Our New, Crowdsourced Design

Our 4 Final Concepts for Our New Trade Show Display
Our 4 Final Concepts for Our New Trade Show Display


We at FB Displays & Designs recently had an opportunity to interact with our clients in a unique way. In preparation of our participation at a few trade shows, our creative team (which is all of us) wanted new graphics to be used on one of our trade show displays. After several weeks of brainstorming & designing, we came up with ten concepts. Over the following week, we narrowed it down to four contenders. We came to the conclusion that everyone on our team liked all four finalists. With only a week until our first event, what were we to do?


This is where our story takes a creative twist: we decided to crowdsource our decision.* We sent an email to all of our clients & posted a poll on our social media sites, inviting our clients & followers to vote for their favorite concept.


We were pleasantly surprised by the high participation rate from our fans. In the end, there was a clear winner, (Design #1,) which we produced straightaway. Here’s how the vote totals broke down:


Design #1: 55%

Design #2: 17%

Design #3: 17%

Design #4: 11%


While Design #1 was the crowd favorite, #’s 2, 3 and 4 received the most passionate responses, including the following:


“For me # 4 is your best bet. It’s the most arresting/cool/ “check this out!” display in my opinion. And the words are not fighting with the background.”


I can’t automatically put 2 & 4 in a category or stereotype them because though my mind may try to find a file for them…when it can’t…I have to stop to think about what does this mean. My favorite is 2- just more gusto, spunk and power.”


We are thrilled to report that our experiment was a success. The amount of votes we received exceeded our expectations, and the feedback was an added bonus. And the rest, as they say, is history. At the SBA Expo on May 13th, we unveiled our new trade show display as chosen by our wonderful fans.


FB Displays Trade Show Booth
Our New Trade Show Display



Do you have an interesting story to tell us about your own design experience? We’d love to hear it-Please leave a comment, below. And to see more designs created by our team, visit our project gallery.


* Trained professionals performed this stunt. Don’t try it at home.


Written by Bill Henecke, Graphic Designer for FB Displays & Designs, Inc.

FB Displays and Designs trade show display

How do I “pay it forward” as a mentor…

How do I “pay it forward” as a mentor…

FBD2 Mentoring

I am always honored and humbled when asked to be a mentor. I always think “What can I contribute?” Yes, as a mentor, I have the opportunity to build my leadership and management skills, build an enduring career network, and get satisfaction knowing that I am helping someone achieve their professional goals. In addition, I receive affirmation of my professional competence.

What is the role of a mentor??

The role of a mentor is to encourage the personal and professional development of a mentee through the sharing of knowledge, expertise and experience. The mentoring relationship is built on mutual trust, respect and communication.

A strong mentoring relationship is also built on collaboration and the commitment to the professional development of one or both of its participants. While in the typical mentoring relationship, one participant has more experience, skill, knowledge than the other, many strong mentoring relationships provide an opportunity for both parties to learn from each other through the development of a caring and respectful partnership.

To reap the benefits of mentoring requires that proteges and mentors be carefully matched.

Through my association with local universities, colleges, and business development centers, I have been blessed with wonderful, cooperative and willing mentees. I have learned more as a mentor than I think my mentees have learned from me.

Mentoring is more than the transfer of advice, knowledge and insights. The relationship offers reciprocal benefits for mentors willing to invest their time. As well as the personal satisfaction of sharing their skills and experience with a willing learner, being involved in mentoring also provides some tangible benefits that can reward mentors professionally. Some key benefits for mentors include:

-Provide opportunity to reflect on own practice

-Enhance job satisfaction

-Develop professional relationships

-Widen your understanding of different organizations and businesses

-Enable you to practice interpersonal skills

-Provide personal satisfaction through supporting the development of others

So I encourage you, if you are presented with the opportunity, “pay it forward” and become a mentor. Share your knowledge and experience. And, you will learn so much!

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

FB Displays and Designs trade show display

A Thanksgiving Message from Our Marketing Coordinator, Lisa

Thanksgiving is the time of year when we put everyday life on hold, gather with our loved ones, and reflect on everything for which we are thankful.  One of the blessings that each member our team will be counting this year is the rewarding experience of developing long-lasting relationships with our clients.

