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!

Have a Question? Contact Us!

 

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.

Have a Question? Contact Us!

 

The Art of Business Cards

In our previous article, we guided you through the design of Booklets, Brochures and Catalogs. Those are more for when you have people’s attention and generally serve a more in depth purpose. In this article, we are going to be talking about Business Cards. When do you need to have a business card? All the time. I have personally coincidentally met and talked to at least 5 people who are very high in terms of the business ladder and I will never get a chance to exchange business cards with them because I did not have one on me. When you ask someone for a business card, you are expected to have one on you to exchange. With that said, we are to discuss business card designs, if you want to read up more about using business cards, you can do that here. The information on the front of the business card tends to be pretty standard. Here are the essentials you need to include on the business card:

  1. Company Name
  2. Card Holder’s Name and Position
  3. Phone number (company’s, company’s + card holder’s extension, or direct card holder’s number)
  4. E-mail (company’s or card holder’s e-mail)
  5. Address (and P.O. Box if applicable)
  6. Company slogan or what service/product the company offers (NO MORE THAN 3-5 WORDS)

We are going to be looking at 5 different business cards that were printed at Kendall Press for companies in Boston, Winchester and New Jersey. When discussing the business cards, keep in mind that the design of the cards needs to reflect their respective business type. You will see how the design of cards differs depending on the level of formalities and professionalism required by their fields. The sixth step is bolded because it is the least obvious of the steps and is the most overlooked. However, if the person who holds the card is not sure what the contact information on the card can provide them, then the card is ultimately useless!

Business Card Example 1

This business card was created for a law firm; the design is of a professional and simple nature. One thing that is not visible digitally, is that the the characters printed are actually printed using thermography. The effect is more commonly referred to as raised print. If you run your finger across the characters, you can feel the characters. It is an option that some people use to make their cards feel unique. We will see in our next example, how law firms, because of the strict nature of their business, look for different ways to make their business cards stand out. Note: The black border is not part of the card and is there so that the card stands out from the background.

Business Card Example 2

Business Card Example
Business Card Example
There are multiple shades of white used in this guide. The shades of white are caused by the different types of paper and/or processes to produce the paper itself; the paper used in the Ashton card however, is especially unique. The paper used for this card is called “curious touch” paper. It has an extremely soft, leathery touch and tends to be more expensive. Instead of leaving the back empty, the designer choose to have a greyscale picture of the Winchester town hall (Ashton is based in Winchester). Notice that the website was not randomly placed on the top left corner of the back of the card. The photo of the town hall takes up most of the center and bottom right sections; placing the website on the top left balances this out and maintains the elegant presentation of the card.

Business Card Example 3

Business Card Example
Business Card Example
When looking at this card, you can immediately tell that this card does not belong to another law firm. Being a design firm, the dots on the card’s I’s have been switched out for triangles to give the card an edgy look. The 3 words “planning, architecture, interiors” are an example of step #6. It hints at what services the company can offer you. On the backside, you see even more so, how less strict business types can have more freedom in designs. The triangle and orange + greyscale themes, shown in the front side of the card, are continued to create a pleasant, cool design followed by their website at the bottom. Note: The black border shown around the front face of the card is done for the same reason as the black border in example 1.

Business Card Example 4

Business Card Example
Business Card Example
Motiv’s card is a sleek orange card with the card’s top-left and bottom right corners of the card are actually curved and the black around is just to highlight the curves. Curved edges is another special effect offered at Kendall Press. My favorite feature of this card, despite how cool the half curved edges look, is how simple and smart their slogan, “design with reason” is. Just 3 simple words, yet it embodies all the aspects of step #6 in creating a busness card. They are catchy, and make sure you know exactly what the company does while fitting in perfect with their mission statement. On the back of the card, to further exemplify how much more freedom these types of companies have to work with, the owner of the card gets to put some terms to reflect himself, creating a more personal touch between the client and business.

Business Card Example 5

Business Card Example
Business Card Example
Business Card Example
The Scenic card is actually one of the coolest cards I’ve seen,unfortunately the pictures do not quite capture that. This is because this card was printed using gold foil stamping. The technique is another unique feature that is available at Kendall Press. The effect is a really sleek and luxurious look that embodies the services that are offered at Scenic. Once again we have a great example of a 3 letter slogan, “Luxury tours & cruises”. it tells you exactly what the company does. You can see that they used their slogan to make almost a logo for themselves as well, instead of just having it written out in a line. In the back, a simple quote that engages potential customers to go on one of the journeys offered by scenic. Note: The name (which goes above the position), mobile number and e-mail have been edited out at the request of Scenic.

Reaching the end of the article, we hope it helped you come up with some design ideas for your own business cards. 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 both designing and printing services to Boston, Cambridge, Belmont, Somerville and the Greater Boston 128 area. You are welcome to call us or click the button below to send us an e-mail to schedule your free consultation.

