Trade Show Display Marketing Tips and Advice

How To Measure Trade Show Success

Posted on Tue, Sep 03, 2019

According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, more than $24 billion is spent annually by U.S. exhibitors on trade show displays, yet 70 percent оf these еxhіbіtоrѕ set no ѕресіfіс оbjесtіvеѕ or goals fоr their exhibits. In 2019, event marketing teams should find ways to become goal-driven, and metrics are the place to start.  There are two types of metrics to utilize: hard metrics and soft metrics. The parameters attached to hard metrics serve as strong indicators and imply action items. Soft metrics are all about engagement and awareness. For example, the number of likes, comments and shares on social media are soft metrics. 

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Topics: trade show success, effective trade show business, tradeshow success, trade show costs, trade show selling tips, trade show roi

12 Essential Things to Do in January to Beat Your 2017 Sales Quota

Posted on Tue, Jan 17, 2017

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Topics: trade show plan, Trade Show Marketing, trade show success, trade show selling

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

Gamify my Trade Show Booth

Posted on Thu, Sep 04, 2014

It used to be that a great personality was enough to capture the attention of a trade show visitor. But, what worked once may not be applicable today.  We are faced with a fast changing demographic of trade show attendee. The traditional baby boomers are quickly being replaced by GenXers and Millennials who are different in many ways from their elders. They are more demanding, more skeptical and more tech savvy. Attempting to capture their attention in ways that once worked for boomers simply no longer will work. One of the techniques that is growing in popularity is the use of games. While games such as a putting contest or a draw have been used for years, today’s visitors demand more from the activities that attract them. The rock group Abba said it best in the refrain to their hit song “The Name of the Game”.

  1. What's the name of the game
  2. Does it mean anything to you
  3. What's the name of the game
  4. Can you feel it the way I do

What Abba taught fans in the 70’s is still applicable to the use of games at a trade show booth. Here are some of the things you should consider as you Gamify:

1) Keep it relevant

When choosing a game make sure its challenging enough to keep the visitor’s competitive nature piqued. The first step is to understand the demographics of your visitors.  If you are noticing that you are attracting more GenXers and Millennials than check out the games they play. Ninety percent of apps are game oriented and that’s what your trade show game is competing with.

Your visitors can participate in a timed game where scores are compared to other visitors or they can play against an unknown competitor on the internet. 

2)  Make sure that the message matters

One of the problems many exhibitors have faced in the past is that the technology or in our case games can be so much fun and interesting that all the visitors remember is the game. Before choosing a game make sure you can articulate the message you want your visitor to walk away with.  The purpose of the game is to attract attention and engage visitors who you ultimately hope will become loyal customers. To ensure the message is received, the game should make reference your company and the features of your product. Perhaps you can have them move along an electronic corridor where every door features some product information. Or, if they are doing something hands-on like assembling a product and competing against other visitors, then the product needs to be one of yours.

3) Tie it into the show

Because shows are filled with interesting ideas you don’t want to confuse your visitors with ideas that add to the overload of information they already have. To avoid this simple tie-in your game to what’s happening at the show. Is the show themed? Who are the key-note speakers? What is interesting about the location of the show (city and country)? By researching all the stimuli the visitor is being exposed to you can reveal interesting ideas that you can use to Gamify.

4) Get inspired

The world is filled with wonderful ideas. When you are looking for something of interest tap into your past and present. Your past will include games that amused you as a child or young adult such as Monopoly, Etch-a-Sketch and Balderdash. Each of these games can be used as they were intended or in abbreviated forms. The present is filled with games and reality television. The Survivor series comes to mind instantly but don’t forget Storage Wars or The Bachelor. There are also countless game shows like Who Wants to be a Millionaire that can be easily adapted into an interesting game. Don’t forget the world of digital games where you can find thousands of interesting ideas to tap into.   

5) Get your staff on board

One obstacle to the success of a game is your booth staff. They either get so involved with the game they forget why they are really there or ignore visitors who are waiting in line to play. The trick is training. Gamification’s success lies in a harmonious integration of the game and your human resources. Training ensures your staff knows why you have chosen a game, what you expect from it and what skills they need to ensure that your investment pays off.

6) Test before a major roll-out

Everything in marketing involves a gamble. We do our best to understand the demographic of our visitor and what will attract their attention. We make an educated guess then test the initiative to see if we are on track. Sometimes we hit the mark initially, more often our marketing initiatives need a bit of honing before they can be applied to our entire marketing program. The same rationale applies to the use of games. If you have an aggressive trade show program, try your game in one or two locations first. Then gather feedback on how well it was accepted by your visitors and make whatever changes are necessary before you roll it out to your entire program.

By ensuring that your game is relevant, staying focused on your key messages, tying your game into the show activities, getting inspired, training your staff and testing and you will learn what Abba taught us decades ago when they sang it’s “The Name of the Game".

Guest Blogger: Barry Siskind.  Barry is a trade show consultanttrainer, speaker and internationally recognized expert in trade and consumer shows.

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Topics: marketing at trade shows, trade show success, exhibit investment, trade show booth planning, trade show results, tradeshow success

Tips to turn trade show leads into hot prospects!

