Archive for March, 2012

Motivational Speaker Asks – Does Your Hook Really Hook?

Posted on: March 24th, 2012 by Darren No Comments

motivational speaking hooksCreating a tagline that draws them instead of repels them.

As a motivational speaker, my tagline – or my one-sentence attention getter – is my first and maybe even last opportunity to draw a customer in. My market is crowded, my buyers have way too many choices, and the average attention span rivals that of a gnat. So I am challenged with the task of getting their attention – of standing up and sticking out above the noise – when I only have a few minutes. And I would venture to say that you are in the same position.

As sales people, vendors, trade show booth operators, marketers, entrepreneurs, and anyone trying to influence someone else to buy from us – we often only have a couple of minutes to get someone’s attention and keep it. Whether it’s on a website, painted on a banner, or spoken in an elevator, our million dollar tagline must get their interest and keep it – in a moment. So how is yours? Do you have that one winning line that gets their attention and opens the door for you to say more?

So what is your hook? I guess the first question is whether you even have one? I am amazed how often I ask someone what they do and it results in an overblown over wordy epistle that never really lands on anything of interest or value to me, and I find myself wanting to fake a heart attack to get out of the conversation. The hook is that one sentence – okay, maybe one really long sentence – that sums up what you offer them. Notice I didn’t say what you do, but what you offer. There’s a difference. A big one. And many of you don’t seem to know what the difference is. Maybe your company already wrote your hook and it sucks. (Sorry Mom for using the word “sucks.”) Make it your job to rewrite it – to find a better way to say it. You’re on the front lines. You know what your people need to hear. “I’m a financial planner” is not a hook. In fact, it makes me want to run. “I help people make their dreams come true” is a hook.

Is the hook about them? This isn’t about what you do. This is about how what you do or what you offer affects them. The hook is always about them. How you make their life better, their job easier, help them seek pleasure or avoid pain. “I’m a wedding coordinator” is all about you. “I take the stress off brides so they can enjoy their day” is about me.
Is it cool? The whole point of a hook is to hook – to GRAB their attention like a purple sequined pant suit in a church service. This world is noisy and crowded, and your buyer is surrounded by flashing images and creative ways of getting their attention. You have to keep up to get noticed. Are you using their language, or are you still speaking a VCR language to a DVR audience?
Is it relevant? I’m so tired of people telling me how long they’ve been in the business. I don’t care if you’ve been in the business for twenty-five years if you’re still wondering if you should use Facebook. Your credibility is no good if you aren’t relevant to the way I do business right now, or even tomorrow.

Is it short? Hooks are short. There is more power in brevity. The point is to tease, not to vomit. Yes, this is hard. I’m a writer and writing one line power phrases are my biggest challenge. I can write a book faster than I can write the title. But it’s just as important. There’s a reason why my book “Who Hijacked My Fairy Tale?” gets more attention than when I named it “How To Deal With Stress and Change.”

Is it different? Does it use exciting language instead of overused language? Be careful of the words that people have been using for years – words that mean something, but no longer really mean anything. Like “successful” for example. That word is done. Don’t tell me you help me become successful, because that word has been so overused that it doesn’t have power anymore. Find a new word that people haven’t beaten to death. It’s not that you have to come up with something new –just a new way to say the same thing.

Test your hook. How is your hook working? Try it out. Does it make them want to know more? Ask your friends. Not the ones who tell you want you want to hear, but the ones who tell you what you need to hear. Get feedback. If it doesn’t work, try something else.

Don’t take someone else’s hook. You both lose if you do that. Even if you change it a little, it’s still not a good idea. Be creative. Come up with your own idea. Cloning is never the way to getting business.

So there you go – some easy tips on creating a hook that hooks. Happy hooking! (That didn’t sound right. Well, hopefully you know what I mean.)

Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson is an award winning author, storyteller and comedian. Kelly teaches audiences how to “Stand Up and Stick Out” in a crowded market – because no one notices normal.

Looking For A Booth Traffic Builder In Las Vegas? Use A Convention Shoe Shine Professional

Posted on: March 24th, 2012 by Darren No Comments

professional shoe shine boothLas Vegas has firmly established itself as a hotspot for trade show exhibits and functions. Yes, this world renowned location has a reputation for ’round the clock fun and excitement, but it also has earned a status as a buzzing business hub for companies looking to promote services and wares as well as promote brand recognition on a global scale. Each year, businesses in every industry flock to this western locale to set up their exhibits and engage with the meandering masses to generate leads, network, and ultimately, close business.

