Want Better Trade Show Results? – Expand Your Market


trade show results

 

Albert Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.

This is especially true for most companies that exhibit at trade shows.  We see the same programs, going to the same shows, with the same booth, and then realizing they aren’t getting different trade show results.  So we put together 5 steps to exploring, evaluating, and trying new events that may drastically improve your company’s trade show results.

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Trade Show Staffing Essentials

Trade Show Staffing Essentials

Despite your best efforts, poor staffers can sink your trade show ship. 85% of an exhibitor’s success hinges on the performance of its booth staff. Despite its importance only 26 percent of exhibitors conduct trade show staff training for all or most of their events! We put together several trade show staffing essentials that are necessary for your team to be effective at your next trade show.  Continue reading

4 Ways to Keep Your Exhibit Fresh on a Budget

For a number of reasons it may not be the best time for a new trade show exhibit build. You may feel your existing properties are looking worn or additional parts and pieces may have clouded your message over the years. This is a problem many companies face and they wonder how they can reinvent their trade show exhibits. We put together a list of cost effective ways to keep your exhibit fresh with your annual budget in mind. Continue reading

How to Achieve the Results You Really Want From Your Next Exhibit Design

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Ready to build your new property? A little communication goes a long way.

It’s finally time: senior management have green-lit your plan for a new exhibit design, and you couldn’t be more excited. Time to write and send that RFP you’ve been crafting mentally for months. But as you hit “send” and await responses, the nervousness sets in. How can you really be sure you’ll get exactly the exhibit design you’re hoping for out of this process? Will your partner truly understand your vision and bring it to life?
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Success is More than just the Exhibit: Making a Pre-Show Game Plan

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Exhibiting at a trade show is one of the best strategies to market your products and services to a large, specified group of potential customers. Trade show exhibits give you a unique sales opportunity that can help you generate new leads, check out the competition, get publicity, and do some networking. We’ve covered that subject in our “How to Justify Your Trade Show Program” blog entry 6 months ago. The following are our thoughts on how to maximize the impact of your trade show program on important attendees. As with anything marketable, the key is maximizing the time and money you spend on targeted attendees. But before you accomplish anything, you must plan carefully and promote your presence even before the show.

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Exhibit Design Quick Fix: Easily Customize Your Exhibit Graphics for Multiple Shows (with Video)

You may find multiple trade shows valuable to your marketing program and end up exhibiting more than once per year. Sometimes the attendee demographics aren’t the same at every show, which means your exhibit may not benefit from a single message or theme. Graphics are an important part in this situation and there are a few design solutions to allow easy changes to your rental or custom exhibit. In the video below, we explain how magnetic backing on graphics has helped exhibitors change up their messaging for multi-show programs.

As you can see, portable exhibits are not the only ones that can benefit from magnetic graphics. Metal structures like reception desks, towers, signs and wall panels for rental or custom exhibits of any size can incorporate this solution. Better yet, the printed quality of your graphics isn’t negatively affected this way.

If you exhibit at multiple trade shows a year or need a design that is customizable throughout your contract, ask your exhibit builder about magnetic graphics.

Notorious ROI: Where to Find the Numbers That Actually Prove Your Trade Show Program’s Value

ROI pie chart

“Besides expenses, what does your trade show program bring us?” If you’ve ever been asked a similar question in a budget meeting, chances are you may have struggled to come up with a numerical answer.  Trade show ROI is notoriously difficult to quantify, but with the right metrics and measurement strategies you can put together the numbers needed to help you analyze your exhibit program’s effectiveness.

Which metrics you use of course depends on which goals your company has for exhibiting at trade shows.  Below, find a breakdown of different ROI metrics and how to implement strategies to collect those measurements.

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Quietly Green

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Green and eco-friendly have been buzz words in many industries, including ours, for years.  They’re words that get thrown around design meetings, marketing analyses and on the trade show floor itself quite often.  You don’t need to be reminded about its existence; you need a reminder of why it’s important and where to get inspiration.

Vendors and exhibitors alike have expanded their green products and have controlled their costs.  Shows like Greenbuild have made environmental responsibility a requirement for exhibitors.  Green is not just a fad or trend, but an ever expanding cornerstone of our industry.  We can agree that this is all good news not just for tax benefits, cost saving or corporate image, but also for the overall health of employees, customers and the world in general.

