Category Archives: General Posts

10 Keys for Trade Show Success

Setting up a booth at an industry trade show can undoubtedly pay off big-time for your company. But if your business is spending its money, time, and energy to set up a trade show display, it’s important that you follow some guidelines for trade show success.10 keys for trade show success

  1. Educate Your Trade Show Staff

Taking the time to adequately train and prepare your staff for the trade show is a must. This begins with carefully choosing the right employees to represent your company at a trade show. From there, make sure they have the training and resources needed to best interact with trade show attendees and effectively spread the word about your business. As part of your training, also be sure to inform your employees as to the appropriate attire for the event; you’ll want to have them dress professionally while remaining comfortable, especially since they’ll likely be spending hours at a time on their feet.

  1. Hold Event Promos and Contests

One of the best ways to generate interest with trade show booths is to hold special promotions and contests throughout the event. This is where you really have a chance to get creative. For example, you could allow trade show attendees to enter a free drawing; the randomly drawn winner receives a free product or service from your company (or a heavily discounted one). As part of the information you collect in the drawing, you could ask for e-mail addresses or other contact information that can be used to follow-up after the event as well.

  1. Engage with Attendees on Social Media

Social media makes it possible for you to reach out not only to attendees at the trade show, but those following the events online as well. Surely, there will be dozens or even hundreds of industry professionals who weren’t able to attend the show this year, but who are following along on social media. Make sure you’re targeting this audience as well by leveraging social media! From Twitter hashtags and Facebook posts to Instagram photos and Snapchat videos, social media is an excellent outlet for further engaging your audience. Promote your presence at the event across your social media channels, have a staff member follow the social media debate and respond to tweets and likes, and don’t forget to use trade show and brand-specific hashtags for the duration of the event.

  1. Make Your Trade Show Display Memorable

More than likely, your booth will be just one of dozens or even hundreds set up at the trade show. Of course you want it to stand out. This is where working with a company that specializes in creating engaging and visually appealing trade show displays can make all the difference. Bright colors, pop up displays, trade show banner stands, and unique lighting will encourage more attendees to stop by your booth and hear more about what your employees have to say.

  1. Select the Right Booth Location

The appearance of your trade show booth isn’t the only factor that can affect the amount of foot traffic your display receives, however. It’s all about location. Take the time to study the layout of the trade show facility and do your best to determine the best placement for your booth accordingly. There are many factors to keep in mind when it comes to choosing your booth location. Some specific things to look for when deciding include:

  • Proximity to restrooms and registration booths
  • Amount of foot traffic in the area
  • Specific location within the row (corner booths are ideal)

Keep in mind that you will pay a premium for an excellent booth location, but in most cases, that extra cost is more than worth the added exposure. Just be sure to book early, as prime locations fill up quickly.

  1. Demonstrate Your Product or Services

Long gone are the days of having a “talking head” standing at your booth and lecturing attendees as they stop by. Today’s trade show attendees expect to be entertained as they’re informed. So while you should still have an employee act as a “booth host” to answer questions and greet people, a great way to gain interest is to have a live product demonstration taking place directly at your booth, if possible. This allows attendees to see first-hand what your business’s services and/or products can do for them. If a live product demonstration isn’t possible, consider creating and displaying a video that serves the same purpose.

  1. Have a System for Collecting Leads

One of the main goals of attending a trade show for your company should be collecting leads, which could very well turn into sales or even business partnerships down the road. Therefore, you’ll want to have a precise system in place for collecting leads (and make sure all of your employees in attendance are trained on collecting leads). One common way to go about this is to have attendees provide their contact information or even fill out a survey in exchange for a free promotional product (pen, flash drive, etc.).

  1. Don’t Forget to Follow Up Quickly

When exhibiting a booth at a trade show, the main goal should always be to generate qualified leads that will turn into future business for your company. Leads aren’t really worth much if you aren’t taking the time to nurture them. Ideally, you (or your employees) should be following up with leads within 24 hours of receiving them. You should never wait any longer than a few days to follow-up, whether it be by e-mail or even a friendly phone call. Be sure to factor in the time and effort required to follow-up with leads when planning your staffing needs for the trade show itself.

  1. Invest in the Right Promotional Products

Most trade show attendees will expect your booth to have some promotional products available to give away. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should order 1,000 mouse pads with your company name and logo on them. Be mindful of the promotional products you buy to ensure you get the best return on your investment; it’s helpful to think of your promotional products as a form of advertising for your company. In order for them to be effective, people need to actually use the products. This means you’ll want to carefully consider both your audience and your industry to come up with product ideas that’ll be most useful. Some popular items these days include:

 

  • USB flash drives
  • Clothing items (t-shirts, etc.)
  • Beverage containers
  1. Create a Schedule Ahead of Time

Last but not least, take the time to create a detailed schedule and share it with your employees before the event. You want to make sure that each employee gets regularly scheduled meal breaks throughout each day of the trade show; this will help to avoid burnout and ensure that your employees are energized and alert.

Planning for a Trade Show

There’s a lot to keep in mind when planning for your company’s attendance at an industry trade show. From selecting the right employees for the task to picking out an attractive banner display, all of these small tips can add up to make a big difference in the outcome of your booth. From there, your business can enjoy the greatest return on investment for each trade show you attend.

