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      Is Your Trade Show Audience Engaged?

      trade show audienceIf you’ve ever been to trade show you know what they’re like. It’s usually a gargantuan room, possibly a conference center, or hotel ballroom.  As you enter the large space you’re overwhelmed by visual stimuli and pushy sales people trying to get you interested in their product.

      Typically trade shows can consist of dozens if not hundreds of different vendors all offering something of similar topic or category. It’s very easy to blend in with the neutral color walls, and the temporary carpet they always lay down just to rip up and throw away the next day. So how do you stand out, and more importantly tell if your audience is engaged?

      Most importantly and the first thing to look for are non-verbal cues. Folded or closed arms typically mean “I don’t want to talk to anybody.” If someone makes eye contact and smiles this typically shows a willingness to open up and start a conversation about your product or services being offered. At the very least you’ll share a quick hello and a smile.

      Even if a conversation isn’t struck immediately, and you only get a quick hello, that’s quite ok. Many times when someone first arrives at a trade show they make a b-line for something specific that they’ve researched prior to arriving. After that’s taken care of they typically circle back and check out the other booths. This is where that previous quick smile and hello can lead to further conversation.

      Once you’ve grabbed the attention of your audience now the verbal cues come into play.  Is the person reciprocating in conversation by asking questions or are the zoned out give one word answers?  Chances are if they’re not asking further questions and continuing to fact find about your business then they’re probably not interested and won’t convert into a sale.

      Verbal communication goes both ways. If you’re not keeping them interested or asking the right type of questions then you can expect to lose the interest of your audience. Be sure to ask open ended questions such as, “What is one instance where you think you could use our product?” Asking a close ended questions like, “Do you think you could use our product?” could result in a thoughtless one word response like yes or no.

      Using these easy verbal and non-verbal cues can make all the difference in sales and making sure you’re focusing your time on the right people who are most likely to convert.

      Making Trade Shows Inbound Marketing Friendly

      inbound marketing

      Trade shows are standardized and essential to your business needs, but a specific challenge facing nearly every participant is how to twist these events into an inbound marketing event. Typically the process is the same for everyone:

      –          You register, design your pitch, and select your level of participation (sponsorship packages, floor placement, etc.).
      –          You arrive, set up your booth, and go through the motions of presenting to anyone who will listen.
      –          You leave, return to your office, and analyze the usefulness of joining in the event.

      Did you get any solid leads? Did you develop any game-changing partnerships? More than likely you’re shrugging your shoulders and hoping for the best. You got your message out there, so now it’s time to reap the benefits…but what if there aren’t any?

      Sure, trade shows are essential and they have a chance of paying out through new business. However, compare how much you spent on attending and designing your presentation against your expected return. Was it actually worth it, just based on the pure financials?

      That’s why making a trade show a success method of inbound marketing is so essential. Stop wasting money! Here are the steps toward making a trade show a better opportunity for your company:

      1. Establish a plan. Don’t just stand at your booth and shout at people as they walk by. Set specific metrics to target and track.
      2. Create a pre- and post-show strategy. Promote your attendance, devise an incentive of attracting people to you prior to the show, and also promote a call to action for follow-up for interested parties after the show.
      3. Develop original material. Do not show up using the same material from the last show you attending. Everything needs to be fresh and unique!
      4. Nurture your leads.  Receive a commitment to follow-up from the interested party and then commit yourself to developing the lead further. Crossed fingers won’t win business.
      5. Dump the giveaways. You don’t need to hand out pens and totes to win business. Deals close through follow-up and accountability, not because you stuffed someone’s arms full of junk. Save money by forgetting about free giveaway trinkets.

      By using inbound marketing techniques, you will be targeting the right people and getting the most out of your advertising efforts. And who doesn’t like efficiency?


      Trade Show Tool Kit

      trade show tool kit

      It is always when you get the worst headache ever that you remember that you forgot to pack any aspirin, or even band-aids for that nagging paper cut. Once you set up at a trade show event, you can pretty much feel as if you’re stuck there without any supplies you may actually need. Trade show hours can be quite lengthy, so it’s good to make a list of items you may need in your trade show tool kit.

