Tips When Attending Trade Shows

Trade shows can be an excellent opportunity for you and your business, whether you are an entrepreneur or you’re representing the company you work for. Thousands of people set up trade show booths and trade show displays across the country at a huge variety of industry events. However, many people don’t know how to take advantage of the opportunities a trade show offers. Some plan on simply attending, setting up their trade show booth, and then staying there all day hoping to attract new business.

Manning a trade show display is only part of the reason you should be attending a trade show. The other vendors at a trade show can provide you with a wealth of new information and contacts in your industry; all accessible in the same room on the same day—this is the unparalleled attraction of a trade show for your business.

If you plan to attend a trade show, make sure you are not the only person there representing your company, even if you are a small business owner with few employees or a sole proprietorship. You will need at least one person to staff your trade show booth, and another to walk the floor taking in the other trade show displays.

If necessary, get your spouse or a good friend to come with you and give them a crash course on how to handle your trade show booth while you check out the other vendors – and only do so when it is slow so you don’t miss important business opportunities. When you make reservations for the hotel you will stay at during the show, try to find a room as close as possible to the actual location—preferably within walking distance. That way, you won’t have to bring anything with you to the venue other than the materials for your trade show display.

Before you attend a trade show, go over the list of vendors who plan to put up trade show booths. Make lists of the vendors you must see, the vendors you would like to see, and those you can live without seeing. You may even be able to schedule appointments with your top priority vendors.

Research the companies and determine ahead of time what you would like to find out from each trade show display and what your goals are regarding each vendor: are they competition, or a potential contact? If they are a potential contact, how would they specifically benefit your company? Have questions ready to ask vendors to save yourself time walking the floor.

Another good time saving strategy is to obtain a map and a directory of the trade show when you arrive on location, before the show begins. Use the map to plan your route, and check your prioritized list of vendors against the directory to find out whether any vendors have been added or dropped out.

During the trade show, be active in your quest for information. Don’t feel bad about passing by trade show booths that don’t interest you. Like you, they are attending the trade show to generate new business, and they don’t want to waste time talking to someone who isn’t a potential customer.

Visit your targeted trade show displays, engage in a dialogue with the vendors, and ask questions. If the trade show booth offers handouts, samples or other materials, take only those you actually want to find out more about. It can be difficult to tote a loose stack of glossy brochures, catalogs, and bulky product samples around a busy trade show floor.

If possible, arm yourself with an empty briefcase or duffel bag to stow materials. Use your time wisely to gather intelligence on your competition and make new industry contacts that will benefit your company.

When the trade show ends, especially if it is a multiple-day event, take the time to make notes and organize the materials you gathered before you leave the event. If you need to mail reports, brochures or other materials to your colleagues, prepare the mailings right away while “who gets what” is still fresh in your mind.

Make sure to store your trade show display safely so nothing is damaged and you can find everything you need the following day. When you return from the trade show, remember to follow up with the contacts you have made—and start preparing for next year’s trade show!

Introduction to Trade Show Exhibits

When you are planning for your next trade show exhibit you should look back to when you were only browsing the many different booths, exhibits, and displays. Remember what type of exhibits got your attention. Your presentation should also draw the crowd.

Before you just rush out and purchase displays for your trade show exhibition you must take into consideration many different aspects of how you desire your presentation to look and feel. You know you want it to speak to the potential customers that are passing by and hopefully bring them over so you can speak with them. Your exhibit must get their attention so will they walk over, and then you can get their undivided attention.

You must first decide which type of exhibit will be the best to present your products, services and your company image. You should also consider your budget. No matter what your budget you can find the perfect trade show exhibits that will convey your message with the image that you want others to see.

The size of your trade show exhibit can either make or break you. If you have one to large, the exhibit will be overwhelming and if you choose one to small it will look overcrowded and cluttered. The most common sizes for trade show exhibits are 10 feet by 10 feet, 20 feet by 20 feet, and 10 feet by 20 feet. Within this size limitation, you must also choose from pop-up designs, panels or complete Truss trade show display booths.

In the 10 feet by 10 feet size, you can find some great displays in various styles and designs. With the Clever 10 foot panel, you can choose from Backlit Header, lights, the color that you prefer for the lower panel and a different one for the upper panel. The benefits of using these panels are that they are sturdy and durable but very lightweight and easy to transport. The average weight of these panels is around 130 pounds.  The Genius I 10 foot panel you can also choose whether you want lights, the counter base color, Counter Laminate Color, the color of the lower panel and the upper panel. The features of this type of panel is that it is a folding panel display system, has 6 upper hinged panels, 6 lower hinged panels, 1 backlit header and lights, 1 alcove counter top and 1 alcove counter base. This wonderful panel is very impressive for all types of displays and normally weighs around 200 pounds.