For more ideas on how to improve your trade show display and experience, visit the Northwest Creative Imaging blog!

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How to Establish Your Brand at a Trade Show

To make a lasting impression at a trade show and generate leads, you need to first have branding that integrates into all elements of your trade show displays. With proper planning, you can build up your trade show booth to stand out from the competition. Here are some of the best ways to establish your brand in the trade show environment:

establish your brand at a trade show Integrating Branding with your Trade Show Displays

Your brand is more than a logo and complimentary colors. Companies that have a strong brand infuse their vision, values, and mission into their branding and marketing materials to create a strong and lasting impression for consumers. From Coca Cola to Tom’s Shoes, strong brands rely on consumers to remember who they are and what they offer.

Trade shows allow you to create an immersive environment where attendees can talk, touch, play, learn, and engage with your products in a controlled environment. You get lots of physical real estate to brand when displaying your trade show booths. Consider using the following to create an immersive, well branded trade show display:

  • Logo tents and flag banners: Make an impact from across the exhibit hall with logo tents and feather or bow flag banners that put your business logo where it will command attention from attendees. Logo tents with four-sided branding ensure that customers approaching from any angle can spot your trade show booth, while feather flags placed in front of the tent grab the attention of busy passerby who may not yet have brand familiarity.
  • Graphics: The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” holds true at trade shows. Large scale images of your products will draw attention and resonate with attendees strolling the event floor, piquing their curiosity. Invest in quality graphics that show off your products in the best light and ensure that any graphics or visuals used are unique and compelling. Go big, don’t clutter banners with too much information, and integrate a simple message or slogan.
  • Custom pop up displays: Custom pop up displays enhance your branding so it can really be seen across the exhibit hall. Have your logo printed in large scale on the display or promote one of your most recognized products to draw consumer attention. This works well if you have a strong product but your brand name is less well-known. Manga publisher Viz Media has taken this approach at trade shows: The characters in their manga books are better well known than the Viz name, so Viz felt they were more likely to create a buzz.
  • Display lighting: Lighting can highlight certain aspects of trade show booths, yet many people overlook this important design element as a way to emphasize branding. Integrate custom lighting to drop spotlights on products, provide ambient lighting over your seating area, and evoke a mood that fits your brand identity. A few uplights strategically placed in your booth can really make an impact on how the space looks and feels from across the room and inside the booth.
  • Marketing materials: Professionally designed marketing materials give visitors something tangible to take home, help them stay in touch after the event, and allow trade show attendees to become brand promoters on your behalf. You may already have marketing materials and want to use them for your next trade show. Before you do, make sure they reflect your branding. If marketing materials have a different look and feel from trade show branding, it can confuse visitors. In a worst case scenario, they could throw away your marketing materials or confuse you with a competitor because they remember the look and feel of your trade show booth – not your marketing materials.
  • Branded giveaway: A giveaway attracts visitors and entices them to trade their contact information for a chance to win a product or service. It’s always preferable to have a giveaway reflect your brand, such as one of your products or branded merchandise. If you’ve opted for a giveaway item, be it a tablet or an umbrella, it’s imperative to make it reflect your branding. You might put your logo on that umbrella or include a tablet case in your brand’s colors, for example.
  • Digital branding: While you’ve put a lot of time and effort customizing the physical trade show booths with branding, don’t forget about digital branding. Many trade show visitors will be tweeting about the event, posting Snapchat or Instagram photos, or using geosocial apps to connect with other attendees. Promote your presence at the event across your social media channels, have a staff member follow the social media debate and respond to tweets and likes, and don’t forget to use trade show and brand-specific hashtags for the duration of the event.

Effective Branding at Trade Shows  

Once you have your branding and promotional materials ready, pick your brightest stars to staff the event. Talented sales reps plus great branding sets the stage for your trade show to bring in sales and qualified leads. Remember, you only get one chance to make a great first impression. By coordinating branding with your reputation and product, you raise your chances of engaging trade show visitors and converting leads to happy customers.

Find how you can generate more leads and sales by visiting the Northwest Creative Imaging blog and discover how to find success at your next trade show.

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Top 7 Best Trade Shows for General Contractors in 2016

2016 Trade Shows for ContractorsThis is an exciting time for general contractors, with an array of technological innovations presenting new opportunities for experienced contractors and aspiring entrepreneurs alike. Industry developments allow contractors to optimize their properties and enhance efficiency, but the quickly-changing nature of the construction industry necessitates the constant pursuit of new information. Several conferences supply this essential information through an enticing combination of keynote speakers, breakout sessions, off-site tours, and trade show booths. If you are looking to take your general contracting business to the next level in 2016, be sure to attend at least one of the trade shows highlighted below:

Build Expo USA

At Build Expo USA’s two events, attendees learn about everything from green construction to decorative concrete. A variety of exhibitors demo their products and services at the event’s trade show displays. Exhibitor categories include flooring, irrigation systems, drywall materials, roofing materials, concrete, and more. Karla Dennis, Lance Bachmann, Tom Woodcock, and other industry leaders will present educational sessions covering social media, sales negotiations, the role of association memberships in construction, and several other topics.

