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$10.00 Febr uar y 2006

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RELATIONSHIPS

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RESOURCES

RESULTS

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Tradeshows LA Style Demonstrating Intangibles

10 Ways to Get Booth Traffic

P U P P M


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Contents

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Vol. 3, No. 2

28 8

20

COVER STORY 8 TRADESHOWS LA STYLE

Our interview with Mark S. Liberman, President and Chief Executive Officer of LA INC., The Convention and Visitors Bureau, gave us an insiders look at the operations of LA Inc.

Are you ready to bring new life to your current exhibit? Or are you ready to chuck it because no one stopped to see you at your last event? Your answer is a few steps away with these tips for attracting visitors to any booth. By: Bob Thomas USELESS TRINKETS AND MOUNDS OF TRASH 16

Explore two areas of tradeshow contention distributing printed matter at the booth, and the giveaways that sit on the front counter – and find out how to avoid common pitfalls. By: Margit B. Weisgal BRAND LEGACY: WHAT’S YOUR NEXT MOVE? 20

Explore Brand Legacy, which begins from a point of origin (core idea) and considers historic message layering to derive a current perception as it pertains to your target audience. By: Bill Nissim PRE- AND POST-TRADESHOW MAILERS 28

An article with a sense of humor that is filled with some direct marketing tips to make your tradeshows even more effective. By: Jeffrey Dobkin

PUBLISHER’S LETTER 6 ADVERTISING INDEX 56

Get FREE information from this month’s advertisers

features TEN EASY WAYS TO ATTRACT VISITORS TO YOUR BOOTH 14

departments

DEMONSTRATING INTANGIBLES 34

Are tradeshow exhibitors who do not have a product to experience doomed to tradeshow mediocrity…absolutely not! Just follow these demonstrating suggestions at your next tradeshow booth. By: Barry Siskind INTERVIEWING MARKETING PROS? READ BETWEEN THE LINES 38

CALENDAR 60 THE LAST WORD 62 Brilliant Results speaks with Steven Hacker, President of the International Association for Exhibition Management, and “One of the 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings and Conventions Industry” for six consecutive years beginning in 1996 about tradeshows and promotional merchandise.

Improve the interview process and avoid hiring mistakes with this sampling of marketing interview questions that scratch beneath the surface. By: Tracey Turner

OFF THE CUFF 66 Inspiring quotation and Trivia By The Numbers

AN INDUSTRY SUCCESS STORY 57

IT’S ALL PERSONAL 40

Learn how a mom with a sassy ponytail holder collaborated with a printing and promotional products distributor to build her successful “Sassy Tails” business.

“International Building Show” By: Dave Ribble

columns WHAT WORKS PRESENTED BY THE PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL (PPAI) 42

Successful Case Studies and research for your next powerful promotion. HOT PRODUCTS THINGS WE LOVE 50

Brilliant Results previews a treasure trove of exciting products INDUSTRY NEWS FLASHES 58 Find out what is happening in the promotional merchandise and incentive industries.

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I N T R O D U C I N G T H E N E X T G E N E R AT I O N I N A S H W O RT H W E AT H E R S Y S T E M S …

1ST LAYER BASE TECH: BODY MOISTURE MANAGEMENT

2ND LAYER THERMAL TECH: BODY HEAT MANAGEMENT

3RD LAYER OUTER TECH: COMPLETE BODY PROTECTION

A U N I Q U E 3 - L AY E R S Y S T E M

A S H W O RT H W E AT H E R S Y S T E M S

STUART APPLEBY, ASHWORTH TOUR TEAM MEMBER

PPAI Suite ®

C O R P O R A T E

Presidential Suite Las Vegas Four Seasons Hotel w w w. a s h w o r t h c o r p o r a t e . c o m


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Publisher’s Letter OK STOP LAUGHING!! Yes, that’s me on a scooter in Las Vegas! Since this is our trade show issue, I thought I would interject a little humor and also let my readers know how dedicated I am to the promotional products industry. I have not missed the annual PPAI EXPO in some 14 years and I was determined that this year neither sleet, nor snow nor 37 weeks into my first pregnancy would stop me! So this month’s photograph is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see what a very pregnant woman looks like doing a tradeshow. Scary sight I agree! I don’t know if it was naiveté or sheer ignorance but let me tell you it was the hardest tradeshow I have ever done. I certainly would not recommend doing any kind of traveling (I now know why there are time limits to air travel) this late in pregnancy especially at my age! But, it was a great show with record attendance especially in the education seminars. Keeping with the trade show theme, we interviewed Mark S. Liberman, President and Chief Executive Officer of LA INC., The Convention and Visitors Bureau, to find out about the exciting development that is going on to make the LA Convention Center a high powered trade show destination. But, as all seasoned trade show exhibitors know the venue is only a portion of the recipe for trade show success. Success in the booth requires attracting visitors, demonstrating, selecting the right giveaways and follow-up. To help you cover your trade show bases and hit a home run, this issue also includes articles that address these aspects. Whether it is Pre- and Post- Tradeshow Mailers, Demonstrating Intangibles, Ten Easy Ways to Attract Visitors to Your Booth or Useless Trinkets and Mounds of Trash, I am sure this issue contains some words of wisdom to improve your next tradeshow experience. I know mine will be improved by the very fact that I won’t be pregnant and by next month I am hoping to have a beautiful addition to my letter. Until next time...remember to always Have a Brilliant Day!

Maureen Berman Publisher

PS: Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance to you! Phone: 541-788-5022 e-mail: maureen@brilliantpublishing.com

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RELATIONSHIPS | RESOURCES | RESULTS

Brilliant Publishing LLC 9034 Joyce Lane Hummelstown, PA 17036 Ph: 717.571-9233 Fax: 717.566.5431

PUBLISHER / ADVERTISING Maureen Williams-Berman..... maureen@brilliantpublishing.com 541-788-5022

EDITORIAL Editor in Chief MaryAnne Morrill 717-571-9233 Senior Editors Michelle Donofry, Pierce Roberts Style Editor Charity Plata Asst. Editor Mildred Landis

Contributing Writers Jeffrey Dobkin, Bill Nissim, Dave Ribble, Barry Siskind, Bob Thomas, Tracey Turner, Margit B. Weisgal, PPAI - What Works Section

Circulation For any questions regarding circulation, please email: circ@brilliantpublishing.com

PRODUCTION / DESIGN Art Director Percy Zamora

Photos Courtesy: LA Convention Ctr® all rights reserved “Sassy Tails” Proforma Rhino Graphics® all rights reserved Brilliant Results is published monthly by Brilliant Publishing LLC, 9034 Joyce Lane Hummelstown PA 17036 (717) 608-5869; Fax# (717) 566-5431. Postage paid at Mechanicsburg PA and additional offices. POSTMASTER please send address changes to Brilliant Results, 9034 Joyce Lane, Hummelstown PA 17036. Volume 3. Number 2. Brilliant Results subscription rates: one-year $120; Canadian $160 USD; one-year foreign $225 USD. All subscriptions are non-refundable. Copyright © 2005 Brilliant Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject any advertising or editorial material. Advertisers, and/or their agents, assume the responsibility for any claims against the publisher based on the advertisement. Editorial contributors assume responsibility for their published works and assume responsibility for any claims against the publisher based on published work. No part of this publication can be reproduced in any form or by electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher. All items submitted to Brilliant Results become the sole property of Brilliant Publishing LLC. Editorial content does not reflect the views of the publisher. The imprints, logos, trademarks or trade names (Collectively the “Marks”) displayed on the products featured in Brilliant Results are for illustrative purposes only and are not available for sale. The marks do not represent the implied or actual endorsement by the owners of the Marks of the product on which they appear. All of the Marks are the property of the respective owners and is not the property of either the advertisers using the Marks or Brilliant Results.

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NEWSTYLESAVAILABLEFOR BACKBYPOPULARDEMAND

!,,3):%3 /.%02)#% #ONTACTYOUR0ROMOTIONALPRODUCTSPROVIDER TOORDER,IZ#LAIBORNE#LAIBORNEPRODUCTTODAY


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TRADE SHOWS

LA Style Los Angeles, LA INC. has a THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES convention sales office in holds many distinctions. LA is Washington, DC and sales the entertainment capital of representation throughout the world, a cultural mecca the United Sates. LA INC. boasting over 300 museums Mark S. Liberman and theaters and a paradise of President and Chief Executive Officer also maintains international marketing offices in good weather. From tourist LA INC. The Convention and alliance with Los Angeles attractions like the Walk of Visitors Bureau World Airports (LAWA) in Fame’s collection of stars to the only remaining wooden lighthouse in Tokyo and London. The mission of LA the world and the largest historical the- INC, The Convention and Visitors Bureau ater district on the National Register of is to advance the prosperity of LA’s visitor Historic Places, Los Angeles is the place economy and the livelihoods that depend to be. It is the only city in the world to on it. This is achieved by sales and marhost the Summer Olympics twice and keting to the principle segments of both downtown LA is the largest government the domestic and international travel center outside of Washington, D.C. With trade and consumer. In particular, LA INC. represents the all of this to attract the meeting and convention planner, Los Angeles is a great LA destination to the meetings and conplace to hold a trade show and the addi- vention industry nationwide; the international construction activity in the area of tional travel trade and traveler; the cruise its Convention Center caught our atten- passenger and cruise lines; the domestic tion when we were researching this issue leisure traveler as well as the worldwide travel media. Los Angeles hosted 24.3 milof Brilliant Results. The Los Angeles Convention Center is lion visitors in 2004 generating a total of operated and marketed by LA INC., The $12.0 billion in spending. LA is one of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, a private, top travel destinations in the U.S. not-for-profit business association con- According to the Travel Industry tracted by the City of Los Angeles. Staffed Association of America, LA is the fourth by 75 employees and headquartered in largest destination for domestic travel in