If you prefer a larger size like the 20 feet by 20 feet, you should like at the features that are included with pop-up displays and Truss display booths. The best pop-up display of this size is the Trilogy 20′ x 20′ Island Pop up Trade Show Display. The features of this unique display are that it is in actuality three trade show booths in one. It has the 10-foot wide back-to-back exhibiting area that creates a triangular or star shape. If gives you the ability to present your products or different aspects of your company all the way around the display. You will also be able to choose the color and fabric that you desire along with a case to counter conversion kit and the colors and fabrics of this kit, lights, shelf package, Backlit Header Package and Reconfiguration Panels. 20 feet by 20 feet Truss booths come in a few unique styles such as the Cassiopeia, which features a steel construction; high shine silver color, 4 tabletops, and the ability to assemble with just four screwdrivers that are included. The Centaurus features the same quality steel construction, the high shine silver color, 24 silver spotlights, and the ability to add tabletops in either light wood or silver in color. The Neptune is sure to grab attention with features like a modular system that is quick and easy to assemble. The Jupiter is another modern and innovative display which gives you great features such as high shine silver color, quality steel construction, 6 tabletops in either light wood or silver, 8 silver spot lights, and easy to assemble with screw drivers that are included. The Vega is similar to other Truss booths but is an eye catching and appealing booth with options for tabletops, colors, and design.

The 10 feet by 20 feet size of displays gives you styles and designs to choose from such as pop-display’s, panels, and Truss booths. All of these also have many unique styles and designs that are sure to aid you in presenting your products, your company, or your services in a manner that is not only unique, stylish and original, but with prices within your budget.

Tips When Displaying at Trade Shows

Almost all products being sold in the market today have already been sold before by their competitors but what makes other products a hit despite their being new in the market? Most entrepreneurs say it is a matter of marketing your products to your target market.

Marketing can be done in various ways depending on the expertise of the marketer. However, one common way to market a new product is through participation in trade shows. Trade shows are held at any time of the year and they do attract buyers and prospective customers.

There are general trade shows but you can choose from niche trade shows depending on your area of business. Companies join trade shows not so much for actual selling but most importantly for showing off their products and for the possibility of getting bulk orders during the trade show.

A company or a sole proprietor planning to join a trade show should take note of the following:

1. Able personnel to man the trade show booth. A trade show is not just an ordinary selling venue but it is a venue where prospective clients abound so make sure that you send your best personnel to man the booth. Some companies take trade shows for granted and allow inept personnel to watch the booth. The people who are put in charge of your trade show booth can make or break your product. A good staff with public relations skill can attract more clients to your products. It is also important to instruct your booth personnel to dress properly depending on the venue of the trade show. Business attire will always be safe.

2. Invite visitors to your booth. The booth personnel must be trained and instructed to invite visitors to the booth. Most visitors walk away from trade show booth when they see the staff busy with their own thing. Tell your staff the main reason why they were assigned to the trade show and that is to get as many visitors to see your products. Booth personnel should be able to answer questions from the visitors because the visitors may already be potential customers. A booth demo will catch the attention of visitors especially if the demo is useful to them.

3. Prepare your brochures, leaflets and business cards and make sure you do not run out of them.  Always expect plenty of people to visit trade shows so never be caught without your marketing tools. Imagine if a potential client asks for your brochure or your card and then you cannot give him anything just because you did not prepare for an influx of people. It is better to have plenty of left over marketing materials after the show rather than miss the opportunity of showing off what you have to offer.

4. Keep a visitors’ book. Most companies who join trade shows require visitors who get their free marketing materials to sign up in a guestbook. However, only a few of these companies will communicate with the people who signed in their guestbook. Be creative and use the guestbook as a sourcebook for potential clients. The people who visited your booth and who got your materials are definitely interested in your products or else they will not even glance at your booth. Why not take advantage of their contact information?  Mail them a thank you letter along with more information about the product and where they can buy the products.

5. Promote your products but do not be too pushy. Visitors are often turned off by very eager booth personnel who call out to the visitors using their loudest voice. No one would want to visit your booth if your personnel are boisterous. Allow the visitors to go inside your booth and look at the items you have on display but always keep a welcoming smile. Entertain their questions and try to respond to them accordingly. Never shout your words of welcome to the visitors since they might feel defensive all of a sudden and decide against looking at your products.

Anatomy Of A Successful Trade Show Exhibit

A trade show, also known as a merchandise show or market week, is an exhibition or a business gathering organized by companies that showcase and demonstrate their new products and services and also their latest offerings. Trade shows also provide opportunities for companies to meet their customers, to learn new trends and to identify new prospects.

Trade shows are not open to the public and can only be attended by company representatives, members of the trade and members of the press. One advantage of holding a trade show is that it shortens the time it takes for companies to look for prospective customers. But the major disadvantage is that customers and prospects pay little attention to the many exhibitors and their products due to the many distractions and the busy atmosphere inherent in trade shows.

Exhibitors can make effective use of trade show displays in trade shows to direct visitors to their main display area. Trade show displays are used to give visitors a better understanding or appreciation of the products or services being marketed. Although exhibitors are only supposed to put their trade show displays within the confines of their designated trade show exhibit area, exhibitors also display items in strategic areas of the fair grounds. Trade show displays often used include banner stands, counters and cabinets, panel display etc. that clearly display the company logo, basic company information and company slogan.

