Trade Show Exhibit Marketing Tips and Advice

Make your trade show plan TWICE as productive

Posted on Thu, Oct 01, 2015

The 2016 trade show season is upon us, so if you are planning to attend, sponsor, or exhibit at a trade show and haven’t started planning yet, it’s time to start. Trade shows are a big marketing investment and meticulous planning is required in order to make it worth the time and money. A successful trade show plan needs to be started at least six months in advance of the show, and in some cases, depending on the scale of the show or your level of participation like speaking engagements, planning may need to kick-off a year or more in advance.

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Topics: trade show plan, trade show leads, trade show booth, Trade Show Ideas, trade show tips, trade show results

Five Hidden Values of a Freelance Marketing Strategist

Posted on Tue, Sep 29, 2015

Marketing strategists and freelance content writers are amazing tools for small or medium-sized businesses that need to expand their media exposure, reach a new audience, promote an award they have received, or accomplish other marketing goals. When companies have a need for tradeshow marketing, they have two choices. They can use their internal marketing department (or even establish one) or they can hire a freelance marketing expert. The decision usually depends on budget and resources, human and otherwise. Both internal and external marketing professionals can do a smashing job for a company. In general, however, marketing strategists, by virtue of their position, can bring something even more valuable to the table, without charging an extra cent! 

A New Perspective. Employees in an internal marketing department are employed by the company and see everything from the company perspective. They may be there to grow their career and become a lifelong employee or just as likely be there for the paycheck and be biding their time for a better opportunity. An outside force like a freelance marketing strategist sees things objectively, and from a different angle. In their work, they’ve had access to many different types of corporate cultures, leadership styles and marketing strategies. They’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be surprised if they make you look at a situation in a completely different way. It’s part of the hidden value of having a marketing strategist. 

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Topics: trade show booth, Trade Show Ideas, trade show tips, 20x20 rental exhibits, trade show messaging

What do trade shows and websites have in common?

Posted on Thu, Sep 24, 2015

Planning for a trade show doesn’t start a month in advance. It doesn’t start two months in advance, either. In fact, it can take anywhere from six months to a year of planning to do it right. Trade show marketing is a very strategic process. You have to determine your strategy and messaging and make sure everything relates back to your business goals. This includes all of your online and offline promotions as well as any handouts and giveaways you distribute. It's no simple task, and not every trade show is the same, but in this post, we'll teach you how to apply an inbound approach to your trade show marketing efforts.

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Topics: Trade Show Marketing Tips, tradeshow marketing, tradeshow success, tradeshow checklist

CEIR's Predict Conference Draws Record Attendance to Chicago

Posted on Tue, Sep 22, 2015

A great article from TSNN about the growth of our industry:  More than 150 trade show leaders, industry suppliers, investment bankers, media and economists gathered last week at the JW Marriott in Chicago to look deep into a crystal ball for the Center for Exhibition Industry Research’s Predict: Annual Exhibition Industry Outlook Conference. Britton Jones, president and CEO of Business Journals Inc. and chairman of CEIR, greeted everyone and said, “Thank you for taking the time to be here in Chicago for our biggest event yet.”The purpose of CEIR Predict is exactly what it sounds like; the sessions focused on where the industry is now and where it’s headed in the future.

First to take the stage to discuss the “Global Economic Outlook and Impact on the Exhibition Industry” was Amir Sufi, Chicago Board of Trade professor of Finance and co-director, Initiative on Global Markets, University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Sufi focused primarily on household spending as an indicator of the overall health of the U.S. economy. Pointing to the years leading up to the 2008 start of the recession, he said, “There was a four-letter word to describe it – debt.”

Even though the recession is firmly in the rearview mirror, Sufi said what he still was concerned about was the recovery has been very slow going. “We saw a very weak recovery in household spending,” he added.

Sufi also talked about two other issues that raised red flags for him – a lot of people currently were buying autos with subprime auto loans and student debt was skyrocketing, up to $1.4 trillion last year from $300 billion in 2004.

There were some positive economic trends as well, though, such as wages have started to increase for the first time in a while, and lower gas prices also were helping out.

In the global economy, the biggest problem that Sufi pointed to was slowing growth in China, dropping from 7 percent annually to around 3-4 percent currently.

Even so, he added that he was “pretty positive” about China in the long run, but not in the next two or three years.

Within the trade show industry, CEIR President and CEO Brian Casey said the first half of 2015 started off strong, with growth in the CEIR Index, which uses four different metrics reported by shows, increasing to 4.5 percent in the first quarter and 3.8 percent in the second quarter. The second half of the year, however, is predicted to be a little slower, with overall growth for the year ending up around 4 percent, he added, with 2016 and 2017 seeing even bigger increases.

For the next session, “Head or Tail Winds?”, Nancy Walsh, CEO North America, Reed Exhibition,s polled the audience on how many were positive or negative about where the industry was headed right now, and most, by far, said they were positive.

Some headwinds that CEIR Predict attendees were experiencing involved slowdowns in business the second half of this year, grappling with downturns in attendance in government meetings and energy markets seeing losses.

That evening, everyone headed to a networking reception at Workspring, a “designed environment that promotes well-being and provides a unique venue for meetings, training, professional development, business event and co-working.”

The next morning everyone gathered again for another session - “What We See – Change!” led by Marc Pomerleau, FreemanXP’s vice president of strategy.

