Monthly Archives: January 2015

7 Tips for Reducing Trade Show Shipping Costs

Attending a convention, whether it is within your home state or thousands of miles away, can come with hefty shipping costs. From display tables and podiums to printed banner stands and trade show displays, all promotional items must be shipped to your expo destination. This can result in freight charges that are simply beyond what you are willing to spend to get your supplies to your convention site. Don’t get stuck overpaying for your drayage! Smart and careful planning can help you substantially minimize your shipping costs for your next business convention.

Adhere to the following seven simple steps on how to increase your exhibit success while decreasing shipping charges:low cost

  1. Ship in Bulk: Utilizing compact promotional tools that take up minimal space when not in use enables you to ship your stands in bulk. This saves you money on shipping each trade show display or banner stand separately. Displays like X-Frame Banner Stands and retractable table banners can be condensed when not assembled and can therefore often be shipped with multiple stands in the same shipping box or tube.
  2. Utilize Lightweight Displays: Most freight companies charge by the size and weight of your shipment so the lighter your advertising displays, the more you save on shipping expenses! Many pull up banners, desktop displays, table throws and custom flags feature manageable weights. But, be careful—you don’t want to sacrifice the quality of your displays to achieve cheaper freight costs! Your free-standing banner stands and booth backdrops should be sturdy enough to not easily topple over or be knocked to the ground on a high-traffic trade show floor.
  3. Send Directly to Convention or Hotel: When you purchase your displays and printed signage from the manufacturer or printer, they will ask you where you want your order to be sent. Many exhibitors have their displays delivered to their home or office and then are left reeling when they have to pay to ship the stands to the convention site as well. That’s double the shipping expenses! When timed correctly, you can have your trade show displays and accessories shipped directly to your hotel or expo site within the allotted time frame that the facility allows. Check with your trade show destination first and inquire how far in advance they allow packages to arrive before the show made from dollar isolated on white background
  4. Ship Early=Skip Expedited Shipping Charges: With hotel and travel accommodations to sort out, staff training to complete and promotional tools to print, sometimes ordering the displays that you plan to use in your booth gets accidentally put on hold. Purchasing your banner stands, feather flags, pop up fabric banners and any other displays a month or so before the convention starts ensures that you won’t be left paying those pesky expedited shipping costs, like 2-day and next day options, that can quickly add up.
  5. Carry-On All You Can: If your marketing display is portable and compact enough to be considered a carry-on when you board your flight, take advantage of not having to pay to check the display case or ship it to your trade show. Be sure to check with your specific airlines about the restrictions and rules they have about carry-on items before you purchase your displays or arrive at the airport to avoid any miscommunications.
  6. Go Paperless: Lugging box after box stuffed with hundreds of your company’s catalogs, brochures or company literature can easily rack up a substantial amount of freight expenses. Instead, utilize interactive technology like a few lightweight iPads or electronic devices so that attendees can peruse your complete product line or order process directly on your website while at your booth instead of rifling through dense catalogs.
  7. Ship Directly to Next Expo: If you are a regular trade show exhibitor with a jam-packed schedule, don’t bother shipping your displays and booth to your home or office after one show is completed. If the timing is appropriate, ship your banners and promotional signage directly to your next expo to decrease your shipping costs.

Calculator-istockTRT Banners has a wide selection of lightweight and portable retractable displays, vinyl banners, pop up backdrops, table throws and more that can substantially cut your trade show shipping costs. We also offer a standard 48 hour turnaround time after proof approval on all custom orders without a cent going to rush charges. Contact us today to see how we can save you money!

Trade Show Exhibitor Timeline and Checklist

Getting ready to exhibit at a trade show is an extensive process that begins long before the inaugural day of the convention. Most trade shows are planned a year or more in advance, giving both exhibitors and attendees time to prepare for the big convention. Figuring out your booth layout, which employees will staff the exhibit area, how you will transport your promotional materials and which conventions will best suit your company’s branding and marketing strategy can be overwhelming. To help ease you down the road to a successful and stress-free expo experience, we have created an exhibitor timeline of items to check off your list every step of the way towards preparing to have a company booth at an upcoming convention.Time Management Concept

1 year and counting: One year before you wish to exhibit at a show, check out which expos are scheduled in your industry. Researching the ideal convention for your company and brand is a crucial first step to making the most out of renting a booth at a trade show. Choose the trade shows within your field that you feel would best help your business reach your marketing goals. Be sure to look into all aspects of the expo including which exhibitors are scheduled to have a booth, what the attendee demographics are like year after year, how large of a convention hall is it and what, if any, restrictions exist that would limit your company’s ability to produce a stand-out professional showcase. If possible, register for the event to receive the best booth position. Choose a high-traffic corner booth or one next to the restrooms or food court to maximize your exhibit visibility.

