Archive for June, 2015

Make The Most Of Your New Trade Show Booth

When you exhibit a booth at a trade show, you have an opportunity to completely control a piece of the event. Within your space you can display nearly anything you want in order to create a very specific image that you will display to the industry, as well as thousands of potential customers. That gives you a lot of power to shape the perceptions of the people who are most important to your success. That is why you have to focus your efforts in order to make the most of your new trade show booth.

Control Your Brand

One of the most powerful things that a trade show booth allows you to do is to create an image of your company, and then display it to the entire industry in exactly the way you want. This is done through the design and application of your space. You can use various marketing displays, lighting techniques, and technological features to entice people to come in and learn more about your business. At the same time the colors, style, and tone of the entire application will control how people perceive you, leading to them making specific judgements when deciding whether to employ your services.

Get Attention

A booth at a trade show is a natural beacon for people, and it will draw visitors without you having to do anything at all. However there are a number of ways to enhance this effect, and stand out from the crowd by engaging people with interesting ideas, products, and innovations. You can also have contests, or stage public events to get people interested in visiting your display. If all else fails you can give out free branded samples in order to draw more prospective customers into your space.

Build Your List

Marketing at a trade show is important, but you also want to think long term and that requires you to use this opportunity to build a targeted list. These events have thousands of people who are specifically looking for information about the products and services that you are offering. If you can get their contact details, then you can reach out to them after the show, offering them discounts, deals, specials, and information that they will be interested in. If done right that lets you continue marketing to them indefinitely.

The best way to build your list is to have several lead acquisition methods. An electronic device can be used to scan attendees badges and record their details. You can also use a business card bowl, or have an iPad or touch screen monitor setup with a form they can fill out.

Networking

A trade show is an excellent opportunity to meet a variety of important people face to face. This includes industry leaders, and the owners and managers of important related companies. Connecting with them can help to build your prestige in the field, while also leading to future business. You will also have a chance to reach out to important buyers, and the managers of wholesale purchasing firms, which can have a huge impact on sales for your company.

Keep The Conversation Goin

After the trade show is over, you should have a list of potential customers with several different ways to contact them, as well as a number of professional associates that you may be considering collaborating with. It is important to reach out to these groups with appropriate messages in the days and weeks afterwards, so that you can remind them of who you are, and reignite the flames of recognition and partnership. While you don’t want to inundate them with messages, you should continue this process steadily over time.

Promotional Products That Are a Must At Your Next Trade Show

Promotional products are a great resource for getting the word out about your company at a trade show. These can consist of simple advertisements designed to help people remember who you are. You can also get a variety of functional pieces which can be branded with your contact information and corporate logo, that will become subtle marketing pieces in your potential customer’s lives. While there is some initial investment required, these products generally have excellent long term benefits.

Business Cards

These are the most basic promotional products but they are also the most important. Able to contain all of your contact information, a business card slipped to a potential customer or associate can help to remind them about who you are, while also giving them an easy way to get in touch with you. Another trick you can use is to trade these items with people, in order to get their information to add to your marketing list.

Shirts

Branded logo shirts are great because they can be worn right at the show, in order to create a sense of excitement and buzz about your company. Afterwards they can become part of a potential customers regular rotation, helping to market your business to the world every time they wear it. The key is to find a slogan, or logo that resonates with attendees of the show, so that they will be motivated to use it.

Hats

Hats can be an even better wearable schwag than shirts because they can often be put on right there at the show without having to put much effort into the process. These are especially good when trade shows are held in particularly bright sunny areas such as Florida and Texas.

Pens

Everyone could always use another pen. While they may be small, the length of the item allows you to fit a good amount of information. The best part is that every time a potential customer writes a note using it, they will be subtly reminded of your company and what you can offer.

Fans

While somewhat specific, fans can be a great promotional device for trade shows that are held in particularly hot, humid, muggy areas, such as the southern United States. They are also great for outdoor events. While they may only get a one time use, that will generally happen at the show, which can help to increase industry recognition of your company.

