Your mobile device can be the “backup” to your “backup plan” and help you to save time and make better decisions. Here are some of our favorite apps and why they’ll be a great resource when you travel to your next trade show.
Boost the “Curb Appeal” at your next trade show!
Have you ever thought about the similarities between the “curb appeal” of a home that’s for sale and that of your trade show booth? In both instances, the first impressions that newcomers have are crucial in determining whether they will stop, learn more and ultimately, if they will buy. Attendees at a trade show are going to make judgments about your company & products, based on your booth’s curb appeal (or lack thereof…) before they ever talk to you.
Here’s some familiar advice for increasing the curb appeal of a home, translated into ideas for success at your next face-to-face marketing event.
- “Have a welcoming entryway” – Just as you want guests to feel welcome in your home, you want attendees to feel the same in your booth. Visitors are more likely to enter a warm, inviting environment. Adding greenery/ potted plants & having professionally dressed staff will help with visual appeal. Also, as a general rule, you want at least 60% of the frontage open to avoid a perceived barrier to entry.
- “Keep it bright” – Lighting along the outside of a house enhances architectural elements, adding a decorative touch. Lighting in your booth ensures that your display is prominent & can be used to focus attention on specific messages.
- “Put on a fresh coat of paint” – Sometimes, a new coat of paint can help a house that feels ordinary or dated. Similarly, updated graphics could help to draw attention to your booth and better communicate your messaging.
- “Cut back on clutter” – Having too much clutter in a house, or trade show booth, creates visual noise that distracts prospects & keeps them from focusing on the benefits you’re trying to convey. Organize your literature & samples, and try to have at least 60% of the floor space unoccupied so your area won’t seem cramped.
- “Keep it clean” – Dust & dirt in a home make potential buyers wary of other kinds of neglect in the property. When you keep the elements of your display clean, free of dust & visually appealing, the “take away” for attendees will be that your company knows how to handle the small details.
- “Be in a great neighborhood” – While most homeowners can’t choose where their property is located and can’t influence how neighbors maintain their homes, you-as an exhibitor-can select where your “real estate” will be. Opt for a booth space in a section of the hall that will have good traffic throughout the show. If you’ve been to this particular show before, choose to be near neighbors who do not have loud/distracting displays, and stay away from those who construct displays that will block attendees’ ability to see you when walking the aisles.
- “Cut the grass” The ultimate tip for improving curb appeal is to keep the lawn in pristine condition. At a show, your choice of flooring and how well it is maintained will tell the client something about you. Choose a color/material that matches well with your graphics and pick something that’s comfortable to stand on. (Clean/vacuum the floor as needed.)
Focusing on these improvements before your next show could help boost the number of attendees that stop, and at the end of the day, the number of leads you walk away with.
We did our homework on curb appeal at the Advice section of Realtor.com.
What ideas do you have to impact the curb appeal of a trade show display? We welcome your comments, below!
Written by Guest Contributor – Hendrik Lenze, Director of Business Development for Nomadic Display
In the “portable exhibit” world, Nomadic Display continues to see three major trends:
- Tension Fabric Displays’ rise in popularity
- iPad/tablet integration into booth designs
- Portability combined with “functional” needs
With these industry trends in mind, let’s take a closer look at these aspects of your trade show / exhibiting mix-
Tension Fabric Displays
Whether it’s for an event or trade show, graphics digitally printed on tension fabric can be seen on everything from hanging signs to backdrops & counters. Rapid growth in the popularity of tension fabric displays in recent years is likely due to key advantages such as:
- Fabric graphics deliver high quality, continuous-tone images in a vivid range of colors.
- Fabric graphics are durable and easy to maintain. They don’t ding or dent. They are fade resistant and machine washable.
- Fabric graphics are lighter in weight and ship compactly which helps reduce storage, transportation and handling (aka drayage) costs.
For a purely graphic backwall, nothing beats combining tension fabric with a pop-up for the ultimate in portability and speed. Our popular FabriMural display offers lightning fast set-up because the graphics travel pre-installed on the frame. Just pop it up and it’s ready to show.
More & more, exhibitors are leaving their printed literature at home, shifting instead to iPad/tablet integration for customer interaction, lead capturing & literature distribution. Some of the reasons for this include:
- Desire to be “green” ‐ Fewer resources used by reducing and/or eliminating printed pieces. (And a smaller “carbon footprint” resulting from shipping less collateral to and from the show.)
