What’s in store for Experiential Marketing Spending in 2017?


With the new year upon us, your customers will be deciding how to spend their 2017 marketing budget, so its import to know what will happen with experiential marketing in 2017. Until now, there hasn’t been a way to get an accurate estimate of experiential marketing budgets. However, the Event Marketing Institute recently released The 2017 Experiential Marketing Spending Forecast, a new annual report that offers an analysis of where event and experiential marketing budgets were in 2016 and where they’ll be in 2017.

Event Marketing Institute analysts estimated an 11% average 11increase in experiential marketing budgets for 2017. (The first double-digit average experiential marketing budget since 2008!) The 11% increase estimate is based on a proprietary survey of brand marketers, interviews with heads of event marketing at Fortune 500 companies and conversations with procurement executives and top industry influencers. 1

Overall ad spending will go down in 2017. According to an article by The Wall Street Journal, ad spending will decrease significantly in 2017. Internationally, there is an estimated slowdown to 3.6% spending growth in the global ad business this year, (down from 5.7% in 2016) and ad sales in the United States are expected to face a slowdown to 1.7% growth in 2017 (compared to 6.9% growth in 2016) 2

However, the amount spent at live events is expected to increase this year. According to the report by the Event Marketing Institute, almost 60% of marketers plan to increase spending on event and experiential marketing in 2017. According to Event Magazine, event marketing continues to top marketing growth, with events remaining in the top sector posting growth, following closely by internet spending and direct marketing.3

These projections should be good news for our industry and makes 2017 look like a good year for live experiences.  Mike White, founder of Itch Experience, stated that brands are spending more in event marketing due to growing consumer demand. “People want be engaged through their passions and cultures and that means live experiences”, he said. 4

Click here to see what Expand has to offer >>


1. Event Marketer. Experiential Intelligence Report. The 2017 Experiential Marketing Spending Forecast.
2. The Wall Street Journal. Ad Spending to Slow Significantly in 2017.
3. Event Magazine. Event marketing continues to top marketing growth.
4. Event Magazine. Bellwether Q4 2016: the inexorable rise of event marketing.

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It’s All About the Experience – Jeff Provost


Jeff Provost, Executive Director, EDPA

Jeff Provost is the Executive Director at the Exhibitor Designers & Producers Association (EDPA) and the founder of PRO Management, LLC., an association management company headquartered in Westport, CT.

EDPA is a member-based not-for-profit whose purpose is to provide education, leadership and networking for edpa-logothe advancement of its members and the exhibition industry.

EDPA provides regional industry education programs through its eight chapters.

Read our Guest Blog Post by Jeff Provost about how marketing is all about the experience…

It’s All About the Experience

With 2016 fresh behind us, it seems like a good time to look back and do a quick evaluation. Was it a good year for you personally? Did you move things forward, stay in-place or slip behind a bit? Did you experience both love and loss in 2016? Did you have any fun getting there?

Let’s switch over to our professional lives. What did you try out that was new and perhaps even risky this past year? What new experience did you help to build?

2017 marks my tenth year in the live experience and face-to-face marketing industry so I’m also looking back at the entire decade. Back in 2007, I was part of a small team at Red 7 Media in Norwalk, CT that launched the Event Marketing Institute (EMI). We premiered EMI at Red 7’s Event Marketing Summit that spring and my career path changed. Up to that point, I was a marketer who didn’t understand what face-to-face marketing was. I had never been to a trade show in my life. But the EMI opened up my view of live marketing far “beyond the booth”; Mobile marketing, street marketing, product launches and corporate sales meetings were all in the mix too. I learned a lot quickly.

Like most live marketers, I had (and still have) a tough time articulating exactly what it is that I do when I meet folks outside of our industry. The neighborhood BBQ, our church’s Christmas open house, assorted cocktail parties…People would try (or pretend) to understand what I was talking about, with most gravitating to the trade show part. Almost everyone my age or older had some understanding of what a trade show was anyway. I even tried using the popular term, “experience marketing” but that brought even more puzzled looks over the buffet table.

Then I caught a few episodes of “The Apprentice” on TV and noticed that many of the group projects assigned to the contestants were actually face-to-face and event marketing based. The group ‘task’ frequently involved a live branded experience and when I started citing the popular television series, more people began to understand what I was describing. Check out the new “Celebrity Apprentice” series that just started. That formula hasn’t changed much.

All roads lead us back to that memorable live experience. And not just the well-executed (in terms of successful event operations) live marketing experience, but one with strong ties to a specific brand. (How many times have you seen one of those mega expensive Super Bowl TV ads, and remembered the cute or clever plot, but totally missed who the advertiser or brand was)?

Live branded experiences that live with us both on-site and after, the type that lingers just long enough for us to want to build on it, is what we all strive to achieve together.

