Get the most out of your Trade Show

Trade Shows are a valuable investment for your business and your performance is based the magnetism of your display, your ability to communicate quickly and effectively about your product/service, the materials you provide and most of all, your follow up. There are specific things you can do to maximize your return on this investment.

Pre Show: Invite as many people as you can! Let them know where you will be and offer various types of incentives to show up: “Make sure to stop by and pick up some free samples” or “Don’t forget to come over, say hi and enter into a drawing to win a gift certificate!” Most shows provide you with a list of people who have pre-registered, or other vendors. Use this list to send direct mail or e-mails to them beforehand to encourage them to visit you at your booth.Trade shows

Make sure you have a focused message going into the trade show. Talk to your staff before hand; make sure everyone is on the same page. We recommend picking just two or three key ideas that you want to get across at the show and train yourself and your staff to “stay on message”. For example, purely sell your new product or inform people about how eco-friendly your service is. Design your graphics, pre-show promotion, literature and show directory advertising around your message. Keep things integrated.

Show time: Make attendees intrigued by your booth, ensuring they stop by instead of walking right on by. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your booth visually appealing, just make sure you put your products front and center and put the people manning the booth out-of-the-way. Think about it like this: don’t you hate having to deal with sales staff the first thing as you walk into a business? Most trade booth workers are going to be aggressive; yet people like to be left alone to look, touch, play with your product. Make sure you acknowledge the people approaching as well as pay attention to be available once they have a question, just let them explore on their own first.

Post Show: Naturally, since you were in touch with attendees before and during the show, it is crucial that you are in touch with them after the show as well. If you had a ‘bowl’ for people to enter their names/business cards in for a prize, use that information to reach out and send a personalized email thanking them for stopping by your booth. Encourage them to ‘Like’ you on Facebook or direct them to your website. If you had a sign in sheet, take that list and reach out to those people acknowledging that you appreciated them stopping by.

As you gain experience and improve your trade booth skills, you will achieve greater results.

Value of Trade Shows

Trade shows are a top marketing channel for businesses yet are underutilized. These events offer businesses the opportunity to strengthen personal relationships with consumers -which potentially lead to sales increases. The beauty of a trade show is that you can share your product or service with the audience face-to-face, building new relationships while investigating the competition.

Research shows that about 50% of trade show attendees do make a purchase within 1 year of the event. Why is this?

  • Some products are more easily sold with a demonstration. You are able to give face-to-face demonstrations for your products to a large audience.Trade Show Small Business
  • You are enabling people to see YOU and your team; you are the people behind the product. You are not crooked and not just out to get their money. You are the people, honest and hard-working, who have created a product or service based on a real need.
  • Finally, the greatest thing about trade shows- Give-A-Ways. You can give a sample of your product either to every attendant or a drawing at the end of the show. Either way you are connecting with your potential consumers. Everyone loves free things.

Attending local trade shows and events is a good way for national brands to connect with local consumers. On the other end, local brands can connect with consumers that were not reachable before. Ultimately your business, whether just starting out or an established company, will obtain new referrals, quality leads, deal closures and valuable cross selling opportunities.

Social Media and Healthcare: Together They Can Rule the World

Let us first talk about social media and its growing importance; Facebook has more than 1 billion users, Twitter has 500 million, and platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are growing just as rapidly.

Social is here to stay and is where consumers are increasingly spending their time interacting, learning and being influenced. Healthcare marketing should generate vibrant, engaging and real-time online identities to benefit from these new behaviors.

Mobile HealthNow we can focus on the new breed of patients. Consumers are seeking to take a more active role in their own healthcare.  As frustrating as it often is to physicians and other healthcare professionals, patients are no longer content with handing over their complete trust. Before they walk into a medical office, they want to be certain they know everything — including the illness they are sure they have. This is where social media sites can really come into play. Creating pages for your medical practice or associating with social sites that are dedicated to illnesses, treatments, and healthy living is a great idea. Patients are doing their research, so it’s important to have complete and correct information online for them!

Understanding this new breed of empowered patients plus understanding the rise of digital, social, and mobile marketing is becoming a necessity. People want the information and they want it to be easily accessible and even customized to their own preferences and needs.

Mobile Health

Consumers are becoming more and more reliant on their smartphones; just thinking about a day without mine frightens me! This information presents a great opportunity for health care professionals to develop inventive strategies to reach and engage with consumers when they are on the go — from disease management to remote health monitoring, and beyond.

The mobile health movement (also known as ‘mHealth’) has fully emerged. There are a number of mobile health apps out there, but they are low quality. These apps are typically “unsponsored,” meaning there is no professional medical company running them. “Sponsored” apps are what patients want. Sponsored apps are supported by insurance companies, healthcare providers and other medical institutions, which ultimately result in higher patient adoption and engagement of an app.

HapptiqueAre you a healthcare provider and do not know where to start? Happtique is the first mobile application store, think of it as comparable to the ITunes store, developed by healthcare professionals for healthcare professionals. Happtique offers healthcare enterprises — like hospitals, continuing care facilities, and physician practices — the ability to create individually branded and secure apps that support patient mobile technology use.

