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!

 

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6 Memorable Promotional Products

When making any product, to make sure it’s efficient in fulfilling what it’s meant for, you need to ask yourself: What’s the purpose of the product? Based on the purpose, certain criteria are set to ensure the success of the product. As you can guess by the name, promotional products are simply marketing products that look to promote your company. However, knowing what a good product is and creating one is a far stretch. For promotional products, you need to consider

  • Who is this being given to?
  • What’s the age group that the product is for?
  • Where are they going to receive the product?
  • Why would they use the product (and by extension make it successful)

Promotional Product Examples

The first two point are correlated and we will address them more when talking about Mugs vs. Water Bottles below. The reception location is vital in choosing what product you will use. The further away from home your target audience is going to receive the product, the easier to transport you want the product to be. Think about someone getting the product delivered at home vs. getting the product from a trade show or convention vs. a student getting the product at a fair in their university (where the assumption is that they would live in/near the campus). The last point is made up of two categories; function/coolness of the product and quality. For promotional products to work, people need to use them. Simply test the product yourself, is it good quality? Do you want to use it? If you don’t have the resources to create a good quality product, it might be better not to have one at all, since you don’t want people to correlate the low quality product with your company. With all the wordy stuff out of the way, let’s get into examples! Keep in mind that as Kendall Press is primarily a B2B company; our examples are going to reflect products that would do well in a Business setting. Also note that all listed products would easily fit in a small bag or purse so that people are more inclined to grab them from your booth or office!

Stress Balls

A very simple product that everyone loves. Even more loved by people working in offices or cubicles! Stress Balls are extremely cheap to order in large numbers, will be used often and hopefully keep your company’s name fresh in your target’s mind.

Promotional Products: Stress Balls

Pens

Need I expand much on this? People always use pens and people always lose pens which means, people always need pens. If you want to really be memorable from a pen though, you may want to to go above and beyond. Design a pen that stands out and properly reflects your company. Take a look at an example of one we delivered to a client who’s in the tech field.

Mugs (or Water Bottles)

Roses are red, violets are blue, we drink coffee (sometimes tea), and so do you. You want to make sure people don’t go a day without seeing your company logo? Print it on a nice mug. Promotional Product: MugsLet’s take a minute and talk about why we chose Mugs and why you might want to choose water bottles over mugs. Both of them are relatively small objects that can fit in a small bag and/or are easy to carry a short distance. If you are dealing with a younger (university age) audience, there are more likely to use a portable water bottle. If you are dealing with an older, working in offices audience, they are more likely to appreciate a personal mug to use at work.

Shirts

Similar to tote bags in the fact that they are extremely customizable and very easy to transport. Make sure it’s a loose fitting, good quality shirt and people will wear the to the gym, at home etc. and hopefully promoting your brand! Note, as the picture suggest, you don’t have to limit yourself to just shirts, hoodies, sweaters, jackets all are acceptable as long as you make sure you keep a balance between where they will be handed out and how hard they are to distribute!

Promotional Product Example: Jacket

Tote Bags

You can fold them and put them inside your bag or you can use them to put all the goodies being passed around so there is no convenience barrier stopping from someone grabbing one. You can also use them at grocery stores. They’re very light, highly functional, highly customizable and very easy to put a large logo on. It’s really hard to go wrong with Tote Bags, especially in the increasingly, environmentally conscious world we live in.

USB Flash Drives

Another product that is extremely functional for all age groups. Harder to customize, but put your logo on it and people will remember you – and your USB – were there when they needed it the most!

Promotional Product: USB Flash Drive

Hopefully, this guide will help you get some promotional product ideas to increase your presence. If you are still lost, need more assistance or just want to leave a comment or question, feel free to leave one below! In addition, Kendall Press provides consulting, designing and printing services to Boston, Cambridge, Belmont, Somerville and the Greater Boston 128 area. We’d love to create your next promotional product with you and of course you are welcome to call us or click the button below to send us an e-mail to ask us a question or schedule your free consultation!

