Trade Show Exhibit Marketing Tips and Advice

Exhibition Marketing ideas for Beginners

Posted on Tue, Nov 24, 2015

Trade shows and exhibit booths are the perfect vehicle in so many ways when it comes to promoting your company and snagging more customers. With your exhibition materials are created you will feel poised, ready for the action and the floods of delegates that will stampede their way toward your booth. Except they won’t. There is no tougher an audience than the hordes of delegates, veterans of exhibitions from years gone by. The hardened delegate is constantly looking for something new, something big and YOU need to be the next big thing.

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Topics: trade show plan, trade show booth, Trade Show Ideas, tradeshow marketing, trade show tips

Five Things to Look for in an Event App

Posted on Thu, Nov 19, 2015

Congratulations! You have just received approval to use a mobile event application at your upcoming company conference. But beyond a budget, you haven’t a clue where to begin. Event apps have evolved into so much more than a digital agenda, but with all the bells and whistles that event app providers are offering, how do you discern between necessity and frivolity?

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

5 Effective Sales Prospecting Techniques You Should Be Using

Posted on Tue, Nov 17, 2015

I am actually making it SIX - the last one being - exhibit at a trade show event!  But this is a great article with some information you as a sales person can use.  Though many salespeople despise prospecting, it’s an important part of sales. Unfortunately, the majority of reps use ineffective and outdated sales prospecting techniques, instead of the effective practices that could actually lead to a higher volume of better qualified leads (and make them more partial to prospecting). Just like every other aspect of the sales process, you need to put in the effort and focus required. This is the only way to prospect efficiently so that you don’t waste your time on unqualified leads that aren't suited for your product or service. Use these five modern sales prospecting techniques to help you better find leads who you can serve, engage, and eventually, convert to customers.

1) Make warm calls.

Your initial contact with new prospects doesn't have to be -- and in fact, shouldn't be -- completely cold. It can be incredibly useful to warm up your prospects before making the initial contact. You can increase your chances of a warmer reception by familiarizing the prospect with your name or your company affiliation before you make your first call or send your first email. A few ideas as to how to achieve this: get introduced by a shared connection, comment on a piece of content the buyer shared on social media, or "like" a status update or job change announcement on LinkedIn.

2) Become a thought leader.

By establishing yourself as a thought leader or subject matter expert in your industry, you can establish your credibility and trust before reaching out to new prospects. Ways to establish yourself as a thought leader include starting a blog, writing guest articles for industry publications, and speaking at trade shows and conferences. This also helps you familiarize your leads with your name before the initial contact, which was discussed in the first technique.

3) Be a trusted resource.

To be successful as a salesperson, you have to do more than sell. You have to be your clients’ go-to person and support them after you’ve closed the sale. By changing your position from salesperson of products and services to a provider of solutions, you can increase your chance of getting referrals from happy customers. Draw on these referrals when it comes time for you to introduce yourself to a new prospect. When you become a resource for your clients, before and after the sale, they’ll remember your help and will be willing to help you in return.

4) Reference a script.

For new salespeople, referencing a basic script while prospecting can help them reduce uncomfortable pauses, use the right language, and respond to common objections. Experienced, seasoned sales representatives often recommend not using a script in order to sound more natural during conversations. However, some do still use a script -- it’s just so ingrained in their minds that it comes out sounding natural and unrehearsed. But whether you use a script or not, make sure to actively listen to your prospects and customize your conversation based on their needs.

5) Don’t sell.

Prospecting is the first step in selling, but in and of itself, it is not selling. It’s about sourcing leads who can then be qualified and entered into the sales funnel. Only once these steps have taken place can selling begin.

If you want to be successful in today's sales environment, you need to focus on building relationships while prospecting. Start selling too quickly and you’ll put undue pressure on the prospect. Building a foundation of trust can help you and the prospect become more comfortable with each other, so once selling techniques come into the picture, they’ll be more effective.

Don't just stick to the same old sales prospecting playbook because it's what you've always done. Practice different techniques until you find the right mix of modern and effective sales techniques that effectively support your prospecting efforts and your sales goals.

Guest Blogger - Matthew Cook.  Matthew has over 20 years of sales and sales management experience. In addition to being the founder of SalesHub, he is the founder of SalesForce Search, which was #4 on Profit Magazine's Hot 50 list as one of the fastest growing companies in Canada. When he’s not helping companies improve their revenue he trains and competes in half ironman distance triathlons to “relax.”