February 4-5 and March 9-10 2016

Los Angeles Convention Center and Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Dallas, Texas

Associated General Contractors Convention

The Associated General Contractors Convention has been alerting general contractors all around the world to breaking industry developments for nearly a century. The 97th annual AGC Convention promises to be an intriguing affair, with fifteen educational breakout session and a variety of networking events helping both established and up-and-coming contractors take their careers to new heights. Topics covered will include defining value in construction projects, succession planning, overlooked liability sources, and workforce development. A Technology and Construction Solutions Expo with an array of enticing pop up displays will be held in conjunction with the AGC Convention. Located in the Grand Hyatt’s Lonestar Ballroom, the expo will feature several special activities in addition to its numerous trade show booths.

March 9-11, 2016

Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Antonio, Texas

Construction Institute Summit

The proximity of Walt Disney World brings a unique perspective to the Construction Institute (CI) Summit. The 2016 edition of the event will feature the usual focus on technological innovation, risk management, and construction safety, as well as a presentation on Disney’s cutting construction innovations. The CI Summit’s many educational opportunities actually begin well before the official start of the event, with pre-conference workshops from the Safety Committee covering such important topics as crane safety and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. Attendees will also have the opportunity to connect with industry leaders while touring the Kennedy Space Center and the I-4 Ultimate makeover, which is destined to transform traffic flow throughout Central Florida.

March 9-12, 2016

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, Orlando, Florida

BATC Builders and Remodelers Show

An often overlooked segment of the construction industry, remodeling is examined in depth at the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC) annual convention. Free to all Minnesota remodelers, builders, and architects, the event is also worth attending for general contractors based in other states. Minneapolis is currently a construction hot spot, and thus, the site of some of the industry’s most exciting advancements. The winner of the National Association of Home Builders’ Best Industry Trade Show Award, the BATC Builders and Remodelers Show features display booths detailing such industry trends as 3D printing, energy efficient housing, home automation, and more. Attendees can also learn more about commercial hardware, siding, drywall, and HVAC.

April 7, 2016

Convention Center Hall E, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Every Building Conference and Expo

The Building Owners and Managers Association is a top resource for general contractors hoping to expand their understanding of building management, building operations, leasing trends, energy consumption, and a variety of other topics related to commercial property management. BOMA’s goal is to keep members in the loop about exciting industry developments. This mission is accomplished every year at the Every Building Conference and Expo, where attendees learn how to improve efficiency, reduce operating costs, and optimize commercial assets. For 2016, the expo returns to the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, which hosted BOMA’s 2011 convention. Washington D.C. is the perfect location for a building expo, as the nation’s capitol has recently experienced an impressive transformation, spurred, in part, by its thriving construction industry.

June 26-28, 2016

Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, Washington, D.C.

ECC Conference

The Engineering and Construction Contracting Association’s 48th annual conference is expected to sell out faster than previous events, as its smaller venue necessitates limited registration. The result will be a more intimate gathering of construction professionals. Keynote speakers and educational panels have yet to be announced, but past conferences have focused on differentiated management, risk assessment, and executive leadership. At the ECC Conference, attendees can gain valuable insights into the future of engineering construction while building personal connections with several of the industry’s most influential individuals.

September 7-10, 2016

JW Marriott Desert Springs, Palm Desert, California

IRMI Construction Risk Conference

The International Risk Management Institute (IRMI) Construction Risk Conference is a gathering of leaders from several disparate industries, who, for four days, choose to focus on risk management in the construction sector. The professionals who attend the IRMI Construction Risk Conference believe that risk in the construction industry can be minimized and managed, but not be eliminated entirely. Thus, it is important for general contractors to educate themselves on new means of handling risks related to project quality, contractor safety, brand reputation, and, of course, finances. At the IRMI Construction Risk Conference, attendees learn about the latest developments in risk management from insurance agents, brokers, and other industry insiders. Industry leaders from Zurich Construction, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and the Old Republic Construction Program Group are heavily involved with IRMI’s annual conference. Attendance at the event results in the satisfaction of Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist (CRIS) continuing education requirements.

November 6-9, 2016

Orlando, Florida

Best Trade Shows for General Contractors

From Minneapolis to San Antonio and everywhere in between, an array of cities are hosting exciting construction conferences in 2016. These events serve as excellent opportunities for expanding professional networks, learning more about recent industry developments, and checking out technological advances at a multitude of trade show displays. Trade show attendance may be the key to achieving contracting success in 2016, so be sure to sign up for at least one of the aforementioned events.

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Technological Developments for Trade Shows

Recent technological developments for trade shows make it easier and cheaper to impress attendees with custom trade show displays. To continue marketing your business and gather qualified leads, learn about the newest successful trade show trends and how you can integrate these ideas at your next event.

