Happy New Year from The Exhibit Source!

- Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year from The Exhibit Source in Westwood, MA! We would like to thank our customers for allowing our business to be part of your lives. We wish you a wonderful and prosperous 2014!

If we have had the pleasure of providing you with a trade show booth, we hope that you were provided with the best product and the highest level of customer service that you have come to expect from us. If you find that you are going to be attending trade show or exhibit marketing event in 2014, we hope that you consider The Exhibit Source to provide you with your trade show booth display.

It is our sincere wish that throughout the season, and all year long, you are surrounded by family and friendship. From all of us here at The Exhibit Source, have a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

What NOT TO DO at a Trade Show - Westwood, MA

- Monday, December 23, 2013

Trade show marketing is an efficient and successful way to find new, qualified leads. However, your business needs to participate successfully in trade shows; you cannot just be a bystander. Don’t set up a trade show booth unless you plant to do it right.

Here are four things you should never do at a trade show:

  1. Forget to use a name. A potential customers is a real person, so treat them like one. Extend your hand in greeting, ask their name and tell them yours. Smile and act as if you’re actually interested. After all, they might just be your next big customer, but you’ll never know unless you make an effort to get to know them.
  2. Pitch visitors. When they ask what you do, no one wants to hear your party line. Don’t tell them what your product does and how great it is. Don’t go on and on about its features. Instead, ask about them or the needs of their business. Engage them in conversation. Acknowledge questions without corporate-ese. You don’t know how your product can benefit another business until you ask about the visitors to your booth and their business.
  3. Try to scan the badge.  Don’t have your trade show booth employees ready to scan badges. No one wants their information scanned to be bothered in the future by lengthy, automated emails thanking them for visiting booths and inviting them to download a whitepaper or attend an event you’re sponsoring.
  4. Ignore visitors. This one should probably go without saying, but here it is: Don’t zone out and ignore people walking in or around your booth. There’s nothing more off-putting than walking up to a booth and finding people so busy playing with their cell phones that they have no idea people are there. These are your future customers.

If you’re business is going to attend a trade show, make sure you want to be there. Remember the reason your company spent the money to attend. Respect that investment and the people visiting your booth.

Life Health Pro

Effective Trade Show Marketing for Small Businesses – Westwood, MA

- Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Trade shows aren’t the least expensive way to market your small business, but if done correctly, they are one of the most powerful. Trade shows allow you to reach and speak to people who you might never get the opportunity to do business with otherwise. Planning ahead using a few simple trade show tactics is the key to a successful trade show marketing appearance.

Create A Clear Goal for the Trade Show

Some small businesses make the mistake of assuming that simply appearing at the trade show is enough to spark interest in their products and a desire to do business with the company.

However, every time you attend a trade show you need a clear goal in mind for what you hope to accomplish.

Once the goal is clearly defined, you can craft a trade show booth, presentation and literature to achieve this goal.

Create A Powerful Image for Your Booth and Presentation

Never underestimate the “wow” factor of a trade show display. You only have about 30 seconds to capture your audience’s attention, so make those first few seconds count. Tools for introducing the “wow” factor into your trade show appearance include:

  • A colorful, well-designed trade show booth.
  • Knowledgeable booth staff who can easily engage people in conversation.
  • Working models of your unique product or service.
  • Audio and/or video to capture attention across a busy venue.
  • Literature and/or product samples for potential customers to take home and remember you by.

Build ways to garner attention at the event, and ways to stick in attendees’ minds afterwards. Part of this is color coordinating your booth artwork with the literature or samples you hand out, so the attendee recognizes your logo and name later on.

Promote Your Appearance at the Trade Show Well Ahead of Time

Radio ads, TV ads, billboards, and social media are all excellent ways to get the word out before the trade show that you’ll be there. But don’t just promote your appearance, give people a good reason to come to the trade show and make the effort to stop by your booth. People are more likely to come if there’s a reward involved.

Choose A Heavy Traffic Event Over A Small Niche Trade Show

Some small businesses think that a small niche trade show is better for them to get noticed than a huge, more generalized show, such as a home and garden event or ladies’ show.

However, those larger events get much more traffic, which means more exposure for you than you could generate at a small event with fewer attendants. Even if you attend an event where most people are outside your niche, you never know how meeting, greeting, and networking can pay off in the long run.

If small businesses plan and use smart strategies and trade show tactics to design the booth, produce quality literature and up the ante with audio or video, they can measure up to the big guys and come out on top.

For more information, contact The Exhibit Source.


Trade Show Marketing, What has Changed? – Westwood, MA

- Monday, December 09, 2013

In the last 10 years the trade show rule book has been rewritten as a result of fundamental technological and economic changes. Rules about what it takes to succeed on the show floor.

Here’s what’s changed – and how you can adapt to those changes:

1. More Uncertainty: Economic uncertainty has lasted for years, and shows little signs of going away. This makes your top company executives reluctant to commit early to trade shows, and buy capital-intensive larger exhibits. You have to balance the need for financial flexibility by waiting longer to commit to shows and vendors, and yet still avoid more expensive rush charges. Rental trade show exhibits help avoid capital expenses, too.

2. Measurement A Must: Gone are the days when you could end the show by saying, “We had a good show, didn’t we?” and that would be enough. Your trade show spending is being compared to more explicitly measurable electronic marketing mediums. So even if your trade show is producing greater results, if you don’t prove it with real numbers, such as ROI ratios or sales generated, it didn’t happen in the minds of your bosses, and your budget is in jeopardy.

