Women in Exposition seek the magic to the perfect guest experience

Ask a dozen people what it takes to create the perfect guest experience in an exhibit and you are bound to get as many different answers. About 40 women sought to pinpoint the components of such an experience Tuesday during the Women in Exposition’s meeting held in conjunction with Exhibitor2010 in Las Vegas through March 18.

Hosted by Debra Roth, creative director and CEO of Pink, Inc, the meeting attracted a broad spectrum of participants, from corporate exhibit managers to exhibit house designers and journalists to junior account executives.

“Times are changing and so must the guest experience,” said Michelle Benson, vice president of client services for Momentum Communications. “It is time to accept that attendees are much more savvy today. They do not come to shows for freebies. They want to be entertained, educated and engaged. If you help the attendees (guests), they will help you in return.”

There was a consensus among the crowd that the perfect guest experience does not begin with the exhibiting companies but with the show producer and general contractor who must create a welcoming environment for all. For example, if a show must have an engaging and appropriate theme, there must be pre-show promotion and follow up, lighting and adequate hall temperature and noise levels conducive to conversations.

The following were among the suggestions offered for creating the elusive perfect guest experience.

• Clear messaging about your company, products and services; verbal and visual

• Ask customers how much time they have and adjust your presentation to the guest’s schedule and expectations

• Canned deliveries are out. Ask customers about their needs and concerns then individualize and customize the message for each visitor. Make it about the customer, not about scanning badges.

• A guest’s time is valuable and special, thus he or she should be treated as such.

• A tradeshow exhibit and presentation should offer guests a unique experience, one different from a sales call or Web site presentation. Something they can’t experience elsewhere.

• Train staff from A to Z to be engaging and to know the industry trends and issues, products and services inside and out. If a staff member can’t help a customer, make sure they know who can and direct them to that person.

• Immediately after the show and periodically thereafter, there should be a timely, targeted, pre-show and post-show follow up. A phone call or written note is more effective and memorable than an email. “Remember, what happens in Las Vegas, takes several weeks of follow up,” added Gwen Hill, director of business development for ExhibitForce.com.

(Written by Aleta Walther of Exhibit City News)

Marketing 101: Why Videotaping Your Trade Show Exhibit Matters

videotaping trade show

As I came across the headline for this article, I couldn’t help but wonder why it was so important to videotape your trade show. However my skepticism had ceased once I had the opportunity to read the article. With the advances in social media involving online communities such a YouTube and Facebook, viral video sharing has experienced a steady increase, in both audience and performers, since it has been introduced. Aside from sharing videos, the article goes on to mention other ways in which this footage can be valuable to any company.

This article explains the benefit of videotaping your trade show exhibit. While trade shows only come around every so often, the video footage lasts forever. It is something prospective clients can view to get a first hand account of your products and/or services at work.

Take a few minutes to read through the article and let us know what you think.

Tradeshows are an ideal place to showcase your products, your services, and your company to new and current customers. A tradeshow is also the perfect environment to capture video content of your booth, preferably in an interesting “news-style” format. Video is fast becoming the media of choice to communicate your tradeshow marketing message after the show has ended. It can help you reach those unable to attend or those who didn’t receive your complete message. Video is also the medium of choice for post-show online ads, email blasts, additions to your website and Social Networking efforts.

Today, customers would rather watch a 2-3 minute video on your product or company than read a multi-page brochure or editorial….and a trade show is a great place to capture the online video content that sells all year long.

Video is the ideal medium for promoting a new product, capturing a trade show exhibit, enhancing a case study, giving the FAQ section on your website more impact, and much more. Plus video can be multi-purposed and is ideal for social networking activities to attract new prospects as well as current customers. Many different businesses are using social networking to attract more customers to their businesses. Tradeshow videos are ideal for social networking because more than ever, people are watching video online and that includes B2B video from a range of companies.

Video is the best way to ‘shake the cage’ on your guerilla marketing effort, or to better explain the advantages of a new technology or product. More and more companies are using video to sell, train, promote, persuade, and build visibility.

