Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How to let Constructive Criticism be a guide

Step 3 of June's STOP THE ROUTINE MONTH revealed: Constructive Criticism

A post ago we discussed Motivation. We gave you 7 quick tips to stay on track. Today we’ll discuss getting real with how your trade show booth works. It’s about accepting constructive criticism when you can’t see the clear message anymore.

The solution! A fresh set of eyes. To know where to begin with how your current booth is working you’ll need to ask and outer source – someone who is not related to your business or industry is best.

Give your ‘fresh set of eyes’ a good look at your exhibit booth and materials. Ask yourself these questions:

What do they notice first?

What impression do they get of your company?

What emotions do your graphics evoke?

Record their impressions and compare how they measure up to your marketing objectives. This fresh set of eyes will be viewing your booth the same way the attendees do - with no prior knowledge or preconceived notions of how the exhibit is 'supposed' to look.

:: Case Study ::
Custom Service Solutions, Inc.,
2320 Colby St., Brockport, NY 14420

Recently, we had one of our returning customers, Custom Service Solutions, came to us with an idea. They wanted a small self-standing sign to distribute to the machine vendors that will attending the same trade show as them.

They submitted their own artwork and asked our opinion. We asked, “What’s the main goal?”: to inform customers about a drawing for a free Firetrace System. Our comment back: there is no clear, single message, there may be too much going on. So, with a bit of discussion Custom Service Solutions decided to allow us to come up with a single targeted message.



Here’s our point: by opening up the door for constructive criticism Custom Service Solutions ended up with a clear, concise design that will draw customers in to ask “How can I qualify?” Thus, in turn opening the door to obtain a lead, close a sale, or boost their ROI for the show.

Many times we have looked at our own exhibits so many times that we don't 'see' them anymore. A fresh set of eyes may make all the difference in the world. Have someone who is in no way related to the trade show industry or your company look at your exhibit or marketing materials.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Trade Show Displays and Beyond

Ever think how many uses you could use your trade show display for?   They are not just for exhibiting only.  Spread your dollars wider, the opportunities for uses are endless. 

  • Exhibiting
  • Advertising
  • Retail/Store Fixtures
  • Mobile Advertising
  • POP (Point of Purchase Displays)
  • POS (Point of Sale)
  • Demonstrations
  • Merchandising
  • Office Greeting Area
  • Indoor Kiosk
  • Educational Events
  • Intimate Meeting
  • Network Luncheons
  • Military Recruiting
  • Holiday Specials
  • Food Sampling or Demos
  • Fundraisers
  • Sporting Events
  • County Fairs
  • Customer Service Information
  • Media Relations
  • Employment Services
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Author/Book Signings
  • Corporate Events
  • Church Program Information
  • Shopping Malls
  • Supermarket Sales
  • Hospitality
  • Security Checkpoints - Airports, Hotels
  • Municipalities
  • Non-Profit Agency Information

Monday, June 21, 2010

You + Motivation = Trade Show Exhibit Success

According to Wikipedia, Motivation is the activation or energization of a goal-oriented behavior. You already know the goal: Trade show success. So are you actively trying to complete the steps you’ll need in order to achieve this success. At this point, only you know. But when it comes down to exhibiting at the show all attendees will know what kind of motivation you truly had. Prepared? If not, let’s get motivated.

What can you do to enhance your motivation and awaken the power that will push you toward accomplishing trade show success?

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Set one major goal for the trade show along with a few minor goals. The minor goals will act as small stepping stones heading towards your major goal. An example of a major goal is: to obtain X amount of new contacts at the show. Your minor goals are the road map to get those X new contacts - a giveaway entry form, a sign up sheet to your newsletter, product or information mailings.

2. Understand that finishing what you start is important. Whatever you start must be finished. Develop the habit of going to the finish line. Keep a running list of goals with dates on completion. Plus, keep it in plain view to look at each day.

3. Ask around. Know of someone else attending the show. Pick their brain on what steps they are taking or plan to take. Then mold their advice to fit your needs.

4. Don’t procrastinate. Procrastination leads to fewer accomplishments. Need a flyer printed; don’t wait until 2 days before the show.

5. Persistence, patience and not giving up despite failure and difficulties keep up the motivation to succeed.

6. Constantly affirm to yourself that you can and will succeed.

7. Visualize yourself at the show feeling great about the steps you’ve taken. Be proud!

Ask us at Affordable Exhibit Displays how having the right trade show display can also help your motivation.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Trade show branding vs. routine. Which side are you on?

Let's clear this up right away.  The repetition of doing the same thing, using the same display and graphics at every show you've ever been to is NOT branding.  It's boredom.  Effective branding is not just a logo or certain color scheme; it's not a product either.  A brand is a promise of a clear-cut benefit and value that is fitting to your users.

To effectively promote your brand to your users does not mean you need to keep with the same everything.  It can mean change too.  Take a large corporation for instance, for example, ExxonMobil.  They've been in business for over 125 years.  Check out ExxonMobil's history here.  They've changed their logo over the years as often as needed to keep up with the current market.  And it hasn't slowed the company's progression.

So, really it's okay to take your trade show routine in a different direction.  In fact, you really should Break the Routine all together today.

Launch your next show by breaking your trade show routine.

Routine is comfortable, it's safe and it's a rut you don't want to be in especially at a Trade Show. Trade show should be everything else but routine.

Say you go to X show each year, you bring the same display using the same graphics, you hand out the same literature even use the same giveaways, you may even wear the same clothes. By now I'm sure your're pretty bored. And so are your customers!!


Look for our next 5 posts to reveal 5 steps to help you break your way out of the trade show rut you may be in and make this year's show a complete success.