Trade Show TalesBlog

Ahhh, The Elusive Email Subject Line

February 17th, 2017 COMMENTS

effective email marketing subject lines

Anyone who writes marketing or sales emails sweats over subject lines. Admittedly, I’ve read quite a few articles from experts, each with kernels of wisdom. Yesterday, I read a great one from Tina Brown at Warp Corp, a builder and printer of tension fabric structures in Seattle. Tina brought it all together in a tidy, well-written package. So, I’m sharing.

5 Tricks to Mastering the Elusive Subject Line

Guest Post: Tina Brown, Warp Corp

Just when you thought you wrote something brilliant, you find that your open rates are less than impressive. How could writing 5-7 words be so hard? You used to write 2,000-word papers in college. You can form a sentence in your sleep. No really, you’re a sleep talker.

E-mail marketing

The truth is that subject lines are the doorway into your email campaigns. If that doorway isn’t enticing, no one will go on to click your emails, let alone buy your products. In fact, Convince and Convert reports that 33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone. Even more challenging, your readers are inundated each and every day by a tidal wave of other emails vying for their attention. So how do you write email subject lines that cut through the noise?

Let me first reveal that subject lines are everywhere—on billboards, in songs and commercials, magazines, news articles, and even everyday conversations. To create your own, all it takes is knowing how to shape it, and the inspiration will start flooding in.

I’ve spent the last three years working in demand generation with one major goal in mind: crack the code on writing the perfect subject line. After hundreds, if not thousands, of subject lines tests, I have boiled it down to these five tips to improve your subject lines and increase your open rates:

1. Front-Load the Important Words

You know that one friend who’s horrible at telling stories? You know, where 15 minutes into telling their story, you begin thinking “Where is this even going? Are we ever going to hear the good part?” And by the time they finally get to the good part, you’ve already checked out. Yeah, some subject lines are just like that—don’t let it be yours.

People want to know why your email is more important than the thousands of others in their inbox, so put all the important, actionable words in the front of your subject line to entice opens. In other words, get to the point! In my experience, changing the structure of the sentence line to front-load the important keywords has increased open rates by 10-20%.

2. Ask a Question

Effective Email Subject Lines

I’ve been told several times that the most well-liked person in the room is the one who does nothing but asks folks questions, showing genuine interest in their lives and saying very little about their own. Why? Because people love to talk about themselves and their interests. Ask your subscribers questions and it’ll not only pique their curiosity, but they’ll respond positively by opening more of your emails. For example, imagine you’re sending out a new ebook on “The Holy Grail to Higher Revenue.” In your subject line, instead of just repeating the title, you could write “Looking for the Holy Grail to higher revenue? We have it!”

3. Use Numbers

People love numbers and lists. They’re easy to read, help us make sense of more complex concepts by breaking it into smaller parts, and let us know exactly what to expect (e.g. 5 Things Your Subject Lines Are Missing). The New Yorker even published a piece on “A List of Reasons Why Our Brains Love Lists,” which goes into this in depth. Numbers can also be used to create a sense of urgency or emphasize a discount.

4. Get Personal

There’s usually at least one person in every office who can’t seem to remember anyone’s first name. Mike is Matt, Joe is John, and Stacy is Stephanie. They might try to get around it by using nicknames like sport, bud, pal, dude, man, bro, and fella. For the record, no one likes that, especially not your email subscribers.

Address your subscribers by their name or insert pronouns like “you” or “your” to give your subject lines a personalized touch. According to Experian, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened (although it varies by industry), yet 70% of brands are not personalizing emails sent to subscribers. That’s a huge opportunity for your brand to stand out!

5. Use Rhymes, Alliteration, and Puns

This might seem weird, but I have always seen subject lines that use rhymes, alliteration, or puns do really well. Have you ever read a word or name over and over again until it either sounds weird or gets funnier each time? My word is “hullabaloo,” which means a great noise or excitement. Or have you ever read a subject line that was so clever it deserved to be opened?

