Exhibiting at Trade Shows, Why and Why Not?

All About Trade Shows: Exhibiting

Attending trade shows is a proven method to increase your brand awareness and to generate leads. Like all methods however, if done incorrectly it can also bring harm. In this article we will discuss the benefits of trade shows and also address potential problems that could encourage you to not exhibit at a trade show.

 Importance of Exhibiting at Trade Shows

The benefits of attending trade shows are countless. The straightforward benefits are lead generation and exposure. It’s important to note that most trade shows are not revenue generating opportunities, even if it does happen from time to time. Certain trade shows are more likely to generate revenue, especially if you are well prepared for that purpose, however, trade shows are primarily marketing and networking opportunities. To start off, we’ll identify some common reasons to exhibit at trade shows.

  • Exposure
  • Fresh, Original Content for Your Company
  • Direct Lead Generation
  • Indirect Lead Generation
  • Brand Image
  • New Product Introduction

When talking about Indirect Lead generation, we are led back to exposure. Just being out in the open will get you noticed. Passerbys might not directly convert into leads at the trade show, but because they saw you there, they might turn to you in the future. In addition, if asked by a colleague “do you know a company that does ****” they could recall your name. There are many other examples similar to these that are simply impossible to track. On the other hand, you can also directly gain leads from people who interact with you or participate in some of the lead generation activities you have prepared for the event. For ideas about lead generating activities, you can check out our article on Driving Traffic at Trade Shows, and the section about social media cards in our article about Handouts in Trade Shows.

Customers and potential customers value seeing their company be active. Participating in trade shows is one way to do that. Make sure to take pictures and videos when participating events and exhibiting at trade shows. These original media become a priceless marketing collateral that can be used in countless ways. Having your own original pictures to put on social media, e-mails, reports, brochures etc. is extremely effective. Similarly, these pictures and trade shows can help refine your brand image. For example, if your company wants to be viewed in a green-friendly light, participating in events that are hosted by green companies or have a green-initiative is a great way to spread awareness to your company’s green-initiative.

Many companies have used trade shows to feature new products. This is particular effective as it can be hard to attract customers towards new products. Having your new product out in the open for people to test and see in person is very good exposure for it and can propel the product towards success.

 Criteria for Opting Out of Trade Shows

In a different light, we wanted to address 3 circumstances that are important to consider before exhibiting at a trade show.

  • lack of funding
  • different target audience
  • lack of preparation

Lack of funding and preparation are two separate reasons, however the case they make is a similar one. Both of these can actually hurt your company. If your company is not willing to put in the minimum amount of funding for a decent quality exhibit, you might seriously consider whether or not you would like to go. I have personally seen companies exhibiting with a just wooden table with their name printed on a white piece of paper that was taped to the table. Two booths away was a company with a table cover, 2 standing banners, 5 staff members, promotional products and some other informative handouts. Needless to say the former company did not receive many visitors. In fact I knew two people who attended with the one of their goals being to talk to company A but did not end up doing so. One person said they could not find them at all. This was probably because of how underwhelming their exhibit was. The other person said they were disheartened by their display and looked at other companies instead. This might have been due to a lack of funding, or just that they did not allocate the required time to prepare for the event.

Exhibiting at trade shows can be pricey depending on the size of trade show. Many of those costs however are fixed costs and will cost you less the more trade shows you go to. For example our Trade Show Starter Pack costs $750, which for a small company new to trade shows can seem expensive. However you can reuse the products for multiple trade shows. If you go to 10 trade shows the cost will be just $75 per trade show!

The final point we wanted cover is the target audience. Usually there is some way of knowing some statistics about the expected audience. If the age, or general interest of the audience is much different than what your company usually attracts then you might want to consider if it is worth to exhibit. This is a relatively weak argument as you can still exhibit in these trade shows to increase your brand awareness and chances are you will at least be able to find a handful of people who are interested in your company that will make it worth your time. Ultimately, this arguement is only valid if you are understaffed and really can not afford to spare your resources for an exhibit that is potentially much less valuable in comparison to the other things they could be doing.

