Archive for September, 2014

Tips for Using Colors in Your Trade Show Exhibit Options

Choosing-colors-for-your-websiteTrade shows are about marketing your products and services in the best way you possibly can. This usually means making your exhibit space visually attractive while sending out the message that you have the solutions that your target customers are looking. Since people by nature respond most to visual stimuli, choosing the right colors or combination of colors is of utmost importance. Here are some tips for using the right colors in your trade show exhibit space.

Blue is cool: The color blue is considered to be cool. It’s associated with water, ice and snow. Every shade of this beautiful color can be suitable for an exhibit space. You can use it as the main background color or in combination with white and grey to give your booth an elegant and inviting appearance. When combined with fluorescent lighting, it can have a calming effect.

Green is pleasant: The color green is the color of nature and is associated with the environment, sports and youth. Every shade of green is pleasing to the eyes, depending on the look you’re going for; lighter shades may be more suitable for your exhibit because they help create a warm and friendly atmosphere. You can use light shades of green for your background or combine it with white or yellow to create a visually attractive exhibit space.

Red evokes passion: The color red evokes the strongest of emotions and is one of the most visually attractive colors. It is the color of passion, love and adventure. Whether alone or in combination with white, grey, silver, pink, purple, teal, orange, navy or lilac, red can create a visually stunning effect for your exhibit space. However, it is usually not a good idea to use it as the primary color. Instead, use it as an accent color in combination with other colors.

Orange is eye-catching: The color orange is one of the most eye-catching colors and goes well with several other colors, including white, red and black. Creative and stylish, yet friendly and welcoming, also serves as the perfect background color for an attractive booth. At the same time, you also use it as an accent color in combination with white, black and other colors.

White expands space: White is a neutral color that is pleasing to the eyes. It goes well with many different colors including blue, green, black, red and orange. Because it can give your booth a brighter and more spacious look, it is perfect as the primary color. Combine it with a dash of other colors to give your booth a cool, hot, stylish or space-age appearance.

Grey is neutral: Grey is a color that goes well with many different colors, but especially with beige and silver. When combined with beige, it can give your exhibit space a neutral and friendly look. In combination with silver, it gives a futuristic appearance. With brown, it gives a nostalgic, retro feel. Rather than as the primary color, grey should be used in combination with other colors.

Black exudes class: The color black is a controversial color, but when used in the right way, it exudes class like no other colors. You can use it as the primary color or as an accent color. It goes well with several colors, including white, red, orange and yellow. However, if you have a small space, it may not be a good idea to use black as the primary color since it contracts space.

Choosing the right collateral for your next trade show

choosing-medical-schoolFor business owners, trade shows are an opportunity to test the waters in their market segment. They offer seasoned and skilled entrepreneurs a chance to see what their competitors are doing and what the latest trends are in the industry they are operating in. Daunting for both new and experienced entrepreneurs, trade shows entail time, significant funds, and effort in order to generate interest and produce new customers. It then becomes imperative to plan ahead and allocate money for promotional material, staff, and other resources for each trade show. In addition, you need to be seen at trade shows that are related directly to your business and the products and services you are offering in order to optimize exposure.

Here are some tips to follow before participating in your next trade show, especially when it comes to collateral, which is an essential part for your success:

• Determine which collateral to bring: Having the right material at your booth is what compliments all of the hard work you put into creating your booth. Whatever product or service you are promoting is the collateral that needs to be at your booth. If you have a new product launch, you definitely want to have collateral that potential customers can take home with them. Even if your product is online, you should still have a hard copy explaining it;s features and benefits. Having a variety of collateral to promote your product or service is great. However, having too many may dilute your brand and confuse people. So only bring relevant collateral.

• Have an effective team: Having the right people at your booth that want to be there can make all the difference in the world. Knowledgeable, passionate people who are well dressed and friendly can take your business to the next level at a trade show. However, having the wrong people at your booth can have a negative effect on potential customers. The best people to represent your booth should be your staff. There is less of a learning curve and they understand your value, mission and culture.

Trade show collateral is a great way to launch a company, improve offline and online visibility, enter a new market, or launch a new product. The collateral should never be the focal point. People will come to your booth based on how it looks from a distance. Once they drive at your booth, you can wow them with what you have to offer and as a take away, your collateral is given to them so they can review your product or service on later date.

Quality trumps quantity at trade shows

qualityquantityIn trade show marketing, quality leads are more important than the quantity of leads you’ve generated. Qualified leads weigh a lot more than the busy buzz that you’ve created at your booth. There are many secrets to trade show success when it comes to quality versus quantity and here are some of the most important ones:

• Qualify the contact at your booth or you will end up qualifying them in the follow up conversation.

• A mailing list is less valuable than mere contact names that can be easily converted into leads.

• Do not spend time on unproductive conversations with visitors that are not in a position to buy.

Quality in trade show marketing can also be measured around certain categories. How many details will be needed depends on the complexity of the buying process. Here are the categories that should be looked at in qualified leads:

1. Budget: It is important that the right questions are asked to ensure the prospect can afford your product or service. Knowing the demographic of who will be attending the trade show can give you a pretty good idea if they can afford your product or not. Once they come to your booth, you can find out a little more about them to ensure they are a potential customer or not.

