Thursday, May 31, 2007

Get them before they get there

Today's subject broaches the proactive idea of target-marketing trade show attendees before they get to the show.
Some exhibitors believe the old adage the biggest booth, the wackiest events and the most promotional giveaways will draw the largest crowds of buyers. Well, they might draw crowds, but they won't necessarily be qualified buyers. Well, they might pull a large number of people but they might not necessarily attract the right customers to your booth.
To make sure you draw the "right" people to your booth, you should begin promotion well before the show opens. Studies suggest the most effective tradeshow promotions are two-part promotions -- one part before the show and one part at the show. This will help narrow your focus and attract the "right" customer. The list can be created from the pre-registration list, your existing client or customer list. Definitely target those people.
As an example, once you've chosen the target audience, send a mailing that will draw them to your booth. Remember, though, the product needs to tie in with the theme of the mailing, which should be consistent with the theme of your at-show promotion.
The objective of any pre-show mailing should be to get the prospects into your booth for a qualifying dialogue. Just getting them there, without getting the opportunity to talk to them, doesn't accomplish your goal.
Another idea offered by our author would be to send out an egg timer to a select group of show attendees along with a card asking for a few minutes of their time at the show. You could scribe that should they offer you some of their time while at the show, you'll present them with a elegant timepiece (clock or watch) after they meet with you. Again, it's important to make sure that the idea of time and the related products fit the consistent marketing message your company is imparting.
A Smash Hit Displays offer many tips on a weekly basis to arm our customers with as much trade show knowledge as possible. We also offer a wide array of trade show products to enhance your booth space: table top displays, tradeshow banner stands, 10 pop up display, trade show signage, trade show booth truss, entasi exhibits, and custom logo carpets.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

How to Work a Trade Show

Based on our author, Jane Applegate's experience, she's offered some very important tips on how to work a trade show from both the attendee and attender's points of view. Below, is a partial list of her survival tips to make your next trade show trip successful:

For Exhibitors:

- Do your research to select the best show for business development. Talk to colleagues who have attended the same show before you make final plans.

- Read all promotional brochures as soon as they arrive. Take advantage of early-bird discounts on booth space, travel and hotel accommodations.

- Read your exhibitor's kit carefully. There are many confusing forms to fill out. You'll usually have to deal with two or more companies; one producing the conference and another responsible for renting equipment, phone lines and electrical power.

- If you can't afford to buy a custom display, be creative and make one. Our author created a SBTV "studio" on an expo floor by renting stools and bringing along her own backdrop, lights, cameras and glossy "Tell Your Story" posters. Most booths come with one draped table, a few chairs and a trash can.

- Make sure you have a realistic budget. Consider travel expenses: ground transportation, accommodations (ask employees to share rooms if possible), meals, snacks, giveaways and the cost of being out of the office for a few days.

For attendees:

- No matter how tired you are, attend a few seminars and all the group meals. Target industry leaders and contacts you want to meet. Spend some time each day circulating and schmoozing.

- Speak to as many people as you can while waiting in buffet or bathroom lines. You never know who will turn out to be a great contact.

- If a reporter or producer approaches you, give them a good quote for their story.

- Bring three times as many business cards as you think you will need.

- Wear comfortable clothes and a jacket with pockets. I keep my cards in one pocket to hand out. I store cards given to me in the other pocket.

- If you don't have a stylish, comfortable outfit to make a good impression, go shopping before the show.

Remember to follow these tips along with the other remaining tips found in the attached article to ensure your next trade show experience a success. A Smash Hit Displays try to make all our customers experiences successful. Some of the hardware we offer to ensure such success include: fabric popup booths, backlit graphic displays, custom carpet, trade show lighting, table top banner stands, and tradeshow pop up booth.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Marketing Your Trade Shows the 4 C's Way

Traditional marketing is changing for many reasons. Customers are more sophisticated and price sensitive than in years past and expect products or services to be delivered faster than ever. And they have no qualms about switching to competitors.

At the same time, typical marketing tools are less effective than in years past. Products are not much different from each other, but pricing is quickly matched by competitors, advertising has become more expensive and less effective, and sales force costs are rising.

Compound those issues by consumers being constantly interrupted by thousands of marketing messages, making it easy for one message to get lost in the overwhelming clutter of communications.

So the question becomes, "How do you create, win, and dominate markets today and what does this mean in trade show terms?"

It means that you need to focus on the services both exhibitors and attendees perceive as valuable ... and deliver them with perpetually fresh appeal.

