Your Trade Show Checklist

trade show check list

The trade show season will be upon us before you know it. While trade shows play a most important part in the success of your business, they sometimes can create a certain level of stress if not well organized. The couple of weeks prior to the show are especially crucial with details such as packing, shipping, and making sure that everything is in place. The following is a quick checklist to help in the preparation for a successful and almost stress free trade show:

Trade show checklist:

Booth supplies:
Display, lighting, literature stand, carpet
• Business cards (bring double the amount you think you will need)
• Company brochures, literature
• Sample product(s)
Promotional items
• Pens, calendar, notepads, similar supplies

• Professional attire
• Comfortable shoes
• Schedule, itinerary
• Phone, laptop, camera
• Tickets, confirmations
• Aspirin
• Mints
• Tissues
• Small first aid kit
• Antibacterial hand cleaner
• Credit cards, checks

Make sure everything else is in place:
• Confirmations (transportation, hotel rooms, booth space reservation, booth materials and display have arrived, etc.)
• Follow-up packets (electronic or snail mail) should be all set and ready to be sent out the day you return
• Trained staff that is aware of goals, expectations, schedule, dress code, and individual roles, as well as important company/product information
Pre-show marketing should be at its peak

Let workers stay home!

Working from home

Recently both houses of Congress passed bills that tighten the requirements for federal agencies on telework, which will actually encourage having stay-at-home workers. A study done by the Telework Research Network provides evidence that all businesses (not just federal, but small and medium-sized businesses, too) benefit from letting employees work from home. The study found that a business with 100 workers could save $1.1 million annually if they let them work from home just 50% of the time. Also, workers are significantly more productive working from their home (a 27% increase!). And it doesn’t end there—employers would even see reduced absenteeism, reduced costs for renting office space, and happier, healthier, less-stressed workers.

To see all of the benefits of telework:

Continue reading “Let workers stay home!”

Why you should hire an intern


Because we have been so successful in hiring interns for our business and several of our clients have expressed interest in learning more about interns, we wanted to share the following:

Every employer knows how difficult hiring a new employee can be. The process can take months and in the end result in no good prospects or perhaps a new hire that just does not fit the position or the company. A better approach might be to hire an intern as a low-risk investment in finding a great new employee.

Sure, you have to train interns and they don’t have much—if any—real job experience, but after the internship is completed you can count on them being much more qualified than outside applicants. View the internship process as an extended interview, a preview of how the individual would work as a full-time employee within your company. Young workers are enthusiastic, highly motivated, and always looking to learn. If you respect and encourage your intern, he or she will provide you with fresh ideas, a new outlook, and possible increased productivity.

Seems like an easy enough option; hire an intern and your problems will be solved. Not so fast. There are requirements for a successful internship:

1. A staff member willing to commit time into training/mentoring.
2. An hourly pay, but a much lower one than what you would pay full-time employees. There are tighter laws recently on unpaid internships, so pay at least minimum wage to avoid any problems.
3. A plan outlining what the intern will be getting out of the internship (projects, objectives, goals, resume-building experiences).
4. Work assignments an intern can actually learn from (other than filing, making coffee, etc.).
5. Detailed guidelines and a routine or schedule. You don’t need to baby your intern, but some sort of guidance is definitely needed.
6. Clear communication: Exactly what you want from them as well as constructive feedback on the work they have done.

Continue reading “Why you should hire an intern”

The Do’s and Don’t of Social Media for Business

I found this great diagram “The Do’s and Don’t of Social Media for Business” from David Steel‘s blog. Steel is one of the nation’s leading experts on the topic of Sales and Social Media. Here’s a link to his blog, which contains lots of useful info and tips, along with some more great diagrams like the one below:

He has seemed to cover it all with just one picture. The very basic and necessary “do’s” to start you social media marketing: a plan, goal, strong network, consistency, and listening to your followers. And the “don’ts” that should always be avoided: being pushy, spamming, and constantly trying to sell.

TS2 2010 is taking place July 13-15 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Boston, MA.

Francine Brooks, FBD2 president and founder, will be attending TS2 2010 Expo, the trade show industry’s premier destination for exhibit and event marketing specialists for 37 years. Attendees are involved in the planning, implementation, development, and execution of special events, trade shows, sponsorships, promotions, or sales and marketing initiatives.

TS2 states, “in just three days you’ll learn more about exhibit and event marketing than you ever could on your own.” The 40 high level education sessions and 200 exhibiting companies attending will provide the ideas and solutions necessary to guarantee marketing success in the ever-changing trade show industry.

Don’t miss our upcoming reports where Francine will share the trends and ideas gathered at TS2 2010.

Evans Bank goes green with versatility

Buffalo, NY- July 13, 2010. In an effort to differentiate itself from competitors and adopt a green approach, The Evans Bank once again partnered with FBD2 to revamp its existing aluminum extrusion trade show display with new graphics.

Multiple sets of graphics were produced to reflect different groups associated with Evans Bank including Evans Agency Insurance, Combined Financial Services, Richardson & Stout Inc., Tompkins Insurance Agencies Inc., and Slone Melhuish Insurance. With a focus on green efforts and sustainability, some of the graphics were printed on recycled, eco-friendly material. The final result re-enforces Evans Bank’s current branding approach.

Since 1920, Evans Bank has valued its position as a community-based financial institution, dedicated to fostering relationships with customers and the communities it serves. Through its affiliate companies, The Evans Agency, Evans Investment Services, and Evans National Leasing, Evans Bank is able to offer a suite of products and services that are tailored to meet the needs of both retail and business customers. (

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:
Phone:            (716) 635-0282

The Importance of a Vacation: Happy 4th of July

The Fourth of July is right around the corner, which means almost 35 million Americans will be traveling during the holiday weekend. With a break from work and (hopefully) beautiful weather, it is very common to take vacations during this time. And though we all love time off from work, it can be stressful leaving the office and all our work behind for a week’s vacation. Here are some reassuring numbers that will make you feel a little less guilty about taking time off from work:

  • 50% of people say they experience a 10-25% decrease in work stress following a vacation
  • Post-vacation performance improves nearly 25% compared to performance before vacation
  • People age 45 and older had 50% better post-vacation performance
  • Travelers reported 68% less stress during their vacation
  • 80% reported having a more positive outlook about their jobs when they take time away
  • 84% reported feeling rejuvenated and reconnected with family and friends after vacation

If you are skimping out on your vacation it could lead to health problems involving high stress, exhaustion, lack of sleep, heart disease and even more serious problems, not to mention negative impact on personal relationships with friends and family as well as work productivity.

“Employees’ performance actually goes up after taking vacation and after breaks,” says Joe Robinson, author of Work to Live: The Guide to Getting a Life and founder of the Work to Live movement. “Several companies in my book found that when they increased the vacation time they offered to employees, the overall business productivity increased and company morale soared.”

You’ve worked very hard and earned a vacation, make sure you take advantage of it! The more you relax and rest the better you will be when you return to work.

FBD2 will be closed for the week of July 5th to allow our team to enjoy a well-deserved vacation. But we promise we will be back and better than ever when we reopen on Monday, July 12th!

Happy Fourth of July!

Information from: