Monthly Archives

April 2011

Tips For Hosting Your First Convention: Getting The Right Trade Show Stand Layout And More

If you’ve spent most of your time exhibiting at a trade show booth, you may not realize that the people who organize the convention are actually making money too. There are the fees that companies pay to put up their trade show installation, plus rental, plus the fees that visitors pay just to enter the event. All of these can add up to quite a profit, assuming you’ve got enough people in attendance.

It’s no doubt that planning for something as large scale as an entire convention is a lot more intensive than just planning one trade show stand. If you’re going to do it, you’ll need to have exceptional planning skills. Know exactly what you’re going to do ahead of time, and be sure that you have enough exhibitors signed up to make your event worthwhile.


The Trade Show Booth Layout Defines The Visitor Experience

When you first start planning your event, you’ll need to decide how big you want it to be, and then select a venue to match. Many venues have pre-defined layouts from which you can choose, and some can only offer one layout. Make sure that you select a venue that offers fewer trade show stand lots than the number of exhibitors you expect to attend. It’s bad for a convention – especially a newer convention – to have empty spaces instead of a trade show installation. It’s far better to overbook slightly than overshoot and have too much space.


Not All Locations Are Created Equal

After you’ve decided on a venue and configuration, go through and price out the rental fee for each individual space. Keep in mind that some exhibition spots should cost more than others. For example, a corner space or a space with extra amenities such as electrical outlets should be rented for more. Make sure you have spaces for any size trade show booth so that any exhibitor can find a comfortable space for their unit.


Work On Affiliates And Sponsors

The most intensive costs for a large convention are upfront costs, and finding the funds for them can be difficult. To help offset these costs, many conventions will take on a sponsor. While you could get a sponsor from within the industry, that could potentially compete with your exhibitors and cause problems. Instead, try seeking sponsorship from your local media stations such as radio and TV. They’ll benefit from local exposure without detracting from any industry trade show installation. Plus, they might even give you a discount on your advertising rates!


Don’t Rely On Trade Show Booth Exhibitors To Entertain Your Visitors

A successful convention has more than trade show installation varieties available to its visitors. You should plan on having at least one major speaker at your event, if not more. Motivational speakers are a good choice, as are industry leaders or recognized industry celebrities. Keep in mind the main goals of your event, and tailor the speakers to fit those goals.


Advertise Early And Often

Especially with a new event, advertising is absolutely key. Individual trade show stand exhibitors may advertise somewhat, but getting the word out about your convention is your responsibility. Make sure that you’re using a multimedia approach and covering as many markets as possible. Every new outlet increases the number of visitors, and thus increases your revenue now and your popularity for another event next year.

With these ideas in mind, you’re ready to make your first event a success. You can continue expanding your convention until it becomes an industry staple that people look forward to year after year.

Handing A High-Value Sample At A Trade Show Booth

Having a sample of your company’s most recent product at your trade show exhibit is one of the best ways to guarantee a successful conference. It allows visitors to see their potential investment, to try it before they buy it and thus know exactly what they’re getting.

In some cases, placing a sample at your trade show booth is simple. You may find the sample to be expendable, or you may even want to give it away so people can try it for themselves at home. Difficulties arise when the nature of your product prevents it from being presented at a trade show stand because it is too valuable to risk. There are many products that fit this description. Everything from jewelry to artifacts and high-tech computer parts are too valuable to be put in a trade show exhibit without any kind of protection. Fortunately, you have options. There are three major choices that you can select. They will all keep your product somewhat safe, but many of the more secure ones have a bigger impact on your overall trade show booth.


Choice #1: Put Your Product In A Display Case

Having a display case in your trade show stand will ensure that your product cannot be stolen, but it will also ensure that no one can interact with that product because it’s locked away. Display cases that are placed in a trade show exhibit can also be on the expensive side, as they must be carefully built in order to be resilient. If you choose this option for your trade show stand, it is strongly recommended that you have several different samples at different angles in the case. Visitors would want to examine the item for themselves, and if they cannot remove it from the case, they’ll at least be able to see it fully in the display.


Choice #2: Allow Your Visitors To Handle The Item Outside Its Case

This solution sacrifices some of the protective value of a display case for a substantially greater ability to showcase your product. In this scenario, visitors to your trade show exhibit can handle the product only upon request, and likely under close supervision from one of your staffers. You’ll know exactly who is handling your product at any time, and you’ll have close control over where it is. There is little risk of it being removed from your trade show booth, as you can always know in whose hands it rests. In addition, you won’t need to be concerned about it being stolen from your trade show stand when you step away from the booth: the case will keep it protected when not being handled.


Choice #3: Bring In Private Security

For big ticket items, adding security may be a necessity, even if you have a case for your product. Human security adds a level of safety simply because it is very visible, very noticeable, and a very good deterrent to would-be criminals. The main concern with this choice is that private security, even for a small trade show booth, can be expensive.


Focus On Security, But Don’t Forget Your Visitors

Emphasizing the security of your product can often cause marketers to lose sight of their overall goal: to make visitors feel welcome and to help them understand the product. If your trade show exhibit cannot do this with the necessary security precautions protecting your product sample, then you’re probably better off foregoing the sample. Having your product on display is ideal, but not if it means losing an open and inviting trade show stand.

