logo
 


Log in

A Roadmap to Your New Trade Show Booth

by Gwen Parsons 4. November 2015 19:08

So it’s time to get a new exhibit. Like buying a car, the thought may illicit emotions ranging from delightful excitement to sheer panic. As buyers, our satisfaction with a purchase experience can be based on a variety of factors from personnel to the process and ultimately the product itself. For me as a consumer, it starts with one simple question... was it what I expected?

Great customer service is about making and keeping promises. We believe our customers are best served by knowing what to expect. So we created an infographic map of the buying journey for our customers. It starts with the initial research phase and charts the path all the way through to the follow-up after-the-sale.

If you are a first-time buyer, you may pick up a few pointers on what awaits you. If you’re a veteran buyer, you may find value in comparing it to your experience. Download the infographic for your own use and feel free to share it with coworkers and colleagues.



We’re always grateful to receive comments from our customers about our service. Many of them are posted to our website in our client gallery.

Share this Image On Your Site

is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Nomadic Display. She is a regular contributor to the Nomadic Display Blog and can be found at Google + and LinkedIn.

 

Serving Trade Show Exhibitors Means Going the Extra Mile

by Gwen Parsons 11. June 2015 17:42
Veterans of the trade show industry know to expect the unexpected. After forty years producing trade show displays, we’ve encountered our fair share of surprises.

In fact, back in 1992 we implemented the Nomadic LifeLine: the first 24/7 global emergency service hotline because customer problems often arose after business hours or on weekends when they needed it most. Today we manage to resolve Rescue 911 situations and still make it look easy.

The story below is just one example of what happens behind the scenes to solve a trade show exhibit problem. All company and client names have been withheld to protect participants’ anonymity.


Background The client purchased their Nomadic Display more than a year ago. Just prior to a recent show they ordered a couple of new graphics. The art files were received, printed and shipped to arrive for the show on time.

Friday 3:00pm Customer called in a panic because the new graphics were not fitting properly and delaying progress with setting-up the trade show exhibit. They needed replacement graphics by 8:00am the next morning. Worst of all, the show hall was at least 3 hours away.
   
3:25pm Our team immediately sprinted into action. Customer Service secured correct measurements from the client. Project Management created revised artwork specifications. The Graphics team resized the art files and prepared them for output.
   
3:50pm The revised artwork was sent to print. Meanwhile Customer Service continued to research transportation options to ship the replacement graphics for delivery by 8:00am the next morning.
   
4:45pm The graphics were delivered to the finishing dept.
   
5:30pm The graphics were delivered to the packing dept.

Customer Service was unable to find any shipping services that would guarantee delivery by 8:00am the next morning. Are you biting your nails yet?
   
5:45pm Like a comic book super hero, one Customer Service agent stepped up and volunteered to drive the replacement graphics to the show hall. That’s really going the extra mile!
   
12:00 The Customer Service agent texted the President to report the hand off to an amazed customer.
   
Saturday 8:00am The President made a follow-up call to the client who reported that the trade show exhibit set-up was almost complete and the new replacement graphics fit perfectly.
   
Monday 8:00am The President shared this story in a message to our employees “Needless to say you all went above and beyond late Friday afternoon and you did it without one complaint. Well done. For the efforts you all put in, every day, thank you!”

Being a leader means doing everything possible to make it right for your customer, no matter who’s at fault. We take pride in finding solutions to our customers’ toughest problems. After all, you know what they say…”the show must go on.”

What’s your latest 911 story?


is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Nomadic Display. She is a regular contributor to the Nomadic Display Blog and can be found at Google + and LinkedIn.

 

Tags: , , ,

Trade Shows

5 Tips for Better Trade Show Results

by Gwen Parsons 11. March 2015 19:23

Exhibiting at a trade show can be one of the quickest and most exciting ways to grow new business opportunities. I frequently hear stories of companies that are successful at generating new business activity through trade show marketing. On the other hand I also hear about companies that exhibit with disappointing results. So the obvious question is what are these exhibitors doing differently?

The answer is often “you get out of it what you put into it”. Here are 5 points we can learn from the successful exhibitors that you can employ to maximize every opportunity at a trade show or event.

