In today’s competitive business landscape, Big Data is changing the way we convey our messages. But what the masterminds of the business world are trying to figure out is how to take a plethora of information and find a simple yet effective way to present it to a consumer audience that keeps them engaged and asking questions. One solution is infographics, and one of the best methods for utilizing this platform is through an innovative trade show display booth that will help you standout as a leading industry authoritarian at every trade show event you participate in.
So what Defines the Best Infographics?
Defining what constitutes a great infographic is not so simple. Not every strand of data has to conform to the translation of unique and creative communication. Even the best graphic designers may not understand a consumer audience or how to present the data in a compelling manner. At the end of the day, the best infographics will cause audiences to discover you, devour your products and share them with others in their sphere of influence.
Why Infographics Spell Big Business
Consumers are visual creatures; they like to be visually stimulated by a product before shelling out the cash. According to HubSpot, 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual and those visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than reading text. Furthermore, those who use infographics grow in traffic an average of 12 percent more than those who don’t. Finally, 40 percent of people show better response to visual information versus plain text. By incorporating inforgraphics into your marketing materials and trade shows, you can expect an increase in traffic and better engagement with your consumer bases.
Who Creates the Best Inforgraphics?
In order to find a developer who can create the best infographics to promote your brand, products and services in a way that makes sense and that will usher results, one must seek the assistance of a professional who understands the psychology of business marketing and who is an exceptional graphic designer. There are a number of companies that design and produce custom trade show booths, and this field is the best place to find someone who can understand your concept, vision and make it work on a successful level. When looking for the best full-service digital graphics provider, you will want to find a company that has the following points on its resume:
- Well established in the industry with decades of experience
- A wide range of clients from various industries
- Able to produce high caliber prints on a moment’s notice
- Be priced reasonably and competitively
- Works with clients big and small
A professional digital graphics design company with the skills to produce advantageous infographics will have seen and done it all; from producing material for major motion picture studio companies to making extraordinary trade show display booths for budding new entrepreneurs, the company will be willing and able to tackle projects of all sizes. Do your research and find a company that can work alongside you as your partner in visual marketing.
In order to be successful at trade shows, you need to have the right attitude that will see you through times high and low. Attracting clients, showcasing products, closing sales and dealing with rejection are all skills that fit neatly into the mold that defines your sales attitude. By understanding the various strands that help define a successful and productive sales attitude you can enhance your trade show success and find new ways of gaining those vital business relationships.
One way a successful sales pro can project their attitude is through visual marketing materials, and when it comes to trade shows having a custom trade show booth that exhibits your mission statement, brand, products and services is essential to communicating with your clients. When you partner with a company to design and build your booth you will want to ensure they are implementing the marketing touch in everything they do from color choice to imagery in order to relay your brand’s attitude.
Another visual aid to convey a company’s attitude is the usage of original and memorable imagery. One of the primary challenges in introducing a new product to the market is to have consumers remember it and easily differentiate it from competitor devices. The goal should be to develop a language or image that sticks in people’s minds so they remember you months down the road. For example, DropBox uses childish drawings as a visual language to differentiate themselves from other storage devices and the Keebler cookie company uses little elves as their mascots that standout in the consumer conscious when browsing a massive grocery store aisle of cookie options.
Color is a powerful vehicle for conveying attitude, and when drafting a plan to communicate brand attitude color and marketing go hand-in-hand. Major companies like Subway and Lego rely heavily on color in their branding and are successful at representing their brand’s attitude while marketing a need for their products. Subway’s use of yellow stimulates hunger and represents body purification and Lego’s use of red conveys high energy and the desire to play. By sampling the rainbow and tapping into the psychological meaning of color, you can market more effectively while revealing a little attitude in your brand and products.
Your Sales Team
All too often trade show sales teams will be over zealous and drive consumers away. Remember, people paid money to attend the trade show and this means they have an interest in your industry and they want to learn. People want to spend money but they also want to feel like they learned something and formed a relationship with a company. If your company’s attitude includes customer loyalty, strength, success and commitment then the last thing you will want your sales team to do is “corner people” and trap them into a sale. This shows desperation and a lack of faith in the product and any veteran buyer will pick up on it. Train your sales team to stand tall, smile, ask qualifying questions, and empathize with a client’s needs.
Do Some Brand Soul Searching
Are you really doing everything you can to have a winning attitude and communicate your brand’s philosophy? CBS News says that part of a strong sales attitude requires one to do some soul searching and ask themselves the following questions:
- ·Do you read inspirational material and use positive affirmations?
