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      How Have Trade Shows Changed Over The Years?

      If you have been attending trade shows for a long time, then you have probably noticed some new trade show trends that have evolved over the past couple of decades. If you are new to the trade show industry, however, here is a list of new trade show trends (along with an explanation of the old standard practices).

      Networking Over Information

      One of the many new trade show trends emphasizes the importance of meeting new contacts over learning new information. In the early days of exhibiting, trade shows were one of the only places you could find up-to-date industry information. With the invention of the internet, however, this is no longer the case – nowadays, the point is to generate leads and interest.

       You Better Be Accurate

      Exhibitors used to be able to get away with more half-truths and even bold-faced lies. Since everyone has their own personalized fact checker in their pocket, nowadays you have to double check your exhibit’s information and be sure not to embellish. Otherwise, you’re going to get called out on any and every inaccuracy when it comes to your booth’s information.

       No Free Admission

      Believe it or not, paying for attendance is a relatively new trade show trend. In the early days of exhibitions, everything was free and everyone was welcome. Now, however, exhibitions are becoming increasingly targeted – sometimes sponsors will even select their audience by invitation only and reject the rest.

       No Labor Monopoly

      Trade show management used to appoint you their own in-house contractor. This was a mandatory, non-negotiable (and usually outrageously high) charge. Thankfully, exhibitors are now allowed to choose their own staff as their please.

      SnapPanel Attends ExhibitorLIVE In Las Vegas

      SnapPanel made another strong showing this year in ExhibitorLIVE, the largest trade show in all of North America. This year celebrates its 28th anniversary (with no signs of slowing down). There were thousands of eager speculators in attendance, and we couldn’t be happier to spend five days in Las Vegas meeting the industry’s top officials and generating support.

      Our 20’ x 10’ SnapPanel booth turned more heads this year than we could have ever believed possible. This is our fourth showing in a row, and we keep getting more attention every year! Maybe it’s because we are able to redesign our booth so easily and look fresh for each and every show? People recognized the SnapPanel brand from previous years and eagerly took our merchandise and brochures.

      It was great to share trade show tips with other exhibitors and talk to them about how to manage exhibits, how to effectively measure the return of income, and other ways to develop future marketing strategies that will get our products into the hands of investors and backers from here and abroad. Everyone was very receptive to our brand and what we can do for their product. Don’t be surprised if more ExhibitorLIVE booths are using our panels!

      Overall, 2016 was a great showing for SnapPanel, and we can’t wait to be back in March of next year. To get the inside scoop on this massive trade show, click here. We hope to see you again in 2017 at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas!Exhibitorlive Booth

      4 Unique Ways to Make Your Trade Show Display Stand Out

      No matter how groundbreaking your idea might be, you are only going to generate as much interest as your trade show display allows. Here are 4 lesser-known micromanaging techniques and other unique ways to make your trade show display stand out this year.

      My Eyes Are Up Here

      Did you know that when it comes to trade show displays, height matters? You want your visitors to be able to see your message right away, so be sure to include all vital information above waist-level. Remember: trade shows are fast-paced events – if a visitor has to bend over just to see what your booth is about, then they probably won’t bother!

      Merch That Works

      By the end of the day, visitors are tired of being handed customized pens, key chains and stress balls. If you really want to make your trade show display stand out, you should hand out something they can really use, like bottles of water. You can even tear off the water bottle’s original label and replace it with a custom label of your own that displays your company’s logo for bonus advertisement.

      No Squinting Allowed

      Aside from being at the right height, make sure that your information is easily understandable. If you have visual aids (and you should), only use high resolution pictures so as to avoid fuzziness. As far as text goes, don’t use fancy fonts with swooping characters, excessive caps lock, or overly italicize words. These methods are distracting and will detract from your overall message.

      Come On In

      A booth should always invite the visitor to step in and take a look around. As such, avoid overcrowding your booth with furniture, merchandise, and staff. A well-designed booth should feel like a relaxed and welcoming refuge from the rest of the convention.

      3 Hot Follow-Up Strategies for Your Trade Show Leads

      When it comes to trade shows, capturing leads is only half the battle – it’s what you do with them afterwards that matters most. Here are 3 strategies that will ensure you are doing all you can when following through with trade show leads.

       Email for Everyone

      While the majority of your attention should be focused on contacting the most promising trade show leads personally, it’s important that every single person you have interacted receives a follow-up email. Avoid sending the same bland email out for every show (the subject heading should always include the specific name of trade show and the body should include your name, phone number, and personal email address). Be sure to include a picture of your trade show exhibit with lots of people around as a reminder of who you are, but make it small enough so as not to require excessive scrolling.

      Present Multiple Calls to Action

      A follow-up email should be highly interactive and invite the reader to do something after they are finished reading. For example, you can request them to watch a video presentation, download a whitepaper, subscribe to a newsletter, or ask for a demo. Whatever you do, be sure to avoid cliché phrases such as “for more information” or “to learn more”.

       Pace Yourself

      It’s important not to bombard your leads with too many emails, but at the same time, infrequent updates will make them lose interest. A mobile app program such as iCapture or Quick Tap Survey can send out initial emails while you are busy capturing leads, while other programs such as MailChimp can be programmed to send 2-3 emails a day for a few days after the show ends.

      Top 3 Trade Show Apps to Capture Leads

      Trade shows are a great way to capture leads and generate future returns on your investment, but you have to stay on top of the most current methods. While business cards are a still viable way to generate leads, there are many other high-tech ways to share and sort contact information. Here are 3 mobile apps that will let you capture leads faster than ever before.

      iCapture

      Used by the likes of Harvard University, Apple, and Ford, the iCapture trade show app utilizes a wide variety of features to capture leads with or without an internet connection. With this program, you will be able to set up attractive surveys and giveaways where people will enter their contact information for later use. In addition, you will be able to upload your own personalized logo into the survey, and even send automatic replies to email leads. Finally, iCapture fully syncs with other popular customer relations management software such as First Contact and MailChimp to ensure a streamlined experience.

      CamCard

      The CamCard mobile app is a terrific way to quickly capture multiple business cards in a short period of time. The next time someone hands you their card, simply scan it with this app to automatically lift all of the relevant contact information and store it on your phone or mobile device. The program even takes a picture of the card.

      Quick Tap Survey

      Quick Tap Survey is a mobile app that allows you to easily create interactive surveys and giveaways as a way to generate leads. Simply pick a template, add questions, and customize the design. You can use this program to personally interact with users at your booth, or simply create a stand-alone kiosk where users walk up and enter their information.