Trade Show TalesBlog

How to Speak Graphic Designer (Infographic)

August 25th, 2015 1 COMMENT

How-to-Speak-Designer-Infographic

28 Design Terms Marketers Should Know

Wow! Two sensational infographics within a week. This one should be printed, framed, and hung on the wall next to every graphic designer and marketing manager. No more misunderstandings about leading and kerning. No more wasted conversations about web-friendly fonts. No more confusion about UI and UX.

Our thanks to Sarah Matista at Pagemodo. The link will take you to the original blog post.

http://www.pagemodo.com/blog/how-to-speak-designer-graphic-design-terms-every-marketer-should-know/

Pagemodo-How-to-Speak-Designer-Infographic

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite

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Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.


 

10 Steps to Trade Show Success (Infographic)

August 20th, 2015 COMMENTS

Some infographics can be confusing… But not this one! An outstanding infographic from Bags of Ideas, a promotional products company in the UK. This is one worth printing or forwarding to your tradeshow clients. Bags of Ideas — A pat on the back for this clever and practical message. Well done!

10 Steps to Trade Show Success Infographic
Bags of Ideas – The Promotional Bag Specialists

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite

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Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.


 

What’s Your Trade Show Kryptonite?

August 19th, 2015 4 COMMENTS

Superman

X-Ray Vision

We shouldn’t but we do. We hope hope hope that the next attendee who walks in our booth is Superman. Not Superman Superman, but the sales equivalent of Superman. Faster to sign a contract than a speeding bullet. More powerful than the VP of Purchasing. Able to leap over objections in a single bound. We yearn for Superman (or Superwoman) to enter our trade show booth space.

Yet, we place kryptonite everywhere in sight so Superman veers away (no doubt into the arms of our evil nemesis — Super Savvy SalesPerson). What did we do wrong? Well, let’s eliminate the easy mistakes, the ones so obvious that his X-ray vision saw them three aisles over.

Frenchy Fry Me: Nothing says no-loving like a staffer hunched over lo mein, a cheeseburger, or chicken nuggets with honey mustard in your booth. And, yes, I did see you wipe your hands on your pants.

Kryptonite-TSFive-Second Text: Baby-boomer, GenX, or millennial. Doesn’t matter. You can’t start a conversation if you never start a conversation. It gives new meaning to — “Hey buddy, my eyes are up here!”

The Quickie:  Good choice. A vinyl graphic hanging on the pipe and drape. Perfect if you’re pitching hairball chews at the local cat show. Otherwise, it says, “I’m living in a van down by the river.”

The Berlin Wall: The banquet table is your best friend at a hobby or arts and crafts fair. Take the same approach at a trade show and expect to catch up on your texting and Facebook posts at the show.

I Don’t: Got there late. Left early. Spent most of the time flirting with the woman on the next aisle.

Concrete Cal:  No flooring. Or padding. Or orders.

Clowns10 Clowns in a Car: How nice! The entire sales team is here. Except this isn’t a rave party, a tailgater, or a celebrity sighting. “No thanks. I’ll take the next less-crowded elevator.”

Maximus: “Just give me 5 minutes to find it. I know it’s here somewhere. I swear I just saw it. Here it is! Nope, that’s not it.”

Love Me Some Swag in the Booth: Selfie sticks, pens, water bottles, shopping bags, phone chargers, tech tools, lip gloss, exercise band, calculator, hand sanitizer. ‘Hey kids, Daddy went to a trade show.”

Mystery Date:  “I’ll give you three guesses what my company does. Want a hint? Another hint? Starts with the letter G. See the display on the corner with the hanging sign. We do what they do.”

Turn Me On:  Day 1. “Anybody know how to launch the video or turn on the tablet?” Day 2. “Did anyone charge the tablet or bring the thumb drive?” Day 3. “I don’t know. We think they’re broken.”

Don’t be the only person at the show not wearing an “S” (for sales superstar). Get rid of the exhibit krytonite and you’re guaranteed to attract a Superman or two or three to your booth.

Got any other kryptonite no no’s? Please share in the comments.

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite

**********************************************

Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.


 

Trust Me!

August 6th, 2015 2 COMMENTS

trustbanner2

I receive Seth Godin’s daily blog post. To say “I receive” his posts doesn’t do them justice. They’re always the first or second email I read in the morning. This one was especially relevant.

Here’s a simple marketing strategy for a smaller company trying to compete in a big-company world:

  • Choose your customers, trust them, treat them well.
  • Say yes. Bend the rules. Show up on time. Keep your promises.
  • Don’t exert power merely because you can.
  • Be human, be kind, pay attention, smile.

Not everyone deserves this sort of treatment, not everyone will do their part to be the kind of customer you can delight and serve. But that’s okay, you don’t need everyone. — Seth Godin

Two weeks ago, I visited five Classic Exhibits Distributors on the East Coast. Good visits, all in all. But during the visits, I heard something I hadn’t heard before. Actually, that’s not true. I’m sure I’d “heard” it before, but this was the first time, it resonated with me. During our meetings, the word “trust” (or variations of trust) was used again and again.