2. Authority: Speaking to the right people at your booth is also key. You want to always speak to the person who has the buying power, or who is influential. There is no point in wasting time sharing information on your products and services with someone who doesn’t have any interest or cannot purchase your product or service. It is crucial to spend the right amount of time with a potential customer and capture additional contact information to turn them into a customer.

3. Need: The need for your product can dictate the conditions of the sale. A customer that urgently needs the product that your company sells should be a priority. This is where having the right sales team at the booth will come in handy. A team who is very knowledgeable about your product or service and is passionate about selling it , can answer questions on the spot and possibly get a sale right there.

4. Timeframe: In order to rate leads you need to understand their readiness to buy, when their purchase is likely to be, and so on. Depending on the sales cycle length and also on the industry you are in, timeframe can mean days, years, or months. Dedicate your time to those leads that know what they want, when they want it, and understand very well what the sales process involves. Do not waste time with leads that use you as a source of information.

Depending on the results of your analysis after the trade show, you can proceed with immediate follow-up with those leads that prove to be qualified on the spot. Instead of wasting time with a thousand passersby, you should only focus on the people that are truly qualified and can be converted into customers.

Trade shows on a budget

budgetIt is proven that brands that maintain a clear identify, deliver the right message, and offer powerful experiences are the most successful brands. Strategizing and building consistency at trade shows will help more than you can imagine toward building the awareness and credibility required to grow your business. But how do you achieve that when you are on a tight budget?

Here are some flips to help you stay within budget:

• Understand and know your costs: Participating in a trade show involves a lot of costs that companies overlook or are even unaware of. Knowing all of the costs upfront takes some prep work such as a detailed list with every service, product, and person involved in the trade show and how much it’s going to cost from the construction of the booth to taking down the booth at the end of the trade show, and of course everything in between. It is vital that you know exactly how much it’s going to cost before investing time and money.

• Do not underestimate costs: It is very easy to just allocate a sum to a certain activity based on previous experience or based on a hunch. Often times with a strategy like that, companies go over budget. Be realistic and research every detail until you have evidence-based realistic costs.

• Brand is what counts: You can sacrifice almost anything at trade shows on a budget but never your brand. Do not dilute your brand for anything in the world. Remember your goals. You are participating in a trade show to get qualified leads, improve sales, and strengthen your brand. Therefore, arrange everything in such a way that your budget focuses on making your brand the central piece of your booth.

• Ask questions: It’s important to ensure that you understand every aspect involved in a trade show. Trade show vendors have qualified people that are up-to-date on the latest design trends and can easily help your company make all of the arrangements for the perfect trade show experience. However, you need to know all of the hidden costs involved in case anything happens. Do not hesitate to ask questions if you are unsure. Make a list with every possible scenario that comes to your mind and check with the vendor about the extra charges.

• Booth Space is important: The location of your booth is very important. If you are on a tight budget, you may not be able to afford the most expensive location. Look for the best location in your price range and do an exceptional job at marketing your booth prior to the event so people can easily find you.

Let your brand shine at trade shows

Let Your Brand ShineBrand identity is crucial at trade shows, since a lot of effort is often put in to determine what image a company’s brand should portray, how customers will perceive it and what the business stands for. Brand identity is therefore established, built, and nurtured with every decision that is made within the business and with every product that is launched by the business. At trade shows, brand identity is what differentiates you from a pool of other companies that have also done their best to stay at the forefront of the industry.

 

Communication involves a strategy that is designed exclusively to reinforce brand identity and participating in trade shows is a great way to communicate and connect with customers. How do you communicate with your prospective clients at trade shows? Mostly through the overall appearance of your booth as well as through brochures, logos, banners, sales team, advertising, sound, touch, packaging, and many other elements. With all of these tools, it seems easy to let your brand shine at trade shows but the fact is that too many visitors pass by a booth and wonder: “This booth looks great BUT what does this company really sell?”

 

Here are the two most effective approaches to maintain brand consistency at your next trade show:

 

1. Lead with your brand: it is crucial that you align your strategy with your core values. That essentially entails promoting the key attributes that define the brand of your company: Eco friendliness, innovation, dependability, and other values that you have. Your booth needs to reflect exactly who you are as a business and that should become the inspiration for your design. Your potential customer should be able to look at your booth and know exactly what your business is all about. You can also take a look at your competition and eliminate the elements that you don’t want your business to be defined by. Both of these aspects are crucial if you want to let your brand shine at trade shows and lead with your brand. Appearance really does matter in your trade show design, but communicating clearly with your core value through your booth is really what transforms a prospective client into a new customer. A booth is not all about you; it’s really about the audience that you’re trying to reach.

 

2. Use effective messaging: A simple task that can be so difficult to achieve. All companies should know what message they want to send out to their potential customers. However, using the most effective message for your business is not an easy task at all. A “wow” factor may attract crowds but it may not necessarily translate into sales. They may not forget the wow factor, but they also may not remember what you are selling ten minutes after they’ve left your booth. A trade show booth needs to be dynamic and visually attractive. At the same time your brand has to be the center piece and should not lose its essence among too many wow elements. Instead, concentrate on creating concise, clear messages that support your brand qualities and resonate with the target audience.