QR Codes at Trade Shows – 6 Ways to Market Your Business

QR codes have been around since the 1990s, but they have evolved to become one of the most essential tools for marketing. Modern consumers are constantly using innovative technology to better their experiences and make life easier. By using QR codes, the average person can view nearly anything about a business from their personal mobile device.

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of QR codes at trade shows is their ability to prompt interaction with attendees. At shows, where countless distractions are coming from all directions, QR codes enable visitors to focus on your brand for a while – and take it with them after the show.

Savvy exhibitors utilize QR codes throughout their booths. You can place QR codes on your large format graphics, on small signs at your reception counter, within videos and on printed collateral. The goal is to place QR codes where they are most likely to be noticed, scanned and utilized by the attendee.

cell phone qr post

#1 Create Custom Experiences

Relevance is everything when it comes to successful marketing. To effectively leverage QR codes in your trade show marketing, your QR codes should link attendees directly to the product or service page that aligns with their needs and interests. Simply create different QR codes for each product you are featuring at the show, and place those near the product itself.

Pro Tip: Be sure to include a reminder to "Bookmark this Page" on your signage and landing pages!

If you don’t have detailed product pages, you can still create a custom experience by creating a landing page specific to the event. Include pictures of your booth to help with recall, and include information about the products and services you featured in your booth.

And always be sure to make it easy for attendees to reach out to you via an online form, email link or phone number!

#2 Expand & Elaborate Your Value

Amidst the hustle and bustle of trade show events, it can be difficult for attendees to see and recall everything your brand has to offer.

Once a visitor has scanned your QR code and landed on your custom page discussed above, you should be sure that page includes navigation to other important pages on your site, such as About Us, Company History, Mission/Vision/Values and other similar pages. This gives attendees the opportunity to explore your brand at their convenience, and maintains the relevance of the landing page itself.

#3 Get Interactive

QR codes provide a unique opportunity to create an interactive experience for attendees before, during and after the show.

Sweepstakes entries, swag giveaways, test your knowledge quizzes, subscribe/sign-up, and the ability to set appointments with your representatives are all great ways to encourage attendee interaction before, during and after the show.

And if you already have interactive tools on your website, such as online ordering, ratings/reviews or product look-up tools, a QR code can quickly point an attendee to the tools that will help move them toward a buying decision.

#4 Promote Social Media Platforms

One of the best ways to build a brand is to highlight its abilities and services on social media platforms. Attendees can gain further insight of your company’s brand when they see its interactions with the community and the way it presents itself beyond trade shows.

QR codes that link to your social media accounts are a great way to build a deeper relationship with your customers and prospects. When a visitor decides to follow your company, they will continue to receive content from your business with all your future posts.

#5 Get Valuable Feedback

Learning what your customers value most is precious knowledge that fuels your business. By determining what trade show attendees like or dislike about your booth and ways in which it could improve, you can create a plan to make the next show even better.

Simply setting up a QR code to a questionnaire asking for honest and confidential feedback shows that your business is listening and willing to adapt to their needs.

#6 Promote Environmental Friendliness

While it’s always beneficial to have printed resources available for attendees to take home, using QR codes in place of literature can show customers you care about the environment – and save you money on shipping, storage and set-up/teardown labor!

This also saves attendees the hassle of carrying brochures with them on the show floor, or finding room in their luggage to take your literature home.

Want to Learn More?

Simply scan the QR code or complete the form below to reach out Rogers. With more than 75 years of experience in trade show and event planning, we’d be happy to help and honored to earn your business!

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TRADE SHOW INDUSTRY NEWS – MAY 2021

A curated collection of trade show news and other interesting info from throughout the exhibition industry.

WestPack is back in 2021!

Have you heard about the LVCC Loop? Scheduled to open with the World of Concrete Show in June, the Loop can transport up to 4,400 attendees per hour, as reported by the Las Vegas Sun. LVCC Loop circles the South, Central, and West Halls in just two minutes. Moving people from one hall to another in record time is not only great for attendees but for trade show industry exhibitors, as well.

Rogers Industry News on Las Vegas Loop

WestPack is back in 2021!

Co-located with MD&M West, ATX West, D&M West, and Plastec West, attendees of this popular event indicate their eagerness to return to live events this year. Read more in this article by Packaging Digest.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will be live and digital in January 2022

More than 100,000 attendees can expect to see the biggest names in technology, along with start-ups and some surprising new brands making their debut at next year’s event. As one of the largest exhibitions in the world, the return of CES is a harbinger for the rest of the global trade show industry. To learn more, visit the Consumer Technology Association website.

Chicago Auto Show in July 2021

Chicago welcomes the Chicago Auto Show in July 2021, the first event at McCormick Place since the shutdown in 2020. Scheduled attendee entry, electronic ticketing, face masks, and other protocols will be in place for the show. Chicago plans for full reopening by July 4th, according to this report by Successful Meetings.

EXHIBITOR FastTrack

Exhibitor Magazine launches its first in-person EXHIBITOR FastTrack event this July in Providence, RI, with another following in August in Louisville, KY. The FastTrack conferences focus on education and networking for trade show and event marketers. With trade shows making their long-awaiting comeback, now is a good time to brush up on your skills!

Rogers is an award-winning experiential storyteller that helps clients convey powerful brand stories that stand out from the competition. We are rooted in providing exceptional service levels and innovative products to our customers. We are not affiliated with, nor compensated by, any of the companies mentioned herein. We simply love what we do and want to share it with the world.

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Booth Rentals Fill a Need for 2021

With trade shows making their long-awaited return later this year, exhibitors are now walking the fine line between pent-up demand and uncertainty about attendance. According to its most recent Insights survey, Exhibitor Magazine reports that most exhibitors plan to keep their booth size the same as before the pandemic. Conversely, 70% of those companies are also facing a reduced spending budget. One way to close the gap between booth size and less funding is with booth rentals.

This is a front view of our RRE20-D1 20x20 island booth which is a part of Rogers Rental Exhibit Program.

Renting allows you the flexibility to plan ahead with minimal budgetary risk. With a rental, you purchase your graphics (typically fabric), but the frames, fixtures, lighting, and other hardware needed to make a fantastic display are used only for the show. For most exhibitors, this saves money and eliminates capital expenses. That’s a big bonus!

Did You Know? Booth Rentals are…

  • Scalable – Mix and match booth properties to fit your spaces perfectly.
  • Customizable – There’s no need to sacrifice your brand image. All designs are custom with your logos, graphics, and messaging. 
  • Visually Stunning – Forget the idea of boxy trusses and oak shelving. Today’s rentals feature the latest technology with vibrant colors, state-of-the-art lighting, and a full suite of accessories. 
  • Fully Equipped – From backwalls to counters, shelving, showcases, A/V, and in-booth storage, rentals have it all.
  • Cost-Effective – Booths are lightweight and self-contained, making them easier to ship, set up, and teardown. Since you don’t own the frames, there are no storage costs.
  • PPE Ready – Personal protective equipment, such as plexiglass barriers, are also available.

Rental booths are a refreshingly predictable solution for single events or multiple shows. So, save yourself some doubt – and money – this year by considering rentals as part of your trade show marketing plan.

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The Rogers Company is an award-winning experiential storyteller that helps its clients convey powerful brand stories that stand out from the competition. With over 75 years in business, we continue to evolve and remain committed to delivering exceptional service levels and innovative solutions to our customers.  

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TRADE SHOW INDUSTRY NEWS – APRIL 2021

A curated collection of news and other interesting info from throughout the exhibition industry.

Nevada Hopeful to Fully Reopen by June 1st

On April 13th, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced his plan to transition virus mitigation authority to county governments beginning May 1st, with the goal of fully re-opening the state by June 1st. He cites the return of trade shows and their impact on the economy as a primary driver for this decision, as reported in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Open

California and Georgia join the state re-opening list

California is limiting convention attendance to 5000; more if testing or vaccination protocols are in place. Georgia event managers must follow safety protocols, but there is no cap on attendance. Get a state-by-state update from Northstar Meetings Group.

World of concrete returns to Las Vegas

World of Concrete 2021 returns to the Las Vegas Convention Center in June. Safety measures include managing attendance with tactics such as staggered entry times and one-way traffic flow in the aisles. This news has generated a lot of excitement as it signals a clear and much-needed rebound for the trade show industry.

PMA and United Fresh Merge

PMA and United Fresh become one beginning in 2022. This year, United Fresh offers attendees a choice between online and in-person experiences. Great news from TSNN for exhibitors ready to get back to in-person events.

Digital health passes

Technology companies are rolling out Digital Health Passes targeted at convention attendees. Is this the future of trade shows? Read more in this article by Trade Show Executive Magazine. 

Rogers is an award-winning experiential storyteller that helps clients convey powerful brand stories that stand out from the competition. We are rooted in providing exceptional service levels and innovative products to our customers. We are not affiliated with, nor compensated by, any of the companies mentioned herein. We simply love what we do and want to share it with the world.

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TRADE SHOW INDUSTRY NEWS – MARCH 2021

A curated collection of news and other interesting info from throughout the exhibition industry.

Exhibitor Magazine, is hosting a webinar on March 17th: Industry Update: New Data on COVID-19 and the Return of Live Events. Register to learn what will the future of face-to-face marketing look like? And when will this “new normal” finally arrive?

The newly formed Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA) is comprised of eight powerhouses in the exhibitions and meetings industries. This group will focus on existing advocacy initiatives as well as establishing a road map for the future of the trade show industry. 

The Rogers Company trade show industry news for March 2021

Convention Data Services (CDS) talks about some of the new technology being unveiled for trade show safety and convenience. Digital tickets, crowd density measurement, and online matchmaking are just some of the tools being introduced, as reported in this “How Technology Can Maintain Safety at Trade Shows” article by TSNN. 

Since we haven’t spent any money on trade show giveaways for a while, maybe it’s time to re-think what to give and how to get it to our customers and prospects. This insightful blog post by Meetings & Incentive Travel is an inspiring and short read. 

Northstar Meetings Group continues to track re-openings on a state-by-state basis. The latest update shows restrictions starting to loosen around the US - positive news for the trade show industry

No more barking dogs in Zoom meetings? Daydreaming while important topics are being covered? Check out these new online meeting technologies shared by Successful Meetings. 

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Rogers is an award-winning experiential storyteller that helps clients convey powerful brand stories that stand out from the competition. We are rooted in providing exceptional service levels and innovative products to our customers. We are not affiliated with, nor compensated by, any of the companies mentioned herein. We simply love what we do and want to share it with the world. 

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Getting Back to Trade Shows on a Limited Budget

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) recently predicted a return to trade shows in the second half of 2021. While the job impact is heartbreaking, being on track for a return this year is welcome news. Regardless, there is still uncertainty about how well shows will be attended. And that’s probably taken a hit on your budget. 

Whether you’re an expert exhibitor or new to shows, controlling trade show costs is critical in times like these. Check out the money saving tips below to help you get the most from a limited budget.  

Trade Shows Budget Minder

1.Consider a smaller booth space until shows fully rebound. Booth space typically consumes about 30% of your overall spend. A smaller booth is a fast way to cut costs.

2. Take advantage of exhibitor services discounts. Get your rigging, electrical, plumbing and internet order forms submitted by the early bird discount date. This can save you as much as 30%.