If you can write a subject line that rolls off the tongue, you will get a higher open rate. It’s like music to the ears! It’s not easy to come up with these but when you do, they will perform exceedingly well. In fact, I’ve seen extraordinary subject line performance where I’ve beaten the control by 30-40%! For some inspiration, just take a look at some of the session names from SXSW. Some of my favorites from previous years? “Social Music Marketing: Bands, Brands and Fans” and “An Unusual Arsenal: Tech Tools to Topple a Tyrant.”

That’s it! 5 tips to improve your subject lines and get your emails opened. I hope that these tips inspire you to get out there and write subject lines like no one has ever seen before. Remember, subject lines exist everywhere. All you have to do is keep your eyes and ears open.

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My sincere thanks to Tina for allowing Classic Exhibits to share this in the Trade Show Tales blog. Please let her know if you enjoyed her post.

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite
https://www.facebook.com/Classic-Exhibits-Inc-113601405319757


 

 

EXHIBITORLIVE | Get the Skinny from Classic Exhibits

February 9th, 2017 COMMENTS

EXHIBITORBlogHeadervs2

March 12-16 at Mandalay Bay

I don’t know about you, but we are delighted EXHIBITORLIVE is a bit later this year. It was a crazy January at Classic Exhibits, and February has already gotten even wackier with designs, quotes, and orders. Thanks for all the business.

So, what can you expect from Classic Exhibits at EXHIBITORLIVE? [All future references to the show will be “EL.” If I have to type all caps and then change LIVE to italics again, I will lose my friggin’ mind]. As a reminder, the show runs from March 12-16 at Mandalay Bay. Or translated, March 13-15, which is the show hall dates. I’m never quite sure what anyone is doing on Thursday, except packing their exhibit, but there must be classes, seminars, and stuff going on somewhere. It just doesn’t apply to me, so I don’t care. 😉

You can get a FREE Show Hall pass by using code #4044. Use it or not. EXHIBITOR hypes the codes to exhibitors. Supposedly we can win a 10 ft space next year by having the most people use our code. Hmmm… I’m sure it’s legitimate. I’ve just never heard anyone boast about their free 10 ft. EL space.

According to Kevin, this is our 23rd year as an exhibitor. Even after 9/11 and throughout The Great Recession, we participated and supported the industry (a pat on the back to us). Location:  #1645 in a 20 x 30 space. Same spot as the past three years. Our neighbors change, but we stay. Not quite sure what that says about us.

GK-2002dOur main focus will be the Gravitee One-Step Modular System. Gravitee sales have soared the past six months, both for purchase and rentals, but like all new products, distributors need to see and touch it. Here’s your chance to see me demo it 1587 times over the course of three days. Connect. Plunge. Stack. Connect. 90 Degree. Adjustable Hinge. End Cap. Believe me, I’ve got it down to a Vaudeville act at this point, minus the burlesque show. It’s pretty impressive actually. The system… Not my presentation.

We’ll also show our Charging Station designs. These keep evolving based on your requests. Frankly, it’s been a lot of fun seeing how this category has grown and changed. The same point could be made for LED Lightboxes. So many leave our building everyday, both single and double-sided, in a variety of shapes. Recently, we are experimenting and selling programmable RGB lights. This is a situation where graphic design is a step behind the light technology, but once graphic designers understand what can be done, you will see some pretty exciting visual effects.

image6As you may know, Classic Exhibits has supported EL’s Portable Modular Awards since its inception. This year, we have five finalists. The awards ceremony will be held Tuesday at the conclusion of the show hall hours (3:30 pm). We would love for you to be our guest. There’s no charge (which is one reason we’re so graciously inviting you to be “our guest”).

All kidding aside, we encourage you to attend and vote for the PMA People’s Choice Award. EL will only continue to support this program as long as attendees see it as valuable. We believe, as we hope you do too, that portable modular design should be recognized in our industry. Please attend and celebrate all the nominees and winners.