While event attendance is rarely an issue at a Las Vegas function, companies that have successfully navigated through a Las Vegas tradeshow understand that enticing guests to visit their individual business booths is the key to leveraging and optimizing opportunities at each event. They also recognize that simply setting up a visually appealing exhibit and passively waiting for guests to stop in is just not enough. Instead, these savvy entrepreneurs proactively utilize traffic builder innovations to ensure that the crowd will feel compelled to check out their products and services more closely. If you’re looking for a convenient, non-intrusive traffic builder for your next Las Vegas event, consider offering guests a convention shoe shine.

What To Look For When Sourcing A Convention Shoe Shine Service

While the list of candidates is lengthy, it’s important to note that in order to maximize the ROI on these efforts, partnering with a professional convention shoe shine vendor is imperative. Look for providers that offer various services based on the potential lead. Just like some businesses opt to offer different levels of giveaways to passersby and more heavily engaged participants, a reputable convention shoe shine provider should offer your business different types of shoe shine services to appropriately reflect the level of interest of each guest.

You will also want to make sure the convention shoe shine provider you use will fit comfortably in your booth. Shoe shine professionals use an elevated chair for guests to sit in during their services. Most chairs, also called ‘thrones’, are large and only work well in bigger booths. But some convention shoe shine providers have noticed the trend in more compact booth spaces and have created smaller chairs that are ideal for 10×10 booths.

Important Features Of Using A Convention Shoe Shine Service As A Traffic Builder

Organizations that incorporate a convention shoe shine professional at a Las Vegas tradeshow enjoy a litany of features and benefits uniquely tied to these services. Chances are, everyone at the Las Vegas tradeshow will be wearing shoes. Unlike other methods designed to draw in a crowd that might only target a certain demographic, a convention shoe shine offers universal appeal.

Additionally, convention shoe shine professionals can also deliver unparalleled relaxation to visitors checking out your business booths. Yes, services like free massages and the like offer a relaxing option for exhibit guests, but successfully engaging with these potential clients during a massage can prove challenging at best. Providing a convention shoe shine offers guests an opportunity to sit, relax, and be treated like royalty.

Best of all, a convention shoe shine service offers your staff a captive audience to pitch to. Potential clients are completely at ease during the shine process, yet still able to engage with those around them, offering your stellar sales team the perfect opportunity to comfortably interact with them without feeling like they are trying too hard or interrupting. A true win/win for both customer and exhibitor! A Las Vegas convention shoe shine professional is an excellent traffic builder for any trade show booth.

Roger Green is the owner of A Vegas Shoe Shine, the leading provider of convention shoe shine services in the Las Vegas trade show industry. Shoe shines have been shown to improve an exhibitor’s ROI by attracting attendees into a booth, improving product visibility, and facilitating sales.

Justifying Quality Over Quantity

Posted on: March 15th, 2012 by Darren No Comments

lead tracking

Deep down we all know that quality trumps quantity but convincing management is often a difficult task.

When your senior manager compares your previous trade show results, which may have included hundreds of “so-called” leads to the high-quality leads you are now projecting, perhaps in the paltry double-digits, making the quality versus quantity argument can be a challenge…that is, unless you can prove it.

Proof takes a bit of work but if you adhere to the following steps, your next meeting with senior management will be a lot more rewarding for both your company and ultimately your career.

Rank your leads

Not all high-value leads are created equally. You may have some contacts who have a short term need for your products and services and others who have expressed a positive interest in working with you in the future but do not have an immediate need. Then there might be contacts that fall in the middle. These are the mid-range leads that have shown a definite interest, have a need that has been identified and want to work with your company as soon as they are prepared to focus on this need.

What we are doing with this simple analysis is dividing your potential contacts into three definite categories:

A = Immediate need
B = Mid-range need
C = Long term lead

You can expand your categorization of leads into as many categories as you deem necessary. For example ,it may make more sense for you to categorize leads by market sector, product interest, or level of buying authority.

Analyze the value of each category of lead

To create a measurement of value you need some company history. Talk to your sales people and learn the trends and patterns associated with the conversion of leads to sales. This analysis should uncover the average length of time it takes to convert each type of lead to a sale, the close ratio, the potential opening order, the cost of obtaining the lead and the net revenue of sales in a specific category.
The trick to this second step is to work in averages. For example, the length of time to convert a lead to a sale will vary greatly from one lead to the next. But when you compare a number of successful conversions a pattern begins to emerge.

Develop the formula

Take all of the details you have gathered to create a formula for measuring the success of your exhibit activities. Here is an example:

ABC Show
Category A – Immediate need

Number of projected A leads = 20
Average time to close = 4 weeks
Closing ratio = ¼1[1]
Cost of obtaining the lead = $ 500
Average opening order = $ 45,000
Revenue – net of cost = $20,000
ROI for category A
Net leads = 52[2]
Potential revenue (net leads X Revenue) = $100,000

Repeat this exercise for the other categories you have identified.

