Out with the Old… In with the New [Website]

FB Displays & Designs New Homepage
FB Displays & Designs New Homepage

After many months of research, planning, design & coding, we, at FBD2, are very excited to announce the launch of our new website!

The new site is now live and is located at the same address, http://www.displaysanddesigns.com. We’re happy to share this new design with you, and hope that you will take time to visit & enjoy all the changes.

Our process of creating the new website started several months ago, when we defined our goals and how to best achieve them. Here are a few examples of this effort and what strategies we employed:

 

Results-Oriented

Our top priority for the new layout of our website was a design that allowed our clients the ability to easily find display solutions to meet their individual needs. To this end, we retooled the most prominent section of our website, creating the “Display Solutions” page, with subsections that focus on the priorities and needs for exhibiting at trade shows and recruiting fairs, in museums and outdoor events. We concluded that by showing examples of the most relevant designs, our visitors will have the best possible experience.

 

Engagement

Another significant area that needed improvement was providing a more engaging and rewarding experience for our visitors. To achieve this, we curated content that appears at the bottom of many of the pages, pointing visitors to additional articles or actions that may be of interest to them. In addition, we tried to use a greater proportion of “real life” photos to show how the displays we produce actually appear on the trade show floor, in a museum and at an outdoor event.

 

Simplicity

After we addressed our major goals, we focused on improving the site as a whole. We felt that our old website had become cluttered, suffering from a lack of focus. To correct this, we pared down the extraneous pages on our site, and streamlined our menu whereby all visitors can reach the content they’re looking for in two-or-less clicks/taps.

 

Quality Content

Simplifying our site was not enough by itself. We had to make sure the information presented would be the most helpful to our current & potential clients. We decided to remove large portions of complicated text and small, ineffective icons. These have been replaced with larger, more visually appealing images and descriptions that are more direct and succinct.

 

Although our everyday focus is on the design & production of trade show displays, our design team is experienced in a variety of graphic design services, including creating logos/branding, brochures, and in this instance, web design. As these services are completed in-house, the same quality and attention to detail that goes into our displays is carried through to all our design projects.

Ultimately, it is our hope that you find this new site more engaging. We think we have met that goal, but we would love to hear your feedback! If you think there are pages/areas that could be improved, or if there are topics you would like to learn more about, please leave a comment below!

 

 

FB Displays and Designs trade show display

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

Use Words to Attract your Audience

Use Words to Attract your Audience to your Trade Show Booth

Every word can have a positive or negative impact on your marketing efforts, especially at trade shows… whether you are creating large graphics, sales material, pre-show marketing campaigns, or talking directly with a prospect.

Since exhibitors have less than 6 seconds to attract attendees to their booth, consistently choosing the “right” words becomes very important.

Below are a few proven marketing words to help you communicate more effectively and accomplish your goals at your next trade show.

#1: “YOU”

This is one of the most important words. Using the word “you” makes it easier to connect to your target audience and draw a direct line from your products/services to how they can provide a solution to your potential clients.

Selling is never about products or services.  It’s about the benefits that are meaningful to your target audience.

#2: “SAFE”

Whether you are dealing with money, health, personal well-being, technology or manufacturing, touting the safety of your product or service is important.

Potential clients do not want to take high risks to address challenges or needs with which they are already dealing. They want a trustworthy, easy solution so they can stop worrying.

#3: “RESULTS”

It is important for prospects to connect your product or service with the results they are hoping to achieve.

Prospective buyers are looking for one thing: Results. You must communicate the results your products/services provide in all aspects of trade show marketing.

Although these three words are simple on their own, by adding them to a well-constructed message on your display graphics, in  your pre and post show marketing communication, on your sell sheets, and in verbal interaction with attendees, conversion rate and ROI will definitely improve.

Good luck!

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

How To Get The Most “Bang For Your Buck” (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of  Jeff Golden via Flickr
Photo courtesy of Jeff Golden via Flickr

You’ve put so much time & energy into the design of your trade show booth, backdrop & other elements… are you getting the most ‘bang for your buck’ out of these materials?

Your trade show display is designed to quickly & effectively communicate your organization’s identity and message.  One way you can ensure you’re getting a good return on investment (ROI) is to put the display to work more often.

