Tag Archives: Marketing Strategy

Ready for Fall Tradeshows? An Exhibit Manager Checklist

It’s not really true that tradeshows go away for the summer and suddenly come to life in the fall. But folks might be excused for thinking that. Spring and Fall tend to be when the largest and most important industry shows are held, often featuring important marketing initiatives such as new product announcements or movement into new markets.

As a result, it’s important to review existing booth properties for fit and effectiveness before each new season. We’re working with a lot of folks in the middle of this preparation.

But of course, there’s a whole lot more to preparing for what’s coming up.

Just in case anyone needs a quick jog of the memory, a reality check if you will, of the myriad of things needing attention, here’s a short checklist  (see related topics below if you need help with anything listed):


  • Booth is in good repair, appropriate, and successful
  • Booth components – retain, replace or upgrade
  • Update or target message for upcoming audiences
  • Professional design and assessment of effectiveness


  • Presentation, demo, video, slides
  • Printed collateral or digital marketing media
  • QR code, text, RFID marketing
  • Tiered promotional giveaways


  • Booth space, registration, services & shipping forms
  • Staffing selection, transportation and housing
  • Installation and dismantle requirements, instruction or hiring
  • Shipping, tracking and payment


  • Speaking, networking and sponsorship opportunities
  • Preparation of follow-up materials (emails, letters, packages)
  • Meetings arranged with clients & top prospects
  • Announcements via email, postal, trade journal, PR, social media
  • Plan/prep for lead gathering, management, tracking


You didn’t dive into the tasks listed above without being clear on the purpose and strategy for your upcoming shows, did you?

  • Determination of product management, marketing and sales goals
  • Specific, measurable objectives
  • Timelines
  • Budget
  • Assessment of prior results
  • Areas targeted for increased effectiveness

How Can We Help?

If you’ve worked with Imprinted Originals before, you know we are proud of being multi-line distributors of portable display products and modular exhibit systems and components that produce the same results as custom exhibit house booths.

Being multi-line means we’re not attached to any particular style or model.  Nor are your options limited to what we can produce or have on hand.

Our goal is to help you find the solution which matches your goals.  And can be used flexibly as you need to expand, contract or modify your booth.

We also offer professional graphic design that knows how to fulfill “the 3 jobs of a tradeshow booth or exhibit“.

And we’re really good at helping folks assess and update their tradeshow marketing strategies and the things they are doing to make them happen (Tradeshow Services).

So – here’s to a great tradeshow season this Fall.  Feel free to read our tips, browse our website (a new one is coming which will feature our modular offerings), or reach out for ideas or guidance.


Related Posts:

A Tradeshow Booth’s 3 Jobs: Proper Design Leads to Success





TRADE SHOW EXHIBITORS DO’S AND DON’TS (includes booth staff tips)



Deborah Elms is passionate about helping businesses and organizations create and retain customers through the effective use of trade shows & other face-to-face events.  She heads up the Trade Show and Event Division of Imprinted Originals.  You can follow her on twitter at @D_Elms.

Visit Imprinted Originals for more information.


Marketing Pros Share Top Marketing, Tech & Business Sources

What do other marketing professionals read when they are looking for input, advice and inspiration?

This question occurred to me one day, while reading one of my own favorite industry magazines. On the one hand, I wanted to share the good read I was enjoying — and I also wondered if there were other great resources I didn’t about know myself.

So I decided to ask on LinkedIn.  I received a multitude of answers because I asked in a lot of different groups. (I’m still listening, if you have favorite links to relevant magazine or blogs.)

Entries marked by * were the ones that stood out with more votes. Otherwise, I am using alphabetical order.

Business magazines

Business Week*: http://www.businessweek.com
The Economist: http://www.economist.com
Entrepreneur: http://www.entrepreneur.com
Fast Company*: http://www.fastcompany.com
Harvard Business Review*: http://hbr.org
Inc: http://www.inc.com
McKinsey Quarterly*: http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com
Wall Street Journal*: http://online.wsj.com


Design Observer: http://www.designobserver.com
Smashing Magazine: http://www.smashingmagazine.com

Direct Marketing

Direct Marketing IQ: http://www.directmarketingiq.com
Direct Marketing News*: http://www.dmnews.com
Target Marketing Magazine: http://www.targetonline.com

Exhibiting (Trade Shows) & Events

Exhibitor Magazine*: http://www.exhibitoronline.com
MeetingsNet: http://meetingsnet.com
Successful Meetings: http://www.successfulmeetings.com

Mixed Marketing, Advertising and PR

AdAge: http://adage.com
AdWeek: http://www.adweek.com
B to B Magazine*: http://www.btobonline.com
Marketing Sherpa*: http://www.marketingsherpa.com
MarketingProfs*: http://www.marketingprofs.com


American Demographics: http://adage.com/americandemographics
Psychology Today*: http://www.psychologytoday.com
Response Magazine: http://www.responsemagazine.com
Urban Daddy: http://www.urbandaddy.com


