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.

Exhibit Surveys and Lippman Connects recently released the second annual report: “Issues and Trends in Exhibit Space and Sponsorship Sales”.

According to the survey of event organizer executives, growth in both exhibit space and sponsorships sales appears healthy. 

Improvements in the economy and support by industries represented by the events were cited as the primary reasons for growth in both areas.

Even with the positive news for both exhibit and sponsorship sales, Sam Lippman, president and founder of Lippman Connects, pointed out there was room for improvement.

He said senior management could offer more time to the sales effort (46 percent thought that senior management offered “weak support”); senior management could provide additional staff to the sales team (50 percent thought that senior management offered “weak support”); and Sales and marketing could be more aligned (49 percent thought that marketing strategy and tactics were not aligned with sales).

Skip Cox, CEO of Exhibit Surveys, said the survey results “shed more light on the strong correlation between attendance growth and exhibit space sales, as organizers confirmed that the biggest challenge to space sales is the need to grow and validate growth in buyer attendance.”

He added, “With the majority of respondents indicating that space sales had increased over the previous event, it was surprising that most organizers (83%) are making use of incentives to close these sales.  An interesting disconnect here was that the incentives most frequently being offered (e.g. postal mailing addresses for exhibit promotion) were NOT the incentives that organizers thought were most effective (e.g., email addresses).”

Here are some of the report’s findings:

·         Exhibit space sales provide half of event revenue, while sponsorship sales account for 16 percent.

·         A healthy 63 percent of respondents reported an increase in exhibit space sales for their most recent events.  Changes to the sales strategy, including the adoption of a more consultative relationship with exhibitors, along with an increase in personal outreach to exhibitors, were credited for the increase in sales.  More than half cited the need to grow attendance as the leading challenge in selling space.

·         Half saw an increase in sponsorship sales for their most recent events.  Demonstrating the ROI value of sponsorships to potential sponsors was the most significant sales challenge.

·         Most (83 percent) organizers offer incentives in their effort to grow sales.  USPS lists of attendees, discounted sponsorships, and discounted advertising are offered most frequently.  However, organizers consider attendee email address lists, crediting some of the drayage cost, and discounted exhibit space to be the most effective.

·         40 percent of organizers did not feel the need for sales training.  For those wanting to train their staff, most are interested in training on the use of audience demographics and event data in the sales process, followed by training on consultative selling techniques.

This study was released at the October 2014 Lippman Connects Exhibit Sales Roundtable.

Media Conglomerate Bonnier Buys The Promotion Company – Family Events

October 20, 2014
Rachel Wimberly

Rachel Wimberly is president and editor-in-chief of Trade Show News Network. Follow her on Twitter – TSNN_Rachel.

The publisher of Popular Science, Outdoor Life, Field Stream and Cycle World magazine titles recently acquired The Promotion Company – Family Events that produces shows such as the Hot Bike Tour, Off-Road Expo, Monster Truck Nationals and 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals, many of which have exhibit floors.

“This strategic acquisition will allow Bonnier to extend its high-value enthusiast audience by leveraging robust event opportunities,” said Matt Hickman, vice president of brand strategies, Bonnier Corp. 

He added, “We view event audiences, both spectators and participants, as truly passionate. That passion drives consumer demand, deep engagement and unlimited activation potential.”

Bonnier acquired The Promotion Company, Inc. intact in a stock purchase transaction, the terms of which were not disclosed. Sponsors, exhibitors, participants and key stakeholders will remain with the same teams managing the upcoming 2015 event series. 

“It’s been a great ride these past 38 years ― producing top-notch events with a team of professionals, partnering with industry leaders to achieve our joint marketing objectives and having fun doing what I love,” said Bruce Hubley, founder of The Promotion Co. & Family Events.

He added, “I’m honored that a family-owned company with an outstanding international reputation has acquired Family Events. With Bonnier’s acquisition, I see tremendous growth potential and incredible opportunity for our marketing partners and stakeholders.”

Hubley will continue working with Bonnier’s events division and assist in expanding the events platform.

The Promotion Company serves more than 50 markets nationally, with 30 to 40 scheduled events per year.