How To Use Banner Stands And Pop Up Displays In Your Store

Few convention displays have as much versatility as banner stands and pop up displays. Both of them can replace a trade show display entirely with the right design, but they can also be used as an addition to a larger unit. They are inexpensive, pack easily, and can be updated without difficulty. Many companies recognize their value on the trade show floor; increasingly, retailers are seeing their value inside stores. When properly designed, banner stands and pop up displays can serve as an engaging and dynamic point of sale display to help promote your newest products or biggest sales.


Pop Up Displays Pop Out To Grab Attention

Although point of sale displays are different from their convention booth cousins, both share a single goal: to communicate information to people who might not otherwise see it. They need to be clear, yet commanding. They must be concise, yet informative. Too much information, and the unit is useless, but providing too little information will provide the same poor result. This is true of a trade show display and a point of sale display. The key is to find a way to draw attention without using too many words, and banner stands and pop up displays both excel at this.

Pop up displays are best for companies that frequently travel to sell merchandise simply because they are so easy to set up. They can literally pop into place, making them set up and dismantle with unprecedented ease. Although they have a mechanism that makes them a little more fragile than banner stands, well designed pop up displays can last a very long time. The major disadvantage of pop up displays is that they cannot have their text and images changed as easily as banner stands. The display for pop up displays consists of a piece of canvas stretched across a frame, and changing out that canvas can be a real hassle.


Banner Stands Are Incredibly Versatile

Banner stands are another common choice for point of sale displays. These units come in a variety of sizes, but virtually always can be rolled or folded into a small travel size. They fit easily in even small vehicles, and can typically be taken as carry-ons in a plane. In addition, they’re easy to tuck away in your store when not in use. This makes them a very good choice when you need a small unit to point out something in your store, but don’t necessarily want it to have a constant presence.

One of the biggest benefits of banner stands is that they can very easily be re-customized whenever you start a new promotion or stock a new product. The printed element of most banner stands is totally separate from the more expensive metal backing that supports it. You can simply order a replacement banner and switch them out in a matter of minutes. For most stores that have frequent inventory changes, banner stands are the display of choice.


Display Units Draw Attention To Your Store

Whether you’re selling from a storefront in a mall or from a vendor booth at a larger show, banner stands and pop up displays can help you get the job done. They communicate your products effectively and actively draw new business, all at a fairly low cost. When designed properly, both can last your company for years.

3 Trade Show Stand Communication Tips That You Must Know

As a marketing professional who cares about your company, it’s your job to present everything in a positive light. This is especially true at a trade show exhibit, where hundreds or even thousands of people could talk with you in a single day. It’s easy to turn this desire to present your company in a positive light into something very negative: a desire to deny the realities of your product. Today’s trade show booth visitor won’t believe any staffer who sounds rehearsed or like he’s faking it.

Instead, you want to be honest about your product, while still accentuating the many positives. When you are able to maintain this demeanor at your trade show stand, you’ll actually promote your company and your products much more effectively. Refusing to admit that your product has any negative elements makes it seem as though those possible negatives are catastrophic for a buyer. In fact, your product is a good one – it’s something people will want to buy. You don’t need to make it appear flawless. You simply need to show people that they’ll enjoy it, and they will be interested in purchasing.


Tip #1: Choose Your Staffers With Care

You cannot possibly interact personally with every visitor to your trade show exhibit. This is true even at the smaller conventions; at larger expos, it can take three or four people to begin handling the influx of visitors to a trade show booth. Because you can’t interact with everyone you’ll need to see, hiring good people to work at your trade show stand is absolutely crucial.

These people must have the same detailed understanding of communication that you possess. They must know how to present your product in a positive light while also being honest about it. They should be sincere, and they should be knowledgeable. They should also be naturally likeable and conversational, just enough so they can make visitors feel welcome at your trade show stand. Finding these people isn’t always an easy task, but once you have them they will make your trade show exhibit a lot more effective.


Tip #2: Don’t Pressure Your Team To Meet Sales Goals

When sales people are under pressure to perform, either through incentives for meeting certain targets or just plain overzealous encouragement, they are increasingly likely to exaggerate the benefits of their product. In essence, the more pressure you put on your trade show booth staffers to reach certain targeted sales numbers, the less likely they are to give your visitors the experience they want. Pressured trade show stand staff will come off as insincere and untrustworthy to visitors – not the result you want!


Tip #3: Conduct Training With Outside Assistance

Whenever you bring someone new onto your trade show exhibit staff, have them go through a bit of training first. Simulate the trade show exhibit, and have a friend or other co-worker who the new recruit doesn’t know pretend to be a visitor. Have that person let you know firsthand what they felt. By mimicking the situation at a real trade show booth as closely as possible, you’ll get a good picture of what you can expect on convention day.

When you allow your trade show stand staffers to be genuine and open about your product, you’re much more likely to make sales and to develop customers who keep coming back. People will trust you, and they’ll see your product for what it is: something legitimately good with real, tangible benefits.