Monday, April 30, 2007

The Power of Trade Show Marketing

How many times have you been approached to exhibit at trade shows but declined? Exhibiting at trade shows can be a very powerful marketing weapon, but only if you understand who your market is and if these people will be attending the trade show in large numbers. Below are a few pointers to help target that audience and spruce up your display space to bring the best return possible.

Know your target customer. This is by far the most important principle in successfully building your business. You must be able to describe your prospective customer in as much detail and passion as you can describe your own product or service.

Once you’ve made the decision to be an exhibitor at a trade show, you need to find out who will be attending by getting a list of the registered participants from the organizer of the event. Your goal is to identify the highest level of prospects for your product because they are the most likely attendees. Once you have a list of the attendees, it’s important to contact as many of them prior to the trade show as you can.

Propaganda can be sent via a letter, an e-mail, or a report, or an invitation to a special session you’re planning to hold at the trade show. Give them a private consultation or demonstration if they come to your exhibit area. Invite them to join you for breakfast or lunch.

Then, find your strongest customer testimonials and have them blown up so you can display them in your trade-show booth.

The more things you can put in and around your booth to get attention, the more traffic you’ll draw. Your booth should be a center of energy and excitement. You don’t want a poorly planned trade-show booth that has a few dead-tired signs, a stack of business cards, and a couple of bored sales reps standing around. These booths attract no one.

Also, make yourself stand out at a trade show by playing a far more significant role than just being an exhibitor. For example, you could get the promoter of the trade show to give you special support or an endorsement and in return you give him or her a portion of your sales. Or you could arrange to have the promoter give you a breakfast, luncheon, or a cocktail party. You could also, have the promoter arrange for you to be a key speaker at workshop or seminar. By doing one or two of these things, it elevates you to the status of an endorsed expert.

Always have free items at your booth to give away. But make sure these giveaways are of genuine value for visitors. Instead of the conventional things like ballpoint pens, and notepads, give them things like a ceramic travel mug or a nice-looking desk clock. Or if you are a financial consultant you could give away a special report on the best investments for the coming year.

We believe the following article will enlighten and prepare you well for that next trade show exhibit display. Take these pointers to heart and you will learn quickly who your target customers are and more importantly how to make them your future customers. To turn that display space from a listing dud to one of energy by stocking it with a tabletop pop up booth, banner stand display, trade show panel displays, exhibit truss, custom fabric tension displays, or backlit graphic exhibits then look no further. A Smash Hit Displays is your one stop shop for the best trade show equipment in the market place.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Paradox with International Trade Shows

Though I have never been part of an International show its easy to understand a paradox exists. Julia O'Connor claims it has two parts.

1) It's unique because it is foreign. If it’s your first show, it should be a real adventure. If it’s your umpteenth overseas trip, you may view it as a drag, or look at it as an opportunity to maintain and expand relationships.

2) It is the same as doing a show in the US.

After reading both you are probably scratching your head just as I did when reading this one. How can both be present? Because the principles of trade shows are universal, there’s a practical understanding to the basics of trade shows – no matter where in the world you exhibit.

Know there are cultural nuances when exhibiting overseas. Geography, directions, time constraints, standards in design, promotion, presentation and follow-up are some of the possible bumps you may experience along the way for any trade show.

Your appearance and business practices must align to the actualities of the host country, industry and the international marketplace. Further, Julia offers some questions you should ask if considering an international show. In order to learn these you'll need to read her attached article.

A Smash Hit Displays understand both the subtle and obvious cultural differences pertaining to international business. We have customers all over the world and have become accustomed to such different practices from our friends on either side of the Atlantic or Pacific. We offer tradeshow booth graphics, panel trade show exhibits, scrolling banner stands, as well as many other tradeshow exhibits for culturally diverse points of view.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The New Marketing Manager and Exhibit Design

Though this article is intended to assist with companies who bring on new marketing managers and/or event designers, I particularly am found of the pointers offered.

Julia O'Connor, our article author, offers some pointers before investing in that next display space which should apply to everyone!

1) Create a marketing plan before designing the booth.
Julia reminds us that "Form Follows Function". Creating that marketing plan before the booth is smart because each show draws different attendees wtih different expectations and your focus should be on the attendees and not company egos.

2) Never create a display without soliciting input from fellow employees and staff.
Let the folks who are going to work the booth have input. Experience on the floor is invaluable when upgrading or designing a new exhibit.WHY? They know the problems with lack of storage space, lost keys, theft, crowded demo areas, poor lighting, off-message graphics, difficult set-up, and shipping disasters.