- Do you believe people are as happy as they want to be?
- Do go over, under, around, or through any obstacle to get the job done?
- Are you persistent even in the face of disappointment?
- Do you constantly improve your performance and knowledge?
- Do you think BIG (even when you’re dealing with the small-minded)?
- Are you truly committed to being of service to others?
- Are you willing to frequently leave your comfort zone?
- Are you a consummate professional (and act like one)?
- Do you accept change willingly as a part of sales and life?
If you answer “yes” to all of these questions, you have a strong foundation for a successful attitude that will get you far in your trade show participation.
Your trade show identification badge may have the word “sales” in it, but if you haven’t mastered how to read body language while controlling your own, you could be crippling your potential client’s faith in you, your products and your services. You could also run the risk of losing customers. Having the best custom trade show displays is paramount to drawing valuable foot traffic, but without having an education in the art of body language, you run the risk of losing people.
Green and Red Light Signals
According to ‘Forbes’ body language and sales are decisive partners for indicating engagement behaviors. The publication states they foretell “interest, receptivity or agreement while disagreement behaviors signal boredom, anger or defensiveness”. Understanding these behavioral symptoms will help sales pros identify obstacles to closing the deal and help them alter their strategy to get a signed contract. Knowing these signs will also help sales professionals curve and control their own body language.
You know you have the green light for promoting a product when the client gives away a number of physical clues. His words may say one thing, but if his eyes open wider, his gaze lingers and his pupils dilate you can rest assure he is interested. Another clear sign is that when he looks at other items his gaze keeps returning to the previous one. It is well known that people look with more frequency on things they like.
On the flip side you can assume a red light when the client shows the reverse of these bodily signals. All too often a potential client will act polite and try to fake interest before making his getaway. When a sales person can identify this he can step in and remove that product with one that may usher a more favorable reaction. When the levels of eye contact decreases or the client looks past you into space and therefore is not making eye contact, you are losing him and had better change your tactics quickly. Disengagement triggers can also include repetitive eye squints, especially when the client is reading a sales contract. Anger can be assumed if the client flares his nostrils and twitches his body.
Decoding a Smile
For the most part head nodding and smiles are indicative that a person likes what they see and agrees with you. But faking a smile is also a hallmark strategy used by disinterested parties who want to be polite and make an escape. If a smile only involves the mouth’s muscles it is surely fake. However, if the smile is accompanies by facial muscles such as an elevation in the cheeks and a crinkle in the corner of the eyes, it is likely very genuine.
Shoulders and Mid Section
Your ultimate objective is simple: engaging trade show customers and qualifying them for your products and services. Paying attention to how they position their shoulders and torso can reveal their true feelings regarding your sales presentation. Studies have indicated that if a person likes what a salesman has to say the shoulders are relaxed and the client moves closer to the salesman thus reducing the space between them. Also, if the client’s torso is straight and facing the sales professional rather than being angled off to one side, he is likely viewing the products favorably. However, if the shoulders are positioned at a 7 o’clock angle accompanied with ones hands in their pockets they are likely uninterested and bored.
Your Body Language
We all know that people buy from those they like. Nobody wants to listen to a lifeless sales pitch or invest trust into a stale, emotionless person. When sales people project an image of low energy they are saying, “I am bored and my products are boring”. However, when someone is lively, has a spring in his step and bounces as he moves, he is projecting positive energy while painting his brand and products golden.
High-energy sales pros that know how to read a client’s body language will have a greater chance at making the day a success than those who are bland and stationary. By learning how to read body signals you should be able to better communicate, present your products and attain more customers.
It may seem you have all your marketing ducks in a row; you have your business cards, skilled employees to work the trade show crowds, one of the best custom trade show booths on the floor that attracts would-be clients into your space, and the skills of a finely tuned salesman to promote your brand and form new business relationships. But have you written a single blog, made a tweet or shared content on LinkedIn and Facebook? If not you are missing out on a plethora of business and networking opportunities.
When social media platforms are implemented into your online marketing strategy, you can expect to drive more visitors to your trade show booth on the big day. But if your website is hosted on a platform that isn’t indexed with the search engines, you will be wasting your time and effort. When WordPress first came out it got a bad rap as being known simply for blog software, but this couldn’t be further form the truth.
When looking under the hood of the WordPress vehicle you will discover a number of cylinders that draw the search engine spiders to pick up your site’s content and help move you up the ladder to better organic placement in Google. WordPress is indexed for the search engines and offers a number of benefits that include little to no money, greater accessibility, ease of use (including free tutorials) and social networking friendliness. Running social media campaigns from a WordPress powered website will give you better results and open up a whole new massive audience to your brand, products and services.