The trade show booth is an important component of the trade show display as it aims to enhance the brand and marketing experience for the visitor. It facilitates valuable direct face-to-face contact between the companies and their prospective customers. The whole booth set-up includes counters kiosks, lighting, flooring, literature racks, banner stands and high impact graphics, with the booth design, the staffing and the handouts the main factors to a successful trade show booth.

Many companies prefer to rent pre-owned trade show exhibits and displays rather than to buy or to create them from scratch to save on the trade show booth construction costs and also on the expense of warehousing the displays after the trade show is over.

Trade shows demand a lot of work and effort, and exhibitors have to plan well in advance so as to make the trade show a success. It is because any successful trade show offers exhibitors with a very valuable opportunity to build relationships face-to-face with their clients and to close lucrative business deals.

Greenbuild International Expo and Conference was held Oct. 5-7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center and brought in more than 18,000 attendees and 530-plus exhibitors for its 15th year to a showfloor of approximately 139,000 square feet of exhibit space.  

Both attendees and exhibitors alike were focused on all things green at the show.

“There was such a need for a show like this when it was formed, and grew in 2007 to one of the largest 200 trade shows in the US,” said Lindsay Roberts, group director at Informa Exhibitions, which runs the show. “The show appeals to a deeper cause, and to like-minded people who live and breathe the idea and execution of a sustainable and green environment.”

To say this show is about just building in a sustainable way would be an understatement.  The show looks at every aspect of green living and applies those principals to all aspects of the show itself.

This affects many areas of the show, including sustainable choices for food, recyclable maps and badges and proper waste management. 

What is more, the conference has developed an impressive volunteer program, providing a full conference pass to those individuals who are either in school full-time or between 18 and 25 years old.

“Volunteering for the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo is a cost-effective and exciting way for young people interested in the sustainability field to be exposed to educational sessions, programing, network opportunities and exhibitors contributing to the green building movement,” said Rachel Gilbert, media and communications Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council.

She added, “Volunteers are able to partake in exciting educational opportunities about the latest trends and developments in the green building movement, as well as network with leaders in the sustainability field.”

The focus on eco-friendly details was on display in the Net Zero Zone, a new area for the Greenbuild conference.  This area was the world’s first show space powered outside the convention center electrical grid.

“We wanted to first showcase how a micro-grid and appropriate technology can be implemented, not only in a small-scale environment, but also in a large scale commercial application. Second, because we create a DC-based system, we are able to demonstrate multiple types on renewable energy on the same busway. This allows us to demonstrate a ‘community system’ of power, using a variety of sources from solar, wind, fuel cell and even utility power. Third, we took a portion of Greenbuild off the grid, and from a sustainability standpoint, this was very important for the show,” shared Eric Peterson, director, Greenbuild International Conference & Expo.

He added, “Because we are creating a temporary power source (micro-grid) inside a convention center, the biggest challenge was just organizing the various pieces of equipment that are utilized in a working demonstration on a small scale.  When we began planning for this, our biggest worry was that we would run into technical problems and possible reluctance from the convention center and their electrical teams but that has been one of the best surprises. The convention center staff gets very excited to work with us and has been what has allowed us to grow each year.”

Another area that has increased during the last two years in the show is a focus on health and wellness.  This certainly relates to the environment, when considering natural light and ventilation impacting the overall design of a home or office building. 

LEED-certified buildings have been shown to help increase production and reduce sick days, according to Roberts.

This focus on holistic living and dwelling was showcased in the Greenbuild KB Home ProjeKt, showing the future of high-performance design. This home, built right on the exhibit floor, included energy efficient appliances, incorporation of the outdoors as part of the home footprint, and using materials that are environmentally conscious.

 “We are working with a very diverse audience at this show, with 30 different demographics. And having a horizontal show can prove very challenging, but it also is one of the best assets of the show,” Roberts said. “Such different backgrounds in our attendee base provide a great conversation exchange, especially with there being a common focus on the environment and sustainability.”

Greenbuild International Expo and Conference 2017 will take place Nov. 8-10, 2017, at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

Emerald Expositions Acquires National Pavement Expo from AC Business Media

October 18, 2016

Just one week after buying the Digital Dealer Conference & Expo, Emerald Expositions has scooped up another show – the National Pavement Expo – from AC Business Media, a business-to-business media company with a portfolio of brands in heavy construction, asphalt, concrete, paving, rental, sustainability, manufacturing, logistics and supply chain markets.

“NPE has a long and storied history in its over 30 years, and we are glad that it will be in the capable hands of one of the top trade show operators in the world, providing many benefits to our loyal attendees and exhibitors,” said Carl Wistreich and Anil Narang, co-owners of AC Business Media.