Our aurthor came up with marketing your wares through the 4 C's:

Customer Value
Customers are getting more and more value conscious. You must fulfill their expectations by constantly "thinking exhibitor" and "thinking attendee." You need to live and breathe for your customers -- they make your job possible.

Is your show successful the way it is? Do you think you have the perfect formula that works? If you say yes, you might be heading for decline. Your team needs to fall in love with change. If you don't grow and change, you'll become stale, your competition will outdo you, and then your show will be history. Change, however, has to be in line with the essence of your show -- it needs to be relevant.

How easy is it to do business with you? Are your systems user-friendly? Consider every piece from the exhibitor manuals to the registration desks at the show. What can be done to make participating in your shows a hassle-free experience? Consult your vendors, staff, exhibitor advisory committee, outside consultants, and even children for ideas and suggestions. Then try them out yourself. Ask yourself how favorite companies might solve your particular challenge.

Today's customers take functional features and benefits, product quality, and a positive brand image as a given. They want products, communications, and marketing campaigns that dazzle their senses, touch their hearts, and stimulate their minds. The degree to which a company is able to deliver a desirable customer experience -- and to use information technology, brands, and integrated communications and entertainment to do so -- will largely determine its success in the global marketplace of the new millennium."

The four 4Cs form the essence of a powerful marketing campaign that will elevate your show and organization to a higher level. Combine those important elements with a trade show exhibit display and you have a winning combination. That combination will include the following items: truss trade show exhibit, xpressions displays, backlit trade show displays, custom exhibit display, a custom carpet, or trade show furniture.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Get them before they get there

It seems as though this past week has been a how-to when it comes to trade show display pre-show promotion. This article is also in that same vein as it explains how to reach your potential customers before they get to the show.

It's not so much about the quantity of numbers that come through your booth as opposed to quality of attendees that grace your area. I want the right people in my booth." And, so should you. To make sure that you draw the right quality of people to your booth, you need to start promoting long before the event doors opens.

Work from the pre-registration list, your existing client or customer list. You want to target those people. Once you've chosen the target audience to reach before the show, send a targeted mailing that will entice them to your booth. Keep in mind the product needs to tie in with the theme of the mailing, which should be consistent with the theme of your at-show promotion. Consistency and enticement are the keys to the pre-promotion.

Some Pre-show promotions are listed below. For a full list from our contributing author please read the attached article:

* promise a gift then offer another upon entrance to your booth. A bait and bait if you will.

* send a pocket planner (4-6 weeks before the show) that can be used to schedule appointments at the show. As a kicker, fill in one of the time slots for a visit to your booth. For if they can't make the appointment, they'll usually call to schedule another.

* offer to handle their pre-registration. It's a nice service to offer as it saves them the hassle of filling out forms and making phone calls. You can arrange for all the badges and materials to be sent to your company, and then send them out to your customers and prospects with an invitation to visit your booth while at the show.

A Smash Hit Displays explain to our customers the importance of making a demonstrative impression during and after the show, but rarely talk about the pre-show promotion. Obviously, that's where you can ascertain a huge head start over your competition for most don't concentrate on that area. Be smart and make the time to present a unified marketing message before, during and after the show with smart design in your booth space and you will reap what you sow. We offer many convention displays assisting with your marketing message and branding to new customers. Those include but are by no means limited to: trade show booth panels, truss designs, custom fabric tension exhibit, and digital printed carpets.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

How to work a Trade Show

Our author gives some valuable information for those exhibiting and those just attending. Take a gander.

For those Exhibiting:

* Do your research to select the best show for business development. Talk to colleagues who have attended the same show before you make final plans.

* Read the promotional brochures as soon as they arrive. Take advantage of early-bird discounts on booth space, travel and hotel accommodations.

* When you receive the exhibitor's kit, read it carefully. There are many confusing forms to fill out. You'll usually have to deal with two or more companies; one producing the conference and another responsible for renting equipment, phone lines and electrical power. In many cities, you will be hiring union workers to carry your displays and materials in and out of the convention center.

*If you can't afford to buy a custom display, be creative and make one. We create a SBTV "studio" on the expo floor by renting stools and bringing along our own backdrop, lights, cameras and glossy "Tell Your Story" posters. Most booths come with one draped table, a few chairs and a trash can.

* Create a realistic budget. Consider travel expenses: ground transportation, accommodations (ask employees to share rooms if possible), meals, snacks, giveaways and the cost of being out of the office for a few days.

* Set up a schedule that lets you work in the booth part of the day. You also need time to walk the floor to make contacts.

