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Time to make those resolutions about how you will be different this year…better.

Are you a booth staffer? Is your resolution to improve your staffing skills?

A display can only take your company so far at a show. It’s the interactions and relationship built by the booth staffers that get leads for your company. A booth design is a great way to attract attention but a booth design plus an engaging booth staff is a surefire way to stay with people after the show.

Will you strive to plan, set goals & expectations as well as budget better for your tradeshows this year?

The sooner you start planning for your tradeshows, the less stressful the experience will be. Establish a timeline with your exhibiting company to include clear deadlines and expectations for staff and the company. With clear communication and understanding, a successful tradeshow experience is always possible!

Is your resolution to have a better follow-up strategy with your prospects after the tradeshow?

If you don’t establish contact with the leads you received from the show, you will have wasted your own time and money by being there! Don’t let too much time pass without reaching out to those you met on the floor. You need to begin your communication with them while you are still fresh in their minds.

There are so many ways to improve your tradeshow marketing this year and these are just a few! Whether its design elements, display options or staff training there are always measures to make tradeshow marketing work for you. Keep checking back on Carolina Marketer as we at Skyline Exhibits & Design launch our 2011 marketing campaign, “Tradeshows Work!” Let us show you how tradeshows can benefit your company this year!


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!

There’s an app for that…The weather, name-that-tune, restaurant locator, meal recipes, current sports scores, latest news headlines…There’s an app for that.  Whether it is Facebook, the Droid, your Blackberry or Apple’s I-phone, there’s an app for that.  Yes, there is an app for just about everything.

Why?  Because technology is ever evolving, thus increasing our everyday reliance on what technology has to offer.  People want information at their fingertips the second they need it, and technology has made this a possibility.  Why?  Because our world has become a non-stop, fast paced environment.  Our daily lives have become consumed by emails, texts, and tweets.  We have lost touch of the personal face-to-face interactions that were once so common.  Therefore the act of forming personal relationships without the aid of technology has become a lost phenomenon.

Or has it?

Tradeshows are an existing environment where face-to-face marketing is still a reality. When you are on the tradeshow floor, either as an attendee or an exhibitor, you have the potential to form personal relationships with those around you.  Many marketers today face the challenge of getting their message through the “clutter.”  Clutter is ultimately formed from the various communication outlets that technology has so vastly created.  Therefore, in a tradeshow environment you have the ability to connect with individuals on a personal level without placing a heavy reliance on technology.

Technology can be a great tool to help enhance and maintain the relationships we have already built through our face-to-face interactions.  However, technology can never replace the value of the personal relationships you form with your clients as well as others!

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July 2018
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