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the US, surpassed only by Las Vegas, Orlando and Chicago. To help organizations build attendance and excitement for their upcoming meeting, convention, or trade show, LA INC. offers a wide variety of promotional items and visitor materials. They also encourage businesses to take advantage of their marketing tools, complimentary guides and postcards and will help enhance your theme and attendance further with customized pins, key chains, and other items available for a nominal fee. To find out more about the Los Angeles Convention Center, trade shows and business, we spoke with Mark S. Liberman, President and Chief Executive Officer of LA INC., The Convention and Visitors Bureau since June 2003. Prior to joining LA INC., Mr. Liberman spent over 34 years with United Airlines in a variety of sales and operational positions. Based in Los Angeles since 1995, he was most recently United’s Vice President, North America - Western Region. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, he was Vice President – Latin America, based in Miami, Florida, where he launched United’s Latin American Division in 1992. Mark serves on the board of the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA), the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Hollywood Entertainment Museum, and the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission and is a member of the International Association of Convention &

Visitor Bureaus (IACVB). With such a wide range of experience and involvement, in addition to the responsibilities associated with marketing a city and its trade show/exhibition venue, Brilliant Results enjoyed asking Mark a few questions. BR: How did you become associated with the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau? ML: Having been in the travel field with United Airlines for over 30 years, I moved back to Los Angeles in 1994 and was on the Board of Directors of LA INC., The Convention and Visitors Bureau. After I retired from United Airlines, I decided to stay in Los Angeles. At that same time, the individual who was the President of the Convention Bureau became gravely ill and the Board of Directors asked me to take on the position of President. I had a 3week vacation between retirement and becoming President of LA INC. But, the most important reason I took the position was because of how I feel about Los Angeles, which obviously with all the work that we do here, is that Los Angeles is the greatest city in the world. BR: In your opinion what is the most important service Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau offers? ML: I wouldn’t say that there is one service that we provide that is most important; I would say that we provide many services. We provide services to many individuals, many businesses and of course to our member organizations. Additionally, we provide services to the city of Los Angeles. Services that I think are at the top of the list are selling conventions and self-contained meetings as well as marketing LA worldwide. We provide information to visitors who are here in LA through our Visitor Centers and of course we provide information to those people who are planning to come to Los Angeles. BR: Would it also be true to say that your organization helps the public access the Los Angeles area amenities? ML: We sure do. We are an organization that can tell anyone worldwide that is interested in coming to Los Angeles everything that is going on in LA and how to have a wonderful vacation or visit to Los Angeles.

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BR: What new developments are taking place at the Los Angeles Convention Center? ML: This is probably the most exciting time that we have had in Los Angeles in the Convention Center area for many, many years. As you and your readers probably know, Los Angeles is a city that has never had a hotel located adjacent to the Convention Center. Not only will Los Angeles have a Convention Center Hotel, but we will also have an entertainment district with a 7,000 seat theater called the Nokia Theater with restaurants and shopping and other venues that will be so exciting and change the look of downtown Los Angeles. BR: That sounds like it will attract a lot of new conventioneers. ML: You are absolutely right, it certainly will attract new conventioneers, new clients, new customers, and we have felt that already. We have received many calls, inquiries and visits and most importantly additional bookings from customers throughout the country. BR: Of the marketing campaigns you and your team have developed which do you feel is the most notable/recognizable and what was the key(s) to its success? ML: The one marketing campaign, which has really been associated with us for the last few years, is the See My LA campaign. One of the greatest assets in Los Angeles are the celebrities that live and work here. These are the people that are recognized worldwide, whether it is Eva Longoria or Jamie Lee Curtis or Diane Keaton or Wolfgang Puck or Magic Johnson and the list goes on and even new mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa. All of these people and others, almost 50 of them, are the focus of our campaign and the focus of the campaign is to tell people what LA has to offer. The celebrities tell everyone what their favorite things are about Los Angeles and See My LA has really branded us. BR: How do you use promotional merchandise and/or direct marketing strategies to increase Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau brand awareness and market the Convention Center? ML: We do. Promotional merchandise and materials are very important. The key component is making sure you get the right item for the right audience. We have all of the gadgets and everything else that sell Los Angeles. Is there one particular one? Probably not. But, when I think of what sells Los Angeles, it goes beyond merchandise. Los Angeles is unlike any other city in the world, we talk about brand – we are a brand

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in itself. Everybody has heard of Los Angeles. Our brand is our weather, our brand is Hollywood, our brand is all the venues and attractions, the beaches, the restaurants and all the excitement that is a part of LA. We tend to find ourselves selling Los Angeles for all of the things we have to offer. BR: How does the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau source its promotional merchandise and incentives: via a bid process or via a regular supplier/distributor or agency? ML: We are like many other organizations, depending on what we are purchasing if it is over a certain amount of money, we have strict procedures on bidding for that. We use many vendors and we use vendors that normally are members of our organization. BR: Has the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau used Trade Shows to encourage corporations to schedule events at the Convention Center? ML: We certainly do. We actively participate in trade shows. We see this not only as an excellent way to solicit business, which of course is important, but also as a way to tell the LA story. Brilliant Results | February 2006 11


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are turned into definite pieces of business. We are really a partner with our planners. We form this partnership with our planners so that we as an organization with whom the planners work have positive results.

BR: Do you have any suggestions for our readers about pre, during and post trade show marketing that would increase the success of their show experience? ML: We work with anyone that needs assistance, whether they be in the trade show area, whether they be people that are having self-contained meetings, or people having conventions. We are an organization that is here to assist anyone that is coming to Los Angeles to make their visit enjoyable, worthwhile and in a business environment – a visit that is economically positive for that organization. We have a Client Services Department that is called on every day to assist people that are scheduling meetings and events in Los Angeles.

BR: What is the best show you have ever attended or been a part of? ML: All shows are important. As you can imagine we participate in many throughout the world. I have been here now for a few years and I have personally participated in POW WOW, MPI, ASAE and LA COMBRE to name a few. But, we think that, as I mentioned before, it gives us the opportunity to both sell and tell our story.

BR: Does your Client Services Department have any suggestions for exhibiting companies on how to measure their ROI, or do you have a formula you use for measuring trade show success? ML: We measure every trade show that we participate in. We see who visits us; we take a look at the leads that we get and how many of those leads

BR: What do you see as the most significant changes coming in the convention center/trade show arena in the next 5-10 years? ML: Everyone in our business, and we continually hear this, is doing more with less and making their trade show dollars really work harder to drive those desired sales results.

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“What you do in today’s marketplace has to be current. It has to be easily understood and you have to send a clear message and finally, it has to get to the right person.” BR: Do you have any final thoughts or advice for our readers about the use of promotional merchandise and direct marketing strategies in their overall marketing efforts? ML: My advice is really about branding. You need to have brand identity. What you do in today’s marketplace has to be current. It has to be easily understood and you have to send a clear message and finally, it has to get to the right person. To do this, I always tell people that work in our organization – we must understand our customer and we must understand our product to be successful. BR: Do you remember the last promotional product you received and from what company you received it? ML: The last promotional product that I received was from Universal Studios Hollywood. The people at Universal were promoting King Kong with a stuffed King Kong doll in a cage with DVDs of former King Kong movies. Once someone received that promotional item,

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as I did, there was no way that I wasn’t going to go see that movie. Everyone that comes into my office, their eyes go right to that promotional item and it really catches your attention which is what a promotional item should do. BR: Any other thoughts or things that you think would be of interest to other marketing executives with respect to the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau? ML: I do have one other piece of advice. If your readers haven’t been to LA in a while, they need to come and see the changes and excitement that is taking place in our city. Additionally, if they have been here recently, they need to come back again and enjoy, as they know, everything that we have to offer. • For additional information about LA INC., The Convention and Visitors Bureau visit their web site at www.seemyla.com.

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Easy Ways to Attract Visitors to Your Booth

BY BOB THOMAS

ARE YOU READY to bring new life to your current exhibit? Or are you ready to chuck it because no one stopped to see you at your last event? Your answer is a few steps away with these tips to attracting visitors to any booth.

1

Improve your lighting. Any booth will attract attention if it is well lit. The human eye is naturally attracted to bright lights. Be the brightest on your block and attendees will gather like moths to a porch light.

2

Color your world. Bright colors are pleasing to our eyes and exciting to our brains. Bright, rich colors presented in high contrast attract visitors to your booth. But be aware of the mood you put people in with the colors you use. Green = nature, Red = excitement, Yellow = optimism, Black = authority, White = purity, Blue = serenity.

3

Use the soft touch. Upgrade to quality carpet and padding. Your feet, your staff, and your attendees with thank you. The soft feel underfoot gives the impression of quality and class. Extra Tip: Match your booth carpet color to the aisle carpet and be sure there is no break between the two and you eliminate physical and psychological barriers to your booth!

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4

Create an open atmosphere. Eliminate all other physical and psychological barriers to your booth by making it open and inviting. Move the furniture to the back and sides to create space for attendees to come into your booth for discussion and ultimately sales!

5

Make something move. Provide movement to attracts attendees’ eyes and in turn their bodies toward your booth. If your product doesn’t move, toss a giveaway into the air (and catch it), move your arms, play with a yo-yo, or blow bubbles. Activity attracts people’s attention and piques their curiosity. Be sure to involve your product physically or through a sales pitch or anecdote.

6

Tickle the senses. The olfactory sense is our most powerful sense. Smells often trigger the most pleasant of memories. Put a drop of vanilla on a light bulb, rent cookie baking equipment, warm brownies, or bake bread to attract visitors to your booth. When was the last time you weren’t hungry at a show?

7

Personalize your exhibit. Your exhibit doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Put a table lamp in your booth, lay down an area rug, use props (holiday, seasons, sports, or regional), or decorate with items you plan to www.brilliantpublishing.com


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“Look around your home, favorite coffee shop, or pub. What is it that makes you feel welcome?”

give to key clients — all to attract attention and initiate conversation.