Video on the web can be repurposed for greater value, is usually more attention getting, and offers greater message retention. But getting it seen is critical.

Online video has become an essential sales tool for businesses. Yet, very few businesses ever videotape their trade show exhibit, launch new products with video, or use video case studies and video FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on their website.

(Article from the Trade Show Marketing website)

Exhibitor 2010: The Future of Trade Shows

Exhibitor pig

FB Displays & Designs Inc. president, Francine Brooks attended this year’s Exhibitor Conference and Exhibition. Francine returns with tales of new, innovative products and high hopes for the future of trade show marketing.

“There are more new products introduced at Exhibitor Show than any other industry events. In addition to meeting key contacts, attendees have the opportunity to network with their peers and share best practices. In light of the current economy, Exhibitor 2010 re-energized everyone involved in trade show marketing,” says Francine.

Exhibitor 2010 took place from March 14th – 18th in Las Vegas, NV. The show was not only geared toward those in the trade show industry, but it also proved to be an excellent learning experience for those looking into trade show marketing. There were a variety of very informative seminars such as exhibiting strategies, lead management, show operation, and much more.

The exhibition portion of the show that ran from March 15th – 17th provided a very positive outlook for the future of the trade show industry. Hundreds of exhibitors brought out the big guns and put on a mesmerizing show. The new products on display represent a new age that transforms durability, ease of use, and transport into one seamless entity.

Bureau Veritas: A Leader in Product Safety

BUFFALO, NEW YORK –March 1, 2010. Long-term client Bureau Veritas geared up for their annual participation at Toy Fair 2010. With a fresh set of large format graphics, new display accessories and a re-configured truss display, all designed by the creative team at FBD2, Bureau Veritas stood out as a major contender amongst the other exhibitors.

Toy Fair 2010, which took place at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City in February, is one of Bureau Veritas’s biggest events of the year. In addition to exhibiting, BV presented an interactive seminar during which the latest updates in the toy industry and toy safety regulation were discussed.

Bureau Veritas’s Consumer Products Services division is a leading quality assurance provider for the global consumer product and retail markets.  This division offers an extensive range of specialized services including consulting, testing, inspections and training for a full-range of consumer products including hard goods, toys and juvenile products, soft goods, premiums, electrical and electronic products and health, beauty and household products. (http://www.bureauveritas.com)

FB Displays & Designs, Inc., provides full service event marketing solutions, from custom exhibits and modular displays to trade show material and design services. The company, which is “Certified Woman-Owned”, is a member of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce and the World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, and the president and founder, Francine Brooks, is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners and sits on the board of the Center for Entrepreneur Leadership at SUNY and several other advisory boards.

For information:            http://www.displaysanddesigns.com

Contact:            francine@displaysanddesigns.com

Phone:            (716) 635-0282

What Is All The Waiting For???

empty booth

What is the deal? We pound and pound and pound on our clients and prospects that the longer they wait to commit to an exhibit on the trade show floor, the higher the costs. People, believe me we are not lying – it will cost more money. Here are a few reasons why this happens…

1. Early orders allow preparation time – late orders cause exhibit houses to use overtime hours to complete an exhibit at overtime and double time rates – because after 40 hours a week – it’s the law!

2. On time ordering allows time to calculate accurately, what your service order needs to be at a show. How much electrical, electrical labor, rigging, drayage – these are all numbers that can be calculated accurately given the right set of project drawings. In turn there are no penalties from show services for late or inaccurate ordering.

3. Vendors! Yes we are the vendors, however we also have vendors. We have seen Las Vegas become naked – no black sintra, no fabric graphic materials, no A+ labor – and you the exhibitor pay the price for this.

4. Foreign clients – we know the rest of the world works last minute – we get to do this when we take our clients out of the USA, however, it just doesn’t work here – there are penalties (read money) on everything. And these penalties are out of the control of the exhibit house.

