Category Archives: Trade Show Tips

How to Make Your Small Booth Larger Than Life

Trade shows can be a highly effective way to generate buzz for your business, keep it in the public eye, and even take growth to the next level. However, sometimes budgets and space constraints can make your trade show booth rental seem cramped and hard to work with.

small trade show boothDon’t despair; there are some proven ways to address the constraints of a small trade show booth and still achieve the impact you were hoping for. Here are 10 effective ways to make even the smallest trade show booths appear larger than life:

1. Plan Your Booth Layout Wisely
With smaller available “real estate” in your trade show booth, you’ll have to plan ahead in order to achieve your objectives. Be selective in what you feature at a small booth; the last thing you want is for the booth to feel cluttered or constrained. Designate no more than three elements or areas in the booth and try not to have too much overlap; for example, the display table, product area and demo area.
2. Be Selective with Trade Show Booth Designs

Being focused and selective with design elements such as fonts, shapes, graphics, photos and colors is crucial when designing signage for a small trade show booth. Keep your text and message to the point as well; trade show attendees typically spend just a few seconds walking by and glancing at each booth, so punchy text and graphics are key for getting them to take notice and approach your booth.

3. Use To-The-Point Graphics

Your banner display and graphics are some of the first elements that trade show attendees notice about trade show displays. Whether you will be using a banner display or a more elaborate pop up display, its layout and design is crucial to its effectiveness.

If you don’t have a natural sense or flair for graphic design on your own, partner with a professional who can zero in on your brand message and convey it in an ideal, streamlined and targeted way for your smaller trade show booth. Brevity is especially important in smaller trade show booth displays, but you shouldn’t sacrifice your brand message, either.

4. Strategic Booth Color Selection
The right use of color can be highly beneficial to a small trade show booth space. Lighter colors tend to make spaces appear larger, so use this visual illusion to your advantage. That said, certain color juxtapositions can also benefit your smaller booth size. Light colored booth walls or sides next to a dark colored back can give the illusion that the booth recedes further back in space than it actually does. Play with color pairings and use the space-enhancing effects to your advantage. Your banner display, pop up displays or other trade show elements can all benefit from strategic color selection and placement.

5. Be Bold with your Booth
Being bold and focused can help benefit both your booth size and your brand message. Remember that you can always get more detailed and in-depth in your marketing materials and other takeaways; there’s no need to overwhelm the viewer with a banner display that is too busy. Don’t be afraid to be bold and direct. Bright colors and heavier lines have the most impact; just be sure to use them wisely and sparingly.

6. Use a Space-Conscious Banner Display
Trade show displays and designs should take their venue and size into consideration. While it generally shouldn’t be too busy or too sparse, designing for the space can take its look and feel into exciting new directions. Intelligent use of line, shape juxtaposition and color contrasts can help to create the illusion of a larger trade show booth space.

7. Consider Compact Pop Up Displays
A pop up display is another possibility for your trade show booth even if it is rather compact. Pop up displays have an expansive effect, making even diminutive spaces appear larger than life. Use intelligent design and color decision making for this type of trade show display as well, and avoid designs that will seem “busy” or give too much visual input to the viewer all at once.

8. Showcase Your Logo
When space is limited, sometimes the best approach is paring things down to the essentials. At a minimum, even the smallest trade show booth should display your company logo clearly and prominently. Your logo ideally embodies and encapsulates your brand identity, and having it front and center is always a smart idea. Trade show booths with a backdrop or banner display that showcases the company logo prominently behind the booth table will bring laser-like focus to the purpose and intention of your presence at the trade show.

9. Embrace Minimalism
So, you have limited trade show space; why not embrace it? One of the issues many attendees have with large, busy or congested trade shows is feeling overwhelmed and finding difficulty in making decisions about where to go and what to buy. Embracing a sleek, simplified minimalist look can make your booth like breath of fresh air in an overcrowded trade show venue. Think just one to two colors (no more than three) and very sparing use of design and display elements. You just might find that attendees gravitate toward your booth in a sea of trade show displays that have too much going on. Many people feel overwhelmed at trade shows and will appreciate a smaller selection and less of a decision dilemma.

10. Make Use of the Ideal Accessories
The perfect accessories can offer space-saving convenience along with stylish appeal. Make use of a banner stand for your banner display or backdrop, and invest in a compact literature holder to save precious real estate on your display table. These items will make your trade show exhibit look much more professional as well as visually larger and more spacious.

