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

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

Reflecting on Thanksgiving 2014

Reflecting on Thanksgiving 2014
From our family to yours, we wish you the best of health and fortune this Thanksgiving and beyond.
Happy Thanksgiving from FB Displays & Designs

Even if you’re not from Western New York, you probably heard that we had a terrible storm here over the past week. Many towns just south of Buffalo received several feet of snow, paralyzing the region.

With all of the travel bans, I was not able to drive into the office Tuesday through Friday of last week. (Not that I would’ve been able to get out of the driveway, anyway!) While working from home, I had the local news on in the background, and couldn’t help but notice how many of our clients & colleagues were affected by the storm. Some had to close their businesses for days, others experienced significant damage to their warehouses & operations. This storm has, no doubt, had a serious impact on our local economy. The weather forecasters said this would be a storm of historic proportions & they were (unfortunately) correct.

Personally, many of my family & friends were in areas that were hard hit, some not able to dig out of their homes until Sunday, most now dealing with the potential for flooding from all of the snow melting. I’m grateful that through this whole ordeal, those close to me were safe & experienced only minor damage to their homes.

With the storm happening so close to Thanksgiving, I think everyone in Buffalo will be a little more focused on what they’re thankful for this year.

If you haven’t heard it before, Buffalo is often referred to as the “City of Good Neighbors.” This week, with the worst conditions upon us, our region lived up to that moniker. Examples of neighbors checking in on one another, digging each other out, and many other kindnesses are all over the news. I’m thankful to live & work in Western New York, where this is “the norm.”

I’ve shared a few of my own photos from the snow storm below, some are on the lighter side, showing our dog all bundled-up to go out into the “SnowVember” weather-

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Written by John Leberman, Marketing Coordinator for FB Displays & Designs.

FB Displays and Designs trade show display

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The Five “L’s” of Exhibit Success

The 5 L's of Exhibit Success
The Five “L’s” of Exhibit Success
Photo Courtesy of Flickr

As I was cleaning my office the other day, I came across an article in Trade Show Week that was written almost 20 years ago by Michael Falkowitz, who, at that time, was Sales Development Manager at Nabisco.

Although it was printed some time ago, I would like to share a few lines of timeless advice from that article.

Following are five principles that will ensure both exhibit and job success:

* Learn:

Never stop learning.  The huge technical development that can be [attained] at trade shows is one example of the reasons why exhibit managers must continue to learn. Being a successful exhibit manager will involve knowing and applying this ever-evolving technology.

* Love:

Maintain a positive attitude even in stressful times. Respond to all inquiries. Ours is a communication business. It is rude [to] not respond to phone calls. Know everything there is to know about your company, and go the extra mile, no matter what task you face.

* Laugh:

Keeping a sense of humor can see you through stressful periods and make your- and your team members’- jobs much easier.

* Labor:

Like going the extra mile, doing the best possible job will help make your exhibit the center of attention. Hard work and sacrifice are part of the job.

* Leave:

When the show is done, it’s time to take back what you have learned and start applying those principles to the next trade show.

In closing, it is important to remember that a tradeshow display is not a museum. It’s a billboard, a time-compressed live marketing event and a communication process. Creating an exhibit that’s the center of attention is a matter of taking advantage of those features creatively.

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

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.

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