Friday, March 30, 2007

Just a Click Away

After perusing our old friend Susan Friedman's site the other day, I came across an interesting article. Market research is a valuable asset for any show organizer. This data helps you position your show to sell to potential exhibitors. That information can contain information such as who is attending your show, how well your exhibitors did at last year’s show, and what type of sales numbers resulted from participating in the event. Today's exhibitors being well informed will want to know this type of information before they invest their hard earned money. They want to know that the targeted attendees will show up in large numbers and be decision makers.

Susan's article gives tips on how to acquire said information without hiring a market research team or investing your valuable time. Her tips will allow you to streamline the process, making it effortless and efficient for both you and your customers. To learn what these tips might be you'll have to read the remainder of the attached article.

A Smash Hit Displays tender relevant market information to any reader interested through our daily series of related industry articles. These articles some more relevant than others give our customers some food for thought when pondering the many aspects of a trade show and from many differing vantage points. Whether you are attender, attendee, or show organizer, we have informative articles which will arm you with the necessary knowledge needed to optimize your trade show experience.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Selling from the aisle

For all trade show attendees, Julia O'Connor,, wishes to tell you one thing, "DO NOT SELL FROM THE AISLE!"

Julia's article details why its not smart to try and sell your wares if you are simply an attendee. She exclaims not to pass out literature, samples, goodies or resumes. Period.

WHY? Because if you do, you can get thrown out. It’s the exhibitor who paid the big bucks to be the salesman on the floor, not you. At some shows, even the exhibitors are prohibited from selling. Each show has its own rules. When in doubt, contact show management.

Instead of solicitation Julia has offered you the following options: STOP, LOOK and LISTEN

Julia goes into great detail explaining each of the three disciplines you should take with you to your next event. Invest your time wisely by reading her article which will help you understand your job while attending a show... instead of selling.

A Smash Hit Displays will outfit you with the best display to fit your needs. Learn what those needs should be by taking Julia's discliplines to heart in order to make your trade show experience as memorable as possible. We will make sure your display speaks volumes to those who were once in your shoes... the attendees.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

International Cycle Show draws Thousands

If you came calling this morning to gleen some nuggets for your trade show booths you might be disappointed. The article references a huge cycle show which just concluded.

But, for those trail blazers out there, you might want to save your yen to make next year's Taipei International Cycle Show... the largest bicycle industry exhibition in Asia.

The 2007 Show which finished yesterday attracted more than 4,000 foreign buyers with over 2300 booths set up by 700 companies including the likes of Trek, LAMPA, and Halfords.

A Smash Hit Displays try to blaze trails where there previously were none. Jaw dropping graphics are just one aspect of the trails we blaze. In order to view our works, just check out the attached link.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Bigger better buying for pets

As the largest pet trade show concluded, Global Pet Expo, one fact resonated true; pets rule the roost and spending for them is escalating at an exorbitant rate.

Spending on pets hit $38.4 billion in 2006 — up from $21 billion in 1996. This year should see $38.5 billion with 2008's "conservative" estimate an astonishing $40.8 billion.

As the economy seems to ebb and flow the effects don't seem to touch this market. The Expo show sold out its 2,300 booths!

A Smash Hit Displays is pet friendly and is always willing to help those with trade show display decisions. Should you require "smashing" graphics for that next pet show give us a call. That one phone call will make the difference in placing you head and shoulders over your competition.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Proper Protical Using Cell Phones at Trade Shows

Cell phones allow us to reach or be reached by anyone, anytime, anywhere. But, that's not always a good thing. It's that pesky ring tone we hear sometimes in the middle of our priest's sermon or during a movie at our local theatre.

Well Susan Friedmann has taken the annoying technological wonders a bit farther when introducing the idea of their bothersome behavior while at trade shows. This is especially true of people working a display booth. She says using your cell phone while in your booth tells the attendee:

1) Your team’s focus is NOT on the tradeshow.
2) Your attendee is not the most important person in the room -- that honor belongs to whoever has your cell phone number.
3) The attendee’s business is not valuable to your company.

On the flip side she adds there is a distinct possibility the attendees, and/or competitors, are listening to at least one side of your staffer’s cell phone conversations:

Confidential business details, including customer names, order size and more intimate, personal conversations.

This is a possible PR nightmare! You're telling the attendees you are in essence to busy to important to deal with you at this time.