He pointed out that change was occurring all around at lightning speed, some of which was being driven by new technology, including 3-D printing, flexible displays and driverless cars, to name a few. Change also was occurring in societal trends, such as 1 in 6 people have met and married from online.

Pomerleau also said that “marketing will become hyper personalized”, with people expecting to be engaged in a more authentic way.

The Internet also has opened up the world to a new way of gaining knowledge, as well as leveling the playing field in which anyone can be an influencer.

Even with the power of virtual, Pomerleau quoted Will Dean from Tough Mudders, where people gather to race through mud-filled obstacle courses, as saying “Experience is the new luxury good”; meaning people still want to meet face to face.

He added trade show organizers should consider how they could create a unique and memorable experience at their own events.

The next speaker, Bruce Mau, co-founder of Massive Change Network, talked about how there’s that moment when the Disney parks open and all the kids line up excited beyond belief - then the rope drops, and they all run into the park. “What’s your rope drop?” he asked the room.

Mau encouraged CEIR Predict attendees to rethink the design of their shows and try and engage people using all of the senses. “You have the opportunity to immerse someone in an experience,” he added. “We have to think about our business in new ways. Our real product is memories, not booths.”

David Saef, executive vice president, Strategy & Marketworks, GES, led the next session – “Innovating Brand Activation at Trade Shows” – and focused on how shows and exhibitors worked together to have a successful event.

Michael Glatts, senior director senior director Global Congress Lead, Pfizer, said of his company’s presence at shows: “I want to amaze the attendees. I want to blow their minds.”

Karen Gebhart, vice president of business development for the Helicopter Association International, said collaboration with exhibitors was key and the earlier it starts, the better.

She advised to “be careful of new technology” because sometimes it’s a moving target, but added that the best Wi-Fi for the lowest cost should be just a “fundamental” part of any show experience.

The last session of the day was moderated by Don Pazour, CEO of Access Intelligence, and focused on “Business Models of the Future.”

Galen Poss, vice chairman of dmg::events, said, “We are not in the trade show industry, we are in the face-to-face connection industry.” He added that the only thing any trade show really owns is databases, a brand and customer loyalty.

“You have to constantly deliver a quality product,” Poss said.

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, said, “It’s not (just) about selling exhibit space anymore. (People) want a different experience.”

Greg Topalian, president of LeftField Media, agreed that change was coming, adding, “I think we should be the disruptors, not let it just happen to us.”

As far as how the future of the trade show industry looks overall, Mau summed it up best: “For me, the opportunity couldn’t be bigger. The more distance created by technology, the more you want to be together.”

Guest Blogger:  Industry News. Copyright © 2015 TSNN. - See more at:

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Topics: trade show plan, trade show trends, Trade Show News

4 Simple Phrases That Advance The Sales Process

Posted on Wed, Sep 16, 2015

Call it “sales.” Call it “client conversion.” Call it whatever you want. But if you're a salesperson, you’re going to be in front of prospective clients all day and you want to say and do the right things to get them to trust and want to work with you. For more than 20 years I’ve been teaching professionals, small business owners, and salespeople how to get more new clients by being transparent. You have a process, do you not, to convert a prospect to a client? You know the questions you want to ask, right? You know the things you want to say? You know how many steps it’s going to take and how many phone calls? If you're planning on winging it, don't. We all need to have a process.

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The Future of Trade Show Events - download your copy today!

Posted on Tue, Sep 15, 2015

Your New Rules for Event Technologies

Event planners have the daunting task of staying current on tech. How can you ensure that your event uses new and emerging trends to meet the preferences of event participants?

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Topics: trade show plan, trade show growth, Trade Show Ideas, trade show advice, trade show tips

75 Tips to Generate Sales Leads from a Trade Show

Posted on Thu, Sep 10, 2015

In the internet age, trade shows shouldn't be your sole source of leads. An ultra-targeted LinkedIn saved search, group of Google alerts, or smart CRM with built-in prospecting capabilities can deliver good fit opportunities to you on a regular basis -- without you ever having to step foot outside the office. But most every industry has at least one event that is the event. Everyone who's anyone attends, and that includes your customers, competitors, and a heaping helping of potential buyers. Your company simply must be represented on the vendor floor -- no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

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How to Pick the Perfect Booth for Your Company

Posted on Thu, Sep 03, 2015

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Topics: trade show booth, trade show tips, trade show exhibits, booth design, trade show displays, trade show display

How do you attract leads

Posted on Tue, Sep 01, 2015

Recently we sent out an email blast through a trade publication to market our exhibit services. The numbers were there: 50,000 of our target market of marketers.  But of the 50,000 emails that went out, we received two hits and one appears to be going nowhere.  Now we did our homework and due diligence. We created an ad that provided several solutions and we added a call to action so that a person could get information or simply download a catalog for free.  So WHY did we not attract the number of leads we wanted? 

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Topics: trade show plan, trade show leads, Trade Show Marketing, tradeshow marketing, trade show tips

5 Innovative Ways To Be Remembered At Your Next Trade Show

Posted on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

1. Tell a Story- From the time we were little kids we learned through the stories we were told. Nothing has changed.  Share with your attendees a story that illustrates how and why your company can make a difference. You are now showing, rather than telling. Some call this is a “case study”.  I call it a story.  We all love stories. 

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Topics: trade show plan, trade show leads, trade show growth, Trade Show Ideas, trade show tips

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