This article is part of a series designed to help companies prepare for trade shows called All About Trade Shows. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave one below. In addition, Kendall Press offers many services beyond just print material to help you prepare for trade shows and similar events. If you would like to learn more about how we can work together to ensure the best presence for your company, please contact us by clicking on the button below!

 

Have a Question? Contact Us!

 

All About Trade Shows: Handouts

In every trade show, the showcasing representatives should have a specific purpose. That purpose could be just general networking, to promote a new product/service etc. Whatever it is, you can bet that there is some form of handout thatmit tote bags will help you accomplish that goal. We’ve discussed products that can be used as hand outs in previous articles. Click on the links to learn more about these topic and examples from these products.

In this article, we will focus on two examples to highlight how to use handouts. As a general goal, you need to identify your purpose before every tradeshow, and for every purpose, there will be certain types of handouts that are more effective than others. Before we move on, I want to briefly expand upon brochures, booklets and promotional products, some of the most commonly used handouts.

  • Brochures: Best used to outline your company and its products/services. Can also be used to talk about one particular product, i.e. if you wanted to bring attention to a new product, you can feature it on a brochure.
  • Booklets: More commonly seen with rich context. Many of the booklets we print are used to present research. This will be more successful when you are in a trade show where you are expecting people to come to you with a desire to learn.
  • Promotional products: Extremely effective in raising awareness and just reminding people that you are there. (see image above for example tote bag)

Let’s go through the whole process together in this example. Your company is one that benefits greatly from a strong social media presence and is active with original content. You learn that the expected audience in the next trade show you will be participating in is expected to be young adults. Therefore, you identify that your goal is to generate as much attraction to your social media accounts as possible. One handout you may consider is what we call a social media card. Basically, it is a business card that instead of listing a specific person’s  contact information, it lists your company’s social media accounts (example template below). social media cardObviously just handing out social media cards isn’t the most effective way, handouts are only as effective as you make them to be! One common tool that is used is a giveaway. The way it works is that you would have a set number of prizes, and each social media action would put in that person’s name in a raffle a certain number of times. If you value your Instagram presence more, people who follow you on instagram gain 2 entries in the raffle, while people who like you on Facebook might only get 1 entry. One option to create giveaways electronically is through Gleam.

Recently we were invited to a vendor fair by one of our customers. We’ve been working with them for a while so most of their employees already know us. We knew that a decent amount of people there will know about us and our services. Those that do know us however, might not know all of our products and sevices. With that information, we idientfied that the best handouts would be be promotional products and brochures. The promotional products we choose are simple Kendall Press mugs, pens and to-do lists. These products are small, have our contact information on it and will hopefully serve as a reminder that we are there for them if they need us. We also brough in some Kendall Press brochures for the people who are less familiar with us, so that they can have a quick summary of the company and products and services that we have to offer.
brochures

This article is part of a series designed to help companies prepare for trade shows called All About Trade Shows. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave one below. In addition, Kendall Press offers many services beyond just print material to help you prepare for trade shows and similar events. If you would like to learn more about how we can work together to ensure the best presence for your company, please contact us by clicking on the button below!

 

Have a Question? Contact Us!

 

Trade Show Starter Pack

We are excited to announce our new Trade Show Starter Pack! Whether you are new to trade shows, or just want to refresh you trade show equipment, this starter pack has all your essential needs to have a respectable, attractive set up. When ordering this Trade Show Starter Pack, you receive over $150 in discounts that you would not get if you ordered the items separately!

Trade shows

The above picture includes everything you will receive in this offer.

  • 1 Convertible Table cover for 6 and 8 feet tables
  • 1 Retractable Banner Stand
    • 1 26″ x 72″ Banner
  • 1 Foamcore mounted Easel, 11″ x 17″
  • 250 Business Cards, Full Color, 100 lb. Cover Stock
  • 250 Customizable, Derby Ball Point Pens
  • 100 Single Sided Color Handouts can be included for an additional $49

For a total price of $750. *the banner in the picture is a full size banner (92″ tall), up-charge of $40 to upgrade to it*

Under the Contact Us button, you will find further explanations of the products included in the Trade Show Starter Pack.

