Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

Three Ways to Maximize Your Trade Show Investment

Posted on: November 29th, 2016 by admin No Comments

A trade show is an investment in your company, and you should take the time to treat it as such. It may seem simple, but it takes time to develop measurable goals for the show. Here are three trade show strategies to help you market your company and maximize your return on investment.

Plan Ahead 

  • Determine Your focus: Will you be launching a new product? Promoti31943028 - trade show meaning world fair and exportng brand awareness? Building a fresh leads list?  Each of these goals require a unique approach.
  • Research the Show and Its Attendees: Is this the proper venue for what you are trying to achieve? Will this be the right show for you to push retail sales or build business relationships? How many of your direct competitors will also have booths? How will you stand out from them?
  • Be Memorable: Interest creates interest! Capture attention by renting a Cash Cube Money Blowing Machine or Bingo Blower. Renting or purchasing a trade show attraction is just a phone call away! How about some useful custom promotional items? Consider options like custom USB drives, household tools or sports items.

Promote Before and After The Show

  • Social Media: Once you plan the details your event, get the word out well in advance. People will be excited to visit your booth for the chance to spin the Prize Wheel or play a custom Scratch Card.
  • Trade Show Publications: Each show will offer several ways for companies to participate in their printed material.  Print a voucher for an extra turn on a Plinko Board to attract people to stop by your booth. Do a half or full-page color advertisement listing all of the attractions at your booth to ensure guarantee that your booth has a crowd of people waiting to try their hand at attractions like the Prize Safe!
  • Leads, Leads, Leads!: Maximize your social media efforts by collecting relevant information as part of the effort. These generated leads can be turned into appointments booked at the show. Don’t stop there – follow up with leads after the show and offer company consolation prizes for being a valued part of your audience.

Be Ready

  • Staff Accordingly: Whether you are looking for new clients, retail customers or to develop relationships with existing clients, make sure you bring your company’s best! Ensure your staff is aware of your goal for the show so that they can help you achieve it. Assign each booth attendant an area of focus and direct attendees accordingly to keep the booth running smoothly during peak times.
  • Too Much is Better Than Not Enough: Make sure you have enough staff coverage – if traffic is slow any extra employees can be sent home. It’s better to have too many promotional products to giveaway than not enough.

There are so many ways to make yourself memorable. It’s worth the effort to plan in advance and maximize the benefit for your trade show investment!!

Reaching Niche Markets

Posted on: February 29th, 2016 by admin No Comments

As many business owners know, if you pitch your product or service to everyone, you may end up selling to no one. Figuring out your niche market – where you fit in- gives you precise direction on where to cast your marketing net. Traditional wide-net advertising (radio, tv and print) are great for letting the public know you exist, but there are often enough holes in such marketing tactics that many potential client sources are missed.

What is a niche market?


A niche market is a specific sector of a larger audience. It should consist of specific products/services for a specific group of customers. For example, if you sell artist supplies, your niche might be brushes designed specifically for professional painters.

Choosing a niche market

I find that one of the biggest mistakes a startup can make is not defining their niche market before they launch. Startups tend to be overly full of excitement and confidence that can land them in the category of “messy.” By defining a niche market from the beginning, you are able to laser focus your energy, time and finances to success. I love niche markets because it allows the business to set themselves apart from competition as an expert in their industry while developing more intimate relationships with customers.

Stand out, be different

Practically every industry you can think of is saturated with companies offering the same (or similar) products and services. If you’re not doing something different, something amazing, people have no reason to buy from you. When choosing your niche target market, do research and see what needs of this niche market aren’t being met by your competition and then meet it!

Multiple niche markets

Under rare circumstances, a company may succeed by targeting only one niche market. It’s common to see these companies revenue top out, once they have saturated their own market. Once you’ve tapped into one niche market and it’s working, don’t be afraid to tap into additional niche markets. I prefer to keep my niche markets relative so that they can benefit each other. For example, let’s say you make and sell a diverse line of children’s clothing to small boutiques. While you sell many different types of children’s clothes, you’ve had great success in your niche market of children’s sportswear. You’re looking to expand into a new niche market. The big question here is, do you continue to push your sportswear collection to a different type of store, or do you find a new market for a different division of your clothing? Where can you make make the most impact with your relationships and expertise?



About the author: William Hall is a seasoned business coach specializing in branding, social media and promotional events. William has spent his career teaching businesses of all sizes how to stand out in the crowd while using marketing dollars most effectively. His clients are continuously thankful for his out-of-the-box ideas that lead to increased revenue, more clicks and a bigger online presence.


