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.

Using Social Media to Enhance Your Trade Show Presence

Social media is a cost-effective way for a business of any size to interact with customers. Sites like Facebook and Twitter can also be used to give a firm an edge when exhibiting at a trade show. Here are some tips for using social media to drive traffic to your trade show booth:

  • Create a Facebook fan page and encourage attendees to “Like “ your business. You can tie this in with a giveaway or contest to increase participation.
  • Use Twitter to give teasers about what to expect from your booth. Include one enticing tidbit per tweet, and include things like giveaways, contests, show specials, any entertainment, etc.  Make sure to vary your teasers to sustain the excitement.
  • On Twitter, use the hashtag (#) for your show when posting tweets related to the show. An example of what a hashtag looks like is #tradeshow. By placing the hashtag at the end of your tweets, your tweet can be viewed by attendees of the show, who have filtered tweets by the hashtag.
  • Use Facebook and Twitter to post pictures from your booth at the Trade Show.  Posting on Twitter will allow real time images and up to the minute updates. Facebook will create an album, where your photos can be viewed in the future.
  • Use Twitter and Facebook to post any “breaking” news from the Trade Show for clients who could not attend
  • Use Pinterest to post pictures from your booth. You can link your Pinterest account to both Twitter and Facebook, so you can reach out with photos through three social networks at once!
  • Blog about our exhibit both pre-show and post-show. This will create a buzz around your display, but also invite feedback and keep those clients who were unable to attend in the loop with any news.

Using social media as a part of your trade show toolbox with not only get the word out about your booth, but also portray your company is up to date with current trends, as well as innovative. However, like other forms of pre-show and post-show marketing, it is essential to be proactive in advertising your display to get the most out of your social media promotional materials.

Why Isn’t Your Small Business Using Social Media?

While the phrase “social media” easily resonates with business owners these days, it’s surprising how many aren’t actually involved with this ever-growing facet of marketing.

This disconnect became more concrete in the latest Small Business Success Index survey. While the SBSI showed an “almost universal awareness among small business owners of Facebook and Twitter” only 27 percent of the entrepreneurs used Facebook for business purposes, and a mere 7 percent were Twitter users. LinkedIn garnered 18 percent.

Despite the tepid survey results, small businesses that have tried social media often see results: 63 percent say it helped make their customers more loyal. Other say social media has helped them stay engaged with customers, build brand awareness and identify and attract new customers.

So why aren’t more small companies doing it?

Many small business owners worry that social media is too “time-consuming” and that getting started can be very overwhelming. When FB Displays & Designs, Inc. first decided to integrate social networking into their marketing strategy, they had hired a college intern to build all of their profiles and begin initiating relationships. Over a short period of time, solid connections were steadily built across the board and members of the team could naturally maintain and interact with others among the different sites. Today, they use their social media presence as an outlet to interact with others, share important information and retain mutually beneficial relationships with their “friends and followers”.

Creating a successful social media presence boils down to a 2-step process:

1) Listen. Where is your key audience online? Set up Google Alerts for your business. You’ll begin to see where the conversations about your business are taking place. Listening helps you develop your voice.

2) Engage. Be sure you aren’t just blasting out information and news about your business. Interact directly with your followers. Ask them what else they would like to see from you and your business.

It’s important to remember that building a social media presence requires patience. If you’re not sure which site to begin with, find out which one is most popular with your customers. Learn the site to the best of your ability, refine its use and decide whether to move on to another. Social networking is all about building relationships and whether it’s online or off, relationships don’t happen overnight.

SOURCE: Rieva Lesonsky, Blog

We’d love to hear your thoughts on social media. For those of you currently involved on social networking sites, what strategies do you find work the best for your company?

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.

Twitter is Changing the World!

It was announced on June 3rd that Mayor Bloomberg is looking for a chief digital officer” for New York City.  The position would be responsible for communicating messages and also listening to residents on social media networks. The job pays between $57,000-$125,000, and the job description states that the city seeks someone “to help develop forward-thinking policies on social media, digital communications, web 2.0 initiatives and other tools to better serve the public.”

I think this is a great idea and wouldn’t be surprised if many other cities followed NYC’s lead.  I myself have become so much more informed since joining Twitter.  News networks and businesses across the globe are on Twitter, getting heard by significantly more people—many of whom have not picked up a newspaper in months.  As evidenced in the poll, 52% of people voted Twitter as their primary news source, while only 22% voted newspapers.  It is remarkable the way Twitter has changed the world.  Twitter provides quick updates on breaking news from numerous sources as well as constant word-of-mouth relays, which possibly makes Twitter the best news source ever.

How has Twitter changed your world?