Trade Show Marketing

Putting Attendees in the Driver Seat

The expression “in the driver seat” originated with car salesmen who discovered the value of putting their customers in control of the vehicle. These salesmen discovered that potential customers were much more likely to close the deal quickly when they were allowed to experience the car to the fullest extent. The experience of being behind the wheel of a car is more powerful for the potential customer than anything a car salesman can say.

If a sense of control is important to creating confidence in a person who is looking to purchase a vehicle, how can we apply this principle to the trade show environment? The answer to this question depends on the type of products and/or services you are selling, but one fact remains consistent: You need your potential customers to experience your product first hand. Simply describing it to them or providing information about your product will not be as effective as putting the product in their hands and under their control.

If you sell software or web-based computer applications, allow your customers to use the full version of your product at demo stations within your booth. By letting them experience the interface of your product first hand, they are much more likely to make a purchasing decision on the spot. Even the most effective brochure or sales pitch will leave the potential client with questions and doubts.

If you sell physical products (such as machines, gadgets, tools, or equipment), allow your potential customers to hold the product in their hand. If possible, allow them to use the product in an application similar to the way they would use the product in the real world. The tactile sensation of handling your product and using it in a practical application will reinforce a purchasing decision in your customer’s mind.

Trade shows are so successful because they afford companies the opportunity to meet their customers and potential customers face to face. If you only provide brochures, sales pitches, and branding material, you are not taking full advantage of the face to face interaction. You can send your customers brochures, sales pitches, and branding material by email, so why do that in person? The best way to take advantage of direct marketing is to put your products in the hands of your potential clients. You will be amazed with the results.

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Hiring a Trade Show Specialist

Posted by Andy Keeler on July 07, 2009
Trade Show Information, Trade Show Marketing / No Comments

Navigating the complex world of event marketing can be a daunting task. Fortunately there are trained professionals who can be hired to simplify the process. Trade show specialists are trained professionals who understand the nuances of the trade show environment as well as strategies to help you make the most of your exhibiting program. If you are looking to hire a trade show specialist for your next event, here are some things to look for:

1- Depth of experience in the trade show industry. The most valuable lessons in trade show marketing can only be learned with time. If a trade show specialist has a wide range of experience related to trade shows, chances are good that the specialist will be a big help to your program.

2- Positive recommendations from past clients. If previous clients have been pleased with the performance of the trade show specialist, you will know for sure that they have something positive to offer to exhibitors.

3- If possible, the trade show specialist should have experienced working in your industry. If they have spent the majority of their career working in a particular industry that is unrelated to yours, you may find that their success was the result of their industry knowledge and not their knowledge of trade shows.

Trade show specialists can make a huge difference in the success of your exhibiting program, especially if you lack experience in trade show marketing. I highly recommend that you at least consider the possibility of hiring a trade show specialist before your next event.

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Internet Marketing For Trade Shows

Successful exhibitors know that it is important to grab the attention of attendees long before the show begins. If you can generate buzz and excitement about your trade show booth before the show even begins, you are much more likely to have a successful event. The internet is a great way to spread the word about your company and encourage attendees to look for your booth when they arrive at the event. Here are a few ways to get your name out:

  • Submit press releases that announce your plans to exhibit at the event. If you follow established guidelines for press releases, you may be lucky enough to get your story picked up by media giants like Google and Yahoo (who regularly grab articles from press release websites), and users who are searching for news related to the trade show may find your company’s press release.
  • Purchase advertising space on the show’s website. Most modern trade shows use online registration for attendees, and if you can afford to place an advertisement on those web pages, it is likely that many attendees will see your company name when they are signing up to attend the show. This is a great way to reinforce your presence and your branding image.
  • Create a web page that describes the highlights of your company’s exhibit, and use search engine marketing to direct traffic to the page. When attendees search for information about the show they plan to attend on Google or Yahoo, you can have them directed to your web page which outlines your plans for the event. Directing users who are searching for information about the event to your page can be a valuable way to increase exposure.
  • Be sure to update your friends and business associates on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networking sites to let them know that you will be exhibiting at a particular trade show. Websites like Twitter are filled with voyeuristic users (called “lurkers”) who are interested in what you have to say, and information spreads very rapidly when lurkers republish information they find from your posts.

The internet is a powerful way to spread information about your company, and successful trade show marketing professionals always use the internet to get the word out about future events. Be creative and come up with your own marketing ideas for the internet.

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Promotions for May 2009

Posted by Andy Keeler on May 05, 2009
Business Information, MODdisplays Information, Trade Show News / No Comments

As the spring trade show season winds to a close, there couldn’t be a better time to make sure all of your exhibiting components are in good working condition. MODdisplays is offering its deepest discounts of the year on trade show booths and exhibiting accessories in the month of May. If you take the time now to correct any problems with your exhibiting components and store your system away properly, you will be happy you did at the beginning of the fall trade show season.

