Author Archive

Have display, will travel, will sell stuff

Written by Susan Ratliff on July 20th, 2008. Posted in Uncategorized

Have display, will travel.  I just returned from the Boulders Resort’s Red Door Spa.  I spent the entire day there getting pampered.  I went to the pool, had lots of healthy snacks, a generous dose of chocholate, a facial and literally lounged around with about 100 other women being rejuvenated.  It was an Arizona Spa Girls event.  The Spa Girls along with Dena Patton’s Chat, Chew & Chocolate host a series of wonderful spa experiences for a fraction of the cost of what it would normally be to attend these tony locations.  Plus it serves as a fundraiser for a great cause: Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.  The point I am getting at is that during each event, along with the food, spa treatments and goodie bags, there are a variety of table top vendors offering their wares.  There is a Doctor who analyzes your skin for sun damage. He offers a line of pharmacutical grade skin care products.  There are several jewelry artists, a self defense school and others who were smart enough to snag this exclusive selling opportunity.  They set up their exhibit table and sell to this ready, willing and able captive audience.  For those of you that are innovative and bold enough to ask, there are dozens of events like this all over the valley that are prime real estate for your six foot table display.  Put on your thinking cap and dive into your marketing mind to uncover your next exclusive selling opportunity today.

There are so many unique opportunities to get your company name, products and services in front of potential customers if you are a prepared exhibit marketer. Forget tradeshows and consumer events.  Look for exclusive opportunities to have a captive audience with your buyers

Blogathon update

Written by Susan Ratliff on July 16th, 2008. Posted in great new blogs

I am too tired to post much today because I just commented on all the terrific blogs of my fellow blog a thon participants.  There are some interesting new members in the group and I highly recommend taking a peek at every one of their blogs listed  below.  Welcome newcomers.  Happy reading and writing.

Jackie Dishner

Andrea Beaulieu

Mimi Meredith

Suzy Graven
Beth Terry

Vickie Mullins

Michelle May

Arlene Rosenberg

Stanley Bronstein
Stephanie Angelo

Quinn McDonald
Barbara McNichol
Suzanne Holman

Home shows draw thousands

Written by Susan Ratliff on July 13th, 2008. Posted in consumer expos

I had the distinct pleasure of presenting an exhibit marketing seminar to over 100 exhibitors who are preparing for the Maricopa County Home & Garden show that will be taking place at University of Phoenix Stadium August 1-3.   What surprised and pleased me was the fact that several attendees had come back to hear the presentation again after attending my last program for the Home Show.  When I asked them why they wanted to hear the same program again they told me that they successfully used some of the ideas I shared, but could not remember them all and came again for a refresher course.  I was delighted, of course, and honored when they shared a testimonial of their successful implementation of my strategies with the audience.  This event is an amazing marketplace for any company that wants to reach homeowners.  It is the largest home show in the southwest and is a woman-owned enterprise.  Thirty thousand people will pass through their doors in three days.  Their website gets over 100,000 hits before each of their four annual events.   I just completed a total backyard makeover and got our flagstone patio, built in BBQ, artificial grass and patio furnature from exhibing companies I met at a previous show.  It’s a lot of fun, so check it out if you need anything to do with your home decoration, building, landscaping etc.



Written by Susan Ratliff on July 9th, 2008. Posted in marketing messages

I was just reading a blog post from Vickie Mullins at www.mullinscreative.blogspot   Vickie owns a graphic design company and has a talented team of designers on staff.  I use Vickie’s services and love her creative ideas, attention to detail and reasonable prices.  Anyway, the post talks about crafting great copy and using headlines that give people what they want.  She offers a terrific list of what people want.  It includes many of the benefits people desire and how addressing those customer needs will capture attention and get their business.  This principal applies to exhibit marketing as well.  When conceptualizing your marketing messages on the graphics you will display on your exhibit, consider the needs and desires of your target audience.  Give them what they want to hear.  Don’t dwell on the features of your product or service. How great you think you are, how you do what you do or how many things you do.  People don’t care how you do it as long as you give them results.   Give people what they want.  Check out Vickie’s blog for the compete list, but here are a few ideas:   People want, value,  to look better,  be healthier, prettier,  save money, be safer, make money, gain prestige.  Next time you plan your marketing strategy or sales pitch don’t forget to emphasize What’s in it for them, the customer, first.


In a down market, don’t stop marketing

Written by Susan Ratliff on July 9th, 2008. Posted in marketing, Uncategorized

I know the economy is tanking and business is suppose to be bad all around, but I am not feeling it at Exhibit Experts.  Our clients seem to be finding the funds to continue exhibiting both here and abroad.  I am glad to see that because the most important time to market your company is when the market is down.

In these troubled economic times, many business owners are looking for ways to scale back on spending.  Often, the first cut is to the advertising and marketing budget.  Bad idea!.  Your business needs promoting, now more than ever.  The savey owner will increase marketing efforts, because the competition will be reducing theirs.


One of the most cost-effective ways to promote your business is at a tradeshow.  The Center For Exhibition Industry Research says, not only will you reach 7 times the number of qualified prospects at a tradeshow compared to other types of advertising, but those leads will cost 56% less to close than leads from the field.


There are 10,000 tradeshows a year attended by 120 million people who spend 100 billion dollars.  Nine out of ten companies ranked exhibitions as the #1 most useful source of purchasing information, because they could examine and evaluate competing products in one location.


Can you really make money from tradeshows?  75% of the attendees surveyed said they would buy something at the next show, while 57% said they’d buy within 12 months.


Big business has been capitalizing on the benefits of exhibit marketing for years.  With a little knowledge and some careful planning, even the smallest business can tap into this lucrative marketplace. 


To get the most from your next exhibit marketing experience, approach each event with a plan of action. Set specific goals and make the staff accountable.   Decide ahead of time exactly what you wish to accomplish, such as solicit leads, network with vendors or investigate the competition.


Image is important.  Create a dynamic display that showcases your product or service in an attractive manner and captures the professionalism and personality of your company image.  Use large pictures and succinct text messages that reinforce your marketing message and explain how you will benefit your customer.


Train your sales staff.  Develop a simple presentation everyone will use to engage, qualify and generate a lead from the attendees.  Add some excitement to draw attention to the booth and make sure you follow-up all leads in a timely fashion.  Following your plan will improve your productivity and increase profits at every event.