3) It's tough to be a missionary
There is a psychology to the trade show and attendees – whether first time or experienced – come with desires of comfort. Trade shows are quick, intense and sometimes overwhelming in assaults on the senses. Attendees do not want to spend time and the psychic energy to figure out strange exhibits. Way-out designs may scare away attendees because you don't fit their type of company. Make sure if you do change the company look you don't stray too far off the beaten path.

4) Do not use an exhibit with a poor floor plan
Have you ever been to an exhibit where entering was part of the mystery? Don't be that display guy, where attendees have to use extra brain power to figure out where to go next, or the demo stations are in a secret place, or you just can’t find people to answer your questions? Never design an exhibit that is a maze or barrier to people.

5) Maybe it's not the new design
There are many reasons a new exhibit does not live up to dreams. The most obvious and often overlooked is the staff. Do you send the same folks? Are they tired, resentful, bored, boring? Enthusiasm - before and during the show - can overcome many design flaws.

A Smash Hit Displays stand firmly behind these pointers should you be preparing for that next show. Take some time and let each soak in so you have a full understanding of what you are trying to achieve by show's end. Taking these pointers and others we have noted from previous posts will help you achieve your short and long term trade show goals. Whether you desire a custom trade show display, tradeshow carpet, backlit tradeshow displays, or a tension fabric structure we are your one-stop shop!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tips to Surviving the Trade Show Slog

Our resident trade show expert Susan Friedmann offers tips to conserve the energy or the lifeforce that is taken from each of us after participating in a day or week long trade show.

As any trade show exhibitor will agree, the convention scene does take its toll even on the most seasoned veterans of the trade show arena. Aside from stale air and fluorescent glare, they cite ghastly food, the long lines they must wait in to be served it, throbbing feet from walking the show floor, exhausting marathons of schmoozing and wheeling-and-dealing, the tedium of listening to long-winded lectures in windowless rooms that are either too warm or too cold and bathrooms that always seem to be a long walk away.

Susan offers some timely tips for those who do get stuck in uninspiring conversations while at a show.

1) Look at your watch and say, 'Oh my goodness, I didn't realize how long I'd been keeping you," "A way to break somebody in mid-conversation is saying their name. When you say someone's name, they stop talking."

2) Show restraint when loading up on brochures and free gadgets showered on each of us at all trade shows.

3) Drink lot of liquids, wear comfortable shoes, pack healthy snacks and wash your hands frequently.

A Smash Hit Displays appreciate Susan's exhibit display articles because they hit home. Timely, poignant, opportune and judicious; her articles are bound to help all who read them. Should you require table top exhibits, trade show booth designs, or

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Trade Show Bliss Tips

Stand out at most trade shows is difficult for some and easier for others. The others understand what tips separate their display spaces from their competitors.

Some of those competitors might have walls of flat-screen TVs showing some slickly-produced promotional video and/or fleets of silicone-enhanced spokesmodels to help promote their business.

You might ask how can we compete with that? Well, the following article explains how that's ok. Trade shows aren't about flash and dazzle. Trade shows aren't even about who secures the most foot traffic.

Trade shows are specifically about generating qualified leads, plain and simple. With that basic understanding, are you getting the most out of your trade show experience? Is your hard work and trade show investment yielding a solid return?

Our author believes, and I concur, that should you follow the tips below you'll reap untold rewards at your next trade show. For a detailed definition of each tip please refer to the attached article.

1. Inform your suppliers, clients and prospective clients that you'll be at the show. Some of the most important steps to successful booths occur weeks before the show. Get the word out you're coming.

2. Get listed on your event's official Web site. Before a show ever happens, it's valuable to get onto the radar of attendees by appearing on the show's official site.

3. Make sure attendees call on you again by visiting your Web site.

4. Launch a new product while at the show!

5. Follow up should begin immediately after the show ends i.e. (Have a plan)

6. Know your objectives and weigh their costs.

Tips are just words unless taken to heart and put in action. A Smash Hit Displays strive to offer as much winning information to potential and existing customers as possible. For our customers winning displays mean more trade show events which translate to new trade show products, tradeshow equipement, and tradeshow exhibits. For in the end, a winning display doesn't necessarily equate to the most LCDs and skantly clad women, but simply a greater return on investment. In order to maximize your return on investment at your next show call us!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Secrets Trade Show Exhibitors Don't Want You to Know!

Ask yourself, "Why are certain companies consistently successful at trade shows?" They know secrets you don't.

Those secrets are simlpy understanding and practicing target and follow-up marketing. Increase your return on investment by utilizing the same secrets that successful companies want to keep to themselves.