While extra space is nice, trade show booths don’t have to be large or expensive to have a positive effect. No matter what your budget, you can create a trade show exhibit that has a positive impact on all who see it. Use these 10 tips and tricks for making your small trade show booth look visually larger. By putting these simple ideas into practice, you can transform your display into one that makes an impression that truly seems larger than life.

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How Trade Shows Strengthen Relationships With Your Audience

Learn how trade show booths can build brand and product awareness and help you strengthen your relationship with key segments of your target audience to make the most out of an upcoming trade show.

How Trade Show Environments Help You Build Connections

trade-shows-strengthen-business-relationshipsTrade shows are a proven environment for connecting with an audience and strengthening relationships with existing customers. Many of the people who attend these shows are actively seeking new products, services or industry expertise. Others are existing customers who already know your brand and may be interested in deepening the relationship by learning more about different products or services.

Trade shows give you a natural platform to strengthen relationships with these audience segments by hosting meetings, performing demonstrations, and educating attendees on how your product can help them solve a problem.

Compared to other methods of marketing and outreach, a trade show is a great way to get your product into people’s hands, let them see how it works, and answer any questions they might have. It also lets you put your top talent in an area where they can shine by engaging and interacting with leads. Not only can you refresh the bond with your existing customers, but you strengthen the bond and ensure loyalty for years to come.

The face-to-face meeting also gives your best customers the chance to pass along valuable feedback you can use to improve your business model. If you have been moving top prospects through the sales funnel, the trade show may be the perfect time to close the deal.

Critically, trade shows can connect you with key industry players including:

  • Media
  • Bloggers
  • Distribution partners
  • Marketing professionals
  • Analysts
  • Industry alliance members

These stakeholders have a vested interest in your product; a trade show gives them the hands-on time they need to become familiar with your products and promote them within their own networks. As a result, you could receive more leads that ends with more revenue for your company.

Research shows that 4 out of 5 trade show attendees have buying power. By connecting with qualified leads, you can get your product into stores from coast to coast. Since the trade show environment is highly concentrated, you have the potential to leverage the event to maximize conversion through focused meetings.

With so many individuals traveling to attend these shows, many of the buyers you will encounter have already spent time researching your product, services, and staff members. As a result, they are further along in the buying cycle. They may desire a face-to-face meeting with your team members to learn more, see a product demo, or even negotiate a deal. For this reason, you may want to consider designating an area around your booth to accommodate for these meetings and engage with visitors who may be further out in the lead cycle.

How Trade Show Booths Increase Engagement and Build Relationships

Since the trade show booth will need to accommodate prospects who are at differing points within the sales cycle, it should allow for several separate spaces. A well-designed booth may include elements such as:

  • Pop up displays that educate and inform marketing professionals, PR executives, and new leads, while directing the attention of your existing customers for the purposes of upselling.
  • Open meeting spaces that allow lead nurturing if privacy is not a concern. These also capture audience curiosity by showing trade show attendees how many people are interested in your brand.
  • Media center with interactive elements showcasing your social media pages or customer testimonials, allowing immediate opt-in to email newsletter or other forms of lead nurturing, or letting staff showcase the product website or perform demonstrations for trade show attendees.
  • Good lighting, a critical yet often overlooked aspect of trade show design that can affect how attendees perceive your products and your brand.
  • Consistent branding in the form of graphics and banners on all trade show displays, backdrops, tables, booths, and more.
  • Enticing prize giveaways that will give leads that extra push needed to take the next step in the conversion funnel. (Don’t forget to collect information from any leads that want a free giveaway!)
  • Intimate lounge spaces where attendees can sit and relax, take a break from the hectic trade show environment, and be exposed to your brand.

Putting it All Together to Strengthen Relationships

Quality trade show booth design will go a long way toward helping you maximize your investment of time and expense in attending the show. The money you invest in putting together a professional display will come back to you in the form of more conversions, more leads, and more sales both during and after the event.