Some of the events owned and/or produced by Family Events include the 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals Series, Monster Truck Nationals Series, Off-Road Expo, Street Machine and Muscle Car Nationals, Street Machine Nationals Series, Hot Bike Tour, Indy Mile AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National, AutoFest, The International Mother Road Route 66 Festival and Car Show and the RCX Expo. 

Bonnier Corp. is owned by Swedish-based Bonnier AB, a multichannel media conglomerate operating in 15 countries.

How to Create a Dynamic Trade Show Experience

October 18, 2014
Timothy Carter

Timothy Carter is the Digital Marketing Manager for Nimlok (, designer and builder of custom trade show display exhibits and portable displays.

If you’re going to spend the money to get space for your company at a trade show – not to mention paying for people to man the booth or losing valuable employees who could be doing their regular jobs (maybe even including you!) – you’d better make sure that it’s worth it.

Trade shows can be fantastic ways to drum up excitement for your business or even launch new products because you’ve got a captive audience and one that should be receptive to the kinds of things you’ll be selling. But the flip side of that coin is that you’re also directly competing with everyone else around you for time and attention. How do you get people to pass up the other booths and migrate to yours?

You have to create a dynamic and engaging experience for your audience that will not only draw them over, but get them to remember you. Here are several tips that can help you to do that.

Get hands on. Lots of companies show up at trade shows ready to talk about and even sell their products and services, but after you go through a few rows of this, who cares about talking heads? Instead, bring products with you and let your audience try them for themselves. People are much more likely to get excited about something and remember it when they can mess around with it themselves. Just make sure that whatever you’re letting them try is 100 percent ready to go so that you make a good impression.

Put on a show. Not quite ready for visitors to physically try out the wares? Then you should try to come up with a demonstration that you and your staff can do. Don’t be afraid to be a bit silly and over the top. The point is to get people to pay attention, so putting out a bit of a “street performer” vibe isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just remember that you’re still representing your company – so stay away from anything offensive or potentially dangerous.

Use contests and giveaways. Giveaways are great because they are simple and easy for trade show attendees, but they are much more likely to remember you when using their new pens emblazoned with your name. If you really want to be dynamic, though, contests are the way to go. This way, people will be encouraged to visit your booth repeatedly, which, will give you more time to talk to them and increase the chances that you’ll stay in their mind the next time they need a service like yours. You can even use the contest as a way to advertise by asking contestants to do things like pass out shirts with your company’s name on them and take their picture with those people. The sky’s the limit!

Make a video. Sometimes, trade show attendees find talking with actual people intimidating, but they’ll happily stop to watch a well-made video that’s playing. Use a professional to make sure it looks good and says exactly what you want it to say, then put the video on a loop and just stand back and watch. This way, people can decide whether or not to approach you on their own terms.

Don’t just follow these tips – brainstorm and come up with a few ideas of your own. There are lots of ways to make a trade show booth both fun and memorable.

Microsoft Ignite Will Bring 20,000 Attendees to Chicago in May 2015

October 18, 2014

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Choose Chicago President and CEO Don Welsh, members of Chicago-area organized labor and Microsoft general manager Julia White recently joined together to announce that Microsoft Ignite, a new technology conference, will take place May 4-8 in Chicago at McCormick Place.

Approximately 20,000 attendees are expected to attend the convention that could bring in more than $47 million in estimated spending.

“Microsoft Ignite will play an important role in helping us reach our goal of attracting 55 million visitors in Chicago annually by 2020,” said Mayor Emanuel.

He added, “This conference is an opportunity to showcase our growing strength in the tech economy and an opportunity to bring more visitors to our city – which means more jobs for people in our neighborhoods and communities.”

Microsoft Ignite is a new, signature event for the company, focused on helping businesses succeed in the new era of mobile and cloud computing.

”Chicago is an ideal setting for Microsoft Ignite,” White said. “It is accessible to technology professionals from around the world and home to many of our corporate customers. We know the city won’t disappoint when it comes to providing our attendees with great accommodations and entertainment.”