The rising need of healthcare is matched by rising costs; both are only expected to increase. Providentially, mobile technology and innovation are positioned to take healthcare in a more resourceful direction. Surrendering to mHealth is your only option as patients are becoming more proactive. It will guide your on-the-go patients on a path to safer health practices and self-care. With one-fifth of Americans owning smartphones, instant access to healthcare is an important trend in 2013.

The world of healthcare is changing fast. Providers that are in the forefront of change will benefit greatliy, as will their patients.

Mobile Local Commerce

Small businesses listen up! This year, more than ever, consumers will be compelled to shop locally. New technology is providing services that identify local shops offering exactlyImage what consumers are looking for. Shoppers are tech-savvy and expect purchasing to be quick, convenient, and hassle free. The facts are straightforward, if the experience is not convenient, consumers are less inclined to use you as a merchant. Here are two ways to jump on this tech-savvy bandwagon:

 

1. Intuit, otherwise known as mobile payments on the go. The commercials show an on-the-go personal trainer using Intuit but in actuality, it is great for any small business that currently does not accept credit cards. In some cases it might be less costly than getting a traditional credit card reader! Intuit offers a free application for you to download (for your iPhone, iPad or Android) and a free card reader that easily attaches to your mobile device. You are charged per credit card transaction, and it is commitment-free.

Still not convinced about mobile payments? Check out this infographic.  Mobile payments level the playing field for small businesses, giving you the tools to recapture lost sales from large chains.

2. Goodzer is an app that is popping up on every smartphone. It is a search engine for unique boutiques and small neighborhood stores that can be easily overlooked. The concept is to find local products. Consumers can type in any product and Goodzer checks prices and availability in real-time of any local merchant that list items on a website. Retailers can easily add themselves to the Goodzer database by clicking ‘Add Store’ on the Goodzer websites’ navigation bar. The system is growing – if you do not add your store, local competitors will add theirs. When consumers search, who do you think they will find?Image

 Local merchants who are not ready to make the transition to mobile services may lose sales to mobile-ready competitors and risk the long-term success of their business. So check it out!

The Power of Women

In the past few years we have seen that women have held the buying power in the market. They have made the majority of purchasing decisions. So, who is leading the companies Imagethat make the products women are buying for themselves and their families? Women. Women business leaders are at an all time high and they are only just rising.

As of July 2012, twenty Fortune 500 companies had women CEOs. This is an all-time high and proves the steady pace of women leading the largest companies in the world. We should have seen it coming. In the 2008 recession, men lost their jobs in greater numbers than women because women’s skills were more flexible. In general, men have been waiting for their old jobs to come back while women have adapted to make the most of new opportunities, even going back to school. In 2012 there were 8.3 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. Recent blockbuster films and best-selling novels have put women front and center as the heroines. These leading roles, typically played by men, are providing the cultural context and empowerment for women to take leading roles in the business world.

Now that we have talked about all the numbers, let us look into certain characteristics that are helping women become such important leaders.

The business world is now relying more on feminine traits; relationships and passion. We live in a very technology driven world, but consumers still crave that human touch from companies. They want a relationship with businesses and women are more adept at relationship building. Science proves women are more natural communicators and engagers, the key foundation of relationship building.

Having a strong emotional drive can be very powerful in leading a business. When women are excited and passionate about a product, a service or company, they become extremely driven from that emotion. Men strive to hide their emotions. I am not saying that men cannot be passionate, but men tend to downplay the positive benefits of emotion and passion as a force to drive innovation and growth.

The bottom line is that diversity has always been a powerful force in any company— including male-female diversity. It gives for better solutions, allows solving problems faster, and enables companies to see opportunities better. We are going to see the number of female business leaders grow higher because we require that balance. We need the creativity and we need men and women leading together in business. Support the women in your organization!

Friend-Sourced Travel

If you are a company in the travel or hospitality industry, you will want to pay attention to this new trend for 2013; ‘Friends’ as travel agent

People desire more meaningful experiences and a host of new online services enable travelers to go “off the beaten path” and discover the hidden secrets of their destination, offered by trusted, local experts whom consumers see as friends. Some websites are even giving options for people to overnight at the homes of their local tour guides, dine with locals, and take tours with a city resident.

One site that has really been gaining an extensive following is Vayable. Their mission is to
“… enable entrepreneurship, cultural exchange, community-building and exploration worldwide by empowering people to share experiences with others.” You can discover, book, and offer tours and activities almost anywhere in the world. Vayable hand picks experiences submitted by users. Travelers really appreciate the high quality and ‘realness’ of the site.

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As much as the travel industry relies on travelers, it also relies on destinations. Survival of the tourism industry translates into the survival of the communities that sustain it. Vayable provides these smaller — almost forgotten gems of communities — with a new safe and fun way to accomplish sustainability. Small towns can post getaways and invite friends to come join them.

With travel being so inherently social, it is important that the tourism industry becomes just as social. If you are in the business of travel or tourism, check out these sites as well: Trippy, Airbnb, and Trip Birds.