Bling My Booth

Pakistan show is success

Written by Susan Ratliff on July 10th, 2011. Posted in consumer expos

I am one of those Americans with little experience or exposure to the business world in other countries, so I was delighted to have the chance to get up close and personal with a dozen accomplished women entrepreneurs from Pakistan last March when they asked to consult with me about my Women Entrepreneur’ Small Business Boot Camp conference.  I blogged about the visit at: http://blingmybooth.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/women-entrepreneurs-from-pakistan-visit-arizona/ Today I was delighted to hear from one of those very successful ladies, Fozia Gulfam, who is the CEO of Danbys Skincare International.  She recently held an event for the company in conjunction with a Bridal show in Pakistan where she achieved fabulous success and received wonderful media coverage. Take a look at the video and you will see a vibrant, exciting, modern event with fabulously beautiful and talented people in a setting that could easily be New York or LA.  I would not have pictured it that way. I need to get out of my comfort zone and learn about the vast assortment of tradeshows, conventions, expos and consumer shows happening around the world.  It’s time to explose ourselves to a whole new world of possibilities for marketing and sales outside these United States.  Let’s go!  http://youtu.be/uNkduwZ0mpk

Stay focused on your goals

Written by Susan Ratliff on July 9th, 2011. Posted in Uncategorized

I got a call from a client the other day asking for my opinion on a booth promotion he wanted to execute at an upcoming tradeshow. His goal was to attract attendees to his booth and tie into the theme of the show.  Good goals, right? His plan included a preshow mailing to the attendee list with an incentive to come to the booth, then there would be a contest they would particpate in when they got there and a drawing for a prize.  He also wanted to have another drawing after the show was over to keep their attention. I didn’t want to curb his enthusiasm about show promotions, but like many exhibitors, he was losing sight of why he was exhibiting in the first place.  He wanted my advice so I explained that if he is already inviting them to the show with the invitation and incentive and there is an interactive game at the booth, then there is no need for another attraction.  I encouranged him to stay focused on why he was there.  The objective is to get leads and make sales not necessarily to play games and entertain. When attendees stop I recommended his team be prepared with a consistent presentation to explain the company benefits and features,qualify potenial prospects and get their contact information to expand the data base, stay in touch in the future, continue to solicit sales and provide information.  He did not need another game to reconnect because he already had their info. The reconnecting comes when you make the personal phone call to follow up. That is when you set an appointment, ask for a sale, get a referral or ask some survey questions.  I did suggest that if he wanted to give another prize, he could select a winner from the leads and use that to open the conversation during the follow up.  It is important to have fun at the show and interact with attendees, but remember why you spent the money to exhibit.  Make a connection, educate, inform, play games, have fun, but if you don’t collect that valuable name, phone number and email address you are missing out on the opportunity for a long term relationship that could result in many sales and referrals for years to come.

Susan Ratliff is The Exhibit Expert, reach her at susan@susanratliff.com  www.SusanRatliffPresents.com  face book and twitter

 

Get that best booth award-continued

Written by Susan Ratliff on June 29th, 2011. Posted in booth essentials

Here are the other four criteria I use to separate the drab from the
fab booths at a show to determine who are worthy of an award of excellence.

6. Is lighting used to
illuminate the booth, spot light products or set the mood?
Studies show
that lighting attracts attention to an exhibit. Lighting up your display graphics is a must, but don’t forget the unique
effects of fiber optic lighting, chase lights or flashing lights to catch the customer’ eye.  Set the mood in your booth with
colored lighting or spotlight a new product or bring attention to an improved service.

7. Are the graphic messages customer-focused?  Do they speak to the needs and concerns of the customer or simply list the serves the company provides.  Attendees are looking for solutions to their most challenging problems. They want to know you understand their issues and can solve them.  How you do it is of less concern.  Lead with benefits.

8.  Is the exhibit space neat and tidy? Clutter is not attractive or professional.  Supply boxes stacked in the back corner of
your booth, messy  papers on the table, too many racks of products, counters or tables blocking entry into the space will
detract from your image and turn customers off. Less is more and a clean exhibit space makes a good impression.

9.  Is the exhibit attractively merchandised? How are products or services presented to the customer? Are there interesting methods used to demonstrate the variety and quality of the offerings?  Are there multiple levels of elevation used used to display products or literature? Are there examples of products available to touch, feel and inspect?  Is the booth filled with too much product making it unattractive?

Consider all these factors when creating your display and conceptualizing your graphics and you could get the next Best of Show prize for you company.    If you want additional tips for creating an award-winning exhibit contact me at susan@susanratliff.com

Could your booth win Best of Show?

Written by Susan Ratliff on June 25th, 2011. Posted in booth essentials

Many times the organization or show producer that hires me to give an exhibitor training seminar will also be creating a booth judging contest for their exhibitors designed to motivate them to creatively decorate their exhibits in order to win a prize. The company that takes the time to tie into the show theme, add interesting elements to their display, illustrates professionalism and visual interest will be selected, awarded, photographed and often times will receive some good publicity too. The catagories selected for representation vary from show to show. I have presented awards for best theme, best use of color, best overall, best of show, best use of props, most professional staff, best exhibit etc. If you’d like to plan ahead to win one of those coveted awards at your next tradeshow here are a few of the criteria I use to separate the weak exhibits from the wow exhibits on the show floor.

  1. Upon approaching the booth can you immediately tell who the company is and what they
    do or sell?
       If it takes more than five seconds for a prospect walking past your display to figure out the name of
    your company and have a clear understanding of what you can do for them you are going to lose a lot of business.
  2. Is there a clever, unifying theme used to present the marketing message?  One of the ways to make your exhibit
    memorable is to decorate your space around a theme. Themes can tie into casino games, sports, a holiday, circus or Hollywood for example.  Work that theme into every element of your display to drive home your company’s sales message
  3. Does the Booth have the wow factor? Is the overall company presentation a head-turner? Do the graphics grab your attention?  Is there a coordinating color scheme?   Is the exhibit structure inviting and professional? Does it all come together in a dynamic beautiful way?
  4. Does the display incorporate unique props to enhance the company image?  Instead of the usual elements you find at
    every booth this exhibitor will display unusual props or accessories that help attendees understand what they do or sell. Items that may not normally get seen by the general public or tools of the trade to touch and feel
  5. Is there a lead generating process present? Collecting information from interested prospects should be the number one
    goal of every exhibitor.  Is this company using a game, contest, drawing or survey to capture leads?

Next time we will look at the rest of the criteria that could make your booth best of show

Is it safe to go back into the meeting?

Written by Susan Ratliff on June 18th, 2011. Posted in Uncategorized

I was reading Successful Meetings Magazine this morning and was encouraged by the positive tone of many articles indicating that the stigma of luxury meetings is diminishing and it might be safe to hold an event in a nice, resort setting again.  The recommendation is to bill it as a deluxe location and not a luxury one, just to be sure. Hey, whatever it takes to get the ballrooms filled, the exhibits built, the speakers booked, the excursions scheduled and the fabulous food flowing.  It’s time to climb out of this rut and dismiss the depression that has hung over this industry and me personally for two years.  Get up, get out, get traveling.  The deals are out there and it’s time for every event manager, meeting planner, show producer and exhibit company to cash in on the great locations and terrific incentives offered by venues all over the country.  I am ready for it.  Bring on the tradeshows, conventions, meetings, conferences, consumer events, summits, seminars and retreats that make this industry great.  See you at the next show

susan ratliff  the exhibit experts  www.susanratliffpresents