Entering the Halls of A Tradeshow

The halls of a trade show have more to offer than expected.
Attending and exhibiting at an industry trade show is one way to get an edge.

Exhibiting at a tradeshow 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 tradeshow – 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 tradeshow 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.

3D Marketing Techniques For Trade Shows

3D trade show techniques for any brand
Appeal to customers needs and wants with one quick image.

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. Read on to see how you can incorporate 3D marketing techniques at your next trade show.

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 now to enforce a few of these marketing techniques! 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.

3 Ways to Capture More Trade Show Leads

Keep it simple with these lead gathering tips
Trade Show Lead Gathering Tips

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 trade show 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. Place an obvious container within the front of your booth with a sign. If attendees see business cards dropped in the container they will most likely drop theirs too.

–Create a trade show leads 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.

Tips to Improve Your Trade Show Image

Tips to help exhibitors improve their individual image.
Improve your image while at a trade show.

Establishing an instant bond is crucial when introducing yourself and just as important when it comes to your trade show image. 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.

The MOST Important Trade Show Investment

The Most Important Trade Show Investment
Success at a trade show depends upon this one important piece.

“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.
Be sure to choose your booth staffers wisely!

Instant Ideas on Promotional Giveaways

Promotional giveaways tips and advice.
Promotional products are great giveaways. Here is some tips & advice on what to do.

Your promotional giveaways are 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 giveaways 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 promotional giveaways don’t 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.

One Place Where Talking Too Much Is A Must

Seal the deals at a trade show with making sure your engagement is high.
Trade shows are a place where talking is not only a must but where too much of it is perfect.
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: word of mouth marketing. Here are some tips to keep the talk going.
Word of Mouth Marking:
1. 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.

Word of Mouth Marketing is the best ‘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?

It’s a Photo Opportunity In Your Booth Space

Photo ops at trade shows.
Your trade show booth is the perfect opportunity to take some in action photos to spread across social media.

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 in your booth space 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!

5 Tips To Help You Focus Better At A Trade Show

Focusing at a trade show here's 5 tips how
5 Tips To Help You Focus Better At A Trade Show

Scanning the trade show crowd sometimes can be surprising at how many people stopped their every day business to attend the show. Coming from local and from far away places but yet all are there for the same reason.

Yet, year after year attending that same trade show with so many others may seem tedious and repetitive feeling what’s the point in all this effort…

The point: if nothing else, a Trade Show is no better a place to form new relationships while maintaining and reinforcing the existing relationships.

Here are 5 strategies to keep you and your business going. Because the point is: reinforcement of strength in both presence and relationships.

Tip 1:
Focus on Features. Does every user of your product or service know it completely from the in to the out? Doubt it! Try taking your most overlooked features and push them. Get them recognized as a ‘new’ benefit.

Tip 2:
Focus on the Future. Is something new and exciting coming but not quite there? Are you starting to focus on eco-friendly processing but it’s not quite ready to unveil how. Start the buzz talk now, ahead of time, to get your new and old prospects talking and especially wanting that new service or item. Jump start it now.

Tip 3:
Use the Proctor & Gamble strategy to make something old something ‘New and Improved’. Here and there you may notice they use that on their laundry detergent, shampoo brands, etc. If you have changed your product and it is New and Improved well say it. No need to reinvent the wheel when you can just enhance what you already have.

Tip 4:
Focus on the People. Take your best faces and best workers and put them out there. The ones who make your products, the ones who make your services run smoothly. Put a face on the action behind the scene.

Tip 5:
Focus on Service. Have great customer service. Keep on proving it. Highlight your best services that make your customer’s happy to work with you.

So, the point is even if you think you don’t have something new to say, step back and really think about it. You will find something new based upon what you already have.  And don’t forget to search for new trade show events you’ve never been to before.  A new venture could be the new avenue your brand has been searching for.

Just A Little Positive Note


Trade Shows are a benefit to attend even when times are tough.
Just a little positive note from Affordable Exhibit Displays.

When the going gets tough what do Americans do?  Get tougher!  Even when all that is reported is the Dow is down, losing jobs, the housing market, the almighty dollar, etc. All negative things are being reported day in and day out. And rightly so, it affects all of us the large and the small.

BUT… this post is to say – hold on here – the doom and gloom is really bad but we’re still here aren’t we. Let’s not give up! We’re not ready to throw in the towel or cut our loses. We’re here for the long haul through the good and the bad.

This goes right down to digging in deep and still attending and exhibiting at trade shows.  Keep getting out there, keep meeting new people, keep spreading the word about you and what you do, be seen by the old and new. That’s what a trade show is all about. It’s the place to smile and be proud of the company you stand for. Trade shows are a fundamental avenue for any business to prosper.

And you know what we think is great about being in the Trade Show industry? Everything!!! It’s in these times our services and ability to serve our customers is the most important. It’s in these times that effective marketing makes the difference. It’s in these times that we become creative and are willing to try new things. It’s in these times that we work harder to win.

If nothing else, this post is to give you positive reinforcement that we all can do it and keep doing it no matter how rough it gets. Let’s all weather the storm together! Don’t stop trade showing, don’t stop presenting your business, don’t give up.Muhammad Ali says it best, “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”