Below are 4 of the 7 secrets our author shared in her latest article. To read the remaining three, take a few moments to peruse the attached schedule or call A Smash Hit Displays and we'll be happy to share all of them with you!

1. Understand the primary reason you are participating it the trade show.

2. Plan for your target audience.

3. Pre-invite targeted customers and prospects.

4. Give them a real reason to visit you.

A Smash Hit Displays offer these same tips to both new and old school customers. For even the most seasoned veteran can use a little different perspective to shed a new light on an old picture. We offer other secrets which you can see on our site daily. Some of those secrets include but are not limited to: fabric trade show displays, exhibit displays, and exhibit design. So do yourself and your company and favor and take the time to learn some valuable secrets to best help you prepare for your trade show schedule.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sneaky advantages of renting your trade show booth

If you're in the market for a trade show booth but don't have the capital to purchase new... then pay attention to some rental tips.

Renting tradeshow products has many advantages beyond saving you money on your initial booth displays purchase.

Tip 1- If you don't have a trade show booth, then it's a safe bet that you have exhibited at very few if any trade shows.

Tip 2- Renting a booth gives you the opportunity to give trade show exhibiting a trial run, so to speak, before a major investment in a permanent trade show booth is made.

Tip 3- Renting allows you the advantage of not being stuck with a trade show booth you don't want if you should decide for any reason that trade show events are not for you. And trade shows aren't for everybody, that's for sure. Trade shows involve an incredible amount of work when they're done right, but the results are more often than not well worth your tired feet and aching back!

For more tips that will help you decide if renting is your answer, please read the remainder of the attached article.

Concerning Smash Hit Displays rental, most times we offer customers the opportunity to apply rental fees toward the purchase of an exhibition display, fabric trade show display, portable booths, trade show equipment, or even accessories adding to your tradeshow design. It's just another way we try and display a leader of the pack mentality wtihin our industry... placing our customers first.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Preshow Planning Equals Success

While reading some relevant industry articles posted on various sites of interest, I ran across a Susan Friedmann article posted in a trade show fashion periodical.

Being a fan of her articles, I felt this one was a must read for anyone who might be a new trade show exhibitor or regulars.

The old adage "the early bird gets the worm" holds true for trade shows. For the most successful exhibitors are those who start planning well prior to their next event. Proper exhibiting requires a huge investment of time, money, and personnel.

To make the most of your resources, utilize them at the show that best meets your marketing needs. In order to determine which show will best suit those needs there are a few ideas below:

1. How well does this show fit our marketing needs?
2. When is the show?Show timing is crucial.
3. Where is the show?Location is everything.
4. Who comes to this show?

If you wish to read the remaining tips then take a look at the attached article.

A Smash Hit Displays offer tips to new customers, as well as, existing customers to make them more successful at their next shows. For the more successful our customers, the more successful we are. We want each and every client to receive the best representation as possible in order to stand out and overwhelm their show competition. For at each show the display spaces that best entice attendees have the most success. Graphics, correct booth purchase, along with timely promotional items offer each of our customers a recipe for desired success and that best enticing recipe.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Plastic Promotional Bags

For those willing to learn pointers concerning an economical way to package your promotional giveaways at your next trade show event look no further than a plastic bag...

Plastic bags make attractive giveaways at trade shows, meetings, and presentations. Customized plastic bags are an excellent advertising tactic that costs much less than advertising through the regular media channels. When a company’s details are put up on plastic bags, it tends to catch the eye of everyone who sees the bags. Plus, they act to keep the company’s brand name in the consumer’s mind by reminding them of the company and the products sold by that company or manufacturer.

You can use theme based customized plastic bags to promote a specific item or product. The design can vary based on this product or on a general theme. Such bags make great promotional gifts and are economical and leave much longer impressions on customers. Further, try selling promotional plastic bags in bulk. This has a profound impact on people every time they use the plastic bag in the course of their daily routines.

Since they are not more expensive than plain plastic bags, most people prefer to buy promotional ones for variety.Promotional bags given away at bookstores to promote a new publisher or book or at trade shows tend to be more durable and can hold more weight. This is an excellent advertising tactic as well as useful tool for people who forgot to bring a tote bag to the store or tradeshow. Since it can be very embarrassing if a give away tears right at the shop itself, companies make an effort to give away good quality durable plastic bags in such promotional meets.When used in a correct manner, promotional plastic bags can have a lot of influence on the public.

Such an influence on the public is the goal of A Smash Hit Displays. Influencing our customers to make the right decision for their trade show needs is most important. If attained, then we have done our job and their show will be a huge success. If you need any trade show guidance please contact us.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Exhibiting at $600 a Minute!

