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The back-to-school tradeshow overview

from ExhibitCity News

August 31, 2012
by Linda Musgrove, The TradeShow Teacher

Each fall marks the advent of new clothes, sharpened pencils and a new school year. As your TradeShow Teacher, in this September lesson, I am going to present an overview of some basic exhibiting principles and highlight some of my most popular lessons from our 2011-2012 tradeshow curriculum.

“What To Do” RE: ROO

ROO (Return on Objective) enables you and your team to track and prove a tradeshow’s impact when it’s not feasible or as easy to calculate your ROI (return on investment). The best way to do this is to interface with the right attendees while at the show. This could include new prospects, existing customers, assorted media as well as anyone else that could help to further your business. As long as you’ve chosen the right show, you’ll have the ability to meet with more people in just three days than your sales team can meet within months.

Measurable objectives include how many decision-makers you will meet at a show; how many at-show meetings were conducted; how many qualified leads were gathered at a show and defining and gauging sales goals for 30/60/90 days after a show. This information is 100 percent traceable. ROO data should be analyzed and used to guide you in creating an even more strategic, targeted plan for future shows. For more information, visit

What’s Trending at Tradeshows

From electronic charging stations to bubbles and from QR codes to photo booths and more modern promotional giveaways, it is critical for exhibitors to stay apprised of what’s hot at tradeshows. The cost to create that largely coveted “booth buzz” runs the gamut from economical to extravagant. So whatever your budget is, there is always a way to leave an impression and for your company to reflect that it is in tuned with the market.

Some of these trends also lend themselves to additional objectives such as “going green” and paperless initiatives. Tablet computer devices, such as iPads, have multiple uses such as at-show social media postings, lead gathering as well as serving as excellent tools for booth presentations and demonstrations. For more information, visit

Exhibiting Etiquette

Much of exhibiting etiquette is plain old common sense, so the first step is to follow your most basic professional instincts. When it comes to dress codes, always cater to your audience. Dress professionally yet accessibly. It is always a good idea to follow your company’s corporate color scheme and to easily be able to go from day exhibiting to evening networking by simply adding a blazer, a change of shoes or, for ladies, additional accessories.

Also, be sure to be competitive and creative when it comes to promotional giveaways, and thank-you gift cards for vendors, workhands, and staff are always a nicely added touch. Tattoos and non-traditional piercings should be obscured at shows where a corporate and cohesive image reigns supreme. Last but not least, alcohol consumption, while generally popular at such events, should be kept to a minimum as to avoid potential embarrassment. For more information, visit

Tradeshow Award Opportunities

Tradeshow awards and “best of” honor opportunities are available at many shows, and identifying and locating them is generally as simple as combing through the show’s website or promotional literature. Rules, eligibility guidelines, fees and deadlines for such submissions generally are outlined, and it is essential that they are adhered to by participating exhibitors. The most important part of winning such awards and recognitions is to not simply bask in the glory of victory but to leverage the honor by sending out press releases and using the “winning” title in a graphically designed “seal” to use on future company literature and collateral. Tradeshow media often do profiles and feature stories on the winning exhibitors, who can forever use the “best of” designation as a qualifier when quoted by media in future industry publications. For more information, visit

Tradeshows and Social Media

Social media, a form of integrated marketing communications, is a group of Internet-based applications that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Building a social media “following” is a function of joining the appropriate media sites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and then simply reaching out and exchanging information just as one would do at a physical networking event.

On Facebook and other sites, a business can build a profile with all pertinent information and use their “wall” as a platform to post updates, promotions, photos, videos and of course, details regarding tradeshow activity. Show participation should be posted approximately six months in advance, following up with periodic reminders and other-show related news before, during and after the exhibition. Take advantage of the opportunity to publicize contests, presentation schedules as well as giveaways, and when it’s all over – tradeshow success! Don’t forget to always acknowledge others in your social media network by posting and “liking” posts on others’ walls as well as replying and acknowledging those who have commented on yours. For more information, visit

Tradeshow Selection

With the economy still in a questionable state, it is more important than ever for exhibitors to be extra diligent and “selective” when choosing in which trades shows to participate. The first step is to make sure that your profile of key prospects is aligned with the attendee prospectus provided by the show producer. Also – always question your motives of participating in a show by answering a basic list of W’s – Where (destination of show)? When (show is taking place)? Why (exhibit)? Who (will be attending and exhibiting)? Scour the Internet for both traditional and tradeshow search engines which provide all the aforementioned details. Other places to locate tradeshow schedules are through industry associations and publications; convention centers, visitors bureaus and chambers of commerce. And, students – keep a keen eye on the competition and don’t forget there are always advantages and disadvantages of exhibiting at the same show as them. For more information, visit


• Sharpen your pencils and review past tradeshow lessons.
• Prepare for a new year of tradeshow education from your TradeShow Teacher.

