Expand Tips from the Experts – Avoiding Pitfalls with the Production of your Booth

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Hi, we’re John and John! We’ve both been in the trade show industry for a long time and have experienced just about everything that can go wrong with booth production.

That’s why we teamed up to write this post about how to avoid pitfalls with the production of your booth and have it arrive on time…


Tips for Avoiding Pitfalls with the Production of your Booth

1. Time Management
The most important tip is time management. About 90% of all pitfalls we see are a result of not allowing enough time for event elements.  Sure, you can do a few retractable units a week in advance, but that 10’ x 20’ is going to take a little bit longer!

Also, remember that production time is different than shipping time. Be sure to plan enough time for production AND the delivery of your display. If production requires 5 days, it may take an additional 3 days to ship. Don’t get stuck with overnight shipping costs; they can be expensive and destroy your budget!

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2. Know your Exhibit Space
Make sure you know the size of your exhibit space. The exhibit venue will have specific rules; provide those rules to your production company. We have seen too many companies design a booth that won’t fit into their assigned space and add features such as lights and monitors for which there are no outlets available! This can cause major headaches when it comes time to set up. Your booth staff may need to eliminate certain items and rearrange the graphics.

At Expand, we have a solution: The Expand DisplayBuilder. Ask your sales rep for a 3-D rendering of how your display will fit into your assigned space. This is your “road map”. It will help you position your items on the floor and help you communicate with the event venue for needed outlets, furnishings, etc.

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3. Provide the Correct Artwork
Ask your production company for the appropriate graphic templates before submitting your artwork for print! Similarly, make sure that you know the what type of artwork specifics your printer needs to do the job. Not only do templates simplify the layout process, but they also speed the pre-flight and proofing process up dramatically. At Expand, we have templates readily available for all of our products right on our website along with artwork guidelines specifying what we like to see in a submitted art file.

Click here for Expand’s artwork templates:

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4. Do a Dry Run
Allow yourselves extra time to set up your booth prior to shipping it to your event. This might require an extra week, but this step is highly recommended so that your staff can become familiar with the hardware and graphics ordered. They can take their time setting each piece up and taking them down without the stress of watching the clock on the day the show begins.

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Do a dry run to make sure your booth staff knows how to set up the display BEFORE they get to the event.

5. Don’t go cheap!
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We get this one a lot. A trade show or other event is a considerable investment. Booth space, hotels, travel, etc., equal big bucks. That and your branding is front and center. We’re always mind-boggled when the most visible portion of all of those expenses becomes the one item where costs must be minimized.

If your displays look cheap, your company looks cheap!!!

And if your display is broken on the show floor, well… Don’t make this mistake!


We hope that you enjoyed this post! Please feel free to contact Expand to see how we can help you get your booth out on time. You can also contact one of us directly at john.kuhlman@expandmedia.com or john.blackburn@expandmedia.com.

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Expand Tips from the Experts – Tips for Fast Response Times

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It’s great when a client gives you a lot of time to prepare an order, but we’ve all been in situations where rush orders come in and you need to get something out very quickly.

Expand Experts Joe Dunn and Chris Bonney, Expand Account Executives from our Stratford, CT location understand the process of getting orders out on time.

Below, Joe and Chris share tips on how to provide a faster response time… 


Providing a Fast Response Time for your Clients – Joe Dunn 

Joe-201x201Hi, I’m Joe! At Expand, we strive to get our resellers the information that they need to provide their clients in a fast, effective way. A great way to do this is with pre-made email templates. Often times clients don’t know exactly what display they need and providing them with options makes the process a lot smoother. An email with pictures, pricing, product information and production times gives your clients all the information they need without the unnecessary back-and-forth.

A common request I receive from resellers is, “My client needs a 33” x 78” roll up banner. What are the prices?”. Instead of going back and forth between myself and the reseller, and then the reseller and their client, providing a template like the one below shows the client a “Good, Better, Best” selection that they can choose from:

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Now the client has all the information they need without having to send a million emails trying to figure out the one product that best suits their needs!

Click here to read my previous post about helping customers visualize before they buy.