- Potential to save money and materials from having fewer printed pieces that will need to be discarded once they become outdated.
- Flexibility to update messaging as quickly as your business or industry changes.
- Information can be fed instantly to your sales network with up‐to‐date materials to begin selling/promoting immediately.
- Collecting & managing leads electronically means ease of data manipulation and following up after the show
If you’re already using an iPad in your booth, consider investing in the amazing “Media on Demand” App and enjoy a higher return on your investment. This app is customizable to display your brand, manage your sales literature, and allows you to view product photos/videos, technical specifications & promotions as well. You can capture leads & email PDFs directly to your customer from within the app.
Portability (Here’s where we bring it all together)
For those of you already familiar with the FabriMural display, you may know about the RollOne storage case, which can convert to a display counter featuring matching graphics. You can now take that a step further by utilizing the new iPad counter-top. Cleverly inset portrait or landscape into the counter-top, an acrylic shield provides security during show hours while offering cut-outs for access to all the tablet control buttons. To ensure continuous power to the tablet, the cord can remain in place while secured into the counter-top.
By making the most of these concepts you can look forward to a display design that is cutting edge, while still being simple to ship & easy to set up. Please contact the staff at FB Displays & Designs, Inc. in order to find out more about The Nomadic Display FabriMural, iPad counter-top upgrade or the “Media on Demand” application.
You’ve put so much time & energy into the design of your trade show booth, backdrop & other elements… are you getting the most ‘bang for your buck’ out of these materials?
Your trade show display is designed to quickly & effectively communicate your organization’s identity and message. One way you can ensure you’re getting a good return on investment (ROI) is to put the display to work more often.
Depending on your business & the activities in the community your company participates in, the additional opportunities to use your display will vary, but might include:
- Summer Festivals & Fairs
- If a good fit for the product / brand, you may consider looking for additional brand exposure at art, music & food festivals / fairs
- Consider how can you engage new customers at these events & tie that to the positive experience they’re already having at these memorable occasions
- Press Conferences – If you are inviting members of the media to a press conference, (to launch a new product, announce an expansion, etc.) your display could be the perfect professional backdrop
- Community events, chamber of commerce events – Check the calendar for your local chamber of commerce events to see if there is an opportunity to introduce your organization to the business community. Your display would be a great visual aid
- Charity Events – Do you sponsor any events, such as a race for a charity, auction, symposium or golf tournament? Make sure the attendees know your organization is involved!
- HR/ Recruiting – At career/job fairs, let your HR staff attract more potential job candidates to their booth/table using the great graphics/messaging you’ve already created!
- Lobby – When not in use at shows, consider installing elements from your trade show display in your lobby / retail space to invite visitors & improve the “first impression” they have of your organization
- Online – Any video displays / slideshows you have designed for use at trade shows can be uploaded to YouTube to increase your internet presence
- Company Events – Welcome guests at your summer picnic, holiday parties or hospitality events with elements from your display to let them know, “they’ve arrived” and to show the pride you have in your organization!
If you have other ideas, please share them in the discussion below!
When exhibiting at a trade show, one of the most important parts of your participation in the event is obviously the booth itself. Since you’re already participating in the show… are you sure you’re getting the most “bang for your buck”? At many shows, there are other opportunities -besides just your booth space- for you to connect with attendees. Here are a few examples…
- Consider the additional exposure from being an official sponsor for the event, which usually offers the opportunity to have your company’s logo/ name prominently displayed in the exhibit hall / on the property
- Are there other branding opportunities at the event? Perhaps the ability to have your name or logo on wristbands, badge holders, or tote bags for holding brochures? These options allow the attendees to have significant, extended exposure to your brand
- Are sponsorships available for Charity Auctions, Receptions or a Golf Tournament associated with the show?
- Shuttle Bus – Is there a courtesy shuttle running between the expo & the show hotel? Ask if there is an opportunity to sponsor this bus & have your company name, logo & booth number shown here. It’s a captive audience!
- Directory/ Map/ Kiosk sponsorships – Whether in print or electronic, this is another way to stay “top of mind” with show attendees.
- Does the show offer the option to provide your literature pre-stuffed in a bag for attendees? Mitigate the possibility that some attendees might not make it to your booth by taking advantage of this service.
