Prepping for Fall Conferences to Leave a Lasting Impression

Prepping for Fall Conferences

It’s almost time to pack up the beach supplies and summer vacay clothes. If you’re like many other businesses, you’ve been enjoying the warm weather, complete with company picnics and summer celebrations, and are starting to shift your focus toward the fall. 

Companies across industries use the fall conference season to learn new skills or tips, generate new business, and strengthen relationships with other businesses.

Peak professional conference months are August through October and, ideally, you should give yourself a lead time of 10-12 months to begin planning, whether you’re hosting the conference or just attending.. But, don’t worry! If fall conference planning hasn’t been on the top of your list this year, you still have time.

Here are some of our tried-and-true tips that will help you knock out planning items to achieve another successful and enjoyable conference.

Research and set goals

What is your desired outcome from the conference? Perhaps your company needs to increase brand awareness overall or wants to gain some new contacts. Many organizations use conference season to promote new services and product launches. 

Knowing what you hope to accomplish will help you fill your fall calendar with relevant conferences that will best help you achieve your goals. Fall professional conferences attract people from so many industries, and knowing your niche saves you time and energy in the long run. Doing your research beforehand on the conference saves you time by providing insights on what other kinds of businesses will attend and guaranteeing that the conference subject matter will actually be of value to your specific organization.

Put together committees that will help you to detail company objectives and make a plan to meet them. Committees can compile information about the conferences themselves and vote on the most relevant ones to attend, come up with budgets and maintain them, and even assist with travel plans if the conference requires it.

Order your merchandise early

It’s essential to show professionalism and individuality to stand out from the crowd. Showcasing clear, memorable branding at fall events results in the biggest return on investment (ROI) for your organization. When potential customers can clearly identify and learn about your brand, you are more likely to leave the conference with leads, customers, and new relationships. 

Giving away freebies has long been an effective strategy for conferences. Create some swag boxes that include a combination of different items that future clients and business partners will appreciate or find useful. 

To put together an effective swag box, consider the following:

  • Include some branded tech that people are likely to use at the conference or on a regular basis. Bluetooth speakers, storage, mouse pads, charging cords, and screen protectors are practical and get frequent use
  • Wearable items, like T-shirts of all sizes, make your brand identity go further
  • Make sure your logo, colors, and branding are consistent on all items. Include your contact information and QR codes for ease of access

After outlining your goals, putting together branded merchandise options should be the next first fall conference planning objectives that you tackle. Order what you need early so you don’t run into any shortages.

Prepare for remote conferences when necessary

Reimagine what you’ve known about conferences because, as we know, they’re rapidly evolving. Now, conferences are often a hybrid setting between digital and traditional, in-person events. Other times, they’re completely virtual.

The pandemic taught us a lot about how much we can accomplish remotely and many have grown accustomed to working and attending events this way. Nearly 80% of employees today regularly use video conferencing for remote work.

Networking in a digital space can be challenging and requires you to be extra intentional with your interactions. Increase your networking capacity by exchanging information with other attendees and setting up group chats to ensure that you can participate in meaningful conversations to make connections. Maximize your employee’s engagement with the event by holding sessions during or after the event to discuss helpful takeaways.

When it comes to the hybrid conference climate, adaptability is key. Be sure to compile tech setup that you are satisfied with so that you and other employees are prepared if the conference switches to virtual before the date.

Coordinate your teams and approach

Being on the same page as your team is important. Create an itinerary for the day or weekend to share with the team. If the event is in-person, scout the host city for the event so that you can figure out what locations or sights would be most suitable and your employees can experience as a group.

Networking with others may not fall easily within everyone’s comfort zone. Setting aside time with the team to map out networking strategies prepares all event-goers to effectively communicate and convert new business at the conference.

Leading up to the conference, run through your checklist:

  • Set deadlines for event deposits, registration and tickets, and other important details 
  • Meet with your Information Technology (IT) team to ensure you are equipped with the tech gear you need
  • If traveling for the conference, research hotel group rates and outline travel plans
  • Create “what to bring” lists so everyone packs the items they’ll need for success

Appoint team leads to spearhead different parts of the planning process so that no details are missed. 