Finally, we will be serving sweet treats in our booth this year. It’s not candy. And it’s only marginally healthy. But it’s for a good cause and comes around only once a year. We promise to have ALL your favorite flavors. That’s all the hints you get.

See you at EL. Don’t forget about Strategic Partner Hours on Tuesday and Wednesday, beginning at 10 am.

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite
https://www.facebook.com/Classic-Exhibits-Inc-113601405319757


 

 

 

 

 

Some Thoughts… After Visiting Classic Exhibits Distributors

February 3rd, 2017 COMMENTS

MelBlog

Southwest Ohio and Chicago

ValleyExpoIn January, I had the pleasure of visiting Classic and Eco-systems distributors in Southwest Ohio and Chicago. Reid Sherwood was my tag team partner in Ohio (Thanks Reid). In Chicago, I met up with Jen LaBruzza, our Regional Sales Manager. On our last two days, we were joined by Colleen Crawford from Eco-Systems Sustainable. By that point, we were a pretty formidable superhero team.

It’s been a few years since I had to pack a suitcase for two weeks. I’ll be on the road again later this month. Then you’ll see me at EXHIBITOR. Oddly enough, my wife has been very encouraging. Let’s just say my suitcase was partially packed before I’d even checked my departure date and time.

So, what did I hear from these distributors? Industry trends, of course, which Jen covered in her excellent video post last week (I was the dude holding the camera). Allow me to share my perspective, while not stepping on Jen’s toes.

blogheaderRentals

Rentals

Honestly, I was a little surprised by this topic. But, then again, my perception is tainted by Classic Rental Solutions, which has been crazy busy for several years. Most distributors have embraced rentals, using internal stock and external vendors such as CRS. However, not everyone sees rentals as a viable alternative to purchase. Don’t misunderstand me. I get it. If your only experience with rentals is portables or General Show Contractor kits, then rentals are a lesser option.

If I had to guess, I would say that 20-25% of larger inline and island booths at major shows are rentals — extrusion, modular wall, or custom. And it makes sense. A trade show exhibit is a marketing vehicle, and just like a car, we often want to try it before we buy it. And in many cases, we don’t want to buy it at all. Leasing makes more sense. I read recently that nearly 40% of all vehicles are now leased.

With that in mind, I would encourage you to discover if your client prefers to purchase or to rent. Give them the pros and cons of both options, then they can make the best decision for their budget and their marketing goals.

Bull vs Bear Market

This topic was all over the board. Some distributors had more business than they could handle. Others were busy, but not overwhelmed. Others were chasing orders. However, there were no “boo hoo’s” about business in general. For many of us, the Great Recession is still visible in the rear view mirror (objects in the mirror are closer than they appear).

What I heard was a variation of two themes — “My clients are getting what they need. Not necessary what they want.” OR “My clients are finally getting what they want. Not just what they need.”

If I had to guess, and this is truly a guess, it has everything to do with a client’s commitment to trade show marketing. IMHO — When you know what you want to be successful, you get what you want. When you don’t, then you get what you need. Yes, that’s oversimplification. Clearly, every business is different. But you are either passionate about trade show marketing… or you are not.

chargingstation9-16The Other

Pat yourself on the back. You are a lot smarter than you used to be. Which means, you no longer focus all your efforts on trade shows. Some distributors are heavily into events. Others are designing corporate environments. Still others make as much on graphics, if not more, than selling or serving exhibits. More and more are storing crates. Or handling show services for their clients. You are selling lightboxes in retail or corporate environments, and pitching charging stations for lobbies and events. The list goes on and on.

It’s refreshing. Because as your business evolves, so does ours. We now do more retail, corporate, and event work than ever before. And we love it. Better yet, it rarely follows the same seasonality as the trade show business. June and July are busier. There’s a boost of business in September and October. We all win. Well, except for November which continues to suck.