Drive Traffic and Sales at Your Marketing Event with Money Machines

Posted on: November 30th, 2012 by admin No Comments

hardcase-money-machineA smart business owner is always looking for creative new ideas to build traffic at the next store event. Whether it’s your first grand opening promotion or one of your regular store promotions, adding an exciting attraction will draw crowds, increase sales, and even generate free publicity.

Ideas4Events offers many different event marketing products for car dealership promotions, trade show marketing, bank marketing, casino event marketing, and more. Across the board, one of our most popular event entertainment products is the money machine or cash cube.

Money Machine Basics

You’ve probably seen money machines at trade shows or other events. Maybe you’ve even used them yourself. The contestant steps into a booth of blowing money and has a limited time to grab as much cash as possible. It’s fun and exciting, and the energy of the event brings curious onlookers over who might not have been planning to visit at all.

Think you can’t afford this promotion? Sure, the high-end hard case money machines have flashing lights, sirens, and customizable displays but there are budget Money Machines other options for the budget-restricted business. Table top cash cubes or inflatable money machines are less expensive choices that still generate huge crowds.

Money Machines Mean Conversions

With a little thought these terrific traffic generators can convert traffic into sales.

The problem with cash is that the customer can have fun at your business, then go next door to spend the money! Instead of cash, fill the machine with vouchers for your business. Not only does this mean the winnings automatically go back into your store, but it gives the customer an incentive to buy. If they leave, they are throwing their winnings away.

Cash vouchers are better than percent-off coupons. Let’s say you offer travel packages that average $1000 each. If a customer grabs a 10% coupon, there is an incentive to buy but not a strong one. It’s still just a piece of paper that has no intrinsic value to the average person’s mind. Replace that coupon with a $100 voucher and suddenly it feels like real money. It’s a lot harder to throw away something that says $100 than something that says 10%.

Combine Promotions For Even More Sales

Instead of letting everyone try the machines, which leads to long lines and frustrated customers, try something like a prize wheel. The customers spin the wheel and the grand prize might be 25 seconds in the cash cube.

If you label every space on the wheel as a prize then all your customers feel like winners. You can be a winner too by making those prizes small promotional items such as coffee cups or t-shirts, all emblazoned with your logo.

The bigger the event, the bigger the attention. A large enough sales promotion can attract the attention of local media, meaning TV and radio promotions that you don’t have to pay for.

Smart business promotion means taking simple ideas and expanding them in new and creative ways. Anyone can find a money machine for rent, but the clever business owner can turn a simple promotional tool into a major sales event.

About the Author
Jonathan Edelman provides exciting trade show marketing ideas, including advice about prize wheels, customizable scratch-off cards, money blowing machines, and other exciting trade show attractions. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, lead generation techniques, and networking with trade show vendors. Helping to build a referral-generating system, his ideas continuously lead to a boost in sales and revenue.

Sales and Marketing Departmental Cooperation: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Posted on: November 14th, 2012 by admin No Comments

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?We’re going to talk about doing a better job staying in touch with other parts of the corporate family and how to get along with the more – let’s say estranged parts of the company. And since I am still the TradeShow Teacher, we’ll put all this into the context of improving your trade show results!

This is an important lesson that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The extent of your success can be linked directly to your collaboration with colleagues, departments, management and at times outside consultants. Unless you have cooperation and communication with other key stakeholders in your company, your trade show efforts have no chance of achieving their full potential.

Sales and Marketing: The “Primary Players”
While there are many departments that contribute to your company’s trade show success, the primary players are the sales and marketing teams. Not surprisingly, the interactions of those departments will be the focus of this lesson. Surprisingly enough, the two departments that should work the closest together on trade shows commonly have the biggest “disconnect” between them.

What I see over and over again working with all sorts of clients is what I call “The Great Sales and Marketing Divide”; and we’re not talking a little rift here, we are talking about the proportions of the Grand Canyon. Only too often Marketing goes ahead with independently planning the shows and delivers sales with some results when the show is over and is all happy with their achievements while Sales thinks it was all a big waste of time.

