Archive for August, 2016

13 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Trade Shows

Posted on August 26, 2016

Before you hit the road to attend your next event, remember this advice.

1. Make sure you attend the right one. First, spend some time checking out the trade show’s website. What companies are going to be there? Will there be any potential affiliates? Cross-reference your list of potential affiliates with the list of attendees. Will you find the vendors that you are looking for?

2. Register in advance. Shows have different policies and pricing structures; you may be able to save money by registering early. Some shows are only for the trade.  Some vendors may have extra passes depending upon what your spending with them. If you call ahead of time, you may be able to schedule an appointment with a company or affiliate that is attending the show.

3. Stay at the hotel associated with the event. It’s usually more expensive, but most of the vendors and attendees will be staying there because it’s convenient. And after the day’s events, they’ll all be meeting in the lounge for a cocktail.

4. Make a plan. The worst way to go to a trade show is unprepared. You need a goal and objectives! So arrive early and get your hands on a map, the shows app and a directory. Then map out which booths you are going to hit and in what order, because trade shows are massive, and you can’t afford to needlessly tire yourself out. Start walking the floor as soon as possible. Vendors are eager to make sales immediately. Once you’ve visited the companies or affiliates on your list, feel free to walk the floor at your leisure. Walk with others who can introduce you to their contacts. (Warm intro’s – leads)

marketing materials for trade shows

Trade Show Marketing Materials

5. Dress the part. People will take you more seriously if you dress appropriately. If the trade show was about sporting equipment and fitness, you don’t need a suit. For other industries, a sport coat is more appropriate. Don’t be that guy or girl that ends up on a FaceBook post for looking out of place.

6. Bring two pairs of comfortable shoes and wear them on alternate days. Like I said, walking the floor will exhaust you.

7. Bring business cards and your rack cards with you everywhere. You could meet an important contact anywhere – like the lobby, at the bar, or even riding the elevator. You never know, so be prepared. Also know your pitch (Elevator pitch) by heart. It will keep you from being caught off guard.

Trade Show Booth

8. Pick up a copy of every piece of literature that is available. This will help you later during the follow up stage.

9. Avoid approaching booths when they are packed. If you approach when it’s busy, the chances of you getting to the right person are slim. You can plan on hitting most booths on the second day for that reason. But don’t wait until the third day, because some companies will be exhausted or have taken off by then.

10. Wait for the salespeople/owner to engage you. Approaching a booth can be intimidating, because it feels a bit like you’re walking into someone else’s living room. What has worked well is simply observing what’s going on around you and waiting for a salesperson to come to you. (They will.) When someone approaches you, compliment him/her on the company’s product or service and ask questions like, “Can you show me how this works?” Be genuine in trying to get a dialogue going. Eventually, the salesperson will ask you what you do. At that point, you should introduce yourself as you normally would.

11. Always make sure to get a card. It’s not enough to give someone your information. If you work a trade show hard, you could walk away with dozens of cards. That’s why trade shows are powerful. Also make relationship that will carry over into the months and years to follow. Write notes immediately to remind you what you spoke about. Use the 2 pocket system.

12. Follow up. Once you have someone’s card, you must follow up. All of your efforts will have been for naught if you don’t. I recommend waiting at least a week to do so. (Phone/Email/Digital PDF file/Hand Written Note/Thank You Gift)

13. Take it seriously. You are spending a lot of time and money. When you go to a show, You are working. Act appropriately you are representing your company and your Brand. You will be tired. So go to bed early.  LOL…

In conclusion, when attending a trade show – if you make the most of it – it is the number one way to get to know another company. After all, there are no gatekeepers.

Trade Show Booth, total packages

Create-A-Card, Inc Trade Show Booth

Happy Prospecting….

Using Images for Marketing

Posted on August 24, 2016

Photos bring power to your advertising and marketing campaigns.  Humans are very visual and can process a photo much faster than reading text.  For instance, we could say that a Big Mac has two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese and pickles on a sesame seed bun but it just doesn’t have the same brain effect as showing you this photo of a Big Mac.