NPE is the largest trade show specifically designed for paving and pavement maintenance professionals, bringing vendors and suppliers together with contractors who make their living from asphalt and concrete paving, infrared pavement repair, sealcoating, striping, sweeping, crack repair, pavement repair and snow removal.

The next NPE event will be held Feb. 1-4 in Nashville, Tenn., providing four days of seminars and workshops, plus a new Leadership Boot Camp Jan. 31, in addition to access to more than 150 exhibitors profiling products and services on the expo floor.

AC Business Media has retained Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction magazine, which will continue to be the official publishing partner of NPE and whose team will work closely with the Emerald team on marketing of the event and the development of conference content.

This long-term strategic relationship will enable both organizations to focus their respective resources and expertise on their core competencies and apply best practices across each product line, according to Emerald officials.

Emerald has renamed its “Design” end market to “Design & Construction”, and Joe Randall, executive vice president of Emerald Expositions, will continue to oversee the portfolio of trade shows and conferences across this end market.

“NPE has grown strongly under AC Business Media’s entrepreneurial management,” Randall said. “We’re excited to add the event to our portfolio and will seek to enhance the NPE experience for both attendees and exhibitors by applying our deep event experience, scale benefits and industry-leading best practices.”

Some other shows in the ‘Design & Construction” portfolio include the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, GlobalShop and HD Expo.

Nick Curci, president of Corporate Solutions that handled the transaction, said, “National Pavement Expo is the leading industry event for contractors in the asphalt, concrete paving, sealcoating, striping, sweeping crack sealing, pavement repair and snow removal industries. The event hosts over 500 exhibits each year with over 100,000 net square feet of exhibit space and attracts 3,600 professional attendees. NPE has realized double digit growth over the past several years with its dominance in the pavement industry.”

The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

People News: Tarsus, eMerge Americas, SourceOne Events, Core-Apps All Add to Ranks

October 18, 2016

Moving into the last quarter of 2016, bringing on new employees and promoting from within, especially in the executive ranks, still is occurring at a swift pace in companies from several trade show sectors.

U.K.-based Tarsus Group has appointed Mark Temple-Smith as CEO Asia. Temple-Smith has more than 20 years’ experience in the global exhibitions industry and has led and developed successful businesses in Europe, Africa and Asia. 

He will be joining Tarsus from ITE Group plc, where he is regional director for Asia. During the past four and a half years, Temple-Smith has grown ITE’s Asian business from start-up to some 50 exhibitions and over 400 employees in India, Southeast Asia and China.

Prior to joining ITE in 2012, he was a member of the management team at Canon Communications. Temple-Smith is expected to join Tarsus early in 2017.

Tarsus also has promoted Peter Massey to CEO Southeast Asia. Massey joined Tarsus in 2012 as business development director. I

In his new role, Massey will be working with Tarsus partners in the region to help drive the company’s business forward.

Douglas Emslie, Tarsus Group’s group managing director, said, “I am delighted that Mark has agreed to join Tarsus at this exciting time for the group in Asia. The region is a key component of our ‘Quickening the Pace’ strategy, and I am sure that under Mark and Peter’s leadership our business will continue to grow strongly.”

He added, “We are pivoting the Group towards Asia, where we currently generate approximately 18 percent of our business. We hope to build this to 30% over the medium-term, both organically and via bolt-on acquisitions. I look forward to working with both Mark and Peter on this next phase in Tarsus’ development in the region.”

eMerge Americas, the B2B technology conference connecting companies with business and government leaders from North America, Latin America and Europe, added a new team member, Diane F. Vidoni.

With more than 20 years’ experience in the convention, exhibition planning and hospitality industry, Vidoni brings vision, innovative tactical approaches and operational expertise to the role of COO.

Prior to venturing into the technology sphere, Vidoni most recently served as vice president of Operations and Conferences for National Trade Productions (NTP) where she led a team dedicated to safety, aesthetics, cost-savings and innovation in conference development.

She also served as director of Conferences and Trade Show Operations at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), directing all operational aspects of the show including oversight of exhibits and conference management for international events, development and management of a multi-million-dollar budget and on-site crisis management plans.

“As we expand our global footprint, it’s key that we bring on talented executives that can help execute event plans that transcend expectations from start to finish,” said eMerge Americas CEO, Xavier Gonzalez. “We’re thrilled to welcome Diane to the eMerge family and are confident in her ability to enhance the annual event through innovative thinking tied with operational excellence.”

In its fourth year, eMerge Americas will once again welcome the region’s leading entrepreneurs, industry luminaries, tech enthusiasts, global thought leaders and strategic investors to South Florida for another unmatched event.

SourceOne Events has brought on Joseph Giannelli to their team as senior account executive. Previously holding positions at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel, Navy Pier, McCormick Place and as an operations consultant, Giannelli brings with him 24 years of valuable and essential experience in the events industry.

“With the ever-changing landscape of our industry, clients are constantly striving to take their events to the next level in order to stay current and ahead of the competition.” Giannelli said. “Because SourceOne has been in the full-service events production business for over a decade, we have the team, the tools and the talent in place that allow me the opportunity to offer you exceptional service at an excellent price point.”

