Stand Out, Using What You’re Standing On

                A Guest Blog Post from FBD2’s Operations Manager, Troy Stover 

While serving in the Marine Corps, a little over a lifetime ago, I recall a certain double-time cadence we used to sing, that went something like this: “ain’t no use in looking down, ain’t no Discharge on the ground.”

Now while this may be good advice in general, whether you’re in search of Discharge papers or not, I’m fairly certain that the producers of trade show flooring would hope that you actually do look down occasionally. In fact, they’re making great strides to ensure that you do just that.

In trade show settings, flooring is usually the one thing that isn’t given too much attention, which is exactly why you should start thinking more about it. Especially given the fact that in a trade show setting, everything counts when you’re trying to stand out and above from the competition.

The average exhibitor will simply rent carpet from the event, and aisle upon endless aisle of black, grey, blue and blah smudges can be seen as a result. Smart exhibitors however, take t time to choose a flooring solution that will not only support, but also enhance their branding space. Smart exhibitors make use of wood grains, patterns and inlays to complete their look, because smart exhibitors know that “average” isn’t going to cut it when you’re hoping to maximize your ROI.

Smart exhibitors now have one more tool to aid them in their branding mission. New technology allows us to create flooring that is custom printed to meet with a specific display design. Need a stream running through your booth? Now we can help, and all without galoshes even being required. Hopeful that even the attendees who are of the “keep-my-eyes-firmly-locked-to-the-floor-in-fear-that-an-exhibitor-might-actually-make-eye-contact-with-me” type will still be able to find you? Now we can print your logo on the very place that their type is most apt to find it.




Photo Courtesy of Brumark Total Flooring Solutions


Does unique flooring add cost to your overall display and shipping budget? Sure does. But that doesn’t necessarily make it a money loser. While it may add somewhat to your budget, it will add even more to your ROI and your brand, as attendees will realize that you’re taking the event – and them – seriously. It also helps to show attendees that you’ve “arrived,” and that you were smart about how you got there.

So are you tired of what you’re standing on looking blah? If so, then I would invite you to contact me, so we can discuss what your current flooring is doing for your image. And what upgrades we can create to help ensure that at your next event, your booth attendance will be up. Because, while it may behoove running Marines to avoid looking down, you should be looking at all the angles of your booth space to make sure that you stand out.

Contact Troy Stover at 716-635-0282 or email at .

How to Engage Trade Show Attendees at Your Exhibit

Trade show marketing is most successful when attendees are engaged when visiting your exhibit. Creating an interactive experience at your exhibit solidifies your company’s message in the mind of a potential client. Here are some tips for engaging visitors at your exhibit.

  • Remember that first impressions are everything. Not only does your display need to grab the attention of attendees, but also your staff needs to appear enthusiastic and inviting to passersby.
  • Make sure your staff is trained properly on your products. A staffer who does not have appropriate product knowledge may feel insecure in their ability to interact with attendees and may be much more hesitant to speak with potential leads.
  • Conduct brief demonstrations. A demonstration gives attendees the ability to test out your product first-hand and highlights the value of your product in a tangible way.
  • Ask attendees open-ended questions, instead of reciting a sales pitch. Asking open-ended questions demonstrates your willingness to offer a solution to your clients’ business challenges and show the potential client what type of service they can expect from your company.
  • Use touch screen technology to bring a “hands-on” element to the exhibit. For example, you can use an iPad to showcase photos your products, play videos of your products in use, create in-booth activities and manage leads.
  • Activate multiple senses simultaneously. At an exposition I attended a few months ago, an exhibitor distributed fresh baked chocolate chip cookies to attendees. While the cookies satisfied their taste buds, the smell engulfed the room and drew attendees to the exhibit.
  • Use social media during the show to share what is happening at your exhibit. Live tweet during a show. Share pictures of your display on Twitter and Facebook while at the show. Encourage attendees to do the same, possibly with a contest or other incentive to participate.
  • Position your gregarious staffers at the front of your booth, close to the aisle.  These members of your team will be more comfortable starting a conversation with attendees who are passing by and may not have stopped otherwise.

The trade show environment creates a unique opportunity for vendors to interact with potential clients face-to-face. Engaging trade show attendees at your exhibit is the best way to leverage this advantage and create a memorable experience, that will unquestionably matter when the moment comes for your potential client to make a purchase.

8 Tips for Successful Global Exhibiting

By Lisa Shackelford

Exhibiting at an international trade show is a highly effective way to enter foreign markets. While the experience can be rewarding, attending international events can also be costly and challenging. Below are some tips to keep in mind while planning an international trade show appearance.

  • Either hire an interpreter or staff your booth with employees who can sell your products and services in the local language if necessary. In Europe, English is the accepted language of business, so an interpreter is not necessary. However, in other regions, such as Latin America, someone must be present who speaks the local language. If you are speaking English, use simple words and refrain from using jargon, slang or buzzwords to avoid confusion.
  • Use a translator who knows both the local culture and American culture when creating printed materials to avoid any translation mishaps. When Pepsi translated their slogan “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life” for the Chinese market, they angered many Chinese consumers. The literal translation meant “Pepsi Bring Your Ancestors Back from the Grave”.
  • Consider how potential foreign clients will perceive the colors you are using. For example, white is a color of mourning in Japan, but in Western culture is associated with peace and purity.
  • Be aware of numbers that may be considered unlucky or have a religious meaning in the local culture. For instance, in China, the number 4 symbolizes death, and the number 9 symbolizes longevity.
  • Plan for an ample amount of time to obtain the appropriate travel documentation. Obtaining a passport can take as long as eight to ten weeks. In some cases, it may be necessary to obtain a visa, which is a much lengthier process than obtaining a passport.
  • Book travel accommodations as soon as possible. International shows draw large crowds and designated show hotels fill very quickly. Since the amount of international flights available daily is very limited, booking ahead of time increases the chance of reserving a decent seat at a decent price.
  • Schedule time into your trade show plan to account for any possible shipping delays, such as items being held up at customs. Work with a logistics company that specializes in international trade show shipping.
  • Understand the rules of negotiation. In many cultures, socializing is considered essential to the negotiating process.  For instance, in Brazil, negotiating is a slow process and impatience is seen as a sign of weakness. Brazilians expect long-term commitments from their business partners, so relationship building is crucial. Be prepared to socialize more with potential clients than you would at domestic events.
  • Bring the correct international adapters for any electrical plug you will be using.  Make sure the adapters that you bring can withstand the voltage necessary to power the display lights, monitors, etc.
  • Become knowledgeable of the business etiquette in the host country.  In France, shaking hands is an expected greeting, but in Japan, bodily contact in public is avoided. Know whether to address clients by titles or by name and what is considered appropriate attire. In Germany, business dress is very conservative and people should be addressed by their full, correct title. Learn what body language may be perceived as offensive. For example, in Mexico, the American OK sign can be considered an obscene gesture.

Exhibiting at an international trade show is an excellent way to enter new markets and build global relationships with potential clients. A combination of careful planning and cultural sensitivity is the key to a successful experience when exhibiting globally.

Lisa Shackelford is the Marketing Coordinator at FB Displays & Designs, Inc. 

Works Cited

Todd, Brian. “EXHIBITOR Magazine – Article: International: Four Steps to Foreign Exhibiting, December 2011.” EXHIBITOR Magazine – Article: International: Four Steps to Foreign Exhibiting, December 2011. EXHIBITOR Magazine, Dec. 2011. Web. 30 July 2012. <;.