3. Hit your target-in and target-out dates. Failure to do so will cost you penalty fees – and overtime.

4. Save on material handling/drayage by packing for the CWT (aka hundredweight) minimum. For example, let’s assume a show’s minimum is 2 CWT (or 200 lbs.) and the rate is $100/pound. If you send three 75-pound cartons, each carton will be charged at the 200-pound minimum. This will cost you a whopping $600 in drayage! By combining two of those packages into one, you’ll save $200. Drayage costs add up quickly, so pay close attention and pack accordingly.

5. Use lightweight trade show booth properties to reduce freight, drayage, and labor costs. Stretch fabrics on aluminum frames weigh less than wood structures. By adding custom graphics and lighting, you can create significant visual appeal. These structures are engineered for easy set-up and tear-down, as well.

6. Refresh, don’t re-do. If you own existing booth properties, you can extend their life by adding new graphic skins. Re-purposing what you already own is a great way to save money.

7. Go with a turnkey rental exhibit that is developed to help off set costs with set pricing for each design variation that includes the rental exhibit and on-site services. Rental exhibits have a custom look, on a budget.

8. Leave the literature and freebies at home. Emailing your literature to prospects after the show gives you an opportunity to keep the conversation going. Shipping a give-away post-show reminds the prospect of his/her visit to your booth.

9. Send small packages to your hotel and hand carry them in. Most trade show organizers and general service contractors have strict policies against doing your own material handling. However, small cartons carried in by your set-up crew is usually ignored. Just don’t overdo it!

Exhibitors can also reduce costs by managing their booth personnel schedules, bidding out freight carriers, using local storage facilities between events, and much more. Your trade show vendor should be able to help you find the best ways to save. At Rogers, we’ve never met a budget we couldn’t hit. Ask us how. 

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The Rogers Company is an award-winning experiential storyteller that helps its clients convey powerful brand stories that stand out from the competition. With more than 75 years in business, we continue to evolve and remain committed to delivering exceptional service levels and innovative solutions to our customers.   

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Personal Protective Equipment and Trade Shows in 2021

What started out as two-weeks to stop the spread has turned into a worldwide saga a year in the making. It was on January 30th, 2020 that the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. By March 5th, the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. The impact on the trade show industry was massive. And for the first time ever, many Americans learned about personal protective equipment. One year later, PPE is a household term; and it will be required for trade shows to return. 

mccormick place in chicago

You’ll be happy to know that, as predicted, there is pent-up demand for exhibitions. According to a February 1st article in the Chicago Tribune, McCormick Place has packed a year’s worth of events into the last half of 2021. Before the virus, the venue hosted an average of 40 major events annually. Now, it has 59 events planned, with 39 of those considered “major”, between June and December of this year. 

The Las Vegas Convention Center is also planning its return. The World of Concrete show returns to Vegas in June. World of Concrete is considered the first large-scale event the city has seen since the pandemic shut down conventions in April 2020. The National Hardware show has been rescheduled to October 21-23 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in the new West Hall. 

The vaccine has brought new hope to the trade show industry. While each state will have its own requirements for safe gatherings, one thing is certain: Personal protective equipment will be required to exhibit and attend. Venues have already implemented stringent sanitation procedures. And as part of their commitment to re-open safely, masking and social distancing will be required. To get a glimpse of the future of trade shows, check out this post-COVID virtual tour of McCormick place.  

At Rogers, we can hardly wait to see our customers doing what they do best once again. We offer a complete catalog of personal protective equipment, including hand sanitizing stations, plexiglass guards, custom masks and more to create a safe and healthy booth. We are strong, committed, and ready to support your trade shows needs for 2021 and beyond.

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The Rogers Company is an award-winning experiential storyteller that helps its clients convey powerful brand stories that stand out from the competition. With more than 75 years in business, we continue to evolve and remain committed to delivering exceptional service levels and innovative solutions to our customers.

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Ready to Hit the Roadshow?

If you’re considering a roadshow for 2021, then you are in good company! Many businesses are embracing traveling events as a means of getting face-to-face time with key partners, customers, and prospects. People are eager to gather – safely. Zoom fatigue is a very real thing, and we all know it just doesn’t replace the connectedness of in-person time. The beauty of these events is that you can manage the attendees, scheduling, and safety protocols. All it takes is a little thoughtful planning and follow-through. 

The steps taken to conduct a roadshow are not much different than those for a medium- to large-scale exhibition booth. Display properties. Product demos. Customer invitations. Promos. Set-ups and tear-downs. Storage. Logistics. Just think of it as a traveling trade show, and suddenly the idea becomes feasible!

Interior of the ACG roadshow trailer that allows attendees to train and learn on location.

What is a Roadshow?

There are distinctly different types of roadshow events. Which you choose depends on your prospect base, sales channel, and overall objectives.  

A regionally focused roadshow is more common for training events. If you have a large sales force, taking the event to them could be more economical than having everyone at your headquarters. By conducting your event in smaller groups, health risks are lower, and you’ll likely get more engagement from your attendees. Typically, companies will reserve hotel meeting spaces for these events. Then, over the course of a day or two, conduct presentations, product demos, and breakout sessions. 

A roadshow trailer is ideal for companies who need a way to demo new products to customers and prospects. If you can’t produce enough demo inventory to keep the pipeline full, then a trailer is a great solution. Roadshow trailers are fully scalable. If you have an existing fleet of trailers, converting one into a moving demo room is not as overwhelming as it sounds. And if your budget is a bit smaller than that, a rental moving truck or trailer could fit you just right. 

How much does a Roadshow cost?

That depends on how big you want to go! You can manage costs through thoughtful selection of venue locations or trailer stops.

Business Travel News provides insider tips on getting the best hotel rates for 2021. Many hotels rely on corporate accounts for occupancy. Average daily rates are down and negotiating an additional 20% discount is possible.

If you’re considering a roadshow trailer, you can calculate your ROI by multiplying your win rate by the number of stops. And if you have a distribution network, get them involved! Bringing a demo trailer to a distributor location not only engages their sales channel, but gives you access to their customers, as well.  

How do I get started?

1.Map out your venues or stops based on the locations of your desired attendees. 

2. Create your invitation list. How many people will you invite? How many do you expect to show up?

3. Create a schedule of events and activities. How much space will you need for your attendees? Will they be indoor or outdoor?

4. Be mindful of federal holidays when businesses are closed. If you are using a roadshow trailer, consider the weather and climate control. 

5. Check out the CDC’s “Considerations for Events and Gatherings” page for helpful tips and tools.  

6. Check with state and local authorities on any gathering limits and safety protocols. (A handy link is on the CDC page shown in #5 above.)

7. Get your Personal Protective Equipment. Consider what you might need for masking, directional signs, sanitizing stations and plexiglass guards. 

8. Don’t forget the refreshments! Single-serve portion packs and recyclable individual cans or bottles are a great way to keep your attendees fueled during your event.

Reach out to an experienced exhibit and event planner for assistance. Their wealth of knowledge will certainly help you plan and execute a great show – on the road! 

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The Rogers Company is an award-winning experiential storyteller that helps its clients convey powerful brand stories that stand out from the competition. With more than 75 years in business, we continue to evolve and remain committed to delivering exceptional service levels and innovative solutions to our customers.   

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Trade Show Industry News – January 2021

A curated collection of news and other interesting info from throughout the exhibition industry. 

More and more businesses have received their GBAC Star Accreditation for cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention. Offered through the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) and its Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), companies must meet 20 program standards to qualify. Facilities including convention centers, arenas, hotels and restaurants can apply – all positive signs for the trade show industry.

GBAC Star Accreditation for cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention.

The US Travel Industry outlined the details of the latest Coronavirus relief package. Check out the provisions included to support tourism, venues, ground and air transportation.

Event Marketer recognizes the leading exhibition builders in its 2020 Fab 50 List.

IAEE TV interviews the executive director of The Orange County Convention Center about recent events that were modified for safety. And well attended!

Successful Meetings provides tips on overcoming Zoom fatigue in its article How to Keep Your Team Engaged in a Remote Meeting.

Orlando remains a top destination for the trade show industry despite COVID-19. The hiring of Cassandra Matej as the President and CEO of Visit Orlando reflects the city’s commitment to re-opening safely.

Rogers is an award-winning experiential storyteller that helps clients convey powerful brand stories that stand out from the competition. We are rooted in providing exceptional service levels and innovative products to our customers. We are not affiliated with, nor compensated by, any of the companies mentioned herein. We simply love what we do and want to share it with the world.

How to Create a Virtual Trade Show Booth

For many companies, trade shows are a staple of their annual business plans. These events have enabled exhibitors and attendees to surround themselves in new and intriguing opportunities for decades. The excitement and energy of a trade show is intangible, and simply can’t be replicated. But with exhibitions on hold for the foreseeable future, many businesses are now entering the world of virtual trade shows

There’s consensus in the exhibitions industry that virtual trade show booths are here to stay.

The Rogers Company offers 20x20 virtual trade show exhibits.

Even after in-person events return, they are expected to become a live and virtual hybrid. But as all of this evolves, how and where do you start? Here are some tips to help you create a virtual event that meets your needs now, and creates an engaging experience for your customers well into the future:

1. Make Your Physical Brand Your Virtual Brand

One of the distinct advantages of a virtual trade show is the ability to introduce a new look-and-feel to your booth without investing in physical booth properties. With a virtual event, you can try a new booth layout and introduce new show concepts.

Just make sure your company brand, colors, logos, and messaging are still recognizable. You want your attendees to identify and appreciate all your company offers on all of the platforms they might find you. It’s okay to be creative! Just be consistent so when live events do return, people will know it’s still you.

2. Set Goals for Your Virtual Trade Show Booth

As with anything, knowing what you want to achieve before you begin is the smartest approach. So, consider all you want to accomplish ahead of time and plan your virtual event accordingly. That might include lead generation, new product demonstrations, networking, education, brand building and more. That’s great! Making those goals measurable is even better.

Instead of simply setting your goal to say “generate leads”, set your goal for “generating 100 new contacts” (or whatever number best suits your business). You might want 50 people to watch your video. Or you might prefer that three specific key accounts watch that video. Not every goal has to be lofty but defining them ensures you’ll stay on track and helps you to prioritize.

3. Build Your Show Around Your Audience

With the whole of the world wide web as potential attendees, it can be tempting to try to attract them all. But that’s neither efficient nor effective. Make sure your virtual show is designed for and about your target customers and the problems they’re trying to solve. Then promote your product or service in a way that is engaging, relevant and meaningful for your attendees.  

Is your product or service complicated? Plan for live chat. Do you want feedback from your audience? Create polls and gamify them. Do different decision makers have different needs?Create personalized tracks.

You can provide brochures or a downloadable presentation that summarizes your event. Offer a meeting scheduler or an RFQ form to entice conversion. Create a discussion board so your visitors can network with each other. And you can give visitors a way to share your event with others within their organization or on social media. 

Remember – digital distraction is just one pop-up task reminder away, so you want your virtual exhibit to be immersive and interactive. There are so many options from which to choose. Don’t be afraid to explore the possibilities.