Core-apps, a technology platform for the events industry, has signed on Wayne Crawford to join the company as vice president of Sales.

Crawford has more than 30 years of experience as both an organizer and technology supplier, having worked in the past for NAB, CES, NXTcomm and expo technology platform a2z, Inc.

“I have been about helping customers improve their processes and maximize revenue my entire career,” Crawford said. “I’m thrilled to join the Core-apps team. I believe we have an incredible opportunity to continue to grow our platform and the marketplaces we serve, and I’m excited to lead that effort with the sales and leadership teams.”

Core-apps CEO Jay Tokosch said bringing Crawford on board was an easy decision. “Wayne is known in the industry for running a team that sells solutions versus features. That philosophy fits with how we approach our customer partnerships.” He adds, “In addition to his work on the technology side of the events industry, Wayne has extensive experience as an exposition manager. So he understands our products and our customers’ goals. We look forward to having him lead our company’s growth and our customers’ success.”

Crawford most recently served as president of Wayne Manor Group, an events technology consultancy. He will begin his new told at Core-apps Nov. 1.

Tyson Foods, National Association of Convenience Stores Donate Food to Atlanta Needy

October 17, 2016

Tyson Foods and the National Association of Convenience Stores partnered to donate a truckload of protein to Atlanta Community Food Bank to help eliminate hunger in the greater Atlanta area.

“We are thankful for the generosity of Tyson Foods and the NACS for their donation of more than 33,000 pounds of food,” said Kyle Waide, CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “One in seven people in metro Atlanta and north Georgia need help putting food on the table. This partnership allows us to provide high quality protein for thousands of them.”

Atlanta Community Food Bank, which serves 29 counties, will distribute the donated food through its service network of 600 agency partners, including nonprofit and faith-based organizations providing daily meals and food pantry services across metro Atlanta and north Georgia. 

NACS is holding its annual NACS Show at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta this week.

More than 20,000 attendees from 60-plus countries are expected to attend the event, which is one of the largest trade shows in the country.

“Convenience stores are closely tied to the communities they serve, especially around charitable giving,” said Jeff Lenard, vice president of NACS’ strategic industry initiatives. “Our industry donates hundreds of millions of dollars annually to local charities and we are delighted to work with these great partners to give back to Atlanta.”

Last month, NACS worked with Dr Pepper Snapple Group, KaBOOM! and community volunteers to build a playground in nearby East Point, Ga. Lenard said that it is also working with the Atlanta Community Food Bank to donate product from the expo floor at the conclusion of the NACS Show Oct. 21.

Tyson Foods’ “KNOW Hunger” campaign is focused on helping more people understand and join the effort to eliminate hunger in America. The company partners with Feeding America, Share Our Strength and Lift Up America to raise awareness and help feed the hungry across the nation. Since 2000, Tyson Foods has donated more than 100 million pounds of protein in the United States.

Last year, Tyson Foods announced its renewed commitment to hunger relief by pledging $50 million in cash and in-kind donations over the next five years in the fight against hunger, with a special focus on innovative initiatives at the local level.

“Partnering with organizations like Atlanta Community Food Bank and NACS is important to us in raising awareness about food insecurity in communities all around the U.S.,” said Kevin Miller, senior marketing manager for Tyson Convenience. “In this community alone, Atlanta Community serves 80,600 people each week with programs supported through the food bank. We’re honored to support those extraordinary efforts.”

To learn more about Atlanta Community Food Bank and its hunger-relief efforts, visit ]]>]]>

Promotional Products Businesses Should Use

October 15, 2016
Melisa Greenfield
Melisa Greenfield is an experienced copywriter who’s been working with Promotion Plus Limited (]]>]]>) for 2 years, helping them promote the benefits of using promotional products to increase brand awareness.

There’s no denying how effective promotional products can be for businesses at trade shows – and it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in either. Why? Because the products are designed to get your name and branding in front of people, to help them remember you when they’re in need of your product or service.

Nowadays there is such a wide range of promotional products available to give out at trade shows, so you’ll be able to find something that suits your target audience and your budget.

Let’s start with the classics…

The most obvious choice of promo product for a trade show would be pens. Because, let’s face it, everybody needs a pen. It’s small enough that anybody can grab one; they don’t even need a bag for it – they can just pop it in their pocket, if needs be.

One thing to remember when giving away pens is that it shouldn’t feel too cheap – while we all need pens, nobody wants a cheap one. But don’t worry… this doesn’t mean you’re going to have pay through the nose for every promotional pen you give away. You can actually buy great quality pens at a really affordable price.

Another option that’s small enough to fit in a pocket would be USBs/FlashDrives. It might not be something that’s used everyday by the person you give it to, but it’s highly likely to be sat on their desk at work, just in case they need one. Which means when they’re racking their brains trying to think of who to help with their problem, they’ll spot the USB and get in touch.

