Trade Show Supply

The Direct Source for Trade Show Displays, Exhibits, Booths, and Supplies
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The 2012 Solar Power International show just wrapped up here in Orlando, and it couldn’t have been more of a success! We had a total of 19 jobs at the show. Check out our Facebook page for more pictures of the show!

With a handful of new mediums to help you communicate to prospective audiences – choosing between text or a picture to convey your message can be a tough decision.

Here are some tips and tricks to choosing the best option for your medium and using pictures to their fullest power:

What pictures evoke:

We have all heard that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” As cliche as this phrase may be, it still holds true because of what pictures can portray and what emotions pictures can evoke. Pictures (especially photographs) can reconstruct memories which work in your favor to persuade people to pay you more attention. Pictures also have the power to be interpreted differently by different people and thus have the ability to reach more diverse audiences. There is not necessarily a “right” answer as to what a picture stands for.

Just remember:

●     Charts are not the same as pictures – there is only way to interpret a chart

●     Photographs of people are more relatable and evoke more emotion

●     Less is more – too many pictures can be overwhelming and people can’t focus

Trade Show Exhibits:

At a trade show, you want to be grabbing attendee’s attention to draw them into your booth.

This is best done through pictures.

Adding pictures to your display though is not something you can think about the day of an expo – you have to put serious thought and planning (or hire someone to do that for you) into the design of your exhibit. Whether it’s your logo or graphics on your display, have something that makes you stand out amongst all the other exhibitors.

Pretend that your exhibit is like a billboard. It has to be something that people can see and understand quickly so that you grab their attention. Your audience at a trade show is going to give an initial glance around the room and give your exhibit less than 30 seconds of their time. You have to make it stand out so that they want more.

Make your exhibit a good representation of your company. Use your company colors, your logo, and as few words as possible to get your message across. Make fonts clear and easy to read. You don’t want people having to “search” to find the message. It’s here that a visual is more likely to draw the crowds than a bunch of wordy pamphlets or signs.

Trade Show Exhibit: Clear logo, name, and color scheme. Graphic of the phones quickly explains what the company does.

Just remember:

●     Make it simple but make it different – stand out

●     Make it a good representation of your company

Websites:

In society today people are always looking for faster ways to retrieve information. They don’t want to spend too much time reading through pages of information. They want it fast and easily accessible.

Thus for websites, while one picture may capture one’s attention (especially if it’s a photograph of a person), too many pictures will distract the reader from getting the information they are seeking.

You want your pathways for them to be as simple and easy to maneuver as possible. Make fonts and font colors easy to read. Once they have found the information they are looking for (depending on how easy it was or how interesting they found the information to be) then they might spend more time casually browsing your site and looking at pictures.

If you are selling merchandise and your entire website is full of pictures of products, make the pictures clear and the format clean. Text links are easier to comprehend than picture links though – so make sure to put the name below each photo to hyperlink to the item’s page. This should allow for more foot traffic because it allows for easier browsing.

Just remember:

●     Reading pages and pages of text online is not appealing

●     Make sure to, again, keep it short and simple and easily maneuverable

Just like you want your trade exhibit and your website to be good representations of your company, it is also important to keep color schemes, themes, and logos the same on both. This helps people recognize you and gain more attention. It’s an easy way to build branding for yourself. You’ll be creating a “visual memory” for your customers which evokes good experiences and emotions for them.

Trade Show Supply was back at the Orange County Convention Center for Surf Expo 2012! We were honored to be designing and installing exhibits to help our clients have a successful show! Here’s a glimpse of some of our clients from Surf Expo 2012. For more pictures, please visit our Facebook page or new Pinterest page. Thanks again to all of our Surf Expo clients!

Congratulations are in order for Eric Scheuer and Lorraine Pertot, who tied for July’s Employee of the Month nomination.

I&D Crew Lead, Eric Scheuer, has been with Trade Show Supply since 2009 and has quickly proven how valuable he is to have on our team. Vice President of Operations, John Zipay, has said “Eric has been a steady help with all the traveling guys coming and going. His solid demeanor and expertise have enabled him to lead his peers”.

Lorraine Pertot started working at TSS in September 2011 as a Marketing Intern and was hired as a full-time Marketing Coordinator shortly after. Project Manager, Johanna Thompson, says “Lorraine has great follow through and cares about making sure the leads she brings in are well taken care of. She is a good example of what it means to give great guest experiences”.

Congrats Eric and Lorraine!

This year’s Miami Swim & Lingerie Show has been our busiest yet! Here’s a look at some of the exhibits Trade Show Supply designed and installed at the show. For more pictures from the 2012 Miami Swim & Lingerie Show, be sure to visit our Facebook page. Thank you to all of our wonderful Swim Show clients!

Kevin Cartee was honored as June’s Employee of the Month at our monthly staff meeting. Kevin is the newest addition to our crew, joining us in April 2012, and we couldn’t be more happy to have him on the team! As one of Trade Show Supply’s National Account Managers, Kevin is responsible for developing new business opportunities.