GraviteeBanner

Modular Wall Systems

This came up in every conversation with distributors. Of course, it didn’t hurt that I had a case full of Gravitee Modular Wall panels and connectors. 😉 Modular walls are becoming the backbone of rental displays and many modular designs. We’re not naive. There are several systems in the market with a head start. Gravitee will have to earn your business largely through creative purchase designs and Classic Rental Solutions orders.

That said… Every distributor felt that Gravitee was the smartest, easiest, and best engineered modular wall system on the market. Now, that may sound like boasting and hyperbole, but I heard it again and again and again during the visits. No tools. OK. No loose parts. Really OK. No holes. Really, really OK.

We’ll win you over in time. We know that. We encourage you to see us at EXHIBITORLIVE.  We will be featuring Gravitee. And if you are especially nice, you just might get a special treat. But, I’ll save that surprise news once we’re a little closer to the show.

Kick ass my friends. Business is good!

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite
https://www.facebook.com/Classic-Exhibits-Inc-113601405319757


 

10 BIG Trade Shows in North America | March 2017

January 30th, 2017 COMMENTS

Blog10Big

March can be a little crazy. There’s the weather. A little something called March Madness. The “Luck o’ the Irish” and some OUTSTANDING trade shows. See below for our 10 Ten Trade Shows in March.

Campus Market Expo (CAMEX), Mar. 3 – 7, 2017, Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, UT

http://www.camex.org

CAMEX is the largest trade show in the campus retailing industry, attended by 1,900 qualified buyers from nearly 900 stores, as well as 600+ exhibiting companies. CAMEX has ranked as one of the top 250 trade shows in the nation for the past 13 years by Trade Show News Network (TSNN).  From apparel to tech products, convenience items to gifts, more than 90 product categories targeted to the campus student consumer can be found at CAMEX. Buying and saving are goals during the three-day show – nearly 90% of CAMEX attendees take advantage of exhibitor’ Show Specials.

2017 HAI Heli-Expo, Mar. 6 – 9, 2017, Dallas, TX

http://heliexpo.rotor.org

HAI Heli-Expo is where the global helicopter industry gathers to build professionals, networks, and solutions. With 1million+ square feet of meeting and exhibit space, Heli-Expo is attended by 20,000 industry professions, including 20% from international destinations. Heli-Expo also attracts 700+ exhibitors and there are 60+ aircraft on display.

CONEXPO – CON/AGG, Mar. 7 – 11, 2017, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV

http://www.conexpoconagg.com

CONEXPO-CON/AGG is where every major construction industry is represented amongst 2,500+ exhibitors over 2.5M square feet and more than 150 education sessions including asphalt, aggregates, concrete, earthmoving, lifting, mining, utilities and more. New in 2017, the Tech Experience with 75,000+ square feet dedicated to the future of the construction industry and you’ll also find almost 700 new exhibitors.

Natural Products Expo West

http://www.expowest.com/

Natural Products Expo West is the world’s largest natural products event and is the preeminent show for spotting trends in the food and CPG industry. The trade show serves as a launching pad for innovation from entrepreneurial brands to more established companies looking to keep up with shifts in consumer demand. Playing host to more than 77,000 attendees, Natural Products Expo West brings together an inspired community of industry members and more than 3,000 exhibiting companies, including more than 600 first time exhibitors.

PAX East, Mar. 10 – 12, 2017, Boston, MA

http://east.paxsite.com

In 2004, the folks at Penny Arcade decided they wanted a show exclusively for gaming. From that idea spawned a small 4,500 person event in Bellevue, Washington, focused on the culture and community that is gaming.

Since then, the show hasn’t looked back. Doubling in size each year until venue capacities were reached, in 2010 the show expanded in Boston for PAX East, drawing tens of thousands of attendees in the inaugural year. The shows in Seattle and Boston represent the two largest gaming events in North America! PAX has been the only place the public could see, hear and experience the insanity that is a game industry expo hall. With over a hundred thousand square feet of show floor and all genres, platforms and styles of games represented, this area makes for one of the highlights to the PAX experience.

