Archive for the 'marketing' Category

Here’s good news about exhibitions, for a change!

I think everyone is sick and tired of being sick and tired about the tradeshow industry.  I know I am ready for a new attitude. We are on the cusp of recovery or at least noticable improvement in the industry.  I know because my phones are ringing and people are spending money on new exhibits. People are calling me to help them with their tradeshow strategies and booth image.  My colleagues are budgeting for more shows and actually getting excited about the possiblilites of a successful year on the show floor.  Budgets for marketing are getting fatter and tradeshows are near the top of the list.  There are some good statistics circulating by the major industry researchers that should make us smile. You can get encouraged by reading some of the findings at www.exhibitcitynews.com.

Here’s a few of the findings: The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) announced that preliminary data collected for the fourth quarter of 2010 revealed an increase of 5.4 percent over 2009 for attendees. They say the positive trend of attendees actually began in the third quarter of 2010 with a 6.6 percent increase over the third quarter of 2009.
They also released a report that shows the overall exhibition industry gained 2.4 percent during the first half of 2011.  That is finally something we can get a little encouraged by.

What can you do to speed up the recovery and get us back to the heyday when prospects and profits were overflowing?  You can get out there and attend the shows again, sign up for a booth, launch a new service, introduce a new product, sponsor an event, have a party or book a hospitality suite. Bring your staff to the show and make it a bonding experience.  Take advantage of the educational offerings and attend the classes.  Be present for the recovery.  Contribute to the rise.  See you there.

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Student entrepreneurs get exhibit marketing tips

Last week I went to Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona to speak to the students of Mike Lisi’s business class.   Every year his students start a business, select a product or service to sell, develop a business plan, create a marketing strategy then sell their wares at a business tradeshow at the school.  Mike has asked me to come in for the last few years to teach his class what I know about marketing and how to sell successfully from a tabletop exhibit space.  It’s so interesting to see the product ideas they come up with and their concepts for company names and logos.   Their ideas included donuts, original artwork, water, knit caps, decals and jewelry.  My favorite part is seeing their enthusiasm for simple suggestions for improvement like adding a descriptive tag line on their business cards so customers know what they sell or collecting leads from prospects so they can solicit additional sales after the event.  They have no clue about merchandising and are thrilled to learn that they can display their goods in baskets and cover cardboard boxes with a sheet from home in order to elevate their items and bring them closer to eye level.  Working with students who have little exposure to business and marketing practices and watching them discover the simple basics that turn a product into a profit is really fun.  I wish them luck and look forward to my next opportunity to influence and educate some of the entrepreneurs of the next generation.

In a down market, don’t stop marketing

I know the economy is tanking and business is suppose to be bad all around, but I am not feeling it at Exhibit Experts.  Our clients seem to be finding the funds to continue exhibiting both here and abroad.  I am glad to see that because the most important time to market your company is when the market is down.

In these troubled economic times, many business owners are looking for ways to scale back on spending.  Often, the first cut is to the advertising and marketing budget.  Bad idea!.  Your business needs promoting, now more than ever.  The savey owner will increase marketing efforts, because the competition will be reducing theirs.

 

One of the most cost-effective ways to promote your business is at a tradeshow.  The Center For Exhibition Industry Research says, not only will you reach 7 times the number of qualified prospects at a tradeshow compared to other types of advertising, but those leads will cost 56% less to close than leads from the field.

 

There are 10,000 tradeshows a year attended by 120 million people who spend 100 billion dollars.  Nine out of ten companies ranked exhibitions as the #1 most useful source of purchasing information, because they could examine and evaluate competing products in one location.

 

Can you really make money from tradeshows?  75% of the attendees surveyed said they would buy something at the next show, while 57% said they’d buy within 12 months.

 

Big business has been capitalizing on the benefits of exhibit marketing for years.  With a little knowledge and some careful planning, even the smallest business can tap into this lucrative marketplace. 

 

To get the most from your next exhibit marketing experience, approach each event with a plan of action. Set specific goals and make the staff accountable.   Decide ahead of time exactly what you wish to accomplish, such as solicit leads, network with vendors or investigate the competition.

 

Image is important.  Create a dynamic display that showcases your product or service in an attractive manner and captures the professionalism and personality of your company image.  Use large pictures and succinct text messages that reinforce your marketing message and explain how you will benefit your customer.

 

Train your sales staff.  Develop a simple presentation everyone will use to engage, qualify and generate a lead from the attendees.  Add some excitement to draw attention to the booth and make sure you follow-up all leads in a timely fashion.  Following your plan will improve your productivity and increase profits at every event.

Susan