To take full advantage of these benefits and strengthen relationships, plan ways to maximize the focused attention you will have at the trade show. Effective ways to get the most from a trade show include:

  • Promoting the event on your newsletter, website, email signature, social media profiles to connect and engage with your targeted audience. This can maximize the number of qualified leads who visit your trade show booth.
  • Reaching out to industry organizations and alliances who will be at the trade show to discuss cross promotion at the event.
  • Investing in high-quality takeaways such as graphics, one pagers, brochures, spec sheets and more. Do not limit yourself on the take-home material you can give out to the audience during the tradeshow.
  • Staffing the event with your brightest stars; employ your most effective sales people who have the highest lead conversion rates to meet with the audience head-on and represent your brand in the best light.
  • Holding a promotion, giveaway, or drawing for a “big prize”.
  • Offering an educational opportunity such as a seminar, webinar, or demonstration that allows you to introduce your product as a solution for a known pain point of your customer base.

Leverage the power of social media at your booth to generate buzz at the trade show and expand your influence among those who were unable to attend or to engage leads who may be watching your brand with interest.

By taking the time to prepare for your next trade show event with high quality materials, coordinating talented staff for the day of the trade show, and maximizing trade show displays and booth real estate, you will set the stage for successful relationship building at the event.

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Best Practices: Event Preparation

Written by: Eric Dyson

Trade shows and face-to-face marketing events are essential for brand building, inter-industry networking and lead generation. Why then are so many exhibitors ill-prepared to take advantage of the great boom events offer them? Well the answer is many exhibitors simply don’t know how to prepare properly, or they are unaware of the fact that they lack the proper event marketing infrastructure for success. This post will highlight some best practices when it comes to event preparation for a trade show or face-to-face marketing event to help you get ahead of the game.

Research fellow exhibitors:

nimlok 10x20 custom trade show booth

Custom Nimlok Booth Designed to Impress

Undoubtedly, you will meet a lot of your top competitors at an industry event. You will also be surrounded by many potential vendors and prospective clients as well. Before your event make sure to check the list of exhibiting companies, do a little bit of research into the brands you think it would be worth networking with and plan on visiting their exhibit space. Remember, trade shows are about more than just exhibiting, they are also about establishing powerful industry relationships.

It’s worth keeping in mind that while you’re exhibiting you have a golden opportunity to spy on your competition by gathering field intelligence from attendees regarding their thoughts on your rivals. You should ask attendees who visit your space what they thought of other exhibitors, how they are enjoying the show and which booths impressed them the most. You can take the information you have gathered on the ground and visit the most admired exhibits to get an idea of what attendees find appealing in an exhibiting space. You can then use this information to improve upon your event marketing efforts in the future.

Build your brand:

Nimlok custom island booth with tower and roomIt sounds like a no brainer right? Of course, promote my brand at a trade show, that’s why I’m here. However, the problem is promoting a brand is only one part of the brand building process. First you need to establish where your brand fits into your market, are you a value brand, luxury brand, innovator or high-tech? You need to identify where your brand stands because every step of the brand building process will fall in line with where you want you brand to be positioned.

The second step in branding build at a trade show is aligning your trade show exhibit with your company’s personality. If your brand is a value brand then make sure the imagery and language printed on your trade show exhibit’s graphics convey the value of your products. Luxury brand’s should make sure their exhibiting space conveys a sense of lavishness and should flirt with gaudiness etc. The key in exhibit design isn’t in creating the most impressive design, but rather an exhibit that clearly conveys your brand’s messaging to prospects. The goal here it to create consistency, which will in turn help build your brand.

The third step in brand building for a trade show revolves around your booth staffers because they are the liaison between the public and your brand.  As such, the team members that occupy your booth should be the living embodiment of your brand. They should have intimate knowledge about your products and your history. To ensure the preparedness of your booth staffers, test each prospective team member on their product and company knowledge and hand-select people based on the results of your test. If you find out that you don’t have enough qualified booth staffers create pre-event learning sessions to bring people up to speed with your brand before the show.

Lead generation:

Leads are the coal that make the sales train go, so make sure that your lead generation program is as robust as possible. Too often leads are not being properly qualified on the trade show floor. This is not an indictment against hard-working event staff, rather it’s a symptom of the confusion that can occur when planning for a trade show.

To make sure your event marketing campaign does not fall victim to lead management over site, take time to gather your event staffers, go over your process of qualifying a lead. i.e. which attendees meet the target demographic, the type of contact information needed, key job titles and whether or not a prospect has purchasing power. Creating a good screening process will cut down on poorly qualified leads and maximize the efforts of your staffers.