5 Tips for Adding Value – A Show Organizer’s Perspective

October 14, 2012

by Jamie Hillegas

How do we stay innovative, deliver value to our exhibitors and stay personally motivated about our work when we have less time, money and resources? After almost 13 years with PMA, I feel lucky that I’m still excited about what I do. Yes, I still have nights of being awake at 3 a.m. because I can’t turn off the ideas in my head,  and I still get all “giddy” when I get feedback from exhibitors about something that really worked, no matter how small. One of the biggest things I struggle with is having enough time to come up with new opportunities and ways to deliver value to my exhibitors and stay out of that “same as prior” rut. With over 1,000 exhibiting companies, 18,000-plus attendees and a commodity that is perishable and has to be moved in and out every day of the show, it can be a challenge to come up with new things, let alone keep up with the day-to-day stuff.

Here are five tips for providing value:

1. Borrow Ideas: Do a quick Internet search on sponsorships and exhibitor marketing tools to check out what other shows are doing. Attend another show for new ideas that may add value to your own and swap registrations with another show manager to save money. Utilize your team, and not just those who work directly with you. I get some of my best ideas from brainstorming with staff and vendors that are not as close to a topic as I am. (Check out PMA’s online exhibitor resources here and borrow from me, I’d be honored!)

2. Use Your Resources: Work with your official services provider to deliver educational content through a webinar or online. At the end of the day, who is a better subject matter expert than you and your vendors? Especially in areas like logistics. Also, call upon your internal subject matter experts to deliver tips. We all have a marketing guru that’s working behind the scenes, bring their skills to life! What about survey results and statistics? Educate exhibitors on how they can use the survey results to maximize their investment in your show – pull out specific stats and make the “connections” for them.

3. Re-purpose Content: What do you already use that can be reused? Last year, we did a series of interviews with top buyers in our industry asking what they were looking for from exhibitors, what bugs them most, etc. We posted the interviews individually then provided an opportunity for Q&A from exhibitors. This year, we took those interviews and combined them into one tip sheet to share with returning exhibitors and as part of a “welcome packet” for first timers.

4. Deliver: None of the first three tips matter if you’re not delivering value in ways that work for everyone. We all know that one size does NOT fit all. Often, we deliver information that’s important to exhibitors through a variety of channels to fit every member’s needs. For example, blogs, email, webinars, Web site and e-courses.

5. Listen: Use your Exhibitor Advisory Committee, or if you don’t have one, a focus group with key exhibitors to bounce ideas off and ensure you are allocating your resources toward things that mean the most to them. If you are looking for feedback from a larger group of exhibitors, use tools such as your booth application, where you can require a response, to ask questions.Call or visit exhibitors to show them how much you value their feedback. Now, get out there and interact with your exhibitors, borrow from your peers, pick the brains of your fellow staff and vendors and show value in new and innovative ways!

Using social media to enhance trade shows and conferences

Posts by Shreesha on LeadFormix
Prognosticators at the beginning of this century predicted that the communications revolution and increasing use of digital media would slowly diminish participation in face-to-face events such as trade shows and conferences. The difficult world economy was to have hastened this decline.

In fact, the opposite seems to be true. We noted, for example, that the annual CES conference in Las Vegas set an attendance record last month. Many CMOs recognize that in-person events are an important marketing channel; and as a result, they have increased such investments as the economy improves. One could argue, quite convincingly, that social networking and digital content actually motivates people to congregate and enhance online relationships. Savvy decision-makers with scarce resources may be more likely to allocate money and time for participation in such events.

All of us understand there is no substitute to looking someone in the eye, shaking hands, reading body language and observing other behavioral clues. Indeed, it’s not a stretch to say that making such connections is an important part of drip marketing and building sustained relationships with prospects. site information Events requiring a physical presence are of course more expensive than creating content and sending emails, but the benefits can be huge.

