Category Archives: Event Management

8 Best Practices for an Eye-Catching Tradeshow Booth

Amongst the sea of tradeshow booths and free pens, how do you make sure that your booth stands out?

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As mentioned in last week’s blog post, each tradeshow has its own unique objective and audience. Regardless of what that objective or who that audience is, you want people to make the initial step in approaching your booth. Here are 8 best practices to ensure that your booth stands out on the tradeshow floor:

  1. Dress for success: With hundreds of people attending tradeshows, ensure that you and your colleagues stand out from the crowd by wearing a fun costume or bright, quirky t-shirts. And whatever you do, make sure that what you wear doesn’t blend in with your booth backdrop.

    If being a cheerleader isn't your cup of tea, try wearing a bright t-shirt to stand out.

    If being a cheerleader isn’t your cup of tea, try wearing a bright t-shirt to stand out.

  2. Props for props: Whether it’s a banner, game, or electronic presentation, your displays need to attract passers-by within a few seconds or they’ll move on to the next booth. Use props as a gimmick to turn heads and attract crowds.
  3. Engage online: Use social media to engage with guests online before and during the show. Create a hashtag for your booth to build hype and use the hashtag during the show to connect with attendees.
  4. Utilize technology: Bring your tablets, laptops, and computers to interact with your audience instantly, whether it’s encouraging them to sign up to be part of a list, watch a video, or complete a survey. Doing so will prevent attendees from forgetting to complete a task if they were going to save it for later.
  5. Keep it simple: Avoid having too many signs or banners or having too much text or too many colors on your displays. Attendees should know what your company is about with a few key points and graphics. Don’t forget to ensure that your logo is displayed prominently on your displays as well.
  6. Make it eye level: As a general rule of thumb, all text or image displays should be kept above 3 feet from the floor so people can easily read your signs from different distances.
  7. Swag, swag, swag: It is human nature to love free things and tradeshows are famous for their swag. However, do ensure that your investment is worthwhile by having value-added takeaways. For example, a bowl of candy may lure in those with a sweet tooth but will it help people remember your company? Providing a pen or reusable bag with your company name and logo on it serves to be far more memorable.
  8. Don’t forget the little things: It may not seem important, but a good quality table cloth can go a long way in helping your booth look professional. And often, we focus so much on designing the collateral for our booths that we forget about how to display them optimally. Order in some sign holders so your handouts don’t end up lying flat on your table, decreasing their visibility.

Do you have any more tips to add to our list? Let us know!

Image source: getting-old-beautifully.blogspot.ca, americanexpress

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Tradeshow Planning: How to Get the Most From Every Event

By: Phoebe Yong

When it comes to tradeshows, I’ve planned a few to say the least. From small regional shows in Seaside, OR, to huge technology events hosting 200,000 attendees, a main theme should always be present – what is the objective and think of the audience – then everything else will revolve around this theme.

Objective – what do you want to achieve at the event?

Objectives - What do you want to achieve at an event?Some events aim to build brand awareness, launch a new product or company, generate leads with customers or meet the press. Most likely it’s a combination of these but it’s key to establish your primary objectives in attending an event. With a new product launch, this will entail, at minimum, products ready to show and tell, promotional giveaways, and press appointments.

For some shows, it’s purely about lead generation – your product is well known in the market and you need to meet with customers and build relationships. For this show, it’s about having new product features or product demonstrations to lure in prospective clients.

In thriving industries, some shows are targeted at recruitment. For these shows, the intent is to impress candidates and teach them about your company and the industry. There are usually giveaways and opportunities to sit and have an introductory discussion with the candidate.

Once you are clear on what you want to achieve at your event, it makes all other decisions so much easier. Often people attend shows because they have done so for many years but don’t take the necessary time to evaluate why they are attending and what initiatives they need to implement to support their attendance.

Remember your Audience

Are you talking to me? - Know your audienceA basic thing to remember but very important to execute. Each show will have different demographics and it’s important to cater to your audience. In my previous career, I attended and worked on many public safety events. The audience was police officers – experienced guys on the job, straight shooters, and no suits. So, no fancy product demos, just give them the facts and how it will help them save lives and improve their jobs.