The conference combines five previously separate events and will cover a broad range of important topics for attending technology professionals, including cloud management, big data & analytics, productivity, unified communications, mobile devices and operating systems.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will deliver the keynote address, joined by many of the company’s top executives and engineers.

“Microsoft’s decision to hold this new technology conference in Chicago reinforces Mayor Emanuel’s and the city’s commitment to technology and innovation,” Welsh said. “It also reinforces that the labor reforms and service improvements at McCormick Place are working.”

Chicago secured the Microsoft Ignite as a result of a coordinated effort that included the Trade Show Promotion Fund Committee, which was created following the implementation of reforms at McCormick Place in 2011.

The Committee is comprised of four representatives from the Carpenters’ Union and four representatives from the Mayor’s office, all of who have worked collaboratively with Choose Chicago to identify opportunities to bring new business to Chicago.

“Over the last couple of years, Labor and the City have come together to boost the tourism and trade show industry by attracting new shows, restoring partnerships with shows that have left, and focusing our attention on creating a one-of-a-kind visitor experience that will bring more conventioneers and tourists to our world-class city,” said Jorge Ramirez, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor.

He added, “We have the most skilled workforce in the country, so this is a tremendous opportunity for us to grow our economy and create additional jobs for the hardworking men and women of the Chicago area.”

Microsoft Ignite is the latest event announced in 2014 and will join the James Beard Foundation Awards and the NFL Draft, also taking place in Chicago in 2015.

In May of this year, Mayor Emanuel and Choose Chicago announced that Automechanika Chicago, the leading international automotive trade show, will come April 24-26 to McCormick Place.

TSNN Awards $5000 Student Scholarship Awarded to Univ. of Central Fla.’s Shauna H. Clark

October 15, 2014

Trade Show News Network is pleased to announce that the 2nd annual TSNN Awards $5,000 Student Scholarship awardee is Shauna H. Clark, a student pursuing event management at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality.

The scholarship is sponsored by the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority (Reno Tahoe USA), and Clark will receive the funds and be feted during the celebration gala dinner at the 5th Annual TSNN Awards Nov. 14-16 in Cleveland, Ohio.

“I am so grateful and honored to have been selected as the second ever recipient of this generous award,” said Shauna Clark.

She added, “Event planning is my passion, and trade shows are my focus. I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to network with the top talent this industry has to offer, and I know that it will be instrumental to my success in this exciting field.”

Clark has a very clear path into the trade show industry. Besides her studies, she also works as an assistant show coordinator at TT Publications, which produces shows and conferences for the towing and recovery industry.

“Shauna’s dream is work in the trade show industry, and she is getting great experience while still in school,” said Professor Deborah Breiter, Tourism, Events, and Attractions at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management.

She added, “She has excelled both in and out of the classroom.  We are all very proud of her accomplishments and this great honor.

The Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority has committed to sponsoring the TSNN Awards $5,000 scholarship through 2015.

“The Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority is proud and honored to once again team up with Trade Show News Network to present the second TSNN college scholarship fund,” said John Leinen, RSCVA’s vice president of convention and tourism sales.

He added, “Investing in our future industry leaders is one of our core values, which provides our brand the opportunity to make a positive impact in the Tradeshow industry. It is very rewarding to see how many excellent candidates applied for the scholarship. The quality of the upcoming talent entering the industry is very encouraging.”

Next year’s scholarship application process will open in early May.

For more information on the TSNN Awards please visit 

IDG World Expo’s Macworld/iWorld Canceled for 2015

October 15, 2014
Rachel Wimberly

Rachel Wimberly is president and editor-in-chief of Trade Show News Network. Follow her on Twitter – TSNN_Rachel.

In what would have been the show’s 20th anniversary, IDG World Expo’s Macworld/iWorld will not take place in 2015, according to company officials.

“We are announcing today that Macworld/iWorld is going on hiatus and will not be taking place as planned in 2015,” company officials said in a statement.

Adding, “Our MacIT event, the world’s premiere event for deploying Apple in the enterprise, will continue next year, with details to be announced in the coming weeks.”

This year’s Macworld/iWorld was held March 27-29 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.