The first reason for that is that marketing people tend to be a more creative bunch; they like to think of ways to get their message out, to get people excited and to do cool stuff. I am not saying that marketing departments aren’t doing a good job using metrics, science and research in their work, but Marketing’s activities are nowhere near as measurable as Sales results. Sales people by the nature of their job have to have a different mindset. They must never be too shy to ask a customer for business, they have to learn just how pushy they can be and have to meet strict quotas. There usually is a reason why sales people are not in Marketing and marketing people aren’t in Sales. Very often Marketing and Sales have fundamentally different expectations from the same show. That is why it’s especially important for those departments to learn how to effectively communicate so joint, anticipated results can be achieved.

When I was a corporate trade show manager, one of the most valuable lessons I learned was to work particularly close with the Sales department to learn exactly what they were looking to get from the shows. What could I do to help them meet sales goals and increase company revenue? Listening to their needs and implementing new processes to support those needs turned my trade show results from mediocre to outstanding! So let’s explore this some more.

Sales is Marketing’s Client
While this can be a challenging, in some cases possibly frightening thought for some marketing departments, the most important thing you can take-away from this lesson is that the sales department is ultimately the marketing department’s client. Just as any customer has particular needs, so does the sales department.

The probably biggest misconception marketing people have is that there is a correlation between the number of leads collected and the success of a trade show. If the leads don’t meet the criteria of prospects’ the sales department can sell to, sales teams are wasting trying to follow up with duds!

Since the sales department depends on Marketing to deliver them with qualified sales leads, one of the first things to determine is how Sales and Marketing can collaborate to improve the quality of leads and understand desired quantities. Yes, even too many qualified leads can be a bad thing; assuming you spent extra dollars to generate them but don’t have the sales resources to properly follow up in a timely fashion. Coordination and cooperation between the two teams is essential for the bottom line. If you want to succeed, pre show meetings with Sales and Marketing team members have to become a routine part of your company’s trade show planning process.

Here are some examples of the key type of topics both departments have to be in sync about for each show .

  • Key prospects and profile
  • Lead qualification strategy
  • Follow-up strategy
  • Lead coding
  • Trade Show goals that align with sales goals
  • Messaging that reaches the different types of key prospects per show
  • Setting pre-show appointments
  • Pre-show marketing
  • Pre-show networking opportunities

Sales and Marketing Working Together
Now that you know some of the key topics to address as part of your trade show planning process, let’s talk about how to actually do this:

  • Share the pre-show planning meeting agenda with the Sales Manager, Director or VP (whichever is applicable in your company) before the meeting:
    Before you schedule a meeting with departmental staff, check in with Sales management on your proposed agenda and ask if there are any additional areas of concern that should be covered.
  • Before you finalize the planning schedule, discuss any deliverables the Sales department will be responsible for with their management and make sure they understand them and agree with them:
    Regardless of imposing deadlines, you can’t expect another department to adhere to your schedule without consulting their management first. Start by scheduling a meeting with Sales management to present your initial planning schedule, tasks and deliverables. Determine the deadlines together and who will be responsible for the various deliverables and tasks.
  • Work with Sales management:
    Instead of chasing after each person for the items you need from them, I suggest for you to have everything funnel through the manager, then to you. This is typically the best process to follow since sales organizations tend to be very structured and sales staff tends to feel much more accountable to their management than to someone from another department.
  • Determine the ideal process for checking on tasks:
    Everyone has their own preference for communication. Determine which method of communication will work best between you and Sales management to stay updated on the progress of tasks and deliverables. Also determine together how often the progress updates should be sent. Weekly?, Bi-Weekly?, Monthly?
  • Remain as flexible as possible:
    Just as new tasks get handed to you and deadline dates have to be pushed back, expect the same to happen in other departments. Keep that in mind when you set up your initial schedule so you have some “padding” and extra time to work with.

To sum it up: By using a cooperative approach to working with sales it will be easier to plan your shows and improve your results; and have the support of management on your side… That’s it for this lesson! Bye for now.

About the Author
Jon Edelman provides exciting trade show marketing ideas, including advice about prize wheels, customizable scratch-off cards, money blowing machines, and other exciting trade show attractions. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, lead generation techniques, and networking with trade show vendors. Helping to build a referral-generating system, his ideas continuously lead to a boost in sales and revenue.

Best Practices to Boost Your Tradeshow Results

Posted on: November 14th, 2012 by admin 1 Comment

best_practicesHello Class! In this lesson we will cover Best Practices you should consider implementing into your trade show program. “Best Practices” is one of those buzz words (OK, two words) that mean a lot of different things to different people. It usually is a collection of knowledge and rules as to how certain things should be done to ensure a certain level of quality, avoid oversights and ensure certain results.

