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Archive for the ‘Trade Show Marketing’ Category

Trade Show Games: 5 Elements of Success

November 12th, 2018 COMMENTS

Trade Show Games and Gamification

Samuel J. Smith, SocialPoint (Guest Post)

Trade show games are a fun way to get more traffic into your trade show booth. They add an element of play, competition, and excitement that wakes up attendees dulled by trudging down countless trade show aisles. To make your trade show games a success, be sure to follow these 5 Elements of Success:

#1. Trade Show Games That Fit and Promote Your Brand

One of the top three reasons exhibitors go to trade shows is to build their brand awareness. Every activity you do in your booth has an effect on how attendees perceive your company. So, when you choose a trade show game, it should mesh with your company personality. If the game features any visuals, then the colors, images, type font, and logos should match your brand identity. That will boost memorability and brand impact.

#2. Trade Show Games That Fit Your Audience

Our clients often tell us that the audience at one of their shows is a perfect match for a certain trade show game – but that same game would be a misfit at another show they exhibit at. That’s because the demographics, style, motivations, and personal drivers markedly change between their shows. Some show attendees tend to be fun-loving, gregarious, and profit-driven. Other shows feature quieter, knowledge-based attendees who compete for different reasons. Know your audiences and find the trade show games that appeal best to them.

#3. Trade Show Games That Are Easy (Enough) To Win

Trade show games work best when they take some skill to win – but little-to-no-time to learn how to play. Attendees should be able to walk up and jump in. Your goal with trade show games is to get more traffic and engagement, not to stump almost all your visitors so they go away disappointed. And ensure they go away happy with prizes that are worthy of their time. Attendees also like to earn recognition when they do very well, which works great at trade shows where gifts are limited or not allowed.

Trade Show Games and Gamification

#4. Trade Show Games That Have Signage and Space

Your booth visitors can’t have a good time playing your trade show games if they are cramped or forced to play in an awkward stance. Set up the game so players are comfortable with the game at the right height and enough space for them to not feel trapped. Also, ensure attendees in the aisle know there’s a fun game in your booth with signage that says “Play To Win” or names the game. Don’t be shy about it!

#5. Trade Show Games With Lead Capture

Trade show games may be fun, but you won’t be enjoying yourself if you don’t come back from the show with leads. Choose games that visitors have to provide their contact info to play. Even better, capture a few key qualifying facts about them, to give your sales people a leg up on who to call first after the show, and help them make a better follow-up call, too.

I hope that if you decide to use trade show games, you’re now better prepared to get their full value. You’ll build your brand, attract more attendees, host a great experience, and collect more leads.

Samuel J. Smith is a thought leader, researcher, speaker and award-winning innovator on event technology. In 2011, BizBash Magazine added Sam to its annual innovators list. Since then, Sam has won awards from Exhibitor Magazine, IBTM World, RSVP MN, International Live Events Association and MPI for innovation in event technology.

Never Eat or Drink in Your Trade Show Booth. Seriously? Dude, It’s 2018!

November 2nd, 2018 1 COMMENT

Sacagawea Portable Hybrid Displays

You Know the Rules:

#1. Never eat or drink in your trade show booth and

#2. Don’t stare at your cellphone while on the show floor.

It makes sense, mostly. But you, me, and the guy with the taped together pop-up across the aisle all ignore those rules. We want our coffee in the morning, and we’re going to check our emails from time to time. It’s all a matter of degree. Don’t chow down on Kung Pao Chicken or obsessively check your text messages. Basically, act like you want to be there. 

It’s 2018, Dude. There’s gotta be a middle ground, and your display should facilitate it, whether you view it as a necessity or a necessary evil.  Think of Classic Exhibits and the Sacagawea Portable Hybrid Display as your personal bad-habit enabler. The Updated Sacagawea System includes two features not found on any other portable display and rarely seen on far more expensive exhibits: The Hostess Shelf and USB Charging Ports

Sacagawea Portable Hybrid Display, Hostess ShelfHostess Shelf

Most portable displays have limited shelf space. That shelf or shelves are typically used for laptops, tablets, literature, or product samples. Not your beef burrito or latte. But, what if there was a small, less obvious shelf that didn’t interfere with your presentation but was readily accessible?