We offer some practical suggestions on how to use social media to enhance the effectiveness of in-person events:

  • Use social channels to share registration offers, event highlights and teasers about agendas, speakers, topics, etc. LinkedIn is a great tool for this.
  • Identify prospective attendees based on the social content (e.g., biographical or demographic information). Send them personal invitations to join the event.
  • Seek out registrants who are particularly active in social forums.  Invite them to be part of the event’s “social team” so that they can spread the word to others before and during the event.
  • Tweet frequently using the official event hashtag. Publish and communicate the hashtag everywhere; then designate a person (or a team of people) on your staff to share highlights, retweet others and generally keep the Twitter conversation hopping.
  • Create and claim your booth for the event on Foursquare. Allow participants to “check in” each day. Provide a rotating set of special offers.
  • Record each event (or, for greater impact, stream it live) and share the content via links on your blog and social channels. Or, post the videos on YouTube.
  • Build a future prospect list by identifying people who participated online, tweeted, retweeted, joined the Twitter handle, or joined the event’s Facebook or LinkedIn pages.
  • Use QR codes liberally in booths, programs and other materials. The codes can link to polished materials or encourage attendees to use gamification tools.
  • Provide an SMS number to event participants to confirm attendance at post-event parties.

The subculture of social media and trade shows

Posted by Linda Musgrove, The Tradeshow Teacher with Exhibit City News

Hi, class! Today we are going to cover one of the most universally innovative movements in all of business and technology and how it specifically relates to tradeshow marketing. Social media, a form of integrated marketing communications, is a group of Internet-based applications that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Although widely perceived as an extremely economical method of marketing, in order to be successful and effective, investment should be made in content as well as an in-house or out-sourced expert on the intricacies of this phenomenon. Tradeshow exhibitors are increasingly learning to take advantage of social media sites like Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook and others to locate, identify and communicate with clients, vendors and prospects; this is also known as building communities (a.k.a. networks of contacts).

Whether ‘tweeting’ a raffle prize drawing from one’s booth; posting the winner’s photo on Facebook or even uploading a satisfied client tradeshow interview on YouTube, there are several essential factors to keep in mind while acclimating to the subculture of social media and tradeshows.

Fans and followers In order for exhibitors to use social media to their advantage, it is paramount to have a “following,” also known as a “community.” Without an expansive roster of interested or at least potentially interested parties, social media efforts will be futile as well as a waste of productivity. Hire or train a qualified and progressive candidate who is creative, has extensive Internet knowledge as well as strong marketing intuition. Building a social media “following” is a function of joining the appropriate media sites and then simply reaching out and exchanging information just as one would do at a physical networking event.

For instance, on Facebook, you build a comprehensive page or business “profile” with all pertinent details prior to “networking.” Think of it as if you were to attend an industry networking event; you would be armed with business cards, brochures and the like as well as being dressed professionally and appropriately. Same concept. Don’t reach out without preparation and presentation.

Now you are ready to “circulate.”

Each site is different. LinkedIn is a networking site where professionals “link” with one another through invitations and business referral exchange serves as the primary objective. Facebook allows you to create a business page that groups and individuals can “Like” (or “Friend”) resulting in their automatic receipt of your postings and links.

Reaching out and connecting with those in your industry and its peripheral is how the social media phenomenon unfolds. Suddenly a colossal world of contacts will open through site suggestions and mere exposure through existing ones.

Each site has different protocols, etiquette and objectives that need to be adhered to in order to maintain legitimacy and credibility. Be sure your social media pro knows the laws of compliance and the intricacies of each available site. Being flagged can be embarrassing and can jeopardize site membership eligibility!

Timing is everything Keeping posts and links relevant and current is critical to social media marketing success. An exhibitor should announce participation at a tradeshow approximately six months in advance, following up with periodic reminders and other-show related news before, during and after the exhibition. Take advantage of the opportunity to publicize contests, presentation schedules as well as giveaways and when it’s all over.

The key is to spread out the information in a timely and strategic manner in order to keep interest peaked. Redundancies and over saturation of information can cost you valuable exposure as Followers tend to breeze or skim past by that which appears to be old or repetitive information. Posts or links should have strong headlines or openers, brief yet concise information and art (graphics or photos) is always helpful in any form of media.

There is nothing wrong, in fact, it is recommended to share with your community or specific members when there are links and information of interest relating to not only your company but the industry at large. Thinking of and helping others in your community is always important, whether in the real world or cyber space.

