Bling My Booth

Business Expo offers cheap leads

Written by Susan Ratliff on September 4th, 2009. Posted in upcoming show

Looking for a cheap way to find qualified leads and get a tasty snack. Attend the Scottsdale Chamber’s Business Expo at the Chaparral Suites Resort on Thursday September 10th from 4-7 pm.   Over 120 businesses will be showcasing their resources.  Exhibit Experts will be there for all your tradeshow needs so stop by in you are in Scottsdale Arizona.  Below are a few tips for both exhibitors and attendees to help you make the most of your time on the show floor. 

In today’s depressed economic climate small business owners are searching for cost effective marketing tools and new ways to attract customers.  One method that consistently produces results and remains a great value is face to face marketing at a tradeshow.  Tradeshows are an exception source of business for both exhibitors and attendees.  Here some tips for maximizing your next tradeshow experience from either side of the exhibit aisle.

Tips for attendees:

  • Prepare in advance: Research the exhibitors from the show website and create a list of must-see products and services.
  • Be ready to deal: Bring detailed information that will help an exhibitor quote your project or answer your questions.
  • Network:  Reconnect with customers and colleagues.
  • Discover what’s new:  Look for new innovations and what’s hot in the marketplace.

Tips for Exhibitors:

  • Collect leads: Gather contact information from qualified customers using a drawing, guest book or newsletter sign-up form. Categorize and rank leads according to quality.
  • Be prepared to deal– Staff your booth with knowledgeable, friendly people ready to close a sale.
  • Collect competitive intelligence: Compare the competitor’s image, display, price points and product line with yours.
  • Gather market research: Check the pulse of the public with a short survey to uncover customer wants, needs and opinions.

For more information about the value of tradeshow marketing check out the resources at


Exhibit Like an Expert

Written by Susan Ratliff on July 30th, 2009. Posted in Uncategorized

If you happen to be coming to Phoenix next week you can catch my “Exhibit Like An Expert” seminar at the August 5th meeting of BOMA (Building Owners & Managers Association) and at the Maricopa Home and Garden Show on August 8th.  I will be teaching the attendees the five key elements they must master that will turn their exhibit booths into a powerful profit center.  I love teaching that seminar because it includes practical, relevant tools and strategies that can be immediately implimented at the show.  The five elements of importance that we review in detail are:  Goal setting, Display Design, promotion, sales strategies and effective follow-up.  I get really excited when the seminar attendees go back to their booths and rearrange their products, change the location of their table or adjust their props in response to my instructions and tips.   Helping exhibitors look great, sell more and make money at tradeshows, consumer shows and events is my goal.  For some of my free tip sheets or to hear more about our line of display products to make you stand out from the competition check out our redesigned website at . If  your organization or conference needs a speaker on the subjects of exhibit marketing, networking, publicity or entrepreneurship give me a call to chat.  602-437-3634.  I hope to see you at a tradeshow soon.

Networking goes Hi-Tech

Written by Susan Ratliff on July 25th, 2009. Posted in Uncategorized

At the TS2 convention and tradeshow for the tradeshow industry that I spoke at in Chicago this past week there was a company facilitating a new networking program for attendees.  It took mixing and mingling to new heights and provided a fun way to connect to everyone.  The company is called Mingle360 and they provided every attendee with a free Mingle Stick. About the size of a flash drive and strung on a lanyard for convenient access, your device captures information from other people’s devices with the press of a button.  So I’m walking the aisles in the exhibition hall or I’m sitting next to someone at an educational session that I want to meet.  After a brief conversation I’d say lets mingle.  We’d face mingle sticks, press the button and a green light confirms we have indeed mingled minds and personal data.  Kind of sexy and fun and a great ice breaker.  In addition it’s a valuable tool for collecting loads of contacts quickly.  At the end of the conference you would go to the Mingle 360 desk, hand them your minglestick and all the info would be uploaded for you to retrieve when you return to your office.  Pretty cool.  I loved using it.  Contact www.mingle360 to find out how to add the mingle stick to your next event.  And if you need anyone to speak about how to turn your tradeshow booth into a powerful profit center consider me, The Exhibit Expert.