We are lucky to have the unique opportunity to work as a partner with our customers to design their exhibit, get to know their staff, and learn about their business, their industry, and their goals. We enjoy watching the evolution of a project from the brainstorming stages to the final shipment to the trade show. Nothing makes us happier than hearing that a display we fabricated looked immaculate on the trade show floor and that the staffers were very successful is generating leads.

Without the support of our clients, we would not be able to do what we love doing everyday. Bill wouldn’t be able to design eye-catching graphics that tell the story of a client’s brand, Troy wouldn’t be able to act as a “ trade show architect” and continually innovate new structures for an exhibit, Francine would not be able to stand by her clients’ side while they receive awards and recognition for their great accomplishments, and I would not be able to spend time developing new relationships at local trade shows, networking events, and through social media.

On behalf of the FBD2 team, I would like to thank all of our clients for their loyalty throughout the years and wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

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

Speaking at a Trade Show Without Saying a Word : The Power of Body Language

Photo Credit: http://savannahsbdc.blogspot.com

Most of us have heard at one time or another that over 90% of communication is non-verbal. We all give away hints as to how we feel without saying a word. When exhibiting at a trade show, it is imperative to be aware of what your body language says to a potential client. There are several things to keep in mind to appear approachable in this situation.


  • Making eye contact is the most crucial sign of interest in what a person is saying.  Eye contact shows that your attention is directed to the person with whom you are speaking. It also shows that you are honest and interested in what the other person has to say.


  • Crossed arms are a sign of defensiveness and hostility, which is the last feeling that you want to portray to a potential client. Standing with your hands on your hips is a sign of superiority, and would also not be the way to start a relationship with a client.


  • Finding the right proximity to a potential client can be tricky. You do not want to be far away from the person, yet you do not want to stand too close.  A good rule of thumb is to leave 2 feet of space between yourself and the person with whom you are speaking.


  • A simple smile can go a long way in making a potential client feel at ease when talking with you. Smiling gives of a feeling of warmth and implies a positive attitude.


  • Be conscious to not engage in any fidgeting while exhibiting. Biting your nails, shaking your leg, checking your cell phone, tapping your fingers, and other habits give the impression that you are either not interested in meeting with attendees, or nervous.


  • There is a belief that there is a link between speaking fast and deception. When speaking with a potential client, pace your speech to not only make sure that the other person is understanding what you are saying, but to show that you are being sincere and honest.


  • Sitting down when exhibiting is a definitive faux pas.  This position means the client has to bend down to speak with you, and gives the client the impression that you are not interested in making new contacts.


At a trade show, you only have a few seconds to make an impression on attendees passing by the display. While your display will be what catches their attention, positive body language demonstrated by the staff will invite potential clients to spend more time at your exhibit.

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










Business Lessons That Can Be Learned from Dick Clark

Photo Credit: http://www.usmagazine.com

On April 18th, American pop culture lost icon Dick Clark at age 82. While best known to the American public as an entertainer, behind the scenes he was an opportunistic entrepreneur. His company, Dick Clark Productions, has become an entertainment empire. There were many things that Clark did right to position himself and his company to enduring success. What are some of the lessons that today’s entrepreneur can learn from “ America’s Oldest Teenager’?

Innovation can come from improving upon something that it already being done.   Dick Clark was a pioneer in the entertainment industry, but he did not invent anything. While “American Bandstand” is known for keeping up with the trends, it was not the first or only music show on television.

Know your market, and listen to the needs of your market. Clark did this by staying current with trends within music, which ensured that he was able to sustain his place in the market, even amidst rapidly changing tastes. He observed and listened to what his audience wanted and his programming reflected the taste of his audience.

Know yourself.  Dick Clark has a very recognizable image in American culture, because he was the same person in the 1960’s as he was in the 2000’s.  While he watched the trends occur and provided a platform for trendy musicians, he did not embody them. He was himself throughout his career, and everyone who associated with him knew what to expect.

Opportunity can come from openings left by your competitors. Clark created the American Music Awards after ABC had lost the Grammy Awards. The American Music Awards focused on what was popular and featured a great amount of performances, which differed from the Grammy’s, which rewarded musicians based on artistic merit, not popularity. Many other award shows produced by Clark’s company would follow the same format, as the priority was to win over viewers.

