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How to Brand Your Business at a Trade Show

September 25th, 2018 Comments off

Branding Your Business at a Trade Show

There are many reasons to attend a trade show in your industry. Not only does it get your brand name “out there” and in front of potential clients, but you’ll also learn from the other vendors. There is a sort of camaraderie at trade shows that you won’t find elsewhere. While your competition might also have a presence, it doesn’t mean you won’t also make valuable connections and learn how to present your business even better.

If you’re just getting your trade show marketing rolling and trying to convince your boss or client of the value of trade shows, point out that while it costs only $142 for a face-to-face meeting with a prospective client, it costs $259 for a meeting in that lead’s office. Not only do you have the opportunity to meet new potential clients at trade shows, but the cost of gaining a new client is also lower.

Once you’ve decided to leap into the trade show arena, you’ll want to ensure your booth is the absolute best it can be. There are eight distinct things you can do to brand your business at a trade show and beyond.

 

1. Grab Their Attention

The number of booths at a trade show varies. Some of the largest events may have hundreds of exhibitors, but some of the smaller ones may have under 50. No matter how many other booths there are, you have to grab attendees’ attention if you want them to stop by your booth. Bright colors, an excellent location and beautiful signage are all keys to success.

What can you do? Start by thinking about how your signs look from a distance as well as up close. You should reach people from a variety of positions.

 

2. Train Your Staff

Studies show that about 85 percent of the success of an exhibitor directly ties back to the way the staff performs. Take the time to train anyone staffing your booth thoroughly. They should be as passionate about your business as you are and able to answer any questions prospective clients have. The way you approach attendees may vary depending on the personality of your brand, but everyone on the staff should have a similar approach to customers stopping by the booth.

Conduct many training sessions before the event arrives. While it isn’t good just to have a memorized spiel — it’s potentially off-putting to people if it sounds rehearsed — it is good to have staff learn the full facts about your products, your services and your company. Ideally, booth staff should also wear the same uniforms so they are easy to identify. A uniform might be as simple as a company shirt and black slacks.

 

3. Stay in the Consumer’s Mind

One key to gaining traction from a trade show is finding ways to make your brand memorable. It’s good to stay in the consumer’s mind, but you don’t want it to be because you’re overly pushy. Hand out promotional items. About 85 percent of those who receive a free promotional item view the brand in a positive light. If you give them a product they’ll use frequently, they’re likely to think of your brand each time they use the product.

 

4. Make Your Booth Interactive

If you want to pull attendees into your booth, find a way to make it fun and interactive. They are also more likely to remember your brand if they had a great time visiting your booth. Make sure what you put in place matches your brand. For example, if you sell golf clubs, setting up a putting green and letting people try out your putters is an excellent idea. If you sell website services to businesses, the putting green doesn’t make sense for your booth.

Find something that puts your product or service in the hands of event attendees and shows them why you’re the best in your industry.

 

5. Integrate With Technology

We live in a mobile technology world. About 95 percent of Americans own a cell phone and 77 percent own smartphones. As people pass by your booth, they are likely to have a mobile device in their hands or pockets. You can use this to your advantage and reach them on a technological level.

Use signage to tell them about an app they can download. Create a hashtag for your event and encourage photo ops in your booth. When you think of unique ways to integrate with their smartphones, you’ll reach them “in person” now, reach their online social media followers and feeds later, and generally remind them who you are and what you do.

 

6. Run a Contest

A contest allows you to give one of your cool products away to a potential customer. It also gives you an opportunity to collect contact information from people who are interested in what you have to offer.

The smartest tactic is to offer one of your products or a service package as the contest prize. If you just offer something generic like a vacation, and you aren’t a vacation planner, then you’ll get entries from everyone. Instead, you want entries from your target demographic. Make sure the prize is something people in your chosen audience would want.

 

7. Don’t Be Afraid of the Competition

Don’t be afraid of the competition at a trade show. See the event as an opportunity to scope out what your competition is doing well and what they might be missing. There may be gaps you can fill that your competition hasn’t thought of. You also have an opportunity to set yourself apart with anyone who stops by your booth.

Around 91 percent of event attendees state that trade shows influence their buying decisions by letting them comparison shop between similar companies.