We at A Smash Hit Displays man the phone lines during regular business hours. Not only do we man the phones but if those phone lines are tied up you can "Chat Live" with us (similar to Instant Messaging). These are not exactly novel ideas but how many times have we attempted to call a company and received a recording turning us off to that prospective seller? Just having a person answering the phones implies the customer is important and earning their business is very important. The use of the cell phones at the trade shows can be construed in the same fashion. By utilizing them you are telling prospective customers they are not as important as you or your call. Be thoughtful and think of them first at your next show and you will reap the reqards invloved with proper ettiquette.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Tax Season as it applies to Trade Shows

I know you're wondering what do tax season and trade shows have in common? Well, I'll answer that shortly. But, for those who would like a few tips concerning what to save and what to throw out the following article is enlightening.

First things first: Keep your copy of the tax return forever. You never know when it'll come in handy. Remember that, in many cases, the IRS destroys the original returns after four or five years. It's always best to have your copy to fall back on.

Cancelled checks, deposit statements, and receipts should generally be kept for at least three years -- seven years is best, though. Note, though, that if a receipt is for something that won't appear on your tax return for several years (such as home improvements), then you'll want to hang on to it for at least three to seven years beyond when it appears on your return.
Stock trade confirmation receipts/ statements should be kept for at least three years after both ends of the transaction (both buy and sell) have closed. Again, keeping them for five or seven years is even better.

Keep proof of improvements to your property until at least three years (preferably seven) after the sale of the property, to prove your basis in the property when it is sold. This is true for rental property, investment property, and even your own personal residence.

To learn more just click through to the article post. As for the correlation between tax season and trade shows, A Smash Hit Displays act as a taxpayer when it comes to saving graphic files. We file away customer graphics just in case they come calling a year later to have their graphics spruced up or printed as is. The easy action would be to discard of the files after printing but you never know when they might come in handy. And, the customer is always amazed and appreciative because they don't have to invest the graphic time all over again for the new display. So, the lesson learned in both arenas; to keep 'all' your records on file for you never when the man might come calling.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Virtual show biz a big online hit!

Don't laugh... in the distant future, trade shows as we know them will be a thing of the past. We won't have to travel to that next trade show. We'll simply plug into our desktop/laptop and enjoy a virtual trade show.

Companies like InXpo have gone to great lengths to make its patron's first virtual trade shows as lifelike as possible, with characters known as avatars or photographs representing real people at a show, live communication with people staffing trade-show booths, and a group chat feature that lets attendees "talk" in real time about any subject.

The idea is to make networking as immediate as at a "physical" trade show and cut attendees' costs of travel, hotel stay, shipping, booth setup and time spent away from the office.

As with the virtual trade show arena, A Smash Hit Displays has brought ideas to reality. Though they haven't taken as long as the above-forementioned. Those ideas are graphic works of art for respective clients around the globe to reach their customers through a cluttered sea of competition. A Smash Hit Displays ... for the proper infusion to bring all your marketing ideas to life at your next trade show convention center.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Trade show industry is big business

For those out there who believe trade shows aren't big business just take a look at the renovation amount planned for the Las Vegas Convention Center to be completed in 2012 $737 million.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which drew more than 6.3 million visitors in 2006, generated more than $8.1 billion for the local economy.

That's right $8.1 billion. The industry is huge business and for those who understand the importance of showing well then kudos to you. Research before and after an event no matter how big or small will reap greater rewards for your company.

A Smash Hit Displays understand the importance of a trade show and how companies get one chance to make the "right" impression. In order to do so, companies must understand what the display is meant to do for their brand awareness, then confidently build that space around that theme. For the freshest graphic ideas and newest displays in the market look no further.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Small firm trade shows at home?

This article revolves around taking a big somewhat expensive idea and making it affordable for the average joe. Basically this person took the trade show diagram and changed the geography a bit. Instead of making a huge investment in a convention center show, why not take a change and show your wares at your neighbor's house?

An interesting concept if nothing else. Taking an idea and making it affordable for the average joe. I hope it's a BIG house.

An Ahwatukee Foothills woman trying to help home-based businesses get more exposure is starting monthly trade shows - in her home. We all know trade shows and expos are usually held only a few times a year at large venues and can be expensive. This idea will be more intimate.

She invites direct sellers and other home-based or small businesses to set up booths for only $25 for the first trade show, which will be from 6 to 10 p.m. It should be interesting to see the response from this different trade show.

A Smash Hit Displays try to think outside the box when it comes to general ideas. Sometimes the best ideas are taken by leaving the path most tread. For as Emerson said, "Don't go where the path may lead, but instead go where there is no path and leave a trail." To make your own trails at your next trade show, look into our Entasi, Allure, or Expression fabric displays. These displays will set you apart from the pack.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Joining forces for the greater good

For those slot machine lovers in the reading audience, you will be happy to hear Ballys and Aristocrat, two slot machine manufacturers, are joining forces to bring the newest gambling technology to casino floors... server-based gaming.