CIO: http://www.cio.com
Computer World: http://www.computerworld.com
BusinessWeek Technology: http://www.businessweek.com/technology
InformationWeek: http://www.informationweek.com
TechCrunch*: http://techcrunch.com
Mashable*: http://www.mashable.com
Software Magazine: http://www.softwaremag.com
VentureBeat: http://venturebeat.com

Technology Marketing

It Marketing World: http://itmarketingworld.com
UBM Techweb: http://createyournextcustomer.techweb.com

Web Marketing / SEO / SEM

eMarketer*: http://www.emarketer.com/blog
Internet Retailer: http://www.internetretailer.com
SEO Mash (RSS feeds): http://seomash.com
Website Magazine: http://www.websitemagazine.com

Misc. Blogs

Bob Bly Copywriter: http://bly.com/blog
CopyBlogger: http://www.CopyBlogger.com
The Daily SEO Blog: http://www.seomoz.org/blog
Marketing Pilgrim: http://www.marketingpilgrim.com
Outspoken Media Blog: http://outspokenmedia.com/blog
Seth Godin’s Blog*: http://sethgodin.typepad.com
Six Pixels of Separation: http://www.twistimage.com/blog
Social Media Examiner*: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com
Startups: http://topblogs.onstartups.com

I’d like to thank contributors which include, to-date:

Aron Smith, Bhalchandra Pai, Bob McCarthy, Brian Bearden, Bruce D. Maki, Chad Barr, Chip Monroe, Christine Hueber, Corinne Speckert, David Schwartz, Dharmesh Shah, Dinesh Rãmkrishna, Filiberto Amati, John Groth, Ken Heun, Louis Camassa, Michael Bower, Michele Kastner, Mike Jones, Mike Klassen, Patrick J Mullen, Peter O’Neill, Peter T. Britton, Randy Zeitman, Sarah Nelson, Sherbrooke Balser, Susan Fantle, Unmana Datta

Note: while all ideas were checked out, a few were not included.


Deborah Elms is CEO and head of the Trade Show and Event Division of Imprinted Originals.  She is passionate about helping businesses create and retain customers through the effective use of trade shows & events.


High Impact Exhibiting: Bring Your Event Marketing into the 21st Century – 09/28/10

High Impact Exhibiting: Draw Crowds and New Business at your Next Event or Tradeshow — a workshop presented by SMPS Long Island as part of its Marketing Tools Series

Whether you’re a new or veteran exhibitor, you will learn how to take advantage of event sponsorships and tradeshows.

  • Avoid making the 10 biggest mistakes of exhibiting
  • Discover how to take steps to go beyond “talking green” to showcase your commitment
  • See — for yourself — why new display trends are worth noticing
  • Explore integrating new digital and traditional techniques that will lead to event success.

Pre-registered attendees receive a free exhibit assessment.

This workshop by Imprinted Originals is presented as part of the SMPS-LI Marketing Tools Series.

When: Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 8 – 10 AM
Where: RXR Building Lower Level Conference Room 68 South Service Road Melville, NY 11747
Cost: Free for SMPS, IABC & USGBC members, $25 for non-members


Note: Do you have event and tradeshow experiences — good, bad or “interesting” — in the architecture, engineering, and construction world?

I’d love to gather additional examples, so I can be sure to address specific questions from within this industry.



I recently attended a presentation by sales expert Duane Cashin,  which riveted the entrepreneurs at the TAB Long Island Prosperity Series on March 9th, 2010.  (The Alternative Board is a peer advisory group for business owners.)

He spoke about “Sales in The New Normal” to a room eager to understand the new world as business owners.

It got me thinking about the trends our clients are facing in sales, marketing, and exhibiting, and I jotted these notes down afterwards.  There may be deeper and longer thoughts later.

1) The “New Normal” in selling:  your product or service is not just competing with your competitors’ products but with other budget items, so you must make a compelling business case for its purchase.  (This was one of Duane Cashin’s key ideas.)

2) The “New Normal” in marketing:  in a networked, social media-oriented marketplace, communication is not one way from you to your client, and it isn’t even 2 way; communications are multi-node integrated experiences between many different conversations, plus traditional forms of marketing communications.

(This is informed by Duane’s presentation, but also grown from experiences I had at #EventCamp2010, explorations with #eventprofs in Twitter and my own observations)

3) The “New Normal” in tradeshow exhibiting and other events – my thoughts:

In the “New Normal”, exhibitors need to produce better results with less budget, staff and time.   They’re competing for budget with every other marketing project, and marketing is competing with every other idea that can impact the bottom line.

Exhibitors need to be more nimble, more targeted, and quicker to differentiate themselves with their prospects.  How?  They must compete less on the superiority of their products or services and more on their ability to “get” – and help with – their own prospects’ “New Normal” in order to make a connection.