New Trends for Trade Show Booths

newest and most innovative trade show trendsTechnological advances and shifts in attendee’s attitudes have sparked a change in how companies exhibit their products and promote their brand at trade shows. If you have attended or exhibited at a trade show recently, you may have seen some of these trends on the trade show floor or heard about them from visitors who could not stop talking about the awesome booth in the next row. Increase your trade show success and return on investment by trying out some of the following ideas:

  • Apps: It should come as no surprise that retailers are developing custom apps for trade shows. This is a great way to engage existing customers before, during, and after the event. Apps help drive visitors to the booth using foot traffic technology that shows how far away the booth is, what traffic levels are like, and the best route to take to avoid delays. Although the idea behind trade show apps has been around for a few years, the value of an app has been proven and many companies are beginning to implement app development into their trade show strategies.
  • Geofencing: Geofencing allows you to set a perimeter fence around your trade show booths and send an SMS message when trade show visitors cross the fence. This helps you maintain top of mind awareness in attendees’ minds, which is critical in a crowded trade show environment. To further entice visits, include notice of a giveaway or promotion in your SMS. Guests may be more likely to stop by if your message suggests they could win one of your products or services.
  • Holograms: Holograms allow you to create transparent displays that truly bring your products to life and draw attention from hundreds of feet away. If your products are too large or heavy to transport to the trade show, the 3D hologram lets you showcase them at the event. For a fraction of the cost of shipping a large item to the trade show, you can develop a hologram that encapsulates your item perfectly and increases customer engagement through better understanding and a “wow factor.”
  • 3D printing: 3D printers that create on-demand, customized prototypes for visitors to take back to their workplace can generate buzz and drive sales. By engaging booth visitors in the computer design process, you can demonstrate your technological expertise, product, and relevance. Why show a brochure of product customization options when you can create a product right in front of their eyes and let them take it back to the boss?
  • Interactive technology for tailored presentations: Augmented reality and tablets make it easy for trade show booth visitors to serve you information that helps you better target their needs in a tailored presentation. Too often, generic presentations do not connect with booth visitors or generate leads and sales. Adding interactive technology to your trade show booth lets guests customize their experience and thus your pitch for a better connection all around. These can be incorporated into the trade show booth design.
  • Lead generation software: Lead generation software has continued to be a growing trend among trade show exhibitors. Such software makes it easy for you to harness leads before and during the trade show, move leads through the conversion funnel, and gain valuable data on your performance across trade shows. Expect this software to keep improving in the future, and to really become a must-have for trade show attendance.

After the event, gather data so you can see what worked, what didn’t work, and tweak your display from there. It may take more than one trade show before you finalize interactive displays or get geofencing just right, but the rewards are well worth the innovation risks.

Updating your Trade Show Display

By integrating some of these trends into your next trade show display, you can catch the attention of attendees who become curious about your booth because it catches their eye and looks exciting. You can also nurture leads that have found you online and want to attend the trade show to test out your products in person. Most importantly, you can deliver value to your attendees that they cannot get by visiting your website.

Think creatively when considering which of these trade show solutions to integrate into your next event. Consider honestly where your trade show display is lacking and where a smart investment in new technology could spice things up while adding value to what you give consumers. You certainly don’t need to try all of them, especially if they aren’t relevant to your products.

The ASAE Foundation, Center for Exhibition Industry Research Foundation, Freeman, Gaylord Entertainment and PCMA Education Foundation recently released a report on Future Scenarios for Trade Shows. One of the key findings in their report was the driving need to deliver something new to trade show attendees. Whether it’s integrating the physical trade show event with online interactions pre- and post-event or integrating one of the new technology trends in trade show booth design, it is important to stay ahead of the curve as trade shows change.

Trade Show Success with Innovative Ideas

Tailor these trends to your industry. If you are in a tech savvy industry, you will need to really increase technology spending to stay relevant in your niche. Stay on alert to industry trends and how they impact these upcoming changes to the trade show environment, and tack your course accordingly.

Today’s trade show booths must deliver the attendee an experience that they simply cannot get anywhere else – or else, they will stay home. With these tech tools, you can ensure your next pop up displays act as a lead generation tool and buzz generator during the event.

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10 Incentives for Businesses to Do Trade Shows

10 Incentives for Businesses to do trade showsIf you’ve never marketed your business in a trade show before, you’re missing out. Trade shows offer an excellent venue for spreading awareness about your brand, marketing, networking, meeting new customers, and, of course, selling products and services. Trade show displays can be an excellent way to take your business to new heights of success. The following are some of the top incentives for businesses to participate in trade shows.

1. Trade Shows are Cost Effective
While booth prices and travel costs can vary, dollar for dollar the cost of a trade show is generally well worth the price. Even basic booth displays that feature quality banners, trade show displays or pop up displays can be highly effective in terms of the return on investment. There is a display option for every budget, so any size business can create and benefit from having a display at a trade show. Done well, it can be one of the most cost effective methods of advertising and marketing available to you.

2. You’ll Meet Your Target Market
Well-chosen trade shows put your products and marketing materials in front of your target audience in a highly focused way. While other marketing methods and formats can be hit or miss, advertising at a trade show within your industry puts you right on the pulse of the latest wave of customers. People who attend trade shows are there to learn about what you’re selling and make purchases. It’s the perfect time to shine and make some fruitful new connections that could pay off exponentially over the years.

Whether you want to do a brand new product launch or familiarize more people with your core selection, renting trade show booths offers an extremely ripe opportunity for marketing and selling.

3. Make Face to Face Connections
In this increasingly online technologically-driven world we live in, face to face connection in business is becoming all too rare. Trade shows offer an opportunity for businesses and potential new clients to shake hands, look each other in the eye and make a genuine human connection.

