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Do New Shiny Objects Excuse Bad Old Trade Show Exhibiting Behavior?

CES Numbers-sm When new shiny objects take center stage does it matter how well trade show exhibitors behave?

Did exhibitors at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2014), one of the largest shows in the world, make the same old exhibiting mistakes they commit at every show they attend?

According to an infographic of CES 2014 by Numbers, the social buzz from this mammoth show reached the equivalent of 40 percent of the world’s population – quite impressive to say the least. But how impressive were the more than 3,000 exhibitors? Did attendees walk away from the booths they visited wowed by people rather than shiny new objects?

Chances are that many of the exhibitors were less than well-prepared for their extremely stressful and demanding time on the show floor.

Wander the show floor at any major event and you are sure to come across numerous exhibitors who don’t have any idea of the right way to connect with their booth visitors, or precisely what they should be doing to optimize their show investment.

Regrettably, a lot of the giants in the industry are amongst the worst offenders. Company sales reps, and managers often stand about chitchatting with their co-workers, completely disregarding booth visitors. Alternatively, when they do interact, they’re more concerned about giving their sales spiel rather than taking time to ask questions to uncover exactly what their visitor is interested in.

This just shows an apparent lack of trade show training, as well as the basics smart exhibitors must have to take full advantage of their time on the trade show floorEffective trade show selling relies, not just on innovative products and services, but most of all, on the way booth staffers present them, and their company

Working a trade show demands a specific combination of expertise. Smart, experienced exhibitors recognize they need to ask questions and listen to their prospects. People attend shows looking for solutions to specific business challenges. If you’re more interested in getting your message out, you’ll never even uncover what’s going on in your prospect’s environment, much less be in a position to provide a possible solution.

The marketplace is full of competitive new shiny objects, so if your visitors don’t feel you’re interested in helping them, they’ll not tolerate bad old trade show exhibiting behavior, and just move on to track down someone who is more customer-centric.

With the new trade show season about to kick into gear, it’s time to ramp up your exhibiting skills.

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The Top 5 Trade Show Marketing Predictions for 2014

Fresh startGiven that we’ve started a brand new year, now is the perfect time to make a fresh start and plan a strategy for your 2014  trade show marketing campaign.
What’s 2014 going to bring and how well will we do are often questions we wish we could have answered at the beginning of the year, rather than at the end, when opportunities may well have passed us by. Going through many of the business marketing predictions for 2014, here are the top five trade show marketing predictions I foresee as serious possibilities that could impact your trade show marketing:

Prediction #1: Video
Video is gaining momentum to the point that pundits believe it’s a vital component of any marketing, no matter what size your organization or what you sell. YouTube ranks second in people’s searches for information. Since video shows up in 70 percent of the top 100 search results listings, and viewers are 64-85% more inclined to buy after seeing a product video – you’d be crazy to overlook this powerful marketing tool.

How can you integrate video into your 2014 trade show marketing strategy?

Prediction #2: Webinars
Webinars have become one of the best ways to generate numerous interested prospects for your sales team. Done properly, they allow you to educate your target audience, providing content that helps solve problems, which in turn drives awareness to your products/services. This helps to establish you as a trusted partner, not just a vendor pushing your wares.

How can you integrate webinars into your 2014 trade show marketing strategy?

Prediction #3: Niche marketing
Niche marketing is fast becoming the best way to communicate with your target market. Because of the incredible noise and plethora of information in today’s marketplace, people are looking for more specific ways to find the facts they are most interested in.

How can you integrate niche marketing into your 2014 trade show marketing strategy?

Prediction #4: Content marketing

Content marketing will continue to excel as a key information sharing medium for companies to speak to their target audience. “Content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.” Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute.

Currently 9 in 10 organizations market content; over 27 million pieces of content are shared daily; every month 329 million people read blogs. Resource: Social Media Today

How can you integrate content marketing into your 2014 trade show marketing strategy?

Prediction #5: Mobile
Mobile usage is growing daily. The following statistics speak for themselves:
• 91% of all people on earth have a mobile phone
• 56% of people own a smart phone
• 50% of mobile phone users, use mobile as their primary Internet source
• 80% of time on mobile is spent inside apps
• 72% of tablet owners purchase online from their tablets each week
Resource: Super Monitoring

How can you integrate mobile marketing into your 2014 trade show marketing strategy?

Imagine if you truly embrace and add just one of these powerful trade show marketing predictions into your 2014 trade show marketing plan, how much more effective might your exhibiting results be?

What’s your 2014 trade show marketing prediction? Please add your comments below.

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6 Simple Steps to Maintain Your Trade Show Booth

Any regular trade show exhibitor knows that a good trade show booth doesn’t come cheap. In fact, some of them can be pretty darn expensive. Fortunately, if you treat your booth right and take time to maintain it, it should last you for years and years to come.

Want to get the most out of your trade show booth investment? Follow these six easy steps for booth maintenance:

1. Always use a carrying case. Travel is extremely dangerous for a trade show booth. It easily can get dropped, slammed into a wall or caught in the rain, rendering it completely useless. Safeguard you booth by using a carrying case at all time during travel.
2. Thoroughly clean it after every show. When you’re done exhibiting, wipe down all elements of your booth with a damp cloth, and completely dry it before taking it down and packing it away. This can help prevent dirt, dust and grime from building up on your displays.
3. Take your booth down with care. Even if you’re in a hurry, take your time when tearing down your booth. Fold up each and every piece as it’s meant to be folded, detach add-ons and smaller parts, and roll up banners and signage properly. You don’t want to end up with unsightly creases or breaks the next time you pull your booth out. Plus, you can inspect each piece as you deconstruct and see if any part of your booth will need maintenance or repair before your next show.
4. Be careful where you store it. Always store your booth in a climate-controlled environment. Heat can warp your displays, make colors fade and have other damaging effects on your booth. You’ll also want to be sure no rodents or bugs can get to your displays in storage either, as they could chew on our burrow holes in your booth.
5. Look into shipping options. If you’re traveling a long distance to and from a show, consider shipping your trade show booth professionally. This can help prevent any damage from occurring while in transit. If you attend trade shows frequently, you can plan ahead and try storing your display at a facility located midway between two trade show cities so you can minimize your shipping costs.
6. Get professional help. When in doubt, always contact a professional trade show booth manufacturer to help store and maintain your pieces. Often, they can even provide repair services if pieces of your booth need fixing.

By using these six tips and properly caring for and maintaining your trade show booth, you can ensure it lasts your company for many years (and many shows) to come.

Guest blog post: Ballance Display manufactures custom portable trade show exhibits and marketing displays, display graphics, and other light weight accessories.”

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