Drafting a sales script for your team to follow can also help create a more accurate lead generation program. When your booth staffers are winging it out on the trade show floor conversations with prospects can often veer far off-topic. Sales scripts can help combat this by giving your booth staffers a line that they must tow in each conversation they have on the trade show floor.

Any way you slice it, the simple and most effective way to be prepared for an upcoming event—or more broadly, for events in the future—is by taking into account all of your shortcomings at past events, addressing them with your event staff and setting out a plan of action to tackle them. The tips found in this post are meant to help you to that end, however it is up to you what other measure you need to take for preparedness as each brand has its unique needs.

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Keeping a Clean and Simple Trade Show Booth

Trade shows provide you with a fantastic opportunity to present your brand in person to interested customers. While everyone wants a trade show to have a good turnout, overcrowding can also be an issue. When the traffic density, measured as the number of attendees per 100 square feet, gets above 5, it becomes increasingly difficult to have engaging and productive conversations.

It is generally a good idea for trade show participants to understand the potential problems that excessive crowding can cause and have a plan ready to help them deal with the situation should it arise.

keep your trade show booth clean and simpleThe Problem of Overcrowding

At a trade show, you want to keep visitors moving in and out. You want to greet them, make a great impression and capture a potential lead. When visitors linger, or when you have so many people in your booth that it just looks like a massive crowd, you can end up deterring more people from coming to explore your booth. No one wants to dive into an overcrowded display that just looks like chaos, no matter how appealing the actual product, design and branding efforts might be. Controlling the crowd is an important part of trade show success.

How to Manage the Crowd at Your Booth

Fortunately, there are steps you can take that can help you better manage your booth visitors and even use the heavy crowds at the trade show to your advantage. The ability to keep a simple trade show booth is the heart of these steps. Here are a few ways to make it happen:

Pay Attention to Your Design

  • The design of your trade show booth is critical. It is best to avoid excessive decorations or design that will make the space feel crowded or too busy, which will only make it appear less appealing as the people begin to arrive. Instead, focus on having one central element that will help attract people’s attention as they arrive at the booth. While keeping in mind the desire for a more simplified approach, you also need to make sure the designs are strong and clear to maximize their effectiveness for the audience. Do not create something that is overwhelming, instead focus on making sure that customers can immediately determine what it is that you do.

Do Not Have Too Many Staff Members Taking Up Space

  • A well informed, trained staff can be a fantastic asset when it comes to communicating effectively with your booth visitors, but too many people milling around can also contribute to crowding issues and make the display less appealing. Instead, choose a few key employees that will best perform in the role, keeping it proportionate to the size of your booth. Have the staff members wear branded uniforms so they are easily identifiable and make sure that they are prepared to answer questions and move people along to avoid unnecessary congestion.

Provide a Crowd-Friendly Layout

  • Rather than inviting people just to come up and crowd around your booth, create a layout that encourages people to move through your display. Have a starting point and an ending point so that people can easily absorb your intended message as they walk along. This will help control the crowds while still getting your message in front of the maximum number of people.

Be Minimalistic About Handouts

Handouts are an effective means of communicating with your tradeshow attendees long after they leave your booth, but you do not want to give out too many materials. Excessive materials will only overwhelm people and can slow down the flow of traffic through your display. It is best to stick to just one handout and make sure that single handout really counts. Keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Include a business card to make contacting you simple.
  • Know what you want to say to your visitors and communicate in an easy way that does not require much effort for your potential customers.
  • Think about what make your booth memorable and touch upon those points in the handout.
  • Know what your customers are interested in and make sure the handout addresses these needs, not just what you want to tell people.
  • Include strong visuals to help capture attention.
custom-printed-backlit-vector-frame-display

The Backlit Vector Frame system is clean and simple, yet makes a huge impact!

A successful trade show requires careful preparation and consideration. It also means preparing for potentially unforeseen circumstances, such as large crowds during the show. If more people than you expected show up, make sure that you have the capacity to adequately handle the crowds while still communicating effectively with those who come to your display. Keep the above ideas in mind and make sure your creative trade show booth is ready for the show.

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The Best Dimensions for My Trade Show Booth

Setting up a trade show booth is both an art and a science. No matter how hard you try to have a standard booth, you may run into issues as you move from show to show.

Even though the allotted space can vary at each location, designing the optimal-sized trade show booth is very important. If your booth is too large, then it can reduce the effect of the visuals you need visitors to focus on. If the booth is too small, visitors may feel cramped and uncomfortable and they’ll move on.