In our case, trade show best practices are a set of rules and guidelines that simplify the tradeshow planning process, make sure that we don’t miss anything important and speed up the exhibiting process.

During my career I have seen a number of different implementations, and the level of detail you decide to have depends on many factors, but the size of your organization and the number of shows you participate in are usually key. If you work for a large company, detailed best practices are particularly important since a much larger number of people are involved in planning and executing your shows. If you have multiple event planners organizing shows at the same time, you want to avoid everyone coming up with their own sets of rules, vendors and programs.

To illustrate my point, let me give you two examples you would want to see covered in your best practices guide:

1. Process for Graphic Design and Printing of Collateral
Now why would you need to define that? First of all you want to avoid everyone going out creating their own material and risk inaccuracies in content and a non-consistent look and feel. You also want a uniform acquisition process to save cost.

Here are some sample rules:

  • The latest collateral files can be accessed at <location>, usually a file server or collaboration site such as Microsoft Sharepoint.
  • If you need new material created, make sure it follows the design guide located at <location> and have it approved by <name or job title or department> and sent for printing at least <number> days before the show. Make sure to have at least <number> vendors from the approved vendor list provide a quote before awarding the contract.

Of course there can be much more detail for a single topic like this. You may spell out conditions before new material can be considered, or point towards a collaboration site to make sure nobody else is working on the same or similar material etc.

2. Process for Promotional Materials (give-aways)

  • Existing inventory of promotional items can be found at <location>.
    • New promotional items may only be ordered after providing sufficient documentation about the purpose of the items, the intended recipients and cost of items. Any new items have to be approved by <name or title or department> and have to follow the guidelines located at <location>.
    • Approved new orders may be placed after getting at least <number> of quotes from the approved vendors, a list can be found at <location>.
    • Use of existing promotional items requires approval by <name or title or department>.

Key Considerations
You have to decide on how many rules you need and how detailed the rules have to be, usually based on your audience. A good way to start is to make a list of all activities that are part of exhibiting, pre-show, at show and post show. Also make a list of vendors and people (or job functions) involved in that process.

Keep your written guidelines as easy to read as possible using few words and bullet points instead. But make sure you have enough detail that the respective responsible party understands what to do.

I suggest analyzing your best practices frequently and updating them as necessary. Collecting feedback on the effectiveness is an important part; and always encourage suggestions for improvement.

Key Areas for Best Practices

Below is a generic list to help you get started. Your company will have items that need to be added and some that won’t apply.

  • Targeted shows
  • Goals and objectives
  • Per show budget criteria
  • Guidelines for marketing collateral, promotional items, public relations and display
  • Display Guidelines: Graphics, messaging, handling, shipping, booth layout, approved display types, general pricing and preferred vendors
  • Approved graphic files and where to access (for display, collateral, etc.
  • Forms to fill in (for show requests, materials, displays, etc.)
  • How to get approval for XYZ
  • Booth staff: Procedures, uniform, goals, training meetings, incentives, travel and expenses
  • Lead process and follow up
  • Shipping and material handling procedures: pre-show, at show and post show
  • Measure and report on ROI and ROO post-show for each show

Make Your “Trade Show Best Practices” Program Successful

  • Involve senior management
  • Market benefits of the “trade show best practices” guidelines internally (via email, intranet, in meetings, company webcast, company newsletter or company E-zine etc.)
  • Ask for feedback and make changes to the guidelines as needed.


Start thinking about how best practices guidelines could be implemented within your company. Create an outline and discuss these guidelines and benefits with sales/marketing department heads or upper management. Then fill in each area with details of the process; keep the details brief and concise. When the first draft is complete, send a copy to the sales/marketing department heads for feedback. Once the guidelines are completed, hold a meeting with the appropriate departments to unveil the “trade show best practices” guidelines!


Jonathan Edelman provides helpful advice about trade show strategies. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, follow up techniques, and using trade show marketing strategies to boost revenue.


5 Ways A Business Can Prepare For Its First Trade Show

Posted on: October 21st, 2012 by admin No Comments
5 Ways A Business Can Prepare For Its First Trade Show While attending trade shows can be a great way to market a business or product, preparing for the first one can be a bit nerve wracking, but it doesn’t have to be! With a trade show marketing plan, clear and realistic goals and objectives, as well as reliable research you’ll be more than prepared as you create your first trade show exhibit.

