Monthly Archives: June 2016

Tips For Advertising In Parades

Who doesn’t love a good parade? As shown in Cleveland on Wednesday, a parade can garner a lot of attention.

Having an opportunity to participate or be a sponsor in a parade can be a big boost to any business, whether there are 1.3 million people there for it or just your community. You don’t have to spend big money on a float or major vehicles to showcase your message in a parade.

Being a parade sponsor for your city or town can help you create goodwill with the community, whether it’s a holiday parade like Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day or a local schools’ homecoming parade. Not only is sponsoring and being a part of a local parade a great way to get involved in the community and create goodwill, there’s also plenty of affordable ways to do it:

  • Vinyl banners can be held on a truck or float or long ones can be carried by a few people on foot.
  • Car magnets are perfect for parade vehicles because of the slow moving traffic. Everyone watching the parade will a lot of opportunities to read the magnet over and over.
  • Light weight poster signs are easy to hold up while walking or riding on a parade vehicle.
  • Freebies that are easy to hand out along the parade route like custom printed pens and other branded items are also a great way to stand out.

What’s on your sign?

When considering a banner or some sort of sign for a parade, there are a few graphics tips to keep in mind:

Coordinate colors: If it’s for Memorial Day, July 4 or Labor Day, take the time to have the banner or sign printed with a flag or red, white and blue and follow the theme. Don’t try to re-use the same sign from different parades. If the parade is for a school, be sure to include the school colors in your sign.

Time your pitch: Just like color, make sure your any message on these signs that’s not directly related to your business or slogan includes something related to the parade (happy holiday, good luck, go team.).

Don’t skip the details: The point of sponsoring and having a sign or being part of a parade as a business is to get noticed. So on those signs don’t forget the information people need to know about your company. Contact information, an idea what you do (maybe an image if your business name doesn’t giveaway what you do) and web site, logo, URL, 1-800 numbers and social media handles are all good things to have on any parade signage.

Other good things to have as a parade participant

  • Candy is a parade staple and it’s always a nice gesture to buy some to throw out if you’re not holding your sign.
  • Branded items you can hand or throw out that won’t be painful if they hit someone are also effective.
  • Parades are good times to hand out cards with deals on them. Print cards or coupons to hand out specifically at the parade that have deals or discounts on them so you can get an idea of how many people paid attention to you at the parade.
  • If you or your staff is holding a sign while walking or riding on a vehicle, matching company shirts or gear will make you look good and get noticed as well.

9 Things to do Between Trade Shows

The middle of summer is typically a slow period for trade shows.  As an exhibitor, what you do during this part of the year can help set you up for success for your next show or when the season heats up again. Take this time to make improvements and try out new ideas. Here are nine tips to help improve your exhibit during the slow season and between shows.

New training and re-training – Take the downtime between trade shows or during the slow season to work with your booth staff on some new sales and conversations tactics and keep them sharp on your trade show goals. There are always new studies and reports coming out about consumer and sales psychology.

Look over your notes – At each show you should be making and documenting observations about interactions with attendees. Find out what has worked and what needs some adjusting. Also make note of what your competitors are doing and decide if it’s something that would fit in with your message and company.

Develop new presentations – If you’re not developing a new product or additional services to promote during the next trade show or trade show season, consider changes to your presentations. Look at your talking points, slides and selling language in your presentation and look for ways to improve it. If you have a trade show during a slower season, consider using some shows as a trial for your new presentation.

Check your swag – If you’re low on promotional items to give away (branded T-shirts, pens, bags, etc.), now is the time to re-order and re-stock on them. Take the time to review your inventory and see what people are taking more and what people don’t care for. Don’t spend money on swag that nobody is taking. Consider changing the message or look of your gear as well (logos, colors, etc).

Reconsider your logo – When’s the last time your logo got a redesign or even some minor tweaks? A new look, graphic or even some colors can help create interest from people who want to see what’s new with the company or it might even attract new business.

New signage – If you do go ahead and change your logo in anyway, you obviously want your displays and signage to reflect that. If you make any changes, anything you use to promote your brand will have to be updated. Even if you don’t make changes to your logo, new signage with a new message or colors can help make a difference.

Check old signage quality – Things happen to your displays and signs in storage and shipping. If some of your materials and displays have been to many trade shows and have traveled lot of miles, they might need some replacement parts or you might need to replace a piece of signage or two. Don’t try to duct tape or hold together an old or broken down display. It will be painfully obvious.