Promote Your Presence

While pre-show campaigns vary from exhibitor to exhibitor, the goal is the same - to contact as many attendees as possible and draw them to your trade show booth. You need multiple touch points to reach today’s time pressured attendees. A typical pre-show campaign consists of combination of tactics from print ads, direct mail, press releases, online ads, and emails to telemarketing, social media, sponsorships and promotions.



Make Room for Business

In a recent study, exhibitors cited booth layout as one of the top three factors that improved their show results. Specifically they noted more entry points, more open space and less clutter.

An open floor plan helps to create an approachable atmosphere. Current exhibit design trends combine open space, architectural simplicity and light color palettes to create a fresh, modern environment. Open floor plans also reduce barriers to entry and facilitate circulation within your space. As a general rule you want at least 60% of the frontage open and at least 60% of the floor space in the exhibit unoccupied.



If you plan to have a theatre-style presentation, hands-on demonstrations, or private meetings, make sure you book a space big enough to accommodate them.

Approach All Attendees

Trade show attendees are people genuinely interested in learning about new products, industry trends, and how-to solutions for their top of mind concerns. Some attendees will approach your trade show booth and easily cross into your space. Others will stroll briskly past focusing on something like their phone to avoid eye contact. More attendees will pause and look as they make their way down the aisle. Any or all of them may have questions they’d like to ask but don’t dare to start the conversation themselves.



The concept of approaching people out of the blue and instigating a conversation may feel uncomfortable. Yet your booth staff needs to be proactive about stepping into the aisles and approaching all attendees.

Here’s why. By starting the conversation, your booth staff instantly puts the attendee at ease. Your team should think of themselves as hosts and every passerby as a new guest. When an attendee feels welcome they are naturally more open to learning what you have to offer. All it takes is asking an open ended question to break the ice and start building rapport.

Not only will you collect more leads, more importantly, you’ll increase the chances of making the sale too. The Center for Exhibition Industry Research estimates that 85% of the reason for a sale is the booth staff. People remember people: their attitudes; behavior, appearance and knowledge, often before they remember the company name.

Stimulate Attendee Senses

Visitors are flooded by stimuli when they enter a show - lights, colors, noise, and crowds. It takes a visitor seconds to walk by and sum up whether or not to stop at your display. Ask yourself what you would stop for at a trade show exhibit. Your attraction may involve more than one of the five senses:

Sight – Visitors may recognize your brand or be intrigued by what they see in your trade show exhibit: Dazzling backlit graphics, big screen video presentations, product demonstrations or live presentations.

Sound – Visitors are attracted to sounds emanating from your booth whether its music, a presenter’s voice, or attendee laughter as they play an in-booth game.

Smell – It’s the strongest sense for triggering associations and memories. Good smells such as fresh coffee or familiar food scents like popcorn can reach out to visitors and lure them in from the aisles.



Taste - Offer light refreshments to entice visitors. It may help lengthen the duration of their visit. We recently celebrated our 40th anniversary at a trade show by sharing yummy treats with attendees. We served red velvet cake on day 1, cookies on day 2 and chocolate brownies on day 3.



Touch – Entice visitors with a tactile experience, the opportunity for true hands-on interaction.

Give Promotions that Offer Value

The right giveaway can promote your brand for months after the show. The best giveaways offer true value. See our post on promotional products to complement your trade show display for the items that offers true value.

Another very powerful technique is to extend an offer only for visitors to your trade show exhibit. You can use a discount or value add approach. Create a show special package with a discount price or give out a one-time promotion code to apply to an online purchase. Alternatively you could offer a free upgrade or a bogo (buy-one-get-one). Be sure the offer is available for a limited time only so recipients have a sense of urgency to act. If there is enough interest but the time frame is too short you can always extend the deadline.

is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Nomadic Display. She is a regular contributor to the Nomadic Display Blog and can be found at Google + and LinkedIn.