9 months and counting: Once you have chosen the event or events at which you would like to exhibit, clearly define what your marketing strategy is and what you hope to gain from exhibiting at the show. Do you want to receive a certain number of quality leads? Do you need to expand your professional network by meeting other experts in your field? Are you a start-up company that simply needs to introduce yourself and begin to establish your brand in your given industry? Think of multiple exhibit themes and choose one that best represents what your brand is all about.

6 months and counting: Identify the one aspect of your company you want visitors to your booth to walk away with. Whether it is your quick product turnaround or eco-friendly business practices, identifying your sales message is crucial to creating a clear and concise trade show booth. It is also a good time to begin to actually build your 8’, 10’ or 20’ booth space. Purchase your advertising displays and any other promotional materials like printed catalogs, flyers or price sheets in order to ensure you will have everything you need in time for the start of the convention.Businessman touching TRAINING sign on virsual screen

3 months and counting: A couple months before the show, the logistics of exhibiting should be ironed out. Create a booth schedule for your staff so your employees know who is at the booth and when. Train your staff if necessary and make sure they know how to operate and set up all display stands, interactive technology like iPads and touch screens, as well as being knowledgeable about your company and the products and services you offer. Make travel arrangements including purchasing plane or train tickets, as well as make hotel accommodations to ensure you can stay as close to the convention site as possible.

Chalkboard_FB_istock1 month and counting: In the final weeks before a convention, finalize your plans including how you are going to ship your promotional materials and displays, all travel arrangements, staff training and what the dress code is for your employees. Marketing your brand before the show can effectively draw attention to your business and create a bigger crowd at your convention booth. Announce your company’s presence at an upcoming expo regularly on your social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook in the weeks before the convention. Include your company’s booth number, as well as a mention of any raffles or giveaways you will be having at your booth in order to entice visitors to stop at your showcase even before the event starts!

To make sure your trade show booth presentation is just as impressive and professional as your brand, purchase custom retractable banner stands, pop up backdrops, table throws and more from TRT Banners!

Sidewalk Sales and Signage

The retail industry is continually one step ahead of the season, so it may come as no surprise that in a few short weeks stores will be shifting from their winter to spring gear. Though winter will not be shaken for at least a couple more months, department stores will jumpstart the change of the seasons by displaying spring clothes like shorts and t-shirts well before it is suitable to wear them outside. Winter coats and scarfs will be replaced by tank tops and flip flops soon and sidewalk sales will be held to sell the final merchandise of the winter season. Make sure your sidewalk sale is a success with effective printed signage and promotional material marketing the limited-time discounts and specials!

Displaying your marketing message outdoors requires heavy-duty signage that will not succumb to the wear and tear of outside weather conditions. Printed signage produced with waterproof solvent inks allows your graphics to be seen without running the risk of the inks running or fading when exposed to rain or direct sunlight. This enables you to promote your sidewalk sale directly in front of your business or entranceway to attract a larger crowd. Sturdy display frames made of materials like resistant plastic and aluminum can easily showcase your printed banner without falling or becoming damaged when in the path of moderate winds. Flags that are printed with a dye sublimation process, which incorporates a heat press into the printing system so the inks become a part of the fibers of the fabric, are also long-lasting outside advertising displays that your boutique or shoe store can use year after year.

550x550-clearance-Mock-Vinyl-BannerWhether you are promoting your “Buy 1, Get 1 Free” or “1/2 Off” sale to get rid of the last of the winter apparel in your retail store, printed signage is a must-have tool to effectively spread awareness about your incredible discounted offers. Outdoor mesh or vinyl banners can be hung directly on the outside of your storefront or near a busy intersection to let the public know of your massive price cuts. A vinyl banner, which is an extremely cost-effective way to market your promotion, is usually hung with rope or hooks and connected to an existing structure. Sidewalk signs and A-Frame poster stands can showcase your discounted prices directly near your wares outside of your business or at the entranceway of your store in a shopping mall. A-frame banner stands are also double-sided so you can catch the attention of traffic coming and going in both directions in front of your store.