Maintain a good reputation. Throughout Clark’s career, he maintained the image of a clean-cut “All- American” and this image was very comforting to audience members of all ages. He took great care to ensure that his reputation remained intact as well. At the end of the day, a good reputation is essential for success, both personally and professionally.

Source:   Rosenthal, Phil. “Dick Clark a Shrewd Businessman as Much as Legendary Showman.” Chicago Tribune. ChicagoTribune.com, 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 27 Apr. 2012. <http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-04-21/business/ct-biz-0422-phil-20120421_1_dick-clark-productions-new-year-s-rockin-eve-tv-movies&gt;.

The Advantages of Working With Small Businesses

If you have ever had the opportunity to work with a small business, it’s easy to notice they possess natural advantages that are increasingly favored in the realms of both B2B and B2C alike. Small companies have the ability to offer unique solutions and service their clients in an entirely different way than larger corporations… So you may ask what exactly sets small businesses apart from their larger competitors?

This list of traits illustrates the advantages of working with small businesses:


In order to survive, most small businesses adopt focus on a specific niche. In doing so, they develop a premium reputation for being able to serve the demand for that niche.


Small business owners are so close to their clients that they can experience what each client experiences. They can deliver CEO level experience to every client they work with, no matter how big or small.


Small businesses grow with customer needs. Often, they can provide products and services that address highly personalized requests at a moments notice.


The best small businesses understand the value of surprising their clients from time to time. A simple interrupt in the system can even become a system for a small business.


Smart small businesses create networks of strategic partners and address the needs of their clients with the best and brightest every time.


The proper use of technology allows small businesses to put up big shop follow-up, service and prospecting without the overhead.


Small businesses want to educate their prospects before they trying to break ground selling to them. This trust building process makes selling unnecessary and delivers the ideal client relationships.


It’s all about establishing personal connections and creating professional relationships. Clients form partnerships with small businesses when they have the ability to connect to something beyond their products and services.

SOURCE: John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing


We would like to hear about your experiences working with small businesses! What aspects of your experience really stood out and benefited the end result of your professional partnership?

14 Easy Ways to Get Extremely Motivated!

With the start of every new year, it’s commonplace to set new resolutions in both our professional and personal lives. Unfortunately, many of us tend to start strong but lose momentum before we know it. In order to provide everyone a little inspiration, here are 14 quick strategies to get (and stay) motivated this year:

1. Condition your mind. Train yourself to think positive thoughts while avoiding negative thoughts.

2. Condition your body. It takes physical energy to take action.  Get your food and exercise budget in place and follow it like a business plan.

3. Avoid negative people. They drain your energy and waste your time. Spending time with them is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot.

4. Seek out the similarly motivated. Their positive energy will rub off on you and you can imitate their success strategies.

5. Have goals–but remain flexible. No plan should be cast in concrete, lest it become more important than achieving the goal.

6. Act with a higher purpose. Any activity or action that doesn’t serve your higher goal is a wasted effort and should be avoided.

7. Take responsibility for your own results. If you blame (or credit) luck, fate or divine intervention, you’ll always have an excuse.

8. Stretch past your limits on a daily basis. Walking the old, familiar paths is how you grow old. Stretching makes you grow and evolve.

9. Don’t wait for perfection. Perfectionists are the losers in the game of life.  Strive for excellence rather than the unachievable.

10. Celebrate your failures. Your most important lessons in life will come from what you don’t achieve. Take time to understand where you fell short.

11. Don’t take success too seriously. Success can breed tomorrow’s failure if you use it as an excuse to become complacent.

12. Avoid weak goals. Goals are the soul of achievement, so never begin them with “I’ll try…” Always start with “I will” or “I must.”

13. Treat inaction as the only real failure. If you don’t take action, you fail by default and can’t even learn from the experience.

14. Think before you speak. Keep silent rather than express something that doesn’t serve your purpose.

What other methods do you use to keep yourself motivated?

SOURCE: Geoffrey James, Inc.com “Sales Source”