Calculate the non-monetary value

Not all leads lead to sales. Your exhibiting objective may be to create awareness of your brand with no intention of finding leads that close to sales or making media contacts. Finding a value in these activities has always been a challenge yet it doesn’t have to be. What’s needed is a focus on Return on Objective (ROO) rather than a Return on Investment (ROI) that was noted in the first example.

While ROO has a long term effect on the corporate bottom line, attempting to calculate its value in terms of revenue may be misleading. To accurately calculate ROO you need a bit more research. This time it’s with your marketing department who can help. What you will learn is the key messages that make up your brand experience and the profile of potential customers who your organization is targeting. In the situation where your objective involves public relations you will learn the names of the most influential media contacts as well as what and what cannot be said in an interview.

Your calculation now looks like this

ABC Show

Metric # 1 – Introducing brand message
Number of key decision makers and influencers attending the show = 300
Projected number of these people contacted during the show = 25
Number of completed surveys = 251[3]
ROO change in visitor awareness of brand = 50%
Metric # 2 – Media contacts
Names and numbers of key media contacts at the show = 35
Number interview is conducted = 10
ROO – Potential number of media mentions2[4] = 4

Integrate your findings

With your calculations of ROI and ROO in hand, you are now in a strong position to predict reliable outcomes for your exhibit expense. The final step is to integrate your calculations into your exhibit plans so you can easily determine your actual results against the projections. Now when you argue quality versus quantity you can back-up your argument.

Barry Siskind delivers over 100 keynotes, workshops, and seminars around the world each year. In addition to clients in North America, Barry has worked with exhibitors in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Bogotá, Columbia; Lisbon, Portugal; Bangkok, Thailand; Moscow, Russia; Zagreb, Croatia; and Quito, Ecuador. Barry Siskind, President of International Training and Management Company.

Tricks Of The Trade Shows

Posted on: March 15th, 2012 by Darren No Comments

trade show magic floor

A professional trade show presenter can be a great investment and one of the best ways to deliver your corporate message, attract attention to your exhibit, and ensure that the show attendees walk away from your booth knowing more than when they first arrived.

Trade show magicians
have been a popular trade show attraction since the early 1950s and they continue to be popular to this day.

There are many reasons why trade show magic is popular:

  • People love magic, especially when it’s done well by a professional and experienced trade show magician can draw dozens (if not hundreds) of prospects to the booth several times an hour.

So how can you find the right presenter for your exhibit?

If you look online, there are literally thousands of magicians to choose from–However, there are only a handful of those who are truly qualified to create a successful trade show program and deliver the results you are looking for i.e. attract a crowd, deliver a targeted sales message, qualify the crowd, and turn the gathered crowd over to your sales force for lead generation.

Here are some points to keep in mind when choosing a trade show magician for your company:

1) Experience

Make sure the performer you are considering has real trade show experience. Most of the magicians you will find online are general or even part time practitioners. You want to find a specialist, a performer who earn his or her living primarily by presenting at trade shows and corporate events.

2) A Track Record In The Trade Show Industry and Real-World References.

How many trade shows has the performer presented? A handful? A dozen? Or hundreds?

When looking for a trade show magician, check their website for references and testimonials and make sure that the performer can back up their claims by providing contact information for those testimonials. Some professional trade show magicians even have video testimonials that you can view.

A website peppered with dozens of corporate logos is no guarantee that the performer actually has worked for these companies. Demand proof.

3) What’s the Client Re-booking Rate?

I have been working trade shows for nearly 30 years and more than 90 percent of my clients re-book me at multiple shows, year after year. Anyone can work for a company once, but see if the talent has worked repeatedly for the same clients.

4) Delivering The Company Message And Qualifying Leads

Even if you are lucky enough to find an expert magician, it isn’t enough. The magician you’re looking to hire must be able to attract a crowd, deliver your company message, and qualify the crowd for your sales team.

trade show magic presentation
There is a big difference between a magician who performs his show with only an occasional mention of the company with a few
“buzz words” thrown in and a magician who has spent considerable time and effort time learning about your company and who can create a customized presentation that is not only entertaining, but also highlights the features and benefits of your company’s products and/or services at the professional level the show attendees are accustomed to.

By following the simple guidelines above, you should be able to find a well qualified trade show magician who can deliver the results you are looking for and help generate business for your sales team.

Seth Kramer is a trade show professional who helps companies maximize their trade show experience. He has presented at more than 500 trade shows throughout North America and Europe.