Product or service improvements – This one is fairly obvious. Trade shows are perfect for new product or service announcements. If you’re planning one for the busy season ahead, you should already be ready to roll it out and can use this time to smooth it out during testing. There’s also time to brainstorm for your next product or service development announcement.

Enhance your display – If you didn’t update your logo or graphics and your displays and signage are all in good condition, consider display enhancements.  Trade show lighting, custom printed flooring or other trade show flooring and podium and table wraps with graphics can really help put your booth over the top and generate some new interest. Little things can make a big difference and more branding is never a bad investment.

Should You Be Using Snapchat for Trade Shows and Events?

The use and benefits of using social media at trade shows has risen quickly over the last few years. Thanks to Facebook adding a live video stream option and apps like Periscope, sharing demonstrations and seminars with more people than those attending has become easy and effective. Live tweeting, trying to interact with those tweeting back or on video feeds can be overwhelming but utilizing social media at trade shows and other events has become important and almost necessary.

You probably already use Facebook and Twitter for your business. You’ve probably started to utilize Periscope and maybe even Instagram’s new brand feature. Seldom used previously, Snapchat is now quickly becoming a platform business and event exhibitors could begin want to take advantage of.

You might be thinking to that you really don’t want or don’t to use and manage another social media platform at trade shows and events.

A recent forecast by eMarketer might convince you it’s worth your time.

According to their last forecast, Snapchat’s user base is going to grow by double digits and will outrank Twitter and Pinterest for the first time ever in the United States. They also expect the gap between Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest to grow through 2020.

While certain brands and exhibitors at shows have stayed away from Snapchat, thinking the user base for the app doesn’t fit their target demo and thus don’t want to waste the resources on it, 27% of Americans ages 25-34 use Snapchat, which the app’s second largest base.

Like any other social media platform, there are ways to utilize this app in your favor

On demand Geofilters
This can be a great brand awareness tool for companies and exhibitors alike. Logos, slogans, and trademarks are all permitted by companies who upload these filters. Getting interested users in your follower base to use your geofilter for promoting new products, slogans, etc. can really help spread awareness.

Geofilters can also be used in an interactive way at trade shows and events about things like your product demo or presentation. They can be made to be time specific to allow people to even get special offers and deals by using it to interact in the time period set for its use.

Brevity gives you power
Most people think that Snapchat’s disappearing posts are bad for brands and business. But when you post something on Facebook or Twitter, or even do a live stream, are people going back and viewing it? If it’s on the internet, it’s out there forever, but most posts are only temporarily viewed anyway. Snapchat is great for its “storytelling” capabilities because content with videos and photos are the most commonly consumed content and the length of viewing that content on Snapchat is short, keeping within in the range of most social media users attention span.

Being able to piece three or four of these together at events while doing product reveals and other presentations puts followers on the lookout for your next post. It could create the idea of fear of missing out. If your videos at events offer relevant content, breaking them up into different posts can keep people coming back to you. That the content is only available for a short amount of time is an advantage.

Tips to grow and take advantage
If you’re new to using the app and aren’t sure how to make it best work in your favor at events or to leverage it for normal use, here are a few quick tips and ideas:

  • Use the geofilters for anything new you’re doing. Products, campaigns, etc. Encourage people to take snaps using the geofilter. Get them to interact with you using it and see how it’s resonating with your followers. It’s also a great way get your follower base to share your content and message.
  • As mentioned, product reveals are usually great uses for video streaming. The fact that the video time on Snapchat isn’t extended like other video sharing apps allows you to build anticipation to such events for excited followers.
  • If you’re trying to grow your follower base, exclusive content only viewed through Snapchat will help and even putting in offers for using your geofilters or interacting back also helps.
  • Other good content for Snapchat that is useful at trade shows and events include behind the scenes looks of your product reveal or special presentation or event and posting quick stories including your demonstrations and seminars as well.

While many exhibitors and brands have felt that Snapchat and what it offers doesn’t work for their content or doesn’t apply to the audience they want to reach, there are ways to leverage it in your favor and use it effectively. Given the growth of the app, the demographics that are using it now and will grow using Snapchat more than or as much as other social media, being able to connect with those audiences can help your brand in both short and long term.