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Topics: Trade Show Marketing, face-to-face marketing, tradeshow success, trade show prospecting

11 Sales Questions That Will Uncover Any Prospect's Need - even at a trade show!

Posted on Thu, Nov 12, 2015

When you’re qualifying a prospect, what’s the most important thing you need to understand? Is it budget? Authority? Timeline? Goals?  All these things are certainly important. But the most important information you can get -- and what you should focus your qualification on -- is need.  Without need, there is no sale. Your prospect can have all the money in the world, have the final say on all purchasing decisions, and be ready to act now. But if your product doesn’t solve a problem she’s trying to address, your deal is dead in the water. So it’s necessary to gain a deep understanding of your prospect’s need. But what does that look like? At what point can you confidently say you understand a need and begin to formulate a plan to address it?  You’ll need to understand need at two levels: what your decision maker or other major stakeholders hope to get out of the purchase, and how those goals fit into company goals on a grander scale. 

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Topics: trade show advice, trade show success, marketing messages, Trade Show News

Need Marketing Inspiration? Here Are 12 Places to Find Great Examples

Posted on Thu, Nov 05, 2015

In the marketing world, like most facets of life and business, there's a lot of pressure to come up with original ideas.  Trouble is, with seemingly millions of ideas being executed on a daily basis, it can be tough to cook up something truly original -- and that's okay. An idea doesn't have to be unique to be great. In fact, there are some really awesome examples of great marketing out there that you can lean on to inspire your next project. (Austin Kleon calls this concept "stealing like an artist."). But finding these examples isn't always easy. That's where we come in. We've collected 12 places on the web where you can browse and search for examples of great marketing -- including website design, design in general, email marketing, and social media pages. Check them out, bookmark them, and use them to inspire your own marketing strategy.

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To exhibit or not to exhibit - is that the question?

Posted on Thu, Oct 29, 2015

Finding the balance between a robust show schedule and keeping your budget in check comes down to having the right information. If you’re not sure where to begin or already have an overwhelming work load, we can help. Our knowledgeable staff can quickly gather and analyze information to help you maximize your marketing investments.  If you’re looking for new or additional events for your calendar, search for prospective trade shows by checking with industry associations, publications, or at (Trade Show News Network). Create a comparison check list on each potential event. Show organizers can provide a wealth of information on attendee profiles such as decision-making authority, job titles, and industry affiliation. Find out what speaking opportunities would be available along with media coverage at the event and sponsorships. Take a look at who else is exhibiting - competitors, partners, distributors. There could be opportunities to expand your exposure with a partner or distributor. And if you’re not already signed-up, find out about exhibit space availability along with costs. Be sure to keep this checklist on all your existing and potential events so that they can be further analyzed and compared as part of your overall marketing plan. Once you’ve committed to a show, don’t miss a single opportunity to leverage your exposure. From large projects such as creating a media kit to small details like writing the company description for the show guide, everything you do builds towards creating a well-integrated presence and a successful event. In addition, create a well-defined trade show strategy that articulates your positioning, key messages and target audience. This strategy will be the basis for evaluating if future events are a good match for your organization.

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Use this at your next event - 7 Signs Your Lead Is a Terrible Fit

Posted on Tue, Oct 27, 2015

With your 2016 marketing budgets being scrutinized, the importance of maximizing the return on your trade show investment is more important than ever. Trade show expense is the number two advertising expense for many companies, so you want to know how to get the most bang for your exhibiting buck.  Start with understanding that some leads might NOT be a good fit for you and while you are in your trade show booth - focus on seeing these signs:

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Pressure-sensitive technology amplifies trade show flooring

Posted on Thu, Oct 22, 2015

Such a cool idea!  As a byproduct of the digital age, you no longer have to envision walking a mile in someone else’s shoes to understand them. Technological innovations have given companies insight into customer behavior from data viewed on the tablet or smartphone resting at the palm of their hand. In the case of Scanalytics Inc., the data gathered from its flagship product, SoleSensor, is completely anonymous. The company’s goal is not to identify unique users, according to Chief Marketing Officer Kristi Anderson.

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Topics: Trade Show Ideas, trade show trends, trade show tips

Where do you get ideas for your trade show graphics?