Give and take Social media sites can be curious in the sense that no one really knows who and what is going on at the other end. It can be insulting when one only posts and does not share, comment or most of all, neglects to reply when a friend or follower reaches out. Intermittent social media participation does an exhibitor a true injustice. To succeed, it is vital to be consistent. The cultivating and nurturing of these relationships – while most predominantly ‘social’ in nature – can someday turn into a deal, a referral or opportunity of a lifetime.

Blogging rights Blogging is another form of social media that involves a website or part of a website maintained by an individual, writing commentary in the first-person, who has a following due to their expertise or occult appeal to a specific market. An exhibiting company fortunate enough to have a well-received in-house blogger should take advantage of the medium to update followers with details about current shows and related information thereof. Again, commenting on as well as sharing and posting others’ blogs is a way of paying it forward.


  • Generate current and relevant content
  • Be consistent through posts, replies and shares
  • Watch your business grow

Minimizing damage when exhibiting over the long haul

Posted by Mike Heuer Exhibit City NewsWith more high-tech gear becoming standard components of trade show displays, minimizing damage during transport can mean the difference between success and failure when exhibiting.


Proper packing can go a long way in getting your exhibit to the show floor in one piece.

Preparing to transport an exhibit across the country or overseas also requires a great deal of preparation and knowledge of state, federal and even international transportation laws. And the increased use of electronic equipment increases the need to adhere to shipping laws and proper packing methods.

“Moving electronics is very difficult,” said Greg Keh, vice president, TWI Group. “Not to pack, but to adhere to proper regulations. Lithium ion batteries, which are in nearly everything now, cannot simply be transported by airfreight. Items that emit radiation, such as DVD players or even monitors, can also be heavily regulated.”
While state and federal laws must be abided by, so must proper packing and shipping methods for the often times fragile components of various trade show exhibits.
“For so long now, trade shows and events have required the movement of fragile equipment,” said Pete Morgan, owner, Time Logistics. “We have actually reduced costs for less than truckload show shipments because our volume of similar delicate and time-critical freight enables us to provide consolidations to advanced receiving or direct to show deliveries. Our trade show coordinators and drivers are trained to properly handle these items. ‘Fragility’ in client’s shipments is now more the norm than the exception.”
And protecting those fragile items begins with proper packing of materials for transport.

Shock-absorbing flooring in crates and pallets along with the use of shock-watch indicators and tip-and-tell indicators inside and outside of crates enable the people moving the items to see if something is being handled properly.

Labeling cargo as fragile certainly helps as well, but high value equipment of an extremely fragile nature can be protected by reserving an entire loading device or container to ensure only the exhibit items are being moved instead of combining the equipment with other cargo.


Electrical and lighting components pose extra challenges during shipping.

“In all cases, make your transport arrangements with proactive solutions in place,” said Keh. “If you have a tall fragile item, be sure to book space in the right transport equipment that can accommodate the size. Many times items are laid down or turned to fit, and this is most damaging to fragile items. Both packing and proper coordination with all transport lines will help. Never assume you can do one without the other.”

Knowing how to prepare for transporting trade show exhibits can also save a great deal of aggravation and increase the likelihood of a successful trade show experience.
“Our driver’s first priority prior to leaving an exhibitor, builder or hall is to ensure all exhibitry and products are properly secured with E-track bars, tie downs and, if necessary, wrapped with blankets,” said Morgan. “Damage for electronics, flat screens and lighting systems may also come from the truck ‘jostling’ over a long haul. To prevent this, all show and event trailers are air-ride equipped.”

Morgan also said that completely padded vans and additional insurance should be used for highly sensitive items.

Using experienced drivers familiar with a wide variety of trade show venues also can help keep fragile cargo safe during transportation.

“TTS Logistics has an edge on servicing the trade show industry because it is all we do,” said Kelly Christy, president, TTS Logistics. “All employees who are hired by TTS have both freight and trade show industry experience. This ensures that all freight moving around the world with TTS is treated with the urgency that all trade show freight demands.”

While there is no sure-fire way to ensure exhibits arrive at venues intact and on time, taking a few proactive steps in regards to packing and shipping can make the experience go much more smoothly.

SEMA show and MAGIC marketplace decide there’s no place like Vegas

SEMA Show has signed on to stay in Las Vegas through 2017.

Two of Las Vegas’ megashows, SEMA Show and MAGIC Marketplace, both will stay in Las Vegas into the near future, with extensions of their leases at the Las Vegas Convention Center for five years and three years, respectively. “SEMA and MAGIC committed to Las Vegas in the early years, as we were evolving into a meetings and convention destination,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. He added, “We appreciate their long-standing commitment to Las Vegas and their roles in supporting thousands of local jobs and contributing hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy, which helps fund schools, roads and parks.”