Our buddy Julia has posted another great article for your reading pleasure. The article is written explaining an exhibitor's viewpoint and how they pay your salary and they make your job possible. And most important your trade show could not exist without them.

The estimate is staggering; that major exhibitors' investments exceed $10 per second on all costs included at a show. As the show producer, your most fundamental responsibility is to provide value in booth space and in other components of exhibiting, providing a positive experience for all your exhibitors.

Creating a positive exhibitor experience does not happen through random schemes or through hit or miss contact. It takes thorough planning and an almost military-like campaign, one which includes many field operations.

One of the field operations referenced above is determining an exhibitor's needs. Such an operation is attempted by A Smash Hit Displays on a regular basis. That fact finding gives both parties a clearer picture of how their display area should mirror or mimic a company's image and brand but done so in a short quick message inherent in the custom graphics. The more information that can be gleaned the easier our job and the better their display becomes.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Secrets to promoting your business at trade shows

Trade shows represent tremendous marketing opportunities. Many business owners recognize this and attempt to learn as much insider information as possible before investing in their booths. For talking one-on-one with potential buyers provides immediate gratification that is empowering. The trade show makes highlighting business services or products easier. The following article details a few secrets that will make your trade show a future success.

The article includes many tips, suggestions or secrets for your next show but one in particular struck my fancy. The one "secret" that I was surprised and happy to read is one we constantly share with our clientele: the K. I. S. S. standard. This acronym is most helpful when deciding what to add or subtract from your booth space. Simply, "Keep it short and simple or keep it simple stupid."

A Smash Hit Displays try and keep our customers grounded when it comes to their trade show graphic and booth requirements. The more simple their message the better it is received and more important understood. For not only the best graphic assistance in the marketplace but for fresh and different perspectives on your company's brand, please call one of our seasoned artists.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Pharmaceutical Marketing and Sales Convention- Next Weekend!

For those readers out there in the pharmaceutical profession, it might interest you to read the attached flyer detailing your industry's largest gala event April 15th through April 17.

The annual gathering is said to attract upwards of 750 pharmaceutical marketing and sales management personnel, their agencies, and the supplier community.

As most of you are aware, there are more pharmaceutical commercials airing these days than ever. That influx is due to technological innovation combined with huge sums of consumer advertising.

A point of interest, many new companies and biotechs are launching their first products and find themselves in challenging circumstances as they search for sales and marketing capabilities. This phenomenon has changed the face of the industry and its marketing opportunities.

Such marketing opportunities are ever present in the trade show arena as well. A Smash Hit Displays consistently search for sales and marketing opportunities. As the face of the trade show industry becomes increasingly aggressive, we must constantly attempt to stay a step or two ahead of our gung-ho competitors. That asssertive mentality allows for an expanded product base which benefits our customers. Take advantage of that expanded product base including truss systems, fabric tension, and banner stand options.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Banner stands make great exhibits

Banner Stands are a high impact, inexpensive and attractive medium of advertisement. They can be found in abundance at exhibitions, trade shows, retail stores – just about anywhere the potential customer can be attracted by high wattage graphics.

As the author of the attached article alludes, they are extremely portable and easy to set up. Further you have a plethora of options: retractable, tension pole, rigid pole, hanging, scrolling, tabletop, multi-sided, telescopic, fabric tension and wall units. In addition, there are banner stands created for indoor and outdoor events.

Indoor exhibition banner stands are used for retail exhibitions and trade show conferences, indoor events and sales promotion. This category can be further divided into retractable and pole banner stands.

Outdoor exhibition banner stands are specifically made for outside use. They are weather proof, wind resistant and require outdoor resistant graphics.

A Smash Hit Displays is proud to offer a myriad of banner stand options. You are guaranteed to find a banner stand for your specific need. So, should you be in the market for a quality banner stand please peruse our banner stand pages.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Generation Why

Trade Show organizers need to be aware and start marketing for Generation Why? Why you ask? The 68 million who make up the Gen Why segment are future-oriented and trend-setting. Further, appealing to this group attracts the the Baby Boomers and Gen X as well.

In order to market to Why you should first understand them and their characteristics.
They're skeptical, desensitized, multi-taskers, etc. By reading the entire attached article you'll gain some much needed knowledge to further explain this hard-to-reach group.

A Smash Hit Displays often run across the Generation Why consumer. They are harder to sell due to that skepticism inferred in the article. But persistence and honesty win them over as it does with the other groups. It's not a smoke and mirrors effect but a listen, show, step back, then tell effect. If you are in the market for anything pertaining to the trade show industry- flooring, pop-ups, fabric tension, custom graphics, etc and you wish to be infused with knowledge and understanding of what products would best fit you and your brand then look no further.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Lanyards Explained

Believe it or not there are some out there in the marketing world that don't know what a lanyard is. Well, the attached article was written by such a person who'd been in the industry for 15 years and had heard the word but didn't know what a lanyard actually was.