Providing a Fast Response Time for your Clients – Chris Bonney  

chris-sigHi, I’m Christopher Bonney – Chris for short! As Joe explained above, it’s important to get information to your resellers in a timely manner, so that they can also get it to their clients in time. One of the ways Expand makes sure that happens is by having strong communication between our different departments. (Click here to read my previous post about how we have many different departments that work together to ensure that your project gets out on time.)

Just recently, we had a situation where an order from one of my clients came in on a Friday and the due date was that following Monday. Knowing that we needed to get it done quickly, our graphics and production team got right on it! The artwork was proofed within 30 minutes, and after the client approved the artwork proof our California warehouse printed and shipped it to make sure it got to their location on time. The banners made it to the show in time and looked amazing! 

We will always try to meet your delivery needs. – Our normal production times are published on our website.

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We hope that you enjoyed this post and found it helpful! If you have additional questions, you can contact Joe at joe.dunn@expandmedia.com or Chris at christopher.bonney@expandmedia.com.

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Expand Tips from the Experts – Displays for Promoting Sporting Events

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With the value of teams and leagues being at all-time highs, sports marketing has become more popular over the years – and Expand has been involved as well! We’ve worked with numerous agencies promoting sporting events through athletes, events and teams, including NASCAR, the NBA Draft and the World Series.

Wherever there is a sporting event, our types of displays are needed. Expand Experts Brad Gende, Account Executive from Chicago, who is a huge Cubs fan and Luke del Campo, Account Executive for New England and New York, who is a huge Boston Red Sox fan (Hey, nobody’s perfect!) know that understanding what questions to ask before offering our services is crucial!

Below, Brad and Luke share some advice that we hope you find helpful… 


Helping Your Client Promote Sporting Events – Brad Gende

The first step in helping your client is to find out exactly what kind of event they are promoting and where it will be. For example, many events that revolve around football take place in the parking lot where everyone gathers before a game, which makes it an ideal area to set up a promotion. The foot traffic and need for something high above the crowd makes the Flag Stand XL the perfect choice for parking lot and tailgating events! This extra tall giant of a flag is 47 inches wide and has a telescopic pole, which allows you to vary the height up to 18 feet (181 inches) high.

Another product that is great for sporting events is the Expand PodiumCase. The reason for that is because it can be used inside or outside, takes less than 5 minutes to set up and can be used to present trophies or give speeches. It’s also versatile in the sense that there are two versions: open or closed. The open style is popular for giving speeches or presenting an award, while the closed would be used to display trophies.

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A closed Expand PodiumCase was used to display the Chicago Cubs’ trophy when they won the World Series. 


Helping Your Client Promote Sporting Events – Luke del Campo

As Brad mentioned above, it’s important to ask exactly what kind of sports event the display will be used for. The first thing I do is ask my client essential questions such as when, where, and how this product will be used.

For example, one my clients needed an outdoor display for a promotional event sponsored by Ford at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. I knew that sandbagging one of our indoor solutions outdoors would not suffice for this kind of promotion: It had to be the Expand GrandFabric Outdoor. With confidence, I committed to my solution and shared images, set-up videos, templates, etc. The client loved it!

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The Expand GrandFabric Outdoor stood out and drew a crowd at the “Drive in a Dream” promotion, sponsored by Ford.

Having only sold a couple of these units as a team, it was pretty inspiring to see this system in action! Naturally, I also wanted to find out what other signage elements they needed. When a promotional desk with iPads was mentioned, I suggested using one of our podiums. It turns out the Expand PodiumCase XL was a perfect fit and an add on to an already lucrative project!

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The Expand PodiumCase XL and Expand GrandFabric Outdoor at the “Drive in a Dream” promotion. 

Afterwards, I always make sure to follow up. Always find out how it went and see if you can share pictures from the event. Sometimes you are only allowed to share them internally – Make sure to communicate that with your client!


Remember, not all sporting events are the same and not every client will want the same thing. Feel free to reach out to us if you need guidance regarding which display will work best for your client’s specific needs. Expand is here to help you!