* Bring a clever giveaway. The hit of the Chicago show was an elegant, battery-powered pen given to guests at a cocktail party sponsored by ING Aetna Financial Services.

* Bring a supply of chocolate or mints to serve as magnets to passersby.

* Bring your friendliest employees. You want high-energy, happy people in your booth. They must be well-groomed, attentive and not chewing gum, sitting or talking to each other.

For those attending:

* No matter how tired you are, attend a few seminars and all the group meals. Target industry leaders and contacts you want to meet. Spend some time each day circulating and schmoozing.

* Speak to as many people as you can while waiting in buffet or bathroom lines. You never know who will turn out to be a great contact.

* If a reporter or producer approaches you, give them a good quote for their story.

* Rather than carrying around heavy brochures, collect the cards of serious prospects. Say, "So many people were interested in my products, I've already given all my brochures away. But, I'd love to send you one as soon as I get back to the office."

* Distribute postcards. Unlike a heavy brochure, postcards are light and easy to carry. They are also very inexpensive to print. For about $500, you can get 5,000 postcards made by 1-800-POSTCARDS.

* Bring three times as many business cards as you think you will need.

* Wear comfortable clothes and a jacket with pockets. I keep my cards in one pocket to hand out. I store cards given to me in the other pocket.

* If you don't have a stylish, comfortable outfit to make a good impression, go shopping before the show.

* If money is tight, contact the organizers and volunteer to help in exchange for free admission.

To learn more about each bullet point please read the referenced article. For these are all worth taking note and commiting to memory for that all important next show. You can never have too much preparation when it comes to the future of your business.

A Smash Hit Displays offer a variety of portable pop up display, portable banner stands, portable folding booth, custom fabric tension exhibits, custom backlit exhibits, portable carpet, and tradeshow tables to assist our customers with their booth space needs. But, its our expertise that we try and impart on those same customers to allow them some insight into the trade show arena. For, "you can give a man a fish and he'll eat for the day, but if you teach a man to fish he'll eat for a lifetime."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What message are you sending at your booth?

You have only four seconds to attract someone to your booth. In the past, this information was applied to the booth set-up, its graphics, its design and layout. But reason dictates there is most definitely more to it.

All of us make snap judgments. Our minds process information much in the same way computers do, processing it based on experience, and spewing out responses before we even realize it. The most common example would involve meeting new people and immediately deciding you like a person. Or, conversely, you decide that you dislike someone. Why? Because our judgments are based on perception. And lots of different things contribute to those perceptions.

In a trade show booth, you have roughly four seconds to grab that potential customer's
attention. And if you are perceived in a negative fashion, then both you and your company have lost that battle. For during those four seconds, your booth message has been understood and your staff's attitude have been evaluated. How do you appear? Are you making the most positive statement possible?

The results are quite interesting. Our author tells us the latest research into how people are viewed breaks down as follows:
* 55 percent is based on how you look
* 38 percent on the tone of your voice
* only 7 percent by what you say.

In other words, appearance alone can turn someone off so completely that changing their attitude becomes an uphill battle. If your tone of voice is pedantic, holier-than-thou or superior, your words will never get through. Since the smallest part of the perception is your choice of words, if the rest of your message is inconsistent with what you say, you will not be believed.

For those of you fortunate enough to purchase A Smash Hit Display you will find they speak volumes to your customer and are easily understood. We strive to capture that 4 second attention span time with smart graphics that echo our customer's brands and present them in a manner that eliminates the competitive landscape at every show. Further, we offer coaching to those who want to educate themselves before their shows as to proper etiquette, apparel, preparation and follow-up. We want your trade show experience to be as profitable as possible. In order to achieve that goal there must be attention paid to the peripheral materials. Our peripherals include: portable folding booth, banners stands, tradeshow popup exhibit, and custom logo rugs.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Improve Trade Show Traffic with Promotional Products

After the pre-show preparation and booth decisions have been made there remains another element to a trade show booth that can further separate yourself from your competition and/or keep you top-of-mind with potential customers.

Promotional products can increase traffic to an exhibitor's trade show booth. A study was undertaken back in 1991 and the results were staggering. That study found using promotional products can give you an edge for the buyer's attention. The booth in question sent invitations to over 4,900 trade show registrants. These registrants were further broken down into smaller groups, each received zero to three gifts (before, at, and/or after the show).

The findings were interesting.

