Attending Your First Trade Show

- Monday, November 26, 2012

If you have decided to market your business at a trade show, don’t do it last minute. There is much you can do ahead of time to maximize your trade show experience. Give yourself a few months to think, plan, and carry out the plan in an effective way.

Make A Plan

The first thing that you should do is to make a plan. Gather those who are an important part of your team and sit down to brainstorm. Ask yourselves these important questions:

  • Who is our target market?
  • What is our goal at the trade show?
  • How much do we have in our trade show budget?
  • Who can be the most effective in our plan and where do they fit in?
  • What is our time frame?
  • Who should we contact beforehand to invite to the show?

As you consider these questions, you can come up with a general outline of what you are going to try to accomplish at the trade show and before.

After you have a plan you need to talk about a trade show booth.

Choose A Booth
Another reason why you should plan in advance is so that you can design a trade show display for the exhibition that will best suit your marketing needs and your budget. Waiting too long will sometimes get you a small booth in a secluded corner where nobody will really notice you. Look into sizes, locations, designs, and even the lighting, so that you will choose the best booth for your needs.

Use Graphics
When you are considering the design for your booth, don’t forget the graphics. This means that you have a graphic that people will remember and connect to your business. If this means a distinct logo, then that’s what you should use. Check out some exhibit companies that provide graphic design so that you will have the best graphics at the show.

For information on designing the most effective trade show booth, contact The Exhibit Source.


Trade Show Marketing ROI

- Monday, November 19, 2012

B2B companies who measure their trade show ROI are able to increase the effectiveness of their exhibit marketing investment and determine which trade shows are working.

Many companies keep doing trade show exhibiting without much hard analysis of if the trade show is generating a positive ROI.

Determine if a trade show is worth the investment.

1. ROI

The best way to track ROI is using this formula:

ROI = Gross Profit – Marketing Expenses

It’s important that the gross profit number reflects deals that happened due to attendance at the trade show. For the purpose of the calculation, you would assume that the deals would not have happened if you didn’t attend.

2. Tracking

To determine what leads and sales were generated as a result of the trade show, a CRM tool is recommended. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is software for managing a company’s interactions with customers, clients, and sales prospects.

During or immediately after the show, enter every lead generated (via badge scanning, business cards, or email addresses collected). Then set up reports to monitor the performance of those leads, and when a lead becomes a customer, calculate the lifetime value of that customer and enter it into an updated ROI calculation for that show.

As the lead matures, you will be able to determine which shows are generating a positive ROI and which shows might actually be a drag on earnings.

For help with your trade show exhibit, contact The Exhibit Source.


5 Benefits of Trade Show Marketing

- Thursday, November 15, 2012

There are five concrete benefits for decision makers to consider when determining the fiscal viability of investing in a trade show exhibit and actively participating in a trade show.
1. Cost effective. Trade shows offer the opportunity for hundreds, if not thousands, of potential buyers to view your products during a single event which reduces the cost per acquired sale.

2. Time saving. For the same reason, trade shows save time and the cost associated with individual sales calls and the travel involved presenting products one buyer at a time.

3. Building customer relationships. For many businesses, the only time they are able to meet with customers face-to-face is through a trade show. The opportunity to connect in person with customers and potential customers helps to solidify the relationship and leads to additional sales opportunities.

4. Hands on experience. The best traditional and new media marketing in the world can't take the place of the opportunity to actually see, feel, taste, touch and experience your products. Trade show displays allow buyers to try your products "on for size" and see the potential solutions you offer.

5. Industry trends research. Participating and attending trade shows not only allow you to display and present your products but also afford your sales executives the opportunity to see firsthand what the other businesses in your industry are presenting. Learn and listen to peers, vendors, suppliers and customers to hear what the latest trends are for your industry.

For the first time trade show participant, the most effective and efficient way to plan and prepare for your experience is to partner with a company who offers vast knowledge and expertise. The Exhibit Source offers a menu of trade show services: Event Management Tools, consulting, designing and building custom trade show displays, and a comprehensive knowledge of trade show graphics customized for your individual trade show display. Contact us.

Market Watch

Making A Trade Show Plan

- Monday, November 05, 2012

Many new, small and medium-sized businesses wrestle with the decision of paying to attend a trade show.

While it could reap rewards through exposure to potential clients and investors, having a solid attack plan and an eye catching trade show exhibit in order to achieve your goals is extremely important.

Here are five tips from trade show experts that could bring in the results you’re aiming for.

1. Set pre-show goals

Setting pre-show, achievable targets for your trade show presence is essential for success and for future business.

It’s important to consider who you’d like to do business with and think about inviting those prospective clients along – this is a great chance for some face-to-face time with clients in a more relaxed environment.

Sending formal invitations with a small gift prior to an event can really boost attendance rates.

Keep your trade show team motivated by setting some realistic goals, such as collecting a certain number of email addresses, approaching a certain number of attendees, or handing out a certain number of brochures.

2. Attract attendees to your booth

Think about how you can engage the visitor using all five senses. Visualize the feeling you want to deliver to attendees when they step into your booth space.

Keep your exhibit area clean, open and inviting. Book a large enough space to properly display your information or ensure you design your booth and produce signage with your stand dimensions in mind.

If space permits, create a casual area to sit down and have deeper conversations. Don’t overstaff, as attendees can get intimidated if they have to approach more than three staff.

Create eye-catching trade show exhibits with outstanding signage with simple text and/or illustrations. Don’t provide a long list of what your company does in your signage.

Strategically place lighting within your trade show booth space to highlight logos and graphics or create fading motion.

Be sure your design communicates (1) Who you are (2) What you do and (3) How you can help.
Use interactive technology and have products on hand that the customers and touch, feel and sample.

Appeal to the other senses (smell and taste) by providing a complementary coffee or fresh snacks that will attract extra attendees.

3. Once you've got someone to your booth, know what to do with them

Firstly and importantly you need to have the best people work in your trade show booth to achieve your objectives.

You need people that can easily communicate with potential customers, who can quickly assess if the customer is a hot, warm or cold lead, and decide whether they have the power to make a decision to purchase your product or service.

Have a system that can record this information.  

Train your staff on how to connect with people, ask the right questions and then quickly disconnect with the delegate and move on if that person will waste their time.”

4. Make your trade show exhibit booth an experience to remember

The idea here is threefold: First, it gives attendees something to do when they visit your booth. This encourages them to stay longer in your space and hopefully have more meaningful conversations with your staffers.

Second, it provides an experience they can't get at a retail store.

Finally, people tend to remember experiences much longer than they remember casual conversations or static product displays.

5. Your work isn’t done when the show finishes

Throughout the day, your team will probably have picked up a good number of business leads – make sure you have a meeting with your team at the end of the day to gather this information.

Follow up with your leads by arranging a meeting at their convenience; send your information to them by way of an "icebreaker’ email and follow this up with a phone call.

Social media is playing an increasingly bigger role in exhibitions and trade shows.

For more information on creating and designing trade show exhibits, contact The Exhibit Source.



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