On the Sacagawea System, any kit that includes a backwall workstation counter includes (1) Hostess Shelf. The Hostess Shelf is perfect for your morning coffee or danish. It’s discrete, sitting below the larger workstation counter. Where there’s a workstation counter, you can add another Hostess Shelf so Ronnie in Sales has his own personal pantry on the show floor. The shelves are laminated so that nasty coffee ring can be wiped clean with a quick spray of Windex or Formula 409. 

Enjoy your caffeine fix my friend, guilt-free. Just be sure to set it back on the Hostess Shelf before you shake hands with the prospect you’ve been calling for 3 years. She just step in the booth. 

Sacagawea Portable Hybrid Display, USB Charging PortsNew USB Charging Ports

Benjamin Franklin may have discovered electricity, but you know there’s more to power than a kite and a key. And just like you need caffeine, your phone needs juice during a long day on the show floor. Who wants to be Magellan circumnavigating the hall looking for an elusive electrical outlet? You’re better than that, and you belong in the booth talking about the revolutionary EN4CX-1287 industrial sump pump. It’s awesome!

The Sacagawea Portable Hybrid has your back. Two USB Charging Ports are included on any kit with a workstation counter. You don’t even have to share with Polly in Product Development, who’s still using a Nokia flip phone with an annoying “Welcome Back, Kotter” ringtone. Whether you need a full charge or just a quick top-off, the USB ports are always there. Safe. Dependable. Satisfying. Need more ports? No problem. Additional USB ports can be added when you add another workstation counter.

BTW, did we also happen to say that no other portable display offers this indispensable charging feature? Well… we did now. 

If That’s Not Enough…

  • Easy Knob-Assisted Assembly
  • Numbered Components and Detailed Setup Instructions
  • Vibrant 5K Dye-Sublimated Fabric Graphics
  • Adjustable Workstation Legs for Stability
  • Lightweight Engineered Aluminum Extrusion
  • LED Stem Lights
  • Portable Roto-molded Cases with Wheels
  • Jigged, Reusable Packaging
  • 100-Day Return Guarantee
  • Made in the USA

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

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Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, and custom exhibit solutions, including SuperNova LED Lightboxes. 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.

The NAB Show Listens to Exhibitors | Introduces an Updated Show Service Pricing Model

October 31st, 2018 COMMENTS

NAB Show Show Services

Recently, The Trade Show News Network published, NAB Show Eases Exhibitor Pain Points with NAB Show Cares by Lisa Plummer Savas. I encourage you to read the full article which includes the background story about why the NAB Show decided to research and implement updated show services. Let’s review those changes because they are a huge step in the right direction for our industry.

The NAB Show and Freeman deserve credit for offering exhibitors greater predictability and transparency on charges, which we hope will be embraced (in some form) by other show organizers and contractors. 

I’ll quote liberally from the article, which is detailed and well-written.

The Changes

Unlimited Material Handling

The Unlimited Material Handling Initiative reduces fees for moving freight from dock to booth and back via a fixed rate per square foot that covers any or all items an exhibitor brings into the show regardless of quantity, weight or volume. Instead of receiving an invoice for material handling after the show, exhibitors simply pay for the service up front when they purchase their booth space. 

While this initiative doesn’t benefit everyone, like smaller exhibitors who didn’t use the service previously, it did result in 40% and up reduction for larger exhibitors. And while the savings are welcome, exhibitors benefit more from the predictability and prepaying that expense before the show. Whatever financial shock happens, it doesn’t happen during the show on someone’s credit card. According to Christy Ricketts, vice president of operations and marketing for Contemporary Research, “This program is a welcome change because it encourages all exhibitors to bring more items into the show to enhance their booth space.” 

My Take:  There’s no greater pain point than drayage for exhibitors because it is unpredictable, often arbitrary (i.e. special handling), and expensive. Eliminating two of the three is encouraging. Hopefully, GSC’s won’t go in search of other hidden fees to offset revenue but will adjust the upfront fee to find a financial balance for all parties. 

Electrical

The next service exhibitors had expressed the most frustration with was electrical pricing and what exhibitors called “hidden costs,” aka, charges for extension cords, materials and labor. Not only did exhibitors find these expenses difficult to budget for but also to review and audit on post-show invoices.