For bigger IT shows I’ve worked on, the audience was Silicon Valley types from IT to VC with different ranges of interests and specialities. The product demos or giveaways needed to reflect the audience I was meeting.

Don’t make the mistake of applying the same product demos, giveaways or promotions to all events without considering your audience. This is vital to ensure your message and marketing is executed with precision.

Image Source: Clip Art PandaFunny Pica

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Getting Bums In Seats

seats-luzhniki

By: Kelly Choi

Picture this scenario: you’ve been planning an event for months and have slaved away researching a venue, exploring catering options, perfecting the décor, and much more on a long list of arrangements. But on the day of the event, as you eagerly await for the arrival of your many guests, you realize you can barely fill the room. This is a nightmare for any event planner. It’s also a nightmare for guests who are expecting a chance to mingle with a group and presenters who are anticipating a good audience.

Well there are some surefire tactics we can suggest that promise to fill those seats:

Know your event, know your audience

Think of the top three goals you would like your event to achieve. What is the message that you want your attendees to bring home? Knowing what your event’s goals are will help narrow down your list of potential invites and sets your event apart from others.

Spend more time on promotion and start early

Too often people put all their time into detail decisions. Rather than focusing on whether to go with the swan-folded napkins or fan-folded napkins, don’t forget you need to get the word out! Promotion is so much more than just creating a Facebook event page. Thanks to e-mail marketing and social tools like Event Brite, creating a campaign is a cinch. Begin planning your outreach early on in order to give people lots of notice and more opportunities to consider attending.

Create an email and social media marketing timeline

E-mail marketing services such as MailChimp or Constant Contact are ideal for event invitations and notices. Keep your audience in the loop about your event by sending out consistent e-mailers with a variety of subject lines, starting first with the initial “save the date” notification, the actual invitation, and then one or two follow up emails leading up to the event, as well as a “thanks for attending” note following your event which is a great chance to get feedback.

For social media (SM) marketing, create a comprehensive schedule of tweets about your event and consider creating an event hashtag to start some buzz. For example, if it’s a golf fundraiser, you could use #pitchinandputt and synch them up with your other SM accounts for a wider reach. Find more great SM tips here: WiredImpact.

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The Ultimate Event Checklist

corporate event

By: Hanah Van Borek

Here come the holidays, a time for celebration and a busy season for events! That’s why this week we thought we’d offer some of our best event planning tips to readers.

Event coordination can be a whole lot of fun, making you appear like a superstar in the end, or a giant nightmare, leaving you hanging by a thread. Regardless of the process leading up, it all depends on how things turn out on the day.

Certainly events are always hard work. Countless hours must go in to planning. Booking and re-booking the catering, venue, entertainment.  Shuffling and re-shuffling dates, speaking schedules, seating arrangements. Tracking the fluctuating number of attendees: confirm, declined, maybe, probably. While it’s nearly impossible to guarantee every detail will go perfectly as prepared (there’s usually a sneaky surprise), as every savvy event planner knows, a thorough check list is your best friend.

Here’s a peek at our Ultimate Event Checklist, our must-do’s that may be your best bet at preventing a disaster this season. Feel free to borrow these for your own upcoming affair.

  1. Leave breathing room in the budget: Extra expenses turn up where you least expect.
  2. Consider the weather: What happens if there’s a sudden downpour?
  3. Name your top 5 “show stoppers”: Think about potential disasters and how you will prevent them.
  4. Have a contact sheet handy: Ensure all available vendors have your direct number and you have theirs.
  5. Carry back-up copies: You’ll need both hard and soft copies of your presentation and extra printed materials.
  6. Bring an event kit: Create a box full of essentials like tape, scissors, markers, USB cords, stain remover, whatever you might need.
  7. Do a walk through: Go through the itinerary in real-time.
  8. Site inspection: See the space in person to make sure there are no issues.
  9. Draft more than one site plan: It’s best to have a few options for setup.
  10. Consider all necessary permits or licensing: Depending on the venue, you may need special permissions for example, with setting up tents or serving alcohol.
  11. Confirm power outlets for audio/visual equipment: This is especially tricky if your space is outdoors.
  12. Plan your follow up: After the event is over, reach out to guests to keep them engaged and get their valued feedback.
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