a valuable use-it-now-tool. Go ahead and try the information give away. Provide them with your knowledge for free is also another way of wowing the visitor with what you have to offer. Just make sure it is helpful and is related to the target audience.
Make your promotional item work for you after the trade show is all said and done.
Promote your company after the show… by utilizing your giveaway to promote website activity by coding each giveaway with a serial number. After the show, post the winning number on your website. They will have to visit your site to find out if they won. The potential website visit will give them yet another chance to become familiar with the products/services you offer. But be careful, make sure you tell them about the Bonus gift or they won’t go to your website.
Know how to distribute your promotional items effectively.
>> “Gift grabbers” Stop them dead in their tracks!: You’ve seen it, they probe your booth for that ‘free item’ and then they’re off to the next. So… combat this and don’t stack them on your table! Your gift is not necessarily free-for-the-taking and you certainly don’t want to diminish the value of the ‘gift’ if everyone can have it.
>> Try Personal selection: Personally hand select each ‘gift’ recipient. This opens a 1-on-1 conversation allowing you to qualify with whom you are speaking and reiterates your appreciation of their time and booth visit.
>> You give and YOU get method: This one takes a bit more effort on your part but may lead to the best pay off. Use a Lead form. Have the prospect fill out a very short form asking no more than 4 quick questions. Include a spot where they can leave their contact info too. Once completed reward them with your ‘free gift’. You give them something tangible and in return YOU get an open door for the future to contact and follow up.
Ultimately, your trade show giveaway does not make or break the overall true success of your show. But, it should be viewed as a tool – a very significant tool – a marketing tool with the magnitude to remain in the forefront of the potential client’s mind and life.
You advertise with newspapers, magazines, online, before and after the trade shows – the list goes on and on. Has that been working for you? Of course, your still in business aren’t you. But, a whole new world can open up with this marketing tactic at your next trade show. Engagement by conversation is a must at a trade show. Here are some tips to keep the talk going.
Let’s see if you can guess it:
1. It is rarely talked about and has the potential to boost you not only in general but at a Trade Show tool.
2. If done right, it costs nothing.
3. If you have a great product it should come easy to you.
4. It carries far more weight than any of the other media methods above.
Can you guess what it is? If you answered Word of Mouth Marketing, you were right. Word of Mouth Marketing is a ‘consumer-to-consumer’ based marketing technique. Sealing the deals at a trade show by making sure your engagement is high and Word Of Mouth Marketing can take you there.
Myth: Word of Mouth Marketing is about getting others to spread your ‘marketing message.’
Truth: Word of Mouth Marketing is really about building a great product and letting your customer pass on the news however they feel.
Word-of-Mouth marketing builds immediate value and worth for your company/product because it comes from a trusted source – business partners, peers, relatives, friends and so forth. How many times have you tried that new razor or brand of gum just because someone else told you how great it was? I bet you can think of at least one time and it may even be recent. That was Word-of-Mouth advertising – effortless to do and great for the product.
But how can this be encouraged and transfer over into a trade show environment? Word-of-Mouth can greatly increase the interest at your booth during a trade show.Try some of these simple techniques to help boost the word that is spread about you at a trade show.
1. Engage the attendees. Like we have said before it’s all about keeping the attendee entertained. Product demonstrations are a great way to engage the attendees giving them the ‘wow’ factor you are looking for. The ‘wow’ factor is what prompts them to turn around and whisper in the ear of others – check out xxx’s booth, their product is really cool.
2. Interact with them. Take their photo at your booth. Utilize this a couple of ways: either send a white paper after the show with their photo or let them know you will be using it in your newsletter or posted on a web page thanking all of the visitors you had. Conducting interviews or surveys gives you an opportunity to mingle and gather valuable feedback information all at the same time.
3. Ask their opinion. Asking for their honest opinion of your product or service can prompt conversation as well. This is a opportunity to get some feedback from the end users, giving you an incite into what they may be saying to others out there. Ask if they have ever recommended your product to anyone they know. This may give you a good idea on how word of mouth works for you.
4. In last months July newsletter, we talked about choosing your Promotional giveaway. Well, this little item is also intertwined with word of mouth at the trade show. If it unique enough the show-goers will be spreading the news – visit booth # to get your own. The giveaway can work for you throughout the whole show. A carrying type item will do the advertising for you.
5. Lastly, start early with your advertising efforts. Promote your strongest reason to get the attendees to start talking about visiting your booth before the show even begins. Enticing them to tell their fellow associates attending the show will draw more visitors to you. In the end more word of mouth will be spread.
Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about your product and how much they – the users – like it. The more buzz you create the greater word spread will be achieved. Isn’t that what you are aiming for?
Bring your camera or have that smartphone handy! There’s a whole list of things to remember to bring but don’t forget the opportunity you have to create buzz before, during and after the show with some great trade show booth action shots. After all the work that goes into creating an exhibit, time spent at the show and the traveling involved, a picture to post will be benefit your brand in the future.
Plus, photo taking at your next trade show is not only a great way to show off the exhibit and the atmosphere at the show to colleagues who could not be there, give yourself a reference point for next year as well. Remember to take pictures of things you want to change, so you can remember what not to do next year.
Try this… if you want to use your photos for professional print publications, or if you want to blow them up to make graphics, make sure your smartphone or digital camera takes high-resolution pictures.
Tip: Digital pictures taken in the JPG or TIFF format with at least a 300-dots-per-inch resolution are your best bets. Digital cameras with at least 3 Megapixels usually offer this option. Cameras that only take pictures in low-res JPEG formats are fine for your Web site, but are not good enough quality for print publications and are definitely not good for wide-format printing.
And what about social media, press releases, blogs, and so much more. Take those in action pictures and make sure to put them to good use before, during and after the show. Remember your next trade show event could go viral. Be sure to take plenty of photos!