- “Hand out” your literature electronically – With the universal use of tablets & smartphones, you now have the option to send your catalogs & handouts to attendees by email (while they’re in your booth!) You’ll know they have received the information they need about your company plus you now have a direct method to contact them to follow up after the show. In addition, some shows host a database where you can store an electronic copy of your literature for attendees. Either way, this eco-friendly option ensures information is delivered to your potential clients, (not to mention they won’t have to carry around your catalog all day.)
- Pre-show marketing/ attendee/member lists & mailing/emailing – This is your chance to announce to attendees that you will be participating in the show, get them excited about your company and let them know why they should stop at your booth! Most shows will make this list available to you & this step is a “must”!
- Outgoing email signature – Consider integrating a line about your trade show participation into your outgoing email signature, with basic information about the show, dates & (most importantly) your booth number. This is a great way to build early buzz/excitement (with very little effort!)
- Have you completed your vendor profile? In addition to a printed version for the show floor directory, many shows have a website, electronic directories & mobile apps the attendees may use to find out more about your company. Don’t miss a single opportunity to connect!
- Schedule meetings with customers – If there are clients attending the show that you want to devote ‘quality time’ to, write to them ahead of time & schedule a meeting. (This could be during show hours if you know there will be a lull or over dinner when the show floor closes). This way, you will be able to give them your undivided attention. Some shows offer to facilitate meetings between vendors & attendees, either through an in-person coordinator or an electronic appointment system.
- Are there any opportunities to display your products/ services in other areas of the exhibition building? (For example, in the entrance hall/lobby, in display cases, at receptions, etc.) Are there any of your products/ services that could be used as an in-kind donation to the show? (Another way to get credit for your brand on a sign that says “Provided by…”)
- Are there press/reporters that attend this show? Does show management allow you time in front of the press for announcements about your company or to unveil new products? Provide any reporters you speak with your business card, and offer product photos/ videos for their articles! Of course, you should send a press release to trade reporters & to your local media contacts regarding your participation in upcoming shows, too.
Some of these options are free, others will have a cost – depending on the show. You will need to weigh the exposure you’ll receive with the fees being charged. The point is, for a little extra effort, you can dramatically extend the number of attendees you engage with & the quality of those interactions.
By: Troy Stover, FB Displays & Designs, Inc.
1: the quality or state of being independent.
As the sole military veteran at FBD2 (and one known to relish in pontificating for hours on any number of subjects), given the upcoming holiday, I was tasked with writing something in regards to independence. The only problem is that I don’t feel I have any better a grasp on the concept than anyone else. Oh, sure, I get the idea that with independence we’re free to vote for whom we want, free to worship the God of our choice, and free to marry whom we love (well, most of us, at any rate), but I tend to think that maybe there’s more to it than all that.
Initially going online in the hopes of discovering a deeper meaning behind the word – behind the concept, really – as can be seen by the above (Thanks a LOT, Merriam Webster.com), this exercise resulted in very little assistance to my cause, so I fear I’m just going to have to “wing it.”
I tend to think that Uncle Ben had it right, with the whole “with great power, comes great responsibility” speech he gave to Peter Parker. For the purpose of this article however, we’ll insert “freedom” for “power.” Because freedom is just that, power. It’s also a privilege, and a responsibility. One that may be given initially, but still needs to be earned and maintained.
I think Albert Einstein said it best when he stated, “For those who would joyously march in rank and file, they have already earned my contempt, for they were given a large brain by accident when a spinal chord would have sufficed.” A bit harsh? Maybe. But you see, Albert understood that the things of this world that are worth treasuring are also worth thinking about, fighting for, and working hard at. Also, they’re worth the effort of being handled with a sense of individual responsibility, versus simply waiting around for the “other guy.”
Another of my heroes, Joe Strummer, summed it up slightly differently when he said, “When you blame yourself, you learn from it. If you blame someone else, you don’t learn nothing, cause hey, it’s not your fault, it’s his fault, over there.” Now that’s not to say that we only learn from mistakes, but I think we would do well to keep personal responsibility at the forefront, to realize that freedom truly isn’t free (I’m not even going to attempt to look that little gem up, as I’m sure the internet has it attributed to Lincoln, Twain, Freeman, Takei AND Madonna).
I suppose my nutshelled point is this: as my children’s kindergarten teacher used to say (and I know it was her who said it, versus Madonna), “Every day, just do your personal best.” That is what independence is. That; is what freedom demands.
From all of us here at FBD2, thank you for your continued patronage and partnership. We hope that you and yours have a wonderful holiday, filled with freedom, peace, and your personal best.