For additional information and ordering, please feel free to contact us through the button below, or calling us!

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The Table Cover

The table cover might just be the most important part of your showing, not because of what it provides, but because of what your showing would lack without it. Some venues will give you a table to work with, others you might have to bring your own. Either way, nothing says “I’m unprepared” like showing up to a trade show without even a table cover. The overall quality of your appearance will decrease significantly without one and as a result you will attract less people! To learn more about table covers and other types of table covers that we provide, click here.

The Retractable Banner Stand (and Banner)

The retractable banner stand is a personal favorite of ours. The banners we use for them are made from a material called Pospro 200. It stays flatter than others, reflects less glare and has a higher quality finish. The banner is fitted into the retractable banner stand before delivery so that when you receive the retractable banner stand, it will take you less than 1 minute to set-up! The set-up video is located here. The banner stand is vital in attracting customers from far away and improving your visibility. You can use the banner stand to overview what your company does to attract the right people. What you choose to display however, is flexible based on the type of event you are going and your company. To learn more about the retractable banner stand and other similar trade show displays, click here.

The Easel

The Easel is a relatively cheap product that you can have multiples of even in the same event. There are two more prominent ways to use your easel. The first way is to design it so that it bring attention to a specific product or service that you want to highlight. The another popular way to use it would be overview what your company offers to people that are closer. The second way might seem redundant if you are also using the retractable banner stand to summarize your business, but fear not; the retractable banner stand is going to be touching people further away from your location while the easel is for people who are closer. In addition, the overview on the Easel can focus on a few key aspects as opposed to the overall company overview. Easels are just extremely flexible in terms of what you can put on them and can significantly improve your appearance.

The Business Cards

This should be relatively self-explanatory. You need to make sure that you have business cards with you at trade shows. However you can also have trade show specific business cards. These trade show specific cards do not even have to represent a specific person. They can be designed so they highlight a specific purpose your company is trying to draw attention to through these trade shows. To look at some unique designs and features for business cards, click here.

The Pens

Pens are a commonly used promotional product, and for good reason. People are more likely to want your freebie if it is easy to pick up and transport, this is obviously a feature that pens excel in. Usability is another important factor to consider when choosing a promotional product. For people to see your company logo on the product you give them, they need to actually use it! To learn about more Promotional Product examples, click here.

 

Please keep in mind that when changing and/or adding products to your offer, you may lose some of the discounts offered.

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All About Trade Shows: Banner Stands

Banners are a marketing tool that is used quite often in various locations. In trade shows however, banners are most commonly used with banner stands. There is an extremely large variety of banner stands in terms of shapes, sizes and types. Even in a trade show setting, there are some banner stand types that are used more commonly than other. In this article we will highlight 3 types of banner stands that will help grow your visibility.

Retractable Banner Stand:

This is our favorite banner stand. It has a sleek modern design that is very appealing. More importantly, the setup and transportation for the retractable banner stand is unrivaled in how easy and simple it is.

When you order the retractable banner stand from us, we fit in the banner for you so that we deliver it to you in the case shown in the video, ready to be set it up just as easily. Most people order a new banner from us when purchasing the retractable banner stand. If you already have a banner you want to use, we will also fit it in ourselves (if the size is correct that is). If you want to change the banner in the retractable banner stand, like many people end up doing for different events, we are also happy to help.

Hop Ups:

Like most of our products, hop-ups can come in different sizes depending on its intended purpose. Hop ups might look intimidating in size, but they are surprisingly easy to set up. You can fit different banners on the hop-ups in case you wanted to change the design for a different event. For trade shows, we provide hop ups like this one that will significantly amplify your presence. The hop ups we supply are surprisingly light, sturdy, and come with stabilizers so that you do not have to worry about the hop up rocking or wobbling. This particular hop-up is 119″ wide,  89″ tall and 19″ deep.