8

Invent a corporate dress code. Don’t make the attendee search for your staff. Have corporate attire made so that everyone wears the same shirt, tie, scarf, vest, or jacket. Even a simple accessory will let the attendee know whom to approach in your booth or elsewhere on the floor.

9

Go high-tech. Use all the tools at your disposal to provide information to your clients and potential customers. Use websites, email blasts, fax broadcasts, electronic product directory, web links, and PDA downloads. Don’t pass up these inexpensive and effective opportunities.

10

Staff your booth with the best. While steps 1-9 are great ways to improve your exhibit, nothing will increase your ROI like choosing the right people to staff your booth. Only send your best, happiest, and most outgoing staff — no matter what their position within the company. You need people willing and able to initiate conversation with anyone, answer questions about your product, and record lead information.

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If the idea of implementing all ten steps seems daunting, take it slow. Try out a few ideas to see how they work with your product and within your industry. Whatever you do, have fun and be comfortable with your exhibit, your marketing plan, and your staff. Your confidence and faith in your decisions will make a difference with your staff and that potential customer. Look around your home, favorite coffee shop, or pub. What is it that makes you feel welcome? Use the same tricks of the trade that retail use — they stay in business for a reason! Bob Thomas, CME is Founder and President of Exhibit and Event Management – an exhibit management and consulting company based in Columbus, Ohio. He is also Past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Trade Show Exhibitors Association and has been managing trade show and marketing exhibits for more than 15 years. For additional information, Bob may be contacted at 614.538.9004 by email at bobthomas@exhibitmanagement.com or visit his web site at www.exhibitmanagement.com. Brilliant Results | February 2006 15


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Useless Trinkets and

Mounds Of Trash BY MARGIT B. WEISGAL THIS ARTICLE IS going to cover two areas of exhibit marketing that are always going to be areas of contention: distributing printed matter at the booth, and the giveaways that sit on the front counter. Some exhibitors love using them because, if they’re handing out ‘something,’ they don’t have to really talk to anyone. Others have learned that the most profitable use of time is in the dialogue with prospects and customers. Catalogues and spec sheets will always have a niche in trade show marketing. They provide defined information about the products and services the exhibitor offers. But if your sole purpose is to distribute this material, it is far less expensive to do a mailing, even with the cost of lists, postage and packaging added in. Ads in trade journals are another, far less expensive, alternative. In other words, standing in a booth, accosting visitors with “Would you like a catalogue?” is a large waste of time, money and your exhibit investment.

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There is a time and place to do this. Yes, you should have material with you, but given the cost of the printed matter these days, running as much as $4-5 each, giving a copy to every passer-by only increases your exhibit expense. You are far better served by using the time to qualify prospects and customers by defining their needs. Only then, and if the specified need is so great, would you give them a catalogue.

MOUNDS OF TRASH Why do we use catalogues and spec sheets? Usually out of a fear of having to talk to someone we don’t know. If we give a catalogue, we often feel we’ve done our job. There are companies out there who gauge their exhibit success by how many catalogues they’ve given away. But what happens to that material is another issue. A study done by the Trade Show Bureau

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says 60-85% is thrown out - another way of saying it’s never read, looked at, or even filed for future reference, a sad ending for something in which you’ve invested so much time and money. There is another, even greater benefit, to not giving away catalogues. By collecting names - and needs - of prospects and customers, you then have another contact opportunity. You get a second chance to talk with them, or, if you mail the catalogue, for them to see your name. A trick I’ve talked about in ‘Boothmanship’ seminars is to add a post-it note on the front cover saying, “I’ve highlighted three items which I think will interest you.” Don’t forget to highlight the items! People - prospects - will look inside to see what you’ve chosen. They will also note how closely you’ve paid attention to their stated needs. A main dissatisfaction with sales people in any field is the fact that they don’t listen. Prove you’re different by being responsive.

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HOW NOT TO DO IT A couple years ago, while attending a show, I visited three vendors to purchase something for a client. As an educated attendee, each vendor was told about the project, the deadline, the budget and more information so I could get the most assistance. The first vendor said, “No problem. I’ll send you the catalogue and highlight the information for you.” “Great,” I thought. So on I went to two others from whom I got a similar response. So guess what happened when I returned to my office? Almost nothing. The first vendor sent a catalogue with a standardized letter, no highlighting, no response to any of my queries and an invitation to contact the company to discuss my future needs. The second vendor sent something akin to the first and I never heard from the third. We all have competitors. What separates us from the pack is how we deal with prospects and customers. Almost every survey that evaluates what companies look for in vendors lists service as the

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most important. Price is usually around fifth. In today’s world, we are farther from our customers than ever when we use voice mail, email, and yes, even snail mail. We post information on our web sites and wait for customers to do our sales job for us. Vendors who will succeed in the future will make customer service a priority – unlike the companies mentioned.

THE USELESS TRINKETS We’re all guilty at some time or other. We’re strolling down the aisle at a trade show and there, on a tabletop, is something we want. My favorite was the show where I found piles of note pads, free for the taking. We all have a preference, usually an item that for some reason we just want to have. So we take one. Are we prospects? Customers? Will we ever buy from that company? In the case of the note pads, the answer was a resounding NO! I’ve never been, nor will I ever be, a prospect or customer for that company. Nor did I care. All I wanted to do was stuff my tote bag with $10-15 worth of pads…which I did. How many others like me roamed the aisles? And how much money was wasted?

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Trinkets are trash - if they don’t lead to a meaningful conversation. You are almost equally well off standing on a street corner giving away dollar bills. The purpose of giving away something is to thank someone for having spent time talking with you. It’s a reward, plain and simple. Yes, there is still some wasted distribution, because not everyone you talk with is going to be qualified. But the more people with whom you talk, the more you’ll find who are qualified. At one show, I saw several people doing a great job with their promotional items. In two cases, the time involved in preparing the gift also allowed time to talk. One company was using laminated luggage tags, the processing of which takes a couple minutes. While one person was putting together my tag, another spoke with me about the company. Admittedly, I’m not a prospect. But they had created a great opportunity for those who were. A second involved “Butt Sketches,” something clever I’d not seen before. While the artist made the drawing, a 3-5 minute job, the booth staffers were free to talk with the ‘model.’ Again, purpose accomplished. When planning in-booth promotions like these, there’s only one additional aspect that can make them better. Choose whom you want to talk with prior to the show and send them a special invitation. You can even go so far as making appointments for times when the floor isn’t busy. Both keep in mind the ‘reward’ aspect. Both also gave the prospect something personal. (When was the last time you threw away something with your name?) And both allowed time for the qualification procedure. Neither one was a promotion I would have termed ‘trinkets and trash.’ And last, both enhanced the image of the company: professional. When planning time comes around for the next show, keep these tips in mind. You will probably never write an order on the show floor, but at least you’ll have identified a qualified group of people who will help your bottom line in the future. • Margit B. Weisgal, CME, is an internationally known consultant and trainer on exhibit marketing, and the author of Show and Sell: 133 Business Building Ways to Promote Your Trade Show Exhibit (AMACOM, 1997). She works with Fortune 1000 corporations and show managers presenting seminars on making your trade show a success. Visit her web site at www.sextantgroup.com or contact her at margit@sextantgroup.com. www.brilliantpublishing.com


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Brand Legacy: What’s Your Next Move? BY: BILL NISSIM, IBRANZ © THE FOURTH QUARTER is the planning season, a time for developing next year’s marketing plan. Although we often aspire to make dramatic changes in 2006, the final version of our plan typically mirrors remnants from the previous year. In some instances, we feel a sense of obligation to complete unfinished business or to carry forward those past initiatives that delivered positive results. These cumulative efforts, whether consciously or unconsciously, help to solidify the basis of your organization’s Brand Legacy. Why do you suppose this is important? My neighbor owned a local Italian restaurant; they served authentic food and were especially well known for their mouth-watering pizzas. Each night of the week they were busy with people standing in line for a table. Their Brand Legacy was a combination of Mama’s old fashion recipes (she was from Sicily) and the restaurant’s interior design, which resembled a comfortable Italian home. Soon Roundtable, Domino’s, and an assortment of Pizza firms inundated the local area and offered speed of service over authenticity. Feeling the pressure of competition, Mama’s strayed from her winning brand proposition (traditional Italian food) to mimic the competition.

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Today, the once time-honored cuisine and Sicilian ambiance (experience) has been replaced with video games and a service counter. Any remnant of Mama’s legacy has disappeared and so with it, a differentiated brand. What exactly is a Brand Legacy? I searched the American Marketing Association’s “Dictionary of Marketing Terms” (marketingpower.com), Google, and Yahoo and found no such official term. As a result, I’ve coined the term and have provided a definition, which suggests that the foundations of your brand can have an impact on your current brand strategy.

BRAND LEGACY DEFINED: A Brand Legacy begins from a point of origin (core idea) and considers historic message layering to derive a current perception as it pertains to your target audience. All brands possess a starting point (like a cornerstone of a building) and each additional “brick” adds to the ultimate shape of the building. Think back to 1984. Apple produced a commercial that ran only once, in which a female runner sped through a crowd of clones to launch a hammer at the screen of “Big Brother.” The message from Apple – we’re different!

