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Marketting a company at an EXPO

By Optimistic Maverick ·
Hello everyone,

There is this huge expo in my city and the company i work for has assigned me and another worker to stand inside a square booth and market the company and two of its flagship products...an ERP solution and an Online Share Trading system.

Now I am not a marketting guy and I have never sold a product or an idea. The booth has not been decorated as yet and that responsibility falls on our shoulders as well.

Furthermore, I donot have sufficient expertise in the software we're going to market.

How should we market the company and the product?
Any suggestions as to what should be our course of action for decorating our booth? Tips, tricks and comments are also welcome. :)

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okay, a couple of questions...

by Jaqui In reply to Marketting a company at a ...

is the booth single fronted, double fronted or open on all 4 sides?

what power will be available?

is there cover [ if outdoor booth ]


the basic decoration, get the sales departments conference kit., if you have a booth space open on 2 sides, 2 kits, one for each side.

set up 2 displays per side, one for each product.
bring 20 times he highest number of brochures the sales team thinks you will need.
I worked in a retail outlet on Expo 86, with only 23 million people over 5.5 months, the volume was still incredible.

make sure you have a good supply of the products themselves there. if there is an interest, you will get sales and contracts better by having a boxed product they can carry away.

if you have power at the booth, have at least 4 systems displaying the products [ 2 and 2 is fine ]
the products, in this situation, will sell themselves to people that know what they are doing.

I found that in something like an expo, zero effort sales will generate the most return.
try to get your boss to give you a percentage on every sale you make. ]:)
[ I tried at expo 86, they refused when they found out my daily sales were in excess of $150,000.00
per 8 hours. [ average item cost of $10.00 ]]

The idea behind the booth decorations, clean, simple layout, where the products are highly visible.

Also, from experience, there is no way that 2 people can handle the task, 4, so you can always have 2 on duty, and keep the brochures etc stocked up, is a better number.

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by Optimistic Maverick In reply to okay, a couple of questio ...

I really appreciate your suggestions and comments.

Its an export prompotion expo and we're participating as a software development company trying to market our organization and 2 of our software products.

As far as the power goes, that should not be a concern as the

The booth is single fronted and its a 6x6 sq mtr area....we are thinking of taking two monitors because my initial suggestion of taking a projector along and then using it to project software product demonstrations could not be entertained by the company.

Your suggestion about taking 4 monitors is indeed noteworthy, but I guess I shouldn't pin my hopes on that one.

As far as the brochure is concerned, we've designed a folder and created a flyer for the company and the product. The product brochures have not been designed as yet and the EXPO starts next Wednesday! I dont think we have arranged for a banner stand either!

Do you think I should use google to search for free professional quality brochure templates which may just cut it with the booth visitors and leave a lasting impression?

Lastly, yes we are only 2 people. Due to stringent security measures, only 2 people with security clearance would be allowed at the EXPO booths and my company has chosen me and my co-worker. An interesting point to note is that my co-worker said that I should thoroughly understand the products because he may leave early, leaving me all alone at the booth. .

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Wow, your company has really thrown you in at the deep end.

by sleepin'dawg In reply to

A show scheduled for next Wednesday and no brochures designed never mind not printed. You guys must be operating on a shoe string.

First: I hope you have proper business cards with your name, phone number and Email address printed on them. Do not buy the cheapest thing you can get from Kinko but have a simple, clean, quality design and make sure it isn't too busy with useless details. What I said above is all you really need on a card. Keep your logo or logo type small and in the upper or lower left corner. Make your name a bit larger in the centre but the phone number and Email address should be prominent and in the upper right corner. Do not get one of those cards that is printed in portrit format but stick with landscape format. They are easier to read in a card holder. Remember if anyone is really interested in your product your business card is the one thing he will hang on to and its quality will be the impression he leaves with.