* Invitation response (booth traffic) was significantly higher for Groups A, B, and C (who all received an invitation to receive a gift at the show) than for Groups D and E (who did not).
* The response rate was highest for Group B (11.6%), whose members received a gift set (a coaster before the show and a matching coffee mug at the show). This is 61% higher than the runner up (Group C) and almost three times higher than Groups D and E.
* The gift set also increased the memorable factor of the invitation. Group B remembered receiving the invitation 37% to 304% more than the other groups. Groups A and C also remembered receiving the invitation significantly more often than Groups D and E.
* Group B also showed the most goodwill (positive feelings) toward the company.

The findings demonstrated the effectiveness and flexibility of using promotional products to increase customer awareness, goodwill, and traffic at trade show exhibits. To understand more about that particular study please read the attached article in its entirity.

A Smash Hit Displays hope all our customers take advantage of this article when thinking about that extra zing everyone wants to help separate their booth from their competitors. It doesn't take a huge financial investment in some promotional products to make that difference. Make sure the base elements are prepared and completed which include: trade show panel booths, orbital truss display, Expressions pop up, custom carpeting, and trade show counter.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Turning Leads into Sales after the Trade Show

Our author paints a pretty accurate picture of some trade show exhibitors: Imagine planning a huge party and money is no object. You've hired the best caterer, florist, and musicians in town. The most elaborate invitations have been sent first class to all of your friends and colleagues. But, on the day of the party, after you've spent months planning it's preparation, you change your mind and cancel. You wouldn't do that, would you? Your actions for trade shows would suggest yes.

That's exactly the analogy most exhibitors create when they invest months of planning, as well as, financial investment in order to make a splash at their trade show. Then, they simply don't follow up with the prospects for whom their display was created. They've, in essence, wasted their time and money. They might as well have stayed home.

For those exhibitors who aren't aware the "follow-up" is the most crucial part of the trade show marketing equation. True trade show success is not measured by the number of catalogs, business cards, or promotional pieces handed out or collected but by the sales generated from leads made during and after each trade show.

A Smash Hit Displays understand the follow-up and agree with our author. Most exhibitors don't take the time to properly follow leads made at shows. And why, because it's time consuming. The approach and time invested in the show wears most people out and they simply want to move past that show and onto the next campaign. And that's where most make a vital mistake. Taking the time to understand that's actually the most crucial period of the show will make you and your company a more successful entity. Success is won through perseverance and persistence over time and not typically in the quick strike method. The following will help the exhibitor construct a better trade show mousetrap: stand up banners, trade show furniture, trade show floor mats, and burst exhibits.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Reaching Buyers at the trade show

One of the more important goals of any trade show exhibitor has become reaching attendees preferably before they hit the show foor. Why? Because attendees are greeted with a multitude of sights and sounds, banners, posters, video screens, music, sound effects, product demonstrations, models, magicians, clowns, mimes, robots and many other marketing ploys viing for their attention once they're on the premesis.

It's no wonder the average show attendee suffers sensory overload after only a few minutes. As a trade show exhibitor, your mission is to develop a booth space that will attract qualified buyers to your area before they become distracted by the promotional strategies of your competitors and market to them before the doors open, so they know you before they reach the floor.

Obviously, reaching that potential customer becomes very important. By running pre-show promotions you can effectively reach that market beforehand. But, if you don't have the financial where-with-all to run such promotion, there are still many effective marketing strategies you can utilize. One such tool is finding out where attendees will be staying during the show, and sending targeted flyers or imprinted products to their hotel rooms. You're assisting your company/brand by creating top-of-mind awareness.

Another tool to ponder, outfit your booth staffers with company logo shirts further serving as promotional mediums for your company. Dress them in golf shirts, denim shirts or oxford shirts embroidered with your corporate logo. This presents a professional and unified image to attendees, while also simplifying wardrobes. Attendees will be thankful to designate between booth staff and the crowd when they need to ask a question, or better yet place an order. The logoed shirts will also serve to promote your company when booth staffers are outside of the booth -- on a lunch break, etc. Further, bring extra shirts to present as gifts or prizes. You can also build in a follow-up opportunity by promising the client you'll send them a shirt after the show.

The old adage "the pen is mightier than the sword" is no more evident than in the following case. A pen can become a high-quality item. Keep a supply of high-end pens in your exhibit to offer clients when they need to complete an order. Our author states, "When they offer it back to you, respond with, 'I believe that's yours.' They'll say, 'No, you just gave it to me.' And you'll respond, 'Yes. That's right.' They will put it in their pocket with a smile and remember you every time they use it."