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Apple’s many innovations both support and validate the initial core idea made in 1984. These include application icons on a desktop (verses MSDOS prompts), multi-colored desktop computers, the first commercially available mouse, and innovative software applications (Quick Time). Despite a few bumps in the road (Newton, for example), Apple has stayed true to their Brand Legacy. Recent product offerings such as the iPod (Mini, Shuffle, and Nano) reinforce this core idea to their constituency. Another example - if I said VW, you would respond with…? The origin of VW was the “Beetle” brand and spoke to a specific audience (the people’s car). Although VW pursued a myriad of vehicle designs and brand offerings (The Thing, Passat, Cabrio, Golf, Jetta, etc.) since its introduction in the 1950’s, the number of new car sales in North American shrank from a half-million cars to only 40,000 units by 1990. When VW decided to resurrect the Beetle, sales took off, it helped bolster increases in all other models, and VW produced 425,000 units by the turn of the century. In this case, the legacy (Beetle) not only enhanced the VW brand, in many ways, it was the brand. During a recent speaking engagement, I wanted to demonstrate to the audience the power of a Brand Legacy. My visual presentation displayed the United Airlines™ (UAL) logo on screen and I asked the audience to tell me the company’s by-line (sometime referred to as a tag-line). Most hands shot high in the air and one participant yelled out “Fly the Friendly Skies.” I alluded that UAL had made a change(s) and asked for the current theme. The room fell silent. I then displayed the 1997 byline “Rising” and in 2004, UAL’s unveiling of “It’s Time to Fly” campaign. As with this audience, the flying public in general has a right to be confused – during a recent flight on UAL, the safety video played the familiar Rhapsody in Blue piano piece

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(auditory reminder of the past) and even used the original slogan at the end of the video. Is it the “Friendly Skies” or “Time to Fly?” I’m not sure? UAL once served (legacy) as a moniker for an elegant, professional, and friendly airline. As a 1K or 100,000 mileage flyer, I was so enamored by their service and offerings in the early 1990’s that I only flew UAL and was extremely brand loyal. By 1997, they tried to enhance the business traveler’s mindset regarding customer service through a new byline titled “Rising.” Next, they introduced United Express (aimed at discount travel) on many routes and my fierce devotion began to wane. Since then, they’ve again changed their by-line to “Time to Fly,” cut services, rolled-out “Ted,” and reduced the mileage program benefits. At this point, they are following the same path that Mama took with her Italian eatery. With the Brand Legacy definition and a few examples in hand, let’s return to the original question posed – what is the next move as it pertains to YOUR Brand Legacy? To plan these moves, we need to start with your “core idea.” From there, we can begin to map a future direction.

CORE IDEA: As mentioned in my Brand Legacy definition, the final summation a consumer (whether B2B or B2C) extracts from your brand is a core idea. A core idea is a word or thought that encompasses all facets of your brand. Let’s try a few: Hershey’s™ = chocolate; Quaker Oats™ = oatmeal; Chevron™ = gasoline; IBM™ = computers; Macy’s™ = department store; Hollywood = movies. We practice the use of these “core ideas” everyday to aid us with our consumption practices. If we are hungry, we mentally sort through all the brands available and select one that closely resembles an ideal core brand. Every time you make a choice, there resides a reference point or origin from which you base your purchasing criteria. A noted Harvard Professor and author, Dr. Clayton Christenson, phrased it another way…”the functional, emotional, and social dimensions of the jobs that customers need to get done constitute the circumstances in which they buy” (Innovators Solution, 2002). Let’s expand upon this Core Idea concept to understand the dimensions of choice. A core idea operates on three distinct levels. The “Brand Radar” depicted below may be used to visually demonstrate these differences. www.brilliantpublishing.com


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CORE BRAND: This represents the true or original core idea. The constituents of the core possess something that can’t be substituted.

AFFILIATE BRAND: Although closely associated with the core idea, this surrounding area represents a close approximation or facsimile.

PERIPHERY BRAND: This represents a distant offering that maintains some resemblance to the original core idea. We can apply these three levels by viewing, for example, the habits of devout coffee drinkers. First, we need to narrow the target audience down to those consumers who “buy-on-the-run” verses “make their own” coffee. The habits of our “mobile” consumers can be observed at any coffee house. Their profile resembles the following – always in a rush, have something specific in mind, and demand consistency/quality. Whether “walk-in” or “drivethrough”, these people don’t have time to relax and enjoy the ambiance of the coffee house. For this particular target audience, they have a set pattern or behavior. In their minds, only the core brand will do. I’m one of those “mobile people.” I see the same faces at Starbucks™ each morning, at the same time, ordering roughly the same products. I took the opportunity to ask different patrons why they stopped there each morning. The resounding response was “I love Starbuck Coffee!” When I suggested Dietrich’s (affiliate brand) down the street, the variety of contorted looks ranged from confusion to “you’re crazy.” I’m sure if I visited with the Dietrich’s crowd, I would garner the same response towards Starbucks™. The point here – we strive for the original whenever possible. As a brand manager, this type of response is exactly what you want out of your patrons. Imagine the following scenario - you’re traveling in another city and the concierge at your hotel hasn’t the faintest clue where to find a Starbucks™. Although your profile remains the same (mobile consumers), we instinctively broaden our brand acceptability to those products/services that are adjacent to the core. An Affiliate brand for the mobile consumer could include other coffee houses that share the same attributes as the original. Depending on the city, this subset may include Dietrich’s, Seattle’s Best, Caribou, or any facsimile www.brilliantpublishing.com

of the original. I was in Minneapolis recently and confronted with the same dilemma. Fortunately, my friend directed me to the nearest Caribou Coffee house (aesthetics are very similar – design, ambiance, taste, etc.) and my expectations were met (to a degree). Although you’ve gotten the idea by now, it goes without saying that the Periphery brand has the lowest ranking and these brands are purchased in the absence of no other choice. These offerings include Donut shops, mom and pop stores, and the mart area at gas stations. Believe it or not, all of these venues promote their Periphery brands, which are derived from the core brand. Are you not convinced? Just look at the display signs and designs (colors, visual images, etc.) used on the foam cups and the similar brand names they use. They all, in one-way or another, resemble the core idea.

YOUR LEGACY: When I was a child, we use to play on a hill that was carved away by a bulldozer. The bulldozer uncovered layers of strata or sedimentary layers that had accumulated over thousands of years. As we dug through this hillside, it was apparent that the topsoil looked very different than what was beneath. The same can be said for many companies (brands) today. Let’s consider McDonalds™. The core idea of this fast-food restaurant was hamburgers, fries, and shakes at affordable prices and quick service. The first facility was built in 1940 and grew as a franchise business. By 1957, a motto was created that permeated throughout the nearly 100 stores: Brilliant Results | February 2006 23


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are in, you should be remembered for one thing or idea. The next obvious question should be what business are you in today? If you’re past (point of origin) and present (perception) do not match, then its time to re-examine your Brand Legacy and analyze what that means. At this point, you have one of three strategic choices. Depending on the landscape of your industry or business, your organization may ________ your Brand Legacy: 1) Embrace 2) Discard 3) Re-invent

EMBRACE:

Quality, Service, Cleanliness and Value (Q.S.C. & V.) As history records it, it’s safe to say the core idea was: McDonalds™ = Hamburgers Fast-forward to 2005. After many decades of advertising layering, promotions, slogans, and jingles, what does McDonalds™ = today? I’m not exactly sure. Over the years, they’ve introduced breakfast items, ribs and steak sandwiches, burgers for grown-ups, healthy meals (variety of salads), and specialty desserts. Just like the sedimentary hillside we used to play on, I know somewhere in those layers of messaging still resides a basic hamburger. Have they drifted too far from the core idea? Have you heard of In-n-Out Burgers? If you ever visit California, Nevada, or Arizona, you’ll likely find one just off the freeway. What is their brand legacy? Hamburgers! Even their jingle stays true to the core: In-n-Out, In-n-Out, that’s what a hamburger is all about! No confusion here. What about your brand legacy? Let’s start with your point of origin. If someone asked 10 people in your organization to answer the following equation, would the answers be the same? Your company’s core idea = _____________ How did the answers stack up? Were they similar or vastly different? No matter what business you

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Let’s look at a few organizations that have embraced their Brand Legacy. Both VW’s Beetle and Ford’s Mustang have returned to their “roots” and leveraged the heritage of their core idea. In effect, they took the original car concept and modernized the design to include conveniences and amenities that the buying public would demand. The Brand Legacies instilled in the Beetle and Mustang are more than just names or symbols; they represent a legend or storyline that consumers can follow. Since the “shell” or chassis resembles the original, this visual perception was enough to prompt a purchase.

DISCARD: In 1984, Integrated Electronics Co. (later known as Intel) produced DRAM or dynamic random access memory chips by the millions and was their main source of income. The onslaught of Japanese companies (Fujitsu, Hitachi, NEC, and Toshiba) invaded this market space and proved to be more efficient (80% - 90% yield rates) compared to Intel’s success rate of 50% to 80%. By the mid eighties, Intel was losing market share due to low prices and the “dumping of chips” into North America. Andy Grove (Intel’s CEO) made a tough decision– discard the manufacturing of DRAM chips and focus all of their energy and efforts on the development of microprocessors. Following Moore’s Law of doubling power and halving costs every eighteen months, Intel transformed itself from a marginally profitable commodity memory chip maker into the standard (1989) processor that drove all the worlds’ computers. The 1990 “Intel Inside” campaign in affect solidified their new core brand position.

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REINVENT: What comes to mind when you think of baking soda? Would you agree that most consumers would respond with Arm & Hammer? In 1846, Dr. Austin Church and John Dwight set out to sell sodium bicarbonate in little boxes. By 1867, Austin Church retired and his two sons form Church & Co. and introduce the hammer-wielding arm of Vulcan (god of fire) to their packages. Through the years, this simple product found new applications including: cooking, personal care, household agent, deodorizer, laundry detergent, dental care, and a variety of other uses. Their website states their value proposition very succinctly: ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda – pure, versatile, effective, environmentally safe and economical. Evidence that good solutions for your home, your family and your body are timeless. As with A & H, it doesn’t mean that you abandon your core, you merely find new ways to leverage your Brand Legacy.