For some online-only businesses that don’t have a brick and mortar store, the trade show is one of the only opportunities to be able to experience this with both clients and vendors. Trade shows are also ideal for building and expanding upon existing connections. While some business and client relationships can certainly be fostered online or over the telephone, there is nothing like an in-person meeting to take things to the next level.

4. Build Your Client Base
At a minimum, trade shows offer an opportunity to collect contact information for new potential clients. No matter where the person is in the sales funnel, connecting with them offers an opportunity to create the foundation for doing business with them down the road. Even simply compiling an email list or collecting business cards can contribute greatly to your database.

5. Connect with Highly Targeted Sales Leads
Remember, the people you make contact with at a trade show are fresh leads who came to the show to learn about your industry and potentially make purchases. This kind of ripe lead is highly valuable to your business and brand.

6. Enjoy a Level Playing Field
Small businesses receive a particular benefit from attending trade shows, for it allows them to make contact with the same customers as the larger businesses and brands that will be displaying at the show. In many cases, your business will be able to reach and connect with literally thousands of clients over the course of the show, allowing you to compete with much larger businesses. It’s your chance to shine, and the right trade show booth displays or pop up displays, marketing materials, sales and offers can help set you apart from the rest.

7. Engage in Direct Selling
Businesses that are accustomed to less direct methods of selling such as online stores often relish the opportunity to get their products directly in front of potential new customers. Trade shows are an excellent way to eliminate the shipping step and send customers home with your product.

8. Make an Excellent Impression
An in-person product or service display is an ideal opportunity for making an awesome impression on both current customers and people you are meeting for the first time. There are some aspects of products or services that can be difficult to convey online or in print, and the “live” scenario of a trade show allows businesses to showcase key aspects and dimensions of their offerings in a way that isn’t possible in other venues. A well-choreographed demonstration as well as contests and free giveaways can all help to enhance the interactive experience.

9. Learn From the Competition
Trade shows aren’t just an opportunity to connect with customers who are ripe for making purchases; they are also a place to see what your peers and competitors are up to. Trade shows tend to showcase the latest industry trends, products and resources, so it’s a great place for gathering ideas and inspiration for your own company’s next chapter. Many trade show vendors also offer seminars or classes for all who attend, even other vendors. You can enrich your skills and knowledge base in a number of ways at trade shows.

10. Loosen Up and Have Fun!
Lastly, trade shows can also be an opportunity to lighten up, socialize and have a little fun! Meeting new people for business relationships is one thing, but forming personal relationships may result in friendships that can last a lifetime. While trade shows are primarily about business, there’s also room for fun and socializing in the evenings or during breaks.

Trade shows can offer tremendous benefits to any size business. They help create an outstanding venue for marketing, networking, spreading awareness about your brand, meeting new clients, and, of course, selling your products and services.

The right booth displays, pop up displays or other trade show materials can make your trade show booths even more impressive and memorable to all who see it. Take advantage of all the benefits of trade show marketing by finding ideal shows in your industry. Meet new clients, foster mutually beneficial relationships, make more sales, and you just might take your business to amazing new places you never imagined were possible.

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9 Tips on How to Make Your Trade Show Booths Memorable

Thinking about making a trade show booth more memorable Trade shows are a great way to allow business owners to build brand awareness, generate new leads and develop mutually beneficial relationships. Unfortunately, at a large trade show, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd; with row after row of homogenous tables, drapes and backdrops, one booth tends to blend into the next.
Fortunately, there are steps a business owner can take to maximize the trade show experience and help their trade show displays to make  a strong impression. The following are 9 effective tips for making trade show booths truly amazing, unique and memorable for all who see them:

1. Make your Trade Show Booth Stand Out with Color
Find out how much latitude you’ll have for injecting color into your trade show booth. In a sea of sameness, tasteful and eye-catching use of color can make all the difference. A stunning banner display or pop up displays can take your booth to the next level. While you never want to be garish, trade show displays with color palettes that contrast with the booths around them will immediately help the business garner attention.

2. Upgrade your Trade Show Attire
Another effective way to make sure your booth is memorable is by having booth attendees dress to stand out from the rest. Get special T-shirts printed up, wear costumes, or have someone come down in a mascot uniform or dressed as a character that promotes a new product or service.

3. Hand Out the Best Swag

Be creative with what you hand out to conference attendees. You don’t want to give away something that’s so bland and generic that it is tossed in a pile with all the other swag attendees receive. So skip the pens and keychains and give away something more memorable that directly relates to your business.

4. Utilize Product Demonstrations

If your product or service is more impressive in action, find a way to do a demo out of your trade show booth. The presenter should be passionate and knowledgeable about the product, and this should come through in the presentation. The demo should showcase how your product or service is unique and clearly demonstrate its value; however, the presentation should also be eye-catching and memorable. With a scheduled product demo, you have the attention of the audience, so find ways to make the most of it.

5. Create a Game and Give Away Prizes

Who doesn’t love a fun game, especially one that offers prizes? Craft different raffles, drawings or attention-getting game that’s relevant and complimentary to your business and brand. Doing so will help make your booth and your company unforgettable. Consider handing out smaller prizes throughout the conference along with a grand prize drawing at the end.

You might also consider holding a drawing a week after the conference so that you can keep your business in the minds of those you come into contact with. You’ll get to collect contact information for all of the interested attendees and also make a positive impression on them as a fun and innovative company. For example, a faux carnival game is a great way to put a fun spin on an otherwise “dry” trade show experience.