Kevin is known to be hardworking, dedicated, and most importantly, he maintains a positive attitude in everything he does. Vice President of Operations, John Zipay, says, “Kevin has been a solid addition to the sales staff. His professionalism on the phone and in the office are an example for everyone to follow. His steady demeanor and consistent performance are commendable.” Dan Griffin, Director of New Business Development, admires Kevin’s  performance, “the man is a monster in his marketing efforts and phone work. He gets it, and it’s great watching him set a blistering pace!”

Way to go, Kevin!

1. Develop and use a personalized lead card. Whether you create your own customized lead retrieval card (paper), or you personalize the automated lead retrieval system questionnaire that you rent from the show. a “qualified lead” means you capture 6 or 8 pieces of information about a prospect, specific to what your company needs to know, that will help you follow up with that attendee the week after the show is over.

2. Invest in a contact management software. The days of sorting out business cards into “hot”, “warm”, and “everything else” piles are over. Technology is your FRIEND when it comes to lead follow up and tracking relationship progress. We’re not schilling for any specific software here at TSS, but for as little as $199, you can get started with a reputable lead management software the Act or Goldmine. Even Microsoft Office has a business contact manager within the native software that can help you manage your trade show leads. But without this important tool, you will not get results.

3. Create lead “follow up categories”…BEFORE you go to the show! Sun Tzu taught us “every battle is won before it’s fought”. The same principle applies with your trade show follow up. You know how busy you are going to be when you get back from the show, after having been away for a week (or more). How many emails are waiting for you when you return? How many voicemails? Have your post show action plan figured out and in place before you even depart for the big event!

4. Make lead follow-up categories ACTIONABLE. “Hot!” is not an actionable lead category (except when the pot on the stove is boiling over). What do you want the follow-up team to DO with this important new opportunity? Here are the follow-up categories we define and plan for, two weeks prior to even departing for the show:

a. Sales Calls and Appointmentsgiven to the Regional Sales Managers

b. Customer Service Callsgiven to the Customer Service Manager

c. Proposals and Presentationsgiven to a pre-assigned Sr. Project Manager

d. Product Samplesassigned to Warehouse Operations Manager

e. Special Requestsgiven to General Manager for further qualification

By pre-determining the actionable lead categories, and pre-assigning who gets each type of lead, you will be better able to not just follow-up but follow THROUGH IMMEDIATELY, on your trade show leads. This puts you in the top 5% of exhibitors.

5. Make friends with your Accounting Manager. After entering all show leads into your contact manager software (Act, Goldmine, SaleForce.com, etc.), you will code each lead by show name (ex: BizExpo 2012). Three months after the show is over, walk into the accounting department and ask the manager, “Hey, can I get a sales report by month for the past 90 days? I just need each customer’s name, and the total they’ve sent with us in the past 90 days”. And your Accounting Manager will ask, “What’s this for?” (because that’s what accounting people do). And you will tell him/her, “We are doing a return on investment analysis in the marketing department” (They will LOVE that!…and immediately help you). You then compare this list against your BizExpo 2012 lead list and review the sales results. Do this at 90 days, 180 days, and 270 days after the show to track your total company sales directly or indirectly related to the trade show leads generated/developed at BizExpo2012.

And when you go to your boss at the end of the year, and show him that the company has closed $137,554.00 in the past 9 months from the $15,678.00 total investment in the BizExpo 2012 show (a 9:1 return on that investment), well…you can take the conversation from there!

Congratulations to Jacquan Penick, who was honored as May’s Employee of the Month. Jacquan is an I&D crew member, and has been with Trade Show Supply since 2008. We’re extremely lucky to have him on our team!

Jacquan is passionate about exhibit design, and even enrolled in classes at the Savannah College of Art & Design to pursue his passion. According to John Zipay, Vice President of Operations, Jacquan takes initiative on every job and is always beyond prepared. Our Graphic Design & Production Specialist, Jason Hernandez, describes Jacquan as an “idea guy”, and appreciates his input on how to do things more efficiently. We’re depending more and more on Jacquan these days, sending him to lead installs and dismantles across the country, most recently in Phoenix and Atlanta.

Thanks for all you do, Jacquan! You deserve it!

The trade show floor can throw surprises at you. Whether it’s an issue with freight, problems with the correct paperwork being turned in, or even not having the booth space that you thought you were getting. Having someone who knows how to handle issues like these can make all of the difference in your trade show experience.

On a recent trip to Scottsdale, AZ, for the IFM show we came across a few of these issues. Who walks in thinking that the ceiling won’t be high enough to put up the entire booth? Or that the space you have is actually a 16×20 instead of a 20×20? Only a team that knows things like this happen and they need to be prepared to make decisions. Here we modified the build in order to make the structure fit in the space that we had to deal with. A big thank you to GES Phoenix for letting us have the entire space and helping with everything that we needed. And a bigger thank you to the team at Xymogen for being patient while we were able to deal with these issues. It’s good to know that you have friends on your side when you go into an unfamiliar city.