4. Create a Virtual Event Marketing Plan

Simply creating a virtual trade show booth doesn’t guarantee people will come. You need a promotions plan that will attract, inform, and continually engage your targeted attendees. Use email to invite them and send out reminders as your event date approaches. Utilize paid and organic social media to promote your event. Get your sales team involved. After all, this gives them an excuse to call that customer or prospect again. 

Create an event schedule that encourages pre-registration. Offer an on-demand version on your website after the event. Post a banner on your site’s home page and incentivize your channel partners to do the same. Create a contest or sweepstakes for registered attendees to build excitement leading up to your event. Re-engage registrants who did not attend after the event.

Remember – a goal without a plan is just a wish! If you planned ahead and still don’t hit all your goals, that’s okay. The beauty of owning your virtual exhibit is your visibility into user interaction, and ability to re-plan and re-market it as often as needed.

With their relatively low cost, extended reach, and nearly infinite trackability, virtual exhibits will surely become a marketing mainstay. It's important you choose a virtual trade show vendor that focuses on your unique requirements and has the experience and flexibility to meet your changing needs. The team at The Rogers Company has a long history of helping clients create qualified business opportunities through experiential marketing. We would be honored to show you how.

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Will trade shows come back

Will trade shows come back after the COVID-19 vaccine?

Many people are wondering will trade shows come back to “business as usual” with the COVID-19 vaccine– and if so, when? While almost everyone agrees there will be a “new normal”, smart business managers are doing all they can now to plan for a return to office and all the variables that may involve. 

What the COVID-19 Experts Say About Vaccinations and Return to Office

Trade showin a COVID-19 world 2021.

The CDC is working closely with health departments and other partners to prepare for the vaccine’s release, creating guidance for safe distribution, storage, and administration to Americans. It offers this web page, “8 Things to Know About Vaccine Planning”, for insight into what is happening now and what is yet to come.   

In September, Healthline interviewed Dr. Fauci and two other infectious disease experts who agreed that normalcy will only return through continued use of masking, hand washing, and social distancing while the vaccine is being distributed, and perhaps beyond. Ugur Sahin, CEO of vaccine creator Pfizer-BioNTech, said life could return to normal by the winter of 2021. And the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) predicts that some employers may require vaccination to return to office.

A Year Filled with Virtual Exhibits and Zoom Calls

No doubt, most of us are eager to get back to the familiar people and places we’ve missed during the pandemic. While Zoom calls have filled a gap, they simply can’t replace the effectiveness of in-person meetings.

Virtual Exhibits, while compelling in their own right, will never replace the value of face-to-face time with our customers. And while the remote-work landscape has evolved and likely changed for good, many yearn for the camaraderie and companionship of our co-workers without screen time.

What to Expect with Return of Trade Shows

Most industry experts say it’s not a matter of if, but when, trade shows will return. For now, it looks like that will happen in the second half of 2021. It’s expected that significant, pent-up demand for trade shows will impact the entire exhibition supply chain. Trade show organizers, having rescheduled or gone virtual in 2020, will compete for the venues and dates they once held.

Bottlenecks in housing, travel/transportation, and dining are likely to occur as multiple shows are held simultaneously or back-to-back. Booth space is expected to sell out rapidly. And everyone impacted by the shutdown, such as caterers, forklift operators, electricians, plumbers, and trade show managers, who were laid off during the pandemic, will be in high demand. Of course, attendee and exhibitor health and safety will be top of mind for everyone involved.

At The Rogers Company, we are very much looking forward to the return of trade shows so our clients can get back to doing what they do best – showing prospects and customers all the solutions they have created for their businesses. The energy and excitement of trade shows can’t be duplicated, and the new sales leads they generate are vital to the exhibitors who have been put on-hold for so long.

Yes, trade shows will come back – in force. When that happens, Rogers is stocked and ready to help with your all your PPE, sanitation and workspace needs. Until then, stay safe, stay healthy – and we’ll see you at the show!

Trade Show Planning and Budgeting in Uncertain Times

Let’s face it. Trade show planning and budgeting is hard. There never seems to be enough money to do everything we want, while also implementing new marketing technologies and methodologies. Edicts from the c-suite to manage spending coupled with internal stakeholders who rely on you for new business opportunities is a complex process in a normal year. But now here we are… in a pandemic world trying to figure out our next best move.  

Exhibitions are a $100 billion industry in the US alone, but you don’t really hear about COVID’s impact on the trade show industry. Those of us who rely on shows feel the loss deeply. Predictions are that trade shows won’t return until late 2021, so event organizers are rescheduling and extending sign-up deadlines. But you know you’ll still need to commit to, and at least partially fund, shows ahead of time and on a compressed schedule. It’s quite a conundrum.

We know you’re facing hard cuts to your budget and may not get the funding you want and need. Regardless, you’ll be faced with making some tough choices. So, we’ve put together some ideas to help you plan your trade shows in these uncertain times.

Define and Measure Your Objectives

This should always be at the core of your marketing and trade show planning. Write down your objectives for your trade shows, and then determine which shows best help you meet those goals. 

Do you exhibit for new leads? Distributor engagement? Customer relationship building? New product launches? Brand awareness? Whatever your reason(s), you should measure the effect of “lost” shows tangibly, and in a way that aligns with your business objectives. 

If counting leads is your only objective, you know what you stand to lose by not exhibiting. For those harder to measure, more implicit goals, you can still quantify. Consider how much revenue comes from that distributor or customer who frequents your booth. Estimate the number of brand impressions you receive based on registered attendees. Calculate the column inch value of subsequent media coverage of your booth, products, or services. 

As marketers, it’s up to us to find the best methods for getting the promotions job done. But when one of those methods is taken from our toolbox, it can be a daunting task. Try keeping the shows that have the most impact on your objectives. For the rest, consider tools such as virtual exhibits as a means of staying in front of your audience.

Calculate Your ROI

Return on Investment (ROI) is not just for capital. Having a positive ROI is a constant goal of good marketing. Knowing that ROI can make a difference when you need to allocate a budget. If you’ve never calculated ROI, it’s simply a matter of subtracting the cost of your events from the resulting revenue

Oftentimes, the constraint to get that ROI is in obtaining the revenue figure. If your CRM and ERP are connected, and your sales team keeps the CRM updated, then you’re exceptionally lucky! Generating a report of sales attributed to trade shows should be relatively easy to achieve. 

For those who have yet to reach that pinnacle of marketing measurement, calculating ROI is still possible. Try getting a list of new customers and their revenue, then compare that list against trade show leads. Just remember that no method is perfect – even for the fortunate marketers with all their systems connected. If you can determine a margin of error, calculate that in. If not, you can simply mark your ROI report as an estimate. And don’t forget to include those implicit values mentioned in the section above.

Marketing Budgets as a Percent of Revenue

Knowing how your company falls on the scale of marketing-budget-to-sales-revenue is a good bargaining tool with the c-suite. More importantly, ensuring your allocation of funds aligns with your revenue sources helps you plan your tradeshows with more confidence. 

To get started, simply Google “marketing to advertising ratio” to find the average marketing spend based on your industry. Once you have that percentage, you can evaluate your overall budget. Next, take that budget figure and evaluate your spending categories.

For example, if your industry typically spends 2% of revenue on marketing, check to see how your budget compares. If you’re below average, you can certainly lobby for more funding. However, if you’re maintaining the same percentage of sales despite overall reductions, you should probably work with what you’ve got.  

Then, look at your spending categories. If trade shows are 25% of your marketing budget and contribute 25% of your revenue, then you have a good balance. You might also consider some flexibility in this ratio for the value of the branding and relationship building at trade shows. If you’re not satisfied with the ratio of spend to revenue, then make adjustments. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to forego the shows you love, but you might need to right-size, send fewer people, etc.

Virtual Exhibits and Hybrid Events

If you haven’t already done so, embracing virtual events and virtual exhibits is a reality we all must face. 

Show organizers are going virtual, and even when exhibitions return, they’ll likely be a hybrid of in-person and virtual. You’ll be in a better position later if you get in on the game now. Virtual exhibits typically cost far less than a full-blown trade show, and rightfully so. Attendance is different. Engagement is different. The value hasn’t yet proven itself.  

Wise marketers are also creating their own virtual experiences and hosting them on their websites for the long term. We are all aware that buyer behavior continues to shift to online, and the pandemic has accelerated that shift. Virtual displays create an engaging and interactive space for your buyers, particularly if your products are not e-commerce ready.

Cut Costs

The phrase no one likes to hear, especially after submitting a trade show plan that seems right on target. But there are ways to reduce show expenses and increase your ROI. 

The most obvious place is booth size. We all love a big booth with big signs and beautiful graphics. Most marketers want to appear “larger than life” when at a trade show. And we all know there’s a price tag associated with that. But if you look at your objectives and ROI, you can likely still have a great presence in a slightly smaller space. 

Rentals and Portables are a good way to reduce the cost of exhibiting, too. Even if you already own booth properties, you might consider switching to these lightweight and portable options temporarilyThese can save on freight, drayage, set-up and tear down, and labor (your own and show labor).

Partnering

Show organizers don’t typically allow you to sublet space within your booth. However, you can still work with your strategic partners to share in the costs of exhibiting. For example, a manufacturer can allocate marketing funds to its distributors in exchange for them exhibiting at regional events. And distributors can source funding from multiple manufacturers to display their products within their booth. This offsets the costs of exhibiting and may even create a unique revenue stream.

The Recap

Try using these six steps in your trade show planning to maximize your budget and strategically position your marketing now and in the future:

  1. Define and Measure Your Objectives
  2. Calculate Your ROI
  3. Evaluate Your Spend as a Percent of Revenue
  4. Embrace Virtual Marketing
  5. Use Creative Thinking to Cut Costs
  6. Work with Channel Partners 

On a final note, be sure to talk to your trade show vendor about all your options. At The Rogers Company, we’ve never met a budget we couldn’t hit. With 75 years of helping our clients achieve their trade show goals, we have the experience and support to help you, too!

Trade Show Industry News

A curated collection of news and other interesting info from throughout the exhibition industry.

Exhibitor Magazine releases the results of its most recent COVID-19's Impact on the Trade Show Industry Insights Report. See how your company measures up to other exhibitors and suppliers. Yes, you have to give up your information to get the report but it’s worth it!

EXHIBITOR Insight Report: COVID-19's Impact on the Trade Show Industry

And speaking of Exhibitor Magazine, they’re also hosting a webinar on December 9th: Venue Confidential: An Inside Look at Convention Center Safety. Register to learn what the leading trade show venues are doing to help stop the spread.

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has rescheduled the NAB Show for 2021, as reported by Trade Show News Network.

Did you know LinkedIn offers a new streaming service called LinkedIn Live? This service requires LinkedIn’s approval of an application, but it comes complete with several guides and best practices to help you get the most out of this new service.

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The Rogers Company is an award-winning experiential storyteller that helps its clients convey powerful brand stories that stand out from the competition. We are rooted in providing exceptional service levels and innovative products to our customers. The Rogers Company is not affiliated with, nor compensated by, any of the companies mentioned herein. We simply love what we do and want to share it with the world.

GRAPHICS QUICK TIPS BY THE ROGERS COMPANY – Handling Spot Colors

In this Quick Tips video, experts at The Rogers Company will walk you through a short step-by-step process for handling spot colors in Adobe Illustrator.