Align expectations and remain in good spirits

The best way to ensure that you leave a lasting impression on fellow conference-goers is to have a solid team approach so your organization presents themselves in a positive light. Share goals and event expectations with all representatives from your organization.

Conferences are fun and exciting – but they can also be hectic. Travel, if applicable, can be draining, especially across time zones. The events usually involve plenty of mixers or meet-and-greets between sessions, and might involve late nights and early mornings. Use open communication, check-ins, and planning meetings to prepare yourself and your company for the event so that everyone remains flexible and in good spirits. 

Gear up for conference season

When they go smoothly, conferences can be truly inspiring for your team and organization overall. With these prep tips in mind, you can create a lasting impression for your brand in the minds of the people you meet while fostering new leads.

Need more conference merch ideas to take with your team? Check out our list of best-selling promotional items here.

The Best Custom Promotional Tumbler For Your Business

The Himalayan tumbler i's made of stainless steel

Do you know just how many impressions promotional drinkware can generate throughout its lifetime? 1400. Personalized tumblers are well worth the investment!

For any company or organization searching for custom tumbler ideas, the Himalayan Tumbler is truly top tier. It can be customized in a variety of ways, from the color of the product to the color of your logo, so you get a business gift that perfectly represents your company and connects with your audience.

What Makes the Himalayan Tumbler So Special?

  • The Material: It’s made of stainless steel. Stainless steel is food-safe, BPA free, and durable enough to withstand everyday use. It doesn’t dent or crack as easily as other materials can, so drops are less of an issue. Simply put, custom stainless steel tumblers like the Himalayan are top-quality business giveaways.
  • The Insulation: The Himalayan Tumbler has a double wall design with vacuum insulation and a copper lining to keep beverages hot or cold for up to 12 hours! The double wall construction not only helps with insulation, it works to prevent condensation too, so customers won’t have to worry about water on their desks or in cup holders.
  • Travel-friendly Design: To top it all off, the Himalayan Tumbler has a spill-resistant lid with an easy slide opening for drinking. It can be used at home, at work, or anywhere in between. Such an easily-portable gift makes sure your custom logo or message is constantly being introduced in new spaces. Whenever and wherever it’s used, your company’s custom imprint will be noticed by both existing and prospective customers.

Create Your Own Promotional Tumbler

  • Several color options: The Himalayan Tumbler is available in several classic colors, including silver, black and red, to create a beautiful gift that complements your existing logo design.
  • Add your custom imprint: We offer a single-color imprint on any one of these promotional stainless steel tumblers, or a full-color imprint on the silver style to attract even more attention.

With Myron, your satisfaction is guaranteed, so you’re sure to get a promo gift that meets your needs.

You’ll Benefit from A Versatile Business Gift

There are a number of ways to incorporate this custom insulated tumbler into your promotional schedule.

  • For customers: It makes a thoughtful customer appreciation gift. It’s well-made and offers lasting quality to remind recipients every day that they’re valued.
  • For employees: Employee appreciation is important to the success of your business, too. The Himalayan Tumbler can be used to celebrate teams or individuals and keep morale high. You might present it as a work from home gift, or use it to welcome employees back to the office.

However you choose to use this promotional insulated tumbler, it will boost your recognition and awareness, and help you build better relationships with your customers and employees.

Top 3 Giveaways to Have at Trade Shows in 2019

Trade shows 2019

Exhibiting at trade shows can feel like a big investment, but when you hand out effective promotional product giveaways, potential customers will have your business at the forefront of their minds long after the show. To make the most of your trade show exhibits in 2019, use these highly successful promotional products:

1. Stadium Secure Clear Tote Bag

Not only are tote bags useful giveaways that can be used over and over again, they’re also cost-efficient and easy to store and distribute. The Stadium Secure Clear Tote Bag will appeal to potential customers for its trendy design and convenience, and while at the trade show, you’ll be able to give away plenty because attendees will need bags to carry trade show literature and other giveaways! This fact alone makes tote bags a wide-reaching promotional product, attracting potential customers who might not have been previously interested.