Contact us to let us help you meet your customer’s needs >>

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Expand Tips from the Experts – How to Make Product Training Fun & Interactive

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Are you finding selling display products to be hard work? If your prospects don’t seem interested in what you’re selling, then it’s time to change your attitude! Put a smile on your face and figure out how to go in a new direction to make them excited.

Customers are more likely to respond if you provide interactive training that they can participate in. Expand Account Executives Don Johnson and Andre Sao get clients excited about what they’re selling by making product training fun and interactive!

Below Don and Andre share some ideas that we hope you will find useful as you plan your next sales meeting…


How I Make Product Training Fun & Interactive – Don Johnson 

It all started when the president of my company said “Don, you don’t entertain enough”. I explained that I was trying to cram two face-to-face meetings during the morning and another two or three in the afternoon. There just wasn’t time to take someone out at lunch.

That’s when he said:

“How about bringing lunch to them?” It was an “Aha Moment” for me. The impetus for my first “Lunch and Learn”. If I tell someone I’m bringing lunch, I get anywhere from six people to sixteen. I even got thirty people for a “hot dog party” once!

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So food draws them in. Then what? First, do some homework to see what kind of projects they’re working on. You need to think which of your products, especially new ones, might give them a solution. Sometimes, they just won’t tell you so…

I send an email asking attendees to bring their business cards so we can have drawings for prizes. Ask them to write a few notes on the back of their card about their project. Now you can explore which of your products might best work for them!

As I go through my presentation, I can focus on actual products that solve these needs we just talked about. When it’s time to set up demos, I like forming teams and giving my audience some “hands on” experience setting up displays. I have found that they really get into it and ask good questions.

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Happy Hour at MKTG in Atlanta with food, a drawing, and an Expand GrandFabric setup race! 


How I Make Product Training Fun & Interactive – Andre Sao 

Training all too often brings to mind a stream of completely forgettable facts. We’re in an industry of turning ideas into a reality, and with such a variety of products available, it’s essential to host training sessions.

Here are my tips for making these sessions more fun and interactive:

Do your research and know your audience: The best way to engage your audience is making sure the subject matter is relevant. Training is successful when everyone in the room walks away with knowledge that they didn’t have before.

Some easy ways to research your audience are by viewing LinkedIn profiles to understand some of their professional interests (posts, likes, and shares) and by searching job listings for that company to get an idea of the company culture. Or you can ask qualifying questions before starting. Just be prepared to pivot in any direction!

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Training should be a discussion, not a speech: We’ve all had the dry classroom lectures, but can you remember what your favorite teacher did differently? Often a bit of humor and context, but definitely no death by PowerPoint! While PowerPoint slides can be a wonderful communication aid, I find that showing products leaves a deeper impression. I like to bring products that people can touch and pass around the room, or get up to inspect or assemble themselves.

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Do you have trouble getting your attendees up and out of their seats? Then move the seats to the corners of the room and encourage everyone to gather around. Groups of people standing tend to form circles, which encourages conversation, and moves us further away from the classroom style presentations.


And Now our most important point of all: 

Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up! You may think training is over when the session ends, but the session should be only the beginning! You have their name. You know what accounts many of them are working on. Now you need to reach out to keep your name in front of them.

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Remember the questions your attendees asked during the presentation. If it’s important enough for them to mention, it’s probably something you should write down and follow up on. Send an email with a summary and answer any unanswered questions. Direct suggestions to their specific project, prepare quotes and share projects you’ve done for others within their company.

Hopefully they will become an ongoing client. And all because you had fun entertaining!

Contact us to learn how Expand can help you meet your customer’s needs >>

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Expand Tips from the Experts: Five Tips for Enhancing Your Outdoor Display

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Bill Hetzel, Expand Account Executive, bill.hetzel@exandmedia.com

Hi, my name is Bill Hetzel and I am an Expand Account Executive for the upper Midwest region.

I hope you had a chance to read my first tip about Features and Benefits of the Expand GrandFabric.

Today I’d like to talk about how Expand can help your clients with their outdoor brand activations with my five easy tips!