LinkedIn is a great social media site for professional networking, but it is also a great stage for drawing people to your trade show booth. In fact according to ‘USA Today’ LinkedIn and marketing go hand in hand ever since the launch of LinkedIn Pulse—a site that amalgamates a news aggregation app into the network that allows people to share your blogs and comment on them while syncing the desktop version of the network. Not only will this practice boost your SEO (search engine optimization); it will also project your brand and trade show updates in front of more people. Finally, LinkedIn offers a number of community groups to join that focus on trade shows and a variety of industries. The opportunities are endless.
How many times have you checked your personal Facebook account to discover that one of your friends is bored at the DMV while another friend posted a photo of a lobster dinner they are about to eat? You could probably care less, but there are always those people who “like” it of leave a remark. By creating a Facebook account or business page entirely separate from your personal account, you can share valuable business information and updates on your trade show activities to a wide audience. Look at it this way: the average Facebook user has 200 friends, and with 1.19 billion monthly users worldwide, you can’t afford to miss out on the future clients and networks within the fold. When it comes to successful trade show participation, you can count on Facebook to spread your blog, latest product news and direct customers to your booth.
Trade show success can more or less be broken down into a simple mathematical formula that is, unfortunately, not always so simple to follow: capturing an audience + engaging spectators = sales. Trade shows are advantageous because they attract people who can benefit from products and services within your industry, and these people have money to spend. However, you will be competing with 100+ other vendors who are struggling to capture the spot light and stand out as the industry expert.
Having the best custom trade show booths at your trade show events are part of the formula necessary to having a successful and profitable experience. But mastering the art of conversation, earning trust and being persuasive are the remaining components needed to fuel your trade show booth so it streamlined, high performance and motors its way to the finish line with a spike in sales and new clients added to the books.
The Trade Show Rules of Attraction
Attracting people to your booth requires giving them an incentive to step inside your space. Having an aesthetically pleasing booth that showcases your brand and products in a vibrant manner is essential. Keeping the space clutter-free and open is also important, as nobody wants to step over trash bins or knock elbows when they turn around. Also, having some additional decorative elements can also help stimulate visual curiosity. For example, if you are at a gardening trade show, consider dangling some strategically placed strawberry plants or living ivy. If you are at a scuba trade show cut a scuba tank in half that failed an inspection and use it to house your complimentary key chains or bottle openers.
If you can attract people into your booth by appealing to the other human senses, go for it! Having complimentary fresh brewed coffee or iced tea is a crowd pleaser. When people step in to help themselves to a free drink, use that moment to engage them in conversation.
Engaging Your Public
Don’t be a shark or you will evacuate the waters of opportunity. When you engage people in conversation keep in mind that they know good and well you are attempting to sell them and earn their business. The ‘Huffington Post’ reminds sales professionals that part of any good sales strategy is to never hand someone a sales pitch. Don’t be pushy and aggressive; it will just make you look desperate. Instead smile, make eye contact, be friendly, and make a general remark about the trade show before engaging the person in a deeper conversation. Ask what they do, what products they use, and what their likes and dislikes are regarding their current setup.
Calm and Closing
People can sense urgency and desperation. When you move in for the close you should be cool, calm and steady. Stand tall and confident, but be relaxed. After qualifying the customer’s needs and showing him products he can benefit from, closing a sale requires trade show participants to assume the sale. Don’t ask, “shall we do business together?” Instead say, “so let’s set you up with a dozen now, will that be Visa , Amex or Master Card?” Assuming the sale will relay to the client that he is already committed to doing business and the deal is a no-brainer.
Participating in a trade show can be a valuable investment, but in some cases the overall cost will not justify the involvement. In order to ensure that participation makes financial sense with a projected handsome return on your investment, you need to make sure all your ducks are lined up. This means participating in the right trade shows, having a display that draws clients in, researching your competition and you must offer attractive promotions.
The Right Trade Show
Trade shows are expensive, so it is important you only participate in the right ones. According to ‘Forbes’ choosing the right trade show should involve asking peers where they exhibit their products. It is also advantageous to consult numerous trade associations in order to learn about their shows and other venues they could recommend for your specific industry. ‘Forbes’ explains that trade associations can be excellent resources because they will have an educated and expansive understanding of your business platform and market.