Reaching buyers at a trade show can be difficult but with the assistance of Smash Hit Displays you will be able to achieve that goal and in the process secure new customers. By reaching them before the show with promotion and creating a booth space that speaks to your customer you will achieve your ultimate goals. For more pre-show marketing ideas read the attached article and to separate yourself from the multitued, utilize the following areas: a portable folding exhibit, collapsible truss trade show display, fabric trade show display, lighted graphic booths and custom printed carpet.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Branding your trade show booth

I don't believe a day goes by where we don't talk ot our customers about brands and branding. So when I ran across the attached article I felt it most relevant to our industry and its marketers.

Savvy marketers have long understood the importance of developing a consistent image for their product or service that will stay etched in the mind of the consumer/customer. Brand names such as Sony, Coca-Cola and Microsoft are as familiar to many consumers as the names of their own family members. Although the adage is that familiarity breeds contempt, in the case of brand marketing, familiarity breeds loyalty, and with loyalty comes purchasing preference. And, there's no better place to perfect the branding process, and build purchasing preference, than on the trade show floor where your brand can be seen and remembered by hundreds of buyers.

Even before attendees reach the show floor, marketers have a number of opportunities to make them aware of their brand -- brochures, catalogs, pre-show mailings, advertisements and previous sales calls. But, during the show you also have a chance to build awareness of your brand through a medium you may not have even considered --your trade show booth. According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, tradeshow exhibits have six times the impact on purchasing of any other medium.

So, armed with that knowledge it makes sense to create a display that best utilizes your company logo, its color, marketing messages and brand. Make sure your logos and other brand images always appear consistently -- use the same letter fonts, colors, shapes, etc. The booth backdrop, stands, drapes, custom carpets, rugs and other elements should complement your logo. If possible, try color coordinating all of these elements to match your logo color, as a subtle, yet effective, reminder of your brand. Whatever colors, graphics and copy you use, remember that the booth's purpose is to advertise what your company is selling.

A Smash Hit Displays understand customers should choose a specific booth design with complimentary accessories in order to brand an image. Creating or expanding that brand awareness begins and ends at their trade shows. So, customers should make the most of their time and budget by positioning their marketing message effectively. We will be happy to create a memorable and effective branding campaign for your next show through the perfect trade show environment. That environment will consist of: pop up display systems, tradeshow signage, truss designs, fabric trade show displays, and lighted graphic booths.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

How to Work a Trade Show

For those of you who understand education is the best preparation for life, we are here to teach what we have learned. Try educating yourself on the tradeshow arena. If you want to learn some pointers for working or attending a trade show look no further than the resources listed below. Keep in mind these are simply cliff notes. If you choose to read further then take a few moments to look over the attached article which will describe each tip in further detail.

If You're Exhibiting
1) Do your research to select the best show for business development. Talk to colleagues who have attended the same show before you make final plans.

2)Read the promotional brochures as soon as they arrive.

3) When you receive the exhibitor's kit, read it carefully.

4) If you can't afford to buy a custom display, be creative and make one.

5) Create a realistic budget.

6) Bring a supply of chocolate or mints to serve as magnets to passersby.

If You're Attending
1) No matter how tired you are, attend a few seminars and all the group meals.

2) Speak to as many people as you can while waiting in buffet or bathroom lines. You never know who will turn out to be a great contact.

3) If a reporter or producer approaches you, give them a good quote for their story.

4) Wear comfortable clothes and a jacket with pockets. I keep my cards in one pocket to hand out. I store cards given to me in the other pocket.

A Smash Hit Displays want our customers to learn as much as possible allowing them to make decisions on their trade show booths that will bring the greatest return on investment. Taking the time to read blogs or articles written by trade show experts will only help further that cause. For the better prepared you are come show time, the more relaxed you will be to make decisions that will impact your business bottom line for many years to come. Some accouterments that would better outfit your booth space include: truss stands, big fabric trade show exhibit, lighted graphic displays, custom trade show exhibits, printed carpets, and tradeshow counters.

Monday, May 14, 2007

German Vendors put Chinese copycats on notice

Well, in my opinion, "It's about time!" Finally someone spoke out about the ridciulous trend that's caught fire in the last few years and through the trickle-down effect, has started to impact the on-line industry. Far East piracy has stolen money from the pockets of all honest trade show manufacturers as well as its distributors. Thank goodness someone had the cohones to stand up and say what we've been griping about under our collective breathes for quite a while now.