The two shows will bring in an estimated $1.4 billion in non-gaming economic impact for Southern Nevada during the life of their extended contracts, according to LVCVA officials. SEMA Show, owned by the Specialty Market Equipment Association and managed by ConvExx, has made Las Vegas its home since 1977 and with its new contract will be there through 2017. “We are dedicated to delivering high value events to the thousands of businesses that invest in our annual trade event,” said Chris Kersting, president and CEO of SEMA. He added, “Our members have enjoyed a great deal of success as a result of their annual trade show in Las Vegas.”

Last year’s show was ranked No. 7 on the TSNN Top 250 and drew 2,140 exhibitors and more than 130,000 attendees (including exhibitor personnel) to a 935,000 net square foot showfloor. This year’s show is on tap Oct. 30-Nov. 2 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. SEMA Show is expected to contribute $827 million to Las Vegas during the life of its current lease.

Advanstar Communications’ MAGIC Marketplace has been in Las Vegas since 1989, and under its current lease extension for its biannual shows through 2015, the combined events are expected to bring in an expected $611 million to Las Vegas. “MAGIC is about connection.  Our business is about bringing together our attendees with our exhibitors,” said Tony Calanca, executive vice president of exhibitions for Advanstar. He added, “Our partnership with Las Vegas allows us to provide the best place to conduct the business of fashion. We’ve enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Las Vegas, and are excited to renew our partnership with the LVCVA, and look forward to the next three years, and beyond.”

Last year’s MAGIC shows, also held at the LVCC and other venues around the city, ranked Nos. 10 and No. 12 on the TSNN Top 250, both drawing more than 3,000 exhibitors and 60,000 attendees to 800,000-plus net sq. ft. showfloors. Both SEMA Show and MAGIC will be feted for being on the TSNN T-awards’ fastest-growing shows list during a gala weekend Nov. 2-4 in Louisville, Ky.

The art of conducting an efficient and effective production meeting

Posted by Katherine O’Brien at

Last week, I asked for suggestions on promoting good communication among an organization’s different departments.

Trade Press Services’ Gerri Knilans suggestions include:

  1. Encourage team members to copy each other on emails that related to client projects, even if there’s no action to take.
  2. When creating a project schedule, clearly identify roles and responsibilities and have the team lead or project manager be responsible for keeping the dialogue open and everyone informed.
  3. Have regularly scheduled staff meetings that are short but are designed to build trust and promote team work.

You’ll find additional reader suggestions here.

describe the imageBut just having a regular meeting isn’t enough—you must run the meeting efficiently with a structured agenda and respect for others’ time. “Well run production meetings are focused,” says ConsultWare’s Don Goldman. “They are run once daily and last no more than 20 minutes. Peta satelit dunia Meetings are held before the second shift to plan the next 24 hours. They are organized to address issues affecting everyone, rather than the status of each CSR’s jobs.”

Don’t wait until the meeting to communicate manufacturing issues such as customer changes. Deal with these hurdles as they arise. “The purpose of the production meeting is to plan ahead and solve problems,” Goldman advises. “This isn’t the place to be hearing about them for the first time.”

Throwing events under a BIG moving bus


September 4, 2012
by Rachel Wimberly

As anyone who is familiar with the event industry knows, the recession has been tough on our business in more ways than one. And, even with more people attending events recently, there still are pressures on the industry, especially in light of overspending by government agencies that has resulted in calls for travel to be severely restricted, the U.S. economy and unemployment rate is not exactly on sure footing and the global economy also has its problems. peta dunia . So, it was with complete and utter shock that I started seeing a series of Tweets going out by a virtual event company called ON24 with messages such as:

94% of Americans believe ‘bad behaviors’ occur when travelling to attend conventions and trade shows #GoVirtual
Business travel seen as bastion for unhealthy behavior @EBNmagazine #GoVirtual
Business Travelers Gone Wild by @rUv for @Forbes #GoVirtual

