How to Get Free Marketing at Your Next Trade Show

Free-Marketing

 

Trade shows are the best space to gain new leads and propel your business into the next tier. But trade shows aren’t free – exhibit booth space, flights, hotel, per diem, and so much more goes into getting your company in front of new eyes at the trade show. Use these free marketing tactics to boost the awareness of your brand without breaking the bank!

Social Media

Social media was first a fad, then a trend, and now a business model. A lot of companies rely too little or too heavily on social media to deliver their brand to the masses. You have to find the sweet spot to keep your brand on the radar but not overwhelm your followers with spam. Get in front of the attendees who don’t know your company by tagging your company, partners, and the trade show itself. Tweet and post while exhibiting at the trade show and send out special offers!  Let us give you a little incentive – tag a picture of your @displayoverstock trade show booth and the trade show you are attending. You’ll get a discount on your next order too!

Marketing through the Event

One thing you should be doing for every show is properly and completely filling out the company info. Exhibitors are often listed in handbooks and on trade show floor plans. It is a shame to see a company listed in the handbook without proper contact information. Make sure attendees know who and where you are AND how to get in contact with your company. Keep emails, phone numbers, and other information up-to-date so attendees have the most accurate information when looking through the handbook. You may also have the option to upload a company logo.

Set Meetings

Maybe setting up meetings doesn’t truly meet the definition of a marketing tactic, but it will show attendees and other companies that you are a big player and you are at the convention to do serious business. Try renting out a meeting room in the convention hall, or plan meetings in the booth itself! Attendees know the real contenders are the booths full of people who are sitting down with company. You can also post available meeting times to your social media ahead of the convention

 

You don’t have to go into the red trying to market your company properly. There are plenty of channels you can use to get in front of new and existing leads. Keep your eyes peeled for free opportunities to put your brand in the foreground. Don’t forget that your display is the key to marketing your brand at the show. Certain trade show displays, like our 10′ Tru-Fit Curved display feature double-sided printing, so you can promote different deals, products, or even brands on one display.

A Guide to Color Matching Service (aka Pantone Call-Outs) on a Custom Print Job

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What’s a Pantone Color?

Pantone colors are the “world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries” (Pantone).

Monitors and printers are calibrated differently and as a result, what you see on your monitor isn’t always a perfect representation of what’s actually printed. Computers and printers also work in different color gamuts – this means that they can reach different ranges of color as they use different colors. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, while RGB stands for red, green, and blue. RGB work with light-based colors, and CMYK works with ink-based colors. While gamuts do overlap in some instances, there are certain colors that cannot be reached with the other; as a result this can lead to differences in what you expected the color to be and what the printed color is.  Pantone colors can help ensure your colors are correct every time.

When should Pantone Colors be used?

Branding: Pantone colors are useful when your company is branded with specific colors and has other matching materials that have been printed in these colors. This is what Chipotle, for example, might do when ordering the 10′ Perfect Pop Curved Display along with a 6′ Ultra-Fit Printed Table Throw Cover.

Vector-Based Artwork:  Vectors can use Pantone colors by selecting the needed coated Pantone as the applied color. Pantones come in a variety of different formats for different printing styles, but coated Pantones align the best with our printers’ processes.

Our printers will use their Pantone booklets to run test prints until the printer is calibrated to reach the same color as the artwork. These Pantone booklets are purchased from Pantone and are used worldwide as color standards.

When should Pantone Colors not be used?

Gradients: Pantone colors cannot be used for artwork with gradients. This is because the colors are merging from one Pantone color to another. An example of a gradient that is not able to use a Pantone color call-out can be seen in the online sample image of our 10′ Pearl Hybrid Display.

Photos: Pantone colors cannot be used to match specific colors within a photograph.

Important Notes

1) All Pantone colors applied to vector-based artwork should be coated.

2) Pantone colors should be applied to the vector-based artwork prior to sending the artwork in.

3) It’s unnecessary to select a Pantone color for every graphic element on the display unless it is being used alongside other branded material that is of the same color.

4) If you’d like to use Pantones, but don’t have your own graphic designer to set them up in your display, our team of talented designers can take care of that for you! Check out the Design Services we offer from one of our fantastically creative in-house designers HERE.

Happy designing!

Follow These Six Steps to Increase Leads at Your Next Trade Show!

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Trade shows can be expensive, stressful, and time consuming; so why do companies go in the first place? Trade shows, conventions, marketing events, and exhibitions, are often the best opportunity to generate a broader cliental and build business relationships. But it takes a little more than just showing up to really get the bang for your buck. Whether you are new to trade shows or a seasoned veteran of convention halls and exhibitions, use these tips at your next event to increase your ROI and expand your business with qualifying leads.