When preparing files for wide format printing, this step crucial because our printers uses 6 and 8 color printing. If you do not properly set your colors to PANTONE colors they do not always translate properly in that environment. Our printers are calibrated with PANTONE color guides.

Vibrant, Bold Colors Help Your Brand Stand Out

Are you looking for ways to bring attention to your booth on the show floor? Using vibrant, bold colors in your booth really helps your brand stand out on the show floor. 

The use of back-lit graphics and dramatic up lighting can also give your booth extra pop by providing dimension and depth.

Graphics Quick Tips by The Rogers Company – Checking Photo Resolution in Illustrator & InDesign

In this Quick Tips video, experts at The Rogers Company will walk you through a short step-by-step process for checking your photo resolution in both Adobe Illustrator and InDesign.

When preparing files for wide format printing, this step is important because if your images do not have the proper resolution you will end up with pixelated or grainy images when they are printed.

Going Green

Happy Earth Day!

Lets make some green initiatives with your exhibit...here’s how:

Literature
Make the change from printed literature to digitized e-literature.

Furniture
Choosing furniture made from sustainable materials are on trend and available. Also, Utilizing rental furniture from the show is also great, it may not be bamboo, but rental furniture allows you to change up your furniture without purchasing new and this helps with reuse.

Flooring
There are several environmentally friendly flooring options available. From Recycled rubber flooring, carpet made from plastic soda bottles, bamboo flooring, to cork flooring tiles.

Lighten up your load
Unique and creative materials to help decrease weight to save on drayage and freight costs.

Make Properties Last
Re-purpose tired properties whenever possible. We will work with you to find creative ways to create new pieces out of your existing inventory.

There are a lot of ways to try to make your booth sustainable and environmentally friendly. We hope this helps you think of ways you can start implementing eco-friendly decisions into your booth.

HappyEarthDay2020

Trend Tips – Printing on Raw Wood

Are you looking for a unique way to add natural elements into your design?

Printing directly onto a raw wood, such as raw birch plywood, adds a beautiful natural appearance to your exhibit or branded message wall.

Patterns such as brick, stone, or wood plank can also printed directly onto raw materials. These printed panels can then be aligned to create murals. They can even be incorporated into the construction of wall panels used for both trade show exhibits or applies to existing surfaces for corporate lobbies/showrooms.

Graphics Quick Tips by The Rogers Company – Converting Text to Outlines in Illustrator

In this Quick Tips video, experts at The Rogers Company will walk you through a short step-by-step process for converting your text to outlines in Adobe Illustrator.

When preparing files for wide format printing, this step is important because the RIP or “Raster Image Process” differs from traditional digital printing.

JB’s Space: Don’t Forget to Read the Fine Print

According to my wife, most men aren’t very observant. I’m sure most of us guys have experienced that painfully embarrassing moment when we notice that our spouse has a new hairdo and we say, “Did you change your hair style?”, only to have our better halves reply, “Yeah, over a week ago!”.  A nice bouquet of flowers or dinner at a fancy restaurant usually follow such gaffes as we desperately try to make up for our failure to see what’s right in front of our faces.

Then there are those times when we’re so confident in our experience and abilities that we don’t bother to read something that’s very important – like the assembly instructions for your kid’s new swing set or Barbie Dream House.

We live in a world today that seems at times to be going in opposite directions. On the one hand there is the “Twitterverse” where no one has to read more than 140 characters in a tweet.  And on the other hand, today there is more fine print in everything from contracts to prescription medications than there is sand on a beach.

We recently had a meeting with one of our clients who was planning on bringing a prototype of a new product to their upcoming trade show. Our client has a long history of exhibiting at a variety of different trade shows each year, so they are experienced veterans in the industry. When one of us mentioned that they would be wise to insure their prototype against damage that might be incurred at the show, they were very surprised.

“Why in the world would we need to do that?” was their response. “The general contractor for the show has insurance and they would certainly reimburse us if our prototype is damaged during the move-in or move-out.”

Nothing could be so true and yet so wrong at the same time.

Yes, General Service Contractors (GSC) do carry insurance. But in the exhibitor manual for most shows there are sections that are typically called, “Claims for Loss” and “Limitations of Liabilities”.  And while the exact value of your trade show materials (including your booth) that are covered against loss or damage varies a bit from show to show, for the most part they are far less than most exhibitors may think.

When you sign your contract to exhibit at a given show you will typically find wording similar to this:
When an electronic confirmation is sent notifying the exhibitor of their assigned exhibit space, this constitutes acceptance of the contract by “Show Owner”. The Exhibitor and the Managing Directors agree to be bound by rules set forth, including those in this Application & Contract for Exhibit Space, the Terms & Conditions, the Display Construction Guidelines, the Rules and Regulations, the local Fire Marshal Regulations, Exhibitor Guide and Services Manual, and in any correspondence or other notices, etc., all of which are incorporated herein and made a part of this contract.

In many cases the contract you sign to confirm your booth space at a trade show is a fairly short document, but the exhibitor service manual usually isn’t and by signing the contract you are also agreeing to all the terms, conditions and show rules contained in the exhibitor manual. Moreover, there is typically language in the manual that spells out exactly when a claim for loss must be filed in order to be considered by the general contractor - typically between 30 and 60 days following the close of a show.  In the service manual you will normally see a statement that reads something like this: “All claims reported after “x-number” of days will be rejected.”

But perhaps even more importantly is the general service contractor’s limitation of liability. Again this varies from GSC to GSC but it doesn’t vary by much.

I’ll give you a couple of examples. For one GSC their limitation of liability states: “If found liable for any loss, “GSC’s” sole and exclusive MAXIMUM, liability for loss or damage to exhibitor’s materials and exhibitor’s sole and exclusive remedy is limited to $0.10 (USD) per pound per article with a maximum liability of $50.00 (USD) per item or $1,000 (USD) per shipment, whichever is less.”

Another GSC’s contract reads essentially the same except its limitations of liability are $0.50/lb with a maximum per item of $100 or $1,500 per shipment – whichever is less.

Bottom line with both of these limitations of liability is that you might wind up getting up to $1,500 if your booth properties are damaged - but no more. So if the worst happens, you will most likely receive compensation that is far less than the repair or replacement cost of whatever is damaged.

My intention in writing this is not to criticize these limitations, but rather to point out the fact that many exhibitors aren’t even aware that terms such as these exist. Instead they make the assumption that the total value of their properties are covered. And they’re not. In fact, along with the terms and conditions referenced here, most GSC’s clearly state in the manual that they are not “insurers”.

One show service manual reads: “Insurance for exhibits and products is the responsibility of exhibitors.”

While another one reads: “Be sure your materials are insured from the time they leave your firm until they are returned after the show. It is suggested that exhibitors arrange all-risk coverage. This can be done by riders to your existing policies.”

In some service manuals you may also find information about obtaining this type of insurance through a carrier or broker who is referred by the general service contractor or show organizer.

So if you’re bringing a $50,000 machine or a one of kind prototype to a trade show or event, you might want to contact your insurance carrier and find out if you’re covered for damages to your property, including your trade show display, that may occur at the show and if not, talk to them about getting some sort of short-term coverage or an ‘endorsement” (rider) for your existing insurance policy. The cost shouldn’t be prohibitive and the peace of mind it will bring you is more than worth it.

So while reading the fine print might not help you assemble that swing set, or notice your spouse’s new hairdo, it might none-the-less save you countless headaches and untold amounts of money.

That's JB's Space for now. Thanks for visiting.

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JB’s Space: Tips for Cutting Costs at Your Next Trade Show

Planning for a trade show takes organizational skills, patience, and persistence. It’s kind of like planning a wedding except there’s no cake and rarely is there dancing. And like weddings, exhibiting at a trade show can also be expensive, even more so if you don’t plan ahead.

For your consideration, here are 15 tips for cutting costs at your next trade show.

1)    Whether you already own a display or are planning on building a new one, the sooner you meet with your exhibit house the better. Typically the cost of a new exhibit or refurbishing an existing booth is one of the biggest, if not the biggest portion of your trade show budget. So knowing what it will cost to build or update your exhibit will go a long way in determining your overall budget.

2)    Once you have decided what your booth will consist of, try to make as few changes as possible thereafter. The cost of making changes to an exhibit while it is under construction tends to be more expensive than incorporating what you want during the design process.

3)    Often times artwork for booth graphics is the last thing that companies provide to their vendors. But waiting until the last minute can also result in rush charges and mistakes that require reprinting; so create your graphic files early enough that you don’t have to worry about this.

4)    There are a number of ways to save money on graphic production as well. There are many more printing options today than there used to be. Traditional ink-jet laminated prints or “lambda” prints offer great registration, but if you don’t need graphics that are of “photographic” quality, then direct-to-substrate printing is a lower cost, yet good quality alternative. If you have multiple graphics, having all your artwork ready at the same time may also allow your printer to “group” several images at once thus saving both material and set-up costs.

5)    Ask whoever is arranging transportation for your booth properties to and from the show to get several bids, but make sure that the carrier you select properly classifies the freight, provides air-ride trailers to avoid damaging your booth properties, and has experience with transporting materials to trade shows. If they don’t you could be facing detention or “wait” charges because the carrier didn’t build this into their price. Worse still, trade show freight is extremely time sensitive and not having your freight to the show or the advance warehouse on time will cost you a lot of extra money.

6)    When making freight arrangements work with experts who know the industry. Many exhibitors only worry about getting their properties to the show, but if post-show pick-up arrangements aren’t clearly defined the carrier may not be there when the freight is ready to be picked up, in which case the General Services Contractor may “force” the freight off the floor and move it back to the advanced warehouse until you send in a carrier to pick it up. The cost for this is nothing short of overwhelming and completely avoidable.

7)    Whether you handle the show site services or your exhibit house does, always check the show rules to compare the total cost of going to the advance warehouse versus going direct-to-show. Many times the direct-to-show rate might be lower, but there are other cost considerations. For example the drayage rate might be higher for direct-to-show shipments. Some shows also have “targeted move-in” dates so have your experts look into this as well.

8)    Drayage (material handling fee) is very costly – it’s just a fact of exhibiting. Drayage rates are determined by weight. A typical drayage rate might be $70/CWT (per hundred weight) or $0.70 per pound, so if you have 10,000 pounds of freight going to the show your drayage cost would be $7,000!  So when it comes to weight, consider reducing the amount of printed collateral or product that you bring to the show. Also ask your experts if the show offers drayage discounts on your products versus your exhibit properties. Even shipping a pallet of water for show attendees who visit your booth is going to add to your drayage bill. This is something you should also take into consideration when designing your booth. Add impact – not weight if at all possible. Fabric structures, high impact graphics and feature lighting can give your exhibit the “pop” you’re looking for while saving you thousands of dollars in drayage costs. Another option is showing a video of your products instead of bringing them to the show. With interactive touch screens and today’s software technology, you can give virtual demonstrations which will impress your audience perhaps even more so than having a big piece of equipment in your booth. Finally, keep in mind that most shows charge drayage for both the move-in and the move-out, so anything you bring to the show that isn’t given away during the show, is coming back and you’ll be paying both for drayage and freight to move it off the show floor.