 

Trade Shows are the Place to Build Business Relationships

by Gwen Parsons 17. February 2015 23:30

Trade shows are among the best events for meeting clients, new prospects, industry colleagues and old friends. From the show floor to the sessions and networking functions, trade shows are the place to meet and renew connections. Events enable you to keep in touch with your customers’ challenges and share how your latest developments can address them. In addition, it’s a great place to establish new business relationships with buyers, resellers, suppliers and even potential employees.


Target Key Contacts

Attendees today do their homework before the show. They research the companies they want to meet in advance. So you need to be one of the exhibitors on their “must see” list. Send out an invitation to your clients and prospects inviting them to your trade show booth. Draw attention to the highlights of what they can expect to see and learn when they visit your trade show exhibit. Make it easy for them to attend by pre-registering them or providing a free pass to the exhibit hall. Show schedule are hectic so reach out to your key contacts – existing or new – to set up a day and time to meet before, during or after the show hours.

For more tips on preparation download our 27 page Guide to Successful Exhibiting here.

Train Your Team

A positive atmosphere in your trade show display is important to making your visitors feel welcome and comfortable. Your booth staff should be enthusiastic and confident. That takes preparation and training. Generate a show handbook or manual for your exhibition team. Hold a briefing to review company goals, your expectations and their roles and responsibilities.



Walk the Show Floor

Remember that you’re a member of the event community within your industry. Exhibitors often turn to one another for information and guidance about everything from the location of the business office to great restaurants in town. Share and they will share alike.

Walk around the exhibit hall to see what other exhibitors are doing. You’ll see what your competitors are presenting and pick up some great ideas for your next event, too!

 

is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Nomadic Display. She is a regular contributor to the Nomadic Display Blog and can be found at Google + and LinkedIn.

 

Keolis Connects with a Knock Out Trade Show Display

by Gwen Parsons 21. January 2015 11:46

Keolis is the leading provider of passenger transportation services in the U.S. and Canada. Their 5,000 employees serve nearly 50 million people traveling by train, trolley, bus and taxi each year.

With multiple divisions and several recent acquisitions, Keolis decided it was time to unite them all under a single, updated expression of their brand. Keolis chose the world's largest public transportation exhibition to officially launch their new branding campaign.


A center tower topped with the Keolis brand name could be seen across the show floor. Visitors approaching from the right followed a flooring printed with a roadway that passed in front of a bus stop where visitors could have a seat. The enclosure featured an overhang, smoke acrylic side panel and backlit billboard. Behind the bus stop was a private meeting and storage room.

More than 750 companies exhibit at the American Passenger Transportation Association (APTA) expo. Anticipating 12,000 attendees at the show, Keolis wanted a knock out trade show display to stand out. So they decided that a 30’x40’ space would enable them to do just that.

The search for a company to design and build their new, flagship trade show exhibit, began about seven months prior to the event. Online research led Leslie Aun, Director of Public Relations and Communications, to Nomadic Display’s website . After browsing display design ideas, she submitted a design request online and had her first consultation a week later.


Visitors approaching from the left were welcomed “all aboard” down tracks, past a turn style, into a train car interior complete with faux seats and windows.

To engage their audience, Keolis wanted to tell their story in fresh and interactive way. Among their functional requirements were casual and private meeting areas, refreshment service and a simulator console. In addition, Keolis wanted the ability to repurpose the presentation for use in smaller spaces at other exhibitions.

After interviewing several companies, Keolis chose Nomadic Display for the project. Leslie Aun, explained, “The Display Consultants were very easy to work with. Nomadic embraced our vision and created a truly distinctive design.”

The final design divided the space into activity areas while maintaining an open plan that would be inviting to visitors and support the flow of a lot of foot traffic.


A streetcar training simulator for visitors to drive was located at the front end of the train car. The middle area offered bistro tables and chairs for visitors to congregate and a refreshment service counter with a large flat screen monitor.

Keolis was thrilled with their success at the event; they attracted thousands of visitors, made new contacts and extended customer relationships. “APTA was a terrific success for us and we really appreciated the support we received from the Nomadic team—before the event and on-site,” says Leslie Aun.


Investing in a modular display enables Keolis to break down their exhibit for use as a 10x10 and 10x20 trade show booth.