Promote the Event

Trade show attendees plan out their budget and goals before they get to the event. Use social media, e-blasts, or shout it from the roof of your building – however you want to do it, get in front of potential leads early. Pre-event promotion is a great way to tell attendees where they can find you, along with the deals/offers that will be available.

Set Goals

How can you really tell if the convention was successful or not? Measuring trade show ROI is difficult when you’re just there for leads. Set goals for your team: e.g., talk to X amount of new leads, book X number of meetings, have X follow-ups after the event, etc. Setting goals will give your team something to quantify and help keep the eye on the prize.

Looks are Everything

Trade show displays represent your brand and make the first impression with potential new leads. If you show up to a trade show with only a table and some literature in your 10×10 booth, don’t expect to get the ROI you were hoping for. You’ve already spent $$$ getting there, why get cheap on the booth display? Tension fabric displays, like the best selling Tru-Fit series pop ups, have an easy setup and will keep your accountant from popping a blood vessel.

Go Multimedia

Let’s be honest, people go to trade shows to visit one to two exhibitors they have in mind and troll the rest of the booths to swoop up free bags and pens. While free swag may be a great way to get attendees into the booth, it doesn’t necessarily generate qualifying leads for your business. Aside from pens, attendees are more likely to engage with a brand that utilizes multimedia trade show displays. So throw up a video of your latest and greatest at your next trade show and watch those leads pour in.

Be Professional but Have Fun!

Sure, trade shows aren’t always the most exciting thing, but there is nothing less appealing to a potential lead than seeing their future business partner (you) sitting in a chair behind a table surfing Facebook with a tuna sandwich hanging out of their mouth. Dress appropriately for your industry and BE PRESENT – stand up, smile, and welcome attendees in with open arms! You don’t have to be a total stiff though – engage in conversation, laugh, and don’t be afraid to have a little fun.

Follow Up!

This is the most critical aspect of the trade show strategy. If your team isn’t following up with the leads gained during the last event, then what was the point? A free trip to Orlando? Probably not one of the goals you set beforehand… be organized at the trade show and keep records of business cards and notes from meetings. Have your team follow up immediately after the show. Attendees get to see a lot of exhibits, including your competition, so stay on top of them and let them know their business is important to you!

How to Find Great FREE Images for Your Artwork Design

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When exhibiting at a trade show or public event, having beautiful and professionally done marketing materials is everything. Although vector art has a clean appearance and can be used on any size of media, photographs are often the best (or only) way to get your message across.

Having enticing images can add a lot to a display, but sometimes, it can be hard to find the right pictures at the right price that don’t have copyright laws attached to them.

But wait, what is copyright?

Copyright is “a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to its use and distribution, usually for a limited time” (retrieved from Wikipedia). Copyright is a form of intellectual property, applicable to any expressed representation of a creative work. This means that if a photo has been copyrighted, then you, the user, are not legally allowed to use it without purchasing or being granted those rights.

Are all photos copyrighted?

No, there are some photos that are in the “public domain” and are free for personal or commercial use. This means that you don’t have to buy rights to use the photos for either personal use, commercial use, or both!

Why use stock photos on a display?

It can be hard to find art and photos high quality enough for large format printing. Photos copied or saved directly from the web are 72 dpi, which might look great on your computer screen, but will turn out fuzzy or pixelated on a large print. We recommend using photos that have a resolution of 100-300 dpi (dots per inch) to ensure the best print quality possible. When selecting photos for your display, it’s best to use a picture that is as close to the actual size it will be printed at as possible.

If you’re planning to use a single photo to cover the entire background of your artwork design, the image size and requirements will vary from product to product, depending on the final print size:

  • For Banner Stands, your photo should be at least 100 dpi (300 dpi is preferred) and the size should be at least 50” high, so that it can easily be expanded to fit the graphic specifications.
  • If you’re looking for a photo that fits the background of a 10ft Trade Show Display, look for images that are high resolution (300 dpi or more) and at least 60″ x 60″ so they can be stretched to fit a 10ft pop up display.
  • Trying to find a photo large enough to cover a 20ft Portable Display may be a bit of a challenge, but look for photos that are as large in size as you can find and 300 dpi, so they can be sized up and expanded to cover the entire canvas.
  • For Outdoor Flags, the photo should be 100-300 dpi and at least 15″ x 30″ in size.

Large format and dye sublimation prints are produced in CMYK, so saving photos and final artwork as CMYK files is critical in making sure your printed piece looks the same as it does on your computer screen.

Where can I find these free photos?

There are a lot of options out there, so it’s important to always read the fine print on the photo licensing.