Second: Brochures. Now is not the time to be testing out your abilities as a graphic artist especially with programs you are unfamiliar with. Do you have any photographs either digital or film??? Do you have any text prepped??? Can you squeeze every thing onto a sheet of 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper??? Remember not to make it too cluttered and also remember that the sheet of paper has two sides; use both. That gives you double the bang for only a few more bucks. If money is tight forget four colour process and go with one colour on coloured stock. Brown on soft yellow works, so does navy on a powder blue or dark green on light pastel green. Any of these combinations is considered a one colour job. Use coated stock and make sure it is coated both sides as the glossy texture gives an impression of quality that plain stock doesn't have. remeber you are trying to exhibit quality and stability here and a cluttered piece of junk with eveything but the kitchen sink will make your company look like a fly-by-night operation. Which brings me to my last point; hire a freelance graphics guy for a couple of hours, most of them are hungry for a buck and will work cheap. It shouldn't cost you more than a couple of hundred dollars. In two or three hours he will knock out something professional looking, that you might not be able to do in two or three days. Time is critical here; get this done tomorrow. Stand by the guy's shoulder if necessary and once he is finished run, do not walk to your nearest printer and I do not mean Kinko. Pick a place where you stand a chance of being able to bargain like an arab camel trader. You want these things, brochures and cards ready no later than Moday night 5PM. If the stuff can be ready Friday so much the better and it will mean two stress items have been taken care of. Order 1000 cards and 5000 brochures the added cost for these quantities are minimal and if you have any left over they can be used at future shows. It is better to have them and not need them, than to need them and not have them. BTW, the graphics guy should be able to lay out your card design inside of half an hour but for God's sake don't ask him to design you a logo because if he is anywhere near established you will be lucky to get out the door for less than $1500. Do not use a generic logo from either him or the printer because they look bush or amateur. Better no logo and a solid type face than one of those. BTW try to remember there are other type faces beside Helvetica and Times Roman.

Third: Get out an engineers pad, one with 1/4" squares and using two squares per foot, draw a layout of the booth. Measure everything; tables, chairs if any but there shouldn't be, stands and whatnot. Don't bother with height so much but measure how much floor space each item will cover. Enter these on your to scale drawing keeping the scale in mind. I forgot, lable your drawing's four sides i.e. front, left, right and back. Draw the items inside the booth drawing and when you are finished you will know where everything is to be placed when you arrive on site. Most shows open at nine and they admit exhibitors a couple of hours before that to give them time to set up. This is your first show; use every minute of that time. Get there as soon as they open. BTW exhibition places usually provide a skirted table to act as a counter for your booth. Thats what you hide excess product under; your coat, extra brochures, whatever. One item that should be under there is a couple of sixpacks of water. The air in most of these places is ultra dry. You will not have many chance to get away from the booth especially between the hours of 11 AM and 2 PM when you will see the heaviest concentration of traffic over lunch hour. The floors in these places are usually concrete with maybe a thin hard carpet over it. This is very hard on the feet and legs. If you have rubber soled shoes wear them but not running shoes. Wear business attire and keep your tie done up and the collar closed. If you keep the tie knot up close you might get away with the button undone but don't let it gape open, so people can notice. Regardless of what you may have read about attire elsewhere here, dress like a professional. One trick I used to do, was to wear the shirt and tie but schuck the jacket for a lab coat, which open or closed, looks techy.

There's lots more I could tell you but I think I've probably told you enough to totally stress you out. What in the **** are the people running your company thinking??? Even two weeks advance notice would be tight for a first exhibit. Give the co-worker a boot in the *** and tell him that he stays till closing or he's going to be dead meat, better yet, have one of your bosses tell him. I am assuming your show runs till five or six and you will get another influx of traffic after four, as offices let out for the day. That influx will require two of you not just one. I wouldn't worry too much about a banner, it would be nice to have one but a lot of exhibitions put a sign up over the top of the booth stating the name of the company and while it isn't much, it's better than nothing. It's a good thing you have the folder designed and created a flyer but does that mean they're already printed. If they haven't been printed better get on that right away. Why do you need people with security clearances in your booth especially if its an exhibit open to all kinds of people in industry. That doesn't make any sense whatsoever. You should have four people in the booth, which would give everyone a chance for sometime off for lunch and toilet breaks. You would then have three on duty, two positioned up front and one to keep an eye on things while the other two are dealing with potential clients.