 

8. Follow Up Right Away

Once the event is over, demonstrate your excellent customer outreach skills by contacting the leads you’ve connected with. A simple email, a postcard or even a phone call goes a long way toward securing your brand in the mind of the consumer and showing that you care about gaining their business. A little extra effort here results in additional customers you otherwise might not reach.

 

Trade Shows Are Worth Your Time

Trade shows are worth the time and cost if you approach them strategically. Train your staff, create an eye-catching booth and understand that the goal isn’t always to land a customer at that moment. Instead, the result you’re aiming for is to make connections that lead to lifelong customers down the line.

 

About the Author:

Lexie Lu - Author

Lexie Lu is a web designer and UX strategist. Her work is featured on Marketo, Manta, Creative Bloq and Design Roast. Follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.  

 

 

 

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Drone Technology for Trade Show Marketing

March 18th, 2018 Comments off

trade show drones

When you have a trade show display, you need to make every square inch count, because you don’t get that many of them. Ten feet by ten feet, that’s all you get. Possibly twenty by twenty feet, if your company is willing to shell out the big booth space rental bucks. In a sea of trade show displays, it can be a struggle to stand out and get noticed by prospects, especially when your brand is only visible inside a limited floor space.


If business professionals want to really stand out, they can’t simply adjust one or two things here and there, they need to reframe how they approach common problems. So, what if, instead of a mere hundred square feet, you had access to the whole showroom? That is exactly the kind of capability drones provide you at a trade show. When the ground is full, look to the air. Trade Show Drones provide a unique way of overcoming space limitations, as well as shattering the old way of doing things. Drones are unmanned arial gadgets that capture real-time views of conference meeting and convention hall space. 


Drone technology provide professionals with a new dynamic in treading the trade show waves. Drones provide unparalleled digital advertising opportunities, innovative access to customer data, and that special “wow” factor tech marketers are always chasing. Event drones can also help with exhibition hall logistical issues. How many times have you dealt with show services (union labor or show decorator) misplacing, losing or delaying your display booth delivery? Convention halls get extremely messy during show move-in dates. Aerial drones can be used to locate packages and trade show crates by searching aisles and storage areas. 

 

billboard drone display

Image sourced from TheDrive.Com

 

The uses for trade show drones at exhibitions, conferences and outdoor events are limited only by the the pilot’s imagination. The most straightforward use is creating a moving billboard advertisement. Instead of stationary free-standing signage at the booth, exhibitors are using pairs of drones to fly billboards through the convention hall, taking the advertising to their customers. Since humans are normally drawn to movement, and drones are new enough to still be a novelty, this is a great way to grab eyes. While there are prototypes for digital billboards retailing for upwards of $20,000, drones can modernize traditional printed banners for a much more reasonable cost.


Exhibition drones also provide marketers an exciting new way of garnering consumer and prospect data. Drones are already being put to use by municipal authorities for crowd monitoring and control, and marketers should take notice. Gone are the days of roaming the convention hall floor guesstimating the size of competitor crowds and intuiting what is working and what isn’t. In mere seconds, a drone can provide a real time, bird’s-eye view of a trade show audience. This innovative technology enables marketer to see exactly where the crowd is drawn and how long they linger within a particular location. Drone software provides an exceptional way to capture and analyze data about the quality of specific exhibiting campaign tactics. Using data analysis software tools, companies can turn previously qualitative, intuitive insights gleaned at trade shows into quantitative data and integrate it into their overall marketing strategy.

Trade Show Drones

Indoor Flying Trade Show Drone


Perhaps the most humanistic benefit to using drones as advertising tools is the fun factor they provide. Trade show drones are a unique novelty and really quite amusing. Marketers that invest in this technology now will get the infamous “early-mover” bonus. One does not have to be a marketing guru or “growth hacker” to imagine show displays making use of the interactive nature of drones.


Whether it is as simple as hovering it a few inches off the ground, or as monumental as virtually allowing participants to soar through the host city while standing within a
ten by ten foot booth space, drones foster attendee engagement. All of this interaction and attention, influences more visitors to engage with sales representatives.