For more face-to-face exhibit marketing success stories, download our eBook “Exhibiting Excellence” here.

is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Nomadic Display. She is a regular contributor to the Nomadic Display Blog and can be found at Google + and LinkedIn.

 

Tags: , ,

Trade Shows

Build a Better Trade Show Budget for 2015

by Gwen Parsons 2. December 2014 20:39

For many companies that operate on a fiscal calendar year basis, December is budgeting month. So you should begin developing your 2015 marketing plan now, if you haven’t already started.

According to a survey conducted by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), the chart below illustrates the allocation of annual spending.



1. Use your actual trade show expenses for 2014 to help you estimate your budget for 2015. Examine your trade show expenses and note where you had cost efficiencies and/or overruns.

2. It’s interesting that the lion share of expenses are allocated to space and logistics while less than 1/3 is devoted to optimizing sales opportunities at trade shows.

Exhibit design            11%
Promotion                  6%
Lead management      4%
Subtotal                     21%


Look for ways to reduce operational expenses so you can reallocate the savings to your presentation and promotion to drive visitors to it.

3. If you’re planning to purchase or rent an exhibit, work closely with your exhibit house on cost projections for acquisition as well as show service estimates.

Invest in a modular trade show display that expands or contracts in size to be used in different venues vs buying multiple properties for use in each space size.



Trade show booths using aluminum systems with printed fabrics are very popular for their durability and lighter weight which reduces freight and material handling costs.



Trade show displays that assemble fast without tools like this wall system reduce labor costs associated with installation and dismantling.

Expand your current trade show exhibit economically by adding rental elements such as Internet kiosks, reception counters, storage towers, furniture, etc.

4. Submit all order forms on or before the show manual deadline - flooring, furniture, computers and Internet service - ordered late or on-site costs 10-20% more in wasted budget dollars.

5. Whenever possible, ship to the advance warehouse. Not only it is less expensive but your properties are delivered to the show floor first, before shipments arriving direct to show site.

What is your biggest trade show budgeting challenge?

is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Nomadic Display. She is a regular contributor to the Nomadic Display Blog and can be found at Google + and LinkedIn.

 

Tags: , ,

Trade Show Tips | Trade Shows

Newest Exhibit Innovation from Nomadic Wins Two Awards at Exhibitor2014

by Gwen Parsons 16. April 2014 21:01

Exhibitor2014 is the trade show for trade show and corporate event marketing professionals. The 25th annual conference offered 160 education sessions, an expanded exhibition hall and an inaugural Awards Night.

We premiered our newest trade show exhibit innovation, the DesignLine® Wall System, with a trade show booth design that received rave reviews from attendees. Visitors reacted with delight to our brightly colored graphics and variety of lighting options including backlit walls, LED color changing downlights and whimsical accent lighting.


The exhibit was so well received we generated an increase of 65% more visitors.

Floor to ceiling fabric graphics featured face-to-face conversations about what marketers need from their exhibit partner. Exhibit marketers adapt their programs to meet the changes their business undergoes, often with limited resources. Our presentation was designed to illustrate how Nomadic helps exhibitors turn change into new opportunities with modular displays that adapt to fit a new use or situation.


This short animation illustrates how Nomadic trade show displays
adapt, expand and evolve to meet your changing business needs.

Many thanks to everyone who visited our trade show exhibit. If you were unable to be there, you may enjoy viewing this short video.

 

Exhibitor hosted a gala Awards Night to present 2014 awards for exhibition excellence to winners at a dinner and ceremony. The Walton County Tourist Development Council exhibit received not one but TWO awards! Designed by Zehnder and Synergy Design Group, we produced the custom modular exhibit with our new DesignLine Wall System. A juried panel selected it to receive the Best 10x10 exhibit award. By popular vote, it also received the People’s Choice award. Our sincerest thanks to everyone to voted!

patandluz

Luz Lobos, President, Synergy Design Group
Pat Goeke, President, Nomadic Display

is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Nomadic Display. She is a regular contributor to the Nomadic Display Blog and can be found at Google + and LinkedIn.