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Promotional Products – a Marketing Powerhouse

Promotional Products

Promotional Products

As the kids go back to school and we say goodbye to the lazy days of summer, our thoughts turn back to business. Promotional Products are a great way to remind your customers that you are here for them and provide an excellent return on your marketing investment. Here are some reasons to use Promotional Products in your Marketing Program.

Promotional Products increase brand awareness.

Whether you are just starting your business or have been in business for a long time, it is important to promote your brand. People respond to repeated exposure. Think back to all the commercial jingles that we have heard over the years, I bet you can name many of the products by the slogans that were played over and over again. Our eyes work in the same way. When we see the same thing over and over again, we are more likely to remember it. A carefully chosen promotional item in front of your customer on a daily basis will remind them of you when they need your services!

Promotional Products can be used to open lines of communication.

What better way to introduce your company’s products to potentially new customers than by giving them a gift. It opens the door and gives you the opportunity to get to know them, find out what their needs are and to discuss your products and services. They help create that very important favorable first impression! Giving of Promotional Products improves the recipient’s feelings towards your brand and helps them remember you when the need for your product arises.

Promotional Products can be used as part of a direct mail campaign.

Studies show that adding a Promotional Product to a direct mailing improves the response rates over a letter alone. Get creative. Recently, Kendall Press included a package of herb seeds in our capability brochure mailing as part of our Grow your Business with Kendall Press Campaign. If you haven’t received your seed pack and would like one, just let us know and we will be happy to send you one!

Kendall Press Herb Seed Packs

Promotional Products can be used to show appreciation.

Let’s face it; competition can be tough in the business world. We need to find ways to let our current customers know that we appreciate their business. Branded products are an inexpensive way to say thank you to your current customers or to show appreciation to your staff for a job well done. As with any gift that you give, you need to think about the recipient – gender, age, occupation, etc. All of these factors will help you pick the correct product. Try and choose a something that will be useful and helpful to them on a daily basis.

Here at Kendall Press, we understand that choosing the right promotional products can be difficult, but it is far easier when you have the right professionals on your team, helping you make the right choice. Let the Kendall Press team help you reach new customers and make your next event a success!

Building Brand Awareness Requires a Consistent Brand Experience

BrandingBuilding brand awareness is one of the cornerstones of successful marketing. People need to see you as the trusted leader you know you are. Every message you put out into the world — from flyers to advertisements to the content on your website — must reinforce that core ideal. The goal is to create a consistent brand experience across every marketing channel.

To illustrate just how important a consistent brand experience is, take a look at a company that has mastered it: Apple. Apple is notorious for the strength of its brand. Say what you will about its products and services, but you can’t argue with the fact that when that shiny white “Apple” logo appears on a computer, portable music player, or advertisement on television, a very clear image of what that logo represents pops into your mind almost immediately.

The major theme of Apple’s company over the years has been simplicity. The lengths to which the company has gone in its effort to reinforce that concept are actually quite astounding. Apple has long been lauded for its television commercials. Instead of relying on flashy graphics, loud music, and other tropes typical of traditional television advertising, Apple displays key products on stark white backgrounds with a basic music track not unlike what you would hear in an elevator. In a word, the ads are incredibly simple, just like the products themselves.

If you take a look at Apple’s website, it’s almost like one of the company’s television commercials brought to life. The website features a stark white background and large, simplistic lettering. The products themselves are clearly the emphasis. Simplicity rears its head yet again.

This extends even to the print marketing materials that come packaged in the box along with Apple’s products. Instead of the extensive user manual that accompanies most products, you get a short and painfully straightforward pamphlet with basic tips on how to get started using the device you just bought. The only other item in the box (accessories notwithstanding) is a sticker with the Apple logo. Simple, simple, simple.

Apple succeeds because every last bit of marketing it puts out into the world harkens back to that core message of simplicity. The avenues it uses to communicate that message may change, but the look, feel, and emotion behind the message remains the same.

This isn’t a phenomenon unique to Apple. If you think of the biggest companies in the world (or even the most successful businesses in your area), the one thing they all have in common regardless of industry is the consistent brand experience they deliver. By focusing on your own marketing message and clearly communicating it in a straightforward and consistent manner across all marketing avenues, you, too, can build awareness and create the same type of consistent brand experience for your company.