5. Not completing paperwork – yes that means not waiting until you get to the show to pay for your services. Nothing happens from show services, including laying your electrical before the carpeting is rolled out. Get your check or your credit card on file at the show – otherwise you will be guaranteed overtime rates on everything because you have stopped all of the work.

So there are a few reasons not to wait. We understand the economy; we understand cash flow, however, your booth space, in all probability, has been paid for six months ago. Working ahead of time will save money in the long run – you can shop your best deal, arrange your best and least expensive installation times, book your earliest travel rates – really think out your entire budget and then put it to bed.

Last minute decisions can be disastrous – we have seen it all – you go for the cheapest last minute deal – and that is exactly what you get. You get to the show floor and have an unfinished exhibit sitting on tissue paper carpeting without padding, wires sticking out everywhere, nails and screws showing, and everything dirty. Why? You get what you pay for – there is discounted purchasing three months earlier that looks great with everything the rendering and the vendor’s pictures tell you will happen – or there is a rag-tag mish-mash of hyleria and hysteria and even an open check book cannot heal it! THINK EARLY!

“Putting Hunger in Check”

BUFFALO, NEW YORK –February 25, 2010. When FB Displays & Designs was asked to design a display for the Food Bank of WNY, our creative team welcomed the opportunity to produce a stunning display that illustrates the positive impact and efforts of the organization. The trio of banner stands utilizes powerful images that convey the message of the Food Bank  “Fighting Hunger in the Community”.

The display made its debut at Sweet Charity, held February 4th,, where guests were invited to indulge in an array of desserts, wine, and delicious coffees.

Because of the convenient size and ease of scalability of the display, the Food Bank is now able to spread its message in many different settings such as fundraising events and conferences.

Founded in 1979, the Food Bank of WNY started out as a small fish in a big pond. However, when they moved into their first warehouse in 1983, there was a great deal of promise in this organization. Their mission is to “obtain food and support from public and private sources and efficiently re-distribute these resources to affiliated charitable providers such as soup kitchens, pantries and shelters.” www.foodbankwny.org

FB Displays & Designs, Inc., provides full service event marketing solutions, from custom exhibits and modular displays to trade show material and design services. The company, which is “Certified Woman-Owned”, is a member of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce and the World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, and the president and founder, Francine Brooks, is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners and sits on the board of the Center for Entrepreneur Leadership at SUNY and several other advisory boards.

For information:            http://www.displaysanddesigns.com

Contact:            francine@displaysanddesigns.com

Phone:            (716) 635-0282

Trade Show Uptick may Indicate Stronger Economy

Trade Show Uptick

Business seems to be looking up in the convention and trade show sector.

More than 70 percent of exhibitors expect to go to additional trade shows this year, an almost complete flip from data that a year ago indicated only 28 percent of exhibitors were adding to their schedules.

Increased trade show activity is an indication of a better economy, suburban businesses – especially ones that rely on the broad meetings industry – may enjoy 2010 more than they enjoyed 2009. There are cautions, however, including rather solid suggestions that meeting attendance won’t increase much.

You clearly weren’t alone if you opted out of the annual industry meeting last year. Travel budgets, says Pat Farrey, “were down 40 percent last year compared to 2008.” Those budgets, he adds, “haven’t changed for 2010.”

A principal at Landon, Farrey & Associates, Inc., a trade association management firm in Naperville that manages five national associations, four in the packaging industry, Farrey knows meetings.

“The old model – meetings for golf – doesn’t work any more,” Farrey says. “Senior managers aren’t looking to be entertained.” What attendees are looking for, Farrey says, is “takeaway value.”

So are their bosses. Conventions and trade shows that have “reinvented themselves” have managed to stem the drop in attendance or picked up a little, Farrey says. Even so, Farrey notes that “More levels of approval are required” to justify the cost of trade show attendance.

That may be one reason exhibitors have noticed a change in attendees.

(Author: Jim Kendall of the Chicago Daily Herald)