 

Innovative Exhibit Design Attracts Scientists to Biotech Firm

by Gwen Parsons 18. December 2013 18:34

For the last decade, LI-COR’s Biotechnology product line’s technology led to the rapid release of new products. It wasn’t long before they outgrew their trade show exhibit and the demands on their space. They saw the need for new environment.

LI-COR wanted to promote its brand with a more contemporary trade show display design. LI-COR’s target audience comprised of members of the scientific community and engaging them can be challenging. LI-COR needed their new exhibit environment to stimulate interaction and generate sales opportunities. In addition, LI-COR wanted the flexibility to reconfigure the presentation for different booth sizes.

exhibit design

Vision Exhibits worked with Nomadic Display to propose a modern, clutter-free display design that invites visitors, highlights LI-COR’s products and makes demonstrations easily accessible. Clean graphics boldly portray the brand while uplit counters and platforms are used to showcase products. 

Reaction to LI-COR’s new trade show display has been phenomenal. Leads increased four fold at all four shows in 2013. Demonstrating their newest product in front of the space draws attention from passersby and enables LI-COR to generate hundreds of leads at each event. In addition, the design delivers real value. Comprised of lightweight fabric structures the display offers the flexibility to easily be used in 10’, 20’ and 30’ inline spaces. 

In 2013 Vision Exhibits won a Gold MarCom Award and two International Business Communicators (IABC) Silver Quill Awards of Merit for the exhibit design and outstanding results. MarCom Awards is an international competition that recognizes outstanding creative achievement by marketing and communications professionals. IABC is a professional network of 15,000 business communication professionals in over 80 countries. The Gold Quill Awards program is the premier communications award program for communication, marketing and public relations.

is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Nomadic Display. She is a regular contributor to the Nomadic Display Blog and can be found at Google + and LinkedIn.

 

Tags: , ,

Booth Design | Case Studies | Trade Shows

Five Tips for International Exhibiting

by Gwen Parsons 10. October 2013 17:48

International exhibitions can present new and different challenges. Aside from the logistics there are also cultural differences to consider. To put your best foot forward at trade shows, it’s important to be informed before you travel abroad.

1. Think Global, Act Local
While English may be considered a universal language, you may benefit from having a translator present in your trade show exhibit or exhibition stand.

Although many business men and women converse in English, it’s important to provide trade show attendees with print or digital information in their native language. Potential prospects need to fully comprehend the benefits of your products and services. Many cultures seek technical details, so provide metric measurements and weights. 

Bring plenty of business cards. Unless you have arranged for your toll free telephone number to be accessible from other countries, be sure to include a direct dial telephone number.

trade show display

2. Don’t Assume, Ask.

While regions may share similarities, every country can be different. 

The US uses 120v electricity and Japan uses 110v. Many European countries, Russia and China use 220v. Brazil uses 110v and 220v. So you’ll need to have adaptors and transformers for American lights or purchase or rent substitutes.

Drayage, delivering exhibit shipments from the loading dock to your booth space, is a common expense in US trade shows. That expense may be combined with other fees, or require no charge, in other countries.

Avoid surprises by inquiring about what materials and services are subject to VAT (value added tax) or GST (goods and services tax) - at what rate, and whether or how you may file for reimbursement.

3. Get help from experts
Consider working with an experienced exhibit company that has their own international offices. Customs can be a complex and lengthy process. Paperwork errors can cause delays that impact your budget. Exhibit plans often need to be submitted along with documentation to show management to verify it meets local electrical and fire safety regulations.

Nomadic has multiple offices in key trade show cities like Las Vegas, New York, DC, London and Frankfurt. This enables us to coordinate display design, production, rentals, graphics and logistical support from the locations closest to client events so we can save them time, money and headaches.

trade show display

4. Basic Business Etiquette

Before you leave, learn as much as you can about the culture of your trade show audience. When in doubt, err on the side of formality.

In general, conservative business attire is recommended. Keep your hands out of your pockets and hand gestures to a minimum as it can be off putting. 

Greet visitors using their last name until you are asked to address someone by their first name. Don’t rush through introductions. Age demands a higher level of respect in Asia, so address older people first. European business people often greet one another with a firm handshake, whereas Asian countries tend to avoid body contact. Asking personal questions of any kind may be viewed as inappropriate.

