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How To Develop New Business at International Trade Shows

by Gwen Parsons 7. May 2015 19:26

Many companies today are reaching beyond their native borders to develop new business opportunities. Whether the goal is to build a global brand, increase revenue, expand distribution, or establish operations, trade shows are one of the best ways to introduce your company to a new market. The following key points should be beneficial to exploring international trade shows.



Find the right event. There are a number of searchable trade show directories online that enable you to research trade shows by country, industry, search term, and dates. Examples include M&A or Expobase. Your exhibit house should be able to help you screen appropriate trade shows based on your specific goals.



Do your research. Learn as much as you can about international exhibiting in general and specifically in your target markets. Exhibitor Magazine publishes an annual article on top trade show destinations. The ExhibitorLive conference offers a number of international education sessions. Mark your calendar to attend Feb 29-Mar 2, 2016 and register here to receive conference updates.

A new book "Trade Shows from One Country to the Next" offers fascinating insights into trade show marketing in 45 countries. Author Larry Kulchawik has over 40 years of experience in the international trade show arena. His book focuses on venues, regulations, exhibit architecture, cultural differences, behavioral adjustments and communication skills needed to successfully market products and services at trade shows in foreign countries. Order a copy of his comprehensive guide at Amazon.com



Select an experienced partner. You will want to work with an organization that has experience in your target market. Ideally the organization you choose will have operations located in your target market. Nomadic Display has offices in major markets in the US and Europe that offer display fabrication, exhibit rentals, graphics, and show services. We produce from the location closest to our clients’ exhibition destination to reduce time and expense. If you plan to work with an independent consultant, be sure to ask for client references to verify their experience.



Design for a different audience. Your trade show display needs to engage an audience of a different culture. That requires an understanding of the style, colors, language, in-booth activities, and more that will drive the optimal trade show display design. To effectively collaborate at your exhibit design kick off meeting bring show specific regulations, a floor plan denoting your space on it and a design brief that includes your research into your target market.

For more tips on international exhibiting, go to Resources.

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.

 

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.

 

Exhibitions As Art Can Imitate Life

by Gwen Parsons 12. March 2014 23:20

In the midst of one of this year’s biggest snow storms on the east coast, came a breath of spring in the form of an exhibition. Walking through the entrance to the 185th Philadelphia Flower Show was AWESOME.  While that word can be cliché, in this case it’s the only word that adequately described the vision before me.

Philly Flower Show

This year’s show was entitled “ARTiculture” and promised visitors a rare opportunity to experience a unique blend of art and horticulture. Many of displays were designed to celebrate the paintings and sculptures of artists including Alexander Calder, Michelangelo, Monet, Picasso, Pollock, da Vinci and Dali.

Trade Show Displays

All of the exhibits on display were made of fresh and dried flowers, grasses and other organic materials, creating remarkable illusions like this sushi buffet.

Trade Show Exhibits

Daring displays of artistry featured dazzling colors infused with the scent of fresh flowers.

Portable Displays

Crowds walked through the exhibition galleries admiring the wide variety of creative installations and masterful arrangements.

Since most trade show displays don’t possess an alluring scent, maybe the next best thing is graphics that make you think it does.

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.

 

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