Slot makers said they think server-based gaming could remake casino floors by the end of the decade. Slot machine boxes would have pull-down menus of different games, denominations, wagering limits and payouts. Customers could tailor-make their play.

Much in the same spirit, A Smash Hit Displays forms alliances with multiple trade show display manufacturers in order to offer the best and newest technologically advanced trade show displays, banner stands, backlit walls, fabric tension, custom displays, etc. Cooperation helps both parties achieve shared goals and bring the consumer a multitude of options for their trade show decisions.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Save some green at your next trade show!

To save some green at your next trade show take a gander at the attached article. It references some tips for those attending. Below are a few to glean:

1- Book far in advance: People who do not travel on business a lot may be surprised at just how much you can save by booking their travel a few months ahead. If I wanted to fly from San Francisco to Dallas tomorrow, I would have to pay about $800. If I want to fly three months from now, the fee is about $300. Check sites like Expedia, Orbitz or Travelocity. Great packaged deals, especially in advance, are the norm.

2- Check hotel options: Usually, trade show organizers will reserve discount rooms for attendees, so check and see if this is the case for your show. Yet, very often (depending upon the size of the show of course) the hotel of choice will be connected to the convention center where the tradeshow is being held, so even with a discount, this may still be an expensive choice. Instead, look for smaller hotels a few blocks away. Staying at these venues can save you a bundle, while still being convenient enough to get to the show fairly easily.

3- Start networking prior to the show date: The biggest mistake you can make is waiting until you're at the show to begin networking. Instead, email three people you want to meet in advance, saying, 'I'm really looking forward to hearing your comments

4- Show your badge: Always wear your nametag high on your lapel, on the right side. Nametags make it easy for people to talk to you. Use a well-placed tag to put people at ease.

A Smash Hit Displays always has tips and suggestions available to save some green at your next show. Should you feel inclined give our site a look and you won't look elsewhere. For all your trade show pop up, panel, graphic, tips, backlit walls, fabric tension display, etc. look no further than Smash Hit Displays!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Playing both sides

For years, lighting an A/V teams have been leveraged independently but expected to work together. In some cases, the two sides come together as one team. In others? Well, not so much.

The article's author states it doesn't have to be that way. He urges them to step up and get the two sides to play ball as one team, and you might just see the overall production value get kicked up a few notches.

A Smash Hit Displays attempt to work together with customers to create a graphic look that will separate them from their competition. However, sometimes customers tend to perceive how their graphics should look before they get in contact with us. Sometimes though, the creative process most times takes their vision and contorts it to look differently. But, the ultimate goal is the same for both parties and that it to make sure the display sets them apart from their competitors.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Optimize your shipping logistics

We are all concerned with the rising costs of shipping so here are a few tips to help keep them at bay.

Are you planning ahead to move your trade show displays or are all your shipments last minute rush shipments? Rush shipments usually means the fastest mode of transportation is required. Faster means of transportation equals rising costs. While everyone understands the trade-off of the higher rates of air travel against the financial gains derived from providing the service, on time; still many of you have expressed an interest in keeping costs down.

By planning ahead, labeling your displays and skidding, you give your logistics company ample lead time. Often they are looking out for your best interests and will determine the most efficient and cost effective way to ship your freight, taking into account all the indicated parameters.

A Smash Hit Displays want to curb your shipping costs. In order to do so, we inform our customers of the typical turnaround time needed for a trade show display order with or without graphics. But, sometimes we customers just need the items sooner than later. Whatever the time parameters, we do whatever it takes to save our customers expedited shipping costs. But, taking the time to plan ahead will allow them to be the ones in control when it comes to shipping logistics.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

VOIP Outside the Box

VOIP outside the box. How about trade show displays outside the box?

A Smash Hit Displays try to think and act outside the box when confronted with questions from customers. Answers to those questions typically point our customers in a different direction than they would have originally chosen. Why, because sometimes it is a refreshing point of view from someone outside your 'companies sandbox' that bring your marketing, or advertising efforts into clear view.

For a one of a kind graphic element in your next display or a display atypical of the pack give our site a look. We are here to make a difference in your trade show life and take your old display out of the box

Monday, March 12, 2007

Laying the proper trade show groundwork

Trade shows are effective for many reasons. One main reason is key prospects are all under one roof and they're eager to see what you have to offer. Further, those prospects have the interest, need and made the time to look at your products or services.