While predicting the future is not part of the trade show tool box, you can get good estimates from the show manager as to how many people will attend. According to the Center for Exhibition Research (CEIR), attendance at trade shows has been forecast to grow through 2015. By following industry standards, and the following tips, you can prepare a list of parameters for booth set-up that will draw in these visitors and promote conversations and conversions.

trade show booth demensionsPlan for Your Complete Presentation

While planning the dimensions of your booth, consider carefully what you will use the booth for throughout the convention. Many vendors give demonstrations throughout the trade show duration. Others talk about their products, while a third group displays their product line and allow visitors to self-guide through technology.

Each of these types of behaviors creates a different need for space in the booth. When planning the size and layout, make sure to include space for people to gather in front of and inside your booth for demonstrations or other activities. As CEIR mentions, 81% of show attendees have buying authority, therefore it is important to create a booth with maximum impact and usefulness.

Follow Industry Standards

Every industry has specific standards for booth sizes and individual venues may also. Consult with the show manager to find out what space issues may apply for your show. Then you can comply with any rules and regulations that the show requires. Some of these space issues may have to do with local safety ordinances, the size of the venue space or fire industry regulations. If your booth seems like it may not fit the standard size, the show manager can let you know if you can get permission to use it anyway.

Use Common Sense for Set-Up and Take-Down Times

Coyote Pop Up Show Floor

The Coyote Pop Up Display is perfect for fast set up and break down!

A rule of thumb for trade show booths is that you should be able to set up within two hours or less and take them down in 60 minutes or less. Unless you have a massive booth space, this rule is a good one to live by. Therefore, design your booth with this timeline in mind. Create and organize your displays so that you can pack them in the order that you need to set them up the next time. Design a set-up and take-down plan you use every time you assemble your booth for a show.

Maximize Your Booth’s Purpose

Is your booth the right size to achieve your trade show goals?

Look at your display from every angle to see if the booth is doing its job. Whether your primary purpose is to network for leads, set up appointments, sell a new product or introduce a service, your booth display needs to drive that goal. With your purpose in mind, examine the size, implementation and flow of the booth. Do you see areas that can be improved upon to get better results? If so, test your theories on other people before putting them into practice. With proper tests, you can compare your results to find the ultimate trade show booth display.

Look at Competitors’ Booths

Keep abreast of the trade show booths of the competitors you admire to look for ways you can outshine them. Find the niche or technique that your competitors are missing out on and take advantage of it. Your booth design can reflect this change through the concept, presentation or implementation. For instance, if your competition seems to miss the mark on a key demographic, create a booth that will draw that demographic to you. It may be an interactive computer program or a hands-on demonstration. Design your booth around this center.

Be Flexible

It is Murphy’s Law that your booth set up may not be as perfect as you think. Something may go wrong. Fire restrictions may have changed, or part of your display malfunctions. It is a best practice to have a suitable plan B for when Murphy’s Law runs counter to your needs. Be as flexible as you can so that you can still run your booth if part of the setup is missing.

Put simply, the dimensions that work best for your booth are the ones that fit your need and the restrictions of the show.

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Why Being the Odd One Out at Trade Shows is Effective

odd is effective at trade showsA typical trade show has rows and rows of booths side by side all looking pretty much the same. When you think of ways you can stand out at a trade show, being the odd one out may be the answer you’re looking for.

Turning Socialization on Its Head

We want to get noticed and stand out. We want to be remembered. Does it really matter if it is our silly (but still appropriate) behavior or odd clothing choice that does the job? Take a chance to stand out because odd may be exactly what you need to do. Certainly, you will remember the booth with the guy dressed in shiny purple boots and cowboy hat. A Qzzr‘s representative used this technique (purple is a brand color) to stand out at a recent conference. The idea execution gave everyone a chuckle, and a reason to remember him and Qzzr.

Dare to Be Different

Instead of dressing up yourself, dress up your booth. An excellent example of a creative booth display is from Quinn Popcorn, built out of cardboard. An ingenious idea, the booth is a creative masterpiece for two reasons:

  1. Was relevant to their back-to-basics branding
  2. Surprisingly inexpensive way to get noticed

The booth stands out for its plainness, the complete opposite of what we are usually told to do at a trade show. The takeaway from this idea is that conventional wisdom is not always the best choice if you are trying to capture attention.