Catersource, Mar. 12 – 15, 2017, Ernest N. Memorial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA

http://conference.catersource.com

The ultimate conference and trade show for the catering and event industry is heading back to New Orleans, the place where it all began, to celebrate our 25th anniversary!

Attendees will walk away with hundreds of ideas from this award-winning trade show. 400+ companies will be on the show floor, introducing attendees to thousands of products and services that will help them grow, maintain, and exemplify their businesses.

The Work Truck Show, Mar. 15 – 17, 2017, Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, IN

http://www.worktruckshow.com

Once a year, The Work Truck Show brings together the best from across the industry. With 500+ exhibitors, The Work Truck Show and Green Truck Summit offer equipment distributors, truck dealers, fleet managers and others in the industry a unique opportunity to network and learn about the work truck industry’s evolving dynamics, the latest product developments from leading work truck OEMs and explore fuel-saving technologies and alternative fuels.

International Home & Housewares Show, Mar. 18 – 21, 2017, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL

http://www.housewares.org/show/default

The International Home & Housewares Show is the place where art intersects with engineering, technology informs style. Where exhibitors display innovation, buyers discover trends and the industry connects to do business. The show features more than 2,200 exhibitors, including 400 new companies exhibiting for the first time. and every year more than 62,000 of world’s most important home goods and housewares professionals gather to do business. This year the show will feature a special emphasis on the smart home and connected products with the new IHA Smart Home Pavilion.

Global Pet Expo, Mar. 22 – 24, 2017, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

http://globalpetexpo.org/

Global Pet Expo, the premier pet industry event will host 1,087 exhibitors in 3,200+ booths with total buyer attendance of 6,170 representing 76 countries. The Show is open to independent retailers, distributors, mass-market buyers, and other qualified media and professionals. The Show features 13 football fields’ worth of pet products, more than 3,000 product-launches and 150 first time exhibiting companies. Global Pet Expo has also been ranked as one of the top 100 trade shows in the nation by Trade Show Executive Magazine.

International Vision Expo East

http://east.visionexpo.com

International Vision Expos, the worldwide conference and exhibition for eyecare and eyewear, are trade-only events that draw more than 30,000 eyecare professionals each year. It is the world’s most inclusive ophthalmic conference and expo.

Attendees will have access to more than five football fields of dazzling exhibit space and discover comprehensive education covering the full spectrum of the medical, diagnostic, lab and practice management skills and the latest trends in eye-wear fashion.

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Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.


 

10 BIG Trade Shows in North America | February 2017

January 16th, 2017 COMMENTS

Blog10Big

January was a slamming month for trade shows. February holds strong and makes us wanna say, “I Heart Trade Shows!” Here are 10 of the Biggest Shows in North America this month.

Safari Club International’s 2017 Annual Hunters’ Convention, Feb. 1-4, 2017, Las Vegas, NV

https://www.showsci.org

This hunters’ heaven has everything the mind can dream of and occupies over 650,000 square feet of exhibit space. Six continents are under one roof where members come to book hunts, rendezvous with old friends and shop for the latest guns and hunting equipment. That only scratches the surface of products available at SCI’s Annual Hunters’ Convention. Notable authorities of the outdoor sports and shooting industries attend the premier hunting show annually. You’ll find it to be the most powerful buying and selling environment in the outdoor industry.

NY Now, Feb. 4 – 8, 2017, Javits Center, New York City

http://www.nyigf.com

Innovative products make NY NOW the leading trade show for the Home, Lifestyle, and Gift market, with 400+ product categories from 2,400+ suppliers across our comprehensive collections. A wholesale trade show, trade-only attendees will have access to new, design-focused resources from around the world. Exhibitors will expose their brand to thousands of exclusive buyers. Nearly 40% of buyers ONLY attend NY NOW.