2. 1.8 Oz Hand Sanitizer Gel Bottle with Carabiner

Another useful yet cost-effective product, this carabiner-equipped hand sanitizer is a great giveaway, especially during flu season! Any promotional product with a carabiner is sure to be a success for the same reason tote bags are successful: everyone has their hands full. Carabiners can attach to purses, bags, and backpacks right then and there to become a permanent part of the things they carry with them daily. Plus, there’s always a lot of handshaking at trade shows, so hand sanitizer is always a welcome gift.

3. Collapsible Food Container with Dual Utensil

Since you’ll be interacting with many working professionals, offer them something they can make use of during their work week! Eco-friendly and ideal for bringing lunches to work, this collapsible food container is so convenient that recipients will be seeing your brand name Monday through Friday.

For more winning trade show giveaways, explore Myron’s extensive online catalog of customizable promotional products! Myron can also help you get trade show ready with branded trade show supplies and signage such as banners, tablecloths, badge holders, and more.

Small Businesses, Big Marketing: Your Promotional Guide to Small Business Saturday 2018

Small Business Saturday is November 24th this year, and small businesses all over the country are gearing up for a busy month of preparations, marketing, and special event planning. If your business is doing the same, then this is the guide for you!

What is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday is a special day devoted to supporting small businesses everywhere that drive the US economy and give character to our local communities. Established in 2010, it has since grown exponentially; Small Business Saturday is recognized in all 50 states with over 7,200 participating individuals and organizations as of 2017. On last year’s Small Business Saturday, approximately 108 million consumers reported shopping and/or dining at an independently-owned business in their community, which is estimated to have generated about $12 million!

How to Participate

The first step to participating in a successful Small Business Saturday in your community is to generate hype! Once you build awareness, you might be surprised by how positively your community responds. Partner with other small businesses in the area for cross-promoting purposes and to create broader appeal for consumers. With several businesses working together, you can also schedule special events, such as a live music performance, to bring the community together and draw interest from neighboring communities as well. Don’t forget to advertise through social media, email campaigns, and fliers to help champion the cause for shopping locally!

Promotional Marketing

If you aren’t marketing with promotional products already, Small Business Saturday is the perfect time to start! To create anticipation for the event, give away small promotional products that display your business name, the event name and date, and a social media event page if applicable. You can give these away with every purchase, offer them at the register, or pass them out to passerbys and other businesses.

On Small Business Saturday, make use of promotional products to draw people into your business or as raffle giveaways. If you are partnering with other businesses, you could collaborate by creating punch cards for every participant to give out to potential customers. With every participating business they visit, the customers get closer to winning an event-specific prize, such as a t-shirt or hoodie. Alternatively, you could host your own giveaway, entering every customer after purchase into a raffle for a promotional product. This is also an excellent way to get customer emails for future marketing campaigns and promotions!

Promotional Product Inspiration

Here are some recommendations for Small Business Saturday promotional products:

Our Favorite Categories

Small Business Saturday

Color Band Bluetooth Speaker | Poly-Clean Sport Bottle | Celena Stylus Soft Touch Promo Pleaser Pen

Trending Small Business Saturday

Hamar Ringbinder Notebook | Water Bottle with Bluetooth Speaker | Honeycomb Mesh Shopping Tote BagSmall Business Saturday SalePower Bank Charger with Digital Display | Moscow Mule Gift Set | Insulated Bottle – Colored Imprint

Small Giveaways

Small Business Saturday

Jolie Promo PenArden Soft Touch Promo Pleaser Pen | Paloma Stylus Tip Promo Pleaser Pen

Multifunction Fidget SpinnerBrooklands Keychain | Whistle Keychain

Promotional Sticky Notepad | Spiral Notebook | Rosemont Personalized Notepad

Giveaways with Purchase

Custom Econo Enviro Shopper Tote | Non-Woven Avenue Shopper Tote BagMatte Laminated Non-Woven Horizontal Shopper Tote

Promotional Sun Fun SunglassesPromotional Earbuds | Fidget Spinner

Prize Giveaways

Tritan Super Grip Bottle | Grip N Go Bold Tumbler | Vivid Tumbler

Port & Company Essential T-Shirt with Pocket | Gildan Unisex Heavy Cotton T-Shirt | Gildan Heavy Cotton Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Cross-Promotional Giveaways