Depending on your business & the activities in the community your company participates in, the additional opportunities to use your display will vary, but might include:

  • Summer Festivals & Fairs
    • If a good fit for the product / brand, you may consider looking for additional brand exposure at art, music & food festivals / fairs
    • Consider how can you engage new customers at these events & tie that to the positive experience they’re already having at these memorable occasions
  • Press Conferences – If you are inviting members of the media to a press conference, (to launch a new product, announce an expansion, etc.) your display could be the perfect professional backdrop
  • Community events, chamber of commerce events – Check the calendar for your local chamber of commerce events to see if there is an opportunity to introduce your organization to the business community.  Your display would be a great visual aid
  • Charity Events – Do you sponsor any events, such as a race for a charity, auction, symposium or golf tournament?  Make sure the attendees know your organization is involved!
  • HR/ Recruiting – At career/job fairs, let your HR staff attract more potential job candidates to their booth/table using the great graphics/messaging you’ve already created!
  • Lobby – When not in use at shows, consider installing elements from your trade show display in your lobby / retail space to invite visitors & improve the “first impression” they have of your organization
  • Online – Any video displays / slideshows you have designed for use at trade shows can be uploaded to YouTube to increase your internet presence
  • Company Events – Welcome guests at your summer picnic, holiday parties or hospitality events with elements from your display to let them know, “they’ve arrived” and to show the pride you have in your organization!

If you have other ideas, please share them in the discussion below!

Face-to-Face Marketing : The Natural Marketing Strategy

By Lisa Shackelford

Recently, I attended UB Partners Day as an exhibitor.  I was able to meet many new prospects and also reconnected with several of our current clients. After the exhibition concluded, I left the convention center feeling excited and energized, and it seemed that the other exhibitors and attendees shared my feelings.

Clearly, face-to-face marketing events, such as expositions and trade shows, tap into our emotions and minds in ways that cannot be done through other marketing methods.  There are several ways that face-to-face marketing stimulate the human mind and create positive associations to a company that could only be made by meeting the people behind the company in person.

  • The complete experience of attending a trade show creates a feeling of curiosity and novelty in attendees. The stimulation from the displays, meals, speeches, networking, etc., encourages attendees to think differently, which opens their minds to retaining new information. The stimulation experienced during a show is cemented into an attendee’s memory, much more so than other communications from a company.
  • Being around other people creates a positive emotional experience.  Emotions are contagious, and the extensive networking that occurs at a trade show spreads positive feelings throughout the audience. As a result, these positive emotions are attributed to the representatives of the companies that sponsored the show, and to the exhibitors and attendees.
  • When potential clients meet with exhibit staff in a group setting, their stress level drops significantly. Physically, this is due to a drop in the level of cortisol, a stress hormone, as well as in increase in the release of “feel good” chemicals, such as Dopamine and Oxytocin.  A positive experience at an event influences the potential client’s image of a brand and begins the process of building a business relationship.
  • Relationships that begin in person are easier to build and eventually become stronger than relationships that began through other means. Relationships are facilitated much better at in-person events, since the attendees are joined by a common interest. Relationships begin not just at an exhibit, but also at meals, keynote speeches, networking events, breaks and workshops. Trust is being cultivated during these interactions.

The full benefits of face-to-face marketing are not necessarily realized in one meeting, but rather develop over time. Since businesses are social structures and work within greater communities, face-to-face marketing builds a social network among businesses that cannot be achieved through any other marketing methodology.

 Lisa Shackelford is the Marketing Coordinator for 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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pitfalls of Too Much Marketing

No matter what role you play within a business, you share a universal mission… to reach customers and prospects.

What steps do you take to carry out this mission? You might start by sending out marketing materials, then more, then more… Yet you still don’t receive the response you want. In fact, the response is actually decreasing now, which instinctively makes you try harder. At this point, you’re running into a common problem – over-marketing.

Is it possible to over-market? It sure is. In fact, this is actually a very detrimental activity for a business.

When you decide to directly market to your prospects, either through social media, email, or printed materials like direct mail pieces, it’s important to be careful how you do it. It’s easy to cross the line into spamming and degrade your image.

Choosing how to conduct your marketing activities depends on the type of business you’re a part of, and what you are trying to sell. To avoid turning off your customers and decreasing your prospects, choose your marketing tactics carefully.

A good rule of thumb is don’t repetitively spam your prospects with emails, direct mail or other marketing materials in a very short period of time. It’s like receiving a phone call everyday from the same company, saying the same thing, with the same tone, and the same words. It’s vital to schedule e-mail blasts and direct mailings at appropriately spaced intervals so clients and prospects aren’t bombarded and turned off by your marketing. In fact, creating regularly scheduled e-mail blasts will help your marketing efforts become more focused and even attract more customers and prospects in the long run.

If you need to increase interaction with your prospects, vary your materials and let them have the option to view it rather than forcing it upon them. Employ more inbound marketing strategies. Save the messages you really want them to see for planned campaigns and outbound marketing. By doing this, you will get their attention when you really need it, but not turn them off by continuously shoving a bug in their ear.

SOURCE: Elizabeth Armenta, http://www.writerliz.com

 

How much marketing is too much? We would love to hear your feedback!