9)    Depending on the size and configuration of your exhibit, the cost to install and dismantle your booth can be one of your bigger budget expenses. Check with your supplier to make sure that any discounts they receive are being passed on to you. Keep in mind cheaper isn’t necessarily better. The quality of labor and their knowledge of the booth are extremely important. If your labor team is able to leverage their knowledge and skills the set up might go faster than if you were to use a lower cost I&D company or show supplied labor. Moreover, some I&D companies and many times, show labor, will charge a supervision fee that might be as much as 30% of the total labor cost; so ask your supplier if they are able to reduce or eliminate supervision fees.

10) Virtually all trade shows offer discounts on many of the services that you order from the show. These could include: furniture rental, carpet, booth cleaning, guard services, internet, electrical, floral, A/V, lead retrieval, water, and even compressed air. Making sure that you or your exhibit house places your orders on time in order to receive the show discounts will save you a lot of money.

11) Where carpet is concerned, if your booth space is larger than a 10’x10’ it’s cheaper to rent or buy carpet from an outside supplier than ordering it from the show general services contractor. There are many companies that specialize in carpet strictly for trade shows, which often times includes professional installation at show site. You can either investigate these suppliers yourself or ask your exhibit house to do it for you.

12)  Frequently trade show organizers make deals with local hotels for blocks of rooms for exhibitors or attendees that are substantially lower than normal rates. In addition, these same hotels often offer shuttle services to and from the convention center that will not only save you the cost of a car rental but parking as well.

13) You can also potentially save travel expenses by booking your flights early and attending any networking or parties offered by the show because they usually include free food!

14) Get a head start on saving money for next year. Many shows offer significant discounts for signing up early for next year’s show immediately following this year’s.

15) And finally, the only thing that will make your boss happier than a perfectly executed trade show is one that also comes in under budget!

That’s JB’s Space for now. Thanks for visiting.

JB’s Space: How to Target the Right VIP at your Trade Show

While trade shows remain one of the best marketing tools available, it’s not just a matter of repeating the famous line from the movie, Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” Having an awesome exhibit will help attract visitors to your booth, but if you’re looking for a specific VIP or VIP’s to visit you at the show, you may have to do more in the way of pre-show marketing in order to attract those key prospects.

With today’s marketing automation programs, a company can target specific trade show attendees before, during, and after the event.

While not really that new, marketing automation software is now one of the fastest growing marketing trends available. Marketing automation programs help marketers to more effectively market across multiple channels including email campaigns and social media.

However, these programs do a lot more than just reaching out to existing and potential clients. They can also assist marketers in determining some other key demographics about their prospective clients including their interests, buying habits and “hot-buttons”.

There are a number of programs out there that will do this including:  Act-On, HubSpot. Swiftpage, and Eloqua – among others.

The idea is to create a comprehensive strategy with tactical initiatives and great content to get the best results. Here are a few steps that will help you develop your game plan.

In order to put your plan together you first need to start with knowing your target audience and who the decision makers are. Is your objective to reach “C” level executives, design engineers, supply chain managers or someone else? Knowing this in advance will help you in developing the right content for the audience you’re seeking to reach.

All of this takes time so plan your Marketing Automation campaign months ahead of your trade show so that you can roll it out in time to garner the attention of the right people.

Marketing Automation programs include specific calls to action and must contain information that is most likely of interest to your target audience. Depending on whom the person is this may be a series of white papers, new product announcements, or even an invitation to attend a private trade show reception.

Create at least three or four emails to send to attendees well before the show, continuing right up to within a week or two of the show’s opening. These emails can be part of a Marketing Automation lead nurturing campaign that includes specific decision steps, calls to action, and forms to capture additional information about your prospects and other trade show attendees.

In addition, you can utilize Marketing Automation to group potential buyers into segments based on behavior. This can be anything from what websites they visit, to form submissions, or what other trade shows they attend.

Segments can be created to include job title, company information and other variables so that the emails that you send are targeting the appropriate person.

Another way to gain the attention and perhaps the contact information of key decision makers is to create a Google ad campaign that promotes resources which offer solutions for your prospects. For example, hold a webinar, create an instructional video or promote a booth activity that will be of keen interest to your potential clients. Within your ad campaign be sure to use keywords that are relevant to the show and what you’re offering.

It’s all about creating the right content. If you do this and combine it with the power of Marketing Automation not only will you attract the right visitors to your booth but you’ll be building a database of information that you can use for post-show follow-up and future trade shows as well.

That’s JB’s Space for now. Thanks for visiting.

JB’s Space: Trade Show Swag Strategy

What’s the best ROI for a piece of trade show swag? We used to call things like this “tchotchke” – loosely defined as, “… a small bauble or miscellaneous item”, but today it’s called “swag”.  So when considering the value of the swag, some people measure the return on investment with branding, others with how often someone uses the swag, and some might have a call to action with a phone number or web page that users can go to get a special offer.

The idea is to not just give something away, but to use the opportunity to create a possible lead today or in the future, and to provide a prospect with something with which they’ll remember your brand. In most cases it takes planning and time for the call to action to work. The fact that someone made it to your trade show booth and picked up the swag at least offers an on-going opportunity to promote your brand.

Some organizations look at the overall trade show and trade show booth theme and try to include a giveaway that is related to that theme. An example might be a golf theme with a putting green in the booth and the giveaway being golf tees, golf balls, or a golf hat with your branded logo.

Business or Consumer
There is a huge difference between B2B and B2C trade shows. The key is to look at the demographics of who you want to target and then provide something of value to that person. An example would be that an influencer in the B2B space may value something that is functional or that would look good on their desk.

A consumer may want something that they can use when not working, like a shirt, pens, coasters, or Frisbee.

Business Trade Show Swag
For business oriented trade shows an argument can be made to offer something that is related to the products or services that the company offers.

Examples include product samples, mouse pads, or jump drives – all with your branded company logo on them.

Many business trade shows take place during the week and take attendees away from their families. It may be useful to offer a giveaway that the attendee can take home to their children or spouse. Examples include branded stuffed animals, toys, or a gift card. to their favorite smoothy place.

Budget
As in most cases it all comes down to budget and time. Giveaway items can range from $0.50 to $10 or more, so projecting how many booth attendees you expect (perhaps from previous shows) will help you determine your budget. The goal would be to bring just enough swag to give away so that your marketing team does not have to ship anything back. No marketing team wants a closet full of unused swag.

Bottom line: Consider a giveaway during your trade show booth planning process. Do not wait until the last minute. Make sure that the giveaway compliments your brand and your overall trade show theme. Consider the purpose of the swag, is it a way to generate leads, does it have a call to action? Is it unique and memorable –something that will help keep your brand top-of-mind?  If so, then you know you’ve made the right choice.

 

Plan Ahead: A Trade Show Checklist

One of the most important components in planning for an upcoming trade show is your preparation. The simplest method to ensure that you are prepared is to use a good old-fashioned checklist. This will ensure that even the smallest detail is remembered, and that crucial deadlines are met. There are many on-line resources to help you create just such a list. Here are some recommendations to get you started.

Create a binder where you can organize all documents and forms that have been completed. A hard copy is always good to have for traveling to the show. You should always keep an electronic copy of your paperwork as well. This binder may include any contracts/agreements for the show, contact information for show staff and company staff that is planning and/or attending the show, travel information, if applicable, and the actual checklist and timeline you need to follow.

We recommend that you assign the items/tasks to a timeline, as well. This will be something that is specific to your company and to the team that you have in place to organize the trade show.
Below is a general list that will get you started on your path to the trade show. Please note, this list is for companies who already have an exhibit. In the future we will publish a checklist for specifying, designing and fabricating your trade show exhibit.

Also, any place where you see the initials “TRC”, means that this is something that The Rogers Company can do for you, on behalf of your company.

1) Pre-Show Planning
* Please note that some of the items shown below have deadlines for ordering so that you can receive the show discount for these services.

Contract with Show Management for booth space and pay deposit
Review show rules and deadlines – TRC
Submit EAC (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor) Form to the show’s General Services Contractor (GSC) – TRC
Contact your exhibit house for floor plans, list of equipment needed to install your booth – TRC
Order electrical/utility/internet orders to the show’s GSC – TRC
Order any specialized lighting from the show GSC – TRC
Order carpet, rental furniture, bag and/or coat racks – TRC
Order wastebaskets, booth cleaning service – TRC
Order catering, if needed – TRC
Order lead retrieval, audio visual, floral, guard service, if needed – TRC
Submit drawings for booth approval to the GSC for any special handling, or rigging, such as hanging signs – TRC
Submit order form for material handling/drayage – TRC
Get permission for anything that might not be within show rules, such as large signs – TRC• Order flower/plant – TRC
Order AV equipment – TRC
Make inbound and outbound shipping arrangements for your booth and other materials, based on either advance drayage dates, or targeted move-in dates – TRC
Schedule your Installation & Dismantle labor based on the show dates for same – TRC
Arrange for booth “talent”, if needed – TRC

2) Advertising and Promotional Activities

Place website ads on show website, major sponsor sites, and your own company site
Investigate sponsorship opportunities at the trade show venue, as each show will have different opportunities based on the city location and show management
Send pre-show email to attendee list
Run ads on trade websites and/or national trade magazine(s) the month of the event
Explore other off-premise promotional opportunities, such as hospitality events
Send post-show emails to everyone who visited your booth
Have a post-show plan in place to follow-up on show leads immediately following the show
Create a social media campaign to all your followers to know what shows you are attending, what booth actives you will have, what new products you will be showing, what speakers you will have and what they are presenting, or even what your in booth giveaways are. You want to create a buzz for attendees to visit your booth.

3) Pre-Show Prep

Make transportation, lodging and airline reservations for your staff
Reserve any additional rooms at the hotel or convention center needed for meeting space or special events
Order branded apparel or any special clothing to be worn at the show
Order booth giveaways, prizes, gifts
Create in-booth demonstrations and/or presentations
Schedule pre-show staff training meetings and rehearsals
Send reminders to upper management via meeting agendas and/or itineraries
Designate a staff member to document pre-show, at-show and post-show activities, and handle all social media posts
Order show badges

4) Marketing Materials

Make sure you have content for your Audio/Visual equipment to play during the show
USB drives
Create a digital library for presentations and real-time lead fulfillment – TRC
New product brochures
White papers
Data sheets
Catalogs & price lists
Branded lanyards for your booth staff
Bring 3×5 note cards to staple business cards to in case lead retrieval devices go down
Business cards (take plenty!)

5) Tools/Cleaning Supplies

Screwdrivers (phillips and slotted)
Hammer
Utility knives
Needle-nose pliers
Measuring tape
Spare batteries
Super-glue
Velcro
Sharpies
Hole punch
Stapler and staples
Paper clips
“While-you-were-out” message pads
Post-it Notes
Candy bowl
Spare extension cord or power strip
Electrical tape and duct tape
Glass cleaner/paper towels
Rubbing alcohol
Monitor screen cleaner/microfiber cloths

6) Personal Items/First Aid

Band-aids
Hand sanitizer
Safety pins
Aspirin/Tylenol etc.
Antacid
Cough drops
Sewing kit
Breath mints

We know this is quite a list, but let us here at The Rogers Company be your show service experts and help take some of this off your plate. We have an experienced team of show service coordinators that can make this process seamless for you and your company. We will prepare a show service estimate, submit and order all required show service items, and audit all your post show invoices. We can even help you come up with a marketing strategy for pre-show, during show, and post-show.