Promotional Multicolor Desk Pad | 2019 Journey Through America Desk Calendar | Custom Photo Calendar with Banner Ad

Gildan DryBlend Crewneck SweatshirtSport Tek Super Heavyweight Full-Zip HoodiePort & Company Essential T-Shirt with Pocket | Grid Cap 

 

Myron is a family-owned company that has been supporting the marketing efforts of small businesses for 67 years. Our high quality promotional products have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so your purchase with us is entirely risk-free. We’ll always put your small business first!

 

8 Easy Ways to Enhance Your Promotional Products

enhance promotional products

1. Know Your Audience

Before you purchase your promotional products, make sure you’re in touch with who your main demographic is. While it may be tempting to go for the trendiest item, not every trendy item will connect with your audience. For example, a water bottle with a built-in bluetooth speaker may be a hit for a 20-something gym buff, but will likely have less appeal for an audience that consists of people 60 and over. For the highest impact, always make sure you have your audience in mind.

2. Logo or No-Go?

You might assume having a prominent business logo is key for promotional products, but that’s not always so! If you’re giving a gift to a long-time client, it may be better to give them something personalized with their name, while your business’s logo takes a backseat. You might consider a classy, executive pen or personalized drinkware like a copper moscow mule set. Not only will this be a much more heartfelt gift, but the recipient will be more likely to use it and tell others who gave it to them!

3. Creative Imprints

Another reason to forgo having your logo front and center is to instead feature a witty, original slogan. This works especially well for t-shirts and reusable grocery bags. Not everyone will be comfortable wearing a large company logo, but if you minimize the size of the logo and make a slogan the focus (think Nike’s incredibly popular “Just Do It!” or go the punny route, e.g. “My Weekend is Booked!” for a bookseller), your promotional apparel will be more wearable and eye-catching.

4. Boost Your Social Media

If your business has a strong social media presence, or you’re looking to grow your presence, prominently display your accounts on your promotional products under your logo. Keeping people in touch with your brand over social media is another effective way to build familiarity, so why not combine both marketing techniques with no extra effort!

5. Use Your Social Media

Your promotional products can work for your social media, and your social media can work for your promotional products! Social media giveaways are great ways to build engagement with your followers. For maximum engagement, consider doing giveaways no more often than once a month and with higher-ticket items like sweatshirts, an activity tracker wristband, or a quality tote bag.  

6. Find the Perfect Pair

Promotional products always have a higher impact when they come in twos! Pens and notebooks are always a winning pair, or consider other themes like a gym bag and a sports bottle or sunglasses and a cooler. You can even give away two matching mugs for the recipient to share with a cup of coffee with a loved one, or so that they can give away one of the mugs to a friend, further spreading awareness of your brand with no extra work for you!

7. Make It Last

According to research done by PPAI, as many as 81% of people keep promotional products for over a year, and 18% of overall recipients hold onto promotional products for over 11 years! With this is mind, it might be more strategic to have promotional products that can hold up for at least a couple years such as drinkware or pens, rather than something that has a limited lifespan like T-shirt. Even those who don’t treasure promotional products so dearly don’t often throw them out; PPAI also reports that 80% of those who don’t keep their promotional products give them away instead of throwing them out. It’s important to make sure your promotional products last!

8. Choices, choices, choices

When at a trade show or when offering a reward for a referral, try offering multiple choices for your leads to pick from. This will encourage them to choose something they’ll actually make use of and hold onto for much longer than they might have otherwise. Don’t feel pressured to have a whole library of different products! Two or three choices is plenty and won’t risk overwhelming your potential clients or you!

For more tips and an expansive catalogue of customizable promotional products, visit Myron. With a 100% satisfaction guarantee, we are sure to have the right products for your business!

