Booth Setup Day

It’s the day before the show.  You’ve bought your booth space and spent weeks and months working to ensure your space at the trade show will draw the most prospects possible. You wake up on Booth Setup Day fully ready to hit this one right out of the park, confident that your efforts will pay off.  You walk into the convention center…and right into what could easily pass as a set for a post-apocalyptic movie.  Making your way through throngs of people, you push, shove, sprint, and crawl to your booth space.  You make it there alive, but what do you do now?

Expect Complete Chaos:  The room will be dirty.  There will be people running around everywhere trying to get their booth in order.  There will be no food and, if your show takes place in the summer, potentially no air conditioning.  Plan for all of these!  Don’t try to wear a suit to this.  It may look classy at first, but after hours in these conditions, you’ll be hot, sweaty, and potentially spending a lot of money on a dry-cleaning bill to fix rips and tears from the toils of booth setup.

Lots of Exercise:  You may have to park multiple blocks away from the show site.  Purchasing and using the proper cases for all of your booth accessories will help the transportation process immensely.  Are you the only person from your company going to the show?  Make sure you plan transportation ahead of time.  You don’t want to accidentally get locked out of the convention center with half of your materials inside the building and half still in your hands, searching for another entrance!  While intricate booths may look amazing to potential clients, they potentially could be hard work to put together. Plan ahead and bring tools you may need for setup so you aren’t searching for anything when the time comes.  Undercover Printer also offers easy-setup displays and backwalls that give you a professional look without the stress.

Prepare for What-If’s:  What if there’s a shipping issue and your display is stuck in the Midwest in a flood?  Make sure your staff can think on their feet if a potential client is around, booth or no booth.  Coming from out of town and need a booth in a hurry?  Undercover Printer offers 24 hr turn on booth displays.  What if someone trips and falls, taking part of your booth down with them?  Do you have the spare parts to save the day if disaster strikes?

Intimidated yet?  Despite the potential for disaster present at each setup day, a little bit of planning can help keep you in control of the situation.  And even if everything spirals out of your control, just remember it will all be worth it on show day, when you just might meet your dream client!

-by Jenna Marie, Chief Code Breaker

Brush Pass Giveaway: Bags

Undercover Printer's Bag Ladies

In the spy world, a “brush pass” is when two agents meet for a very short period of time and something of value is passed between the two.  In the trade show world, you will be making a large number of brush passes as you hand out promotional items to potential clients.  How can you be sure the items you are passing out are staying with your prospects?  Our agents have been on the case, and we’ve discovered evidence that a good quality bag could be the answer to all of your promotional item worries!  Why?

They’re helpful:  With all the loot people will be picking up at trade shows, their hands can get full pretty quickly.  A good bag will be sought out by people laden with other promotional goodies from all around the show.

They disguise your competition:  When you give away a good quality bag to your potential clients, all of your competition’s merchandise will end up making their way in there.  For the entirety of the show, your brand will be the only one seen as all the others stay hidden in your bag!

They stay with clients:  Even after the rest of the show materials from inside your bag are cleared out, people can always use an extra bag.  People use nonwoven bags for grocery shopping, storage, and transportation all the time and are always looking for more quality ones, especially if they are free!

They’re easy to customize:  There are many options for you to truly customize your bag to represent your company in the best way possible.  Nonwoven bags are always a customer favorite and are the most likely to be used after the show as opposed to plastic or paper.  Bags can be printed in full color to perfectly match your brand’s logo and things like additional pockets can help keep your prospects organized.  With bags priced as low as $1, you can find the perfect bag for any budget!

Whatever you choose, don’t be afraid to spend a little bit more to ensure that you are getting your money’s worth.  More expensive products will generally be better made and will stay in the hands of your potential customers longer. You can also offer to sponsor the bag that the show is giving out!  These bags, handed out to everyone at the start of the show, will ensure that your brand gets into the hands of every single person attending the show.

Hand out a quality bag and watch your brand walk around the show!

-by Jenna Marie, Chief Code Breaker

Modern Spy Tech: Trade Show Apps

Trade Show Smart Phone App

In the upcoming months, millions of people will be attending trade shows and user conferences!  They will be using their best spy skills to find the perfect vendors to work with or the most useful classes to attend.  How can you, as an event planner, help them complete their missions?  Many trade show planners are taking advantage of smart phone technology to create apps for their show attendees.  Apps can provide a great deal of information minus the mess of creating millions of paper copies, but what features would make your app the most user-friendly for your attendees?

Maps:  Your event may attract the attention of attendees who live far away and may be unfamiliar with the area.  Your app can provide them with important clues, such as directions from the airport to the exhibition center, and local hotels and restaurants.  On a smaller scale, you can also include a map of the exhibition center.

Directory:  Even with all the best sleuthing of your show’s attendees, it’s possible they might not be able to meet up with everyone on their lists.  Providing a directory will ensure that contacts from the show are being made long after the last booth is packed up.  You could also put QR codes on badges that, when scanned by the app, lead the user to contact information for the badge owner.

Social media: Your show’s attendees will probably be on multiple social media outlets throughout the event trying to make appointments and new contacts.  Integrate social media on your app and ensure that the attention will be kept to your app and your show.

Schedule:  With all the flyers exchanging hands, paper schedules could easily get lost in the piles of paper people will be collecting throughout your show.  A virtual schedule will ensure your attendees will always know the times and locations of speakers and classes.

Notification System:  How do you go about informing your attendees of a change in room or schedule? With a notification system on your event app, people would be able to receive important information quickly and easily.  You can also add session reminders for registered attendees.

Despite possible downsides, such as difficulties with different kinds of phones or data plans, event apps have the potential to be a very useful addition to your show.  Not especially tech savvy?  Many companies, including Guidebook and TapWalk are available that can help you create your own app from a set of templates.  If your conference or event needs are more advanced and you want to incorporate special functions such as GPS location services or other custom features, you can take advantage of the expertise of mobile app development companies like Segue Technologies, Inc.  With this new technology and the user-friendly atmosphere that follows, you can be certain your show will  be a favorite of attendees.

-by Jenna Marie, Chief Code Breaker

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Mission: Trade Show

So you’ve bought your booth space for the next trade show?  How much is it really costing you though? With the cost of displays, salaries for employees manning the booth, and promotional items, you are probably spending too much to risk an unsuccessful show, but how can you be certain your booth will draw in the contacts necessary to make your time and money worthwhile?

Think ahead.  Every good spy knows the importance of useful contacts.  You wouldn’t go into an important top secret mission without knowing who to meet, so why would you go to a trade show without knowing potential clients? Reach out through social media and try to find, and get to know, other people who will be there so you have leads before you even walk in the door.

Creativity.  Draw a crowd with a game or video.  Find a clever way to draw people into your booth that pertains to your particular business.  Anything that will help you establish a more personal relationship with potential clients is fair game, so be creative!

Effective Displays.  Small booths can be spectacular! Get creative with graphics and eye catching displays that will stand out from the rest.