Marketing & tradeshows mean one thing, spending. It’s a pretty easy formula to understand and an econ 101 basic rule, if there is no spending there is no growth. As we slowly recover from our most recent “downturn,” tradeshows are definitely a good gauge to predict if we are heading in the red or black.
In the start of our “recession,” fear was publicly spreading in 2008, however in the tradeshow world marketing budgets were already set, spent, and committed for the year. The tradeshow world in 2008 was still ok. As budgets for 2009 were being determined, there was a complete shift. Companies were trimming off the fat, and marketing was first in line. Exhibitors locked in spaces back in 2008 however since budgets were drastically cut all around there were only 4 options marketing teams had to decide from, 1) chose and continue to spend to exhibit, 2) cancel attendance 3) if cancellation was not an option, negotiate with associations to a smaller exhibit space or 4) take the “no show approach” and forfeit space deposits all together to avoid having to spend the remaining cost to actually exhibit. Options #2, #3, & #4 were the most popular. Tradeshows looked like a ghost town, attendees were not traveling, and Las Vegas, the tradeshow capital, was hit hard. It was obvious our economy was not in a good place.
As 2010 came around, the “no show” approach created a negative impression. If you were not at a tradeshow, a company was perceived as not doing well. Marketing teams had to break the stereotype as the “no show” approach was hurting their brand more than sitting back and not spending marketing dollars. Exibiting was back up, but this time marketing teams were more cautious on spending.
Now as we are into the half of 2011, it certainly has been a better place for marketing. Attendance is stable and the quality that is out there is much better. For exhibitors, trimming the fat was good, as it weeded out low potential and brought in more quality prospects.
The tradeshow world is planned 6-12 months in advance and sometimes is the first to know how active companies will be. It certainly sets the tone of what to expect.
For ideas for your next show feel free to email me at email@example.com
Jessica Lynn Orias | Exhibit Consultant | 44111 Fremont Blvd. Fremont, CA 94538 | ph. 510.933.2212 | firstname.lastname@example.org |fx. 510.490.9949 | www.skybay.com
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Ask and ye shall receive! One of the more frequent requests we get as Exhibit Consultants is for a portable solution that combines graphics with audio visual capabilities. Until now your best solution was typically a standalone monitor mount that has that “add-on” look. The Mirage Monitor Mount is a great way to seamlessly add digital video impact to your Mirage Graphic display. Add the flexibility and movement of a digital monitor while maintaining the clean look Mirage is known for. The monitor mount easily hooks onto the Mirage channel bars and ships inside the transporter case. Depending on your frame you could add one, two, three or up to four monitors! And for those of you that just basically accept there is a chance your own personal monitors might be damaged in transit Skyline is now offering a sturdy Monitor Case for your monitor and audio visual equipment. Skyline innovation and creativity has once again taken another mundane exhibit solution and made it compelling and unique again!
Watch the movie and let us know what you think.
Pop-up Digital Display
Skyline Northern California
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As an AE for Skyline of course I have a biased answer “no,” however not for that reason alone. I am going to give you the honest truth on really why trade shows will never go away.
Even before our downturn I’ve had clients tell me “trade shows are going to go away, virtual trade shows will take over.” This is somewhat true, trade shows are not inexpensive and virtual trade shows (and even webinars) have been an alternative. They have increased, and I certainly agree is a viable way. More and more associations are adopting this method due to the many advantages, visiting a trade show floor online, getting to view demos at the convenience of a computer, the cost savings of travel. So yes, it still can get a good amount of the message across. The main limitation is that it is not a universal platform for each industry. Any element of touch and feel (and taste) of products obviously can not effectively be expressed. You can not communicate this online. It is impersonal and falls under our “auto world.” Not your best sales person.
Now as things started to work downward in the economy I surely thought trade shows would be obsolete. Some shows disappeared however were ones already slowly losing its caliber. In 2009, a good amount of exhibitors decided not to exhibit and shows got smaller. As 2010 started back up many exhibitors re-implemented their trade show plans, this time with tighter budgets. No one wanted to completely disappear from trade shows as the assumption was the organization was adversely affected by the economy, of course unless you were Apple (so big you did not have to go to MacWorld).