 

How to Generate Leads with Promotional Products

How to Generate Leads

How to Generate Leads with Promotional Products in 6 Smart Ways

To generate leads for your business, it often takes more effort than giving away a promotional pen with your logo on it. This alone can help build brand awareness, but creatively making use of promotional products is key to truly capturing a potential client’s interest. Below are 6 methods for how to generate leads more effectively with promotional products:

1. Connect with the Digital World

In the current digital age, you will extend your brand’s reach much farther if you supply leads with the tech they need and want. USB flash drives are a common giveaway, and you can get more creative with stylus pens that gracefully jump the gap between traditional and digital medias or a smart phone wallet, which greatly appeals to younger audiences, especially college-age audiences. You might also consider branding your promotional items with your social medias to encourage internet-savvy clients to interact with your business online on the daily!

2. Go Big for the Big Leads

At trade shows and expos, clients are bombarded with promotional giveaways that are often inexpensive and in large quantities. This is practical when trying to reach a wide audience whom you can’t actually guarantee will be suitable leads for your brand. However, you will want to consider creating giveaway “tiers.” Continue offering promotional pens or stress-relievers to all passers-by, but reserve big-ticket items like apparel, tote bags, or umbrellas for those who are willing to provide contact information.

Another great idea is to incentivize leads to spread the word for you. Offer someone a drinkware item or a hat when they refer someone else to your booth.

3. Take the First Step Yourself

Take the outbound approach and reach out to individuals and companies you would like to work with first! Make an introduction, then follow up by mailing them a high quality promotional gift that is significant in some way. This can be something like a wine gift set, a nice mug set, a laptop bag, or a sports duffel bag. Choose something that connects with your brand or relates to something you’ve discussed with this potential lead beforehand for a more personal touch.

4. Close the Deal in a Powerful Way

Once your sales team is just about to close a deal with a lead, encourage them to send a high-end promotional product like the suggestions above. This strategy makes for a good show of faith with a lead. Bonus points if you can find a promotional product that relates specifically to your brand (or theirs!).

5. Let Your Clients Find Leads For You

As we discussed in Step #2, you should aim to incentivize others to generate leads for you. This is especially powerful when the referral comes from a client with whom you’ve already worked and who already trusts your brand. You can either promise them a promotional product as a reward for a referral, or send it afterwards as a surprise thank you!

6. Make an Impression

Lastly, but most importantly, you’ll always want to make an impression. To do this, we recommend building your own gift set with promotional products that make sense for your brand. Invest in multiple branded products to create a stunning, complete gift box that is sure to woo your potential leads. For the potential lead, a set of items makes it easier for them to envision making use of them (and thus remembering your brand) in the future than a standalone item might.

As an example, a startup tech company might want to create a set that consists of a t-shirt, earbuds, and sunglasses. The headphones make sense considering the industry, while the t-shirt and sunglasses appeal to a younger audience who would be interested in working with them. Another combination that works for any industry is a pen, notepad, and travel mug for the perfect productive pack. Keep in mind, there’s no need to purchase expensive items to create a gift set! When it comes to how to generate leads, what matters most about a gift set is appealing presentation and the creativity and thought put into the selection.

 
We hoped this blog gave you some smart ideas on how to generate leads! Let Myron help you find and create the perfect promotional products for your brand. With high quality, affordable products, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee, we’ll help your business generate promising leads!

Mastering the art of trade shows

From Wall Street to Main Street the ability to be seen and heard by potential clients is one of the greatest needs and challenges of businesses. And that is why trade shows continue to remain a popular marketing tactic to consider when growing your business, even in today’s Digital world.

Why invest in a Trade Show?

Trade shows build your brand, generate sales leads, allow you to eyeball the competition, spot trends and grant you valuable face-time with the most buyers in the shortest time, helping you solidify old relationships and build new ones. This strategy  may even save you money – according to the Center for Exhibit Industry Research (CEIR), it costs 62% less to close a lead generated from a trade show than one originated in the field.

Why Trade Shows Work

 

Your Marketing Plan

Maximize your trade show activities by putting together a strategic plan with clear objectives and goals for every stage. Be sure to select shows that fit your business. With more than 10,000 trade shows taking place annually in the U.S alone, you are not short on choice. The Internet also offers a ton of information; but don’t forget to reach out to your industry trade associations, local Chamber of Commerce, Convention Bureau and current customers to get recommendations.