There has never been a better time to bring trade show drones and other exhibition booth technology into your overall marketing plan. If properly integrated, trade shows are a great way to show customers, employees, and stakeholders how much energy and goodwill your company offers. When an innovative company makes strides to rise above the competition, it can create a valuable positive impression. Drone technology isn’t the end-all-be-all but with the right people and strategy in place, drones can take advertising campaigns to the next level. 

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10 Reasons to Serve Specialty Coffee At Your Next Event

March 4th, 2018 Comments off

Specialty Coffee for Corporate Events

 

One of the best ways to create a positive and memorable experience for attendees at your corporate events is to serve free freshly brewed quality coffee. In addition to giving attendees a welcome boost of energy in a mug, by properly brewing and serving the highest quality coffee, your guests feel value that creates a positive association with your event. Below are 10 reasons why you should forego the standard convention center snack fare and make free, Starbucks level premium coffee options part of your corporate catering plan.

 

#1 – Coffee Wakes Everyone Up

What better way to ensure an alert audience than a dose of morning caffeine? A five-star cup of coffee is something participants can enjoy, that will also help event attendees stay alert and energized on your agenda. 

 

#2 – Participants Don’t Need to Search for Coffee 

Tracking down refreshments in a massive exhibit hall can be a daunting task for weary conference attendees that have been on their feet for hours. Save event participants time and energy by hiring an external local vendor who uses a mobile cart to serve coffee to guests. Promote your vendor’s location with floor stand signs and announcements to make everyone aware of the free barista location!

 

#3 – Customized Service from a Barista 

There is a big difference between basic convention hall self-serve stations and a made-to-order cup of tasty transcendent coffee from a locally brewed supplier. Make your guests feel valued by hiring an experienced barista to serve your guests as if they were at your city’s top local coffeehouse. Creating ways to enhance your guest experience will help solidify a positive vibe association with your event, conference or trade show. 

 

#4 – Control Service Schedule 

When serving the standard “prison coffee” commonly provided for free by convention halls and most conference centers, you are often at the mercy of their staff’s service schedule, and may not be able to provide coffee at all times. By hiring an external coffee vendor, you can dictate when and where all coffee is served.

 

#5 – Attendees Can Tell the Difference 

Seasoned coffee drinkers are familiar with enduring the low-grade coffee typically stocked by exhibit halls and convention centers. Not only will they be pleasantly surprised, but they will appreciate your efforts to accommodate their preferences.

 

#6 – Promote Your Brand 

A key benefit of enlisting the service of an external premium quality coffee vendor is the ability to use customized cups and promotional mugs to advertise your brand. In most cases, you can simply send a high-resolution copy of your logo to your preferred catering vendor, and they’ll manage the digital screen printing process. 

 

#7 – Create a Positive Impression of Your Events 

When you serve premium select coffee, your event will be remembered and reflected on by your guests, unlike typical corporate events that provide nothing of value to their guests year after year. Simple event planning innovations like professional top-shelf quality coffee services and other hospitality improvements, will create more positive experience’s for your guests and higher guest retention rates. Showing guests that your event hospitality team goes the extra mile, means attendees are likely to leave with a favorable opinion of your event.

 

#8 – Options for Non-Coffee Drinkers 

In contrast to standard options provided by exhibit halls and other corporate venues, mobile coffee baristas often also include hot chocolate and a handful of healthy tea options, in addition to their five star coffee selection. This is a welcome change for non-coffee drinking attendees who long for a fresh, hot beverage.

 

#9 – Better Dairy Selection 

The dairy (or non-dairy) selection that is served to accompany coffee is a critical part of the refreshment experience. By seeking the services of a professional local coffee vendor, you can typically choose from a wide variety of coffee additions, such as skim milk, half-and-half or soy milk.

 

#10 – Eliminate Hidden Costs 

The absence of any hidden costs is a key advantage of enlisting the services of an external coffee vendor. Top-notch external coffee vendors do not charge additional fees for extras, like flavored syrups or double shots, and offer an all-inclusive type of service.

 

Clearly, there are many reasons to bypass the low-quality exhibit hall fare in favor of premium coffee options. If you are an individual exhibitor and show coordinators are not offering better coffee, the above benefits still apply to show-site trade show marketing. Serving quality coffee will boost traffic to your own 10×10 trade show booth! Whether you are searching for a way to keep attendees focused on your presentation or simply want to create a positive experience for your guests to remember, utilizing great coffee is a superb solution. 