Last month, German engineers kicked off an show in Munich by berating the Far East. Always proud of their technical heritage, the German equipment makers at this year’s Bauma convention blamed engineering “piracy” and “copycat” patent infringement in China and other countries for costing them billions of dollars each year in lost sales.

Instead of keeping a low profile, Chinese equipment vendors stuck out their necks at the Munich megashow by upping their exhibit footprint by a factor of seven, for a total of 13,200 sq meters, since the last triennial event was held in 2004. The part that is typical, the Bauma show officials did not make any attempt to restrain them. Imagine that; money won out over practicality?

A Smash Hit Displays is a huge advocate of American and foreign trade show equipment products made products from legitimate manufacturers. We do not subscribe to the notion of buying cheap nonames. We are proud someone finally stepped up and shouted aloud what's been slowly eating away at our industry. Maybe if more people follow our German allies, we can curtail their illegal actions. We strive to offer high quality trade show displays to our customers. Some of those displays include: exhibit banner stands, portable folding booth, and

Friday, May 11, 2007

Trade Show Marketing Misery- 10 deadly mistakes that spell disaster

Most people understand a trade show offers great promise. For they are golden marketing opportunities to those who prepare correctly and construct the proper trade show booths.
Many businesses are stepping outside of their traditional box and investing in portable signage because the opportunity to talk one-on-one with potential buyers provides immediate gratification.

Your trade show display if done correctly will heighten your business services or products for the new customer. But in order to construct such a working display space you need to plan ahead.

Planning ahead takes into account the many different obstacles which could arise. If possible, visit the facility prior to selecting your booth space. Walk through the facility looking for potential problems that could inhibit success.

Such problems include but are not limited to:

Food court: Although being located next to the food court could be beneficial, it creates a distraction.

Competition: Don't be suckered into renting a booth that is right next to a competitor.

Accessibility: Ideally, your booth should be near the entrance or exit of the building, or the restrooms, or the main isle. Wherever there is an adequate flow of traffic.

The location of your booth and the signage you use will have a direct result of your trade show success. Keep your focus on your booth's appearance. Use a banner to display your company logo, web address, and phone number. It's important you capture the attention of potential buyers with signage and color.

Lastly, when in doubt keep this short acronym in mind when in the preshow stages. K. I. S. S. Keep It Short and Simple or as I like to paraphrase Keep It Simple Stupid.

A Smash Hit Displays is always in favor of pre show preparation and learning what could become obstacles in the path of your trade show's success. All the points above are important and should be reviewed as should the remainder of the attached article. But, the point we stress it seems on a daily basis is the K.I.S.S. principle. It can't be understated how keeping your message simple makes your job and purpose easier. You need to remember you're usually advertising or marketing to the average bear. And as we all know average bears don't need to be knocked over the head to grab their attention. The following links will allow you many options to grab the average bear's attention: trade show stands, custom logo carpets, customized tradeshow exhibit, and lighted graphic booths.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Trade Show Planning: During the Show Part II

Yesterday's post offered tips to maximize your investment in planning before your shows. Today carries that torch a bit further by explaining what should be done during the show.

Again, to satiate my old english teacher, I've only supplied 5 of 10 points to consider DURING the Trade Show to help ensure your success. For those out there curious to know each in a bit more detail plus the remaining five just read the attached article.

1. Set up a booth schedule for your people. You and your people need breaks for lunch and relaxing.

2. Have your workers record all prospect information. Encourage your Trade Show personnel to record everything they can learn about a prospect's needs.

3. Encourage your Trade Show personnel to greet people warmly and smile! The old adage of you never get another chance to make a first impression would come to mind here.

4. Take care of your body, and your body will take care of you.

5. The name’s Bond, … James Bond.Trade Shows can be a great place to do a little checking up on the ol’ competition.

A Smash Hit Displays understand the homework needed to make the proper impression at trade shows and generate the desired ROI. In order to do so, you'll need to peruse our lists of trade show tips and the following products: tabletop banner stands, popup display, graphic design tradeshow, and interlocking carpet tile. Similar items stocked in your booth space combined with a thorough understanding of the planning needed before and during the show will help put you and your booth space over the top at your next show and reap the return you desire.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Trade Show Planning- Before the Show

Are you ready to attend a trade show in the not-so-distant future? If so then the following article details the planning process to take most of the guesswork out of your big event.

Planning a trade show requires considerable advance preparation and, if you aren't ready, can present a logistical nightmare. First you must develop a solid plan and monitor your progress constantly.