While Myron can’t help you write your marketing plans we are your “Go To” source for helping you stand out at your first, 10th, or 100th trade show. Don’t be overwhelmed. The best way to tackle your show planning is to carve it into three easy segments:

Pre-Show

Remember the best trade show planning will be fail if nobody knows you are going to be there. The CEIR estimates that as many as 3/4 of attendees decide which booths they want to see before they even get to the show. This is the reason you need to do your own advance work and qualify the trade show attendees you want to meet.  It’s estimated that 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority. Which means more than 4 out of 5 people walking the aisles are potential customers for exhibitors.

It is a good idea to send a pre-registration mailer and include a lightweight, easy to mail promo item with your logo and booth number so they can find you at the show. Many shows will sell you a list of registered attendees to contact.

A study published by the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) revealed pre-show mailings with incentives are more effective than mailings without an offer of action. In your mailer, tease your audience with another gift waiting when they visit your booth. Promotional products like custom sticky notespromotional magnets or the Stylus for Smart Phone personalized with your business information are perfect giveaways.

At The Show

Be visual and visible! Your booth needs to pop so make sure you have table covers, runners and banners to make a strong visual impact. Myron offers a large selection of items to spruce up your booth. We recommend a four-color process imprint to grab attention. Here are our some of our favorites:

Trade Show Table Cloths Personalized 6′ Flat 4 Sided Table Cover

Made with a 65/35 blend of poly/cotton twill. Finished with a rolled hem and safety surged seams that won’t fray. Table cover drapes the top and sides of the table and are cut with rounded corners to give a finished look. Does not require inconvenient attachment clips or accessories. This item can be paired with one of our custom table runners for greater visual appeal.

9' Banner with Scissor Base Kit9′ Banner with Scissor Base Kit

Constructed of a strong, superior, flexible carbon composite material. The pole pockets durable binding gives extra strength. Edges are double stitched for durability. Ball bearing base allows the flag to spin in the wind with less wind resistance. Kit includes hardware, banner carry case and water ballast.

Slim Line Retractor BannerSlim Line Retractor Banner

Black double footed base design with 3-piece shock-cord pole offers reliability and stability.  3 mil laminate is added to Dye Sub No Curl Media to protect your graphics from scratching and fraying. Media has a block-out film, so light will not shine through. Easily portable, includes carrying case.

Traditional banners are also great for advertising new products, best sellers or special promotions in and around your booth.

Create one message and develop your graphics, pre-show promotion, literature and show directory advertising around it. Keep it simple.

Be sure to adequately staff your booth (a good rule of thumb is to have 2 staff for every 100 square feet of exhibit space). You also want to make sure your staff dresses the part. This is where having the right trade show shirts will make your team look professional and also easy to pick out at your exhibit. Don’t forget to order Women’s tapered cut as required for both your staff and for giveaways.

Giveaways can also be a great way to attract attention to your booth and message. Corporate promo items are a must for brand awareness and generating interest in your services. At Myron, we recommend a multi-tiered approach for trade shows. Here are some rules to consider:

o Not all visitors are the same and should not be treated with the same value when it comes to gifting.
o Spend money on an item that is interesting, useful and will create a splash.
o Only give items to people who are on your target list and who actually spend the time to be educated about your services.
o Choose higher-end promotional merchandise or personalized gifts when your most valuable customers stop by. Make them feel special; not like everyone else.

Low cost items are an effective way to increase traffic to your show booth – free stuff is a huge draw for consumers and it is no different at trade shows.

Post Show

Almost 80% of show leads aren’t followed up after the show. To increase your chances of landing the sale  follow up with leads and keep the promise of sending information requested. Include an item like the Nico Promo Pen and follow up with a phone call.

Plan for all these details and you are well on your way to rocking your trade show. And one last important thing to remember – these shows are a place to make connections and build your business. Smile, enjoy yourself and connect with people on a one-to-one basis and through Social Media throughout the process. Tweet and Hashtag your way success. These tips will allow you to survive and thrive!