The following is a list of promotions that expire on May 31, 2009:

Alumalite Zero Promo

Free Shipping on Alumalite Zero

When you purchase any Alumalite Zero trade show exhibit, receive free shipping using the coupon code “ALZSHIP”.

 

10% Off Xpressions Salesmate

Receive 10% off the purchase of any Xpressions Salesmate display when you use the coupon code “XSM10″.

Table Covers Promo

Free Shipping on Table Covers

Using the coupon code “TCSHIP”, receive free shipping on any table covers found on our website. This coupon cannot be used in combination with any other coupons.

Counters Promo

Take 10% Off All Counters

MODdisplays offers a wide selection of trade show counters. Use the coupon code “COUNT10″ to take 10% off any counter system on our website.

Hero Tabletop Displays Promo

Free Shipping on Hero Tabletop Displays

Our Hero Panel Tabletop Displays just got more affordable. Receive free shipping on any Hero using the coupon code “HEROSHIP”.

Hanging Sign Promo

Take 10% Off Any Hanging Sign

Take an additional 10% off any hanging sign on our website using the coupon code “HANG10″ at checkout.

Free 10 x 10 Section of Flooring

When you purchase any XRline trade show display in the month of May, receive a free 10′ x 10′ section of interlocking soft wood flooring in your choice of color. Call 877.663.3976 for details or email sales@moddisplays.com.

Showmax and Showstyle Promo

Take 10% Off Showmax and Showstyle

Using the coupon code “SHOW10″, take 10% off any Showmax or Showstyle tabletop display unit. These exhibits are perfect for exhibiting in tight spaces.

Lumina-8 Lights

Free Lumina-8 Lights with 10 x 10 Xpressions Unit

We ordered too many Lumina-8 trade show lights, and we have to get rid of them. When you purchase any 10′ x 10′ Xpressions Display, you can get one free. Call for details.

Burst Displays Promo

Take 10% Off Any Burst Display

Using the coupon code “BUR10″, take 10% off any Burst Display we offer on our website, including our new Burst package deals.



If you have any questions about these promotions or would like to place an order, please call 877.MOD.EXPO or email sales@moddisplays.com.

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Media Wall Backdrop

Media Wall DisplayThe VBurst 10ft Media Wall is the perfect system for press events, red carpet events, and marketing seminars. Using only a vector form of your company’s logo, MODdisplays can offer a simple media wall backdrop that looks professional and eye-catching. Professional business marketing firms have found that logo repetition and brand reinforcement are a great way to leave a lasting impression on viewers.

The structure of the VBurst 10ft Media Wall is made from sturdy aluminum tubing, and the graphic is printed on a washable, wrinkle-free fabric that remains on the frame even in storage and transportation. The entire media wall can be set up in less than a minute thanks to the simple frame structure. The exhibit carries a lifetime warranty against manufacturer’s defects, so there is no need to worry about a damaged frame.

To order your Media Wall today, call 877.663.3976 or email sales@moddisplays.com.

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Balancing Professionalism and Personality

No two companies are exactly alike, and every company requires a unique marketing strategy. Balancing professionalism and personality is a challenging task for a new company, but finding that balance could yield big returns on your marketing efforts.

Sometimes the industry itself demands a specific approach. A company that sells life insurance will probably maintain an air of professionalism, while a company that sells toys for young children would do well to create a more approachable feeling. As a result, companies are often forced into a particular mold that they cannot escape without doing irreparable harm to their image.

Some industries allow for a good deal of flexibility and creativity. As you shop for trade show displays, you’ll probably notice that exhibit retailers employ a wide variety of marketing styles. On some websites you’ll find pictures of staff members and their families and other personal touches, and on other websites you’ll find a rigid, corporate, and impersonal style. As a general rule, when there is less market research data available in a specific industry, marketing strategies tend to vary wildly. Companies tend to cling to something that works instead of asking themselves what works the best.

Striking a balance between professionalism and personality should leave your clients with the feeling that you are dependable, honest, and capable. Every industry is different, and you may need to be more professional or more personal to get the best results, but the only way to find out for sure is through trial and error.

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Motivating Your Booth Staffers

If your booth staffers are not driven to succeed, even the best trade show marketing strategy in the world cannot save your company from a disastrous exhibiting experience. At business to business trade shows, the people who man your booth will be the single most important factor in determining the overall success of your marketing program. Booth staffers should be outgoing, friendly, and professional, but never pushy or long-winded. They should recognize that everything about their appearance, demeanor, speech, and body language will reflect directly on your company’s image, and that creating a great image is what trade shows are all about. So what can you do to motivate your booth staffers to be top-notch exhibitors?

1-  Take care of their most basic needs. Nothing breeds frustration among employees more quickly than being undercompensated on their trip. If you put your employees in a cheap hotel room and give them a meager stipend for food, they will be less likely to perform at their highest capacity on the trade show floor.