Lastly, as a reward to all that will have worked so hard on this endeavor, plan a night out for the team involved. All work and no play makes anyone dull! This will ensure that your staff knows that their dedication, hard work and stellar performance, is greatly appreciated. If you have your trade show path paved with this level of detail, you are sure to have an experience that is not only successful, but relatively stress free. Best wishes in your trade show adventure, and I will leave you with one final thought…

“You’ve got to think about the big things while you are doing the small things, so that all of the small things go in the right direction.” -Alvin Toffler, Writer and Futurist

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JBs Space: What’s a True Partnership?

“Partnership” has become a throw-away word these days. Years ago, before working in the exhibit industry,  I worked for a consumer products company. In my position I worked with a lot of plastic injection molders since our products were largely made of various types of molded plastics. A number of our vendors were also big suppliers to the automotive industry, in particular the US automotive manufacturers. The owners of those companies would talk to me about their “partnerships” with the “Big Three”. How they were invited to participate in “Vendor Days” and quality symposiums. Some of them were considered “tier-one” suppliers; others won vendor-of-the-year awards or were given plaques for superior quality. They were called “partners”, so in theory these business owners really thought they were partners with these huge corporations.

What most of them unfortunately learned later-on, was that this partnership was really a one-way street. Yes they got the business and yes they got their plaques and certificates, but in the end what they really got was dictated to. Many of them told me that they would be given a three year contract and that each year after the initial year they were REQUIRED to lower their price, regardless of material increases, regardless of labor increases, regardless of energy cost increases. They were basically told that in order to remain a “partner” they had to improve efficiencies each year and pass those savings (real or not) on to the customer. So the partnership was really not a partnership at all but rather a typical old-fashioned vendor-customer relationship where no matter how much circumstances had changed for the vendor the customer was really calling all the shots.

Eventually the pricing pressure and the lack of a real partnership drove a lot of these injection molders literally out of business. Others simply decided to stop selling to the car-makers because they were basically shipping dollars out the door with every truckload of parts. This isn't a partnership. This is a dictatorship. True partnerships are win-win, and this was “win” (for the customer) and “lose” (for the vendor).

A true partnership starts with the understanding that both sides have needs. A true partnership allows one party to share those needs with the other and to have those needs understood and incorporated into an agreement that very simply allows both parties to make money. There is this misguided sentiment that even if a company loses money on every order, they can “make it up in volume”. All this philosophy does is allow a company to go out of business faster – but with a nice résumé – to serve as its epitaph.

I still believe in partnerships, but in this world I wonder how many other people actually embrace this concept? True partnerships require a level of transparency and an even deeper level of trust.

A great vendor partner looks for ways to save their clients money. They provide free stuff – advice, ideas, samples, and prototypes. They don’t take advantage of last minute orders by tacking on rush charges when they themselves aren't incurring any extra cost.

Meanwhile, a great client partner recognizes the value a great vendor adds to their business. They have a sense of loyalty, share sensitive information and demonstrate their trust by living up to their end of the bargain. I wish we lived in a world where the term “fair profit” was more clearly defined and agreed upon. But since we don’t, we have to rely on partnerships that live up to the real meaning of the word. In the end, in a true partnership, both parties share the risk and both parties share the reward.

And as Henry Ford once said, “The reward for a job well done is the opportunity… for more work.”

That’s JB’s space for now. Thanks for visiting.

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JB’s Space: Experiential Trade Show Marketing

Have you ever test driven a car that looks awesome from the outside, but once you get inside and drive the car you find out that its ergonomics are bad, it handles poorly, and it’s noisy to boot? On the flip-side, have you ever driven a car that’s boring on the outside, but is so well equipped and fun to drive that you couldn’t care less how it looks?

Well, this example carries over to the trade show and exhibit industry.  As a company who builds displays, we are always concerned about the “architecture” of the booth. How does it look? Is it functional? Is it a good value for its intended purpose? But today more than ever, we remind our clients that it’s not just the booth – it’s also what’s happening in the booth.

The expectations for trade show exhibits today have risen dramatically from days past.  Passive displays have given way to experiential and interactive exhibits, using concepts ranging from live social media feeds, immersive theater, digital libraries and custom gaming, to giveaways and live-streaming product demonstrations.  Using any one, or several of these, will attract more visitors and help make your brand and your booth more memorable.

To achieve this goal, we recommend that you strive to stimulate all five senses when planning your display.  Layering the experiences will leave a deeper, more memorable impression.

If you are displaying a product, utilize hands on demonstrations, invite volunteers to participate and be sure that the person doing the demo is engaging, articulate, a quick thinker and possesses a witty sense of humor.  If you are presenting a service, or perhaps a piece of equipment that is too big (and costly) to bring to the trade show, then use interactive touch screens that can illustrate your process and the benefits of utilizing your product or service.

For either scenario, be sure to have something extraordinary – extraordinarily useful, extraordinarily hilarious, extraordinarily large, extraordinarily shareable! Something that visitors will absolutely have to stop and take a picture of to share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  Make sure that your staff is starting conversations with guests and inviting them to connect on LinkedIn before they leave the area.  The LinkedIn mobile app, Mashable, can make this quick and easy.

Although it doesn’t fall under “cutting edge technology”, serving a snack with a memorable scent such as freshly baked pizza or cookies will surely leave an impression as well.  Another way to get your visitors involved is to incorporate a game that offers information on your product or service.  Make sure that your prizes have your company logo and contact information on them.

To draw visitors to your booth, utilize proximity marketing.  Using a Wi-Fi signal, content that is similar to a mobile app will appear automatically on a potential client’s mobile device.  You may invite guests to on-site events, or to take advantage of special promotions only offered at the trade show.

To include an audience that may not be able to attend the trade show, use real-time updates.  Designate one team member to be the social media go-to person.  Post useful information, pictures and graphics on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, such as event information, innovative industry information, alerts as to when you will be giving demonstrations, and a compelling reason to come, observe and participate.

By ensuring that your guests interact with your brand in a memorable fashion, they will be much more likely to remember you and what your organization can do for them.  Strive to be an innovator using all of the tools available to you.  By appealing to all of the senses via technology, demonstrations, social media, “booth-swag” and most importantly, top notch staffing, you can dramatically increase your brand cache and your trade show return on investment.

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JB’s Space: How Marketing Saved America

Full disclosure, I am a political junkie. I read articles from every publication from Bloomberg and Reuters to Salon.com. I even read the Drudge Report and the Huffington Post. So I’m fairly well versed in the political tenor of both the left and the right. There’s no question that our country remains deeply divided politically but my reason for writing this isn’t to say that one side is “right” and the other “wrong’.  Moreover, this is not a political post. Instead I want to posit a belief that I have that I have never heard expressed anywhere up till now.

As much as I hate to do this, let’s go back to late 2008 when the economy was melting. I remember shortly after the collapse of Lehman Brothers when the presidential race suddenly became overshadowed by the economic collapse. Within just a few days of the markets crashing and those huge financial institutions going under or changing hands such as Washington Mutual, Bear Sterns and the previously aforementioned Lehman Brothers, companies started cutting staff like it was harvest time in the Heartland. Approximately 9 million jobs were lost as well as many trillions in individual wealth.

I remember driving at that time from our home in Cleveland to visit some friends in Nashville. I have never seen so little truck traffic in my life, not even over a holiday. The roads were simply devoid of semi’s and most other traffic as well. I felt like I was in a movie watching the end of civilization as I knew it. I know that sounds extreme but that’s how fast everything seemed to going downhill. It was very scary and I’m sure many of you will remember how low you felt about things at that time as well.

Politically the left was blaming the banks for bundling “toxic” mortgages into financial instruments that could be bought and sold between banks like any other commercial paper. The right blamed the laws that were passed years ago making home ownership possible for people who really couldn’t afford to buy one.

Everyone was busy pointing fingers yet out this chaos came some attempts at solving the crisis and pulling the country out of the worst economic decline since the Great Depression. The 800 billion dollar stimulus program, TARP (Troubled Assets Recovery Program), and HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) are all examples of how Washington and the Fed tried to jump-start the economy and keep things from getting worse.

You can argue until the cows come home as to the efficacy of these programs and how much they actually did to improve things, but I’m here to tell you that in my mind, while these programs may or may not have helped, two things certainly did – marketing and our love of shopping!

Americans love to shop. The first few weeks after the crash the mall parking lots were nearly empty, but long before the stimulus bill was passed and the “band-aids” applied, I saw the parking lots filling up at malls everywhere. As much as Americans love to shop, we love shopping for bargains even more. Unlike the aftermath of 9/11 where companies hunkered down while slashing their marketing budgets, the same was not true after the 2008 melt-down. Instead companies saw opportunities to increase market share by appealing to consumers in a way everyone could relate to.

First there were the ads where retailers, car dealers and others were advertising their own “bailout” sales or “stimulus” deals. Prices dropped on nearly everything, including gasoline, and people started buying again. Even here at The Rogers Company, we proactively reduced all of our storage charges saving our clients tens of thousands of dollars. Our hope, of course, was that they would use some of these savings to maintain their trade show programs and marketing efforts. Fortunately for us, our strategy proved effective, and we found that many of our clients saw the poor economy as an opportunity instead of a dead-end.

Sure, our sales were down in 2009 (along with most companies), but it didn’t take long for that to change. Savvy businesses realized that 70% of our GDP is driven by consumer spending. Companies figured that if they mounted aggressive marketing campaigns that focused on value, innovation and superior customer service then people would buy and the economy would come back. And they were right.

Companies didn’t shut down their R&D departments. Instead they remembered that Marketing isn’t just advertising. It’s product development too. The three “P’s” of marketing (product, placement and promotion) start with the PRODUCT. Find a need and fill it or develop a product that fills a need that most of us didn’t even realize we had. And as hungry consumers we continued to beat paths to these better mousetraps. If you disagree think of Apple and when they introduced the iPhone and iPad - all during the last “economically challenged” seven years.

So while the political pundits argue about what government program helped turn the economy around, you can turn a deaf ear to them.

Here is the unvarnished truth: it was us, people who love to shop and who were driven to do so by brilliant marketing campaigns and tremendous product innovation. It wasn’t the government. It wasn’t policy. It was the overwhelming need of Americans to continue with their favorite pastime – shopping – and the bright marketers, talented engineers and visionary corporate leaders who said, “We aren’t going to stop doing what we do. A challenge is simply an opportunity dressed in work clothes and staying aggressive will do more that just help us, it will help heal the country”.

So don’t let anyone fool you – it was marketing that saved America, and thank goodness for that.

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Cooking with Rogers – Crockpot Pulled Pork & Stress Free Show Services

Crockpot Pulled Pork

Ingredients
5-7 lbs. pork shoulder or Boston butt roast
1 red onion
1 12oz can of ginger ale or sprite
1 tbsp. season salt
2 bottles of your favorite bbq sauce
3 cups of water

Directions:
Take pork out of package and place in crockpot (fatty side down)Sprinkle season salt on top of pork. Slice onion and put on top of pork. Pour can of ginger ale and water in the crock pot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours

When pork is finished, take out of crockpot and place on a cutting board.  Empty juices from the crockpot (do not rinse out). Pull the pork with two forks and put back in crockpot. Add 1-2 bottles of your favorite bbq sauce depending on how saucy you like it.  ENJOY!