Trade Show Promo Products from Myron
From left: Econo Silicone Wallet, Royale Tech Pen, Hanes Beeft T-Shirt, Port & Company Brushed Twill Cap

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author: Terry Shatner is responsible for supporting vendor partnerships, product and sales operations at Myron. She is a strategic thinker with demonstrated success in marketing, promotions, the promotions industry, and sales operations in both B2C and B2B markets.

Do you know your trade show timeline?

Trade shows are a great opportunity to expand your brand’s reach and network with other professionals in your field. Exhibitor Online explained that only 28 percent of a given trade show’s attendees are from within 200 miles of the event – where else can you market to such a diverse group of customers in a single location?

However, you don’t want to waste this chance to grow your business. Even if your chosen trade show is over a year away, you should start preparing well ahead of the event itself. This way, you’ll have an accurate budget, plenty of promotional giveaways and – at the end of the show – more business cards and new clients than you can count.

12 to 9 months out
Though it doesn’t hurt to start planning even earlier, Trade Show Advisor recommended nailing down two things before your desired trade show is less than nine months away. First, you’ll want to come up with specific objectives you hope to achieve at the show. Do you need to bring in new clients, or are you trying to make connections with other businesses in your field for new partnerships down the road? Break everything down into numbers if possible – this will help you measure goals against results to tell you whether your trade show experience was a success.

TSA also explained that establishing clear objectives so far ahead of the event allows businesses to set a realistic budget. If you just want to meet other professionals, you might not need much overhead, but if you plan on interacting with clients and other attendees, promotional giveaways are a must. Budget for everything you need now so you’re not blindsided by costs later.

9 to 6 months out
Once you have all the conceptual work out of the way, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty details that will determine success or failure on the trade show floor. Before you’re half a year away from your event, Exhibitor magazine explained that you should start working on the pitch your sales representatives will use during conversations with attendees. The best pitches do their work in less than 30 seconds, but parsing your entire business into half a minute can be tough – that’s why you need all the time you can get to find the selling points and overall message that works for your brand.

This is also the perfect time to plan your physical presence at the trade show. Most companies rent out floor space when they can build small booths or displays, but there are so many different directions you can go with the design of your space. Will you go with a traditional table and banner setup or will you draw clients in with a design that turns your booth into a walkable space?

6 to 3 months out
Once you pass under the six month mark, it’s time to kick your preparation into high gear. This is the perfect time to order those promotional products you budgeted for so many months ago.

Because most trade shows draw a good number of attendees, you’ll want to order enough individual personalized products so you don’t run out. Myron’s Oscar Stylus Rollerball Pen combines affordability with functionality – the opposite end of the pen can be used to operate touch screens on smartphones, laptops and more. Customize it with your brand’s logo and a short pitch for guaranteed exposure.

3 months to showtime
The remaining weeks before the trade show should be spent on pre-event marketing activities, travel arrangements and staff training. However, if you’ve made it to this point and have all your promotional products ready to go like ducks in a row, odds are your trade show experience will leave you as satisfied as your sales numbers in the following months.

3 design tips for your next trade show booth display

You might think that digital advertising and a social media presence are the marketing waves of the future, and while every small business should focus on its digital outreach efforts, you still need to establish your brand within the industry in a tangible way. That’s where trade shows come in. These might seem counterintuitive when you’re trying to attract more customers, but becoming a trusted name among your peers will only serve to heighten your reputation with consumers.

According to the Trade Show News Network, 81 percent of show attendees have buying authority over their companies. You never know who’s looking at your products or services, which is why every second counts when it comes to drawing customers in and keeping them there. One lost art of trade show success is the physical design of your booth display, but nailing that with a unique and engaging look can be a major tool in your arsenal for trade show success. Check out these three ways you can capture more eyes at your next event and come back to the store a leader in your field.

1. Choose a unique shape
Consumers are a lot more discerning when it comes to cutting through marketing white noise, which means you’ll have to go above and beyond with booth design to draw in attendees. Instead of a folding table covered with a tablecloth and pamphlets, Hubspot explained how nontraditional shapes can be the arresting look you need to stop consumers in their tracks.