      Basic Items

      Let’s start the list with a few basic items everyone needs:

      • pens
      • pencils
      • paper products
      • notepad
      • business cards
      • paper clips
      • rubber bands
      • a stapler and extra staples

      This is basically a list of everyday office supplies. If there is any other item you use on a daily basis, such as a stamp or scissors, bring those along as well.

      A Real Toolkit

      Let’s face it, it does not matter how much we prepare, things can break or malfunction at a trade show event. There are certain tools you should bring along just in case of a mishap. Including these tools in your overall trade show kit will not only make it easier to repair things, but will also give you some peace of mind.

      • screwdriver
      • hammer
      • pliers
      • duct tape (which comes in a variety of colors these days)
      • extra extension cords and electrical adapters

      Packing a set of cleaning supplies is also a great idea. Items such as paper towels and glass cleaner are two of the most useful. Don’t forget about your own needs as well. Band-aids, headache medicine, plenty of water, and quick healthy snacks like a trail mix, should definitely be on your list.

      What to Give Away at a Trade Show

      trade show giveaways

      People coming to trade shows are there to see new products, meet new people and expand their business.

      How exactly are you going to attract people to your booth and attract people to stay and talk about your business? Many companies have giveaways to bring in the crowds. There are many different options to consider when you are deciding what giveaway you want to do.

      You may want to give away the best thing at the show so people know your name, but not all companies can afford to give away iPads or even knock off mp3 players.

      To help you decide what would be best to give away at your trade show, we have complied a few things you should ask yourself while going through the decision making process.

      1. Cost– This is the first thing you need to consider. You want to save money on what you are giving away but you don’t want to seem too cheap. Make sure the item you are buying is worth the money you are spending and getting the message across you wants.

      2. Intriguing– You want to find a product or item that will stick in the person’s mind. Moving away from the typical and giving them something different than other booths will surely do the trick. Think outside the box- something other than pens, cups, or brochures.

      3. Branding– Make sure you are using this opportunity to get your name out there. The best way to do this is have your logo or tag line printed right on the item. Every time someone uses the item, they will see your name and remember what you are about.

      For more advice on a stellar trade show booth, contact us at Snappanel today!

      Graphic Design Tips For Your Display Panels

      graphic design for trade showsPlanning for an upcoming trade show is exciting for entrepreneurs and marketers. There are so many details that must be addressed to make the show successful; from social media promotion, to choosing the best products and attractions for your exhibit. However, many businesses neglect to give the same amount of attention to their graphic designs, when these are the pictures that will stick in the minds of your attendees.

      Here are a few tips to make sure that your display panel graphics are as memorable as your products and services:

      Consider the design of your substrate:

      Fabric is often an obvious choice for exhibitors, but it is wise to remember that you must consider the trade show environment before choosing. Fabrics can also be very costly and affect the bottom line of your trade show budget. There are other types of materials that can work for your substrate.

      Also consider what kinds of designs you will choose. Will the designs need to be sewed on? If you plan to use the substrate over and over again, a form of design with an adhesive would be best for durability.

      The size of your imagery:

      In these times of mobile technology, the size of your graphics must be considered. Large graphics can appear distorted on smartphones or pc tablets. The user will most likely need to print them out to see them correctly. And printers are not as common or convenient as they used to be years ago.

      Knowing how you want your imagery to appear to the viewer will help you to choose the proper sizing and centering for your images on the substrate.

      Get professional help with photographing your image:

      In this world of selfies, many of us think we are true photographers. We snap our pictures, run them through an online editing software or phone app, and voila! We believe we have taken the perfect picture. Usually, this is not the case. Images need to be taken with the proper resolution and formatting to have a professional look once placed as a graphic on display panels. Once pictures are blown up, you can see the errors and distortions much more easily. Seeking professional help in the area of creating your imagery is a place in your trade show budget where you will not want to cut corners.