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Standing Out from the Pack; Differentiate!

A Trade Show Displays Tip:

More good information on Trade Show Displays: Your company's presence at a trade show is intended to generate leads, as well as showcase your company's products and ideas. It also should be an opportunity to listen to prospective clients and hear their expectations. So, how do you make certain that your trade show booth is not lost in the shuffle? In trade shows, as in life, you have to take chances to get noticed. Remember, the opportunity to make that first impression only comes once.

The following are ten easy ways to distinguish your trade show exhibits and design a successful display:

Develop a theme for your trade show exhibits -- It doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive. It just has to be related to your company or to your sales pitch of the moment. For example, if your company sells coffee, you could have a coffee shop theme, complete with staffers dressed as baristas, and lattés made to order. Or you can tie your theme to your company's geographic location. If your company is based in Texas, consider going with a western theme.

Stellar use of audio-visual materials -- think about a video kit for your trade show exhibits. This is a built-in shelf that incorporates a monitor and keyboard into your display. A cut-out in the pop-up display along with a small shelf for the keyboard permits viewing of an interactive video.
Use special effects display lighting to impress -- if your company markets cosmetics made from natural ingredients, play a recording of rain forest sounds. Using an incandescent spotlight is a great way to highlight your flagship product.
Provide in-booth hospitality -- This can be something as simple as coffee, tea and pastries-or something more elaborate.
Music -- choose something appropriate to your company, not elevator music, but something that won't overpower your presentation. If your company markets snowboards, you may choose high energy rock music. Just remember to keep the decibels at a reasonable level!
Scents and aromas -- Go beyond sound and vision. Appeal to all five senses if possible. For example, real estate agents know that the scent of home-baked cookies can evoke sentimental emotions and promote sales. You may wish to consider this approach if your company sells kitchen appliances. Free cookies can't hurt either!
Promos -- imprinted pens, calendars, and t-shirts will keep your company's name and logo on people's minds every time the use them. Raffles and giveaways -- think creatively-when sending out your press kit and pre-show promotional materials, consider including a raffle ticket and letting them know they may have already won a free gift.
Feature a company mascot -- You can design your own-or for a less expensive alternative you can a rent a costume for one of your staffers to wear, or even contact local theater companies for props. In a crowded hall, a costumed character will stand out, and draw people to your booth. Hire a celebrity spokesperson -- It doesn't have to be a supermodel or A- list celeb. Consider a local news personality or athlete. No press kit is complete without the all-important press release. The press release should tie in to some newsworthy event. Your company's presence exhibiting in a trade show exhibits in and of itself does not necessarily comprise news. You, acting as publicist, need to supply the connection between your company and some larger trend or event. The press release should always begin with the phrase: For Immediate Release, followed by the date. Your contact information should be in the upper right-hand corner of the document. Create a catchy headline. Include a dateline, such as Portland, Oregon-April 10, 2006. Your press release should address the who, what, when, where, and why of your story. Keep it brief, with a just the facts tone, and limit yourself to three or four short paragraphs, totaling no more than one page. Include collateral items. Collateral items are any sort of promos such as postcards and bookmarks, flyers and transparencies, photos or compact discs that contain information about your company and its products. You might want to include a sheet with testimonials from satisfied customers.

For a more economical alternative, you can choose to send e-press releases, following the same format as the physical press release. Note, some editors prefer e-mail and some a physical press release. It is best to call ahead and find out. Research the local media market and send your press kits to local newspapers, radio and T.V. stations. Check the Web sites of each news outlet you plan to contact for an employee roster. Look for the name of the business editor or reporter. If you are not sure who the appropriate contract person is, it is better to call and find out than send your materials to the wrong person. Finally, always follow-up with a quick call or e-mail asking the intended recipient if they received your materials, and if they have any questions you can help them with before they arrive in your trade show exhibits.

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