Research, Research, Research

It is important to research as many trade shows as possible before choosing which one (or ones) would be most effective. Researching things like lodging and travel options, the various rules of the show, target audience participation and other trade show participants can help with the selection process. Research is a huge part of trade show marketing and if done correctly, will save money as well as help make your trade show exhibit as prominent and profitable as possible.

Ask Questions

Asking important questions of trade show organizers can help businesses make decisions regarding which trade shows are most appropriate for their product and their bank account. Find out what other participant’s trade show exhibits are like — are they similar looking to yours? A big goal of trade show marketing is to stand out and be unique. It is also important to find out what the requirements of the trade show are, what the venue is like, how big each trade show exhibit can be, what assistance is provided at the venue, and anything else that needs to be known.

Make a List of Goals and Objectives

For most businesses there is a reason why they are including trade show marketing in their overall marketing campaign. Having a set of detailed objectives and goals can help keep the trade show exhibit on track as it is being developed as well as help guide the trade show marketing tools that are chosen. Making a list of clear goals and objectives for a first (or really any) trade show exhibit can also help narrow down the choices in the search for the specific trade show(s) to attend.

Create a Trade Show Marketing Plan

Many trade show exhibits include some type of give away or contest that excites people and draws them in. For example, a cash cube money machine provides an excellent visual because the swirling cash and prizes makes people want to come over and join in and stay at your trade show exhibit!

Plan ahead of time what marketing items will make the biggest impact on trade show participants like booth graphics, informational packets and specialty giveaway items. These all require weeks of advanced planning in order to execute properly.

Set Realistic Goals

As part of trade show marketing, it is important to understand that the goals set need to be realistic. Trade show exhibits aren’t just about making sales. Other more primary goals include launching new products, sharing information, and checking out the competition. If goals are set too high, it can create an inaccurate estimation of the trade show exhibit’s success, as well as provide faulty research regarding changes that may need to be made in the trade show exhibit, targeted client base, or potentially the product as a whole.

Finding and preparing for the right trade show is sometimes intense, but trade show marketing can be effective. After a business’s first trade show, changes can be made to the trade show exhibit as needed, and, if everything is well researched and planned, the goals set will be achieved.

Making Your Trade Show Booth Come Alive

Posted on: July 18th, 2008 by admin No Comments

Cash Cube Money Blowing MachineWhenever I attend a trade show, I take a walk across the floor to see the other booths and displays. I enjoy seeing the measures that others are taking to attract business to their trade show booths because it can be a fantastic way to get new ideas. However, more often than not, other booth owners end up asking my advice.

Over the years, I’ve developed a reputation for attracting swarms of traffic to my client’s trade show booths. I’ve sharpened my marketing techniques largely by doing what others neglect to do. When you’ve been in the trade show industry as long as I have, you tend to see what others miss.

Entertainment And Trade Show Marketing

Have you ever noticed how gypsies entertain their crowds? They lure people in with a dazzling presentation. Crowds love to be entertained. I’ve been using this concept for years to attract people to my trade show booths. I’ve encouraged my clients to do the same thing and they’re reporting amazing results.

Entertaining the people who walk by my booths is one of my secrets for dominating trade shows. If you want attendees to stop and take notice of your booth and displays, entertain them.

Thrill Brings The Masses

Everyone loves a game of skill and chance. The mere sight of a high stakes game can quicken the pulse – even if you’re not the one playing! In all my years of successful trade show marketing, cash cube money machines have brought some of the largest crowds I’ve seen. In my experience, they’re one of the most effective tools for attracting attention.

Imagine a compartment that’s about the size of a phone booth. It’s enclosed, but transparent. You can see right through it. Someone stands inside and closes the door behind them. Money, prize vouchers, or coupons – whichever you choose to stock the money machine with – begins blowing wildly through the compartment. Contestants have 30 seconds to catch as much as they can possibly grab and then keep what they catch.

Do you think that spectacle might attract some attention? I’ve witnessed firsthand the powerful lure these money booths can have on trade show attendees. You can find more information about them at

My Trade Show Marketing Advice

The marketing advice that I’m giving you on this blog comes from hard-earned experience. I’ve been honing my trade show strategies for years and I’d like to help you avoid the mistakes I’ve seen other booth owners commit.

Every attendee who walks by your booth represents an opportunity. Take advantage of it. Entertain them and you’ll find your trade show booths drawing larger and larger crowds. Soon, other booth owners may begin asking you for advice!

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