Archive for April, 2016

4 Hacks For Your Next Trade Show

When you’re in the process of setting up your custom exhibit booths, you’re likely thinking of a way to make sure that attendees will remember your booth and eventually turn into regular customers. While getting ready for a trade show can be hard work, there are some “hacks” that you’ll want to take advantage of that will make your prep time and attendance much more efficient.

Freebies

One of the best and most effective hacks you can incorporate into your trade show booths is to give away free swag. Everyone loves free items, no matter what type of trade show you’re attending. You can put together bags filled with small promotional items that will be practical for attendees. Or, you can hold a raffle for free items from our company. Either way, make sure you give something away free of charge to ensure that attendees will want to know more about your company. This, of course, increases the chances that the people who visit your booth will turn into long-term customers.

Social Media

Don’t forget to use social media to your advantage when it comes to your custom exhibit booths. Take pictures with attendees and post them on your social media pages. Announce the products and services that you’re offering at the trade show weeks and days before the event to build up anticipation. It’s also a great idea to interact with customers online to build up rapport and increase the chances that these customers will visit your booth.

Creativity

Be creative when it comes to marketing at your trade show booths. For instance, if your company sells baked goods, set up a contest to see which attendees can create a new and innovative recipe based on your ingredients. Reward the winner with social media exposure, discounted items, or a set of cookware from a company you’ve partnered with. You can also let attendees come up with a new slogan or logo for your company, and capture the contest online so you can post it on social media. Creative ideas like these will make your company stand out, and will make attendees look forward to attending future trade shows where you’ll be participating.

Lots of Info

Don’t be afraid to give your attendees lots of information about your company. In addition to offering pamphlets and white papers at your custom trade show exhibits, make it easy for potential customers to find you online. Include magazine articles or blogs where your company has been featured or mentioned favorably. Provide customer testimonials and direct attendees to videos that feature product demos for your company. The more information you can offer to potential consumers, the better. People need to know that you’re working hard to get the message about your company out to the general public. The more platforms you can utilize to share information about your products and services, the better your professional reputation will be. Of course, you can also encourage attendees to let others know about how great the trade show was on social media, which can increase your customer base as well.

What To Say If You Just Don’t Know The Answer

Even when you’ve got an engaging trade show backdrop and have done all your research to come up with the best trade show ideas for your field, there will still be a few times during the event when an attendee will ask a question you don’t know the answer to. This is not the time to panic; however, you do have to know how to handle the situation in order to preserve your company’s professional reputation. Here are a few tips for getting through a challenging conversation with a potential customer when you don’t have an answer to one of their questions.

Utilize Your Senior Staff

Naturally, the people who have been with your company the longest are more likely to have the answers when it comes to business-related questions. Make sure that you have a senior staff member or two on hand at the trade show booth, so they can step in when an attendee has a difficult question. However, inform your entire staff that there may be times when no one really knows the answer to a potential customer inquiry. This is when staff members should do what they can to obtain the answer. The effort it takes to find the right answer instead of making one up could go a long way with attendees, and it’s a great way to show off your company’s customer service skills.

Be Diplomatic

If you happen to be the team member at the trade show exhibit when an attendee has a question, and you hear another team member answering the question in a way you’re not sure about, practice diplomacy. Don’t just interrupt by saying “that’s not the way our company does it,” since this will make the business lose credibility, and it will probably make the attendee feel a little uncomfortable. Instead, ensure the potential customer that your team will work with senior staff or manufacturers to come up with more suitable solutions, and promise to keep the attendee informed. This way, you can be honest about finding an answer, and you’ve got the attendee’s contact information for lead purposes. If you need to correct some of the details that a fellow employee has presented to a customer, do so at a time when trade show attendees can’t hear you.

Have a Staff Meeting Before the Trade Show

If you were stumped with difficult questions at your last trade show, talk to your team about these questions, and make sure they have answers for them at the upcoming trade show. It’s also a good idea to role-play with your staff before they head to the trade show booth. This will increase the chances that team members will be calm and helpful when faced with challenging inquiries, and will handle them in a professional way.

Set Up A Question Box

Finally, set up a box at your trade show exhibit, so that attendees can place their questions inside. This shows that you are committed to customer service. It also sends the message that even if you don’t know all the answers, you’re willing to do what it takes to get them. If you’re extremely informed about your business, but have a few inquiries that are challenging, you’ll still come across as credible while showing attendees that you can relate to them.

4 Trade Show Marketing Mistakes

When you and your team are coming up with awesome trade show exhibit ideas, it’s important to make sure that you’re entertaining suggestions that will encourage effective marketing. The color scheme and design of your trade show booth is important, but you’ve also got to make sure that you can interact with customers in the best ways, and make an impression that will stay with attendees long after the trade show has ended. Here are four of the marketing mistakes that you’ll want to avoid in order to make your next trade show a success.

Using The Table As a Barrier

Even though it may seem practical to set up a table at your trade show exhibit and have your team members sit behind it, this can look like a barrier to attendees. The table puts distance between you and the customer, and doesn’t give the impression that you’re actually interested in interacting with potential clients. Try using a smaller table for your trade show booth, and place it at an angle. That way, your team members can easily come up from behind the table to shake hands and talk to customers, and you’ll mainly be using the table as a place to showcase your marketing material.

