How to Make Lemonade from a Lemon Booth Location

FBD2, Lemonade from a Lemon Booth Location

Photo Courtesy of Flickr, Yellow Sky Photography

Stuck in the back corner of the hall or behind a column? Miss out on getting into the main exhibit hall? Here’s how you can see all your clients and prospects and have a successful show:

1. Pre-show announcements.

It doesn’t matter if it’s an elaborate mailer, or a quick text or e-mail, send something telling clients and prospects you’re not going to be easy to find, but the extra effort will be rewarded. Don’t forget to maximize your presence at the show on Linkedin and Facebook.

2. Sponsor a coffee break.

Convince show management into allowing you to sponsor a coffee or beverage break. Then put a very large and colorful sign nearby with a map to your booth and a prize offer for attendees who find you. 

3. Give them a yellow brick road.

Negotiate with show management to let you place stickers on the aisle carpet leading attendees to your booth. These can be arrows, footprints or pictures of your product.

4. Give them what they want.

Do some serious brainstorming and come up with a novel – a really, really novel – promotional item that will allow people to wear or carry your logo to the masses. The right item will cause people to ask where they can get one for themselves.

5. Let Elvis do your talking.

Hire talent to hand something (samples, coupons, flyers with maps to your space) to attendees as they come into the facility. Some show managers will let you rent space or will designate a specific location for this activity.

6. Give them the shirt off your back.

Dress your entire staff in shirts with a map to your booth on the back and your logo on the front.

7. Sponsor headrest covers on the shuttle buses.

Put your logo and booth location on the back of every shuttle bus seat headrest so that everyone knows how to find you once they are in the hall.

8. Network like a madman!

In addition to every networking event, take advantage of social media. Tweet a ‘Thank you for visiting our booth’ message to every visitor to your booth. This leads to a reply or a retweet that not only creates a bond with the prospect (enhancing the possibility of a conversion) but also takes your brand and booth location to the followers of the prospect leading to more potential visitors.

9. Get friendly with show management.

Don’t be afraid to talk to show management about your dilemma. The more they know that you are serious about maximizing your presence at their show, the more likely you’ll be able to get first option on a better location if someone pulls out or is a no-show.

Good luck and have fun!

Written by Francine Brooks, President of FB Displays & Designs, Inc.

March 4, 2014 at 1:55 pm Leave a comment

The Five “L’s” of Exhibit Success

The 5 L's of Exhibit Success

The Five “L’s” of Exhibit Success
Photo Courtesy of Flickr

As I was cleaning my office the other day, I came across an article in Trade Show Week that was written almost 20 years ago by Michael Falkowitz, who, at that time, was Sales Development Manager at Nabisco.

Although it was printed some time ago, I would like to share a few lines of timeless advice from that article.

Following are five principles that will ensure both exhibit and job success:

* Learn:

Never stop learning.  The huge technical development that can be [attained] at trade shows is one example of the reasons why exhibit managers must continue to learn. Being a successful exhibit manager will involve knowing and applying this ever-evolving technology.

* Love:

Maintain a positive attitude even in stressful times. Respond to all inquiries. Ours is a communication business. It is rude [to] not respond to phone calls. Know everything there is to know about your company, and go the extra mile, no matter what task you face.

* Laugh:

Keeping a sense of humor can see you through stressful periods and make your- and your team members’- jobs much easier.

* Labor:

Like going the extra mile, doing the best possible job will help make your exhibit the center of attention. Hard work and sacrifice are part of the job.

* Leave:

When the show is done, it’s time to take back what you have learned and start applying those principles to the next trade show.

In closing, it is important to remember that a tradeshow display is not a museum. It’s a billboard, a time-compressed live marketing event and a communication process. Creating an exhibit that’s the center of attention is a matter of taking advantage of those features creatively.

Written by Francine Brooks, President of FB Displays & Designs, Inc.

February 11, 2014 at 3:39 pm Leave a comment

Use Words to Attract your Audience

Use Words to Attract your Audience to your Trade Show Booth

Every word can have a positive or negative impact on your marketing efforts, especially at trade shows… whether you are creating large graphics, sales material, pre-show marketing campaigns, or talking directly with a prospect.

Since exhibitors have less than 6 seconds to attract attendees to their booth, consistently choosing the “right” words becomes very important.

Below are a few proven marketing words to help you communicate more effectively and accomplish your goals at your next trade show.

#1: “YOU”

This is one of the most important words. Using the word “you” makes it easier to connect to your target audience and draw a direct line from your products/services to how they can provide a solution to your potential clients.

Selling is never about products or services.  It’s about the benefits that are meaningful to your target audience.

#2: “SAFE”

Whether you are dealing with money, health, personal well-being, technology or manufacturing, touting the safety of your product or service is important.

Potential clients do not want to take high risks to address challenges or needs with which they are already dealing. They want a trustworthy, easy solution so they can stop worrying.

#3: “RESULTS”

It is important for prospects to connect your product or service with the results they are hoping to achieve.

Prospective buyers are looking for one thing: Results. You must communicate the results your products/services provide in all aspects of trade show marketing.

Although these three words are simple on their own, by adding them to a well-constructed message on your display graphics, in  your pre and post show marketing communication, on your sell sheets, and in verbal interaction with attendees, conversion rate and ROI will definitely improve.

Good luck!

Written by Francine Brooks, President of FB Displays & Designs, Inc.