6. Make Use of Technology
A low-tech approach to your booth design is less likely to get noticed than one that takes advantage of all the ways technology can enhance it. While it should be used sparingly and appropriately, the right technological embellishments can propel your booth design from bland to unforgettable.

Geometrix Kit I for Six Feet Up Printed by NWCIGet the upper hand over your competitors by using can’t-miss digital signage and interactive tech such as 3D displays to draw attendees into your both and get them involved and engaged with your business. Connect with attendees before or during the event by encouraging them to download your smartphone app so that you can send them updates during the trade show. You can also make use of proximity technology to send them catchy and relevant messages whenever they walk near your booth.

7. Get Interactive with your Trade Show Booth
Whether you use technology, a product demo, a game or some other attention-getting tactic, getting interactive is an excellent way to make your booth and business highly memorable. However, it doesn’t have to be ultra-complex; simply making sure those who are running the booth are friendly, personable and engaging can go a long way in making your trade show booth one of the most memorable ones at the show.

8. Use the Best Marketing Materials
In addition to an eye-catching banner display and giving away unforgettable swag, you’ll want to give away relevant marketing materials as well. Be sure they are up to date and printed on quality paper stock. Better yet, do something innovative with your marketing materials. Go far beyond the refrigerator magnet with your ideas; print brochures on laminated card stock in the shape of your top selling product or your company mascot. Brainstorm your marketing material designs ahead of the show and print them up in such a way that will make attendees want to hold onto them and learn more about your company, business and brand.

9. Win Attendees Over with Food
After a long day of trade show activities, many attendees are ready to enjoy a snack and recharge their batteries. Hungry trade show attendees love free eats. If you happen to sell food products in your business, this is an excellent chance to showcase your wares and keep attendees coming back for more while spreading the word about your delicious product. Even if you are not in the business of food, offering something more creative than the typical hard candies that most businesses set out can help your booth to be buzzworthy and memorable.

Don’t let your business get lost in a sea of cookie-cutter trade show booth designs. From imaginative banner displays and pop up displays to innovative demos and costumes, you can capture and hold their attention. Use these 9 tips to make your booth eye-catching and memorable for all who visit it.

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The Best 9 Trade Shows for Women Entrepreneurs

Best Trade Show for Women Entrepreneurs

“Attending trade shows is an excellent way for female entrepreneurs to introduce their brand to others…”

Women are among the leading entrepreneurs in a number of industries, including fashion, textiles, children’s products, beauty, and natural health. Attending trade shows is an excellent way for female entrepreneurs to introduce their brand to others in their respective industries, make connections, network, and discover vendors that may give them what they need to push their business forward. Attending these shows is a must for any woman who is in business for herself. Here are the top 9 trade shows for women entrepreneurs:

  1. Magic

Location: Las Vegas, NV


Magic
is the largest fashion trade show in the world. Thousands of vendors and tens of thousands of attendees showcasing the latest fashions make it an absolute must for any woman who has a business in the fashion industry. In addition to the many different fashions attendees will be exposed to, there are also networking events you won’t find at any other trade show, seminars on the latest in fashion news, fashion forecasts from the experts, and examples of styles for all seasons.

  1. TexWorld USA

Location: New York, NY

TexWorld is a huge event for people involved in the textile industry. Business owners who buy or sell textiles for manufacturing into clothing, housewares, and other materials all flock to this event. If you are a designer, you will find opportunities to connect directly with the people who manufacture textiles. You can also find buyers for your textiles if you are a manufacturer. This trade show is known for showcasing the most innovative textiles in the world, with amazing material combinations and incredible colors. It is a good place for getting excellent deals on the best materials in the world.

  1. Capsule

Location: New York, NY

Capsuletrade-shows-strengthen-business-relationships is a trade show for both fashion and lifestyle industries. It brings high quality
brands from progressive companies together with entrepreneurial designers. It is smaller than most trade shows, giving it an intimate feel, but also allows buyers and vendors to get to know each other on a more personal level, and establish close working relationships that benefit both sides of the industry.

  1. Agenda

Location: New York, NY and Las Vegas, NV

Agenda is held twice a year, once on the east coast and once on the west. One of the best things about Agenda is that all vendors are treated equally, regardless of their position in the marketplace and their reputation. This makes it easier for new entrepreneurs to approach high end, well known vendors with ease and confidence. It is a perfect place for female entrepreneurs to build their businesses and cultivate strong partnerships that will allow them to bring their business to the next level of success they desire. This is why this trade show attracts participants from all around the world.

  1. Indigo

Location: New York, NY

The Indigo Trade Show is made to showcase textiles made in North America. It is held in New York three times a year, usually bringing in around 125 exhibitors and 2,500 attendees. Entrepreneurs come to the show to discover the best materials to get their new collections ready for each new fashion season.

  1. CES International

Location: Las Vegas, NV

CES International is a technology trade show where people come who are in the business of consumer technologies. Those with innovative technologies can present them to large crowds of hundreds, and sometimes thousands of people, while those in the market for innovative technologies for their businesses will find plenty to interest them, and to help move their businesses forward in the market.