Another classic option is mugs – but gone are the days of only being able to choose a bog-standard mug… you can now pick from a wide range of styles so you’ll be able to find something out there that suits your target audience and helps to make you stand out.

Then you have options that are more likely to be used out and about, increasing your brand awareness even further. This includes things like bags, lanyards, umbrellas, oyster card holders, sports bottles, and keyrings.

If you know you’re going to have a stall at a trade show during the wet, winter months, umbrellas are a great option. Think about it… how many times have you left the house and completely forgotten your umbrella, only to get caught in a downpour? Now imagine if you were given a free umbrella at a trade show..? You’d be more likely to remember that company, wouldn’t you?

So not only are you in their mind, when that person uses the umbrella, they’re going to cross the path of potentially hundreds of people in a day. And if the it stands out for all the right reasons, you’ll be in the minds of that see it – all for the cost of an umbrella!

The same goes for oyster card holders – it’s something practical that they’ll potentially use every day, so they’re reminded of your company on a daily basis, it fits in their pocket, and it will be seen by plenty of other people during their commute.

You can even look at watches as a possible option too. These are fantastic at really making sure your business stays at the forefront of your prospects mind. After all, how many companies do you know that give away a free watch at trade shows?

It’s a great way to make sure you stand out amongst all of the other stands there that day… and you’ll become a name that people see on a regular basis as they check the time. So to the end user, it’s an incredibly luxurious product to be given for free by a company that doesn’t really know them but for you, it’s an incredibly cost-effective way to increase your brand awareness on a wider scale – especially if you buy in bulk, as this really keeps the costs down.

And if you want to make sure everyone in the office is reminded of you on a regular basis, you can go for more practical items such as coasters, computer mice, mouse mats, folders, or even clocks!

There really is a great range of promotional products available nowadays, so if you’re struggling to decide which option works best for you, start thinking about what your target audience are most likely to use and what’s going to make you stand out.

Items such as USBs, umbrellas, and watches are great because they’re incredibly cost-effective items that are practical for the end user – plus they’re unlikely to be given out by other people at the trade show. Just because most people stick to pens, lanyards, and mugs doesn’t mean you have to!

The Power of Live: The Benefits of Incorporating Video into Your Events

October 14, 2016
Brea Carter

Brea Carter is a Content Manager & Copywriter for ]]>FreemanXP,]]> EMEA. View more like this on the FreemanXP blog.

Storytelling, User-Generated Content, Virtual Reality… The global event series, ]]>Social Media Week]]> is known for covering a range of exciting topics of ]]>relevance to our industry]]>. Video, however, is one trend that really seemed to jump out at me as part of the London installment.

Many of the speakers, including representatives from brands such as ]]>Facebook]]> and ]]>National Geographic]]>, stressed that incorporating video into social is the way of the future. It’s an effective tool for the events industry, as it enables us to promote our client’s events in an engaging way before the fact, broadcast these experiences to their communities in real time, and package up event highlights for people to enjoy post-event.

Below are a selection of tips and tricks from some of the speakers around how you can create winning social video content that truly engages consumers.

Video for Mobile

Ian Crocombe, regional head of Creative Shop at Facebook sees a world that is video-first, and notes that video sits at the heart of all of Facebook’s apps and services — the company only recently launched its Instagram Stories functionality, after all.

He notes that consumers behave differently on smartphone devices — on average they spend just 1.7 seconds per content item on mobile, and 80% of these users’ watch videos without sound. How then, can we cut through the clutter to connect with our increasingly mobile savvy audiences?

Crocombe offered a range of insights, including: add stylized text overlays — an effective tool for pre and post-event videos where there is time to edit — as this will draw users in even where there is no sound. It’s also important to consider the key creative messages and ideas around your client’s event, and focus on incorporating captivating imagery that reflects this into the video. Questions are also a great way to spark curiosity. 

Content Across Multiple Platforms

Nadine Heggie, vice president, global partnerships, National Geographic Partners Europe & Africa explained that video plays an important role in the brand’s social media strategy, and summed this up with a great statement: “Relevant, relatable and timely content always wins the day.”

She explained that the brand regularly publishes YouTube videos that showcase its journalists and photographers out in the field, which are then broken up into snackable content pieces for sharing across the video functionalities of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Footage of our own events can re-purposed in much the same way — a longer-form highlights video can be edited down with respect to the different social channels in which we want to feature.

Live video presents another unique opportunity for National Geographic Partners, at it enables audiences to access unique locations across the globe in real-time, so that they feel as though they are right there beside the brand’s journalists and photographers. In the world of events, social tools such as Facebook Live and Periscope are similarly an effective way to broadcast what is happening live, however it’s important to be authentic, keeping in mind the client’s messaging around the event. 

The New Brand Channels

Eric Fulwiler, executive director at ]]>VaynerMedia]]> London likens the smartphone to television. In other words, just as TV surpassed radio as the place for brand advertising in the 1950s and 1960s, mobile is fast becoming the place for brands to connect with their audiences.