Tip 1 for the planning if you don't have a marketing director, don't utilize a salesperson for they typically fall short when it comes to longer term planning and attention to detail. Put your most anal-retentive details-oriented person in charge of the planning and you're guaranteed to have all the t's crossed.

Herein are the first five of ten things to keep in mind before your trade show. In order to read all 10 and their in depth explanations please peruse the attached article!

1. Select “your” Trade Show carefully.Participating in a trade show requires a major investment of time, money, and resources.

2. Before all else fails, read the manual.Before you go too much further, make sure you have the Trade Show's manual (usually mailed to you by the show’s organizers right after registering for your booth, but it can sometimes be found on-line. Be sure to ask.)

3. Identify your goals.What exactly do you want to accomplish at this Trade Show?

4. Define measurements of success – your “Trade Show ROI”.Determine a way to measure each goal’s (see #3, above) success, as specifically as possible.

5. Put your Trade Show plan in writing.The plan should include a detailed schedule, a full list of preparation tasks, and an individual assigned for each task.

A Smash Hit Displays is very familiar with the to-do list for pre-trade show planning and booth design. The following trade show equipment will allow you to maximize your trade show exhibit once you've completed your pre-show planning: trade show signage, collapsible truss display, fabric trade show booths, and backlit graphic displays. For the right equipment combined with pre-show planning will make the difference and separate you from your fellow exhibitors.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Tradeshow Success Tip: Qualify Leads

As any good salespeople will tell you, qualified leads should be a major objective when it comes to attracting new business. This is achieved through proper follow up. Tradeshow exhibitors are no different. But, they often miss those important leads because they have no lead development strategy.

In addition, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, as much as 80% of trade show leads never receive any form of follow-up.

One reason follow up is not performed is due to the time quotient. People view the follow up as tedious work. This produces disappointment and further frustration as you pursue the mind numbing work of trying and failing to get new business from your bag full of tradeshow booth visitors’ business cards. But, that menial task will often separates the successful from the unsuccessful.

For those unwilling to sift through their grab bag of business cards, the attached article points out a different method to persue leads. One key is identifying and classifying hot prospects and the products and services in which they are interested. For the uber lazy out there, you can utilize new sophisticated software packages that allow you to identify a half dozen weighted multiple choice questions in advance that will determine a prospective client's value.

Try this three point process and you'll be able to target qualified sales leads that have the time, budget and wherewithall to purchase your products.

1) Identify the hot leads
2) Filter out those who are not qualified
3) Measure your results.

They seem simple and quite frankly they are. But, following a game plan allows you to build repitition and repitition polish your sales skills.

A Smash Hit Displays want to hone our customers buying talents when it comes to portable trade show displays. For sharpening your sales proficiency will support you not only in generating additional qualified leads, but will also permit you to make educated purchases when it comes to your next trade show events. Some items that might be of interest to heighten awareness for that next booth space include: a portable folding booth, truss designs, trade show hanging banners, or backlit graphic displays.

Monday, May 07, 2007

What's a Lanyard and how can it be used?

Though most people probably couldn't give you their proper name they know or have seen those little hangy items. Lanyards... They can be seen most every day as they are used in most business domains.

Lanyards are most often identified as neck straps, security straps, ID straps or ID cords. There are many uses for lanyards in schools, theme parks, businesses and government agencies as well as other organizations for holding name badges but the primary use remain for identification and promotion.

As referenced above, their advertising and promotional benefits are endless and that's why you see their proliferation at trade shows. Customizing a lanyard with your company's logo or slogan can make a great impact at your next show.

A Smash Hit Displays use promotional items to enhance display spaces. The lanyard is one of those items that is both economical and advantageous. In order to stay ahead of your fellow trade show competitors and enhance your booth space, utilize the following links to work in conjunction with your promotional items: trade show stands, digital printed carpet, or fabric trade show booths.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Virtual Tech Trade: Everything but the cocktails

For those of you enamored by the phenomina which is Second Life; you'll enjoy the attached article. There is a small but growing market for virtual trade shows that come complete with grand entranceways, conference halls for keynotes, exhibition booths and professional networking lounges.

"The only thing we can't do is serve cocktails," said Brent Arslaner, vice president of marketing at Unisfair Inc., a Menlo Park, Calif.-based company that specializes in virtual events.
Unisfair unveiled its Virtual Events for the Enterprise software, which provides multiple venues, rich media interaction and networking for companies to use when hosting their own virtual events.

For those out there like me who were skeptical, the next few lines will open your eyes. Unisfair has hosted 200+ virtual events for companies including IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Tibco.