  1. ASD Market Week

Location: Las Vegas, NV

ASD Market Week trade show is held twice a year, and is a consumer goods bonanza. It brings people together who are both selling and buying a wide variety of consumer goods, and those goods are available at all conceivable price levels. The show is so popular that tens of thousands of attendees flock to it each time it opens its doors. It is an excellent place to discover new merchandise to stock, new suppliers, and even new types of products that you may never have thought of selling, but that you know will be perfect for your customers and allow you to expand your business.

  1. ABC Kids Expo

Location: Las Vegas, NV

If you are in the kids retail industry, ABC Kids Expo is the trade show you must attend above all others. You will meet international and domestic buyers for your products, get to network with other manufacturers, and gather plenty of orders and business leads while you’re there. You can also strengthen relationships with buyers you already know, while building relationships with new ones.

  1. DG Expo

Location: Dallas, TX and New York, NY

Taking place twice a year, once on the east coast and once in the Midwest, DG Expo is a trade show geared toward small companies that are owned by entrepreneurs and just beginning in the business world. The show itself focuses on textiles, and brings manufacturers and buyers together, so whichever one you happen to be, you will find the resources you need to bring your business the attention and relationships it needs to be successful.

craghopper-custom-trade-show-booth-graphicsThe vendors here are wholesalers, so you can buy from them at low prices, which allows you to obtain the things you need to grow your business at prices you can afford, while still making a profit. If you are a beginner in business, this is the trade show that can give you a leg up from being an unknown into the big leagues, just by meeting the right people, who are all attending this trade show.

If you are a female entrepreneur, attending trade shows or exhibiting your own pop up display is a great way to market and grow your business. Attend the trade shows that are geared toward your industry and use them to your best advantage.

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How to Maximize Leads From a Trade Show

For many companies, trade shows are a primary method of securing new leads for many companies. Therefore, it makes sense to learn how to maximize lead-capture techniques before setting up a booth.

Exhibiting at a trade show provides businesses with the opportunity to put products and services in front of numerous qualified prospects. However, not everyone will fit the criteria. Here are some of the best ways to narrow that number down and maximize your leads from a trade show during the short time you are there.

Finding the Right Trade Show

how to maximize leads from a trade show using social mediaNo one wants to waste time. Business owners or marketing managers scope out the trade shows they think will have the type of audience they need for improving the bottom line. Examine the usefulness of a trade show with the following perspectives:

  • Relevancy: Will your ideal customers attend this show? Have you identified your ideal customer?
  • Website: How good is the conference website? A poorly developed website means that show organizers do not understand most exhibitors and attendees will get most of their information here. If they didn’t invest much in this crucial information vehicle, it often means the show itself will be equally poor.
  • Social Media Channels: As with a website, if a conference can’t effectively market itself through social media it’s a red flag. Are the event’s social media channels active? How did the show use social media last year? Check Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook primarily.
  • Cost: Setting up a booth at some trade shows is expensive. Often that’s because of high demand based off of a proven record of success. Still, look into the cost and ask, does the show deliver enough insight and exposure to justify the cost a company will spend to exhibit.
  • Well-Known Speakers: If a show can attract big-name speakers, then it most likely can also provide you with a good ROI. Impressive speakers are attracted by trader shows that have a good reputation, and ones that will enhance their own reputations.
  • Attendees: Who else attends the show? The two important questions that need to be answered to maximize time are: 1) Do your competitors attend and 2) Are target demographics going to be there?

Outline the Goals for the Trade Show
Before presenting at any trade show a company team should understand what needs to be accomplished and what their roles are in the process. Significant, specific and achievable goals include:

  • Meeting industry leaders
  • Gathering competitor knowledge
  • Pitching to clients
  • Increasing exposure
  • Getting new social media followers
  • Growing your prospect list
  • Taking advantage of speaking opportunities

Organize and Use the Leads

Once your trade show has ended and you’ve collected your leads, it’s time to organize them and start talking to them. It’s best to use a customer relationship management system to help manage not only the names but further demographics and details you collect about them. A good CRM system can also schedule out reminder emails and target them based on specific areas of expressed interest.

Add leads to your newsletter and send them updates on your company and new services offered anywhere between once a week to once a month. Even better, ask your subscriber list how often they would prefer an e-mail and start to ask what they would like to see in it. Continuing the conversation after a face-to-face meeting reminds them of your company and could eventually lead to a referral (Hey, take a look at this company. They know about wine, or cars, etc.) or a sale, which is the ultimate goal.

Treat potential customers carefully and don’t overwhelm them. Be engaging and professional and in the end, an organized company should begin to reap the rewards of trade show leads.

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The 5 Best Ways to Take Advantage of a Small Expo

What is the value of attending a small trade show when you can meet a higher number of prospects at a large one? The answer lies in the actual demographic of the attendees.

small-expo-vector-graphicIf you are a manufacturer of baby strollers and you attend a trade show for maternity stores, everyone at the show is an ideal prospect. Compared to showing up on the floor of a more general consumer goods exposition, the prospect of qualified, strong leads and purchases is much higher.