Choosing the right trade show also involves being practical. For example, if you only distribute nationally it may not be financially rewarding to attend an international trade show stocked with hundreds of vendors with years of international experience. And if you are considering the international stage, don’t jump into a pool that is too deep; start by building a solid national reputation and once your identity has spread start dipping into the “kiddie pools” of international trade shows. These trade shows often showcase national and international dealers and provide great opportunities for brands to start marketing to overseas audiences.
The Must-Have Display Booth
Regardless of the type or size of the trade show you are participating in, you will need to choose from one of many custom trade show displays to make your booth stand out above the rest. Partnering with a company that can develop a custom trade show booth display in an aesthetically pleasing way that really makes your brand shine is important for business, but finding a company that understands your products and shares your goals will help make the display even more successful. A display should not only be a head-turning piece designed by marketing artists; it should represent the solid relationship between the display company and you the client.
Understand Your Competition
Sun Tzu said it is important to “know thy enemy” if one is to be successful in battle, and understanding and knowing your competitors will help you win the trade show wars. It is wise to research what your competitors are doing, their product specs and their marketing platforms. Also, check to see what trade shows they attended and are scheduled to participate in. You can even monitor what your biggest competitors are doing at the trade show by going stealth and engaging in some intelligence gathering.
Be Innovative and Promote
If you can’t do something that strays away from the trade show norms, you may not get the return on your investment you would otherwise. A trade show can be worth your investment if you offer attractive promotions through innovative and creative schemes. For example, you can offer a free product in the form of a raffle to draw people to your booth. This works especially well for newbies who are trying to draw a slice of the audience to their display and product line. One creative trade show marketing device is to implement technology into your booth. There are a number of companies that make augmented reality apps that can be customized to your brand and help you offer your trade show promotions in fun and innovative ways that will keep people talking all year long. Do some research and find out how you can take advantage of interactive technology platforms to help raise the trade show bar.
Maximizing your earning potential demands you network with as many industry professionals as possible and expand your client list on an annual basis. But doing so requires two primary hooks: (1) having one of the best trade show display booths to turn heads and market your brand and products with a visually stunning design and (2) mastering the art of direct -ales skills.
Embracing a number of direct-selling techniques within the context of building personal relationships with customers will help you increase your client roster and usher in more sales. Having a custom trade show display booth is essential for attracting customers but once you engage them face-to-face you will need to go into stealth mode and employ the techniques of your sales craft.
One of the first face-to-face sales strategies any trade show participant must master is the opening. The most successful sales strategies remove the rigidness of a common business interaction by replacing it with a friendly encounter that two guys might share at a local sports bar. Go ahead and engage in the traditional and expected handshake, but follow through with a friendly pat on the shoulder. Smile and use your body language to build comradery. By implementing a friendly atmosphere into your open you will help your potential client relax and lower his guard.
One of the best ways to grab a potential client’s attention it to make an emotional appeal. For example, if you are selling mattresses you will want to go beyond the obvious selling point as to how the mattress will make the buyer feel when he is laying on it. You will want to sell the object’s actual properties and relate them in terms of a human experience. If the mattress is made from a unique material designed to work with the owner’s body temperature you will want to sell your audience on this feature, but go into detail about the humanity surrounding the science. If NASA scientists developed this sleep technology to accommodate astronauts in the space station, tell the story and sell the mattress as owning a piece of aeronautic scientific history while relaying that people who own this mattress sleep on the same thing that rests the driven and brave pioneers of space exploration. A little narrative in your sales pitch can go a long way at the trade show.
A good salesperson will lead their prospect into action through the battlefield of addressing objections. Often a customer won’t understand how a product can benefit them, but getting the client active by having him talk through his concerns will clear the clouds of uncertainty.
Before this can be completed, the salesperson must get inside the customer’s head. The ‘North Idaho Business Journal’ states that the best sales techniques involve the salesperson tailoring the sales approach to match their individual buyers—a skill that will allow the sales pro to re-direct client objections and demolish those doubts by replacing them with an epiphany orchestrated on needs.
By the time a client throws up walls you will already know enough about him to use that information to chisel away at his doubt. But instead of you pointing out these facts you will get further if you lead your client into addressing these issues himself. All you need to do is lead him to the realization by asking open-ended questions. Once your client has vocalized the newly discovered benefits to your products but still shows hesitancy in pulling the trigger offer to bundle or cross-sell products. This will sweeten the deal and make it impossible for your prospect to refuse.
Trade shows provide one of the best opportunities for gaining new clients, networking with other vendors and increasing your brand awareness. You can have one of the hottest trade show booths at the event, but by following these four tips you can pack up and go home knowing that some extra effort really paid off.