No matter how tedious trade shows can be there is still value for your presence. It’s being part of a community. This is where your community comes together to help educate and create a successful customer. You show your gratitude and hopefully create opportunities to add more under your umbrella. No one can ever say no to a party right? In 15 years I just can not foresee this business interaction going away. I see it getting more innovative, impressive, and maybe hosted in more exotic of places. Underwater aquarium convention center anyone? (expect material handling premiums)
For questions on trade show ideas please do contact me at email@example.com
Jessica Lynn Orias | Exhibit Consultant | 44111 Fremont Blvd. Fremont, CA 94538 | ph. 510.933.2212 | firstname.lastname@example.org |fx. 510.490.9949 | www.skybay.com
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About the Author: Mike Thimmesch is Skyline Exhibits’ Director of Lead Generation and Industry Relations, with over 20 years of Marketing and Trade Show Display Marketing experience.
Here are 10 experts’ definitions of marketing, plus for good measure my reactions to the strengths and weaknesses of their definitions.
1. “Marketing is the process by which companies create customer interest in products or services. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business development. It is an integrated process through which companies build strong customer relationships and create value for their customers and for themselves.” — Wikipedia
I like how this is so focused on both the strategic and functional aspects of marketing, but especially that it’s so customer-focused – the word customer is in it three times, more than any other word!
2. “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” — American Marketing Association
This definition took the AMA years of debate to create. It is a very comprehensive, yet concise definition, encompassing the product development, marketing communications, pricing, and strategic aspects of marketing.
3. “Marketing is everything.” — Regis McKenna
Regis McKenna’s bold statement exemplifies the school of thought that everything you do – not just your products, pricing, promotion, and distribution, but even your billing, how you answer the phone, your speed of handling problems –it all affects how your customer perceives your company, so everything is marketing.
4. “Marketing is not only much broader than selling; it is not a specialized activity at all. It encompasses the entire business. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of the final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view. Concern and responsibility for marketing must therefore permeate all areas of the enterprise.” – Peter Drucker
Management guru Drucker also advocates that marketing is everything, plus he provides reasons to back it up.
5. “Marketing is the social process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others.” — Philip Kotler
This is more of an old-school, college-professor definition, which while accurate, is fairly cold. I think the “social process” part diverts attention from the business side, and “individuals” sounds more clinical than “customers” which is the gold standard in many of these definitions.
6. “Marketing is the process whereby society, to supply its consumption needs, evolves distributive systems composed of participants, who, interacting under constraints – technical (economic) and ethical (social) – create the transactions or flows which resolve market separations and result in exchange and consumption.” – Bartles
This is even more a college-professor definition. The idea of society evolving distributive systems seems to take the shine off of the inventiveness and initiative of individual marketers.
7. “Marketing is any contact that your business has with anyone who isn’t a part of your business. Marketing is also the truth made fascinating. Marketing is the art of getting people to change their minds. Marketing is an opportunity for you to earn profits with your business, a chance to cooperate with other businesses in your community or your industry and a process of building lasting relationships.” — Jay Conrad Levinson
This is just part of a passionate rant by Jay Conrad Levinson of Guerilla Marketing fame, which highlights the role of persuasion in marketing.
8. “Marketing is getting someone who has a need to know, like and trust you.” — Jon Jantsch (of Duct Tape Marketing fame) Jantsch’s definition also picks up on Levinson’s theme of persuasion, at an even more personal level than Levinson.
9. Marketing is “The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.” — The Chartered Institute of Marketing
I like how the CIM’s definition is so concise and yet so all-encompassing, and how marketing’s job is to take care of the customer, while making a buck, too.
10. “Marketing is the process of anticipating, managing, and satisfying the demand for products, services, and ideas.” — Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
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Race for Results!
Events and Sports Marketing are an excellent way to market and promote your products and services and a fast way to get new customers or fans of your products and services. Have you ever thought about Sponsoring and/or Exhibiting at an Event or Sporting Event? Why not? Is it because it is not your traditional way of marketing and because it may seem so informal, but these two reasons are why you should consider Event and Sports Marketing as an effective form of lead generation and customer acquisition.
