The Secret To Finding The Best Spot At Trade Shows

Trade shows and expos are a brilliant opportunity to meet a lot of customers in a short period and showcase your company. If you do it right you can come away with a lot of good contacts but if you get it wrong you’ll waste a day standing behind a table doing nothing. Your presentation is key and you need an eye-catching stall that draws people in, but the thing that will really make or break your expo experience is the placement of your stall.

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You might be hoping for a definitive answer to the very best place to set up but the truth is, there isn’t one. There are spots that are better than others and certain places you should avoid at all costs but it often depends on your own needs. Experts disagree on the importance of your location; some claim that location alone won’t stop you from drawing people in while others say it’s the biggest factor.

Either way, you need to know where to place your stall because there’s no point getting event popup printing companies to create an amazing display for you if nobody is going to walk past it anyway. You need to be somewhere that gets enough foot traffic as well as offering enough space for you to set up your presentation materials properly, but how do you find that magic spot?

Know What You Want

It might be tempting to go for the biggest stall you can get but it doesn’t always work. The thinking behind it is that the bigger your stall, the easier it is to notice so you’ll get more people coming in. The thing is, if you haven’t actually got enough products or displays to fill the space, it’ll look empty. Having a stall that’s way too big makes you look unorganized and immature as a company so people won’t trust you.

There’s also no need to go for the same sized space at every show you go to. You’ll see a different set of customers at each one so make sure you’re tailoring your stall each time rather than just getting the same thing.

Study The Floor Plans

The best way to choose the perfect spot at a trade expo is to study the floor plans and work it out for yourself, don’t choose based on the price. One of the first places to avoid is the entrance. Some people think that they’ll get more traffic because everybody has to walk right past them on the way in. However, people are reluctant to stop at a stall before they’ve had a bit of a walk around. That means most people won’t come to your stall on the way in and when they’re leaving they aren’t likely to either.

Check the layout of the room and see if you can have a guess at what the natural flow of people might be. Then you can place your stall along that path and hopefully get more foot traffic. It’s also a good idea to look for any obstacles like pillars that will restrict people’s view.

Location, location, location is an old cliché that usually applies to real estate but it works just as well for trade shows.

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Business Promotion: 9 Strategies For Winning At Trade Shows

Collision conference and trade show in New Orleans on May 4, 2017

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Depending on the nature of your company, some of the people reading this post might have to exhibit their brand at trade shows in the future. That can become somewhat of an expensive exercise because the business has to pay a fee to the organisers in most instances. There are also lots of other areas in which you’ll have to spend cash if you want to achieve the best results. There are some expert strategies listed below that all entrepreneurs should consider before arranging their next big trade show date. Failure to take note of this advice could mean your firm never reaches its full potential, and you never make the level of profits you deserve. So, take a read through this information and apply it to your business model as soon as possible.

Choosing the most suitable events

Before you do anything else, all business owners will have to make sure they identify the most appropriate trade shows for their brand. There are thousands of different exhibitions all around the country every single year. So, even those in niche markets should manage to find something that works for them. Get in touch with the promoters as soon as possible and ask about the process of getting a stall at the event. In most instances, you will have to send a small deposit and pay the entire cost at some point before the date. Some organisers are known to charge a small fortune, and so it’s wise to discover the price as soon as possible. That way, you have enough time to prepare. Ideas for reducing the price include:

  • Sponsoring the event
  • Striking a deal with the promoters

Just make sure the events you select will enable you to chat and network with the owners of rival firms, and any members of the public who show interest in your marketplace.

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Taking your best team members

No entrepreneur should go to a trade show without lots of back-up. That means it’s vital that you take a look at the people working in your office and try to work out which of them will provide the most assistance during the event. Ideally, you want someone who knows the company inside out and has an excellent approach to customer service. When all’s said and done, whoever you take along to the trade show will represent your brand just as much as you. They will have to speak to new potential clients and customers while trying to convince them to spend money. So, you want someone who deals well with stressful social situations of that nature. Bear in mind that anyone you take will have to:

  • Speak to people who show interest
  • Answer questions about the business
  • Present themselves in a professional manner

Once you select the right employees, you can write a script and ask them to learn it. That way, you still control 100% of the things they say to any attendees during the event.

Looking the part

First impressions count in the business world, and so anyone attending an exhibition will need to ensure they present themselves in the right light. If you run a fun company aimed at young people, wear some jeans and a funky t-shirt for the best results. If your brand focuses on providing legal services to large corporations, you’ll probably want to invest in a designer suit or something similar. Make sure any workers you take along to the event also follow that strategy. The last thing you need is for someone who looks like they’re about to go jogging to deal with new potential clients. That is not going to encourage anyone to part with their hard-earned cash. Some quick tips might include:

  • Wearing a uniform
  • Dressing to suit the occasion
  • Wearing branded clothing
  • Visiting a tailor

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Investing in promotional materials

It’s vital that you have lots of promotional materials available at your trade shows. That is because lots of other companies will occupy the same space, and so visitors won’t have enough time to stop off at every stall they encounter. Still, the last thing you want is for people to walk away without learning anything about your products or services. So, promotional materials like flyers, business cards, and other items are going to come in handy. Also, take a look at some cheap ID carrying ideas, so attendees have no trouble distinguishing between those working for your brand, and those stopping for a chat.