YOUR NEXT MOVE: We’ve defined your Brand Legacy and filtered out the core idea. Next, we evaluated what your core brand represents and identified the affiliate and periphery brands that surround your market space. Finally, we charted a course for your brand (embrace, discard, re-invent). The next step is to integrate this brand strategy into your future marketing plans. A word of caution - great care must be considered when you take your next step. For Andy Grove, it was huge: he laid-off 3,000 workers, sought government protectionism against foreign competition, and walked away from his base business. His calculated moves were made to save Intel. When Michael Eisner was considering the CEO position at Walt Disney in 1984, the company was stumbling along and vultures loomed overhead. Eisner embraced the Disney legacy and put into play the many assets the organization had locked away in a vault. He, in affect, generated cash by raising theme park fees, released to video the classics, purchased ABC, and invested heavily into new films and entertainment venues. By embracing the “Mouse,” Eisner generated $65 billion in market wealth to this organization.

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Another bold business leader laid-off nearly 100,000 workers in 1981 and radically restructured the composition of the company he was hired to reinvent – Jack Welch. His mantra was to be first or second in the marketplace or get out! Although his approach seemed unconventional, he did convert GE into one of the most valued corporations in the world. Your next move may not be as earth shattering as Welch, Grove, or Eisner, but in your organization, it may be the next plausible direction your company will take. After careful analysis, you may discern that your organization is not growing, hardly profitable, or just stagnant in your designated market space. As Chris Zook stated in his book Profit from the Core, he suggests that narrowing your focus and strengthening your core values will drive top and bottom-line results. Zook goes on to suggest that only after your have a strong core do you venture out to an adjacent business as a growth strategy.

CONCLUSION: We began our discussion with this question: Brand Legacy: What’s your next move? We defined a Brand Legacy and suggested that your core idea or point of origin can impact your current perception. Often what customers remember through years of message layering creates confusion if the message conflicts with today’s meaning. We also explored three aspects of the core idea by breaking them down into three constituents: core, affiliate, and periphery brands. Your position on the brand radar as it pertains to the competition remains the key to your future trajectory. Next, we considered your Brand Legacy and what your core idea equates to today. We also presented three possible strategies for your organization to consider: embrace, discard, or reinvent your brand. Several examples demonstrated how business leaders took bold actions to change their strategic direction. The challenge for your Brand Legacy in the future remains – what is your next move? • Bill Nissim consults with organizations on strategic branding imperatives. His website www.ibranz.com contains reference materials, links, and helpful articles on the many facets of branding. In addition, Nissim released his first book “The Brand Advocate” to provide a tool-kit for the marketing practitioner. www.brilliantpublishing.com


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make a date with success! ASI l 95280 W l www.warwickpublishing.com Contact your local Promotional Products Distributor


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Pre- and

Post-Tradeshow

Mailers AS A DIRECT MARKETING GUY I’ve always considered trade shows as my second least favorite way of marketing, the first being the phone. Why should I pick up the phone and call a dozen people in an hour, when I can send out four thousand letters in the same amount of time and never have to face any more rejection than the usual “Not tonight dear, I have a headache,” from my wife. But some of my clients seem to need that face time, that one-on-one with prospects. These are the clients that seem to live in a world of yesteryear: where there was no Internet, no fax machines. Some of my clients seem to even pre-date color brochures, let alone print on demand presses. They go back to the days prospective purchasers had no way to view a vendor’s image other than what they were wearing when they showed up at the

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BY JEFFREY DOBKIN ©2006

prospect’s doorstep: a suit and tie. Maybe that’s what I hate so much, wearing a tie. What a useless garnish of clothing unless you are going to a hanging, and it’s your own. So it all comes out now. Anyhow, I still hate tradeshows, old clients, ties, writing, this computer I’m typing on, and yes, I’m the guy who shot your dog in the butt from the just-slightly-openwindow-on-the-third-floor with my BB gun after he crapped on my lawn and you didn’t clean it up. OK, I’ve come clean. Where is my analyst when I really need him? But still, some clients not only like trade shows, they thrive on trade shows as the lifeblood of their marketing, ridiculous as it may seem. So here are some direct marketing tips to make trade shows even more effective.

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THE PRE-SHOW MAILER:

“Mail two weeks before the first day of the show, to arrive in your prospects’ hands a week before the show.”

A letter is fine, so is a post card. Mail two weeks before the first day of the show, to arrive in your prospects’ hands a week before the show. Mail first class. Don’t use a label, they look cheap. Always have. And you know that cheap suit you bought a few years ago and said “maybe no one will notice?” They do. It looks cheap, too. Get a new one. About your pre-show mailer - don’t worry, they’ll read it. At a week before the show, attendees are committed to going - and it’s probably costing their firm a few thousand dollars to get them there and put up with them, er… put them up. So, at this point they’ll read anything that’s show related. It won’t be until the third day of walking the show floor that they’ll be sick of the show, the products - yes even yours, the rubber chicken lunches or the $9 dollar hot dogs they find at the convention center, and they’ll be truly disinterested in any mail you send them. Mail to a list of attendees, less exhibitors. If unavailable, mail to attendees and exhibitors. Still no dice? Mail to last year’s attendees. Still no luck attaining the list? You’re not really going to a trade show, are you? You just told your boss that didn’t you? Quit going to those cheap x rated shows during working hours… you can get that stuff online. Call me for the best URLs.

MORE… Get your mailer opened by using the best teaser copy for any envelope or mailer: “Gift Certificate Enclosed.” Gift certificates make for ideal letter-opening teaser copy, plus they’re inexpensive to print and light to ship. Redemption value can be revealed inside the package, or at the show booth. This is a great line to

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“At one show a client of mine gave away Cross Pens, and it was a pretty successful promotion for both of us.” get any of your mail opened, and it’s copyrighted by me, Jeff Dobkin: send me ten bucks every time you use it or I’ll sue. The objective of your letter or post card should be to drive people to your booth the first day or two - or… or… remember paragraph 6 about the third day? Make a nice offer - give something away. Don’t make the same mistake I did - I tried to give away my wife. Not only didn’t people come to my booth, I kept the entire isle clear. Eventually on the way home I got a bottle of wine for her. It was a pretty good trade. At one show a client of mine gave away Cross Pens, and it was a pretty successful promotion for both of us. The Cross Pens drove even the most elusive upscale prospects to his booth - so it was successful for him. I charged him three grand for the campaign, so it was successful for me. We were both happy. To give the pen out I wrote in the Johnson box of our pre-show letter (upper right corner of the sheet, above the salutation) “If your award number: JD122446” (printed on its own line in a rubber-stamplooking font,) “matches the winning number: ‘JD122446’ then Congratulations! You have won a beautiful new CROSS PEN! Please bring this letter with you to our booth and pick up your new Cross Pen during show hours!” No one knew that everyone won, not even our exhibit staff. Unfortunately we ran out of a thousand dollars worth of Cross pens the first hour. So, we bought the entire stock of Cross Pens at the local office supply stores - and gave them out during the second hour… Then we finally gave up on the instant gratification we had hoped to provide along with our sales pitch, and gave out rain checks — and mailed pens a few days later to the other few hundred letter-waving tradeshow booth visitors clinging to our promotional piece in their sweaty little hands. Other pre-show ideas: Mail something bulky to get prospects’ attention. Mail a golf ball to each attendee - and have them try to shoot 3 holes in 1, and win $100. Send a Frisbee; have them toss it into a round hole cut into a basketball backboard about 20 feet away - three times in a row for $1,000. Cut the hole 1” too small. Ha, ha ha. Oops, just kid-

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ding. Cut the hole 2” larger in the center to accept the Frisbee. It looks easy because of the big round hole, but the Frisbee will only fit in the exact center. People who miss get to keep a Frisbee. Now they’re walking around with your ad.

POST SHOW MAILINGS: Don’t give expensive literature out during the show: what a waste, it just gets sandwiched in a plastic bag between everyone else’s literature - to be looked at sometime between later and never and it usually gets the briefest glance or more likely just winds up being thrown out. Mail your trade literature on the last day of the show to the people who stopped at your booth. This shows attendees you’re on the ball, and you’ll be a responsive team to work with. Personalize the letter you send with your literature because you met the person. Act civil - like you had a meaningful relationship with them in the 7 minutes or so you took to speak with them at your booth. Don’t write to the woman who you met at the cheap piano bar at the hotel and had a little too much to drink with, and took to dinner. She looked a lot better after a few drinks, didn’t she? So did you. At the end of the night, don’t give her your business card: give her someone else’s card - one that you picked up at one of the trade booths at the show. For this reason I always get a few cards from my competitors… www.brilliantpublishing.com


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Instead of giving out tons of great and expensive literature at the show, give away some simple flyers. Send your good literature - along with a personal letter — to arrive 2 days after the show closes. It lands on their desk without lots of competing literature while the show is still fresh in their minds. “While I instruct my clients to do this,” says Jeff Dobkin, author of this article. “In reality - where I virtually think we are - who knows when they send it out, if they ever do.” I hope your marketing team is run in a more timely fashion. The sales team gets the hot leads for immediate follow-up, and the soft leads are placed in a prospect or suspect database for subsequent mailings. I recommend that you send several letters to attendees over the period of a few months. Our post-show mailing pattern is package #1-immediate, #2-two weeks, #3-four weeks, #4-eight weeks. All contain personal letters, usually with, but sometimes without a brochure for a more personal feel. The tone is always personal - if you really do it right, no one will suspect you are sending the same personal letter to the other 2,000 people who stopped at your booth.

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Remember, one overbearingly long follow-up letter is usually tossed out, but the same three or four pages of material make three or four great one-page letters. For about two fifty in postage you can send a series of six letters to a highly qualified prospect. And I recommend it. Sounds like a good pre- and post-show program. Hey, if this works for you - send me a bottle of Champagne, will you? And quit walking your dog in front of my house. Jeffrey Dobkin is a direct marketing copywriter, a humorous and fun speaker, and an all around good guy. He can be reached at 610-642-1000, and his website - where you can read other articles of his can be found at www.dobkin.com. Call him for other articles, free samples of his work or a free review of your current campaign. Jeffrey Dobkin is also the author of two books, Uncommon Marketing Techniques, and How To Market A Product For Under $500!, a direct marketing how-to manual. Thanks. Satisfaction Always Guaranteed.