Therefore, it is better to plan ahead. Here are 5 ways to take advantage of a small trade show:

1. Identifying and Converting High-Quality Attendees

The lifeblood of any successful show are high-quality attendees. These people who will help you grow your business are exactly the type of customers a company comes to a trade show to attract. Therefore, do your research into each trade show and the people who typically attend before you register as an exhibitor. Don’t just take the show organizers word for it, ask other businesses who have attended in the past, as well. Trade shows are all about numbers, but a large number of bad prospects ultimately wastes time and resources.

2. Focus on One Objective at the Trade Show

Before attending a show, each and every exhibitor needs to decide their show objective. Is it to generate sales leads or to test a new product and get feedback from potential customers or clients? Perhaps it’s just to study the competition up close? Many companies use trade shows to meet with specific regional customers or recruit new employees. With so many people in one place, trade shows are a cost-effective method of prospecting.

Whatever it is pick one and devote the vast majority of your energy toward it. With that focus, you’ll be more effective.

3. Train Employees to Present at the Booth

Like any other skill, learning how to market a company at a trade show needs to be learned. And taught. Every person in a booth needs to have a role and needs to know how to manage that role to maximize your booth presence. Give solid talking points that must be covered or write a script for booth staff. Another team member might be focused on gathering lead contact info, while others present. Practice and hone the desired trade show skills weeks before stepping out onto the floor.

4. Learn the Hotspots of the Trade Show

As an exhibitor, you have a limited amount of time to sort through prospects and decide whom to engage further. Use the advance information about the show’s layout, activities and speakers to identify where the most likely places are to meet ideal customers. Then plan available time accordingly in order to be in front of the best-qualified prospects.

5. Leave Your Business Card

Exhibitors are often eager attendees as well, roaming the floor because the industry fascinates them. In that role of attendee, while there may be times just leaving a business card is not the best option, trade shows are a good place to do so.

People go to trade shows to expand their prospect list, therefore if a booth is crowded, leave a card with a short note showing an interest and representatives will contact you later. Since companies spend a lot of money on attending trade shows, they will take the time to contact and track good leads.

If a business can’t budget for a certain trade show, look for extra funds through several grant and discount opportunities. Some industries are better with these than others but at least look into it.

Thinking ahead and developing a strategy translates into a solid return in financial and time investment for expos. If a business stays focused on the quality of prospects over quantity, trade show marketing creates an influx of valuable prospects and customers.

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6 Giveaways That Will Get Your Booth Noticed

It is common knowledge that we all go to trade shows to promote our companies, our products or services and our brands. The tough part is creating a booth that will help your brand stand out from the crowd in a memorable way.

trade show booth giveaways get you noticedThere are several ways to become more noticeable, although finding one that fits your
brand is not always easy. One of the best methods for getting your booth noticed is having a giveaway that people really want. Traditionally, trade show booths have the same old swag at every show that tend to blend together in your mind and are quickly forgotten. If you want your brand to get noticed, try one of these unique ideas at your next trade show:

1. Headshots

Not every bit of swag needs to be tangible. Everyone at your conference uses headshots for their professional image. Offer a high-quality headshot at your booth during the trade show to help your clients update their social media image. You can help them get more business and in return they will spread the word to other trade show attendees. While they are waiting for their turn, you will have time to engage and network with them.

2. Lanyards with a Business Card Holder

One of the problems that trade show attendees face is having enough hands to carry everything. Since the goal of a trade show is to widen your contact list, providing useful lanyards to carry business cards is a very useful giveaway idea. It frees up the hands and makes business cards readily available to hand out to everyone you meet at a show. They can be customized and branded to help spread awareness of your brand. Lanyards are affordable to give out and extremely practical for other attendees.

3. Charitable Donations

Technically this idea is not a giveaway; however you can draw a lot of attention by creating a game that results in winners giving charity to a worthy cause. You could set up a roulette wheel or spinner that has varying amounts of money that you will donate if your visitor wins. If a player lands on a $4.00 space, your company donates $4 to your listed charity. Players can match or add any donations they want to the pot. At the end of the show, you can email or text everyone the total amount raised and have a presentation video they can visit online or an actual presentation they can attend during the show.

4. Branded Care Packages

Create a small care package for attendees to comfort them after a day on their feet. Brand the outer package with your logo, and then fill it up with necessities such as hand soap, tissue, aspirin, cough drops and a snack. Trade shows can be extremely wearing, and attendees will love this idea. If your company makes its own products, a care package is a great way to showcase a sample of your item to attendees and draw attention to your brand.

5. Digital Downloads

Another intangible idea is a digital download such as a whitepaper or e-book. You can gather your prospects’ email addresses and send them the link for the download at the end of each day. Using this method, you accelerate their entry into your sales funnel immediately after the conference. You can follow up with them at your regular timetable to see if they received and read the whitepaper you sent and have any questions. E-books or whitepapers are informative and valuable for the recipient because they can highlight industry trends and position your brand as an authoritative leader in the field.

6. Small Gifts to Take Home

Trade show swag can fill a suitcase when you return home from a conference, so try something small. Branded luggage tags make for great trade show swag because of the small size and they are typically useful when traveling back home. Packages of seeds related to your product or wrapped tea bags are easy to put in a purse or pocket. These items will get used during the conference or once the attendee gets home. And your recipient won’t have to suffer because they carried it around. Food items are always received well, therefore small packages of instant coffee, nuts or any type of lightweight food item works for this idea.

What giveaways have worked for your trade show booths in the past?

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