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Larger products like these are most commonly used in venues where you are given more room and freedom to dress up your booth. Obviously a hop-up this size will help people find you more easily, but they will also make your booth more visually pleasing. A beautiful background will organically translate your physical presence into social media content for yourself. People generally want to take pictures in the various events they go to. While there are some smaller hop ups designed specifically for people to take photos in front of, having a unique background to your booth will similarly  attract a lot of attention for that purpose. You can also bet that when the venue wants to share pictures of their event, they will choose the more impressive booths to share!

Like we previously mentioned, these hop-ups come in various sizes and styles, one type of hop up that is used relatively frequently is the curved hop up design. Curved hop ups are sometimes ordered solely for their unique look, but they can also have different uses. Smaller, curved hop ups can be used to create a small booth, that is designed for a specific purpose (i.e. lead generation), within your booth. This is understandably more common in larger venues where you are given more space to work with.

Trio Stand

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The trio stand is a general example of other types of display banner stands that are available. There are countless sizes available for the trio banner stand and similar, simple banner stands. Some of these types of banner stands tend to be less flexible in terms of the sizes that can fit on them. However, if you have an exact banner size for a specific purpose or already have a banner that you are looking to fit in, then you can not go wrong with these.

 

This article is part of a series designed to help companies prepare for trade shows called All About Trade Shows. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave one below. In addition, Kendall Press offers many services beyond just print material to help you prepare for trade shows and similar events. If you would like to learn more about how we can work together to ensure the best presence for your company, please contact us by clicking on the button below!

 

Have a Question? Contact Us!

All About Trade Shows: Table Covers

The easiest way to understand the importance of table covers, is to see a booth or table where the hosts aren’t using table covers. When going to a trade show,  people do judge a book by its cover. If the booth or table that your company is holding  does not look appealing, then you would do well not to expect a lot of people to be interested in what you have to offer. When talking about table covers, that is the absolute minimum that your company should have.

Table Cloth

Halloween Themed Table Cloth Example

Depending on the the event host/venue, you might be provided with a naked table to start your booth. You can accessorize your booth or location as much as you want (within the limits of the venue) depending on a few factors. An example of this is the co-op fairs that Northeastern University holds for companies to meet their students. A simple table with a wooden top is provided to each company, however the quality of the appearance from each company varies significantly. Similarly, the appeal between different companies also varies significantly. Yes, some companies have a higher budget for such events. Yes, some companies will attract more people simply because of their reputation. However, there are people who are deterred from companies they might have been previously interested in, due to their poor showing. On the other hand, people are also more inclined to check out other booths they were uninterested, simply because of their alluring set up.

Table Cloth

A Simpler Table Cloth Design Example

Back to the topic at hand, table covers make sure that regardless of the condition that your table is in, it will still look presentable. There are however, many types of table covers you can choose from. First of all, most table covers are made up of polyester fabric, less common materials are cotton and vinyl. The polyester fabric is machine washable and flame retardant. Depending on the allowed set up and event size, some people opt for a simple, blank (plain) cover to throw on the table that might just be colored to match your company’s color scheme or similarly, a plain cover with a runner along the center of the table’s top, front and back. A common design for table covers is one that lays on the top of the table and covers three sides (front and 2 sides). Table covers that are three sided are referred to as economy, as they are cheaper than ones that cover all sides and are referred to as full. The most common lengths for table covers are 6ft and 8ft, although 4ft table covers are not too uncommon. Some common types of table covers are:

  • Fitted (8, 6 & 4 ft.)
  • Convertible
    • This cover can be used for both 6 and 8ft tables
  • Stretch (8, 6 & 4 ft.)
  • Round (more commonly 30″ and 42″)

There are many ways to design and use these table covers in trade shows, fairs, business conventions, conferences etc. For example, in an event that does not have a lot of space available, you might want to have your table cover include your company logo and motto and have just that for your presence (excluding any print materialpromotional products, etc. on the table). In a location where you are more free in terms of space, you might choose a table cover that aims to compliment your overall station design.

 

This article is part of a series designed to help companies prepare for trade shows called All About Trade Shows. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave one below. In addition, Kendall Press offers many services beyond just print material to help you prepare for trade shows and similar events. If you would like to learn more about how we can work together to ensure the best presence for your company, please contact us by clicking on the button below!

 

Have a Question? Contact Us!