"Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising."
--- Mark Twain
Gorilla suits, big graphic displays and girls in bikinis are all staples of nearly every sign show, attempting to bring an audience to an otherwise lackluster booth. But, does any of the showiness of the showroom floor actually work to draw in attendees that become reliable leads?
With the SGIA Expo fast approaching (October 12th - 15th), having the right tools in place can make your exhibit worth the travel and setup headaches. In fact, your goal should be to profit from the show and not just have another business expense that didn't pay off. Save your losses for the casinos!
"If you're attacking your market from multiple positions and your competition isn't, you have all the advantage and it will show up in your increased success and income."
--- Jay Abraham
According to Inc. Magazine, whether your desired outcome is to fill a spreadsheet with sales leads, generate buzz for a new product, or just increase brand awareness, relying on random booth traffic isn't usually the wisest strategy. Plan early for not just creating an inventive and effective booth, but also for getting the right people to seek you out.
Trade show consultants and experts cite a statistic illustrative of the risk of leaving convention or show traffic to chance: Roughly 70 percent of show attendees plan a list of whom they're going to visit before ever entering the convention center doors. They say that number makes plain the power - and necessity - of pre-show outreach.
"Our success is a direct result of knowing how to market a brand and having the right people representing the brand."
--- Greg Norman
A few things you can do before the show. First, contact your regular customers, local contacts, and solid prospects and let them know where you will be and what you will be offering. Next, obtain the list of attendees. Usually the show organizer will have that list available for you. Conduct some outreach to them, or at least a segment of attendees that might be interested in you either through direct mail, e-mail, or by phone.
"The point to remember about selling things is that, as well as creating atmosphere and excitement around your products, you've got to know what you're selling."
--- Stuart Wilde
Give attendees a reason to visit your booth. Free gifts work, but not that well. They will come, but usually for the free gift only. The gifts work only if you can convert that captive audience to participants of your demonstration or selling strategy.
Offering a class or demonstration at a specific time that benefits the visitor is the next step up from the gift giving. If you can reserve a break-out room for a class, you now have an audience that isn't distracted by other show exhibits. Speaking on a panel or providing your own seminar is a great way to gather new prospects.
"A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets."
--- Steve Jobs
Finally, make sure that your booth is visible and legible from down an aisle on the showroom floor. Have words ready that give a potential client a good reason to stop without using a lot of jargon. Don't just shove a brochure in their hand as they walk by. And most importantly, provide a solution to a business problem. Explain your products and services and take time to get the contact information from the visitor for a follow-up call or visit.
A Signmaker's Guide to Choosing the Right Media for Backlit Displays
By Jennifer Chagnon
Retailers, trade show exhibitors and sign shops alike are constantly searching for the newest, most exciting ways to attract potential buyers and customers. But they often find themselves overlooking the potential of the equipment, supplies and media that are right in front of them. Why not digitally printed backlit graphics?
Read the article...
Sign Software in Action
By Jennifer LeClaire
Discover how signmakers are using industry specific sign software to raise revenues, increase production - and get creative.
Read the article...
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As seen in Maine at Hussey's General Store:
"Guns, Wedding Gowns, and Cold Beer"
In an ad for a swimwear store:
"Our bikinis are exciting. They are simply the tops!"
As seen in a safari park:
"Elephants please stay in your car"
We know those funny signs are out there. Take a moment and send them in to us and we'll share them with the world. Send all hysterical observations to: email@example.com.