He explained that if the mobile phone is the new television, social networks are the new brand channels. This means as event organizers, we need to work with our clients to ensure the footage of their live experiences is packaged up for social video, so that their ‘stories’ become the new hit shows.

Video isn’t a new medium per se, yet the ways that we as event organizers can embrace it to extend the reach of our events has changed dramatically in recent years. Thanks to social media, not only can we stream our events to global communities in real time, we can package this information up into bite-sized pieces for consumers to enjoy across multiple channels. As our attention spans get shorter, the need for visual, snackable content has never been so important. 

Taffy Events Scores 2018 American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) Convention & Exposition 2018 Contract

October 13, 2016

On the heels of scoring the contract to work on COVERINGS next year, Taffy Events has been contracted for the exposition management of the 2018 American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) Convention & Exposition.

“Taffy Events provides us with a seasoned team of event management professionals who are passionate about ASPE and the trade show industry,” said Billy Smith, FASPE, executive director/CEO of ASPE.

He added, “We are excited to be collaborating with such an innovative and dynamic team. The energy that Taffy and ASPE’s Staff bring to the table will add fresh ideas and enhance the experience for all involved with the event.”

Advancing plumbing engineering for more than 50 years, the ASPE Convention & Exposition is designed to showcase innovations in plumbing system design, where plumbing engineers, designers, specifiers, and contractors will have the opportunity to learn about the latest plumbing products, services, and design techniques.

Thousands of industry professionals participate in this biennial event, and in 2014, the ASPE Convention & Exposition in Chicago was named as one of the 25 fastest-growing shows based on total attendance by Trade Show News Network.

Taffy Events will kick off the contract with space selection during the upcoming 2016 Expo in Phoenix, on tap Oct. 31-Nov.1, where companies can sign up to exhibit at the 2018 Expo being held Oct. 1-2 in Atlanta.

In 2014, Taffy Events launched in the marketplace as a unique, full-service trade show management company comprised of forward-thinking experts who live for producing events that are seamless, vibrant, and innovative.

“We are thrilled and honored to be working with ASPE. We see a solid opportunity for growth for the show and look forward to fostering this growth, as well as enhancing the attendee and exhibitor experience,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Events.

Galen Poss Joins Drake Star Partners to Serve the Association Sector

October 13, 2016

Drake Star Partners, an international investment bank focusing on the technology, media and communications sectors has brought on industry veteran Galen Poss as Senior Advisor. 

Poss will focus specifically on the not-for-profit association-owned trades how market and will work closely with Kathleen Thomas, managing partner at Drake Star Partners.

“The association sector comprises more than 60 percent of the U.S trade show market, and an ever increasing number of association executives are exploring options relative to selling or partnering with for-profit organizers,” Thomas said.

She added, “I am delighted to be working with Galen, one of the most respected operators in the tradeshow sector, in serving a community that we believe is underserved.  Galen has worked with many associations in his career guiding them and effecting outcomes that have benefitted their constituency greatly. I look forward to providing the platform, team and technical expertise to enable us both to serve this important community more broadly.” 

Galen A. Poss, CEM, is vice chairman for dmg events, which owns and operates events globally in the construction and oil/gas sectors. 

“In many cases, an association’s annual convention and trade show are not part of the organization’s core mission but are vitally important to funding its initiatives,” Poss said.

He added, “This provides a unique opportunity for the not for profit sector and for-profit organizers to work together in a mutually beneficial relationship.  I look forward to working with the team at Drake Star Partners to facilitate these relationships and to serve both portions of the marketplace.”

Previously, Poss was president of Hanley-Wood Exhibitions, a division of Hanley-Wood, LLC from its inception in January 2000 until June of 2009.

Poss was responsible for managing and growing the company’s exhibition activities, which are concentrated in the building and construction industry. 

During his tenure with Hanley Wood, the Exhibitions Division grew from one show and $11 million in revenue to seventeen events and over $70 million in revenues.

Poss will continue his current duties with dmg in addition to the new responsibilities with Drake Star Partners.

Prior to joining Hanley-Wood Exhibitions, Poss spent six years with the Dallas Division of Miller Freeman, Inc. in Dallas, Texas. 

As group president, he had overall responsibility for the real estate, design, decorated apparel, sewn products, building, association management and equine markets, as well as the company’s South American division and corporate exhibition central services.

Emerald Expositions Acquires Digital Dealer Conference & Expo

October 11, 2016

Emerald Expositions continues its acquisition streak with the buy of the Digital Dealer Conference & Expo from Dealer Communications.

“This acquisition is truly a great fit for our business,” said Darrell Denny, Executive Vice President of Emerald Expositions.

He added, “Just as our IRCE (Internet Retailer) events serve the broader retail community with best-in-class e-commerce education and a strong expo platform, the Digital Dealer events provide the same formula for the thousands of owners, managers and employees at car dealerships in North America. With Internet auto sales being one of the fastest growing segments within the automotive industry, we’re pleased to expand the Emerald portfolio of markets into the world of e-commerce solutions for retail dealerships.”