Samples

In some cases you will want to give away samples of the actual products that you are trying to market to the show. This is especially useful for companies that manufacture food, as small pieces can be tasted, leading to direct and long term sales. Material businesses that deal in decorative objects such as tile may also have small pieces of the actual substance being offered.

Calendars

Calendars are great promotional products because they are generally looked at on a daily basis. While many people use digital means to track their appointments, some still have an affinity for an attractive paper piece that they can hang on their wall. If you come up with a particularly clever theme or design then you will have an even better chance of making it into the home.

Magnets

Refrigerator magnets are useful little things that can be used to affix papers to any metallic surface. Often people will pick up branded magnets from a trade show, plop them on the door, and then forget about them for months or years. That’s a form of free advertising that can bring you a lot of potential long term business.

5 Trade Show Tips For Start-Ups

If you have a start-up company then attending trade shows can be vital to your business. These events give you a chance to show off the innovations and creations that your company is working on, while making connections with people who can mentor, support, and even invest in your efforts. It’s also a chance to start building your company brand so that you can project a specific image to the most important people in your industry. However the process has to be handled carefully to ensure that you don’t end up harming your reputation through a simple mistake.

1. Dress To Impress

You are the face of your company, so you want to make sure that you look your best. Before the show you should get fully groomed, and pick out an outfit that is professional while also adhering to the personality that you want your business to exude. This is true for any partners or employees that will be joining you at the show as well. By looking good you will not only instill confidence in potential customers and investors, but you will also elevate your own personal prestige, which can be an important part of building a start-up to the next level.

2. Business Cards

Networking is one of the key activities that you will want to engage in when representing a start-up company at a trade show. That involves connecting with people on a personal level, and sharing the story of your company in a way that is inspiring and motivating. However, even the most charismatic efforts can end up drowned out in the sea of people that attend these events. That is why marketing materials, and especially business cards are vital to your success. Exchanging these allows you to collect contact information from other people, while also reinforcing the memory of who you are in their minds with a physical object they can hold in their hands.

3. Control Your Image

One of the great things about a trade show is that it brings all of the people from a specific industry into a single location at a single time. That allows you to create an image for yourself that is very specific, and project that to every important person in your field over the course of a single event. This can be done through every element at your disposal, from your attire, to your business card and marketing materials, and even including your personality.

4. Spread The Word

It’s important for start-up companies to use trade shows to build buzz around their business. This can be done in a number of ways, including hosting events, giving talks, sitting in on prestigious panels, and handing out free branded marketing materials. You should also try and meet as many people as possible, exchanging contact information, and familiarizing yourself with the important people in your industry. That will make your face familiar, which will build your credibility and personal prestige,  leading to long term benefits for your organization.

5. Exhibit a Booth

One of the best ways for a start-up to make an impact at a trade show is to exhibit a booth there. That gives you a space where you can completely control the experience, projecting whatever image that you want to the entire industry, while drawing in crowds of people who will be eager to learn more about who you are and what you do. It also gives you a great platform for showing off your products through demonstrations, giveaways, video, and graphic marketing displays. That can be especially important for start-up  businesses engaged in complex processes that require extra explanation.

How To Use Your Website To Create a Marketing Brochure For Your Next Trade Show

Marketing materials are vital to your success when you host a booth at a trade show. You need business cards, brochures, mailers, and other attractive visual items that you can hand out, which will remind people about who you are and what you do long after the event is over. However not everyone is a graphic designer, and hiring a professional artist to produce a brochure for a single event can be cost prohibitive. However, it is possible to take cues from the copy, design, and framework of your existing company website, in order to produce an advertisement that will be attractive, engaging, informative, and in line with your company brand.

Follow The Colors

Any piece of creative art work has a certain color scheme which is made up of the different colors used in varying proportions. This will be true of your website as well, and if you look at it you’ll see that some colors are used more predominantly than others. Pay attention to the background, the header, the logo, and the different links and text, those are the hues that make up your palette. By taking note of them, you can copy that pattern in the construction of your marketing brochure, making use of the various tones in the same way that it is done online.