Most who exhibit are so convinced about the benefits of exhibiting at trade shows. Rhonda Abrams, author of the attached article, is equally convinced. In fact her newest book, "Trade Show In A Day," is designed to help entrepreneurs exhibit at trade shows effectively. Here are a few key excerpts for trade show success:

1- Choose the right show.

First, recognize the different types of trade shows: shows for consumers versus shows for industry insiders; tabletop shows versus shows with booths; and expositions for buyers versus educational confer-ences.
Before you book a show, get a list of past exhibitors, either from trade show management or from the trade show's Web site, call a few and ask about the nature and number of attendees at previous years' shows.
Develop a pre-show promotion plan.

2- About 75 percent of show attendees plan booth visits before the show starts; you want to be part of their plans. Before the show, invite people to visit your booth. Send an e-mail, make personal calls, develop promotional incentives. Pre-show promotion increases your chance of having visits from qualified leads.
Choose promotional materials wisely.

3- Attendees come to trade shows to gather information. They need something to take home with them to remind them about you. If you keep your materials minimal and easy to carry, you'll meet attendees' need for information without burying them under a mountain of paper.
Make your booth inviting.

Make your next trade show effective by utilizing the resources available at A Smash Hit Displays. For a great selection of custom trade show displays, superior graphic design, or just answers to your questions please call or take the time to view our site.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Treating those in wheel chairs with common courtesy at trade shows

Another nugget from the Julia O'Connor quarry of trade show articles. This one talks about the hard work endured by attendees who may use a wheelchair.

For some, the chair may be new and temporary but for most attendees, it is where they live. Julia offers a few suggestions for making life easier for everyone on the floor. If you are planning to attend a show soon it would be well worth the few minutes needed to peruse her article to fully verse yourself on these worthy suggestions.

1. Honesty is the best policy. Those folks in the chairs know that they are in the chairs. It’s your responsibility to make them as comfortable in your space as any other visitor.

2. These days, wheelchairs are smaller and allow more mobility. Watch out for them as they zip around the corners and scoot out of elevators.

3. It’s important to maintain eye contact, as with any visitor, but rather than hunching over, pull up a chair so you’re both at the same eye level and have a normal conversation.

4. Just as people with vision problem may have a person with them as a guide, so too may people in chairs.

A couple of my best friends are confined to wheel chairs and it constantly amazes me when I'm in their presence how others will do exactly what Julia warns against. Human nature is hard to overcome but if you are duly prepared you will be less apt to look and feel like and idiot and just treat these people like everyone else. Because they are; they just happen to view the world from a different perspective.

We at A Smash Hit Displays view the world through a multifaceted prism when constucting displays for customers. For it is the 'winning' display that works against the flow, grain, current to set itself apart from competition. To embrace such a feeling of display graphic satisfaction unmatched in the industry... simply give us a shout.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Games Games Games: Trade Show Style

For those crazed gamers who don't know, the Games Expo will be in Vegas this year so book your flight! Games Expo 2007 wil be held at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas March 18-22, 2007.

Games Expo is primarily focused on non-electronic games- a thriving entertainment sector. Exhibitors at Games Expo will announce their new products for 2007 plus annual programs.

Personally I don't understand the craze but understand its a big money indsutry.

Big money is what A Smash Hit 'Display' makes for its customer. Those who are smart enough choose A Smash Hit Displays for their trade show pop-ups, backlit displays, panel systems, or banner stands not because they are American made products but because they know they will receive excellent customer service and the best damn graphic ideas in the industry. To that end, because their displays separate themselves from the pack they make more money. For at a trade show the display's main goal is to attract more attention and people... period.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Fiefdoms do not equal gold

A new article from our ally Julia O'Connor which is part fairy tale part non-fiction.

Her fairy tale tells the story of three Knights and how they affect the "land of trade shows". There were the Knights of Marketing, Sales and Exhibits.

The story talks about a King wishing to participate in a Royal Market Event which the three Knights vied for position and glory.

Learn more about how the story ends by taking a few moments to visit our site.

A Smash Hit Displays try to bring our customers trade show fairy tale happy endings. That's easier typed than done. In order to have happy endings there has to be an open line of communication offering understanding of our customers immediate needs. Custom graphics and state-of-the-art trade show dispalys always help that cause.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Displays of Luxury: Arab Furniture

What will probably become the world's largest furniture and decoration accessories trade show will be held this year in Dubai. For those in the industry, be aware there will be even more competition on the horizon. What does that mean for the average consumer eventually lower pricing? It's inevitable.

