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: 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!

 

4 Tips to Rock your Next Trade Show

Trade show graphics

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If you’ve ever worked a boring booth at a Trade Show, you’ve most likely been the victim of the “avoiders.” Those passers-by who liken you to Medusa and refuse to look your way for fear of being turned to stone. You notice them by the way they engage actively with booth 1145, take a quick glance at your booth with that lonely poster and brochure, and then, hurriedly walk past you with their eyes carefully averted. After enough of these avoiders, you may start to wish you had some of those smiley-faced, squishy stress-balls to throw at them.

This year, with some careful planning and a little creativity, you may be able to grab people’s attention and keep them engaged without resorting to assault and battery. Obviously, the lengths that you go to create interest at your booth may be limited by your budget, so it’s important to think about what this trade show means to your business and how engaging 10, 50, or even 1000 target individuals may bring more work your way in the coming months. Once you’ve got your budget ironed out, you can start getting those creative juices flowing.

Get Out Your Lasso

You know from experience that the hardest part of working a trade show booth is getting people to look at you, right? What if your booth looked like they just stepped into the hottest casino in Vegas? Or, they’re stepping into a game show hosted by loud and enthusiastic individuals? Being active and/or unconventional is key to attracting attention. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination, and here are some favorites to get your mind flowing:

• Superhero or celebrity photo ops. Invent a superhero to represent your company and have him or her available for photo opportunities with booth guests. It may seem a bit corny, but it works. The same is true for celebrity look-alikes. Be sure to get their card so you can send them the pic after the show.

• Wheel of Fortune. Nothing screams “come here now” than the chance to win fabulous and exciting merchandise (or your services).

• Create a treasure map leading to your booth. This may require some cooperation on the part of the venue, but placing arrows or words on the floor that lead people to your booth can create intrigue and bring people in.

Whatever you decide, make it fun and interactive. Think Disneyland for adults.

Build Excitement in Advance of the Trade Show

Regardless of what genius idea has emerged from your mind, it’s important to create a sense of anticipation among your clients and prospects. Sending out formal printed invites or periodic emails revealing a little something more about what’s in store for them when they visit will get them chomping at the bit to visit your booth.

Have Quality Informational Products to Hand Out

You get very few chances to make an impression once you get people into your booth. Once they’re there, make your efforts count by providing them with unique, high-quality informational products that will not just stay in the bag in the closet when they get home. For tips and examples about creating brochures, booklets and catalogs, be sure to check out our guide!

Follow-up After the Trade Show with Everyone

Hopefully, your venue will provide a mailing list of all of the participants so you can send out follow-up correspondence to those you saw and those you missed. If no list is provided, be absolutely sure you get business cards from the people you talk to and connect with them ASAP! The more opportunities you have to make an impression, the better. For help with business cards, check out this guide!

If you need help with your informational handouts or creating a Superhero of your very own, give Kendall Press a call!  We would love to help!  If you just want to stop by for a photo op with the Kendall Press Superhero, we would love to see you – come on by!

Trade Shows

Trade shows draw big crowds - photo by Keith Spiro of Kendall Press KeithSpiroPhoto_7398_KSPwC

Trade shows. Trade fairs. Expos. No matter what you call them, these exhibitions are organized to allow members of the related industry an opportunity to demonstrate and discuss their products and services. The concept of the trade show has been around since Medieval times, tracing as far back as the 12th century in Europe. Even after nearly a millennium, however, the basic goal of a trade show has largely remained unchanged: connecting sellers and buyers in a central location. Because of that basic premise, trade shows are still prominent opportunities for companies of all sizes to exhibit their wares in front of a curious, prospective, and attentive audience.

Held in large facilities like Boston’s BCEC and Hynes Convention Center, these major events are usually held once every year nationally or internationally, and sometimes even more frequently on a regional basis. From the conventional to the mainstream to the downright unexpected, there are trade shows for every industry you can imagine.

Whether you are part of a small business, startup, or new company, here are three reasons why your organization should consider taking part in the next upcoming trade show for your industry.

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