Digital Dealer Conference & Expo is the retail automotive industry’s leading digital strategy conference and trade show focused on introducing, exploring and implementing the various digital components required to engage today’s modern automotive customer.

Twice a year, this three-day conference and exposition attracts more than 1,000 dealers and managers and over 100 exhibiting companies.

The next national expo will be hald in April in Tampa, Fla. 

The company also produces regional workshops that augment the national expos. These events are known for providing the most progressive educational content focusing on digital business building tools, according to show management.

Emerald also is acquiring Dealer Magazine, the complementary magazine for franchised automotive dealership owners and managers from small single point stores to the largest multidealership groups and public companies.

“While I’m so proud of where we’ve taken the Digital Dealer Conference & Expo and Dealer Magazine over the years, I know that the Emerald team has the capability to take the businesses to the next level,” said Michael Roscoe, owner and CEO of Dealer Communications. “

He added, “There is substantial opportunity for the show to grow and prosper under a leading group like Emerald, and I’m confident our attendees and exhibitors will start to see the benefits very quickly.”

Dealer Communications’ team will join the Emerald organization, and Roscoe will remain as a consultant to the Emerald team, according to Denny.

In August, Emerald also scooped up a few more trade shows with the acquisition of the Swim Collective and Active Collective events from their founder Shannon Leggett.  

Corporate Solutions, LLC of Westport, Conn., was the exclusive advisor to Dealer Communications in arranging and negotiating this transaction. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Al Hutchinson Selected as New President and CEO of Visit Baltimore

October 10, 2016

After an extensive national search, John Frisch, chairman of the Baltimore Convention and Tourism Board of Directors, unveiled that Al Hutchinson has been chosen as Visit Baltimore’s new president and CEO. Hutchinson will assume his new role Nov. 14.

Hutchinson brings more than 24 years of experience in the hospitality and destination marketing industry to Baltimore, most recently serving as president and CEO of Visit Mobile (Ala.), where he was recognized as the 2016 Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Alliance’s ‘Tourism Promoter of the Year.’

Under Hutchinson’s leadership, Visit Mobile launched a new brand campaign, ‘Born to Celebrate;’ saw record visitor attendance; a large increase in visitor inquiries; and an increase in the city’s hotel occupancy rate and revenue collection.

As president and CEO of Visit Baltimore, Hutchinson will be responsible for leading the growth of the convention and tourism industry in Baltimore, overseeing the day-to-day management of all sales and marketing programs and serving as the hospitality industry’s liaison to the business, civic and local community, while demonstrating the impact of tourism on the City and State. 

“Visit Baltimore is a strong bureau well positioned for growth and I have great confidence that Al is the right leader to build upon recent successes of the organization,” Frisch said. “From hosting a record 30 citywide conventions in 2015 coupled with multiple years of record visitation numbers, to the creation of a separate Visit Baltimore Education & Training Foundation, he is taking over the helm of a very strong organization.  I know that the organization, and in turn the City, the region and the State, will benefit from his sales and marketing experience and strong reputation as a collaborative, transparent leader and effective communicator.”

Hutchinson takes over from Ron Melton who stepped in to serve as interim president and CEO at Visit Baltimore beginning May 6. Melton returns to his full time role as COO.  “I would like to extend my gratitude to Ron for stepping into the interim role during this search process and thank him for his leadership during this time of transition,” Frisch said.

Prior to joining Visit Mobile, Hutchinson served as the vice president of convention sales and services at the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau.

For more than 11 years, he led the convention sales and service team, directed the advertising agency and worked closely with community leaders, industry decision makers, elected officials and tourism partners.

Hutchinson has spent a good portion of his professional career in the hospitality industry also serving in leadership positions with the Greater Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Charlotte Convention Center, the Park Hotel in Charlotte and the Richmond Metropolitan CVB.

“I look forward to leading Baltimore’s tourism efforts and to working with the Visit Baltimore team, Convention and Tourism Board of Directors, the city’s elected officials and the citizens of Baltimore to lead the City to new heights,” Hutchinson said. “I’m excited by the opportunity to take the helm of such a strong organization.”

“Al is well-respected within the industry,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “We are lucky to have him, and I am confident that he will serve as a strong advocate for tourism in Baltimore while also working to build relationships and partnerships within the community. I was impressed by his passion and perspective on how tourism can further advance Baltimore’s economy.”

Hutchinson is a graduate of the University of Alabama and currently serves on the advisory council for the University of South Alabama Business School.

He is a member of the Mobile Rotary and the 100 Plus Men of Greater Mobile, is active with the Religious Conference Management Association Advisory Committee and serves on the board of directors for the Gulf Coast Exploreum and the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Foundation.

He has been an active member of the communities in which he has worked, previously serving on the board of directors for the Virginia Aquarium, and the Urban League of Hampton Roads, and as part of the Industry Partner Alliance program for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Hutchinson is married with two children.