The event, previously called Macworld Expo, went through a significant transformation in 2009 when Apple made the decision to no longer exhibit at the show.

Even so, the show forged ahead and the event was well received in the marketplace with a shift made toward Mac mobile products.

“Literally thousands of companies and hundreds of products have come to market at Macworld, and countless professional relationships have been forged,” IDG World Expo officials said.

Adding, “We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Apple community for allowing us to host these events and be a part of the incredible story that is the Apple market.”

IDG World Expo’s MacIT Conference will be held as scheduled March 26-29 next year at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.

“We are committed via our MacIT event to bringing together the product developers innovating with enterprise iOS and OS X based solutions, and the growing legion of professionals empowering their organizations through these tools,” IDG World Expo officials said.

Adding, “We are exploring exciting new partnerships, venues and delivery opportunities through which MacIT can continue to serve this market, and we look forward to announcing our plans for this event within the next few months.”

2015 International CES Will Feature Head of Mercedes-Benz Dr. Dieter Zetsche as Keynote

October 14, 2014

The Consumer Electronics Association has tapped Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, to deliver a 2015 International CES® keynote address focused on the latest advances in autonomous vehicle technology.

Owned and produced by CEA, International CES will run Jan. 6-9, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Dr. Zetsche will discuss autonomous vehicle technology and its impact on society, mobility and environment, as well as raise ideas and questions for the future.

In addition to his insights on the future of Daimler Intelligence Drive, Dr. Zetsche’s 2015 CES keynote will feature the world debut of a new car concept.
“With a passion for technology innovation, Dr. Zetsche has led Mercedes-Benz to a top perch in the automobile industry, constantly reinventing technology offerings and perfecting the driver experience,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA.

He added, “Cars are becoming the ultimate mobile devices, and Mercedes-Benz’s presence at 2015 CES will definitely create synergy with other platforms and mobile technologies on the show floor. We welcome Dr. Zetsche to the 2015 CES keynote stage and look forward to hearing his views on the future of autonomous driving.”
The automotive market remains a driving force behind the strength of the global consumer technology industry. The growth of new vehicle sales in 2014 will propel factory-installed systems to reach $11 billion in revenue, an increase of 20 percent over the past year.
Dr. Dieter Zetsche has served as a member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG since December of 1998 and as Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG since January, 2006.

He also is Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division, which includes passenger car brands Mercedes-Benz, smart and Mercedes-AMG. Since joining the research department of then Daimler-Benz AG in 1976, Dr. Zetsche has served the company for more than three decades.
The 2015 CES will feature more than 3,500 exhibitors unveiling the latest consumer technology products and services across the entire ecosystem of consumer technologies. 

Deutsche Messe Will Launch Three New Shows for IMTS 2016

October 14, 2014

Following the successful launch of two other shows at the International Manufacturing Technology Show, Germany-based Deutsche Messe plans to launch three more shows during IMTS’ 2016 show.

The three new shows include ComVac North America, Industrial Supply North America and Surface Technology North America – which cover compressed-air and vacuum technology, industrial subcontracting and surface treatment, respectively.

The previous two shows launched by Deutsche Messe are Industrial Automation North America in 2012 and Motion, Drive & Automation North America (MDA North America) in 2014. 

“Industrial production is returning to the U.S., bringing with it mechanical and electrical engineering,” said Dr. Andreas Gruchow, member of the managing board at Deutsche Messe AG.

He added, “It was clear at IMTS this year that many industrial companies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico are increasing their investments in machinery and factories. It is therefore an important and correct step for us to enhance the existing MDA North America and Industrial Automation North America with these additional topics.”

All five trade shows are part of the HANNOVER MESSE portfolio and will be collocated with the IMTS Sept. 12-17, 2016 at McCormick Place in Chicago. 

This year’s IMTS covered more than 1.3 million net square feet of exhibit space and hosted 2,035 exhibiting companies and drew nearly 115,000 attendees.

11 Ways to Improve Your Trade Show Experience

October 12, 2014
Hayley Irvin

Hayley Irvin is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. She creates awesome content for The Marketing Zen Group & The Trade Group. 