Polish Your Personality
In some cases a business professional will invest his time on the Internet to find a business that makes custom trade show booths that boast stunning graphics and portray your brand with visual power, but in order to have a successful trade show your personality must be as equally contagious. Don’t sit behind your table and stay seated while talking; get up, move around, and smile. Most people are not “natural game show hosts”, but when you are at the trade show you must be an actor and stay in character with a 24/7 grin plastered to your face while acting like you just won a million bucks. After your display booth draws people to you, your energy and enthusiasm is what will turn an interested onlooker into a client.
Use Specific Language
When engaged in conversation with a potential client you will want to present case study and research data to give them an incentive to trust your product, but be specific. According to ‘Forbes’ one way on how to have a successful trade show is to give data to strengthen your product without rounding numbers. When you tell someone that 90 percent of the study subjects loved the product it won’t convey the drama and power of a number like 92.6 percent. Another reason for being detailed in presenting data is that the numbers will be more believable and not likely an exaggerated or estimated figure.
Using Business Cards Correctly
One of the most challenging aspects of a trade show is to engage a good number of people in conversation and qualify them for your products or services. In many cases people will shake hands and part ways with all the intentions in the world to check out your products in more detail but will either forget or get too busy to bother. Using business cards the right way can help rescue these potential clients from becoming lost. Simply keep your business cards in your right pocket and, after qualifying potential clients, hand them your business card and ask for theirs in return. When they give you their card write on it; mark down any qualifying notes that make them a good candidate for your products. Then when you get home e-mail them and tailor your message specifically to that conversation you had. This method helps you stay organized, record accurate data and reach out to new business opportunities.
Regardless of how good or bad your booth location is you will want to have an employee out in traffic directing people to your booth. This staff member must use excellent communication and personable skills to help move people to your products. Just because you may have one of the best trade show booths doesn’t mean you should sit in it using its aesthetics and head-turning graphics to reel people in; you will want someone to add a personal touch to your traffic flow by giving them an incentive to come visit. Have a lottery prize giveaway and train your employee to use this as an incentive for people to visit your booth.
You don’t have to have a colossal trade show display to draw clients to your brand and products. Besides, if your allocated space is a small one, less can be more. All too often a business will invest in a display that is far too big for the space and dwarfs the products they are showcasing. In other words, consumers will focus more on the massive display than on the products. But the best table top trade show booths create a promotional venue for a small space and with a focus that compliments both the display itself and the products and services being offered.
Make the Most of Your Space
If you have a small space reserved at the trade show, you will want to create a larger sense of space by keeping your setup simple and minimal. According to the mega home improvement corporation Lowe’s there are a number of ways to make a small room appear larger, and many of these tactics can be applied to trade show booth space scenarios. For example, use a light or neutral color scheme for your trade show display. Ice blue with white accents would be uncommon yet aesthetically pleasing and make the space appear larger while highlighting your company logo and making your products stand out. Also, limit the number of accessories to avoid clutter. Your display, products, and marketing materials with one or two accent pieces should be enough. Finally, using a glass table or counter will create a feeling of openness.
When enlisting the help of a professional trade show display designer you will want to discuss your mission and marketing goals with them. Consider commissioning a design that stays essential to your brand and products, but that is creative and eye catching. Smaller trade show displays shouldn’t have extra graphics like fire works, twirling flags, and all that glitter and glam. Your display should clearly highlight your products and services, and parade your logo before the masses but without the “tacky flare”. There are many options for trade show booth colors and choosing one with your designer that compliments your logo’s color is essential for creating a clean, professional look to make the most of your small space.
Know the Floor Plan
Knowing the trade show’s floor plan can help you make the right decisions to keep your space minimal and appear larger. Before having a trade show display designed, make sure you know every detail of the trade show floor plan. You will want to know how your booth space is affected by the following:
- Exits and entrances
- Registration Area
- Food service areas
- Elevators and escalators
- Conference rooms
- Power sources
Things like windows and food service areas can cause major distractions, while elevators, restrooms, and exits can cause a cluster of foot traffic that will likely obscure your small booth from potential clients. If you wind up getting stuck in a space with one of these potential distractions there are ways you can overcome these challenges. If there is a window in your space offering a stunning city view place a custom banner stand in front of the window so people will focus on you and not the skyline. If your booth is near a place that will likely draw traffic jams ask your trade show display designer to create an extra tall display while keeping within the parameters of minimalism.