How many of those brand experiences did you and your team help create in 2016? How many of them will you help to build for others in 2017?

Keep it experiential!


5 Tips for Exhibitors – Make Your Next Event a Success!


What do you need to think about when planning your next trade show or event? How do you create the right conditions to be successful? What goals to you need to set?

We have developed 5 tips for setting clear goals that can help you evaluate your efforts…


1. Start Early
To get the most out of an event, it’s important to get started early. Select a Project Manager who will have the main responsibility and let that person involve others who should be part of the planning. Know the important deadlines and remember that usually an early registration for items like hotel rooms and flights can save you money.

2. What to achieve and who to reach:
Set clear goals for yourself or your customers. Do you want to build your brand? Launch a product? Educate the visitors? Would you like to reach existing customers or is the main focus to meet potential new customers? How many leads would you like to collect? Who do you want to invite? Try to make your goals measurable – it makes it easier to evaluate afterwards.

Clarify the goals for everyone who is involved in the planning and everyone who will be exhibiting at the trade show or event.


3. Choose your message carefully
You have a very short time frame to catch the visitors’ attention. Choose your main message for the target audience based on your goals above and communicate the message clearly!

Your message will compete with many other messages. Try to find a concept that will stand out. It is also important that your booth does not look too similar to the adjacent booths and that your logo or brand message is visible from a distance. Remember that your message and logotype may need to be visible from several directions.

4. Be consistent!
Make sure to be consistent in everything you do from invitation to giveaways, design of your space, clothes, snacks, bags, etc.

5. Follow-up and evaluation
Most important of all: Get back to the leads you collected during the trade show and do it right away! follow-up

Evaluate your success by comparing your results with your set goals. What worked well and what can you differently next time?

Summarize and save this information for the next event or trade show!

For help setting up a booth layout…
Plan your event display with the Expand DisplayBuilder: a FREE rending tool that allows you or your customer to layout your event display before making an investment.

More tips on getting your event display to stand out >>

Click here for Expand’s three display concepts >>

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Happy New Year from Expand

happy-new-year-wallpapersHappy New Year from Expand! We would like to wish you a safe and happy holiday.

Our East and West coast U.S. Expand offices will be closed on Monday, January 2nd in observance of the holiday. We’ll be back on Tuesday, January 3rd.

For existing orders, UPS will NOT ship on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017 (New Year’s Day) or Monday Jan. 2, 2017.    View UPS Schedule

Year in Review…
We had a great year at Expand! We continued our reputation for “being intelligent and innovative in everything we do” and added new solutions for modular display systems.

Click below for new solutions we came out with in 2016:
NEW Food Sampling Top for the Expand PodiumCase
NEW accessories for our Expand GrandFabric System
A variety of different Table Top Solutions for Trade Shows and Events

Click below for some of our blog highlights from the year:
Table Top Displays are a great way to draw a crowd in a small space. Read our Tips for getting your Table Top Display to stand out…
Draw a Crowd in a Small Space with Table Top Displays

Don’t forget the Floor! Full-color event carpets or mats are perfect for additional branding at an event…
Create Brand Awareness with Event Flooring

Helpful tips for getting people to your trade show booth… 
Expand Tips: Get Your Booth to Stand Out Against the Competition

We would like to once again thank all of our partners who helped us in 2016.

Have a great holiday – See you in 2017!


Happy Holidays from Expand!


Happy Holidays, everyone! We had a great year and would like to thank all of our customers who helped us in 2016!

As a reminder, our U.S. Expand offices will be closed on Monday, December 26th and Monday, January 2nd for the holidays.

For existing orders, UPS will be shipping and in transit this week. However, UPS will NOT ship on Christmas Day or the day after. View UPS Schedule.

We will be back on Tuesday, December 27th to continue working on your girl_snowmanorders and answer any questions you have.

Have a great holiday weekend!

We hope that you enjoyed reading our 2016 blog posts and found them helpful and informative.

Click below for some of our blog highlights from the year:
Read our Graphic Tips about Viewing Distance, Matching Pantone Colors and more…
Graphic Tips: Creating Graphics for Event Displays

The DisplayBuilder tool creates a 3-D rendering of your booth setup…
Expand DisplayBuilder: Free 3-D Rendering Tool

Helpful tips for getting people to your trade show booth…
Expand Tips: Get Your Booth to Stand Out Against the Competition

Learn how the Expand GrandFabric outshines its competition…
Features and Benefits of the Expand GrandFabric System

Full-color event carpets are perfect for additional branding at an event…
Create Brand Awareness with Event Flooring

Branding is a collection of marketing methods that help you stand out from competitors…
David’s Corner: The Importance of a Brand Name

Thank you again for a great 2016 – We are looking forward to an even greater 2017!