For vendors, trade shows are great place to sell products, increase brand recognition, and network with potential clients However, it is also easy to disappear in a sea of competitors. Use these eleven tips to make your business and your trade show booth stand out in the eyes of potential customers:

1.    Send the best trade show staff.

In business, as in life, how we present ourselves reflects on who we are. Technology has changed how we communicate, but face-to-face interaction is still the most effective way to interact with potential customers. At trade shows, the team members you send are the face of your company, so be sure to send the most knowledgeable, personable and eloquent representatives available. In many ways, they’ll say more about your business than a website or brochure ever could.

2.    Appeal to the eye.

Everyone has seen the standard trade show booth – a solid-colored backdrop with a simple sign and a table with brochures and free pens – and we’ve all walked right on past it to the more aesthetically appealing booth a couple of spots down. Incorporating color, lines and lighting will catch visitors’ eyes and draw them to your booth. Go for cool and streamlined rather than cluttered and overwhelmingly informative. Be simple, yet memorable.

3.    Put a logo on it.

A great logo can boost brand recognition, so be liberal with the placement of your business’ logo. Put it everywhere – on signs, display backgrounds, business cards, and free promotional items. Visitors to your booth who use these items at the trade show or away from it are providing you with free advertising. Take advantage of the free advertising.

4.    Have fun!

Suffering through an endless barrage of spiels and sales pitches can make visitors weary and disinterested. Stand out from the crowd by being the fun booth. Spin-the-wheel games, door prizes, photo booths, and drawings encourage interaction between team members and potential clients while increasing your booth’s memorability. As an added bonus, receive free advertising by having visitors use social media to sign up for games and contests. It’s a win-win situation for everybody.

5.    Give away the best free stuff.

Free giveaways are as common at trade shows as brochures and infographics, so be sure your promotional items stand out. While you don’t have to avoid common items like key chains, karabiners, pens, paperweights, and office supplies, you can also opt for seasonal items, like sunglasses or ice scrapers, and useful gadgets, like mobile chargers or reusable water bottles.

Most importantly, stay relevant. Giving away items that relate to your product or service is an incredibly effective method of boosting brand awareness. Here, relevancy and usefulness trump hip gadgetry. For instance, if your company sells mountain climbing equipment, it might be a good idea to give out karabiners stamped with your company’s logo. They relate to your business and create that connection within visitors’ minds, which is the ultimate goal when giving away promotional items.

6.    Demonstrate your product.

As with any potential customer, visitors at a trade show are more likely to remember an experience than they are to remember a sales pitch. Rather than signing customers up to receive free samples at a later date, cut out the middle man and let them try the product right there at your booth. In doing so, team members are engaging with potential customers while simultaneously allowing the product to speak for itself.

7.    Utilize technology.

Modern technology has created new avenues of communication for businesses and consumers. Touch-screen tablets, virtual tours and online tutorials have made it easier now than ever for companies to educate prospective customers about their products and services. More recently, trade show vendors have used programs like iBeacon to send special offers to surrounding phones via text message. Use technology to initiate and facilitate interactions visitors to your booth.

8.    Talk with your neighbors.

Speaking with everyone at a trade show is nearly impossible. However, it is very likely that your neighboring vendors spoke with people you did not. Exchange business cards with them. There may be some overlap, but you’ll also pick up a few new ones as well. Some leads that are unhelpful to you may be useful to them, and vice-versa. This way, both you and your neighbors benefit from the competition.

9.     Set appointments and respond to requests ASAP.

Your product or service will never be as fresh in the visitors’ mind as it is while they are at your both, so make the most out of the few minutes you have with them. Invest in a business card scanner to bring to trade shows and scan each card the day you receive it. Try to contact the business that same day with further information about your company or, better yet, schedule follow-up appointments within the next few days. This increases the likelihood that visitors will remember your business after the trade show.

10.  Promote, promote, promote.

If you’re going to attend a trade show, you should at least try to make it worth your while. Use social media platforms to advertise any deals or discounts offered at your booth in order to attract people to the trade show. Although not everyone who comes to your booth will buy something, it is quite likely that they’ll buy something from another booth. Likewise, you may benefit from one of your competitors promoting the trade show on their Twitter or Facebook.