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Demonstrating

Intangibles BY BARRY SISKIND

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IN AN ENVIRONMENT where competition for visitor’s attention is at its highest and yet their attention span is at its lowest. Using demonstrations is a great technique to help you get traffic to your booth. Allowing attendees to experience your products and services with as many of their senses as possible (sight, sound, touch, taste and smell) elevates their level of interest and commitment. Food show exhibitors allow their visitors to sample their products, high technology exhibitors encourage attendees to try out the equipment and automobile companies let the visitor sit in their latest model.

important clues to creating a powerful demonstration. Let’s take this same list and look at it from another point of view:

Feature

Benefit

Access to a network of professionals

We can save you time

Forty years of experience

You can feel secure

On-line 24-hour accessibility

You will experience less anxiety

Customized solutions

You have reduced conversion time

Governmental or industrial compliance

Minimize your concerns

1. FOCUS ON THE BENEFITS

DECIDE WHAT YOU ARE SELLING

The next step is to brainstorm ideas that will bring these benefits (feel secure, less anxiety, reduced conversion time, and minimize concerns) to life and that will get the message through to your audience. Exploring the benefits of your intangible will help you develop your demonstration. Brainstorming will often reveal hidden ideas that can provide spectacular results. Here are some tips on running a brainstorming session.

There is an old saying that goes “Customers buy benefits not features” This is true for tangible products and especially true for those selling services. The first test is deciding what your service has that is of interest to your customer. If you said, “access to a great network of professionals, forty years of experience, on-line 24 hour accessibility, customized solutions or governmental or industrial compliance, you are left with the question, “how can I bring these features to life?” However when you approach your product and ask what do you really sell from your customer’s point of view you will have

a. Invite everyone involved in your program to a late afternoon session. This can include your sales staff, display people, administration etc. b. Explain that you are trying to come up with ideas to bring your benefits to life. Tell them for purposes of the exercise there are no limitations. All ideas are fair game. c. Sit back and listen. One of the ways of killing a good brainstorming session is interjecting after each idea saying something like, “We have done that before,” or “Are you kidding?”

What about exhibitors who do not have a product to experience? Are they doomed to trade show mediocrity…absolutely not! The topic of demonstrating is applicable to all exhibitors whether your offering is tangible or not. Here are a few tips to help you develop a demonstration for your intangible.

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Ten Tips for a Successful Show

2. EDIT After everyone has left sift through the ideas and look for the hidden gems. You will find little bits and pieces that can be strung together to produce a demonstration that will set you apart from the competition.

1. Focused objectives

3. DEVELOP YOUR DEMONSTRATION.

Don’t fall victim to the common show fallacy that your booth can be everything to everyone. It all starts with having a focused objective - the one or two results that will justify your show participation.

Discuss your idea with your booth builder, technical staff and sales staff and ask for refinements and feedback on the feasibility of the idea.

2. Choose the right show

4. KEEP YOUR DEMONSTRATION SHORT.

Every show attracts a different group of attendees. The attendee at any shows should closely match the profile of your prospective customer as closely as possible. The trick is to choose shows that provide quality rather than shear quantity.

The attendees are suffering from information overload and adding more information to their already confused state of mind is counterproductive. Stay focused on the benefit that is most likely applicable to the audience. Remember, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.”

3. Pre-show promotion The show promotion that your show manager conducts will bring qualified prospects to the door. Your promotion will bring them to your booth. Don’t ignore this crucial element to your success.

4. Well trained booth staff Working a show presents a unique set of challenges to booth staff. Ensure that you have taken the time to acquaint them with the skills they need to make this show really pay off.

5. Effective follow-up plans When the show is over your real job begins, and it has to happen as quickly as possible. In order to make sure your leads turn into business, your follow-up plans should be finalized long before the show starts.

6. Reasonable staff schedule Working a booth can be gruelling. In order to ensure that your staff is at their best, regular scheduled breaks are necessary. Every 3-4 hours is the ideal length of time to spend at a booth before a break is needed.

7. Proper booth signs and graphics Attendees at our show quickly get overloaded with information. This confusion in their minds makes it difficult to understand booths that have signs and graphics that are vague and difficult to understand.

8. Good informative literature It seems like everyone wants your brochures. In order to ensure they are read, have fewer brochures to give out. Take the names of those who are really interested and mail material to them after the show.

9. Take advantage of the hidden opportunities Lots of business comes from your booth but there is more to a show. To take advantage of other networking opportunities check your show schedule and plan to participate in as many events as possible.

10. Have fun. Trade shows can be exciting, challenging and fun. If you can approach your show with this attitude, your positive outlook will rub off on the attendees.

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5. KEEP IT INTERACTIVE. When you are preparing your demonstration find places for audience involvement by letting them touch a keyboard, flick a switch or answer a question helps improve their level of commitment.

6. GIVE THEM A REASON TO STAY. As interesting as your demonstration may be to you, not everyone will agree. Often you will need to add an incentive to have your audience stay for the whole demonstration. Have a draw for a prize given after the demonstration or a special gift to all of those who complete and hand in a lead form.

7. LEAVE THEM WANTING MORE. During your demonstration let them know that your service has many more benefits and that your booth staff is available to discuss these following the demonstration. Demonstrating an intangible is possible. What is needed is that creative spark to find new and exciting demonstrations. • Barry Siskind is one of Canada’s most sought after speakers and North America’s foremost trade and consumer show expert. He is the President of International Training and Management, a company specializing in helping people improve their performance on and off the trade show floor. He has traveled throughout the world, providing keynote addresses and educational programs to public and private sector clients. Prior to the launch of Bumblebees Can’t Fly, already translated into 10 languages, Barry has authored two other business bestsellers: The Power of Exhibit Marketing, and Making Contact: the art of business networking as well as over 500 articles for trade and consumer magazines and newspapers around the world. For more information visit his web site at www.siskindtraining.com. www.brilliantpublishing.com


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INTERVIEWING Marketing Pros? Read Between the Lines NO BRILLIANT MARKETING CAMPAIGN would be possible without a top-notch team of dedicated professionals. But identifying the best and brightest marketers can be tough: Industry professionals excel at promoting and packaging things, including their own talents. The result? You may not always get what you bargained for when making a new hire. Most of us have encountered situations in which the candidate who appeared slick and sophisticated during the interview failed to meet expectations. While there’s no way to avoid hiring mistakes completely, you can reduce the chance of making them by asking interview questions that scratch beneath the surface. Following are several that may prove useful:

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BY TRACEY TURNER

What is your greatest professional achievement? The response to this question indicates how accomplished the candidate is and — perhaps more importantly — how the professional defines success. Was it a group or individual accomplishment? Did it involve overcoming an obstacle? Was the achievement pleasing to someone else or did it provide a more personal sense of satisfaction? Was there a competitive element? While the qualities you seek depend on the position you are filling, candidates whose success demonstrates a healthy competitive spirit often make the best marketing professionals. Team-oriented achievements also are a good sign in collaborative work environments. Be wary of the profes-

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sional who doesn’t discuss the results of his or her successes. For example, a candidate who notes that his or her greatest accomplishment was developing an alliance with a major trade organization but doesn’t discuss the outcome of that relationship may not be a strategic thinker. Whom do you consider to be a mentor and why? The answer to this question reveals the types of people and qualities the candidate most values. If the person counts all former managers as mentors, for instance, he or she likely respects authority and has a goal of acquiring some over time. Someone whose mentors tend to be professors or instructors may strongly value learning and prefer a more hands-on management style. How would your closest friends describe you? This question tends to yield useful clues about a person’s personality. When you ask someone how their managers or coworkers would describe him or her, you may receive a fairly pat response that centers on the person’s work habits. This question widens the field and may yield more insight into the applicant’s character and what he or she truly is like on a daily basis. Do you know …? With this question, you’re purposely trying to ask about something the candidate does not know — a person or organization, for example. The goal is to see how the professional responds. Applicants who are upfront and confess ignorance are confident enough in their skills to admit they don’t know everything. Watch out for the professional who pretends to know something he or she does not. When conducting job interviews, remember to ask each candidate roughly the same number and types of questions. This gives you a more objective standard on which to base your conclusions. Take notes on the responses you receive and compare them to what www.brilliantpublishing.com

you learn from the applicant’s references. Finally, keep in mind that the savviest candidate isn’t necessarily the best hire — he or she may simply have the most interviewing experience. Seek substance over style and you’re likely to end up with a mar-

keter who has passion and potential. Tracey Turner is executive director of The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service placing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals with a variety of firms on a project basis. For more information, visit www.creativegroup.com. •

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It’s ALL Personal

INTERNATIONAL BUILDING SHOW

Dave Ribble

“The IBS hosted over 110,000 attendees from all parts of the globe and what a magnificent show it was...”

