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I have had a few prospective clients tell me recently that they need a new tradeshow exhibit.   I am very happy to see the upswing in the economy & companies realizing that they need to replace that 12-year old tradeshow display.  In the past few weeks, I have had a number of people tell me, “Our company is planning on increasing the number of tradeshows this year, and we’re budgeting to get a new exhibit.”  Whoo Hoo!  Then the next sentence is usually, “I think we want some of those new banner things that everyone’s switching to?”

I am reminded of being in school.  Did you get a new pair of shoes because you liked them, or because everyone had them?  I fell victim to begging for Member’s Only jackets, Converse high top sneakers, and spiral perms too.  Is it because they were ME, or was it because everyone had them & I wanted to fit in?  Don’t fit in – stand out if you want to be perceived as outstanding!

Do you really want to spend thousands of your company’s dollars to show up and look exactly like everyone else in the room? Do you want combo #2,  or do you want a fresh, new representation of why your company is better than the other company’s peddling their wares?   Marketing what distinguishes your company from the others is the critical piece of success.  Everyone thinks they are better/faster/cheaper, but until you stand out from the crowd and get noticed then deliberately tell them WHY you are the best at what you do they’ll never know!

 

1.  We spend money on ads, money on direct mail, money sending our reps into the field…all in the hope that we can get face time with the people who matter.  At a trade show, all of our best prospects are in one place at one time.

2.  At a trade show, we get to see all of our existing clients in one place, at one time.  We can use the opportunity to ascertain their future needs and their current satisfaction with our products and services.

3.  At a trade show, the industry press comes to us.  They are actively seeking what’s new.  We can easily make you and the rest of the senior management team available for quotes.  And we can add to your stature by having you present a paper, participate in a panel, or play golf with our three biggest customers all in one foursome.

4.  Whether it’s the trade press, a current customer, a future prospect or even some company that may be interested in a strategic partnership, we get to control the environment in which they evaluate us.  We get to position our messages in their minds.

5.  Also, Mr. Boss, you are always concerned the staff doesn’t keep abreast of the latest developments in our industry and is too self-focused.  At a trade show we can spy on the competition, we can attend seminars by thought leaders and industry titans, we can get a pulse of what is on our customers minds just by hanging out at the hotel bar.

6.  Mr. Boss, do you remember that great idea you thought you had a few years back?  We spent low-six figures pitching the thing in half the country only to find out our ‘whatchamacallit’ was being offered when the industry was clamoring for a ‘thigamajig.’  Had we only used the time at the annual trade show to survey the marketplace we’d have saved face, saved six figures and saved a season’s worth of product development time!

And when the boss says, “But all these expenses add up…” That’s when you agree they add up — to a very efficient use of valuable company resources.

Also, see this blog featured on Skyline Trade Show Tips– the blog of Skyline Exhibits, our corporate office in Minnesota!

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August 2017
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