Whether you decide to create a towering structure or a mock-up of another location to promote your brand, Hubspot urged business owners to pay for grid space that’s more versatile and allows more configurations. A narrow strip only allows so many different looks, while a square or rectangular shape is much more flexible.

2. Get your brand out there first
Very few attendees have all day to spend meandering through the exhibition halls, so you need to make sure your booth is one of the first ones they visit when they arrive. You can do this by emphasizing your customized logo and name wherever possible, and no booth display is complete without Myron’s 60″ Full Color Promotional Banner. Position the banner in a high-visibility area, or angle it toward a section where you expect many attendees to congregate. If they won’t come to your booth, at the very least they’ll have seen the banner and acknowledged your brand to remember later.

3. Turn giveaways into contests
Consumers today are practically begging for brands that connect with them on a level beyond the traditional brand-to-consumer relationship. And while promotional giveaways are an essential part of success at any trade show, how you get them in the hands of attendees matters more than anything else.

Forbes magazine explained that, since every single company at trade shows is going to be giving out their own mementos, setting up contests or drawings where attendees win prizes turns an otherwise brief moment into a chance for meaningful interaction. Even if attendees don’t do anything with the actual promotional products, they’ll remember the fact that they were engaged with your brand at a level beyond that capable from a personalized pen.

It’s your job as a small business to keep your finger on the pulse of not only your community, but the industry your brand is operating in. There’s no better way to learn about competitors and partners than at a trade show, just like there’s no surer way to guarantee success than to double down on your promotional marketing product strategy.

How to make your booth stand out at a trade show

Trade shows are fantastic opportunities for businesses to gain exposure and show their products to a wide array of potential customers. However, in a sea of booths, your display might get overlooked if it’s too drab. To make the most of a trade show, your company’s booth needs to stand out and seem interesting to the crowd. Here are some tips on designing a trade show booth that attendees will be sure to stop at.

Invest in the best graphics
The backdrop of a trade show booth is the first thing people will focus on. Envision Creative, a design firm with experience in trade shows, recommended that a booth should have a full size, colorful graphic that spans the whole display. Skip the poster boards – they will appear unprofessional. Instead, hire a graphic designer to create a clean and aesthetically-appealing background for your booth.

Any information a passerby might need should be included on this main graphic. The business name and logo should be displayed prominently, as should the website or phone number. It’s also wise to have the company’s message or purpose on the display. However, it should be simplified to a sentence at most. Busy people aren’t going to take the time to read a page-long mission statement, especially when there are hundreds of other booths to visit.

Pick your products strategically
Depending on the size of the booth, you may not have room to display a whole line of products. It’s important that a trade show booth isn’t stuffed with products and overwhelming to customers. Having too many items on display can also dilute the message you’re trying to convey. Alexis Exhibits, which specializes in trade show displays, suggested that companies bring only their newest or best-selling products. These are likely to be the most impressive to visitors, and your representatives can always talk in depth about other products the company offers.

Make the booth interactive
Booths that make use of the latest, most popular technology will be more engaging to customers. Interactive displays and informative videos will draw people to your booth and keep them interested. The best videos will serve as a prompt for conversation that will give representatives a chance to further inform visitors.

Company representatives should also make the most of social media. Encourage visitors to tweet about their experience with a specific hashtag, or post pictures of your booth to Instagram.

Give away a product that represents your company
According to Envision Creative, having a promotional product to give away at a trade show increases traffic by 52 percent. The best products to entice visitors are ones that are useful, but also represent your company. Inc. recommended that you steer clear of over-used items like stress balls – they’re not unique and will likely end up in the trash. Instead, choose a product that is easily customizable and can be used even after the show ends. Pens, folders and thumb drives are classic choices, but an item that complements your services will leave a lasting impact on visitors.

An appropriate giveaway for an airline might be Travel Ear Plugs in Personalized Case. It’s compact, reusable and extremely useful for frequent flyers. An auto supply store could offer a Custom Ice Scraper Glove for customers in chilly climates. The possibilities for promotional giveaways are endless, but a unique product will attract more visitors and leave a lasting impression. Companies should choose an item that adequately represents the brand and will be appreciated by potential customers.

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