Feel free to contact me at (203) 685-9006 or bill.hetzel@expandmedia.com.


Tips for Enhancing Your Outdoor Booth or Display
Here in Traverse City, summer has arrived! Many of my agencies and dealers support Outdoor Events and they often ask me questions about exhibiting at an outdoor venue.

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I have developed 5 helpful tips for enhancing your outdoor booth or display…

1. Make sure the outdoor setup is sturdy and reusable
When people are exhibiting at an outdoor event, it’s important that they have a display with solid construction – No plastic of course. Do your brands ask you for cheap, weak, outdoor stands like you see in front of fast food?  I don’t think so!

Displays for outdoor events need to be able to stand up to wear and tear from wind, rain and any other harsh weather conditions. It’s important to understand the wind range that the product can withstand and use displays that contain broad bases or heavy base plates that will keep the display in place in any extreme weather condition.

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Expand offers a full line of outdoor displays that stand up to summer weather conditions >>

2. Don’t overwhelm your audience with too much text or too many images
The outdoor displays that stand out the most are ones that have very bright, colorful layouts with minimal text. Remind your clients to use a lot of images and have very little white space. Let them know that fewer text is better and that it’s important to use a large, easy-to-read font that can be seen from an appropriate viewing distance.

The same goes for graphics. It’s great to use images to make a display “pop”, but your clients may want to stick to no more than three images to avoid overwhelming people. Below is an Expand GrandFabric Outdoor that was used at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The image is clear and uncluttered and there is a minimal amount of text, which is viewable from 10 feet away:

3. Use products that are easy to set up and dismantle 
Exhibiting at an outdoor event in the summer can be exhausting in the hot weather. The last thing that most crews want to do at the end of a long, hot summer day is to spend an extra two hours taking down the display while sweating in the heat. With Expand products, you can pop up, take down and roll away your outdoor event presentation in less than 30 minutes!

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4. Get Creative to Save Money 
Sometimes your client’s budget dictates what they are able to buy. Fortunately, there are a lot of outdoor event displays that are geared toward cost-conscious customers, such as Expand’s economy line. Our outdoor Promo Products and Retractable Banner Stands can be a great and very cost-effective marketing tool when attending an outdoor event on a budget.

Click here to view our Economy Line >> 

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 5. Know the Rules for your Outdoor Event 
Every event has different rules for exhibitors and an outdoor event may have very different space requirements, variance height options for outdoor booths, electrical requirements, etc. than the indoor events you are used to exhibiting at. Make sure to be aware of show exhibit guidelines and regulations. You don’t want to get to the event and find out that you broke a rule and are not allowed to exhibit!


I’ve been with Expand for over 10 years and we’ve always lead the way in quality outdoor brand activation. When it comes right down to it, your clients expect a repeatable event experience and Expand Outdoor Displays are still being used today from their inception over 10 years ago!

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Reseller Tip #7: Re-branding Expand Sales Sheets

We hope you had a chance to read our most recent reseller tips about embedding Expand videos and embedding Expand brochures!

Today’s helpful tip for our resellers is about how to re-brand Expand’s product sales sheets with your own company logo and contact information.

Read below to learn how…


Tip #7: How to Re-brand Expand Sales Sheets

We have a full collection of Expand Product Sales Sheets available via the Expand Image Bank. Click here to register for access to our Image Bank.

Then follow these instructions to re-brand the sales sheets with your information: 

1. Find which Product Sales Sheet you’d like to re-brand, click download and open the file in Adobe Acrobat (or any pdf reader)

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2. Click on “View”, then scroll down and click “Tools”

3. Click “Edit Text & Images”

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4. After you click “Edit PDF”, you will see bounding boxes around the pictures & text. Scroll down to “Your Name”.

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5. Put the curser inside the box.

6. Hit the backspace button to delete the words “Your name”, then type your name in the box.

7. Repeat step 6 with “Your Phone” and “Your Email”.

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8. Select the bounding box around “Your Logotype”.

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9.  Right click and select “Replace Image”. 