Pulling your hair out trying to understand show services?  
Are you pulling your hair out trying to understand show services?  Leave the pulling for the pork. Did you know that not only do we build custom displays, produce custom rentals,  produce graphics and sell portables, but we also do turnkey show site services? Our experienced show service coordinators are here to help you with all your needs on the show floor.  Carpet? Covered. Electric? Installed. I&D? It’s up.  Furniture? Have a seat, we've got this!

Show Rules & Regulations
Every trade show and every convention center has different rules and regulations. It’s our job to read the show manual to ensure that your exhibit meets the regulations. If we are designing a booth for you then this critical information is passed on to our designers in order to make sure we’re in spec.

Discount Dates
Every trade show offers early discount dates for everything from electrical and rigging to ordering show furniture. We make it a priority to have everything ordered for you before the discount deadline to ensure that you get the lowest price possible.

Show Decorators
Our show service coordinators aid in planning every aspect of your booth from the time it leaves the warehouse to the time it leaves the show floor. When does the exhibit have to be at the show? Is advanced drayage better than going direct to show? What’s the targeted move-in? What time should the sign be hung? You have better things to worry about – Let us take care of all the major and minor details.

No Indigestion
And the best part of all this is we complete all the forms, place all the orders, and then audit all the charges after the show to make sure you received top quality products and services at a reasonable price.

Contact us today so we can help you have stress free show services! 

 

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Cooking with Rogers – Broccoli Buzz Salad

Broccoli Buzz Salad

Ingredients
Salad Ingredients
1 bunch of broccoli
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup of cashews
1/2 cup of cheddar cheese
3-4 strips of cooked and crumbled bacon (or more to your liking…bacon makes everything good!!!)

Dressing Ingredients 
1/2 cup Hellman’s mayo
1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons white vinegar

Directions
Cut washed broccoli into bite sized pieces.
Add the craisins, cashews, cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon.
Whisk all dressing ingredients together and then pour over salad ingredients.  Be sure to mix well.
Most of the time I make this the night before so the flavors have time to blend.

You can create your own ‘buzz’ with this recipe by exchanging the dried cranberries for golden raisins, or the cashews for sunflower seeds or your favorite nuts.

Create more 'buzz' at your next trade show
Let Rogers help you create ‘buzz’ to attract more attention to your booth at your next show with –

Rent a Popcorn Machine
The aroma of the freshly popped corn will certainly attract visitors – maybe even have people frantically searching for where the aroma is coming from.

Strong Graphics and Large Signage
To make the display area stand out in the exhibition hall, use strong, colorful graphics and large signage. Consider using tall hanging display signs that extends over the booth area to help people locate and identify the booth. Unique hanging sign shapes also attract attention.

Feature Live Demonstrations
Showcase live product demonstrations that engage booth visitors and create awareness for your product and its distinctive advantages.

Contact us today so we can help you 'buzz' up your booth! 

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Cooking with Rogers – Jalapeno Popper Dip & How to Heat Up Your Trade Show Booth

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Ingredients
8 Fresh Jalapeno Peppers
2 Packages of Cream Cheese (8oz each)
1 Cup of mayonnaise
1 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Cup of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 Cup of crushed Ritz Crackers Tablespoon of Melted Butter
1 Bag of Tortilla Chips or Fresh Vegetables
8 Strips cooked and crumbled Bacon - Optional
1 Jar of Blackberry Jelly - Optional

Directions

  • Chop jalapenos into small pieces, make sure to wear gloves unless you enjoy burning sensation everywhere you touch long after you have made your dip. If you like it HOT leave in the seeds, if you like it medium leave half the seeds, if you like it mild leave out the seeds.
  • Take about half a sleeve of Ritz crackers and crunch into small pieces, add to melted butter and mix up. Set aside for topping.
  • Next, In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, chopped jalapenos and Optional Bacon crumbles. Once blended, spoon into large baking dish. Add the buttered Ritz cracker mix to the top, spread evenly. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips or vegetables.
  • To add a little sweet to your heat, pour the Blackberry Jelly into a serving dish and set out with a spoon next to the dip. Guests can drizzle the jelly on top of their dip to make it a tasty hot and sweet treat!

How to Heat Up your Trade Show Booth
We know how important it is to get the correct message across to the right people. You sometimes only have one chance when you are exhibiting at a trade show. Here are a couple ways to heat up your trade show booth to keep people in your booth longer and make them want to learn more!

Mild Heat $
Bring cell phone charging stations into your booth. Help your attendees recharge while having 100% of their attention while they wait! You can purchase a unit for around $200 and they can be used over and over again at every show.

Medium Heat $$
Add LED up-lighting to your booth. It will create a dramatic new look without adding a lot of cost.
Something so simple can really turn up the heat. LED lights can be rented from our extensive rental inventory.Hot

Major Heat $$$
Add a dynamic touch screen presentation that has content to wow your attendees and deliver literature and brochures with the swipe of a finger. Technology has a way of creating buzz without buying an entire new exhibit. Touch screens can be rented for a show so no need to commit to this type of technology for every show. We have several partners that can create a dynamic presentation on any budget. The presentation is yours to keep, so you can use it from show to show.

Sweeten it Up
If you want to sweeten things up, check out what hospitality items are offered at your show. Who doesn't love a cup of coffee and a danish.

Contact us today so we can help you add a little heat to your booth! 

 

JB’s Space: Going Global

When I first joined the trade show and exhibit industry mid-way through 2001, I was told that this was a “regional” industry.  Meaning that companies liked to do business with a local exhibit house in close proximity to their own location so that they could easily drive to the supplier’s location and watch their booth being built. The internet of course, was in existence at that time, as were webcams, but few companies used that technology when it came to previewing their display.  A face to face visit was considered essential to ensuring that the booth was being built to the client’s specifications and requirements. It goes without saying, but today’s technology has basically rendered that thinking obsolete.

So at that time the vast majority of our clients were within 100 miles of our offices and factory. After 9/11 we saw everything change. Immediately following the tragedy of 9/11 companies either temporarily curtailed their trade show programs or shut them down entirely. Many of us at that time worried that trade shows would become a thing of the past, replaced by “virtual trade shows” and company websites. So instead of people walking the show floor, shaking hands with other attendees and exhibitors while exchanging business cards, people would now be sitting in front of their computers watching and interacting electronically by means of a virtual trade show that didn't require a convention center or an exhibit for that matter.

For those of us who still believe that meeting people face to face at trade shows and events and being able to read their body language, hear their comments and get a sense of who they are without an electronic interface, it is a huge relief that there were millions of other people both in this country and overseas who felt the same way. So instead of simply prospecting in our own “backyard” we decided that the internet was a tool that would allow us to pursue clients who were not only out of our immediate territory but in some instances, outside the country as well.

We were quite fortunate to have found new clients outside of our region who were comfortable having designs and photographs sent to them via the net. Clients who didn’t need to be here physically to see evidence that construction on their new exhibit was proceeding on schedule and on design. That was the first step. What happened thereafter was not what we expected and certainly not something that we foresaw almost 13 years ago.

Everyone knows that today the world’s economy has gone global. What happens in Europe and the UK affects us here in the States. The same is true with China, Korea, India, Mexico and many other countries as well. The old saying of, “If America sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold,” has never been more true. We learned this lesson again after the 2008 economic meltdown as our housing crisis and all that it entailed became a contagion that spread throughout the world. Then again in 2012 we all held our breath as Europe fought the potential bankruptcies of Portugal, Italy, and Greece – among others.

So if anyone ever doubted how intertwined the world is economically, the last 6 years alone have proven how interconnected we all are. We are reminded of this every day at The Rogers Company. Why? Very simply because we went from serving clients who were solely in our neck-of-the-woods to working with companies in other States and now to servicing companies who are either headquartered overseas and have U.S. subsidiaries and/or foreign companies who do business in the States but have no offices or factories here.  In addition, we have developed partners in other parts of the world who assist our clients with their overseas trade shows as well.

For us “going global” has meant that we now work with companies all across the planet. We are extremely privileged to have clients from the following countries:  Switzerland (1 client),  France (2), Germany (5), Italy (1), Spain (2), Netherlands (1), Sweden (1), Belgium (1), China (2), Greece (1), Japan (1), UK (1), India (1), Israel (1).

So in the end, where developed nations are concerned, the world hasn't “shrunk” instead its evolved to the point that we are them and they are us and no matter where you’re domiciled the opportunities to “go global” are endless.

That's JB's Space for now. Thanks for visiting.

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Instagram for Trade Show Promotion

Trade shows are all about the visual – innovative booth designs, eye-catching graphics, colorful lighting, creative demonstrations- all meant to entice visitors to your booth. This is exactly why Instagram should be part of your next trade show appearance. So, what exactly is Instagram? Instagram is a mobile app for photo sharing.

Instagram1

It uses filters to transform images into beautiful, vintage-like photographs. It was recently acquired by Facebook and has since morphed into a popular social platform. Users take pictures, choose filters and then post the images to their Instagram feed. Many share Instagram photos on other social websites including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Similar to Twitter, the app uses #hashtags to help users search for specific images. How can your organization use Instagram for trade show promotion? Here are a few Instagram marketing ideas to get you started:

    • Create a real-time experience for those unable to attend. Snap photos of different demonstrations, distinctive displays or notable presentations. Take followers on a virtual tour of the trade show event.
    • Showcase your products and services. Before the trade show, take pictures of new products, lesser known products, promotional materials, etc. to give consumers a glimpse of what to expect. While you’re at it, why not provide a sneak peak of your trade show exhibit?
    • Share photos that highlight local attractions and things-to-do in the city where the trade show is located.
    • Add images from behind the scenes. Show off all the hard work (and fun) that goes into setting up and preparing for the trade show. Many don’t experience this aspect, so give them a backstage pass to the action.
    • Show-off your employees. Add a human element by introducing your trade show booth staff. Share a little tidbit of information about each team member in the caption.

Tell your social media followers how to find your brand on Instagram. Share your favorite images on social networks. Feature Instagram photos (and account link) in email newsletters, blog articles and on your website.

Contact The Rogers Company to learn more about integrating the latest social media techniques in your trade show marketing strategy. Make your next trade show a success with our trade show marketing consultation and planning services.

The Rogers Company is an award winning designer and manufacturer of branded environments for trade show exhibits, corporate events, showrooms, lobbies and more. Thanks to a complete design staff, skilled craftsman and state-of-the-art construction facilities, Rogers can custom build branded environments to suit any need. Contact us for more information about custom trade show booth design or how to incorporate the latest technology into your exhibit.

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7 Awesome iPad Apps for Trade Shows

Engage trade show booth visitors by integrating iPad technology into your next exhibit. The use of iPads in trade show exhibits is on the rise – and with good reason. This easy-to-use tablet can showcase videos, new products and demonstrations in a digital and interactive format. Trade show attendees can freely navigate the content and select material based on their unique interests. Not only will these tablets attract the attention of prospects, iPads make it easier than ever to collect leads and custom-tailor your trade show marketing.

The Apple iPad is a portable, Wi-Fi connectable tablet device that offers 11-12 hours of continuous video playback. The Wi-Fi-only 16 GB iPad 2 usually costs around $399. A 16 GB iPad 2 with 3G capability currently sells for $529 on Apple’s website. 32 GB versions are also available.