Integrating Smartphones And iPads Into Your Trade Show Marketing

Posted on: March 12th, 2012 by Darren No Comments

trade show marketingIt’s not surprising that some of the hottest trade show marketing trends revolve around capitalizing on new technologies. Technology is one sector of the economy that hasn’t slowed down a bit. As products get smaller, faster, and more widely accessible, these devices have become commonplace on the trade show floor.

As such, many companies are finding ways to integrate these new technologies into their tradeshow marketing products, booths, and displays. At the top of the list are smartphone and tablets.

Demonstrate New Technology With iPads And Smartphones

Many businesses have found smartphones, iPads, and tablets invaluable for demonstrating the capabilities of their new products. However, if your product or service isn’t one that lends itself well to digital demonstrations, you can always set out a few tablets or iPads as part of your trade show display. Stock the tablets with brochures and information about your company and products. The objective in this case is simply to draw passersby to your booth with the lure of playing around with the latest tablets. Once they’re in the booth, making the connection is up to you.

Another way to integrate smartphone technology into your tradeshow ideas is to take advantage of apps. There are even apps created exclusively for tradeshow marketing purposes. Many of these apps provide the user with information about the trade show schedule, exhibitors, product categories, and speaker listings.

Of course, one the biggest benefits to using smartphones and tablets is their ability to keep you connected to your prospects. Attendees and exhibitors can easily stay in contact before, during, and after the exhibition with these communication devices.

The Ultimate Giveaway

Who wouldn’t love to win an iPad? iPad giveaways are a great draw to your booth. Have attendees fill out the entry form and use the time as an opportunity to discuss their needs at the same time. Keep your own smartphone handy so you can enter their information electronically right away.

While you’re embracing new technology, consider expanding your reach with techie giveaways and promotional products. Screen cleaners, portable USB flash drive keychains, and cell phone holders all make great trade show giveaways and integrate seamlessly with your smartphone or iPad-centric display. Not only that, every time a recipient uses the giveaway, your name and contact information will be front and center.

Enhance Your Booth With Interactive Presentations

Smartphones and tablets are also excellent for interactive presentations. From QR Codes to “check in” apps, smartphone technology gives you more control over the information your target audience receives and how they receive it.

Take advantage of this by including QR codes in your booth. A quick scan puts your information right where you want it – in the consumer’s hands. Even if you don’t get a chance to talk to them, the visitor now has some of your most important information handy.

Make sure you “check in” to the trade show. Anyone following your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or other social media content will know exactly where to find you. Even better, create a FourSquare check-in location at your booth. This will drive attendees to your booth via phone GPS – much more reliable than a paper map!

Technology has moved beyond simply meeting our basic needs. It’s now fun and easily accessible. Don’t be afraid to play around with it. Integrating technology into your tradeshow marketing can be a highly effective way to generate buzz and excitement around your product or services.

How to Sell Without Selling At Trade Show Vendor Booths

Posted on: March 6th, 2012 by Darren No Comments

Working a trade show is not an easy challenge. You have to get attention, keep it, and create a window of opportunity, amidst a sea of other people trying to do the same thing. You spend a lot of time, energy, and money being represented at these trade shows. Are you making the most of this opportunity?

I don’t do trade shows. I’m a motivational speaker who speaks at lots of these conferences and walks the trade show floor. I see people making the same mistakes, time after time. So I bring a different perspective – the one on the other side of your table.

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. They are walking into a room full of sales people. How would you feel if you were in their shoes? How would you want to be treated? What would get your attention? Constantly think about the relationship from their perspective.

Get to know them instead of trying to sell them. Selling is about establishing a relationship. You never go on a date and start by listing the features and benefits of what you have to offer.

Have a hook. Maybe it’s chocolate – maybe it’s a cool promo item – maybe it’s a free gift. Have something that will get their attention.

Stand up and stick out. Don’t find ways to be better than the others – find ways to be different from the others. People notice different.

Be real. Don’t be slick. People don’t want to be sold. They want to trust and like you. Be you – at least the sober version anyway.

Compliments go a long way. Give me a canned hello and I will keep my distance – compliment my shoes and I will stay in your booth forever.

Ask questions and listen first. Then provide solutions for their problem.

Make the most of your formal pitch. If you have two minutes in front of the entire group – find a way to do something different from the thirty-nine others in line behind you.

Follow up. Many people lose opportunities because they simply don’t bother to follow up.

Create an atmosphere of laughter and fun. People remember positive emotional experiences. So give them one.

Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson is an award winning author, storyteller and comedian. Kelly teaches audiences how to “Stand Up and Stick Out” in a crowded market – because no one notices normal.

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