Click here to subscribe to the Expand blog >>

Click here to read about Expand’s 2016 holiday donation >>

Expand Tips – Draw a Crowd in a Small Space with Table Top Displays

Table Top Displays are a great way to draw a crowd in a small space. Many companies don’t consider using table tops, because they think they need a bigger, flashier display to grab their audience’s attention. However, if set up correctly, a table top can grab attention just as much as a bigger display does. And at a much more cost-effective price!

Tips for Setting up your Table Top Display: 

1. Use One Big Image
When you have a lot to display, but a very small area to display it in, you may not know where to begin! How do you know where to start? Exhibitor Magazine suggests starting with one big image. With a table top setup, you have a much smaller area than you would with a 10’ x 10’ or 20’ x 10’ booth space. Since you have such a small space to portray your message, it’s important to use one main image that gets your message across, instead of several different images that may make your small table space look cluttered and lose your audience’s attention.1


Use one big image in your table top display to get your message across.

2. Incorporate a Table Throw
Another great way to capture attendee’s attention at an event is to include a custom printed table throw. Using the show-provided table cloth is boring and does not add anything to your display. Instead of renting one of these dull looking table cloths at every show you exhibit at, make a one-time purchase for a customized table throw that you can reuse at each event. Most of them are also washable and can be used multiple times. And because they are reusable, the cost pays for itself after just a few table top events!

Add an image or logo printed directly onto the table throw. Perfect for adding additional branding to your booth or tabletop setup! Expand offers 4’ 6’ 8’ and custom sized fabric dye-sublimation printed table throws. The Expand Table Throws give your table top display a polished, professional look.


3. Use Table Display Options and Accessories
Once you have your table throw set up, you will need to add accessories to the table.  Exhibitor Magazine mentions using accessories in your table top display, just like you would with a bigger booth setup. Table top displays are just like traditional exhibits, in that you can accessorize them with everything from shelving and lighting to brochure holders to IPad holders. 2

Displays and accessories that you can use with your table top include:

Pop-up displays are the perfect solution for the show on the go! A pop-up display usually consists of a light-weight frame for easy setup that literally “pops” open and allows you to attach graphics, usually with fasteners or magnets. Since the frame collapses back to a compact unit, pop-up displays are easily transported. Expand offers many pop-up displays for table tops, including the 2 x 2 Expand MediaWall, the 2 x 2 Expand MediaFabric and the Expand MediaSquare, which come with fabric graphics that attach to the structure with Velcro®, allowing you to leave them on between events for quick assembly.


Light-weight pop-up frames fit on a table and are easy to set up.

Banner Stands
Do you have a lot of materials to display on your table? Banner Stands are compact and take up very little space on your table, leaving room for you to also display other product displays, brochures or catalogs. You can also combine multiple banner stands or use banner stands in different heights to create a versatile table top display with a professional feel. Expand offers the Expand QuickScreen 3 and Expand QuickScreen 3 mini that feature a multi-segment pole that allows for multiple message to be viewed at different heights.


Use different sized banner stands for a unique, versatile table top setup.

You may want to also consider a double-sided banner stand, which allows you to promote your message from two angles.

Lighting is just as important for a table top display as it is at any bigger trade show setup. According to Pegasus Lighting, the most successful displays use lighting to attract visitors. “If you are presenting a table top or pop up display, you shouldn’t sacrifice good lighting just because you are taking up less space. You still want an engaging, attractive appearance that will draw visitors by appealing to their sense of wonder.”3

Let your lighting do the work of getting potential customers to your table. A well-lit table top display creates a welcoming atmosphere and attracts more visitors to your table top display. Direct the light to what you want your visitors to see. And remember, it’s always a good idea to check with the event venue or show management to confirm which types of lighting fixtures are allowed.


A well-lit table top display attracts more visitors and helps your message stand out.

As you can see, a table top display is a very small but very effective marketing vehicle. According to fitsmallbusiness.com, smaller trade shows are growing.4 You can take advantage of the space provided to you at a smaller trade show venue by following the above tips for table top displays. And keep in mind, a table top set up still has many advantages over bigger booth set ups including easy setup, portability and cost savings.

Click here to see the Table Top Displays that Expand offers >>

Click here for additional posts on the Expand Blog!


1. Exhibitor Magazine. Twelve Tips for Tabletops
2.Exhibitor Magazine. Exhibitor Q & A: Tabletop Exhibits
3. Pegasus Lighting. Tips to Light Your Trade Show Booth, Exhibit, Kiosk or Display
4. fitsmallbusiness.com

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Happy Thanksgiving from Expand!


Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! As a reminder, our Expand offices on the East and West coast will be closed on Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th.

For existing orders, UPS will be shipping and in transit on Wednesday, November 23rd. However, UPS will NOT ship on Thanksgiving Day. View UPS Schedule.

We will be back the following Monday to continue working on your orders and answer any questions you have on our Expand products. So make sure you enjoy some turkey and we’ll be back next week!