Retail banners can also be used inside of your boutique or shoe store for an upcoming sidewalk sale. Ceiling poster hangers are ideal because they are low-cost and save valuable floor space by connecting directly to a drop tile ceiling. Window hangers also attach directly to any storefront window with suction cups to market your annual sale to passersby. Broadcast your sale, as well as direct customers to specific aisles, with poster hangers showcasing which items are in each area of your store for added convenience for your patrons. Add a compact telescopic poster stand in the entranceway of your clothing department to welcome customers to your business, as well as announce what kind of specials you are running for that particular day.550x550-The-Spot-Telescopic-rev

Most portable banner stands, poster stands and outdoor displays are reusable so you can use them year after year for your clothing store’s annual spring sale. Purchase a banner replacement for your A-frame stand or ceiling poster hanger to feature new graphics on existing display hardware. If you offer the same discounts year after year, you can simply hang the same indoor/outdoor vinyl banners around your store in order to receive the most benefit out of your promotional materials.

For all of your sidewalk sale signage needs, check out TRT Banners’ wide variety of durable and economical outdoor and indoor banners and poster stands!

How to “Warm Up” Your Trade Show Booth

Baby, it’s cold outside! If you are exhibiting at a show in a city hit hard by January winds and cold temperatures, it is important to make sure your booth is inviting and a welcome escape from the dreary climate. Brainstorming ways to “warm up” your exhibit space in the dead of winter can make your professional showcase more enticing to visitors and help you create a crowd around your booth. Follow the tips below to create a cozy trade show booth, no matter what the weather is like outside!

Lights, Camera, Action!550x550-Halogen-Light-on-Stand

A dark, stale exhibit space does not successfully lure visitors to a trade show booth. Attaching lights to your banner stands or booth backdrop can highlight your printed marketing message, as well as add inviting light to an otherwise dull exhibit area. A banner stand light can attach directly to the top of the support pole of your retractable display for an effortless way to warm up your promotional tool. An LED Display Light can feature an adjustable clamp to accommodate a wide variety of styles and sizes of displays. The innovative lighting fixture features the long-lasting LED lightbulb, which will not overheat when used for substantial periods of time like traditional halogen lights can.

Warm Hues

colors-istockChoosing the right color combinations for your trade show booth can be difficult. The color profiles of your printed signage should attract attention to your showcase, while also staying true to your brand’s image. Warm hues include reds, oranges, yellows and greens; while cool hues are considered to be certain greens, blues and purples. Including warm hues in your exhibit space can help your booth feel more appealing to visitors, especially in the dead of winter. Feature warm accent colors like reds and yellows throughout your display space. Overusing warm hues can be a visual overload, so be sure to limit the use of warm hues throughout your trade show booth to get the most benefit from the color palette.

Cozy, Cushioned Flooring

Adding portable, cushioned flooring tiles to your 8’, 10’ or 20’ booth space can help your guests feel more comfortable while visiting your exhibit. Rubber and foam tiles can be available with a faux-wood finish or carpet base to suit your display space and preferred style. Trade show flooring can temporarily relieve the foot pain of convention attendees since it can be tiring and physically taxing to walk around an expo area for hours. Relax visitors within your space with comfortable tiles, which usually come in smaller pieces so setup is a breeze and transporting the flooring is more manageable. Adding convention flooring can also give your booth a more “homey” feel, putting your guests at ease as they take refuge from the trade show floor as well as the January winds.

Hot Refreshments, Warm BellyCup of tea

Free giveaways, especially of the edible variety, can result in crowds flocking to your expo booth. Hot refreshments like coffee and tea can warm up weary trade show attendees after long show hours. Caffeinated beverages can give visitors a sought-after boost of energy that can help them push on and continue the rounds on the trade show floor. Include a large catering-style coffee/tea dispenser and have disposable or keepsake cups and mugs printed with your company name and logo to personalize the consumable giveaway.

To keep your booth “hot” this winter, check out TRT Banners’ impressive selection of custom banner stands, table throws, flags and much more! Contact us today!