  • “I trust Bob to respond to my quotes usually within a day or two”
  • “I can count on Katina whenever I have a challenging design request.”
  • “I’m never concerned about the quality of the displays from Classic. It’s reassuring not to have to preview them at our facility every time.”

TrustNow, to be fair, not every comment was glowing. There were concerns. Those were usually along the lines of “I almost always get an immediate response from XYZ, but about two months ago, it took several emails before I heard back. That made me nervous about working with XYZ, but I haven’t had any issues since then.”

Anyone who has visited us knows we are a process-driven company, which means there are clear expectations about how quickly we respond, what you should expect, and how the final product should arrive. We try hard not to let process to dictate our communication with you, but we live in a world of process wrapped in customer service and design. So, we focus on data, response times, delivery dates, etc. That’s what I’m trained to hear during distributor visits — not fuzzy concepts like “trust.’

Yet, trust is the bottom line. We all conduct transactions based solely on price, but our business transactions, those that allow our businesses to thrive, are about mutual trust and relationships. Can I trust you to do what you say, delivery it when you promise, and ensure it arrives as designed? It’s that simple. Consider the professional relationships in your life — your doctor, dentist, general contractor, even your barber or stylist. If you made a change, was it because of price or because you no longer trusted them?

Think about the history of our industry. We can all name at least six companies that lost the trust of distributors. In many cases, their products were good, even best in class for several, but that didn’t ensure they survived.

Let’s not kid ourselves. You know trust can strengthen or undermine a relationship. In fact, you bank on it. So what advice can I offer? Don’t assume others understand or share your commitment to building trusting relationships. What goes unsaid remains unsaid. You need to hear yourself say it. Others need to hear you say it too. Trust me on this.

Agree or disagree, please share your comments and experiences.

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite

**********************************************

Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.


 

Deep Thoughts from the E2MA Red Diamond Congress

July 30th, 2015 3 COMMENTS

RDC_1I attended the E2MA Red Diamond Congress in Boston last week — my third time at this annual two-day conference. The RDC is a small, but growing, group of stakeholders in the event and tradeshow industry which includes show organizers, general contractors, associations, distributors, tradeshow managers, suppliers, and labor.

Like me, you probably interact with a subset of these folks over the course of a year. So attending RDC gives me a broader perspective of the challenges facing our industry. When someone starts pointing a finger at “the bad guys,” those “bad guys” are usually in the room to defend themselves. It makes for challenging conversations.

I wanted to share a few takeaways from several sessions.  This year’s theme was engagement.

Justin Hersh, Group Delphi, “Watch Out the CMO is Coming”

“We spend most of our time asking our exhibit or event client ‘what they want’ and then creating a ‘spectacle’ to fulfill that want and attract attention.” Think of a fireworks display. It’s mesmerizing, but we don’t want to see it twice.

However….

We should be asking them, “Why they want it and then creating ‘wonder, awe, and connection’ which drives people to do something different.”

We need to resist the lure to create a mere spectacle. Instead we should create designs that motivate and inspire change.

RDC_4

Bruce Bolger, Enterprise Engagement Alliance, “Engagement Essentials”

“People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”

“People want to:  Be part of something bigger than themselves. Feel a sense of belonging. Go on a meaningful journey. Know that their contributions make a significant impact of difference.”

“How does Monday morning feel when you have a bad boss?”

Red_Diamond_7

Jack Myers, MyersBizNet, “Future Proofing the Business of Exhibits an Events”

“Our historic relationships are dissolving. What are the new relationships? Are you connecting vs. simply communicating?”

“We must learn how to build better relationships through technology.”

“Brands that create passion and engaged relationships win.”

Eric Schaumburg, eventr.io, “Simplifying the Event Eco-system”

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

“We are standing on the precipice of Events 2.0…. For all of us to participate and capitalize on this transformation, we will need to eliminate the proprietary and fragmented nature that has become synonymous with tradeshows, and align our goals with those of the younger, consumer-driven, sharing economy.”

“Millennials:  anti-establishment bias, belief in radical transparency, trained to sniff out inefficiencies or vulnerabilities, intensely idealistic, strong sense of right and wrong, philanthropic.”

“The Experience Starts Online First, Face-to-Face Second:  Set the expectation, Protect the Brand, Engage sooner, engage frequently, Make the F2F like coming home”

Simplifying the Event Ecosystem

Leonora Valvo and Joseph Carrabis, insightXM, “Engaging with Data”

“Without trust, marketing does not work.”

“People don’t trust you because you say they should; people trust you because THEIR FRIENDS say they should.”

“The experiential trilogy is — attention, engagement, and trust.”

Allison Graham, AllisonGraham.biz, “How to Leverage Events to Drive Business Outcomes”

“We don’t need everybody. We need to find the people we can be ourselves with.”

“Just showing up at an event is a very good way to become busy but not profitable.”

RDC_5

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite

**********************************************

Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.