Well, for clarification purposes; it is described as a neck strap, security strap, ID strap, ID cord etc. Most have seen then, a large portion of us have worn them, and most of us have, in some way been advertised to, by them. Used by conferences, trade shows, event staff, or staff of medium to large companies, lanyards are used to attach a myriad of styles of credentials holders.

For promotional campaigns the lanyard can be fitted with many differing attachments and accessories including key rings, crocodile clips, snap hooks, Dog clips, carabineers, mobile phone holders, bottle holders, bottle openers etc.The reason for supplying a lanyard, (as a give a way or for means of security), together with the functional aspect of the attachments, makes them a commonly wanted, required and used item.

A Smash Hit Displays believe along with the author that similar promotional items deliver uniqueand important trade show messages. Customizing a lanyard with a unique message, together with your own design specifications and color scheme, will provide additional advertising that will be seen repeatedly by both the wearer and those in their company, due to the practical nature and therefore constant usage of the lanyard. It is that additional advertising that we constantly inform our customers will help set them apart from their fellow show competitors.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Dodging 10 Common Trade Show Blunders

The referenced article's subject is marketing. It talks about marketing as the key to creating a great trade show, but identifies its an inexact science with room for multiple errors. It further outlines 10 of the most common marketing mistakes made. Learning to avoid them will increase your chances for a successful show.

We here at A Smash Hit Displays try and echo those same sentiments you read about in the attached article. Succinct focused marketing is the key to any successful show. We will help you differentiate yourself from the clutter around you by creating a display that will strike a cord in the attendees. For differentiation is the key to enticing more people into your display space than your competitors. Do yourself a favor and call us prior to your next engagement. Your pocket book will appreciate it.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Padded carpet; Heaven on Earth for some

Happened across the attached article and found the last sentence quite poignant. For those who had endured a day to three on a trade show floor you understand the wear and tear your legs and feet endure on the hard cement flooring.

On his last rounds through the telecommunications trade show, our author says he happened to stagger into the Nokia booth, which had padded carpet. "If you’ve ever walked through a booth with a padded carpet you know—it’s heaven on Earth. I was so happy to find a booth with padded carpet I decided to just make camp there and reschedule my meeting for the next day.Best. Booth. Ever."

That excerpt, though short, demonstrates the importance of comfort to a adding carpet to your next trade show order. That extra accutrement set that display apart from all its competitors not because of its graphics but because of the simple pleasure of carpeted flooring. Tiresome feet love a good plush carpet set over heavy padding.

A Smash Hit Displays offer the best flooring selection in the industry including personalized logo rugs, digital printed carpet, portable carpet, and interlocking tiles and accessories. It's the best way to accent your booth setting it apart from your competitors.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

9 Tips on how to make a user conference more effective

The attached article references how to comingle your trade show efforts with those of user conferences. As trade shows allow you to meet prospects, a user conference brings you together with your customers and prospects in a peer-to-peer community -- similar to a networking club.

Measuring the return on investment from such a club can be difficult at best so the author put together a list of 9 tips explaining how to make the most out of your user conference experience.

Much like the author here, A Smash Hit Displays offer tips making the most out of your trade show experience. Following our tips and suggestions will narrow your focus for the upcoming trade shows and help you stand out from the competitive clutter. For at the show, the display and display space are only supposed to grab your prospective customer's attention and lure them into your booth. Once that goal is accomplished your display area has done its job.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Tips for using teleconferencing for meeting preparation

If you use teleconferencing as part of your meeting planning and preparation, you realize the real success of those calls are to you. Planning and preparation is key. However, it's obviously not possible to plan all the details especially for last minute or emergency meetings.

Susan has offered 33 tips and guidelines which might assist you during future calls:

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?
4. Contact all participants and give them the date and time of the teleconference. Always remember to specify the time zone.

To read over the remaining tips just check out the attached link. As always, Susan doesn't disappoint.

Having all your bases covered is sometimes a dubious task but if you make the effort surprises are likely to arise. A Smash Hit Displays base covering includes fact finding. That fact finding sometimes includes teleconferencing with mutliple parties to understand what owners and their ad agencies ojectives or goals are pertaining to upcoming shows. For more than often these two have different goals and objectives and sometimes its up to us to lead them down a path to a meeting of the minds. Should your company require a trade show pathfinder don't hesitate to contact us.