10. Find a High-Res version of your logo and place it in the sampler spot. Make sure that the logo you insert is the same size as the X in the Expand logo.

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11. To make sure you have rebranded our materials correctly, please reference our Expand Graphic Manual here. You can also contact Expand and ask to speak with the Marketing Department for assistance.

If you have any questions, please contact us at us@expandmedia.com.


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Reseller Tip #6: Embedding Expand Videos

We hope you had a chance to read our most recent reseller tip about embedding Expand brochures…and our other Expand Reseller Tips!

Today’s helpful tip is about embedding Expand videos from the Expand reseller site.

Read below to learn how to embed Expand videos into your own website…


Tip #6: How to Embed Expand Videos

We have a wide collection of Expand product videos. Do you need an easy way to show your customers the Expand products that you sell without directing them to us? Just embed our Expand videos into your own website using the simple steps below:

1.Go to http://www.expandmedia.com/usdealers -OR- www.qualitybannerstands.com.

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2. Click on Expand Portable Displays

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You’ll be taken to a screen that looks like this:

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3. Click on Expand Videos

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4. After you click on Expand Videos, scroll through until you find the video that you want to embed.

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5. At the bottom of the video, you’ll see a play button and some other control buttons. Hover over them with you mouse, and click on the one that says Share Control. (The button looks like a square with an arrow.)

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6. Once you click the Share Control button, you will see a pop-up that allows you to either copy the embed code or embed it into your Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook account.   

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7. If you click on the one that says Embed, it will say Embed code is now in your clipboard!

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8. Then simply go to your website and paste the code! 

You can also change the size of the video. When you copy the code into your website, it puts it into an iframe. You can click inside of the iframe to change the height and width of the video if you choose. Just place your curser where it says width and enter the width you want, then put your curser where it says height and enter the height that you want.

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If you want to also publish it to your social media pages, make sure you are logged into your social media account and click on the embed button and choose the Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook option. Then just click Tweet, Share, or Post to Facebook.

We hope that embedding the videos is helpful for you. If you have any questions, please contact us at us@expandmedia.com.


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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

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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.

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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-Ups
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.

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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.

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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
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.

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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!


Footnotes

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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Expand Tips from the Experts – Paul Filart

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Paul Filart, Expand Account Executive, paul.filart@expandmedia.com

Hi, my name is Paul Filart and I’m the Expand Account Executive for the Pacific Northwest.

In our line of work in sales and marketing, credibility is everything. Read my post about how the success of a sales professional is hinged on credibility and the importance of selling products that are trustworthy, reliable and dependable.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I can be reached at paul.filart@expandmedia.com or (203) 870-2029.


Credibly in Sales and Marketing

Why is credibility so important? Stephen Denny sums it up nicely for me in his book Killing Giants:

“Trust is built on credibility, and credibility comes from acting in other’s interests before your own.”

It all Starts with Credibility
The root word of credibility is “cred”, which means, “to believe”. I communicate my belief in a product, and it inspires the same feeling in my clients. The key to this “cred” is integrity. A person of integrity is someone who does what he or she says and says what he or she means. When a meeting is set, this person is there at the right time. When he says he’ll get back to you, he’ll get back to you. When he commits to a project due date, he does everything in his control to meet that due date.

It’s all about Them
Credibility doesn’t happen overnight. It’s something that I have to earn; and it takes time, patience, and consistency to build. It takes discipline in follow-up and follow-through to establish it.  It comes from a combination of factors – an excellent product, an established company, outstanding customer service, and by faithfully representing my client’s needs and earning a reputation for being “customer/client first”. It’s not just about selling a product but actually taking time to find out more about the need. It means working on weekends. Sometimes it means coordinating with production even before that first cup of coffee! Oftentimes, for me, it involves making several pit stops during a 3 hour drive to answer a client’s question. A fast response time goes a long way.

Trust is Gained. Loyalty is returned.
While the “vetting” process is sometimes lengthy, good clients are always worth it. I stay the course and once I’ve earned their trust, I’m no longer just a sales person but have become a partner. Partners who know that their interests are of utmost importance don’t hesitate to reach out when they have a need. They understand that I’ve got their back, and that I’m here for the long haul. Even when things aren’t always perfect or don’t go as planned, they continue to choose me… choose us.