WE RECENTLY ATTENDED the International Building Show. The IBS hosted over 110,000 attendees from all parts of the globe and what a magnificent show it was; 3-story high displays at booths with more space than most houses and amazingly beautiful. The brochures were slick and plentiful. The products on display were beautifully arranged. However, in very few instances was it apparent that the personnel in the booths were on-purpose. Rather, they were there to answer questions and say little. In this day and age, whom can afford to not do everything one can to capture as much attention as possible? Trade Show exhibiting is an expensive undertaking. If you’re spending $10,000 or $100,000 to exhibit, what do you need in ROI to justify your expense for being there? We ask this question all the time. Frankly, we often get a blank stare in return. One of the most respected Trade Show experts in the business is my friend, Susan Friedmann, The Tradeshow Coach, www.tradeshowcoach.com. Susan consults and has written marvelous books about this very subject. One of her recent articles is entitled “Coming Un-Done: Five Things You Can Do To Wreck Your Trade Show Exhibit.” I’ve added ‘It’s ALL Personal’ comments in italics, below. 1. Be Unprepared-Effective trade show exhibiting begins at least one year before the actual event. What to wear? Giveaways? Games? Strategy to get Targets to the booth? All of this needs forethought and plenty of time to execute. 2. Be Uninformed-Everything you need to know about the show should be contained

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in the manual. Skip reading this and be prepared to pay higher prices for just about everything. Order your premiums late and you’ll pay a premium for your premiums. 3. Be Uninspired-Over 90% of attendees are looking for what’s new and exciting. Even without a new product, your booth is new, your games are new, your giveaways are new, your uniforms are new, your brochures are new, your approach is new. 4. Be Untrained-Give your people the tools they need to succeed. You want an enthusiastic, engaged sales force, familiar with your marketing objectives and any demonstration materials. The right promotional tools can not only entice and entertain, but they can EDUCATE! Empower your sales force and drive home the message. 5. Be Unsure-Prior to the show, establish how leads will be handled. Have your Packets already prepared and send them out each night via email back to home office. Have your Premium ready to be delivered with your information in person after the show is over. Be on top of things and get there first. Want GREAT Trade Show results? When you think about what it takes, it comes down to this: It’s ALL Personal. Dave Ribble (dr@geiger.com) is President of The Company Image, Inc./Geiger, an Awardwinning Distributor of Promotional Products, 818-906-9894. Browse over 3,000 items at www.Tradeshowcoach.TCI4Me.com. Look for the 8-question Survey. Fill it out, send it in and TCI will contact you immediately.

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Big Winners Have Big Ideas For Promotional Campaigns Next month, Hollywood’s best and brightest will be

the sales target of $575,000 was achieved in three

recognized by winning the coveted Oscar. In the

months, not the proposed eight.

promotional products industry, it’s the PPAI Pyramid award that signifies the pinnacle of success because

To generate interest in Foothill Independent Bank’s

it recognizes the very best promotional campaigns of

checking account services and sign up new accounts,

the past year. And last month at The PPAI Expo 2006

a promotional consultant at Shearer & Associates

in Las Vegas, 17 promotional consultants won this

developed the theme, “Welcome to Free Checking,”

award for unique, memorable and effective campaigns

and hit upon the definitive promotional item—welcome

that achieved results!

mats displayed throughout the lobby. The scene on the mat reflected a lively re-interpretation of the

Here are three of the winning campaigns—maybe

bank’s logo and captured the sunny spirit of

you would like to try some of these ideas:

Southern California. The mat was offered as a giveaway with new checking accounts and positioned

To launch the new fragrance, Britney Spears Curious,

as a limited edition item. The bank, hoping for a

in the New Zealand market, promotional consultants

10-percent increase in new accounts, doubled that

at High Impact Marketing Limited came up with the

goal with this campaign.

idea of using silicone wristbands. Participating department stores gave out 40,000 wristbands to

A promotional consultant at Australia’s Wompro

interested customers who were sprayed with the

Pty. Ltd. produced a campaign for SIDS & Kids

fragrance by the store cosmetic consultant. The

Australia to bring awareness to the prevention

wristbands were supported with a comprehensive

of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Retail sponsors

POS, television, radio and web campaign. As a result,

sold promotional products such as lapel pins, designer writing instruments, temporary tattoos, red foam noses, button badges and plush bears

Presented By:

with the proceeds going to the organization. The results were phenomenal—sales of the products broke $4 million and online sales of the products were up by more than 18 percent.

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Find a promotional consultant at www.buildapromotion.com

INDUSTRY: Utilities—Atlanta Gas Light

CHALLENGE: Atlanta Gas Light lost its direct contact with customers when, because of industry deregulations, it became a reseller of natural gas. AGL wanted to promote the value of natural gas, create awareness of its brand, drive traffic to the AtlantaGasLight.com website and leverage its stadium presence at Atlanta Braves baseball games in Turner Field Braves Stadium. How to do all of this in a June/July timeframe was the challenge.

SOLUTION: AGL Marketing Manager Michelle L. Fallon decided to sponsor four events—Dealer Kick-Off and Partner Roll-Out parties, “Super Saturday” cookouts and Lucky Row at Braves Stadium—to capitalize on the connection between natural gas and grilling during summer cookouts and hot dogs and baseball. With the help of promotional consultant Patti Simmons, CAS, of Hartwell, Georgia-based PK Promotions LLC, Fallon tied all these events together by handing out imprinted battery-operated fans and balloons as well as simple, natural-colored aprons, imprinted with “Get Fired Up,” the AtlantaGasLight.com logo and partner logos on the pockets. AGL solved the challenge of its competitor having exclusive energy category messaging rights at the stadium by partnering with local Publix

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Supermarkets that owned that same exclusivity in the grocery category. “By partnering with Publix, we were able to slip into the stadium with the Lucky Row promotion where we put goodie bags with our imprinted promotional items underneath the Lucky Row seats,” says Fallon.

RESULT: Awareness of the AtlantaGasLight.com website peaked during the promotion to 71 percent (with a 60-percent awareness measured previously). The unique visitors who spent 15 minutes at the website—the main indication of how many people were learning about the lifestyle value of natural gas—went from 10,000 per month to 30,000 per month during the promotion. “The surprise bonus of this promotion,” says Simmons, “is that because of the outstanding attendance at the Super Saturdays, the purchase of hot dogs and drinks at these events amounted to more than $5,000, which was donated to the charity, Junior Achievement.”

FACT: So many products, so little time! Your promotional consultant can quickly identify and recommend products that best represent your organization and its message.

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INDUSTRY: Education—ARIN Intermediate Unit #28

CHALLENGE: All kinds of books fill library shelves—fiction, non-fiction and everything in between. Whether you pick up one for simple enjoyment or serious research, something exciting awaits you between the covers. ARIN Intermediate Unit #28, an education service agency, wanted to promote the joy of reading and create an awareness of local libraries’ adult reading programs in the Pennsylvania counties of Armstrong and Indiana. How could it show both children and adults that reading is an enjoyable pastime?

SOLUTION: Right away, Elizabeth Duncan, adult programs coordinator for ARIN, knew she needed an energetic program to capture the interest of children. So she teamed up with promotional consultant Wendi Rice of Indiana, Pennsylvania-based Red Oak Advertising to create an appealing reading awareness campaign. Summertime was the perfect season to kick things off—and they knew exactly where to find children

and parents. A bookmobile traveled to several summer hot spots, including area pools, YMCAs and community centers. Children selecting a book received a canvas tote bag, bookmark, picture-frame magnet and wipe-off board, while parents received literature promoting family literacy programs. And when they visited their local libraries, children were given zip-lock wallets to hold their free library cards. Rice had a reason behind the chosen promotional products. “They were selected for their visual appeal to children and functionality for adults,” she says. “They’re highly visible in the home and meant to be constant reminders of the educational programs in which families can participate and for which they can volunteer.”

RESULT: A 30-percent increase in adult student enrollment for academic programs was reached in the first two weeks of the two-month-long campaign. Enrollment for various library programs also showed a dramatic increase. “Adult education has become a vital part of our teaching systems and our economy,” Duncan says. “Promotional materials are the invaluable tools we have been looking for to reach those who most desperately need our help.”

FACT: Promotional products have long-lasting reach and recall, so the cost-per-impression is often lower than other advertising media.

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INDUSTRY: Manufacturing—Spartanburg Steel Products

CHALLENGE: Because the cost of a single lost-time injury can easily run more than $26,000, Spartanburg Steel Products wanted to develop a program to raise safety awareness among its 500 production and office employees, promote a safe work environment and reduce the number of work-related accidents. The company also wanted to generate and maintain interest in the program and reward employees for safe performance.

SOLUTON: For this year-long safety program, a movie theme was selected with the grand prize being a trip to Universal Studios in Florida. “To let the employees know something exciting was about to begin,” says promotional consultant Cindy Bartlett of Roebuck Advertising in Roebuck, South Carolina, “we hung teaser posters. One was a movie ticket with ‘Admit One—Ticket To Safety.’ Others read, ‘Auditions Begin Next Month’ and ‘Safety Now, This Is No Rehearsal.’” Each week employees in accident-free departments received scratch-off game cards, redeemable for prizes in the company store display case in the cafeteria. These prizes included imprinted caps, t-shirts, umbrellas, desk clocks, flashlight, multi-purpose knives, travel mugs, tote bags, CD cases and lunch coolers. The scratch-off cards also indicated eligibility for the grand prize drawing, movie theater tickets and gifts from the catalog. To maintain program interest throughout the year, Spartanburg Steel developed weekly trivia games by posting questions and handing out cards on which employees could write the answers and deposit into an entry box. Drawings were held periodically during the program to award movie-related prizes—TV, DVD player and camcorder.

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FACT: Buyers interviewed about the importance of purchasing brand-name products said the degree of importance varies with the target audience and the nature of the promotion or event. But, in general, branded items get more attention.

RESULT: Spartanburg’s Safety Manager Rick O’Hara reports, “As a result of this program, the accident incident rate is 33 percent lower than last year. The time without lost-time injury—188 days—set a new record for our 40 years in business.”

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INDUSTRY: Printing—Broadcasting—Click! Network

CHALLENGE: You sink into the sofa, flip on the TV and soon become bored with the few available channels. If only you had cable! And better yet, wouldn’t it be cool if you had internet access right on your TV? Click! Network, a cable television and internet provider, wanted to offer it all to its customers. How could it increase new subscriptions by one percent while encouraging one percent of current subscribers to upgrade to premium channels and internet service?

The final product was Cinema Classics 2000, a custom CD featuring soundtracks from numerous classic movies often available for viewing on premium TV channels. The CD was personally delivered to new customers by Click! technicians when they installed hardware for the new services. For current customers who were simply upgrading to premium cable or internet service, CDs were mailed in attractive custom packages. Included in each CD was a personal message from Click!’s CEO to reinforce the buying decision.