Photo courtesy of McDonalds, Inc

Seeing a photo like this can actually make you crave a Big Mac and become hungry where it is unlikely the text description above would have the same effect. Could you imagine describing an Antique Rolls Royce without using an image of the vehicle? It just wouldn’t work for you.

With social media at an all-time high, using photos to quickly capture a viewer’s attention and it’s just smart marketing.  A photo can actually be used to draw a viewer in to read your message or offer.  If you simply use readers will probably just scroll right past your post.  Even a simple logo is better than text alone.

Here are some tips for using photos on social media:

#1 – Use high quality images that focus on the message you are trying to deliver.

#2 – Take you own photos!  Don’t steal from someone else’s website.  It is bad manners

to do so without permission and stolen photos could be copyrighted.

#3 – Obtain a subscription to a site that sells high quality stock images like Shutterstock

or iStock.  You will have access to millions of images.

#4 – Use the proper size photo so it doesn’t get cropped by the dimensions

allowed by social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Facebook.

#5 – Use photos that have lots of color or something unique that draws the eye.

#6 – Be tasteful in your selection.  While Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s might use scantily clad

women in its efforts to sell burgers, featuring a lot of bare skin could backfire and

cause a negative connotation of your business.

Summary

Social media offers a free platform for marketing your business.  Make the most of it by using visual elements such as photos, videos, info-graphics and even memes.  Make your posts pop with vivid colors of interesting things that capture the eye and demand attention.

Mobile Marketing – Pokémon Style

Posted on August 9, 2016

Pokémon GO is sweeping the world and seemingly dividing the world into two groups.  There are those that play with a passion and view catching the “prizes” as serious business and then there are those who don’t quite get it who are left scratching their heads wondering why people are wasting so much time.

Whether you play the game or not, it does teach and inspire thoughts about mobile apps.  Let us share with you some information about what we can learn from watching millions of seemingly normal people chase imaginary objects.  The concept itself may seem ridiculous to some, but to those who find the marketing value in the Pokémon GO app, it’s a goldmine of information provided.

The Game Embraces Mobile Technology

Playing the game relies on having a mobile device.  You have seemingly normal, intelligent, well-educated men, women and children chasing things you can’t see in the real world but by simply owning a mobile device, you can “see” these objects that don’t really exist and chase them.  Having a mobile friendly website and mobile apps has become a necessity now as people are becoming more and more connected with their mobile devices.  So much so, that data access by mobile device is more common than a desktop device for most people.  Are you on the mobile bandwagon?

There’s An App For That

Pokémon GO is a gaming app.  Nevertheless, it is an app.  While you might have no interest in developing a game, is there some type of app you could create that would make it easier for your customers to do business with you?  Explore the possibilities of what an app could do for your own business.  Can you cut costs?  Can you generate sales?  There is an app for almost everything you can think of today.  Step back and think about what your own clients might want an app to do.

Playing With Friends

People aren’t just playing Pokémon GO on their own. They are going out “hunting” in large groups.  On a recent hot summer night, a crowd estimated at 1500 people scoured a park in 90-degree weather late at night on a Tuesday night.  They are sharing the captures of their hunts on social media. They are talking about it over coffee.  Imagine if you created an app that linked you directly to your customers through the phone right in their pocket.  Imagine if you could send an offer just for them but allow them to push it on to their own friends.  Make it even easier for them by including a “share” button so they can share your offers with their friends on their social media pages with the tap of a button.

Here In the Real World

If you can create promotions that drive and motivate people to show up at your own events like seminars, special “invitation only” sales and other events you can make your customers feel personally connected to you through such invitations. You can make them show up to pick-up a tangible item at your business. Many businesses are receiving an influx in business right now from people entering their business locations simply to find imaginary items such as balls.  If people will fan out across town looking for imaginary balls, it’s almost a given that they would come into your business looking for whatever you offered them.

Summary

You might not be a fan of the Pokémon GO app and you might think that playing the game is a waste of time and that’s okay.  However, if you miss the bigger picture of the possibilities for your own business, you might be missing out on the world of mobile marketing.