MD&M West, Feb. 7 – 9, 2017, Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA

http://mdmwest.mddionline.com

For 32 years, MD&M West has helped take medical devices from concept to market by uniting cutting-edge technology with the industry’s foremost minds. Source from the world’s largest collection of suppliers on one show floor. Connect with over 20,000 engineers and executives who are ready to forge business partnerships. Attendees will get answers from hundreds of leading medtech suppliers, be the first to witness demos of technology yet to hit the market, and engage with over 20,000 industry professionals from leading companies.

RSA Conference 2017, Feb. 13 – 17, 2017, Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA

https://www.rsaconference.com/events/us17

In the digital world in which we now live, information is a very highly valued commodity. Safeguarding that information, therefore, has become a top priority. Collectively the RSA Conferences draw over 45,000 attendees per year, making them the world’s largest provider of security events. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn about new approaches to info security, discover the latest technology and interact with top security leaders and pioneers. Hands-on sessions, keynotes and informal gatherings allow you to tap into a smart, forward-thinking global community that will inspire and empower you.

World AG Expo, Feb. 14 – 16, 2017, International Agri-Center, Tulare, CA

http://www.worldagexpo.com

Celebrating 50 years, the World Ag Expo continues to be a marketplace and a celebration of all things ag. Attracting 106,346 attendees with 1,500+ exhibitors in 2.6 Million square feet of exhibit space, it is the world’s largest annual outdoor agricultural exposition. We are here to encourage the newest conversations, inventions and innovations in the world of ag so that the dealer, the producer and the consumer can all come out on top. When our exhibitors succeed, our attendees and farmers transform their operation, and consumers all over the world are positively impacted by the increased efficiency. Ag is evolving to feed a growing world. And we’re here to help facilitate that.

National Farm Machinery Show, Feb. 15 – 18, 2017, Kentucky Exposition Center, Louisville, KY

http://www.farmmachineryshow.org

850 exhibitors will cover 1.2 million square feet of floor space as the National Farm Machinery show continues to be the largest indoor farm show in America. The National Farm Machinery Show offers the most complete selection of cutting-edge agricultural products, equipment and services available in the farming industry. Business professionals from around the world gain knowledge and hands-on access to various technological advancements needed for the upcoming farming season during the four-day show.

Graphics of the Americas Expo co-located with The NBM Show, Feb. 16 – 18, 2017, Broward County Convention Center, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

http://goaexpo.com

GOA Expo provides exhibitors visibility to thousands of graphics industry professionals from around the world who are coming to discover new products, technologies, services and trends. Attendees come to interact with the leading manufacturers and suppliers in the industry to learn, compare and buy. 90% of GOA attendees make or influence their company’s buying decisions and come from over 72 countries.

The NBM Show serves the markets covered by National Business Media’s three graphics-oriented magazines – Awards and Engraving, Printwear and Sign & Digital Graphics.

SME Annual Conference & Expo and CMA 119th National Western Mining Conference, Feb. 19 – 22, 2017, Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO

http://www.smeannualconference.com

The SME Annual Conference & Expo and CMA 119th National Western Mining Conference provides a forum for more than 6,500 industry professionals, from across the world, to share innovative ideas, best practices and cutting-edge research in more than 120 sessions along with an expansive marketplace of more than 650 exhibiting companies.

HIMSS 2017, Feb. 19 – 23, 2017, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

http://www.himssconference.org

HIMSS 2017 is where the brightest minds in health and IT meet. It brings together 40,000+ health IT professionals, clinicians, executives and vendors from around the world. Exceptional education, world-class speakers, cutting-edge health IT products and powerful networking are hallmarks of this industry-leading conference.

79th Oregon Logging Conference, Feb. 23 – 25, 2017, Lane County Convention Center and Fairgrounds, Eugene, OR

http://oregonloggingconference.com

Every year manufacturers and dealers from around the world exhibit the latest technology at the larges inside and outside equipment show west of the Mississippi. The 79th Annual Oregon Logging Conference will be jam packed with seminars, workshops, competitions and more! The OLC is packed with unique opportunities for forestry professionals to network and learn more about their trade.

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Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.