I find it hard to believe any company wishing to establish itself seriously could take such a blase attitude to any exhibit and especially one for which they are no where near adequately prepared and aren't likely to be under the given time constraints. I've given you some suggestions but I've only scratched the surface. Good luck to you; you're going to need all you can get.

Dawg

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Truly an eye opener!

by Optimistic Maverick In reply to Wow, your company has rea ...

Your reply to my post has truly been an eye opener and I thank you for it.

The business cards have been finalized and printed. As far as the Brochures go, there is good news....they are not my headache and the company is going to do whatever it deems fit with issues related to brochure printing and design. My task is simply to conceive and write down the textual content that would be printed on the brochure. As far as that goes, I've used a marketting prose and writing style that projects the company and the products, but I must admit that the vocabulary may be somewhat esoteric or simply put, difficult for laymen to understand.
But if the contents get approved, it shouldn't be a problem right? :)

Moving on to booth decorations, we still have 2 to 3 days to come up with something substantial, and the best part is, the company is spearheading the task so it wont be on my mind either...I'll keep your advice about the attire in mind. The dressing should be professional with a coat and a tie as I may expect booth visits by top level executives and VVIPS

About my co-worker, yes I was in a shock too when he told me about his plans to leave early. I guess i'll take your advice and talk to the boss about my own timings and commitments towards the EXPO. Maybe we can come up with a solution thats acceptable to everyone.

Lastly, I think I should give due consideration to my persuasion skills...convincing potential customers about the versatality of our products and marketting a software development firm is something I've never done and this is the first time I'm undertaking such an endeavor.

I thank you once again for your comments and suggestions.

Regards.
Optimistic Maverick!

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Help Marketing your Co

by EarlT In reply to Marketting a company at a ...

Firts, you need to find out if you have a budget for the expo. The answer will guide you down the right path. Do you have enough for a banner? Product slicks, tri-folds, or just nice printouts highlighting product and company features? Promotional items (imprinted pens, gadgets, etc.)?

Then, no matter what, you need a subject matter expert available to answer questions on the products you want to market. If you're the chosen ones...guess what...better become an SME, pretty quick. There's nothing worse than an uninformed person marketing a product. It never works.

Hope this helps!
et

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Marketing at exhibitions

Hi,
Hope everything is going well. I just read your message and as part of the exhibition industry I can give you some valuable advice which I hope will answer your questions.

First of all, having the responsibility of creating the marketing platfrom at the exhibition by showcasing two of the flagship products can be risky and daunting at times, but the hard work will pay-off in the end. The first point I would like to make is to know your company very well and the products that you sell in order to be able to communicate the company's values and messages thoroughly. You need to make sure that you target the right audience that your company tries to attract. Also, don't forget the number one rule of marketing: smile and being nice sell.

In terms of exhibition and displaying, depending on your budget, I suggest you go for <a href="http://www.marlerhaley.co.uk/banner-stands/" title="http://www.marlerhaley.co.uk/banner-stands/">banner stands</a>. They have the advantage of being extremely portable and user-friendly and you could also create your own graphic design, the image that could help associate the company's name with its logo/principles etc. I can tell you from experience that they are very effective and fit the purpose. As well as banner stands, <a href="http://www.marlerhaley.co.uk/banner-stands/" title="http://www.marlerhaley.co.uk/banner-stands/">roll up banners</a> are a very good marketing tool and ideal for exhibitions. Their great advantage would be that they are portable and you can keep them for next events. (make sure you don't write the date on them).

To differentiate yourself from your competitors you could add some extra incentives to your stand at the exhibition- maybe make some use of your company's products? The best idea to do this is to create interaction with the attendees, to make them connect and relate to your stand.

Hope this advice has been useful!

Good luck with the events!

Lauren

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