The link in all these Tweets leads to an article that was picked up in a slew of general and business publications that was about a survey of 2,000 people conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of ON24 called “Your Time, Your Life, Go Virtual”. The survey was broken into three sections to examine attitudes on work/life balance and its impact on people’s lives. What the news outlets caught onto and spread far and wide was a statistic that 94% of the people said “bad behaviors” occur among people travelling away from home to attend business trade shows and conventions, with 71% believing people drink too much alcohol while away. Additionally, cheating on a spouse (66%), spending too much money (54%), eating fatty foods (53%), not sticking to exercise routine (43%), going to bed late (42%) and taking illicit drugs (31%) also were answered on the survey. There were a ton more stats all pointing to for the most part how the life/work balance is way off. The headline in Forbes article was “Business Travelers Gone Wild: Does Business Travel Lead to Divorce and Alcoholism?”, a Huffington Post headline was “Cheating At Work? Survey Suggests 66 Percent Of Americans Fear Infidelity At Trade Shows”.

ON24 Chief Marketing Officer Denise Persson was quoted in a press release saying, “These results illustrate that Americans believe their work-life balance is out of whack and that fuels their growing dislike for business travel, their resentment and their desire for control of their own lives and how they spend their time. At ON24 we’re committed to providing virtual solutions that help travelers make the most out of their lives. Because it’s your time, your life. Go virtual!”

ON24 must have been in heaven with all of this press coverage. They hit the big time and their message was simply forget face-to-face events, lots of bad stuff happens there, #govirtual.

ON24 seemingly would like to work with event organizers on virtual events, after all, most people agree that in conjunction with a live event having virtual components before, during and after is a win-win for everyone.

But, I fail to see the logic of completely trying to paint a negative picture of business travel to face-to-face events in order to boost the idea that people are safer staying in their offices and going virtual.

Do I think ON24’s marketing blitz to urge people to consider virtual events was successful? In one sense, of course; they got the coverage they wanted.

But, in another, much bigger sense, I think throwing the entire event industry straight under a BIG moving bus wasn’t the right way to do it.

Five tips to stand tall with your small exhibit

Are you exhibiting for the first time and feel like David amongst the many Goliaths of the showfloor? Think of any big company in the world and chances are they started out as a small exhibit on the show floor.

A common goal for all exhibitors is to provide an engaging experience that helps sell products and build a brand. As I write this, there are micro start-ups being developed on kitchen tables across America. In order to grow new business leads, they’ll be debating what to do with their first exhibit presence.

It’s simple to engage, but it takes time and thorough planning. Using a trained staff, inviting platforms and a pull-thru strategy can create an awesome experience for any size exhibit.

Here’s a list of my top five tricks for the small exhibitor:

1. The Perfect Welcome Counter is Not a Counter - Use your talented staff and digital tablets to relay concise information and opportunities to engage more effectively. Tablets can be loaded with detailed information, themed educational activities and more with multiple benefits to exhibitors.

2. Extend the Show with E-Literature – A small exhibit that uses electronic literature not only saves on printing, shipping, and drayage, but its biggest benefit is that your literature has a much higher probability of being used and exponentially shared long after the show.

3. Power Charging Stations – Recharge zones are in vogue for big and small exhibitors throughout Europe and the U.S. FACT: Everyone carries one if not two mobile devices on the show floor. YOUR GOAL: Provided a simple area that allows visitors to recharge their phones. Done correctly, this can guarantee more attendee face-to-face time while you provide a simple, low-cost service. Maximize your new zone with highly visible signage, provide adaptors for all the latest devices and locate it near the aisle.

4. Face-to-Face Lock Down -If you’re staff is using digital tablets to relay information in your small exhibit, teach them this simple and effective tip. Whatever your hook line is to welcome visitors into your space, the very next step should be to hand them your digital tablet. This stops attendees in their tracks and forces them to engage in conversation with you immediately. The activity on the tablet should be company or product focused and simple to use. It could be a simple challenge, donation or survey. Whatever the “digital ice-breaker” is, make sure a multi-layered pull-thru strategy of conversation follows.

5. Keep Them Coming Back for More -Do you have existing video content that’s hard to display in a small space? Design an enticing program that requires attendees to come back each day and re-purpose that video. One of the most popular exhibits I saw at a recent show was a small space that allowed three attendees to sit in chairs, get a vibrating foot massage and see educational videos on headset goggles — all at the same time. Attendees were badge scanned and received additional information from the reps after each visit. The immersive headset and vibrating pads virtually remove them from the show floor to focus on the message.

The kicker was that they invited visitors back each day to see more videos and increase their chances to win a valuable premium. While much larger exhibits were slow or empty, this little “David” exhibit was packed day after day qualifying visitors.