Archive for January, 2015

Networking Tips for Your Next Trade Show

networkingSuccess doesn’t come easy anywhere – not even at a trade show where thousands of people are looking to buy the products they need. With so many direct and indirect competitors all around you, you have to work hard and work smart. Much of the ‘working smart’ involves networking, which is one of the most essential parts of doing any business.

Here are some networking tips for your next trade show:

1. Be proactive in approaching people:

When visitors come to your booth, don’t wait for them to speak to you. Be the first to connect. Approach them with a friendly and genuine smile and introduce yourself. Ask them what they are looking for and try to hold a conversation with them. Never give any of your visitors any reason to feel uncomfortable or awkward.

2. Be brief when introducing your product:

People do not have the patients for long descriptions; so be brief when introducing your products. In just a few sentences, tell your visitors what your company does and what products you sell. If they are interested and ask for more information, proceed to give the details. Do not take more time than necessary. If they get the feeling that you are trying a force your product on them, they may never return to your booth.

3. Exchange business cards:

Exchanging business cards is an important part of networking. But do not hand out your business card to whoever walks past your booth. Hold a conversation with your visitors first. If possible, get to know them personally and get them to know you personally. Before saying goodbye, give them your business card and ask them for their business card in return.

4. Participate in talk programs:

Every trade show has talk programs where exhibitors can talk about their products. Make it a point to participate in every talk program relevant to your line of business. When discussing your product, avoid technical jargons as much as you can since the audience can become bored easily. Make use of humor as much as you can to keep the audience interested. If you can make them laugh, they will make it a point to visit your booth before going home.

5. Use your off time to network:

All networking doesn’t have to be done at your booth; you can leave your booth and bring
people back to your booth. During your off time, go to the cafeteria or through the rows and try to draw strangers into a conversation. Do not talk about your product; instead, try to get to know them and their purpose of being there at the trade show. Once you get to know what they are looking for, ask them to come to your booth if they re a potential client.

Turn Your Booth Into a Captivating Story With These Tips

There was once a time that everyone, including businesspeople, told a story when it came to marketing and promotion. Of course, people also commonly told stories as a form of entertainment, and as a way to pass down important information about their heritage and family history. The purpose of telling stories is to inspire others and cause them to think about possibilities they hadn’t entertained before. That’s why businesses used to tell a story with their marketing, encouraging consumers to sustain a feeling of inspiration by doing business with the company. Telling a story these days has a bit of a vintage feel to it, since it’s a welcome change from a short Tweet or Facebook status.

Storytelling involves several of the senses. The person listening to the story doesn’t just want to hear the words. He/she is looking to smell, taste and feel the elements of the story. The more senses you awaken as a businessperson (and talented storyteller), the more interested consumers will be in your products and services. There are also several places where you can tell your professional story, including on television in the form of commercials, radio advertisements and booths.

Keep in mind that telling a story isn’t just about dramatizing the best parts of your company and presenting them to the public. You have to think through the methods you’re considering for marketing through storytelling. You also have to tell your story within the context of your product, in a way that is entertaining for your customers. The stories should provide a few minutes of escape for your clients, and should leave them feeling nostalgic and inspired, which can help to boost your business. When you’re creating these stories for a trade show, you need to find out what your customers want to see at your booth and deliver the elements they feel are important.

As a trade show storyteller, you need to make sure that the stories you tell are appropriate for your brand and for the event. Some of the most popular stories include the fulfillment of a romantic dream, enjoying the finer things in life, going on an adventure or being a hero. Think about some of these common themes and find innovative ways to incorporate them into the marketing mission of your company. Keep in mind your target audience as well to settle on the themes that are absolutely best for your business.

Also, make sure that you’re repetitive without being overwhelming when it comes to storytelling. During your trade show, keep pointing out the key phrases that you want clients to remember, and keep your company colors, logos and slogans in plain sight all around your booth. Parts of your story can also be included in the marketing materials that attendees leave your booth with. For instance, if you want to inspire people to be heroes on their jobs or at home, you can send the message with imaging like superhero capes in your company colors, or inspiring quotes that encourage hard work and confidence on your brochures.

Finally, remember to be animated when you’re telling your story. At the beginning of the trade show, your story will start when a team member makes eye contact with an attendee and makes the potential client feel welcomed. Your team member then has a chance to repeat the story of your company using the details and elements you deem important. Encourage your team to convey the story in their own special way, so that the message is customized and sincere. The more familiar your employees are with your company story, the more likely you are to draw customers in and keep them for years to come.

Know Which Trade Shows are Right for Your Company with These Tips

infrastructure-optionsIn cities across North America, you can find at least one trade show going on almost everyday. With so many trade shows to choose from, it is not easy to find the one that that suits your company’s interests. If you choose the wrong one, you may end up wishing that you hadn’t even heard about it in the first place.

So, here are some trade show tips to help you choose the right trade show for your company:

  1. Determine the type of the trade show:

There are two types of trade shows: consumer shows and trade only shows. The former is suitable for companies that are looking to be where the consumers are and reach out directly to them. If you want to sell your products directly, then you should be in this type of trade show. The latter is suitable for companies that are trying to reach their customers through multiple channels. If you want to meet influencers and purchasers from different companies, then you should be in this type of show.

