Trade Show TalesBlog

Archive for March, 2015

The Three Rules of Trade Show Marketing

March 31st, 2015 3 COMMENTS

EuroShop_2014 (7)Trade Show Marketing isn’t complicated. It can be reduced to three simple rules. Everything else is a business decision. Here’s the difference: Buying a 10 ft. portable vs. 20 ft. custom island — that’s a business decision. Staying at the Hilton vs. the Quality Inn — that’s a business decision. Getting a professional presenter for the booth — that’s a marketing decision. Confused? Here’s ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW about trade show marketing to be successful.

Rule #1. Problem and Solution.

Your message must state a problem and a solution, either explicitly or implicitly. Attendees are there to find solutions. They may not know they have a problem until you provide the solution. When Chrysler introduced the minivan back in the 80’s, it showed families that the vehicle they were driving was either too big or too small. In an attempt to be clever or creative, we forget that we’re selling something. Selling is all about identifying needs and pains… and then providing the right solution.

Rule #2. Get Noticed.

There’s a reason it’s called a “show.” You spent money to be seen at the show. BE SEEN! Does that mean dressing in a clown suit and standing in a booth made of balloons? No, unless that’s your culture (or you are selling balloons). Most companies approach trade show exhibits and graphics like they’re buying a mid-priced sedan: “I’d like a Honda Accord in silver.” Take a chance. You want to be different. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be practical and contain everything you need to showcase your product or service. Even Melba Toast doesn’t have to be Melba Toast at a trade show.

Does your product lend itself to a professional presenter? That’s one way to get noticed.

Pre-show marketing. There’s no better way of getting seen than by developing a pre-show campaign that drives attendees to your booth. In today’s Internet-driven, social media-focused market, getting someone’s attention before the show is as important, if not more important, than being seen at the show.

Rule #3. The Right People.

If you bring ten people to the show, at least six are the wrong ones. They don’t know the products or services, they don’t have charismatic people skills, they are not personally invested in results, and they did not participate in pre-show planning or post-show implementation. Two out of four doesn’t cut it. A trade show isn’t a vacation. It’s a strategic investment.

You’ll often hear that 80% of trade show leads are wasted. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that bringing the right employees to the show solves that problem. The right employees won’t let a lead sit on someone’s desk or be forgotten on a jump drive. They’re relentless about post-show follow-up because they understand how much time, effort, and money went into planning and participating in the trade show.

Want to be a tradeshow star? Focus on these three rules. Everything else, while important to your bottom line, your ego, or your HR Department, is just a business decision.

Displays

–Mel White
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
mel@classicexhibits.com

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Based in Portland, Oregon, 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


 

Cool Technology at EXHIBITORLIVE 2015

March 25th, 2015 COMMENTS
Coffee Table Charging Station with LED Lights

Coffee Table Charging Station with LED Lights

I try my darndest to walk EXHIBITOR each year. Usually, that means a quick tour an hour before the hall opens. And while I “see” the displays, I rarely get to talk to most exhibitors. So you can imagine how excited I was when Marlys Arnold from Trade Show Insights compiled a video of the Best of the Best Technology.

According to Marlys, “At this year’s EXHIBITOR Live (formerly known as the EXHIBITOR Show), there were a lot of clever innovations, especially in the world of tech. Here are a few worth paying attention to:



–Mel White
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
mel@classicexhibits.com

**********************************************

Based in Portland, Oregon, 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.


 

All in the Name of Customer Service: Word on the Street — March 16th thru March 20th

March 20th, 2015 1 COMMENT
Kevin Carty, VP Classic Exhibits

Kevin Carty, VP Classic Exhibits

I am writing this week’s blog topic at the request of a “classic” Classic Distributor from Southern California.

For Every Problem, There’s a Client Request

Have you ever stopped to appreciate what you do for your clients? I know it comes with the territory. We’re sales-driven people with customers who have high, sometimes unreasonable requests. But in the end, they are our customers, and we’ll do what we have to do to make them happy.