In response, NAB Show Cares unveiled No Surprise Electrical Outlet Pricing, which offers the outlet, materials and floor work labor for one price. 

This change means the price of an outlet will include the materials and floor work labor associated with the installation and removal of that outlet. 

My Take:  See the link above for pricing comparisons. Yes, it benefits the smaller exhibitor, but those savings may not be realized by larger exhibitors, especially those who are “on their game.” The predictability is a bonus along with the inclusion of materials, but only time will tell if the pricing menu is fair to all parties. 

Rigging Services

A big pain point for exhibitors was not so much the expense of rigging crews to hang truss and lights but more the added costs of rigging supplies… The Inclusive Rigging Pricing addresses this problem by including rigging supplies with the rigging crew rate, which will now make it easier for exhibitors to review invoices and budget for such a major show expense. Additionally, NAB Show has always offered a rigging/hanging sign crew for a single blended rate with no additional overtime charges.  Exhibitor reaction to this rate structure has been very positive, so it will remain in place.

According to the NAB Show, Rigging & Hanging Signs represent 20% of the NAB Exhibitors’ overall collective spend on show services – even though just 400 out of 1800 exhibitors use the service. 

My Take: This seems like a logical extension of the electrical changes. Technically, it’s a price reduction since it now includes rigging supplies, which may reduce those situations where the riggers “reject” the cabling and other hardware provided by the manufacturer. That’s not to say some hardware shouldn’t be replaced since it doesn’t meet basic safety requirements, but there’s always been a suspicion that hardware gets rejected simply to add to the final bill, particularly when the hardware has been used successfully at other facilities.  

Conclusion

Could the NAB Show Cares model mark the beginning of an industry-wide trend? According to BJ Enright, president and CEO of Tradeshow Logic, “I hope that exhibitors and show organizers really look at, talk about and figure out what’s right for their show and what needs to be changed (and) while what we’re doing for NAB may not work for every show, there are solutions that can be developed and customized for every event.” 

I couldn’t agree more. 

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

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Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, and custom exhibit solutions, including SuperNova LED Lightboxes. 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.

Photos of Recent LED Fabric Lightboxes

October 10th, 2018 COMMENTS

Recent Trade Show Lightbox Trends

We sometimes forget (or simply don’t recognize) how quickly trends change on the trade show floor. LED Fabric Lightboxes have been around for 5-6 years. Crude versions with muddy low-resolution graphics and hinky lights a little longer.

2018 has become “The Unofficial Year of Lightboxes.” Probably 65% of the exhibits we ship have LED lights — in a tower, backwall, counter, accent, or stem light. It’s at the point where it’s almost jarring not to see a lightbox or LED lights on an exhibit. Not all all lightboxes are equal, but I’ll save that debate for another blog post. What is true is that the fabric, the printing, and the LED lights have gotten better, depending the source/supplier, BUT it pays to do your homework.

  • How new are the dye-sublimation printers? The technology is changing rapidly
  • Does the supplier actually dye-sublimate the image or do they print directly to the fabric (cheaper, more fragile, and wrinkles)?
  • Are the lights and transformers UL approved? 
  • What is the quality of the fabric? Think H & M vs. J. Jill as an clothing example. 

Below are some examples of recent SuperNova LED lightboxes, both purchase and rental. Sadly, LED lightboxes don’t photograph well with smartphones or point and shoot cameras. You see “hotspots,” and the colors are never as vibrant as with the naked eye. However, that won’t stop us from sharing. 🙂

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

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

Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, and custom exhibit solutions, including SuperNova LED Lightboxes. 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.

An Interview with Jim Shelman, GM of Classic Rental Solutions

October 2nd, 2018 COMMENTS

Every week, Tim Patterson, a.k.a. Tradeshow Guy, conducts an interview on his Monday Morning Coffee video/audio broadcast. Sometimes it’s someone from the trade show community, but more often it’s an expert on various business topics. It’s my go-to stop every Monday morning. 

This week Tim interviewed our own Jim Shelman, the GM of Classic Rental Solutions. They chatted about rental trends, the evolving reasons to rent, and why purchase and rentals are not so different. The interview starts at 4:15. Enjoy!