The following article has little to do with trade show displays other than the furniture display show that will be held in Dubai will dwarf the shows here in the states before long. Along those same lines, the trade show display industry, specifically pop up displays have gotten entirely too competitive and its due to the importation of cheaper product combined with people who don't understand how to market product correctly.

Coming from a sales background I was always taught to price your product at what the market would bear. Meaning price it competitively and as high as possible. That mantra works well with little competition but as competition gets fierce eventually most people get nervous and start to drop their drawers when it comes to price. So, the same knee jerk reaction is adopted in our industry sadly.

Smash Hit Displays take pride in our competitive nature. In order to combat the price issue we offer greater information to questions posed from our customers, as well as, top-shelf custom graphics, and direction for those who need a little hand holding.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Tips for bringing your event to Life

Our buddy Susan Friedmann has posted yet another good read concerning event planning. An event planner's job doesn't stop with the meeting in the company boardroom. Organizing an employee appreciate event, an awards dinner, a product launch, the celebration of a company milestone, a gala recognizing a longtime employee's retirement, might be some of the duties heaped onto your back.

One key to a successful special event is to seek out entertainment or decorations that are unique and fun to spark conversation among guests. As you begin envisioning your event, picture the mood you want the environment to create. You should determine whether you want to create a jubilant, celebratory atmosphere or one that is more serious. The ambiance you aim for depends a great deal upon the type of event you're having. If it's a product launch where you want to create an aura of enthusiasm and excitement, you'll likely lean toward an exhilarating atmosphere. If you're organizing an event for your employees and their spouses, perhaps you want the mood to be somewhat romantic.

The following is a partial list of tips that will help you shape and enhance the atmosphere with the entertainment, decorations, and food you choose.

1. Think outside the box when planning the atmosphere at your event.
2. Create a fun, interesting, and exciting ambiance using special stage settings, lighting, special scenery, music, ice carvings, flowers, centerpieces, candles, etc.
3. Vary your decorations depending on the type of event you're throwing and the venue you choose.
4. Check all decorating plans with the venue in advance since many have restrictions on what they allow you to do in their establishment.

A Smash Hit Displays charge our customers with the common task of questioning their event facility to find out what is and is not permitted at their shows. For some shows are more stringent than others. Gathering vital information can separate you from the pack when it comes to showtime. Should you require booth-separating consultation on graphics, different displays, booth set-up, then look no further.

Friday, March 02, 2007

9 Tips on how to make your conference 'user friendly'

Ran across the following article a few months back and bookmarked it. Having a booth at a trade show is a good way to meet prospects or position your company in its industry context, but becoming part of a user conference will involve your customers and prospects in a peer-to-peer community -- a 'marketing/tip' club.

Attendees aren’t just coming to meet your company reps; they’re coming to meet each other. Still, it can be difficult to show the return from such an event.

The goal of a user conference is to build relationships among your customers that hinge on your brand. This is why it’s so important for vendors to be proactively involved with their user conferences. Combined with the company’s own conferences and participation in third-party events, this makes for a lot of marketing potential, but also a lot of marketing outlay.

A Smash Hit Displays attempt to bring the many facets of a company together when preparing for a trade show. Such preparation leads to the purchase of trade show displays such as backlit walls, fabric tension displays, truss systems or even custom displays. The result depends on the information gathered in the preparation period. Should you need the expert guidance for your next show look no further.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

33 Tips for using Teleconferencing for your next trade show

The following article was written based on businesses preparing for future meetings. You can easily apply these tips to not only meetings but trade show displays. As part of the pre-show planning and preparation, you may find well find yourself having to hold teleconferences with your suppliers or members of your team around the country or world to elicit information which will benefit your companies' brand and booth space.

Like those next business meetings, trade show planning and preparation is the key to success. However, it's obviously not possible to plan all the details especially for last minute or emergency meetings. The following teleconferencing tips and guidelines should be kept in mind before your next show date. Please take a moment to read the article in its entirity should you desire to read the remaining tips.

Advance Planning
1. Make a list of all attendees and check that they're availability on the date and time planned.
2. Check with the service provider you choose if they require a reservation and if so, how much notice do they need.
3. Decide on the options you will use for your call. Will it be dial-in or dial-out? Do you want it recorded? Once again, your service provider will give you guidance in these areas.
4. Contact all participants and give them the date and time of your show.

A Smash Hit Displays attempt to school our customers on advance planning for their shows. Some of that planning includes fact finding, company wares, and brand identity. Those are bundled into eye catching trade show graphics to place on their banner stands, backlit walls, or pop ups.