3. Trade Shows are Stronger Than Expected: Trade shows are one of the winners in the marketing media wars. Along with electronic media, trade shows have retained a greater share of B2B marketing budgets than print and direct mail. That’s because trade shows still provide what all marketers want: face time with lots of real buyers in one place.

4. More Knowledgeable Buyers: Attendees now look up potential suppliers on the internet before the show, so they arrive already knowing about your products. If they visit you, it’s because they want to know if your product really does what you say it can, who your people are and how trustworthy your company is. You will need to provide more hospitality, have more space for longer meetings, and bring people who can answer detailed questions, but also deepen relationships.

5. Pre-Show Promotions are Harder: Pre-show promotions with traditional media don’t bring in as many attendees as they used to. To get attendees into your booth, you have to do more at-show promotions, to grab their attention when they are focused on the show.

6. Social Media Rising: Social media is where people now spend their time. Fortunately, social media is not a replacement for trade shows, but is a great conduit to people who have tuned out of direct mail, email, ads, and phone calls. Social media can also help you extend the conversation that peaked at the show. Your activities in your booth (new products, product demonstrations, customer testimonials) are great content to share via social media after the show.

7. Which Promotions Work Now: Trade show attendees may walk the show floor, but it’s harder to get them out of the aisle and into your booth space. The internet has given them control of the buying process, so they don’t like to easily give it up at a show, either. So your promotions have to be better. To get them into your booth, you have to give them one of these three things: an exchange of value, an experience, or learning.

8. Vertical Market Messages Love Flat Screens: In the old days, exhibitors would design their exhibit with a main message for the company overall, but swap out a portion of the exhibit graphics to customize their message for different industry trade shows. Now, with the price of large LED flat screen monitors about 25% of what they were when introduced, exhibitors tailor their vertical market messages with pixels, not printed graphics.

9. Even Island Trade Show Exhibits Are Lighter: While portable trade show displays have been the standard for decades, the high cost of shipping and especially drayage have caused big-booth exhibitors to try to lighten their load, too. The improved style and flexibility of metal frame exhibit systems and the brilliant, sharp fabric graphics of today are taking over many trade shows.

10. Unqualified Leads Will Be Ignored: You have to give your sales force more qualifying information about each lead than just contact information, and you should only give them the qualified leads that are ready to talk to a sales person – or at least tell them which leads are the higher quality ones, so they can start there first.

If your trade show marketing isn’t as effective as it used to be, see if you haven’t adapted your program to the new rules of the show hall. Take these new rules into account, and rejuvenate and enhance your program and your results.

For more information on trade show marketing, contact The Exhibit Source.


Your Trade Show Marketing Needs an Upgrade –Westwood, MA

- Monday, December 02, 2013

When business is good and sales are going well, it’s easy to get complacent about your marketing plan. But, marketing complacency can be a costly mistake. Markets, competitors, customers and strategies change quickly. If you’re not keeping up then you can easily fall behind which will certainly affect your bottom line.

Here are 10 signs you need to upgrade your marketing strategy:

1.   Looking old and run-down at the tradeshow. Tradeshows are like marketing face-offs with your competitors. Even if your trade show booths are far apart, the side-by-side comparison can be unflattering if your technology is outdated or lacks interactive demonstrations. See which exhibits draw the most traffic and bring yours up to snuff.

2.   Leads that aren’t converting. Are conversions down? You may be targeting unqualified prospects. Or your sales team may need more marketing support, such as better sales tools and greater communication with prospects during the conversion process.

3.   A dated color palette. If your marketing colors are more than five years old, rethink them. Color trends change frequently. Pantone’s website and colormarketing.org can help you keep current with your colors.

4.   Using an outdated logo. A brand identity created decades ago is a common marketing blind spot. While you’re sticking to your guns, your competitors may be capturing market share with a more contemporary approach. A design team can help you revamp your brand identity without losing your heritage.

5.   An antique website. A website that’s more than three years old probably lacks the speed, functionality and content today’s Internet users expect. You can create a new site with WordPress, a popular and easy-to-use platform.

6.   Pasting stickers on brochures. At some point, the positives of using up your brochure stockpile are outweighed by the negatives of presenting patched-together materials. If you’re using stickers to correct old information on your sales collateral, you’re due for something new.

7.   Outdated photography. Changes in products, facilities, equipment and even hairstyles can quickly date your marketing photos. Hire a professional photographer to keep your image library up to date.

8.   Bullet-ridden PowerPoints. The days of the PowerPoint presentation loaded with endless slides of bulleted copy are long past. PowerPoint now allows you to share information in a much more engaging way, while newer presentation tools such as Prezi are even more interesting. Delight your audience by bringing your presentations into the 21st century.

9.   Plain proposals. The sales proposal packet is your last — and perhaps best — chance to set your company apart from the competition. Make your materials stand out with professional design and well-written content customized for each prospect.

10.   Forgetting about social-media. By now, your company is probably on social media. But if you’re not actively posting and engaging with others, you’ll come across as a wallflower. Devote time and resources to getting off the sidelines and into the conversation.

You would not be comfortable walking around in a ‘70s leisure suit. The same can be said of your marketing strategy. Make sure it’s up to date, so you can look your best. For more information on effective trade show marketing, contact The Exhibit Source in Westwood.

Life Health Pro


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