 

 

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How to Increase Your Exhibit Booth Attendance

January 14th, 2018 Comments off

Increase Exhibit Booth Attendance

The marketing value of exhibiting at trade shows relies heavily exhibit booth attendance. Event marketing teams can still rely on design trends like brand illumination using backlit displays, effective promotional items, and proper pre-show email marketing campaigns to increase exhibition hall traffic. However, implementing these 4 new strategies before your next show could pay off by dramatically increasing foot traffic to your company’s exhibitor booth!

Provide Free Transportation With UberEvents

 

UberEvents for Trade Shows

UberEvents allows event organizers and exhibitors to purchase prepaid rides for show attendees. Incentivize your clients and interested prospects that are making an effort to visit your trade show booth space by helping them save on transportation. UberEvents makes it easy to create reserved rides for event guests by generating a free ride code. Exhibitors can set-up one code for all selected guests, or individual ride codes that are specific to individual exhibition attendees. The codes can be programmed to only allow free transportation to and from the event or trade show. Providing your visiting clients and attendee prospects with free scheduled transportation, is a unique and modern event marketing strategy available to exhibiting companies. Prepaid scheduled transportation will help increase exhibit booth attendance, as well as improve your client’s overall show experience and brand loyalty.

Utilize Virtual Reality Technology

 

Virtual Reality for Trade Shows

Virtual reality is constantly improving, and the technology is new enough to draw a crowd of curious trade show guests. However, it offers more than just entertainment value. VR can save a company thousands of dollars on prototype production, instead programming their VR headsets to allow consumers to experience new products virtually. Virtual reality gives event marketers an opportunity never before available; the ability to take booth attendees out of the convention hall and transport them into another location. The possibilities are, quite literally, endless. Trade show guests can examine the handiwork of homebuilders, see a medical device at work inside a human body, or travel to exotic vacation destinations, all within a company’s trade show space.

Create a Unique Experience

 

Unique Experiences at Trade Shows

With so many innovative trade show products on the market, 2018 is the year to think outside the box for exhibit booth design. Trade show furniture of the past was either heavy and expensive, or cheaply built and uncomfortable. But now, exhibitors have the option of foam furniture with printable zip covers that are easy to transport and set-up! Design a comfortable lounge area that show visitors will want to hang out in, with couches and phone-charging coffee tables. A set-up like that is more inviting than the standard display backdrop and counter combo. Add unexpected small details, like plants or table lamps, to make your trade show booth memorable. Give your show guests a good reason to stay, and your exhibit booth attendance will naturally increase. In addition, exhibitors that take the time to create an inviting trade show display that features and “escape” layout, will motivate their guests to learn and retain more information about that exhibitor’s products and services.

Social Media Engagement Campaigns

 

Social Media for Trade Shows

Leading up to your trade show, begin interacting with your company’s social media followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Many marketing teams make the mistake of only posting self-serving content. They should also be responding to and communicating with real consumers. Introduce a unique hashtag specific to your event for attendees. They can easily follow updates and conversations about what to expect from your exhibition booth from the hashtag. If used the right way, social media can be an inexpensive way to stir up interest for your next event. The more approachable a company’s brand online, the more approachable their booth staff! You can also encourage attendees to post about the event before, during, and after the trade show by introducing a social media contest or giveaway.

It’s important for trade show marketing teams to continually revamp their tactics, keeping existing and potential clients both interested, and invested, in their brand. What new concepts will you be integrating into your exhibit booth layout plans this year?