You might also like to buy:

  • Branded t-shirts
  • Mugs
  • Pens
  • Mousemats

Creating a quiet area

Some of the people who stop and have a conversation at the trade show might want to learn more about your company. For that reason, it makes sense to create a quiet area away from the hustle and bustle where you can chat. There are lots of tools that will assist during that process if you don’t mind investing some money. Indeed, it’s possible to find work pods online that should cancel out most of the background noise. That will make it much easier for individuals to hear themselves think and learn some more information about your business. Of course, those who can’t afford to do that should consider arranging meetings for the following day. Just hire an office somewhere near to the convention centre and book people in for a discussion.

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Getting in touch with graphic designers and printers

There is no getting away from the fact that you need to make your exhibition stand appear as attractive and appealing as possible. That is why you shouldn’t try to cut back on spending when it comes to contacting graphic designers and printers. Just search Google for renowned specialists in your local area and then visit them to discuss the work. Ideally, you’re going to want lots of posters and banners to ensure your stand catches the eyes of passers-by. Anyone on a tight budget should aim to use the same company for both the design and the printing work as that is the best way to get a discount.

You can also use some of the same graphics for the leaflets and flyers you hand out during the day. There is nothing wrong with killing two birds with one stone, and in most instances, the imagery will work well. Just ensure that every large graphic contains:

  • Your logo
  • Your business motto
  • Your website address
  • Other contact details

Making the stall interactive

You’re living in the digital age, and so it’s wise to use technology as much as possible at trade shows. There are lots of ways in which you could approach that goal. However, most entrepreneurs choose to invest in iPads and other tablet devices for exhibitions. Load them with product catalogues or brochures that explain your services, and then fix them to the stall. Some attendees won’t want to hold lengthy conversations with your team members because they’re shy or in a bad mood. However, those folks will often find the time to stand around for ten minutes taking a look at one of your tablet devices. Other ways you could make the stall interactive include:

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Giving something away

Everyone likes getting something for free, right? Well, maybe you could use that psychological knowledge to ensure you make an impression on everyone who takes the time to attend the trade show. Giving something away that contains your logo, or alternative branding is a fantastic move that doesn’t have to break the bank. As mentioned earlier, promotional materials are essential for all exhibitions. So, why not take it a step further and create some goodie bags that people can take away? In those bags, you could place:

  • Branded stationery
  • Magazines
  • Music CDs
  • Mousemats
  • T-shirts
  • And pretty much anything else you like

Assessing the results

It’s critical that all entrepreneurs work out a method for evaluating the results from their trade show activities. The easiest way to do that is to ensure everyone at the event gets a discount code they can use on your website. You then just have to get the marketing guys to see how many individuals entered that code after a couple of weeks. That idea shouldn’t take too much time to arrange, and it’s quite useful. However, feel free to think outside of the box and develop a new concept. Just make sure that you have a way of working out how many attendees bothered to research your brand and spend money after the event. That way, it’s easy to perform a calculation and determine if the exhibition assisted your company in making a profit.

Now you know how to win at trade shows, nothing should stand in your way of success. Just remember the first point mentioned on this page before you rush into anything this year. If you fail to identify the most suitable events, you will always struggle to achieve the best results. In most instances, everything else relates to common sense and trial and error. So, now is the time to start the ball rolling and improve your business’s prospects in time for 2018. Good luck!

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The Big Cosmic Show – Total Eclipse 2017

Hi everyone! On August 21st, the solar eclipse took place and what a show it was. The path of totality, where one would see a total eclipse, crossed the U.S.A. from Oregon to South Carolina. I had heard the reports that there would be tremendous traffic in the areas around the path of totality, but, being within 100 miles of a total eclipse for the first time in my life, I decided to go for it. I’d never seen a total solar eclipse and felt it would be almost criminal for me to miss this one because of fears of heavy traffic. And, to get an idea of what to look for during a total eclipse, and also ways of making pinhole viewers, I checked out YouTube, which can be very helpful in finding out about lot’s of things.

The Trip There

I was prepared. Totality in Salem, Oregon would take place around 10:17am local time, so, I got up around 4am and left about 5:15am. I mapped out a back road route in advance and armed with my maps, gps, and a packed lunch, eclipse glasses, a home-made pinhole viewer, and my camera, I set out. Traffic going to Salem was much better than I expected and I arrived there in about an hour and 15 minutes, which is near normal. I realized, people had been arriving over the previous 4 to 5 days, so the influx was more gradual, and I figured this might be the case, but, being a possible once-in-a-lifetime event, I wasn’t taking any chances.