The tool is aimed at fostering real-time interactivity among attendees, presenters, panelists and exhibitors through rich multimedia technologies such as text, audio, video and voice. Attendees do not need any special software except for a Flash player to participate.

For example, attendees can ask questions during a panelist session just as they would at a live event -- and hear an answer via voice. Attendees can also chat online with one another in a networking lounge.

The tool is attractive to companies for obvious reasons. Not the least of which is connecting representatives from multiple countries in a very short time and those that want to avoid the high costs associated with physical conferences, such as buying food and renting space, he said.

A Smash Hit Displays understand the importance of this new software and how it will become "second nature" in our society in the not-so-distant future. But, until that time arrives, we shall continue to offer the best in trade show exhibits with the likes of portable folding exhibits, trade show signs, truss signs, and xpressions trade show, etc.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Why all size companies need to attend Trade Shows!

Whether you are running a one man show or even a small business and believe exhibiting at a tradeshow is out of the question because of financial considerations, this article is for you. Typical arguements have been:
- large companies dominate the spaces because they have large marketing departments with large budgets
- tradeshow booths are not affordable
- you don't have the vision on how to design a booth
- how to transport and assemble one
- how to work a tradeshow, etc.

Our reply to those exceptions is fuey. Except for budgetary considerations of actually renting space on the tradeshow floor, everything else is untrue.

Our author writes from his own experience and explains why tradeshows are so important to all businesses no matter what size. Some reasons why attending and exhibiting are below but detailed in full in the attached article. For a complete and thorough understanding of each of the tips listed below read the attached article.

1. Get competitive
2. Learn about what your competition think about your product or
3. Meet your buyersShow your product or service to people who are hyper-qualified as buyers. 4. Meet the pressMeet with people from your industry's trade press. They always attend those events and you will probably never get a better chance to speak one-on-one with the top editorial staff.You also have a great opportunity to connect with distributors,
5. Sell
6. Generate leads

A Smash Hit Displays is a leader in the on-line trade show arena because of customer preparation. We feel customers need to learn as much information as possible in order to make the most of their trade show experiences. Should you desire to read more trade show articles or purchase pop up display units, or fabric trade show booths or attain award winning trade show graphics... then give us a call. We're here for you!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Winning Ideas for Trade Show Display Success

If you answered yes to the following question, " Are trade shows critical to marketing-oriented companies" then you were correct. Why? Because trade shows attract the decision-makers, influence purchasing decisions, provide points of contact for new customers, and make lasting impressions. Those points are all true when the trade show is produced correctly.

To produce your show show correctly, think of your trade show display as the genesis for launching new products or business services. If you follow the list of tips below, in addition to, showing customer prospects the best you have to offer and greeting them with a competent sales staff success will be yours'.

Below you will find a partial list of tips to ensure success at your next trade show. To take full advantage of each tip and its definition, please read the attached article.

1) Pick the Right Shows
2) Plan ahead
3) Set objectives for lead development
4) Qualify return on investment
5) Build a dramatic display
6) Build traffic by creativity

A Smash Hit Displays drive home the following tips it seems on a daily basis. We shower potential customers with as much information as they are willing to hear. In our opinion, you can never be too prepared for your trade show. Should you require the latest and greatest in trade show counters, custom logo carpets, trade show booth graphics, or fabric popup exhibits give us a holla!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Marketing the 4Cs

According to Susan Friedmann, traditional marketing as we know it has changed. Potential
customers are more educated, sophisticated, and most important price sensitive. They expect products and services to be delivered faster and conveniently. Lastly, they have no qualms about switching to your competitors.

Coincidentially, traditional marketing tools are less effective than in recent history. Products are not much different from each other, pricing is quickly matched by competitors, advertising is expensive and less effective, and sales force costs are rising.

In order to secure top of mind awareness with consumers who are constantly being interrupted by thousands of marketing messages, you need to create, win, and dominate with your marketing techniques to deliver more perceived value.

This means you need to understand what services both exhibitors and attendees perceive as valuable ... and deliver them with a fresh point of view. Susan has offered her 4Cs to achieve such a goal: Customer Value, Communication, Convenience and Change.

To further understand these 4 Cs you will need to read the attached article.

A Smash Hit Displays endorse these methods and wish more customers would conduct proper research before they enter the trade show arena. For proper education is required for any subject in order to maintain an advantage over your the competition. In order to gain full advantage with your trade show equipment, please peruse the following links: adjustable banner stands, tabletop pop up booth, trade show graphics, and fabric trade show booths.