Posted on Tue, Jul 01, 2014

You spend weeks preparing for an all-important trade show, and sure enough, everything goes off without a hitch. Your snazzy new booth draws a lot of foot traffic, and your engagement activity brings in many promising leads. Your print, online and social media outreach campaigns wow some key prospects. And even your competitors marvel at your ability to make connections and relate to customer “pains.”  You have done everything to achieve an unqualified success — except follow through. About 80 percent of contacts made at trade shows are never contacted after the last booth is dismantled, and that cou ld represent a lot of lost business for you. Even more, “dropping the ball” on a hot lead sends a negative message about your ability to stay organized, engaged and focused — qualities that probably matter to the kinds of clients you want to attract. Where do you start?

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Topics: trade show leads, trade show success, exhibit investment

Your Trade Show Booth Expo Toolkit

Posted on Tue, May 06, 2014

I once heard a speaker say that exhibition planning should include reference to Murphy’s Law – “What ever can go wrong, will.” There is so much that is needed to mount a successful appearance that attempting to plan for everything, in the face of Murphy and his law, seems futile. However, what a lot of planners have included a trade show booth toolkit containing items to mitigate those things that can go wrong including everything needed to handle last minute emergencies. These incidental items can save you not only last minute grief but can also avoid in additional costs when you have to purchase them on the show floor at exorbitant prices.

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Topics: trade show success, trade show tips, Trade Show Planning, trade show results

Our Trade Show Marketing Passion Statement - what is yours?

Posted on Thu, May 01, 2014

If you were to write a Passion Statement for yourself or your organization, what would it say?  What are you passionate about?  What drives you to jump out of bed in the morning; eager to create something wonderful, something that matters?   How would you answer the questions, “Why does my organization exist?”  “Why did I launch this personal or professional enterprise?”  “What’s my gift to the world?”

These sound like heavy, ponderous questions.  But we already have the answers!   We just haven’t taken the time recently to focus on them.  A Passion Statement is not something we write with our head, but from our heart.  It isn’t based on a percentage increase over our last accomplishment, but based on a clear view of what’s possible.   It is the essence of what that Passion brings to our lives and our organizations.

It’s easy to feel great about our lives or businesses when things are going just the way we want, cash is flowing in, customers are calling, and our goals are being surpassed.  But what keeps us going on those days when we wonder why we ever went into business or started this personal venture?   A simple, relevant Passion Statement reminds us of why we do what we do. 

The first thing I do in working with a new client is to clarify and write down that Passion Statement. The second step is a Values Statement, which I define as a statement of what we value as an individual or an organization.  How do we operate in the world?  How do we treat each other and our customers? What can we be counted on to deliver?  These values might include such words as “service”, “integrity” “prosperity” “caring”.  If a Passion Statement is what gets you out of bed and into work in the morning, the Values are what keep you there, drive your decisions, and inspire cooperation and loyalty from your employees and customers.

In their book, Built To Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies authors J.C. Collins and J. I. Porras say that there is growing evidence that companies with core beliefs and values that transcend the bottom line are more profitable over time than companies that focus only on making money.

 The Passion Statement and Values Statement are vital tools in the decision making process.  When you are looking at a new market, an expansion, expenditure, creating a new position, you can always ask: “Will this lead the company toward the vision?”  

If you are dealing with a “human” issue such as customer service, building a new team or resolving an employee problem, you can ask, “What approach aligns with our values?” 

An ancient philosopher and mystic, Patanjali, said “When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” 

Some suggested action steps:

1.     Take a personal retreat of a half to full day away from office and home distractions and ask the questions listed above.

2.     Write out a draft of your vision and values statements and share them with personal or business partners.

3.     Look at your long-range strategies, goals and objectives and weigh them against what you say you value to see if there are any inconsistencies or incongruence.  If there is anything out of alignment, give serious consideration to changing the goal or the vision so that they are in synch.  This will avoid stress and upset and keep you focused on what really matters.

4.     Now that you’re clear what is important, make sure you make time for what matters most!

Guest Blogger Marla Riegal.  For a complimentary consultation on creating a Passion Statement call Marla Riegel at 303-456-0388 or email:

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Topics: tradeshow marketing, trade show success, Trade Show Planning, trade show results

10 things you should do before a trade show event

Posted on Tue, Apr 22, 2014

This collection of trade show marketing tips was designed to help your trade show program succeed. It's the secret weapon you need to plan a winning show!  These simple tips include ideas on your booth to the graphics you put on them will help you be more effective at all your marketing events.  So get organized and start it today!

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Topics: managing your trade show, Trade Show Marketing, trade show success, booth designs, trade show design

Free Webinar on Trade Show Exhibit Countdown to Success

Posted on Thu, Apr 17, 2014

Want to maximize opportunities for strategic promotions and lead management for your next show? In this exhibitor webinar, you’ll discover simple steps you can take to significantly increase the return on your exhibiting investment and help guarantee success.

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Topics: trade show trends, trade show success, trade show tips, Trade Show Planning, trades show results

Building a trade show booth based on business and marketing strategy

Posted on Thu, Apr 03, 2014

Achieving Business Goals Via Marketing Strategy. The link between business objectives and marketing strategy may seem obvious, but the two are often disconnected in real life. Profit-line managers may see marketing as a basket of distinct services, such as ads, trade show displays, and public relations, from which to select to help them reach their sales goals. While a manager may request a new trade show exhibit to generate sales leads, for example, a marketing strategy based on measurable business objectives and solid market research should come first, in order to design an exhibit that will communicate the right messages to the right markets.

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Topics: trade show business, generating leads at trade shows, trade show advice, trade show success, exhibit investment, effective trade show business

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