Safety Drugs Pascale XVb

Pascale XVb

There are a few new products that take conventional displays to a new level. The Backlit Vector Frame Display uses LED light bars to create a large light box that stands out from the crowd. The clean, contemporary design looks professional, while standing out at the same time. The Pascale XV Line is a modern twist on a traditional design allowing for easy customization and unique designs. These systems are also designed to easily interchange panels while using the same basic framework.

Booth design should be made based on the show and crowd. Being unique at Comic-Con is much different than the National Teachers Conference, adapting to your crowd and competition is the key to developing the right exhibit for the conference.

Strange is What Works

A company does not always come up with something different every time but even achieving something different half the time is progress. The key is to keep trying. Perfection is not the goal; rather it is to be noticed. Here are ideas from trade show experts:

Again, inspiration will not always strike but when it does, when everyone gets excited, work hard to make it happen.

Attention is the Game Plan
People and other companies like those who take risks. Since getting prospects’ attention and having them visit your booth is your first goal, and connecting that visit to your company name is the second goal, being odd is the technique you need to bring to your next trade show. It not only gets you noticed momentarily, but will also be remembered for many months afterward.

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The 11 Best Ways to Bring in New Clients

No business can survive without finding new customers, but sometimes it can be a challenge to know where to begin the search. From trade shows to social media, here are 11 ways to find new customers that you can begin using today.

  1. Know Your Customers, Really Know Them

11 best ways to bring in new businessBefore you can begin the search for any new customers, you must first make sure you know exactly who your original ones are. You cannot create a marketing campaign based upon who you think you are marketing to. Instead, use a variety of resources such as SurveyMonkey, social media, site traffic data, like that found with Google Analytics, and one-on-one interactions with existing customers to learn about them. Gather information such as:

  • What motivated them to make a purchase
  • Why they chose your company
  • Whether they were happy with their experience
  • What their background and pain points are
  1. Produce High Quality Materials

Marketing materials communicate a brand’s image and how people will remember your company, so this is not an area to skimp. Rather than printing thousands of business cards, brochures, stationery, and other materials, print fewer but ensure they are made with a superior design and that they communicate a solid quality message about your company.

  1. Use Trade Shows

Trade shows are excellent opportunities to meet others in the industry, and prospective advance banner stand with shelf and literature holdercustomers. Creating a well-designed booth that communicates the message of the brand along with well-prepared salespeople is usually the perfect recipe for finding new, high-quality leads. According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, 88% of exhibition attendees did not receive a phone call from salespeople in 2000, yet failure to follow up when one was requested has the potential to negatively impact the attendee’s perception. Over 63% of people indicated that failure to follow up caused them to feel negatively towards an exhibitor and another 14% say it made them feel negatively towards exhibitors and the event itself. Leverage this enormous window by contacting the leads you meet. Set goals about the number of new people you would like to speak with at the event and use your time wisely to meet that goal.

  1. Be Involved In The Community

Community events, such as charity runs or annual picnics, are an opportunity to connect with new faces and find new clients. Successfully converting new customers requires building a relationship with them. Community events offer the chance to set up a table to speak with people, sponsor charities and races, demonstrate your interest in local causes, and otherwise show your community you care.

  1. Network On And Offline

Business often comes down to who you know, which means networking cannot be overrated. Take the time to build relationships both on and offline. Start conversations with new professionals and then follow up – without a sales pitch – to demonstrate you are invested in the relationship. Provide referrals to the company, if the situation comes up.

  1. Create An Email Newsletter

An estimated 91% of email users check their inbox at least one time per day, so this is a wonderful way to remain engaged and on the minds of prospective clients. Newsletters should be sent out on a predictable schedule, contain useful and valuable information, and should only be sent to those who have explicitly opted in.

  1. Know Which Social Media Channels Your Customers Use

Using Facebook to Promote Your Trade ShowWhen it comes to social media, the platforms are not interchangeable. It is important to know where your customers can be found so that you can build a strong web presence to reach them.

  • Twitter: One giant conversation of short multimedia posts
  • Facebook: A generally casual platform where people enjoy lighthearted and informative content
  • Google+: A great place for more focused and informative content; you can specify who reads what through your Circles
  • LinkedIn: A professional network where a businesslike approach is expected rather than casual
  1. Create Content That Demonstrates Your Expertise

People go online to find answers to their questions. To begin building strong relationships with these customers, you need to be there with answers to their inquiries. You need to become a trusted resource for them. The best way to do this is to produce high quality content throughout your website and advertise it on social media, your newsletters, and any other digital communication you have with your audience.