Neglecting Social Media

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is not informing people that they will be at the trade show. Use social media to your advantage; don’t simply rely on word of mouth to inform customers that you’re attending a trade show. Post the announcement on social media as soon as you have confirmed your trade show attendance, then post reminder statuses in the weeks and days leading up to the show. Be sure to interact with customers who have questions about the show, and give short previews about the products and services you’ll be offering. Don’t forget to include the date and time of the trade show as well.

Sending the Wrong Team Members

If you’re a small business owner, you may not be able to leave your company to attend the trade show. Or, you may be afraid that something will go wrong at the office while you’re at the trade show booth. Either way, it can be nerve-racking to try and come to the show yourself. However, don’t make the mistake of sending interns or low-level employees to attend the show as a form of “grunt work.” Only send the most informed and enthusiastic people from your team to man the trade show exhibit. These people will be the face of your company at the event, and you want to give the best impression possible. Of course, if an intern or entry-level employee fits this description, by all means, send them.

Not Following Up With Attendees

After you’ve taken down your trade show exhibit and gone back to work in the office, don’t forget about the people you met at the event. These individuals could turn into your new customers, but only if you continue to interact with them. There are a number of apps and programs that allow you to get an attendee’s contact information while you’re at the trade show, so use these to your advantage. After the show, send follow-up emails and texts to keep potential customers aware of sales and promotions, and to exhibit your stellar customer service skills. Here’s to your success!

Trade Show Labor And What You Should Know

If you regularly exhibit your products and services at trade shows for your industry, you know that you’ll likely be working with labor unions that are local to the part of the country where the trade show is taking place. However, if this is your first time setting up a trade show booth, you’ll probably need some assistance when it comes to trade show labor. Either way, these important points are good to keep in mind if you know you’re going to need some extra help making your trade show exhibit look its best.

Know Where You Are

Many states have a “right to work” policy, which means you can set the trade show booth up yourself if you choose. However, you may be traveling to a place that doesn’t honor this law, and that means you won’t be able to even plug in any outlets yourself. This is a safety precaution to avoid injury, and means that you’ll need to hire contracted electricians or architects to take care of your exhibit setup for you.

Portable Trade Show Exhibits

Most states technically define portable trade show booths as “not needing tools.” Which means that you can set the exhibit up yourself because it won’t require any major construction. Booths that feature tabletops or throws, as well as exhibits that have large banners, are among those that don’t need tools. However, if you have large signs, monitors that will hang above your booth, or a large cube-like display that has interactive features for customers to use, you will either have to hire your own contractors, or use the contracted workers that the trade show has designated.

Utilizing Trade Show Labor vs An Independent Contractor

If you are using the trade show labor union to help set up your booth, you’ll need to be aware of time frames. Work with the union to ensure that your exhibit is completely finished well before the trade show starts. Also, schedule the trade show exhibit work to be done during “straight” hours, so you won’t have to pay for overtime. It’s also a requirement that a supervisor is overseeing the work done on your booth. So, choose someone from the exhibiting company to make sure your booth is being correctly constructed.

If you choose an independent contractor to do the job, you may have to pay a little more. However, this could prove to be worth it if you’ve worked with the contractor before and are sure that he/she will do a great job. If you’re not sure where to find an independent contractor, talk to your exhibit managing partner. He/she may be able to provide you with a list of local contractors who do expert work and will make your trade show exhibit stand out.

These are just some of the ways that you can make sure trade show labor is handled efficiently and in time for your upcoming show. Give yourself a few weeks to compare prices and portfolios before deciding which labor force is right for you.

Stand Out With Display Standoffs

A standoff can be an attractive part of your trade show portable booth, especially if you’ve got a special display like a 2 story booth or an exhibit that has an interactive station. However, it’s best to know which type of standoff will truly make your booth complete. Here are a few features to keep in mind that will make setting up your exhibit both easy and effective.

Think In Color

Colors that immediately catch a person’s eye should definitely be included in your trade show portable booth. You should also incorporate these colors in your standoff design. You want to make sure that at an event with hundreds of trade show displays, yours is getting a significant amount of attention. After all, people won’t notice your 2 story booth as much if you don’t have eye-catching signage to let potential customers know what you have to offer. Colors like blue signify reliability and professionalism, shades of green are best if you’re promoting a product that is organic or all-natural, and red is a go-to color when you want people to be passionate about your product and inspire them to act.

Provide “Standout” Information

Make sure that the information you’re providing on your standoff will grab attendees’ attention. Even if your trade show portable booth has lots of exciting products or details about the services you offer, there’s a good chance that potential customers will be drawn to your exhibit by the messages they see on your standoff. Talk about the key benefits of your product or service, and give practical uses for what you’re offering. Attendees are much more likely to turn into customers when they know that they’ll be able to use what you’re offering every day.

Advertise a New Product or Service

Use the standoff to advertise an upcoming product of service from your company. This makes attendees feel as though they are the first to get exclusive information that is not yet available to the general public. This may also lead people to your trade show portable booth so they can sample your product before making a purchase. When you market a new service or product from your business, you’ll also boost the chances of getting contact information from attendees so you can build on your list of leads.

Encourage Customer Interaction

Yes, you want to appear as the authority in your field at the trade show, but you also want to be able to relate to your potential customers. Include language on our standoff that will encourage customers to come over to your booth, ask questions, and participate in a product demo. You can also offer incentives for attendees to take pictures at your booth and post them on their social media accounts in order to give your business more exposure. Make sure that your team members are educated about new and existing products, and select the friendliest people on your team to attend the trade show, so you can show off your expert customer service skills. Good luck!