  1. Check the history of the trade show:

In the majority of cases, past performance is a reliable indicator of future performance. So, check the history of the trade show. Find out the date of inception, the number and types of shows they have done, the places (cities, states and countries) they organized the shows, and other relevant facts. While you should not actively seek to avoid new trade shows, you would be wise to choose one with a long history of successful shows.

  1. Get in touch with people who have exhibited in the past:

All trade show brochures and exhibition registration kits look impressive because they are designed to attract exhibitors. However, people who have exhibited in the past may have different ideas and they can give you valuable advice. Find one or more past exhibitors who have targeted the same audience as yours but who are not direct competitors and ask them what they thought of the trade show.

  1. Examine the Exhibitor’s Registration Kit:

Get the exhibitor’s registration kit and go through it to see if their goals match with your goals. Find the average number of attendees in their past shows and then calculate the number of prospective customers and leads according to your assumptions. For example, the average number of people who visit a particular trade show is 20,000 and if you are able to turn 40% of them into leads (based on your experience), then the number of leads you can gather from that particular trade show is 8,000.

  1. Estimate the costs of participation and sales revenue:

Although listed last, this may be one of the most important trade show tips. It costs money to participate in a trade show, which you would naturally want to recover from the sales revenue. The costs include booth rental, transportation costs, employee wages and other costs. Find out how many units of product you need to sell to recoup the costs. If you think you can generate enough sales revenue during the show to reach at least the break even point, then you should consider participating in the trade show.

Dress the Part at Your Next Trade Show

dress-the-part-business-attire-tipsWould you buy from a salesperson who knocks on your door wearing dirty worn clothes? Unless the person is someone you know, you would probably shut the door on their face. The same goes for trade show booth team members. If you are not dressed suitably, your visitors will not take you seriously. In order to impress the visitors and make them want to do business with you, you must dress the part.

Here are some suggestions on how to dress for the part at your next trade show:

1. Avoid casual clothes:

Although most trade show venues do not require you to wear formal clothes, they do frown on exhibitors wearing casual clothes. You should avoid wearing shorts and t-shirts and since they make you look too informal. In most cases, you should wear professional attire There are, however, some exceptions, such as recreational themed shows, where casual clothes are more suitable.

2. Wear formal clothes:

Most trade show venues expect you to be formally attired, which usually means that you have to wear a suit. Many companies require their staff to wear suits. But if you don’t want to wear a suit, then make sure to wear dress pants and shirt. If you are a woman, you can wear a skirt and a dress top or a suit. If all team members had a uniform that would be even better.

3. Wear formal shoes:

Shoes are an important part of your trade show attire and they should be worn in such a way to complement your clothes. Wear only formal shoes. Avoid wearing sandals, slippers and sneakers, since they are informal. If you are a woman, heals are great for a professional look. If you are a man, black and brown shoes are among the most common for a professional look.

4. Wear jewelry in moderation:

It is usually accepted for a woman to wear jewelry, but you should wear them in moderation. Classic jewelry, such as gold and silver earrings, pendants and bracelets, are attractive and even professional while not distracting anyone. Avoid loud and intrusive jewelry, such as bright coloured earrings and jangling bangles that attract attention. Men should avoid wearing jewelry altogether if they can.

5. Pay attention to personal hygiene:

You will be interacting with hundreds of people at close quarters, talking to them face to face and shaking hands with them. Personal hygiene is extremely important to give a good impression of yourself and company. Also, too much cologne and perfume can have the same affect, especially with people with allergies or are sensitive to smells. At best, potential customers will politely walk away; at worst, they will refuse to shake hands with you or even talk to you.

Hot Technology Trends For 2016

Technology has grabbed the world by storm. Every year we can witness new trends when it comes to technology. This year will be no exception. We’ll continue to see different ways that technology will continue to evolve and help us in our daily lives. However, there are some hot new trends that are sure to take over in 2016.

Wearable Technology

Wearable technology such as the Apple watch has taken us all by storm. With over 30 million Apple watches sold worldwide we can expect apple to upgrade many of their features. This will make the Apple watch the only thing you need, to not only calculate your steps and weight goals but also answer your phone calls.

Mobile Payment

Companies such as Samsung and Apple have both launched their mobile pay. Mobile pay is when you enter your card information right on your phone so you can pay at retailers with the use of a button without having to swipe any of your cards.

This may come in handy if you are out for a grocery run and happen to forget your debit card. It will be right on your phone instead. The only inconvenience this may have is that not all stores allow you to pay with your mobile phone just yet.

Virtual Reality Headsets

Yes, you read that correctly, virtual reality headsets will no longer just be part of the home gaming system, it is now coming to mobile devices everywhere. Companies such as HTC and Microsoft are looking into being among the first companies that bring us virtual reality headsets that can be used on all mobile phones.

This will allow users to play games on their mobile devices and feel everything that is going on just as if they were playing on their home system.

Higher Network Speed

The internet and its speed has taken over everything we do. We are able to connect with each other at lightning speed. However, this year we will be able to connect even faster. We will be looking at a 100% faster increase in all network speeds.

This means we will not only be able to connect to the internet at a faster speed we will have big and better capacity on all mobile devices. This can come in handy for your next trade show exhibition as you will be able to share with people on multiple social media platforms at a more rapid speed.

The attendees will also have a better chance of finding your business hashtags as their internet speed will be at an all-time high. This also means the trade shows Wi-Fi will be at an all-time high which will allow you to moderate all your social media accounts quickly and effectively.