My Viewing Site

I didn’t go to one of the advertised venues, but instead opted for a supermarket parking lot on the east side of Salem. I found easy, and free, parking. The beautiful thing about an event like this is, you can view it from anywhere, it’s not like a greatly anticipated movie, rock concert, or sports event where you have to go to a specific place, this is visible across a wide path from anywhere in town or between towns for that matter.

There were a few others there, including someone with a telescope, using it to project an image of the sun and eclipse on a large white sheet of paper, and this was actually more effective and safer than the glasses, and more detailed than the pinhole viewer, though the pinhole viewer was definitely effective in showing the advancing eclipse.

Total Solar Eclipse 2017. Man with telescope using it to project image of eclipse on large white paper. Looks great! – 8/21/2017

Remember! – Never look at the sun without certified eclipse glasses or filters! Best and safest is to look indirectly using a projection on a surface or a pinhole viewer! Otherwise your eyes can be damaged instantly! Only during totality in an eclipse is it safe to look with the naked eye!

What I Saw

At first, when the eclipse started, you didn’t notice much darkening or lessening of the amount of light. What you could notice, as I had learned from YouTube, is that, the light coming through the leaves of a tree will actually show the crescent sun as the eclipse advances! I saw this for myself! And, this effect is visible whether or not the eclipse itself is total, partial, or annular. (Where the moon doesn’t quite cover the sun but leaves a full circle of light instead of totality.)

Total Solar Eclipse 2017. Crescent suns on the ground after totality as seen through the tree leaves. – 8/21/2017

There is another effect which is sometimes happens just before and after totality, called “shadow snakes”, in which these shimmering shadowy lines appear, but this is somewhat rare and I didn’t see this, but, in retrospect, I could see where it may have been close to happening.

As the light dims, which you do start to notice at around 85-90 percent totality, it looks different from the dimming of light when the sun sets normally or when clouds move in. And, you can “See” the moon’s shadow coming, as a darkening of the sky. It also looked to be changing to a darker blue, again, different from a normal sunset. And, the street and parking lot lights come on as well! Then, totality hits and it gets almost as dark as night much quicker than it would in a normal sunset. At this point, you can look at the sun without protection, with the naked ye, safely. And what a sight!

Total Solar Eclipse 2017. Sun in totality. Light from corona makes sun look like it is shining but in actuality, it is dark as it is covered by the moon, which one would see in person or with a better camera. – 8/21/2017

You do see the sun’s corona from behind the moon, which is a pitch black circle in the sky. You can also see stars and planets. I saw Venus, which, where it was, would be completely obscured by the sun’s light before and after totality. In the photo I took, the light of the corona does overwhelm the dark circle of the moon, and no photo does it justice.

The temperature does drop, though I was too engrossed in the eclipse to really notice it myself. Also, all along the horizon, you see distant light as in a sunset, but overhead and nearly to the horizon, it’s a night sky! They refer to this as a “360 degree sunset or sunrise” And it is really different and worth seeing.

Where I was, totality lasted about a minute and 56 seconds roughly. When the sun starts reappearing, there’s a sort of flash at one end of the moon’s rim making it look like a diamond ring. At this time it is no longer safe to look at the sun with the naked eye!

And, the light again looks different from normal sunlight. It first looks like the light is coming from a very powerful electric spotlight from far away, like standing in a big football or athletic field at night with only one light on, shining down on the filed. Then, still slowly but seemingly faster than before totality, the light starts coming back, still with that strange dimness, but then returns to normal. And, on the projection of the sun or through a pinhole viewer, you see a now reappearing and growing crescent sun, the crescent appearing on the opposite side.

Though the totality only lasts a very short time, the partial eclipse usually lasts about two hours, so you can still use the pinhole viewer to view the remaining partial eclipse.

In Conclusion – My Thoughts

Total Solar Eclipse 2017. Me just after the totality phase of the eclipse, as shown on the projection in the background. – 8/21/2017

I had considered staying where I lived to view the eclipse, where it would be 99.2 percent totality, but everything I’d read from those who had seen a total eclipse said that there was a huge difference, like the difference between “going to the prom vs actually getting married”, or “hitting 5 numbers in the lottery vs hitting 5 plus the mega or power number for the top jackpot”, so I went and it was worth it! It did take me 2 1/2 hours to get home using back roads, but I’d do it again even if it took me twice as long to get home! I found that the comparisons that I read bout are true and I’m glad I went down to Salem to see my first total solar eclipse! It was quite a show and not one to be missed!

Here’s  the video I took during the eclipse. Enjoy!

Happy Observing!

 

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