February 5, 2014 at 4:07 pm Leave a comment

Trade Show Booth Rental 101

A great example of a trade show booth rental

A great example of a trade show booth rental

Renting a trade show display is an increasingly popular way to make your presence known at an exhibition.

In recent years, more & more of our clients have been interested in the option to rent a trade show booth.

Reasons why you might need a trade show booth rental include:

  • You’re exhibiting at more shows than you have displays available
  • You have a display that can’t be repaired in time
  • You exhibit at trade shows too infrequently and prefer to rent
  • You want a new look each time you attend an annual show
  • You need a professional look, but don’t have the budget to purchase

No matter the reason, renting a trade show booth allows you to have the professional look you require without all of the usual expenses of ownership. These can include warehousing & storage, as well as regular maintenance.

Here are some thoughts you should keep in mind when considering a trade show exhibit rental:

  • The size of your tradeshow booth space-

While it might seem obvious, it is important to think about the area you will have at the show.  Certain display systems are more appropriate than others in either large or small footprints.

  • The rules set by show management-

It is important to consider the amount of time it will take to install your booth compared to the official setup & teardown hours assigned by the managers of the trade show.  If the time allotted for installation is short, an uncomplicated system would be best.  In addition, you should look at the booth height limitations in the exhibitor’s manual and choose a booth that will comply with those rules.

  • Creativity in design-

Use this opportunity to show some creative flare with artwork that will grab attendees’ attention.  This may be a great time to test a more daring concept than what you’re used to!

  • Consider a hardware system that’s new to you-

Especially if you will be in the market for a new display system in the near future, it might make sense to try out new hardware you are unfamiliar with.  (Who doesn’t like to “try before you buy”?)

  • Be flexible-

Since you will be working with your trade show design company and utilizing their rental inventory, be as flexible as possible with your criteria for choosing a display system.  There will likely be some traditional as well as trendy options available.

  • Usability of graphics-

While you may only be exhibiting with this arrangement one time, it would be helpful to design the graphic elements in your booth so that they can be re-used in future displays, on other display systems you already own, in your showroom or in your lobby.

  • Length of rental-

Pay close attention to the installation & dismantle dates for your trade show and make sure the length of your rental allows enough time to ship the display to and from the show.

  • Options-

In addition to the display itself, you can usually rent many items to enhance your booth such as lighting, flooring & furniture.  Renting allows you to have high quality pieces in your booth without breaking the budget!

Now that you’ve considered exhibit rentals, take a look through our other blog entries for more tips.  If you have a suggestion to share, please leave it in the comments, below!

January 8, 2014 at 2:22 pm Leave a comment

Apps that are Lifesavers at a Trade Show

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.

Continue Reading November 6, 2013 at 11:30 am Leave a comment

Why Halloween’s #1 Rule Applies to Trade Shows

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lizhenry/2990037101/sizes/o/in/photostream/

Courtesy of Flickr

When you think of Halloween, you might picture hordes of youngsters at your door, on their crusade for free candy.  One thing all those kids will have in common is that they have to earn it, by shouting “trick or treat!”

When you’re exhibiting at a trade show, sometimes working at a booth can feel like that as well.  You’ll see tire-kickers coming from across the hall, “trade show trick-or-treaters”, with large branded totes full of free pens, stress-relief-balls and, of course, candy.  They’re probably not planning on doing business with very many vendors; they are scouring the show floor, looking to fill their bags with free stuff.  What’s an exhibitor to do?

Obviously, you’re not going to ask trade show attendees to say “trick-or-treat!”  However, you should try to get them to earn the free item by having a conversation with you.

Consider these ideas to make the most of your promos:

  • Keep free candy & giveaways towards the back of your booth, to avoid “hit & run” behavior.  Put these items on display, but compel the attendee to enter your space and interact with your salespeople.
  • If you tend to give out candy, consider serving mints, as these are inexpensive treats that can help to ensure your booth staffers have fresh breath, too.  (This is Face-to-Face Marketing, after all!)
  • Use promotional products as a conversation–starter.  Something as simple as “Have you seen one of these before?” can break the ice and quickly pivot into a chat with the attendee.  This is a perfect chance to build rapport for a future business relationship
  • Ideally, promotional gifts should be branded with your logo, be an item with some usefulness & be relevant to your organization.  (Hint: use something more creative than a pen or sticky-note pad!)
  • Use this opportunity to qualify leads before inviting them to take a gift.  Collect business cards & ask to scan badges; take notes about their company’s needs, schedule a follow-up if appropriate.
  • Focus on distributing your giveaways to the most valuable prospects you meet.  Let’s face it, the freebies really aren’t free… your company had to pay for them, hoping that future business would come your way.

The most important lesson here is this: don’t let the “trick or treaters” distract you from your goals of meeting prospects, writing orders & obtaining leads.  A disciplined approach to handing out free items should help you to engage with more clients at your next event.  Remember, giveaways can have an important role in your trade show strategy, as long as they are targeted to the right people.

October 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm Leave a comment

Would you stop at your own booth?

Boost the “Curb Appeal” at your next trade show!

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Photo courtesy of Flickr

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.

    A booth with curb appeal

    A booth with plenty of curb appeal

  •  “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!

August 28, 2013 at 12:43 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 728 other followers

Follow us on Twitter

Feeds


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 728 other followers