5. Take Your Time
You want to build new relationships through face-to-face contact. Many cultures attitude toward time is more relaxed and conversation more casual. Take time to get to know visitors before diving into a sales pitch. Refreshments encourage casual conversation so in-booth hospitality is often incorporated into the display design. Offer visitors comfortable seating, a hot or cold drink and light snacks. 

In general, American trade show hours are shorter than in other countries. Adapt your booth schedule accordingly to incorporate frequent breaks for your staff. Jet lag combined with longer hours on your feet is a recipe for fatigue.

American exhibitors often hold brief conversations with many visitors and collect their information to contact them after the show. Exhibitions are used for in-depth discussions or to close business deals in some cultures.  Lastly, don’t let a lengthy evaluation process frustrate you; some cultures don’t make decisions at a rapid pace.

Do you have others tips to share with our readers?


is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Nomadic Display. She is a regular contributor to the Nomadic Display Blog and can be found at Google + and LinkedIn.

 

How to Prepare Your Trade Show Staff

by Gwen Parsons 15. May 2013 16:26

Alexander Graham Bell said “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”  So we asked Margit Weisgal – industry veteran, Certified Manager of Exhibits and past President/CEO of the Trade Show Exhibitors Association – to share her tips on how to prepare your booth staff to succeed on the show floor.

You have a kick-ass trade show display, targeted graphics, and a brilliant promotion plan to attract visitors. You’re ready for the show, right? Well, almost. Despite this, if you don’t have the right people in the booth, you may have wasted all your effort because it’s all about the people.

Your staffers are the ones who greet booth visitors, engage them, interact with them, position your product in terms of their needs and wants, collect contact info and, then, determine the follow up.

So to have a great staff, you have to have great preparation. Look at all the work you put in for your trade show display, graphics and promos. A commensurate effort should go into your people.

trade show staffing

Step by Step
Here are a six tactics you can employ to have a successful staff – and a successful trade show.

1. Explain why you exhibit.  You are immersed in trade show exhibit marketing and all its elements. But your trade show exhibit staff only does this for a few days (or maybe weeks) outside their regular jobs. They don’t really understand why you’re there and the inherent benefits. So take a little time and let them in on why this is an amazing sales and marketing medium. Here’s are some key phrases to use:

  • Trade shows accelerate the buying cycle. (Salespeople love this one.)
  • You meet with current customers to ensure you remain their preferred vendor. (Salespeople like this, too.)
  • You reach new, hidden buyers that haven’t been identified as potential customers yet and have an opportunity to educate them on why your product/service is the best choice.
  • It’s a more efficient use of their time to meet with many buyers at one location which also reduces the cost of a sale by as much as 75%.

2. Explain why you chose this show. You know the demographics of the attendees so inform the trade show staff of who will be there. Based on the pre-registration list, mention key customers and prospects by company.

3. Explain your goals. Each event is a platform to push or focus on a product/service/message. Share your strategy with the individuals who will be manning the booth and serve as your experts

4. Explain your promotional plan. Since these strategies will drive traffic to your trade show display, you’ll want them to know what’s going on in the background and bringing all the visitors to your space.

5. Explain the layout. Inform your staff how to guide visitors to right areas in your trade show booth – from the reception counter, to different product areas, special demonstrations, a stage – so they can get the most from the experience.

6. Explain their role: Trade show staff should qualify visitors using prepared open-ended questions. Most important, they should really, really listen. Attendees will often tell you what you need to know to sell them. If they listen, they’ll be great. And practice. Remember, they don’t do this all year round.

Anne M. Mulcahy of Xerox said, “Employees are a company's greatest asset – they're your competitive advantage. You want to make them feel that they are an integral part of the company's mission.”

You value your staff’s contribution of time, energy, time, and commitment to the company. Say ‘thank you;’ it goes a long way toward showing your appreciation.  Follow these few steps and you’ll have a great event.  See you on the show floor. Contact Margit at mbweisgal@gmail.com.

 

Tags: , , ,

Trade Show Tips

*.*