Recently, this SoCal Distributor contacted me about a client who purchased a very custom Classic-built 20 ft. inline a couple of years ago. When I say custom, I mean custom! Custom wood siding with several coats of staining to get JUST THE RIGHT COLOR.

The exhibit was beautiful. And it should have been since it cost the equivalent of most 20 x 30 island exhibits.

Custom CountertopBut I digress. So I get a call telling me that this client added a “serving station” which was built in a remote village in Venezuela (I kid you not), and the station was showing severe wear and tear. The client wanted to use the serving station one more time before replacing it. So the question was “How can Classic help?”

After many emails (and lots of options), the client asked us to make it “as close to show ready as possible.” To do that, we had to dissect how the Venezuelans built the piece: What materials and finishes did they use? It sounds simple, but it wasn’t. The top color and finish looked like something Orange County Choppers would design and construct.

The distributor and I met at EXHIBITORLIVE to review options. The idea of acrylic nail polish was a possible solution for the wear marks on the counter top. Sounds crazy, but it made sense. What I didn’t take into account was selecting just the right color nail polish. It meant mixing several colors together for the perfect match.

In Search of Nail Polish

As you might imagine, no one in Production was waiting in line to do this. So a week ago, I went to the store in search of nail polish.

nail polish

First, I was blown away by the variety of nail polish colors, finishes, and types. It made choosing a paint color at a hardware store simple by comparison. And as a man, who refuses to ask for help, I was not about to request assistance from the sales clerks. But as time passed, well over 30 minutes scrutinizing the different options at my fingertips (pun intended), I noticed the ever-growing audience of teeny boppers and blue hairs around the sales counter watching me shuffle 20 plus bottles to identify the perfect color mix.

In the end, a gel base coat was the winner with a shimmer top coat. SHUT UP! I know!

To add insult to injury, the sales clerk remarked, “Oooh, nice choices! For you?” and then giggled.

Well, what little pride I have left was lost in the nail polish section of the store, but in the end, the customer’s problems are our problems, and we do our best to solve them. I know you have similar stories (well, may be not “similar”), so please help a guy out and share yours.

Have a great weekend with your families.

–Kevin
http://twitter.com/kevin_carty
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kevin-carty/3/800/32a


 

Our Final Four vs. Your Final Four Challenge

March 16th, 2015 1 COMMENT

FinalFour

100 Trends to Watch in 2015 from JWT Intelligence

March 14th, 2015 COMMENTS

As a faithful reader of the Trade Show Tales blog, you’ve probably wondered, “Why hasn’t Classic posted the link to the annual JWT Intelligence Trends Watch?” Perhaps, the Brogawear trend scared me just a little (yep, yoga-wear for men).

Broga

Did you know that millennials are drinking less alcohol than their parents? Or that South Korea may be the next epicenter of cosmetics? Or that Me Branding reflects the next wave in personalization? Or that the tin can has suddenly become hip again as upscale packaging? Lots more, including Bone Broth, the New Hot Beverage. Yikes.

http://www.jwtintelligence.com/the-future-100/#axzz3OXVB5ToM

Bone

According to JWT Intelligence, “In our ninth annual forecast of trends for the near future, we see how consumers are both welcoming and resisting technology’s growing omnipresence in our lives. For many, technology serves as a gateway to opportunity and an enabler of hyper-efficient lifestyles, but those who are most immersed are starting to question its effect on their lives and their privacy. One result is that more people are trying to find a balance and lead more mindful, in-the-moment lives.”

  • Immersive Experiences
  • Do You Speak Visual?
  • The Age of Impatience
  • Mobile As a Gateway to Opportunity
  • Telepathic Technology
  • The End of Anonymity
  • Raging Against the Machine
  • Remixing Tradition
  • Proudly Imperfect
  • Mindful Living

Read more: http://www.jwtintelligence.com/the-future-100/#ixzz3UPdQ2NZk

Enjoy.

–Mel White
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
mel@classicexhibits.com

**********************************************

Based in Portland, Oregon, 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