Audience response system fast and fun

Written by Susan Ratliff on July 24th, 2009. Posted in Uncategorized

It was a beautiful few days in Chicago when I attended TS2.  I had a fabulous dinner outside Rush Street watching the happy crowds passing by.  It was a perfect Wednesday night for baseball as  The White Sox beat the Tampa Rays 4 to 3.  It was the first time riding a subway and my experience on the L was just like in the movies.  Travel down a dingy set of stairs to a long cement deck next to the track.  The train comes to a rapid halt and hundreds of people pile into the cars for a jiggly, crowded rapid ride.  By the time you are done you know your neighbor intimately, if you know what I mean.  Anyway back to the business part.  My seminar went really well. I know this because of the cool audience response system we used from Meridia.  Each attendee had a keypad at their table and I sprinkled my presentation with questions that flashed on the screen.  The attendees had eight seconds to press a selected answer on the keypad then the percentages of selected answers appeared next to the question.  It was really cool to get real time feed back and I  am grateful that the answers came back positive for delivering content of value.  The statistics will be compiled and returned to me to use to target my information even more effectively.  The exhibit floor was rather slow and I hear the show was down about 10% from last year.  The exhibitors that were there did a great job for the most part. I did see some new ideas, reconnected with suppliers and met some new contacts. Don’t miss it next year. Check out the cool audience response services from Meridia at


Customer Service-The Key to Survival

Written by Susan Ratliff on July 4th, 2009. Posted in Uncategorized

If you are wondering where good customer service has gone these days when you’re ignored by the salesperson in the department store, snubbed by the desk clerk who is “on break”, or felt like the invisible man (woman) while the “service person” talks on their cell phone then take comfort in knowing that impecable service does still exist and it’s a sight to behold at the Wild Horse Pass Resort.  Four of us dined at Kai, the feature restaurant at the resort last night to celebrate friends’ anniversary.  I have never had such a memorable experience at any restaurant, in my life.  The resorts setting is magical and our table overlooked the mountains and gorgeous pool area. You know you are in for a unique treat when four waiters surround your table place a linen napkin in each of our laps.  The ambience is soothing as the waiter arrives in seconds to explain the history of the resort and takes our drink orders. (which were fabulous) Returning shortly with menues in hand he shows us four different original water colors, each with it’s own story, that grace the covers.  The gorgeous works, all 150 uniquely different, were painted by the current head of security at the resort. Very interesting tidbit.  The themed menu showcases the American Indian culture with many ingredients coming from local Mother Earth. Many of the produce is purchase from the student gardeners at the school nearby.  The menu selections were poetic and it was hard to choose between them. I won’t bore you with details of each meal, which included an unbelievably good Grouper and pork loan embellished with delicous sides.  I have to mention the breads, very different with some made on site with local seeds and herbs.  Hard to explain, but soooo good. Back to the service.  Our every need was met and attended to with perfect timing, never did we have to ask for anything.  The wait staff is incredibly skilled and fully knowledgable about the food, the area and the resort.  The service was so unbelievable good, not just at the restaurant, but throughout the resort.  Get this:  When the waiter overheard our friends tell us their air conditioning was not working too well in their room, he informed us he notified maintenence and it would be taken care of right away.  Bottom line is this. When is the last time someone raved about your customer service.  In this highly competitive business climate you have to go the extra mile or two miles if we have to so our customers feel special, appreciated and cared for.  At Exhibit Experts, we have tried to do just that for fifteen years.  I am sure that is why we have customers that have been with us for that long.  We can always improve, and welcome feedback to keep us on our toes, but it has always been a priority for us and that’s a promise.  Check us out if you need any tradeshow displays or products for exhibiting and treat your self to an exceptional dining experience by visiting Kai at the Wild horse Pass Resort.  Bon Appetite!