On July 17th I did the 23rd Annual Tri for Fun Series at Shadow Cliffs in Pleasanton, CA. If you are interested in other Triathlons, 5K or 10K races you can check out their event calendar at http://onyourmarkevents.com/events-new.asp
Call me crazy or just the love and passion for the Event and Tradeshow industry. As I was preparing for the race and during the race and after the race I kept thinking about the enormous marketing opportunities that are present at one of these Events. Here are a few things you should consider when Sponsoring and/or Exhibiting at Sporting Events.
Know the Demographic or the Race Participants:
Do not think every 5K or Half-Marathon is the same. The City that the race is in can tell you a lot about the demographics and race participants. If the race is a National or internationally accredited course this is a great indicator that people will be traveling to the Sporting Event from out of State or Country. For an excellent International Sporting Event check out http://www.bsim.org/site3.aspx
Who does the Sporting Event benefit?:
There are so many non-profit organizations out there and many have some type of Race or benefit they are affiliated with. If giving back and social responsibility is important to you and your organization then finding a Sporting Event that fits your interests and your company’s won’t be that difficult. Here are two events that benefit education http://www.happyfishrun4education.com/ and the fight against hungry http://www.stocktonfoodbank.org/
What type of Result do you want?:
Do you want to have Race Participants sign-up to win a new product or service? Do you want them to try out your product or service? Is it more informational and educational? As a Marketing, Sales or Owner of a company you need to consider these things to come up with the right result for your company.
Next time you are developing your marketing and sales plan consider the power of Sporting Events as a viable and productive way to get your message out. Remember we are all in a race to get results and we want them fast but to be effective!
For questions on event and sports marketing you can contact me directly at Skyline Exhibits .
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Who Shot JR and Lederhosen?
In sharp contrast to so many shows this year that seem to mirror that of the sputtering economy, the 2010 Intersolar Show at the Moscone Center in San Francisco was a fresh and exciting reprieve from the norm. While the latest in photovoltaic, solar heating and solar thermal energy technology was being prominently displayed the only functional energy being absorbed was by the thousands of enthusiastic attendees. Those who attended the event were treated to the very latest emerging solar technology from around the world as well as the very latest in trade show exhibit technology and good old fashioned creative marketing.
Unbeknownst to me JR is alive and well! Big props go out to the Solarworld guys in their ten gallon hats with an appearance from Larry Hagman and the donation of 100,000 kilowatts to power five health centers in Haiti. Larry reprises his role as JR from Dallas in a series of rather funny TV ads featuring an oil tycoon who goes green with a new catchy motto “shine baby shine” followed by the classic confident JR chuckle.
2010 Intersolar Show
Special mention should also go out to the folks at Schletter Inc. and the brave soles running around the show floor in classic German lederhosen with national soccer jerseys – I was going to tell them I lost $50 on Germany’s loss to Spain but I didn’t have the current Euro exchange rate and didn’t know a lick of German. Also adding to the festive Oktoberfest atmosphere was the free flowing Spaten – cheers, or as they say in German with a little spit, prost!
Skyline Northern California
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As a small business owner specializing in trade show booths and events I have had to answer the question that has become quite common over the last few years. “Why is there significant price difference between your pop-up display and the one I just found on the internet? The standard answer which most in this industry used was “Quality”. And it is the one of correct answer but does the consumer believe it? Let’s explore what I believe to be the significant differences between these type of sales and how the internet has benefited the consumer by us lowering our prices to compete while assuring a higher level of quality, design, and service.
There is no question that low priced trade show displays panels in comparison in the quality department. Many don’t find this out until after they buy. Mostly it’s the materials being used. For example in most low end pop-up displays use low grade aluminum frames. At Skyline for example we have aluminum, fiberglass, and graphite frames. This gives us the ability to compete against our own product. See blog on aluminum vs. graphite frames.
Visualize it this way. Tennis rackets were once wooden, and then they progressed to aluminum, then to fiberglass and eventually to graphite. Bottom line it’s a stronger lighter material that takes the pounding of the trade show world more efficiently. So the quality of the frame itself is different. But where the consumer sees another significant difference is in the quality of graphics. Many times these prints are made for the “one-time” usage and when you begin to transport these exhibits graphics have a tendency to suffer.