Visit our website to learn about Expand’s high quality products >>

Download our Product Brochure >>


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Expand Tips from the Experts: Evaluating Trade Show Participation

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Susan Volovski, Marketing Content Producer, Expand

Hi, my name is Susan and I am part of the Marketing Department at Expand.

My last post discussed how to get people to your booth by getting it to stand out against the competition. Today, I’d like to talk about how to evaluate trade show participation from the event.

Read my current post to learn how to evaluate whether your event was a success!


Evaluating Trade Show Participation
This first post describes how to get people to your booth. But what do you do once the event is over? You worked really hard getting attendance rate to your booth and don’t want all of that work to be for nothing!

Read following tips for evaluating trade show attendance:

Before the Event
In order to be able to measure trade show participation, you’re going to need to do some planning prior to the event. There are two important things to keep in mind during the planning stage – Return on Objectives (ROO) and Return on Investment (ROI).

objectivesReturn on Objectives is a “pre-event” approach to setting goals, where organizations set initial objectives. This approach deals with pinpointing eventual targets to be achieved by the end of the event. While planning the event, set clear objectives of what you want to accomplish. For example:

  • What do you want people to do as a result of coming to your booth?
  • Who can perform the expected action so that it benefits your company? (i.e. – Who are you going to invite?)

Return on Investment is a more quantitative approach that compares the costs that you will spend on the show to the actual revenue generated. Think about how much revenue you will receive and try not to spend more than that on the cost of flights, hotel rooms, etc. If it’s a smaller show that you won’t get much revenue from, don’t send 10 people. Instead, just send one or two people who are knowledgeable enough to talk about all the products or services that you’re promoting at the event.

roi-roo

During the Event
Make sure that the people attending the event take accurate notes and determine whether your objectives are being met. Also, make sure they have Lead Forms and mark the leads that are high-quality. It’s not about scanning the badges of every single person who comes to the booth; It’s about keeping track of the high-quality leads (i.e. people who actually showed interest in purchasing your products or services.) And make sure that they write down accurate details. For example, if someone asked you to send them a product brochure or asked to have a sales person call them within a certain time frame, you want to make sure all of that information is written down so that someone can follow up with them after the event.

Sample lead form: lead_form4
*Click here to download

After the Event
objectives-bubbleThe first thing to measure after the event is your Return on Objectives. Go back to the objectives that you came up with during the planning stage and determine whether you reached them.  If not, ask yourself why you didn’t accomplish these objectives. What could you have done differently? Did you set realistic goals? Did you talk to enough people at the booth?

Ask yourself, “Did people get our message? Did they process it?” If not, why?

The next thing to measure is your Return on Investment. There are two things you can check to determine your Return on Investment: new revenue generated and cost savings. New revenue generated at a show includes new leads and prospects and growth of your existing revenue database.

Revenue can be a difficult thing to measure because you don’t usually get an immediate sale while at the show. However, instead of waiting until you get the sales, you can estimate the revenue that you generated by gathering the following information:

  • The number of high-quality leads you received from the show.
  • Your company’s average percentage of closed sales per 100 sales calls.

Once you have measured the revenue, you can also measure your cost savings. Is the cost of new revenue from the show more than the cost that you spent on the event?

What do you do after measuring the ROI & ROO from the event?

1. Distribute the leads:
One of the first things you want to do after a trade show is to make sure the leads from the event are followed up on. Make sure to distribute them immediately aftefollow-upr the event. The faster you distribute the leads, the more motivated your staff will be to follow up!

2. Report event performance to senior management:

Create a summary report for the event. Use dashboards for consistent matrices, analysis and event-mix strategy refinement. Compare these scores to averages for all of your events and show the results to your Trade Show Manager so he or she can look at the averages and decide if it’s worth it to attend the show again next year.

Read my first blog post about getting people to your booth >>

View more Trade Show Tips on the Expand website >>


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