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Acknowledgements

Christopher A. Kozlowski, Rahway NJ

Ashton Law PC, Winchester MA

isgenuity, Boston MA

motiv, Boston MA

Scenic USA

Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs, A Guide for your Business

Whether you are promoting your business, service, product or just an idea, printed material can be an extremely effective tool for you and your business. Wherever you plan on being, research has shown that printed material is more effective than digital. Let’s talk about just some of the few places that you can use printed material:

  • Booths for trade shows or any event where you are making a presence
  • Presentations, whether it is a thesis or a business proposal
  • Real Estate or any picture/art based showing or offer
  • In your store for overviewsproduct offers/specials or full product lines

You can have printed material to be used as a future reference from your customer’s office or just give them out so people can look at them while walking around a conference, the uses for printed material are endless! Generally speaking, for product/service lists, you would want a catalog. If you want to talk about a specific product, idea or briefly introduce your company, brochures should be your go-to. If you want to have in-depth context or display research, a booklet would be the best option.

Catalogs tend to be more straightforward because they are more precise in what they show. They will probably be your best bet for long, undetailed lists in general. If you want to display everything your business has to offer, or a product line or however else you may want to categorize products, you generally want to create a catalog. Most catalogs tend to follow this 3 point checklist for each listing in the catalog.

  1. Picture
  2. Small description
  3. Price

Brochures  tend to vary more in terms of sizes and usage, however they are always extremely short in terms of pages. Our first example is a picture-based brochure which a real estate agent created for a specific unit. On the first page, very clearly labeled, you will see the name of the product at the top, a beautiful picture that they think best captures the most about the product in the center, and at the bottom, all ownership and rights needed for the product. Due to the nature of the product and the marketing that is best for it, only a small explanation is need.

Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide

On the first page, you see the product title again with the price, the small explanation, followed by the necessary pictures. Note how the brochure does not seem cluttered due to the spaces in between the pictures and how the back is left vacant of pictures. It is presented very elegantly and does not leave the reader overwhelmed.

Our second example is one of the most common brochure types with a bit of a kick to it. It is a tri-fold brochure, but its front page is cut in half to present a unique look. Immediately you can tell what the color scheme is; gold, blue and white, this remains consistent throughout the entire brochure. A photo is provided of the first page so that you can better see the color. The gold does not look as well in digital files because it is a metallic inc printed offset. Without even opening the brochure, you can clearly see the name of the company, and what it does. Once you open it up, the name of the company is reiterated to the reader while using the term “partner” to signify that the company does not think of itself as just a tool, it is not just doing a job for you, but it wants to help you grow and succeed.

Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide

Inside, there is a simple overview of what the company offers. On the back, where it is also readable without opening the brochure, you see a brief biography of what the company does, its logo and its contact information. It is said that the first thing that people will do when picking up a magazine/packet/brochure, is turn and see what’s on the back of it. From the content of the brochure, you can easily tell that the goal of this brochure is to introduce the company and what it can offer to you.

 

Booklets are similair to brochures in that they can also be used in a wide variety of ways, however, booklets allow you to communicate more deeply your thoughts and are lengthier, with more context. Scholars have used them to present their research, business personnel have used them for all types of reports and even students have used them to present their thesises, reports and projects. In our example, BRAC uses a booklet to present their research findings. Even if the nature of the booklet you are trying to create is different from BRAC’s, there are many lessons to be learned from their booklet. Starting off we have a picture of one of the women they worked with in the project. It can not be overstated how it is much more impactful to use your own real pictures instead of generic, stock pictures. Despite the topic being in-depth with research, there are very few pages filled with just text and long paragraphs. There are multiple images and graphics that are used to keep the content engaging. In page 4 (the second image), we see an example of that with a graph that is used as a visual guide to the content.

Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide

The picture of Shohiton, followed by her short story, is one of multiple example stories they have in their booklet. The use of their own pictures helps deliver a more personal and deeper connection to their service. In the following image, we see one of the tables that are included in the booklet to help organize their writing and present it in a visually pleasing way. In the last page, there is another example of how they elegantly avoid being overbearing to the reader by using a list for their key research conclusions. Another important note is that there is also a quote significant to their research that is bolded out. This is not the only place they highlight a single quote. Highlighting key quotes, phrases or sentences can be extremely effective whether they are from your own research or from other people. It is also important to note that all the colors and design stay consistent throughout the booklet.

Hopefully, this guide will help you design some print material to improve your effectiveness and 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 both designing and printing services to Boston, Cambridge, Belmont, Somerville and the Greater Boston 128 area, you are welcome to call us or click the button below to send us an e-mail to schedule your free consultation.

Schedule a Free Consultation

 

Acknowledgements:

Julia Kenny, Robert Paul Properties

BRAC’s Ultra Poor Graduation Programme, BRAC USA

  • All design: © Danielle Lee/BRAC
  • All photos: © BRAC
  • Page four graphic: © Amplifier Strategies/BRAC