Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Taking Your Bannerstands And Other Displays Outside: Tips For A Successful Outdoor Exhibit

It's easy to control your exhibits if you're going to an indoor marketing event. However, it's likely that you'll want to exhibit outdoors at least once. If you're planning on taking your bannerstands and other displays to an outdoor event, use these tips to help ensure that you have a successful event.

Consider A Canopy Over Your Tables

A canopy is vital if you're going to be outside. Canopies can provide a great deal of shade in the hot sun, but they can also help protect expensive equipment in case of an unexpected rainstorm. This will not only protect your own employees -- your canopy can provide a welcome refuge for attendees!

Use Bannerstands That Are Designed For The Outdoors

If you're tempted to use your regular bannerstands outside, don't! Instead, look for bannerstands that are designed to be used outside. These bannerstands are specially weighted on the bottom to protect them from strong winds. Also look for graphics printed with special inks that are resistant to UV rays -- these inks will help your graphics remain bright and vibrant, even after hours in the hot sun.

Plan A Trade Show Booth Design That Can Anchor To The Ground

Another thing you should do is to have your trade show booth design company come up with a display that can be easily anchored to the ground. Make sure to let them know that you're planning on using your exhibit outside and ask them for any special tips to keep your booth safe from a strong gust of wind.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Successful Attendant Management for Product Launches

To help customers, event managers need to host a solution (event) that highlights the target markets need to improve, whether its sector knowledge, making new friends, integrating new trends through marketing or entertaining their target audience in new ways. Sometimes we have to highlight the requirement to improve by placing an idea into their heads, turning this new found recognition into an urgency to better their business or personal development.

The process we make to attend an event is as follows;

1. Realising the need to fix a problem.

2. Research into the ways on how to do so.

3. Comparing the alternative options.

4. Documenting the behaviour of audiences deciding to attend.(Peer influence and opinions play a huge part in this).

5. Reviewing the experiences gained from doing so. (Whether it was a positive or negative experience, deciding any future action with the event and its management. Do we estrange ourselves or stick with them?).

This structure is then edited by event managers to create a marketing initiative suited to the process of a decision maker, which is why social networks have become our best friends.

The power of technology for marketing hasn't gone unnoticed, but what we tend to forget is how much websites control and consume our information;

· We create multiple online profiles throughout the internet because websites ask us to, casually sharing our entire identity with strangers. Our occupations, salaries and personal information are no longer a secret.

· We target the search behaviours of our audiences because the internet documents them. Interest based targeting through cookie capture and questionnaire data on websites ask us for detailed information which is then published where marketers can track them.

· We optimise our websites with user search terms to suit growing trends relevant to our sector, because we can no longer research without Google, Bing or Yahoo.

· We listen to social opinions of strangers who claim to be- and sometimes are- experts. Their opinion and social status becomes more important than our own decisions!

Our social networking personas tell the world what we are looking for. We pour our groaning into statuses and make people jealous with our constant stream of social updates including images and videos. We brag, and this makes it pretty easy for marketers to find, analyse and pester us.

Our communities are made up of people who have the same interests as us and although we can very easily - and still do - search for an event that suits our notions, we are personally invited to events by our peers through social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Trends and feedback now come to us in realtime, whether those experiences are a good thing or not.

How has this changed our attending behaviour?

Technology has given us the ability to ensure upcoming events are sector or socially worthy. Event feeds populate the web, influencing our ideas with extensive content which helps us compare multiple event options before we make the decision to attend. We skim through the comment feeds and attendant lists of online registration sites and also search into the past of event organisers and hosts through search engines.

· YouTube allows us to watch past events, gaining personal reviews of events from the online social public whilst also compiling our own thoughts based on films.

· Facebook allows us to follow venues and promoters who host those events we are interested in, meaning we get personal invites to events as they appear.

· Twitter gives us the chance to follow those we aspire to be and like, giving us a live feed of what they are up to, where they are and how they came to succeed. But Twitter also gives us the ability to manage issues in the real world, hash tagging our thoughts and events into the trending, following world.