9. Encourage Customer Reviews

Customers trust the word of other customers more than they trust advertising from the companies themselves. Encouraging customers to leave reviews (both positive and, somewhat, negative) will help to cultivate positive advertising that customers will listen to. Reviews can be used as testimonials on the website, conversion pages, brochures, and other marketing materials, though a disclaimer that such testimonials might be used this way is recommended.

  1. Integrate Marketing Systems

You want to make sure that the customer gets the same marketing message from you regardless of whether they encounter your brand on social media or on the side of a transit bus. The campaign should be integrated to reach the maximum number of customers and send them to complete a common task, whether it is visit the company website or participate in an upcoming event.

  1. Stay In Touch With Old Customers

Part of superior customer service is ensuring that customers are happy even after they have made a purchase. It costs an average of 6-7 times more to find new customers than to retain old ones, so keeping existing customers motivated to stay with your company is critical for growth. Follow up with them after a purchase to see if they are happy and periodically touch base with them to see if they need any more services. Not only will this encourage customers to return, it will also motivate them to refer your company to others.

Customers are the reason any business exists. For new companies, however, it can be a struggle to know where to look. If you are having trouble finding new customers, consider using some of these above ideas to expand your reach and convert new sales.

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How to Drive Publicity for Your New Trade Show Display

It takes a well-planned, coordinated effort before, during and after a trade show to maximize your investment. Your trade show display is set up to attract customers to win new business and make new connections. Having a good PR campaign will get potential customers actively looking for your booth at trade shows, rather than simply stumbling upon it.

Do Your Prep Work

Pay special attention to the media attendees, including freelancers, advises Hannah Kitchener, a senior account executive with the PR firm SE10. The media can help promote you at no cost. Freelancers and industry bloggers are especially hungry for interesting stories they can pitch to their readers. Send the media newsworthy information, rather than just a list of your products or services.

Avoid the hard sell, but certainly tell bloggers and others why their readers need to know what you are selling. For example, a maker of automobile air filters might provide media members with tips that their readers can use to cut car maintenance and operating costs. The list could include keeping tires properly inflated, using the right oil, and changing air filters on a regular schedule to increase fuel mileage. The air filter maker could then invite media members to its booth to learn more about how air filters work and what types are available. Provide objective information, problems or opportunities, possible solutions and the solution you offer.

Tease Your Target Audience

how to drive publicity to your trade show displayDon’t rely on the media to tell your whole story. Use short press releases, emails, tweets or Facebook posts to alert your customer base to important news while offering to provide a complete report they can pick up at your trade show display. Reference new legislation that will affect customers, or share the results of a study that might impact their businesses. An old PR adage was “sell the sizzle, not the steak.” Give them just enough information to whet their appetites for more, then bring them to your display to share the whole story at your booth.

Offer News about the Show

Maybe produce a blog post a few weeks before the show to recommend the best hotels, restaurants and evening entertainment options in the area.  Show where to find parking or the best way to get from the airport to the show’s hotels. Don’t forget to set up your booth and take pictures of it with your staff so attendees will know what to look for when they’re at the show.

Coordinate Your Social Media Efforts

Using Twitter to Improve your Trade Show CampaignUsing Twitter and Facebook, along with show hashtags, can heighten your visibility to show attendees and even your company staffers back at the office. Tweeting and posting from the show also lends credibility as well. For example, update your customers about new or interesting products at the show.  Or promote other companies and send links to their websites. In this way, you’ll brand yourself as an objective expert in your industry. This can also help you with the media, who will see you as an industry expert and a credible source.

Don’t Forget Contests and Gifts

People love freebies, though it can be a double-edged sword. People who come to your booth just for a prize may not be serious customers. So limit your prizes and contests to pre-qualified customers. Try a trivia contest that requires show attendees to answer three short questions about your product or service. Highlight three key selling points you want to make an impact. If attendees get the “gimme” questions right, they win a prize. You can publicize the winners of the content in your social efforts and show wrap-ups.

Expert Advice

Let the experts at Northwest Creative Imaging help you with ideas for creative PR for trade shows. Take advantage of a free consultation with one of NWCI’s experts today.