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5 Digital Trends for Trade Shows

August 18th, 2015 Comments off

Digital Trends for Trade Show Displays

The digital movement continues to have an enormous impact on outbound marketing strategies, including trade shows, events and conventions. Previously, exhibitors used to only concern themselves with strategies for face-to-face interaction. Technology has now given marketing professionals the ability to reach their target audience simultaneously, manage their exhibit display booth effectively, and measure the success of their expo marketing more accurately. Get in sync and modernize your trade show displays with these 5 digital trends for trade shows:

modernized trade show displays

Build Hype Online

Yes, the actual trade show booth design is the main draw, and there is no denying that building strong hype leading up to the event will create awareness and elevate the experience for attendees. Exhibitors now never fail to inform their target audience of their own participation through personalized email marketing, appropriate website banner advertising, traditional press releases and definitely through social media outlets. For B2B social media marketing, your top performing channels will usually be Linkedin and Twitter. However, Facebook and Instagram are now trending upwards as effective B2B marketing outlets with image and video marketing quickly becoming as equally important as blogging and other forms of traditional digital marketing. B2B promotional video marketing (as long as the content makes sense for your audience) has become very popular in the past 2 years. For a more extensive approach, exhibitors can tap into the resources of vendors who specialise in face-to-face marketing or undertake online marketing themselves through the convenient use of social media management suites.

Tech Accessories as Promotional Products

Door gifts for attendees are a staple in trade show marketing trends. The power of leaving attendees with functional mementos is widely recognised and utilised, and tech accessories seem like the perfect choice. It could be something as simple as a plastic cable winder or a power bank. The trick lies in finding the right product that fits the brand and message you want to bring across to the recipient. On the whole though, well-made modern tech products are seen as inherently valuable and useful by most, thus making them a viable choice.

Cell Phone Charging Stations/Kiosks

With cell phones come the constant need to keep them full of power at all times. Portable cell phone charging trade show kiosks have thus made a much needed emergence in the trade show repertoire. Attendees will heave a sigh of relief when a charging kiosk comes to the rescue just as their phone’s or tablet’s battery is running out. If your branding is all over the display booth kiosk, the attendee could positively associate your brand as a helpful and ever-ready one. They might even refer their friends or colleagues to your life-saving charging station, which in turn means more visitors to your exhibit. Cell phone charging stations are now available as portable kiosks, meeting tables and branded coffee tables.

Some aluminum and laminate modular kiosks can be utilized even in small booth spaces as an accessory combination to 10′ x 10′ Displays. Smart exhibitors understand the value of purchasing a portable display system that’s versatile and can seamlessly integrate into a standard display booth layout or can reconfigure or resize to create a fresh look for each exhibition. Modern versatility that modular expo hardware features, allows the exhibitor to easily setup a unique and engaging exhibit layout no matter the floor space size given to them.

Trade Show Cell Phone Charging Kiosk Table

Portable Cell Phone Charging Event Table

Custom Mobile Apps for Attendees

Another burgeoning trend brought about by cell phones are mobile apps built specifically for trade shows, expos and conventions, such as this customizable mobile event app from GuideBook. Exhibitors can provide event agendas, send push messages to and even gather live feedback from attendees on the trade show event. The versatility of mobile application programming means that the app can help you achieve specific targets and obtain the right information about your exhibit attendees. Apps are still considered a novelty, but can be an excellent way to engage and entertain your convention attendees.

Trade Show & Exhibitor Management Systems

Increasingly, trade show exhibit marketing managers have been searching for suitable I.T. systems that provide seamless exhibition management experiences. Currently, a host of event marketing, event management and lead retrieval solutions have emerged. Some notable providers of these Systems include CompuSystems, iLead and Pathable. These range from specialized one-function apps to multi-faceted systems that can raise efficiency and give helicopter views and information about the event, often in real-time.

Used the right way, these 5 tech trends can be powerful tools to interact and engage with attendees, sponsors and other stakeholders on a much deeper level. Give any one of these options a try for your next event or trade show and be prepared to see positive results!

trade show cell charging portable coffee table

Branded Trade Show Charging Coffee Table

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Trade Show Marketing Tips Made Simple

May 6th, 2014 Comments off

It can take hours searching the internet locating valuable information on trade show marketing tips and what type of trade show display to invest in.  Most of the time you will find the same information just disbursed on hundreds of marketing websites and blogs.  This creative info graphic below gives you a lot of great information all on in one!  For display purposes, you can quickly learn about the different sizes and layouts of trade show booth spaces along with what type of display will work in that booth space.  Maybe you simply need a set of retractable banners stands, or possibly a fully custom modular display system.  Take a moment to run through this quick read to help you save time and prepare you for your upcoming trade show.

 

trade show marketing infographic