But social media isn't the be all and end all as blogs review those events that make an impact on the real world, with articles showing up in our Google search results. They deliver an emotion to the information seeking public, deterring our thought process to become more analytical. This means that expert opinions and peer incentives are even more relevant for event managers when deciding to make your event stand out because finding an alternative has become very easy.

Blogs are our idea outlets. Their sour reviews amplify our cognitive dissonance which needs to be avoided if you wish to be an imperatively savvy event professional. The slander of a particular event could leave you with a lack of attendants. The event management company, host and venue could also be at risk of becoming socially downgraded with the disappointment of those attendants.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Foundations of Marketing

How to Market Your Business

Marketing is a crucial business function. Having a great product or offering an excellent service is very well, but if people are not aware of what you are offering they can't buy your products or use your services. Marketing refers to activities that determine and communicate the value of your product or service to customers.

The first step in effective marketing is identifying your customer. This can be done by determining the target customer's:

• Age group
• Sex
• Marital status
• Geographical location
• Income
• Occupation
• Level of education attained
• Interests
• Cultural and ethnic background

This is known as demographic information and is used to create a customer profile and identify the target market. Market research may be required to identify your target market and the needs of the people within it.

It is important to identify the needs of the target market in order to effectively communicate with potential customers. If you don't understand why people need or want your product, chances are that you won't be able to tell people why they should buy it. Understand these needs by asking questions like:

• How does my product or service help people overcome challenges in their daily lives?

• What do people expect from this type of product or service?

• What do people in this market segment desire?

• Where do they spend their money?

• What do they spend their money on?

• Which member or members of the household makes the spending decisions?

Conducting thorough market research gives you the information you need to make the right decisions for your business.

One of the cornerstones of marketing is the marketing mix, or the four Ps of marketing: product (goods or services), price, place, and promotion. These are the four main factors influencing the marketing decision.


Products fall into various categories:

• Mass produced (all identical) or custom (unique for each customer)

• New or existing

• Convenience goods (for example, bread or milk), shopping goods (such as jeans or shoes), specialty goods (for example luxury items that are bought as gifts or once in a while), unsought goods (something that is necessary but not particularly desired, such as emergency plumbing services)

Understanding which category your product falls into will help you to formulate a marketing strategy. Have your product tested to make sure there are no small things that may put customers off buying it.


The price should not be so high as to discourage buyers or so low as to make them think the product is inferior. Consider the cost of the production (including overheads), the existing market price, and what people can and will pay for similar products.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Eight Golden Rules of SMS Marketing

1. Never inundate your opt-ins with too many messages.

The general rule with text message frequency is no more than 4 a month. Anything above this amount will become an annoyance and run the risk of your customers opting out.

2. Always give the customer the option to opt out at any time.

Customers should always feel that they are in control of the experience and can opt out at any time. For both ethical and brand protection reasons no promotional text message should ever be sent without the functionality for the recipient to call a halt to further texts.

3. Always include an offer.

People want to be a part of exclusive clubs that receive special offers and discounts; they don't want to have their phone cluttered up with junk texts. Keep offering them value and they will remain opted in and buying from you.

4. Never send out messages outside of business hours.

As a general rule text messages outside of business hours, when consumers are relaxing or with their family, will seem intrusive. In some instances this can be stretched to 7pm or 8pm but it's safest to stick to the rule. As discussed above don't ever give your customers a reason to opt out.

5. Personalize your messages and use humor where appropriate.

If your software allows and you have the data try and include your customers name in the text message. Consumers want to feel special and that you are taking the time out to talk to them personally and not just as part of a mass marketing exercise. Humor also works if it's appropriate to the brand, the campaign and the audience.

6. Always be aware of other marketing efforts.

SMS marketing will rarely, if ever, be the only marketing activity that is being utilized by a business or brand. When planning a SMS marketing campaign make sure you are aware of all other marketing efforts and link in where possible.

7. Speak with a consistent voice that reflects the qualities of your brand.

Don't confuse your audience and dilute the power of your brand by speaking with different voices across the various marketing and advertising channels. If your business has spent a lot of time in building a friendly and playful tone for your brand, keep to this tone in all communications including SMS.