Influenced by our long-time clients, EDE has been quietly taking action since 1994 when a client first indicated that this was a need for their events.  It has never been a major part of our marketing, but we realized we’ve been holding out on you.  Starting this month, you can find green tips, eco-friendly client and vendor highlights and inspiration by following us on G+, our new hub for helping the promotion of environmentally sound principles within the exhibit business.

Exhibit Design Quick Fix: Color

Examples of color design for trade show exhibits

There are standard colors for every industry and every brand has its own marketing department-approved shades.  But generally speaking, there are universally expected colors such as blues, grays, white and pops of red.  These are safe and work just fine, but we like it when our clients go for something bolder because it shows guts and a personality that speaks to their target market.

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Level Up with Gamification in Your Exhibit

Interface's gamified showroom.

Gamification has been around the marketing world for quite some time.  Gone are the days of gimmicky games based on Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy, instead games are now created to be relevant and targeted and help deliver defined marketing messages.  Marketers are finding that gamifying a brand helps influence behavior in environments like trade shows, mobile events and experiential settings.  The benefits of gamification can be numerous and typically include:

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A Social Media Road Map

social media intro2

You certainly wouldn’t exhibit at a trade show or send an RFP response without making sure your brand, company personality and purpose were effectively communicated.  It’s the same reason you can’t show up to the social media party without an appropriate game plan.  Just like there isn’t one booth design that suits all exhibitors, there isn’t one voice that translates across all social media platforms.  Below is a breakdown of how we communicate differently through each social media outlet.

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How to Draw Attendees into Your Exhibit: Lighting

Typically trade show exhibit layouts require attendees to walk in from the aisles in order to engage with booth staff or product displays.  Many of you have already learned that funneling people inside the exhibits helps give them a sense of privacy and more focused attention.  Common ways to do this within exhibits might include relying on graphics, physical structures, placement of products or even music. But one trick is a little more subtle and still effective.  Thoughtful lighting not only draws attendees’ eyes to important features but can also lead them to important locations within the booth.

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The 68% of Attendees Who are Likely to Forget You

Mood Media's 2012 NRF custom exhibit.

At any given time, nearly 70% of trade show attendees potentially have no idea you’re exhibiting.  According to Exhibitor Online and Expoweb, 38% of attendees are first timers while another 30% of an average trade show’s visitors are considered regulars.  These are two segments of the crowd that can easily miss your exhibit if you do not regularly update it.

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Transport Attendees Away from the Trade Show

Yale's custom exhibit at Promat 2013

A major drawback to trade show exhibits is that you can typically only display a product, not its contextual usefulness.  With all of the distractions and unrealistic settings at trade shows, it can be hard for attendees to make an accurate mental connection to the product.  Taking an attendee away from those distractions and putting them into a real life environment helps them focus on how your products meet their needs, which in turn makes your products stand out.

The good news is that you don’t have to actually take attendees out of the convention center.  This can be accomplished in a number of ways with visual, auditory and emotional cues created by the experience within the space.  Even without the ability to recreate large or out-of-element settings to scale, your booth design and fabrication can mimic reality well enough to mentally place attendees in the time and place they will use your product.

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Streamline Your Exhibit’s Video Projections

Interface unveiled their sustainable product lined called Net Effect at this year’s NeoCon in Chicago.  For the debut, they wanted the focus of the new space to be videos playing on monitors and projectors displaying a narrative of related images and text, all tirelessly timed to atmospheric music.  The displays, which spanned over three walls, set up a stage that pulled in attendees to spread a powerful message.

While EDE handled the fabrication of the showroom from setting up the projectors to moving existing plumbing, we collaborated with Ogilvy & Mather to create the graphics display that revolved around timing and had to be seamless.  However, the vision created two main challenges that inspired more thoughtful implementation.

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How to Plan a Trade Show Exhibit

Developing a trade show program can be overwhelming. To make things easier for you, here is a universal guide on what it takes to get an exhibit built. Each section represents a chronological step that you are involved in. Find explanations and tips for each step below.

Trade Show Blog Topics 2

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