Got questions on how the “New Normal” is impacting you?  Or need ideas on how to implement?  Let’s start a conversation.  Reach out at http://www.twitter.com/d_elms, leave a comment, or call (631) 979-0283 or (888) 912-9116.


Deborah Elms is CEO and head of the Trade Show and Event Division of Imprinted Originals.  She is passionate about helping businesses, non-profit organizations and associations create and retain customers through the effective use of tradeshows & events.


Duane Cashin http://twitpic.com/1cmqrq next to one of displays Imprinted Originals designed and produced for TAB Prosperity Event (as well as for most of the sponsors).  Duane Cashin’s website: http://www.duanecashin.com

Duane after his presentation.  (Like the bannerstand?)

The Alternative Board of Suffolk County:  http://www.tabny.com

The Alternative Board of Naussau County: http://www.tabli.com



I attended a lunch today at the Long Island chapter of the Association of IT Professionals (AITP) that included great presentations by several professionals using and overseeing the use of social media in business and non-profits.

There were lots of great points, and several lists generated about types of social media products and the tools to make a user more effective.

The three take-homes that most striking for me, right off the bat?

#1 A best practice for associations, event organizers and speakers:

The organizer’s Twitter account @AITP_LI_NY tweeted each presenter in advance of the event to ask them to recap what they’d be talking about.  Each reply was RT’d (retweeted) then by the organization, and each presenter, effectively expanding the event’s reach.

#2 A best practice for anybody considering adding social media into their marketing mix – or who has started and needs to double back and make sure they’re making most effective use of their time –

Set 3 to 5 goals, no more, and for each goal, establish strategies, tactics and ROI measurements.  And then use those to make sure activity is in line.

An example?  I’m clear I need to go back through the LinkedIn groups I have accumulated to find those that add the most value to Imprinted Originals’ marketing goals and ignore or leave the rest.

#3  Mentioned by ProfessorJohn:  using social media tools to keep an eye out for and follow potential prospects may require a modification to a business’ privacy policy.


For more on AITP:  http://aitp-li.org/ .



“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

Experience seems to bear out the wisdom of this quote.

I’ve known people who set their sights on a “round the world trip of a lifetime” and succeeded, by determining the specific financial and logistical steps required and following them, even if it took months or years.  On the other hand, people make resolutions to lose weight every January and then don’t figure out discrete actionable changes and follow through – ending in no appreciable change.

Is there any reason it wouldn’t be the same with tradeshows?

If you don’t have specific goals, create strategies to meet them, and decide in advance what will make a “win”, all you are doing is spending money and wishing you will succeed.

Check out our growing Planning category on this blog.  We’ll include some 101 level as well as more advanced best practices.

Or call for some actionable steps and support in creating Exhibiting Success.



Trade shows give you the chance to meet new prospects, reinforce existing customer relationships, and expand product or brand awareness.

But let’s face it – trade shows also cost time, money and effort. When all of these are tight, you might be tempted to decide they just aren’t worth it.

Before you decide trade shows just aren’t worth it – take a look at some facts.

The average cost to close a sale originating at a trade show is less than 2/3 the cost for leads from other sources.

75% of people attending trade shows arrive with a specific goal in mind.
Closing a sale from a trade show lead takes an average of 1.6 personal sales visits versus 3.7 for non-show leads.

You can talk with as many prospects in an hour as normally takes a day.

More numbers about trade show attendees (from industry surveys):

  • 95% of decision makers look for their current vendors at shows
  • 88% of attendees, on average, have not been contacted by your sales staff in the previous year
  • 87% share information they learned at shows; 64% talk to at least 6 other people
  • 77% found at least one new supplier at their last show
  • 76% asked for quotes
  • 72% say show attendance influences their buying decision
  • 71% of attendees can authorize or approve purchases
  • 70% of attendees are planning on buying at least one product
  • 51% of executive decision makers request a follow-up visit
  • 50% are there to see what’s new
  • 46% of decision makers make purchase decisions at a show
  • 26% signed purchase orders as a direct result of a show


1. Trade shows shorten the sales cycle so each sale costs less to close;
2. Attendees are arriving these days to meet specific needs;
3. Shows are the next best thing to bringing prospects to your office!

If 57% of attendees only attend one show a year, and 40% of the people at any show are first-time attendees – you have to ask yourself, will they meet (and remember) you or your competitor?

Do yourself a favor – exhibit at trade shows!

To be successful in making connections that lead to sales through trade shows and networking events, read our other Tips on Selecting, Preparing for, and Following Up After Trade Shows.

And if you need help – with your booth (from table top to 20 foot gullwing) or with imprinted apparel, memorable giveways, or table coverings, call the Tangible Branding Experts at Imprinted Originals, LLC.

Sources: Center for Exhibition Industry Research, Data Strategies and Group, Exhibit Surveys, and Lorimer Consulting Group