Wondering what the iPad can do for your next trade show? How about:

  • Effortless lead retrieval
  • Instant data collection
  • Create quick and simple surveys
  • Showcase videos and photos
  • Interactive games & giveaways
  • Demonstrate new products
  • Provide relevant product and sales information

Intrigue attendees and drive sales with helpful trade show apps for iPad. The following iPad apps for trade shows will enhance the experience for visitors and booth staff.

QuickTapSurvey
Build targeted customer profiles with this iPad survey app. It’s ideal for market research, instant consumer feedback, lead capture, marketing, face to face and kiosk data collection. It’s designed to create fast, simple and engaging surveys for booth visitors.

iLeadsCapture sales leads by entering a badge number or scanning a QR code. Leads are backed up and synced on a secure website. iLeads works with or without an internet connection to help trade show exhibitors identify the best prospects.

iPrizeWheel
Transforms your iPad into a portable game wheel. Use an HDMI output to hook up the iPrizeWheel to an HDTV to build even more excitement around your exhibit. Visitors play a Wheel of Fortune-style game with realistic sound effects and spin motion. Customize the wheel to fit your brand’s image and colors. The premium version features data collecting tools that capture names, addresses, phone numbers and email.

AirVideo
Videos are a powerful attention-grabbing tool. Access and stream your video library anywhere with AirVideo. iPads are smart, but they can’t play certain video formats.

AirVideo stores videos inside your iPad instead of converting and streaming the files. AirVideo supports video formats including AVI, DivX, MKV and a whole lot more without taking up your valuable iPad hard drive space.

UStream Live Broadcaster
Engage a global audience of prospects and social media followers that aren’t able to attend the trade show with live streaming video. UStream enables exhibitors to stream the trade show right from their booth.

FatStax
Sync and store hundreds of PDF files, videos, PowerPoint, Word documents, etc. Trade show booth staff can easily find and send product information to interested customers. It can be used with or without an internet connection. Brand with your own icon, logo, colors and welcome page.

Dropbox
Develop and access an entire library of trade show materials such as brochures, product sheets, photos, videos and more. Information can be shared with consumers from within the app.

Take proper precautions before making the iPad part of your next exhibit. Be sure your booth staff is trained on using the iPad beforehand. While at the show, turn off the iPad time lock to prevent it from entering sleep mode while showing videos. iPad’s  have long battery lives, but keep power strips and chargers on hand just in case. Finally, understand that you can’t rely on Wi-Fi. Thousands of trade show attendees will be accessing Wi-Fi which can cause it to slow or even crash. Fortunately there are other internet options on the show floor. You can rent a wireless network and router from the show, turn a cell phone in your booth into a hotspot or add a 3G network to your devices. We’ve personally found turning a cell phone into hotspot to be the cheapest and best alternative for Wi-Fi.

Contact The Rogers Company to learn more about integrating the latest social media techniques into your trade show marketing strategy.  The Rogers Company is a full service trade show and event implementation partner providing turnkey services and support for corporate clients throughout the country.  Make your next trade show a success with our trade show marketing consultation and planning services.

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Pinterest for Trade Shows

Pinterest is one of the most popular social networks in the U.S. If you aren’t overly familiar with Pinterest, it’s a social network for sharing photography and videos. According to Pinterest, the site is designed to let you “organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.”

pinterest-icon-logo

Users post (pin) images and videos to interactive virtual bulletin boards (pinboards) that focus on shared passions, inspirational themes, items they wish to purchase and more. Believe it or not, this social bookmarking site is responsible for driving more traffic to company websites than YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ combined. Tons of brands and companies are taking advantage of Pinterest for their promotional and branding efforts, so why not use it to bolster excitement for your upcoming trade show? If employed correctly, Pinterest can be a valuable component of your trade show marketing plan.

Here are a few ideas for promoting your next trade show on Pinterest. Pinterest 101 – Getting Started

    • Use your company name as your first and last name on your profile. Be sure to include popular keywords in your company description as well as a link to your website.
    • Begin following Pinterest users. Many will return the favor and follow your account. Interact with pinners through comments, likes and repins (adding their photo to your board).
    • Add a link back to your website, trade show website or company blog for each image posted. These will drive traffic back to your website or the trade show website.
    • Connect Facebook and Twitter accounts to Pinterest.
    • Use keywords in image descriptions so they are easily searchable.

Pinterest for Pre-Trade Show Marketing

    • Announce your Pinterest presence on your company blog, social media networks and newsletters.
    • Start creating pinboards. Create a board that tells the story of your company and values. Design lifestyle pinboards with photos that symbolize your brand’s message or inspirational collages. Consider product pinboards or pinboards filled with photos of corporate events, fun employee pictures, etc. Use images to tell client stories. Develop a pinboard including photos of your company preparing for the trade show. Don’t be afraid to weave humor into your boards. The possibilities are endless.
    • Crowdsource. Ask users to pin images to your boards or create their own pinboards. These boards can showcase an upcoming trade show, unique uses for your products, reinforce your brand message, follow a chosen theme, etc. Get creative.
    • Construct boards with images from past trade shows and encourage previous participants to add their images to your boards.
    • Upload trade show related YouTube videos to your Pinterest boards.
    • Once trade show plans are in place, invite pinners to post photos of their favorite places and things to do in the city where the trade show is happening.

Using Pinterest During the Trade Show

    • Let users live vicariously through your company. Post daily photos of the trade show venue, staff photos, booths, presentations, photos of employees enjoying local spots in the city where the trade show is held, etc.
    • Make your pinboards a collaborative effort. Tell visitors and trade show attendees about your Pinterest site. Invite them to pin their event photos and videos to your boards.
    • Share Pinterest photos on Twitter using the specific trade show hashtag.

Pinterest for Post-Trade Show Marketing

    • Create pinboards for your latest trade show and add your favorite images.
    • Encourage trade show attendees to share their photos. Repin & comment on event photos posted by others.
    • Include Pinterest photos in your company blog, social network posts and email blasts.
    • Remain active in the Pinterest community by following other users, repinning appropriate images to your boards, commenting on images, etc. Make it a point to post regularly.
    • Pin regularly to drive steady traffic to your website. Add images from your website or blog and the images will be hyperlinked back to your company site.

Pinterest isn’t just an amusing and creative social network full of dynamic images. It’s an outstanding marketing tool.  By sharing images, utilizing crowdsourcing tactics and interacting with users, Pinterest presents a unique way to connect with your audience. Sign up for Pinterest and take advantage of an excellent opportunity to promote your next trade show event and your organization. Check out these other ways companies are using Pinterest - http://www.socialmediadelivered.com/2012/03/14/top-20-companies-on-pinterest-from-social-media-delivered/

Contact The Rogers Company for trade show marketing consultation and planning services. In addition to building custom branded trade show exhibits, The Rogers Company is a full service trade show and event implementation partner providing turnkey services and support for corporate clients throughout the country. Contact us today 800-544-3880!

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Mobile Scavenger Hunts for Trade Shows

Mobile scavenger hunts are a powerful strategy to encourage trade show attendees to network with exhibitors, seek out additional information on participating organizations and spend more time on the show floor. Implementing a mobile scavenger hunt is surprisingly uncomplicated thanks to a variety of useful mobile apps. Not to mention, these interactive games greatly benefit both trade show organizers and trade show vendors.

Benefits of Mobile Trade Show Scavenger Hunts for Organizers

Mobile scavenger hunts entice participants with a state-of-the art interactive learning experience. Any attendee with a mobile device can participate! Organizers can mold the hunt to align with the event’s primary goals and objectives. Mobile scavenger hunts boost engagement between attendees and exhibitors, increase trade show display traffic and expand sponsorship opportunities and revenue.

Benefits of Mobile Trade Show Scavenger Hunts for Vendors Trade show treasure and scavenger hunts are an excellent way to showcase your company and achieve your event goals. Enthusiastic attendees will visit your booth to inquire about your products and services. Scavenger hunts offer increased opportunities for quality lead generation and help promote brand awareness. Participants have access to company information before, during and after the trade show on their mobile device. Mobile scavenger hunts are designed so trade show attendees will seek out exhibitors and visit displays to retrieve more information about participating companies. Scavenger hunt clues can be hidden inside trade show displays, product literature, banners, or revealed during a conversation with a trade show booth staffer. Clues and answers can also be disclosed during a presentation by a keynote speaker or obtained by scanning QR (quick response) codes. If utilizing QR codes for the scavenger hunt, a unique QR code is necessary for each challenge. These versatile codes make it easy to pose a question, provide a new challenge, direct attendees to a company website where the answer is located, etc. The options are limitless. Keep in mind that some attendees may not be familiar with QR codes, so it’s best to include instructions near the codes.

Mobile Scavenger Hunt Apps for Trade Shows
Designing a mobile scavenger hunt for a trade show is simple thanks to an array of mobile trade show apps. The following trade show mobile apps can assist with development and implementation of a trade show scavenger hunt. Essentially, they have everything you need to host a mobile scavenger hunt.

Exhibitors and/or organizers can set up mobile scavenger hunts utilizing QR code integration with Tapwalk.

The ShoWizard Game app enables trade show exhibitors and organizers to implement a variety of games and integrate them with social media. Each app is designed around individual trade show goals and objectives. Scavenger hunts and other challenges drive attendees from booth to booth and to special events, speakers and presentations.

CrowdCompass develops custom mobile scavenger hunt apps for trade shows with real-time information about schedules, presentations, exhibitors and more. CrowdCompass can develop a mobile trade show app for any type of trade show, meeting, event, or conference. Most importantly, don’t forget to reward folks for their participation! Offer worthwhile promotional items and prizes for trade show attendees who complete the scavenger hunt.

In addition to our role as an award winning designer and manufacturer of branded environments,  The Rogers Company for trade show marketing consultation and planning services. In addition to building custom branded trade show exhibits, The Rogers Company is a full service trade show and event implementation partner providing turnkey services and support for corporate clients throughout the country.

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Defining Your Trade Show Objectives

Before choosing a trade show, it’s essential to determine your trade show objectives. Identifying trade show objectives will help your company select the best trade shows to appeal to your target audience. A distinct plan will ensure success before, during and after the trade show. Most importantly, well-defined trade show goals can improve your ROI and help your company spend trade show money efficiently. Every business has unique trade show objectives. Be careful not to go overboard. Select one to three goals for each show and measure them closely. Here’s a short list of common trade show objectives to get you started:

  • Obtain qualified sales leads
  • Generate revenue with new sales
  • Increase sales with existing customers
  • Introduce a new product or service
  • Educate clients and prospects about your products and services
  • Branding and building company awareness
  • Promote your industry
  • Conduct market research
  • Recruit new employees and partners
  • Gain media exposure or publicity
  • Meet new distributors, suppliers and representatives
  • Learn about the competition
  • Participate in speaking engagements
  • Demonstrate and highlight new products or technology

Don’t attend a trade show for the sake of attending a trade show. With clear objectives in place, you’ll be able to select the right trade shows and present relevant information to attendees. This will help ensure your investment pays off by strengthening customer relationships and generating profitable sales leads.

Contact The Rogers Company to learn about our array of client services to help assist in constructing and executing your trade show objectives.

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