Use The Pictures

Most websites will have at least a few pictures on them. These can consist of staff photos, products, locations, services, or images of the facility itself. Look at how these images are used on your website, and then apply them to your brochure in the same way. If something in particular is used in a more predominant manner, then that should go on the front page, large and centered. Smaller icons and logos can also be employed in cute ways to separate and style text as it is written out. That will help people make the transition from reading a paper piece about your company to looking up information online.

Choose The Best Copy

If your website has lots of copy then you won’t have to worry about doing any writing for your brochure. You can just copy the online text, and use it to populate the pages of your paper ad. However it is important to pick out only the most apt and powerful phrases. A piece of direct marketing should not be too wordy, or people will glaze over and ignore much of what is being said. Instead try to find concise lines that sum up who you are as a company, and what you do in short, meaningful blurbs. These can then be mixed with images to create a sense of identity around your organization.

Include Contact Information

Your website should include all of your contact information including your address, phone number, email, and any social network profiles that are associated with the company. These should be included on your marketing materials as well, in order to make the transition from paper to web as seamless as possible. You can also use the same font, and social icon graphics on your brochure in order to create a connection between the two elements.

Make a Mini Website

In a lot of ways a brochure is like a mini website, that leads your potential customers and clients on a journey to discover your company. You can copy the navigational structure of your online presence in paper marketing creations, and use it as a guide for telling the story you want to convey. Think of each page on the internet, and then try to correlate that to a subsequent section of the brochure that you are designing.

Tips To Stretch Your Trade Show Marketing Budget

A trade show booth can be a great way to get exposure for your business and take it to the next level. However the cost of acquiring a space, building a display, gathering marketing materials, and paying a staff to assist you can be a considerable investment, especially for a small business that is just starting that. That makes it important to stretch every penny as far as it will go, in order to have the best experience possible without breaking the companies budget.

Focus Your Goals

Before you even apply for a booth at a trade show you should consider exactly what your goals are for this event. Are you looking to make actual sales, book new clients, network with industry professionals, or increase brand awareness? By understanding what you are trying to accomplish, you’ll be able to choose the right niche event for your company. At the same time it will also help you to focus your efforts, concentrating on marketing and display initiatives that are directly designed for a specific purpose.

Attend Local Shows

The cost of exhibiting at a trade show increases exponentially the further you have to travel to get there. Personal transportation for you and any employees that will be accompanying you, as well as the cost of staying in a hotel, and meals if necessary, can be quite high. They get even more prohibitive if you have to get large display materials or booth components to a far off location. However if the event is taking place within driving distance then a bus, or truck can be rented for a fraction of the cost to get everything needed to the location.

Use Your Products

While a fancy booth with expensive display and marketing materials can be a great way to get attention, they are all also quite expensive. However you can save money on many of those elements by instead making your products the centerpiece of your booth. The use of tiered shelving, and strategic lighting can enhance the look of these items, giving them a decorative quality which can help to fill the empty space. Since these items are samples of your inventory they have a negligible comparative cost, and by placing them in prominent positions you are showcasing their features, which can help to increase interest in potential customers and clients.

Videos and Images

Printing large displays is usually relatively inexpensive, allowing you to use the beauty of pictures and images to fill the aesthetic space of your booth. Product pictures, data graphs, and other important presentations can all be set against the walls of your area, to create a showroom of visual splendor. Video can also be added to the mix, creating short movies, and how to guides that can be played on a loop through a flat monitor, answering frequently asked questions while explaining the details of what you are trying to sell.

Bring Your Best Employees

If you have staff that you are going to have to pay anyway, you can have them attend the trade show with you. Their presence will help to fill your booth with energy, and excitement, which can be contagious to crowds. They will also be able to expand your own sales efforts, talking to people you can’t get to when things get busy, and answering questions if you have to briefly leave the area.

Conclusion

Success at a trade show isn’t about spending the most money on the most glamorous displays. Rather you have to focus your efforts, concentrating on the customers, and focusing on the products and services that you offer. This can be enhanced through video and images, and then encouraged by having a friendly, engaging staff on hand.