11.  Don’t lose money to be there.

This last one is fairly straightforward. Start scouting out leads and making appointments weeks before the trade show in order to get an idea of how much business you’ll be able to do, especially if the location is farther away. To save money on supplies, find a simple yet appealing design and reuse as much of it as you can, and avoid spending too much on promotional items. Plan a budget and stick to it. Make sure the event will be worth your time and money before committing.

If you’ve found yourself returning home from a trade show with little or nothing to show for it, consider using some of these tips next time in order to improve your trade show experience. Seize your piece of the trade show pie. 

Abilities Expo – New York Metro, Earth Day Texas Named IAEE Top Public Events

October 10, 2014

The International Association of Exhibitions and Events has selected this year’s Top Public Events to be recognized at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition on tap Dec. 9-11 in Los Angeles.

The IAEE Top Public Events program was established in 2011 to honor the best consumer shows in the nation.

Events that submitted applications were measured on broad criteria to include sound business practices, stability, exceptional customer service, and how the event serves the community and overall industry. With several top quality events to choose from, the judges had some tough decisions to make.

Here are the IAEE 2014 Top Public Events:

Abilities Expo – New York Metro
2-4 May 2014
New York Metro Area (New Jersey Convention & Expo Center)
5NET4 Productions, LLC, Producer

Abilities Expo – New York Metro is recognized as an IAEE 2014 Top Public Event for community engagement, unparalleled attendee experiences and innovative marketing initiatives. Show management engaged with the community through an “ambassador” program, connecting with members of the local community with disabilities. These are high-profile individuals who spearhead the event’s grass-roots community outreach initiatives and who remain connected and represent Abilities Expo throughout the year in local and state governments, area hospital and rehabilitation centers, and at many community events.

Attendee experiences are a high priority for show management as they work hard to identify and provide products and services that are meaningful for every disability group possible. Their research shows that, while attendees come primarily to see the products and services for persons with disabilities, they stay for all the fun. The introduction of a more robust and inclusive activities schedule has had a tremendous impact on the show energy, the attendee attitudes and the number of participants who return in subsequent years. 

Abilities Expo uses its online presence to promote the events to both exhibitors and attendees and to continually expand its opportunities to connect with the community. is the nerve center that creatively presents the numerous, can’t-miss features of each Expo. Already a household name within the community, Abilities Expo continues to solidify its position as the premier event for persons with disabilities through a series of successful online initiatives. The combination of these and other efforts has resulted in a 44 percent increase in online traffic in the last 12 months over the year prior.

Earth Day Texas
26-27 April 2014
Dallas, Texas (Fair Park)
Earth Day Texas, Producer 

Earth Day Texas is recognized as an IAEE 2014 Top Public Event for innovative marketing/public relations initiatives, exceptional volunteer outreach and high caliber education opportunities. 

An Earth Day Texas App (EDTx App) was designed to provide up-to-date event information to mobile users 365 days a year. Not only does the app provide event details, it also goes a step further and provides current statewide environmental conditions including: ozone levels, reservoir levels, water usage guidelines, and consumer tips and news. Another noteworthy item was the development of a social media campaign targeted to the Hispanic and Young Professionals demographics which resulted in an 8,700+ page “like” increase with an engagement rate of 2.13 percent (industry average is  approximately 1 percent).

Earth Day Texas’ volunteer outreach is truly impressive. For the 2014 event, 364 volunteers logged in 3,000 volunteer hours. Volunteers ranged from corporate entities, neighborhood associations, schools, hospitals, sororities, fraternities, and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America.

Earth Day Texas is all about education. They recently acquired two OmniGlobes, 32- and 60-inch spherical displays containing approximately 180 animations and models demonstrating various aspects of tens of thousands of years of environmental history. The event also hosts the Eco Expo, a forum about sustainability and environmental education. In addition, workshops, entertainment, community outreach, advocacy, a Green Talk Speaker Series and much, much more round out this high quality event.