Posted on Tue, Oct 20, 2015

If you are like us - a picture says a million words.  We therefore focus on trying to find graphics that match and communicate the words we are trying to say.  People don't just want to see words but something that offers them an experience and when it comes to tradeshows, your booth can easily get lost in all the visual clutter on the show floor. Attendees passing by in the aisles are bombarded with colors, lights, and marketing, so it is up to you and your team to think through your messaging and branding to stand out to your target audience as they pass by. Work on creating powerful messages that speak to their specific needs and get the message across quickly and easily.  Here are some FREE stock photo sites that can help you develop those creative graphics:

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Topics: graphics for a booth, trade show graphics, trade show tips, marketing messages, graphics for an exhibit, trade show messaging

The Next Frontier in Digital Marketing for Trade Shows

Posted on Tue, Oct 13, 2015

Conventional marketing wisdom tells us “go where your audience is.” Recently, Facebook announced 1 billion users logged on in a single day, and earlier this year, global internet usage on mobile devices surpassed internet usage on desktops or laptops for the first time. These signs make it clear trade show planners and marketers need to invest more online.  Beyond email marketing campaigns and social media pages, trade show planners and marketers have a wealth of digital marketing tactics available to them. Many are adding them to their strategies to engage with their audiences and find new prospects. Tactics include social media and pay-per-click advertising, retargeting campaigns, mobile advertising, remarketing campaigns, gamification and many more.

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising can be an easy first step in adding digital tactics to a marketing strategy. Sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram offer platforms for placing advertising messages to targeted, customizable audiences. The marketer controls a daily budget and can edit or stop the ad at any time.  MINExpo INTERNATIONAL is a quadrennial mega show held in Las Vegas. Ahead of its September 2016 event, it’s using two types of Facebook advertising.

The first is a Page Likes campaign aimed primarily at international prospects and designed to increase the number of people with whom it can share its organic content.  A Website Clicks campaign to drive traffic directly to the MINExpo website to register will follow early next year.

“With four years between shows, social media is a way we can stay connected to our audience and find new people who have entered the industry since the last show,” said Moya Phelleps, senior vice president at NMA.  In the first three months, MINExpo’s Page Likes campaign increased its Facebook page’s international audience by 25 percent.

Instagram is emerging as a strong platform for marketers as well. Nielsen Brand Effect measured 400 campaigns globally and found ad recall from sponsored posts on Instagram was 2.8 times higher than Nielsen’s norms for online advertising. In addition, GlobalWebIndex found 53 percent of Instagram users follow brands (the highest of any social network) and 44 percent conduct brand research on the network. Because 70 percent of Instagram’s audience is under 35 - it could be the right place to target a younger audience.

Retargeting Campaigns

Retargeting campaigns focus on potential attendees who have visited the show site and left. Using a retargeting vendor, marketers show web banner ads to these people on other websites in order to drive them back to the show website and convert them into attendees. It has a high ROI because the audience is more engaged than a “cold” audience viewing a web banner ad placed on a website.

Traction, a digital marketing conference for entrepreneurs, employs a number of digital tactics including an ad retargeting campaign to drive attendance to the conference. It used a third-party URL shortener that ties any content it shares to its ad retargeting campaign.

The retarget links enabled Traction cofounder, Lloyed Lobo, to promote the conference by sharing interesting content from others. Lobo, who runs growth at and is also cofounder of Boast Capital, managed the process. “Eighty percent of the time we share interesting content across our social channels that educates our target audience on how to become better at what they do.”

The retargeting campaign is not a standalone tactic and supports Traction’s robust email marketing campaign.

“Our last conference sold out 45 days ahead of schedule,” Lobo said.

Additional Options

There are many other tactics worth testing. Mobile advertising uses predictive data to target your audiences when they use their mobile devices. Remarketing campaigns combat “empty cart syndrome” by emailing people who stopped in the middle of the registration process. Gamification through contest and trivia can creatively engage audiences.

Digital technology has revolutionized the way planners can market trade shows. It has broken open a world of possibility for connecting with target audiences. All this possibility comes with a learning curve. Show marketers who overcome that challenge and test new tactics can find success in raising brand awareness, maintaining brand relevance, finding new audiences and converting more prospects into attendees.

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Topics: Trade Show Marketing, Trade Show Marketing Tips, tradeshow marketing, trade show messaging

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