2- Offer incentives for gathering leads and making sales on the trade show floor. It is always much easier for people to work hard for their own benefit than for the benefit of their company, so offering incentives is an easy way to improve the performance of your booth staffers.

3- Take care to pick the right booth staffers in the first place. Although senior members of your sales staff may love to travel and exhibit at trade shows, they may be less motivated to do well than a young, ambitious sales person who works hard to impress. In addition to the fact that younger, more ambitious sales staff usually do better at trade shows, it will cost your company less money to send employees who earn less per hour.

4- Allow your booth staffers to be a part of the exhibiting process from the beginning. They will be much more comfortable working within the confines of your trade show exhibit if they played a role in the planning and development process. Who would want to be a part of a marketing campaign that they don’t believe in?

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Maintaining Resolve and Improving Your Exhibiting Program

Posted by Andy Keeler on March 05, 2009
Business Information, Exhibiting Strategy, Trade Show Marketing / 3 Comments

Attendees will be drawn to your trade show booth if you consistently invest in improving your trade show marketing program year after year. Too often we find that companies are content with “just showing up”, and have all but given up on their exhibiting efforts. As a result, their exhibiting program performs more poorly each year until it is eventually removed from the company’s marketing budget. The lesson here is simple: showing up is not enough. It will be obvious to your attendees that you did not put in the effort needed to gain their interest, and your investment in trade show marketing will be worthless.

Successful exhibiting programs are usually operated by experts who understand the importance of consistency. Year after year, these companies find exciting ways to engage attendees, which keeps them coming back for more. Gimmicks and swag are not enough, you need to release new, substantive information each time you return to a show. Showing up year after year with the same product line, the same brochures, and the same ideas is a quick way to lose the interest of visitors. Each new year should maintain the overall branding message your company wants to send, but your exhibit graphics, trade show literature, and your general industry ideas should be new and fresh.

If you’re short on exhibiting ideas, one of the best ways to get your wheels turning is to attend events that are similar to the trade show where you will be exhibiting. Take special note of trade show displays that catch your eye, and try to isolate what specific features of the exhibits caught your attention. Look for ways to improve your existing booth without spending an arm and a leg. If you see graphics that catch your eye, would it be possible to re-skin your exhibit with new graphics? If a particularly well lit environment drew your attention, you could purchase additional trade show lights to spruce up your booth. Remember that the best improvements to your marketing program will be substantive improvements, not cosmetic improvements, so take particular note of exhibiting strategies or marketing programs that catch your eye, and try to glean what you can from them.

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Promotional Deals Expiring March 31, 2009

Shopping for trade show displays and exhibit graphics has never been more affordable than it is right now. In addition to drastically reduced prices for 2009, MODdisplays is offering additional savings in the form of promotions that are valid through March 31, 2009. Taking advantage of these coupon codes and special savings can help you make the most of your exhibiting budget.

  • Free shipping on hanging signs. When you purchase a hanging sign through our online store, use the coupon code “HS-SHIP” to receive ground shipping on your hanging sign at no cost to you.
  • Free carry bag with any Xpressions tabletop display. When you purchase an Xpressions tabletop display, receive a free padded carrying bag for a limited time. Call 877.663.3976 to redeem this limited time offer.
  • Free shipping on Entasi displays. Receive free shipping on any Entasi display by using the coupon code “ENTSHIP” at checkout.
  • Free banner stand light with the purchase of any Expand banner stand. For a limited time only, receive a free banner stand light with the purchase of any Expand banner stand. Please call 877.663.3976 to take advantage of this special offer.

If you have questions about any of our promotional offers, feel free to call 877.663.3976 or email sales@moddisplays.com.

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Green Initiatives Will Get a Boost Under Obama

Barack Obama was sworn in yesterday as the 44th President of the United States, and his economic stimulus plan is structured to give green initiatives a major boost. In an effort to create jobs and clean up the environment, Obama will route a large portion of his proposed $800 billion stimulus plan toward green energy initiatives. Whether you agree or disagree with President Obama’s strategies, there is no doubt that green initiatives will get a boost thanks to his economic stimulus package.

Environmentally friendly trade show exhibits have become increasingly popular with exhibitors over the past five years, and industry experts predict that green trade show displays are here to stay. Under the Obama administration, companies that use environmentally responsible practices may receive tax breaks that will allow them to further reduce the retail price of their products. This trend could drop the price of eco-friendly booths drastically, which would allow retailers to sell these systems at prices that were once impossible.

The Business of Green Media Conference, which takes place on January 22, 2009 at Cal Poly State University, will highlight eco-friendly practices in the printing industry. Through the use of sustainable, recyclable materials, printers and graphic houses have pioneered green displays, and we at MODdisplays are proud to share their innovations with our clients.

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