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Does Your Trade Show Booth Work?

While you can’t design your trade show booth with a giant magnet to draw people to you, there are many ways your booth can help attract prospects and engage them once there.

Work with an expert

Working with companies that specialize in trade show displays for specific industries is a good place to start. They work with you to design a booth suited to your marketing goals and budget. Each industry has both written and unwritten rules when it comes to trade shows so a little more expert advice helps you decide on an appropriate booth for your industry.

Use Social Media to Prime the Pump

The rise of social media including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, provides the opportunity to get prospects excited about your booth before you ever get to the trade show. Position your booth as a destination spot at the show by spending the weeks and days leading up to the show highlighting your features and show specials. Don’t be shy about asking your followers to retweet or share. Engage your prospects with behind-the-scenes photos of preparing for the show and your travels to the show. These illustrate all the work being done to prepare and gives a company more chances to imprint its brand.

Create Trade Show Incentives

As part of your pre-show announcements, include giveaways and contests that will get your audience a little more emotionally involved in keeping track of what you’re doing. If the reward or prize is big enough, you could even prompt them to fill out a two-part contest form; one part before the show and one part at your booth. You want to come out ahead, so consider the value of each new customer and plan your prize or prizes, accordingly.

Set Up Meetings With Potential Clients

Since most trade shows are industry specific, meetings with potential clients who are also there makes sense for all involved. It cuts out effort for both sides and provides valuable face to face time. Schedule any meetings before you leave for the show and send or arrange a reminder once you’re there.. Also set up meetings with current clients to discuss any new products and services, or again have that one-on-one time to reconnect. Another tactic is to host informal meals or, if appropriate, meet-ups at sporting events to connect existing clients with prospective clients for first-hand testimonials.

Offer Q & A Sessions

Since your audience is guaranteed during a trade show due to the large number of niche clients, get the word out that you’ll have a free Q & A session every day of the conference. This type of session allows your prospects to ask questions in a low-key setting as well as gives you a way to engage a group of prospects at the same time. From your experience, you know you get the same questions repeatedly, so this is a good opportunity to save some time. Plan to video the Q& A sessions. Later, pick the best questions, break up the video and post them to your site and media channels.

Be Prepared

To come across as upbeat and confident at a trade show – practice. The Trade Show News Network says “there is no substitute” for a prepared presentation. Being prepared means that you won’t leave out important selling points due to nerves or forgetfulness. Practicing in front of a video camera that you can view later will help you with your pitch. And again, you can pull a few highlights of your presentation and put them on your website blog.

Stand Outside Your Booth

A good practice during a trade show is to stand outside your booth space to greet potential clients who walk by. No sales pitch involved; smiles and friendly greetings go a long way during an exhausting trade show weekend. If nothing else, saying hello will help you network and make contacts that can lead to future business.

Educate Your Prospects

According to the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), 63% of attendees choose to attend educational sessions before a trade show begins. If the show has classes, you can take advantage of being listed in their show guide. Find out how you can be included in the list of experts offering workshops or lessons during the show.

Location, Location, Location

Most trade shows have preferred locations for booths. It is up to you to decide if getting a preferred location will give you the best ROI or if investing in your booth presentation will be enough. At the very least check that you’re not buried in some obscure corner with horrible lighting. When working with any display company to design and produce your booth, ask them about locations at specific shows. Prime locations do tend to sell out fast, so if this is part of your strategy, book early.

Offer Drinks and Snacks

Big trade shows are tiring to walk through. Be thoughtful to attendees and offer them water, snacks or a place to sit for a few minutes. You may have to get permission to have food in your booth from show directors, so check ahead.

Although trade shows are sometimes difficult to master, following these tips helps improve every aspect of your trade show experience.

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Successful Trade Show Displays 2015

Trade show displays in 2015 have become nearly as important as the product or service being offered. The first impression that a trade show or expo attendee gets from a display can determine whether they walk on by or give you some of their time.

Display additions like the use of interactive technology, games, giveaways, and other fun activities allow your booth’s visitors to have a great experience with your company. This can ultimately lead to a new customer and ongoing revenue.

You want to justify your investment of money and time for trade shows. This free guide about trade show displays will provide you with all the new and best trends to make your display as effective as possible, so your business can continue to thrive.

Get the Free Guide: Successful Trade Show Displays 2015

Guide to Successful Trade Show Displays 2015

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