Some sites that offer free photos for commercial use include:

And if you don’t have your own graphic designer to put these photos on your display, our team of talented designers can take care of that for you! Check out the Design Services we offer from one of our fantastically creative in-house designers HERE.

Why Multimedia Displays Should Be Part of Your Trade Show Exhibit

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Although graphics play a huge and arguably most important role in the presentation of your company at a trade show, having items that engage the interests of people is key! The best way to do this is by having some sort of media incorporated into your presentation, because let’s face it, most of us are easily distracted by anything with a flashing screen.

One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by adding an LCD monitor mount to your existing pop up or fabric trade show display. Most monitor mounts will support a Vesa compatible television or computer screen up to 27″. This type of accessory is perfect for showing off your company in action with imagery such as your commercial, picture slideshow, or a mixed media video with pictures, video, and music on a loop.

There are also more heavy duty monitor options that allow you to include a plasma or any large television into your display with a mounting bracket similar to the one you would use to mount a TV to your wall. Two products that can support a full size screen are the 20′ Pearl Version 2 and the Standroid Version 2.

Another incredible way to engage clients at your next trade show or event is to include an iPad-TV display stand or iPad counter as part of your exhibit. Not only can this involve people in your product or business with a hands on approach, but it will keep them there longer so you can dish your “shpeal”

The truth of the matter is, people in the business world spend most of their day staring at one screen or another (sometimes two or three at a time!), so why not entice them to stare at one of your screens for a minute to create an extra impact?

Be sure to check out ALL of our media displays HERE

Top 3 Things to Avoid When Preparing for a Trade Show Exhibition

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Now that the busy trade show season is upon us, we’re all starting to feel the pressure. It’s easy to feel a little stressed out when thinking about all the deadlines, travel arrangements, and expenses involved in exhibiting, whether it’s for 1 show or 100 shows this year.

Here are the Top 3 Things to Avoid as a Trade Show Exhibitor: 

1) Don’t Procrastinate! 

Waiting until the last minute can lead to costly rush charges for shipping or production for your trade show exhibiting products, not to mention the higher rates on last minute flights and hotels. Planning in advance for your trade show will give you time to be prepared and be creative for your next show or event.

2) Don’t Shoot From the Hip!

The only thing worse than being unprepared at a trade show is looking unprepared at a trade show. Going in with the attitude “it will all work itself out when I get there” is a disaster waiting to happen. Have a game plan ready for your team. Know your audience and your purpose for being there. Come prepared with both questions and answers for your prospects. Make sure that all of your ducks are in a row for the products and appearance of your booth space. And in honor of Murphy’s Law, have a contingency plan! You never know what can go wrong…

3) Don’t Chintz Out! 

Exhibiting can be expensive. But let’s be real, when you’re spending upwards of 10k to attend a show, is it really worth it to save that extra $150? It can be tempting to take the cheaper route and buy a plain black portable display so you can slap on a couple of random print outs and call it a day. But in the long run, this method can lose you money if it creates the impression that your company is unprofessional or unprepared. Furthermore, there are a plethora of options these days for easy, fast, and affordable trade show booths (such as tension fabric displays) that cost less than $1000 and include full custom graphics, so why go the chintzy route if you can spend a couple hundred more to make a big-ticket impression?

So, to sum it up, be proactive, be prepared, and be posh. If you ignore these rules, you run the risk of wasting valuable time, money, and dignity, which I know we’d all like to hold on to. Good luck!

How a Graphic Display Can Make or Break You at a Trade Show

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As we all know, in the trade show world, first impressions are everything. Better yet, when walking a show, the first glance is everything. If your booth does not stand out in a crowd, and people cannot tell what your business does simply by looking at your display, you’ve just made this whole exhibiting thing a lot harder on yourself.

In order to make your trade show booth stand out at your next show or conference, you should have a clean, professional looking display. Your trade show display’s overall appearance should be thought provoking and engaging, while clearly expressing who you are, what you do, and why your company is so freakin’ awesome.

Exhibiting gives you a unique opportunity to market within your own industry. This is why it’s so important to stay current, competitive, and creative. If you’re going for the full graphics display in your 10×10 or 10×20 booth, ask your graphic designer to create artwork that uses the same colors, logos, and fonts that are present on your website, business cards, or flyers. However, don’t simply replicate your website or business card. Think about your audience. What are you trying to say? Who are you trying to impact? Why are you trying to gain an audience? After all, the whole point is to show off, isn’t it?

Don’t forget: an engaging display = more interest. Now go get creative and earn that business!

Don’t have your own graphic designer? Check out the Design Services we offer from one of our impressive, incredible, amazing, fabulous, and fantastically creative in-house designers HERE.