Basically, if you buy on the internet you are now responsible for the design, logistics and install and dismantle of your exhibit. Basically you become the fulfillment house. There is no consultant on the other end of the line. They will quote and ship and that’s about it. In a consultant sale you get the same level of service as if you were buying a large exhibit. We are committed to quality and it is not compromised at any level. Also with our products you get lifetime guarantees. Internet offers no guarantee or very limited in their time and scope.
Most consultants have a full complement of designers and production artist for your use. These designers are constantly retrained on new designs and concepts that are using the best of the new products available to the consumer. Most importantly they specialize in trade show exhibit and design.
Trade Show consultants understand your industry. Current trends, new products, shipping, storage, installation and dismantle, and most importantly, we are experts in design and spatial concepts to help assure your success at the shows and events that you attend. And even if you don’t need these types of services on the lower end of the product spectrum it’s critically important to establish relationships with consultants that can help you across the wide spectrum of activities that your company attends over time. Our job is to make you look good.
CEO, Skyline Northern California
If you would like to see how Skybay Exhibits can create an exhibit that exceeds your expectations and saves your business valuable marketing dollars, contact us today and we will immediately respond to your specific requests. Skybay has the exhibitor solution you require.
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3 Reasons why you should think of renting
1. Recurring Cost
The recurring costs associated with a purchased booth include costs of warehousing the booth, its refurbishment from time to time and labor and material costs to set it up. Before committing to undertaking these costs, it is important to be sure that you are really going to use the same booth again. If you rent a booth, you need not worry about your big one time investment or associated costs as many rental packages offer booth setup, dismantle, and shipping service along with the rented booth.
2. Customization and Flexibility
Trade show booth rentals offer you the advantage of customizing the trade show booth every time you participate in a trade show. Moreover, if you are renting a booth, you can even go ahead and rent an elborate one for an important trade show that will deliver the needed impact for that trade show.
Sometimes different trade shows also have varying requirements in terms of booth size, height and structure, in which case again you will need the flexibility of being able to choose a booth as per required specifications.
3. Scalability and Portability
Renting booths also allow you scalability, when you would like participate in two trade shows at the same time. In addition, you save on the transportation cost of the booth, which can especially be exorbitant if your trade show location is overseas or very far away from your office location.
Renting a booth for a trade show is a win-win for the company under most circumstances – it lowers the cost, it gives you the advantages to customize for different market segments and best of all there is no cost of ownership.
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In 2008 apple unveiled its first generation iphone at Macworld. It was the big buzz of the show. The same year the biggest tradeshow give away was the iphone. Every industry found it as the hottest thing, it even beat golf clubs.
Today, two years later, 2 more generations of the iphone have been released and a new addition, the ipad. I have never owned an iphone but after all the buzz I decided to purchase my first apple product (ipad) on its release day. Here I am two months later no longer traveling to shows with my netbook . It is much more convenient, screen resolution is soft to the eye for long reading on flights, and battery life is surprisingly long lasting.
I realized this ipad would be the revolution for tradeshows. Imagine visiting an exhibit and being portable enough to run demos from the palm of your hand, an impressive one at that. It can be passed around as a team sales tool. Tradeshows are geared around to the 5 senses and the feeling of touch goes a long way. It gives the user a sense of personal experience that you want them to remember.
The only challenge that you may run into is the format of your demo. The type of demo you currently have may not be responsive. Please make sure your developer is aware its use on the ipad.
For more ipad tips you can contact me directly at Skyline Exhibits – email@example.com
Jessica Lynn Orias | Exhibit Consultant | 44111 Fremont Blvd. Fremont, CA 94538 | ph. 510.933.2212 | firstname.lastname@example.org | fx. 510.490.9949 | www.skybay.com
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Skyline Mirage pop up vs. Internet pop-ups: Testimonial says no comparison.
“I had already purchased a less expensive aluminum pop-up display via the internet when I discovered Skyline’s Mirage. I wanted a high-quality pop-up that will last for years, so I bought the Mirage as well. Not only is the frame the most durable on the market, but Skyline’s graphics are incomparable. Now someone else owns the internet unit!”
– Jeff Anderson, Christoff Mitchell Petroleum
Skyline Bay Area is proud to announce 20% off on the Mirage pop up displays and banner stands.
Download your coupon here.
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