SOLUTION: In search of the perfect product for this campaign, Jody Veeder, product and promotions marketing manager for Click! Network, called on Bill Kaufmann, CAS, promotional consultant for Adventures in Advertising in Tacoma, Washington. Thinking of ways to appeal to the target audience, they decided a music CD was the answer. Unsure of the genre of music to use, they held a focus group to help them select the appropriate tunes.

In addition to TV spots that ran for a two-week period, Click! spread the word of its CD incentive through direct mail to 43,000 non-subscriber households in the Tacoma area. “My client was able to leverage local ‘new millennium’ excitement to bolster a traditionally slow period of movie channel and internet sales,” Kaufmann says.

RESULT: Click! was very pleased to welcome 481 new cable TV customers to its family, exceeding the overall goal by 43 percent. Current customers also responded well to the campaign, with 166 upgrading to premium channels or internet service. This exceeded Click!’s goal by 78 percent. “We not only exceeded our response rate goals, but we received many positive comments about the campaign from our new and existing customers,” says Veeder.

FACT: Trade and professional associations are among the top 10 buyers of promotional products and, according to the American Society of Association Executives, there are more than 140,000 associations in the U.S. alone. 46 Brilliant Results

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INDUSTRY: Manufacturing—Luxtec, a Division of Prime Source Healthcare

CHALLENGE: This manufacturer of surgical headlights and operating room video documentation equipment wanted to get the news out to the healthcare industry and to all associated with the sales and marketing of Luxtec products about its recent acquisition by Prime Source Healthcare. Luxtec needed to generate excitement and enthusiasm among the 50 new Prime Source sales representatives to increase product awareness and stimulate greater sales volume. Because operating room nurses are instrumental in such product purchasing decisions, information had to be presented to 1,500 nurses at their annual convention and tradeshow.

SOLUTION: “We selected ‘There’s A New Sheriff In Town’ with western-themed promotional products for this promotion,” says promotional consultant Don Payne, CAS, Don Payne, Inc. in Indianapolis, Indiana. At the tradeshow, Luxtec exhibitors handed out large six-point gold-star sheriff badges and western bandanas to operating room nurses and distributor sales personnel visiting the booth. They also had the opportunity to have their photos taken with a John Wayne look-alike, who asked them to complete a marketing data form. On the final day, the lucky winners of these drawings had a choice of western boots, western hats and full-grain leather jackets. At the end of the year, the top five sales leaders were awarded a luxury weekend trip to Tucson, Arizona, and the opportunity to play in a “WinnerTake-All” poker game with a $5,000 pot.

RESULT: Ron Flora, Luxtec director of sales and marketing, says sales increased 40 percent above the year’s

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FACT: A study by Georgia Southern University proved that including the offer of a product in a pre-show mailing greatly increases the likelihood of an attendee stopping by the tradeshow booth.

goal with Prime Source reps’ focus on and increased attention to Luxtec products. “Most importantly,” says Flora, “225 new sales leads were generated by 1,200 operating room nurses visiting the tradeshow booth—virtually doubling the promotion’s primary goal.”

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INDUSTRY: Advertising—Lighthouse Marketing

CHALLENGE: The next time you’re in a fast food restaurant, look around. It’s hard work hanging promotional signs and applying window decals. Point-of-sale materials must be carefully positioned in premium spots. Fast food managers are often overwhelmed by the promotional materials constantly shipped to them. How could Lighthouse Marketing, an advertising agency, encourage Burger King managers to display and confirm the use of POS materials at their drive-thrus?

generate curiosity, the camera was custom-printed with graphics that coordinated with Frozen Coke. To sweeten the deal, Burger King offered $500 to one lucky manager whose submitted photo was selected as the best. The catch—the manager must have his or her picture taken at the drive thru while posing with the newly displayed POS materials. This was a clever way to encourage participation when managers typically fail to confirm materials have been displayed properly.

SOLUTION: Since the materials promoted Frozen Coke, Rob Chaput, vice president of marketing for Lighthouse Marketing, wanted to make it fun. Working with promotional consultant Pamela Menne Irle, CAS, of Adventures in Advertising in Marietta, Georgia, Chaput decided to up the fun factor by including a disposable camera in each kit of POS materials. To

Irle understands the relevance of POS materials. “Research has shown that with materials displayed at drive-thrus, sales of the featured product increase approximately 30 percent,” she says. “So it was imperative that we develop a promotion to encourage installation of the new display.”

RESULT: The program generated a 20-percent response rate—a phenomenal success for the promotion and the new product. The traditional response for the display of such a POS kit without additional promotion is only two percent. “By making this program a photo contest, we could be certain managers displayed the point-of-sale materials,” says Chaput. “We were very pleased with the results.”

FACT: Look around your desk. Chances are you’ll see at least two items from the top-selling promotional products categories—writing instruments, calendars, drinkware, and desk and office accessories. You may even be wearing the top item—logoed apparel! 48 Brilliant Results

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INDUSTRY RESEARCH: The Power Of Promotional Products

P R O M OT I O N A L P R O O F Everyone indulges in a little harmless voyeurism from time to time. Have you ever glanced into a neighbor’s open window or door when taking an evening stroll? Do dark sunglasses hide stolen glances at others lounging around the pool or sunbathing on the beach? Or while waiting in the airport, isn’t it interesting to observe all the people coming and going? This harmlessly clandestine behavior allows us to see how others are doing things—and to form a benchmark for ourselves. That was the point of a PPAI study* of some 700 companies—about half of which were manufacturers, professionals, retailers and wholesalers with the rest in various industries such as education, financial, healthcare, real estate and travel—with revenues ranging from mom-andpop dollars (less than $100,000) to upwards of $1 billion. All were asked how they buy promotional products. Although many respondents indicated promotional products were a part of some sort of budget, particularly striking was the largest group of respondents—nearly 29 percent—who answered they had no designated budget and the products were purchased as needed. So, does this mean they purchase promotional products with the same whimsy as gum, breath mints, lip balm and a TV Guide at the check stand? While promotional products don’t require the same due diligence as purchasing a new car or home, there is a payoff to giving more thought to the process. For example, if you fall into the buy-as-needed group, how often has your promotional consultant had to charge a higher price to cover rush production PPAI—the promotional products industry’s only international not-for-profit trade association—offers education, mentoring, public relations, publications, technology, tradeshows and legislative support to its 7,000 global member companies.

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charges, overtime pay and overnight delivery? Those dollars could have been put to better use. Consider the funds in your budget that you always make available for all those impromptu purchases, and tell your promotional consultant about the events you have planned for the year and what you want to accomplish as a whole. By Relying on your promotional consultant’s know-how, you can secure lower per-unit prices for higher quantities and have time to find the best item for your campaign that will best offer a return on investment. Now that’s a pay off for using a promotional consultant.

How Do You Spend Promotional Dollars?

Promotional Products Have A Budget Of Their Own No Budget, We Buy Promotional Products When We Need Them

1% 1% 18%

It’s Part Of Advertising Budget

28%

3%

No Budget, We Buy Them If We Have Money Left After Everything Else Is Paid It’s Part Of The Operating Budget

29%

20%

I Don’t Know Other

*2005 End-Buyer Study: A Barometer of the Current Conditions in the Promotional Products Industry © 2006 Promotional Products Association International

PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL 3125 Skyway Circle North Irving, TX 75038 888-I-AM-PPAI (426-7724) www.ppa.org

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Things WeLove 1. Trade Show Display Light… …with the varylyte™ Modular Display System. A versatile, lightweight, portable, high quality, unique system of panels that assembles and disassembles quickly and easily with no tools or special skills needed. Bring “what you offer” to life with sophistication, while you save on expensive shipping costs! Multiple panel options allow you to create booths to fit any venue whether in solid, window, light box, slat wall or shelf panels there is a varylyte™ solution. Schlueter Design & Exhibit Systems, Incorporated

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2. Don’t Lose It… Tag It… …with Full-color All-In-One Tags printed on durable Teslin® material. This excellent trade shows giveaway is sold in letter-sized sheets with 3 tags per sheet for easy distribution. Print one side or both sides. Tags are easy to slide onto bags without any strap and to write-on with permanent pen or marker for personalization. Halls & Company

3. Record It Now, Write It Later… …with the innovative Post-it® Auto Message Center. Store digital voice recordings to capture information when you can’t write it down. Dispense Post-it® Pop-up Super Sticky Notes when you can write it down. Clips to visor and makes an excellent trade show winner’s prize. 3M Promotional Products

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2006 4. Want To See Your Logo… …on the arm of every trade show attendee? Then a quality bag like this Cabana Series Beach Tote could be the answer. Available in 7 different stripe colors, it has a large capacity at 21 x 15 x 5, rope handles, an interior mesh zippered pocket, and toggle button closure. Landes USA

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5. Because One Gift Does Not Fit All… …sometimes a Giftybox® is just right. Whether as a prize to draw attendees to your booth or as an incentive or appreciation gift, the recipient can choose a unique experience so every gift is memorable! All Giftybox offers & themes are customizable to meet the needs of your business so put your brand on a Giftybox and win. Giftybox

6. Give Special Attendees… …a shirt that they will wear long after the show is over. Put your logo on a high quality pique polo and you know it will show up in the nicest most influential places. Greg Norman Collection

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Things WeLove 7. Naked Display Tables Don’t Attract Positive Attention… …so make sure yours is wearing a classy cloth. Available in many upscale colors, these stain resistant cloths are washable and will look good show after show. Display Solutions

8. Huge Results. Small Package. …available in 17 amazing flavors and colors, these delicious premiums are sure to add fun, excitement, and pizzazz to any event or show! A perfect tradeshow give-away that is guaranteed to get your marketing message read. Match corporate colors to these innovative and delicious cookies. Take them to the next level by adding optional custom packaging or delicious chocolate dipping. Try one and you are likely to recall the slogan of a famous potato chip maker-"Betcha can't eat just one!" Fancy Fortune Cookies

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9. Serve Cold Drinks Quickly… … rapidly chill beer/soda/juice/water etc. in cans to refrigerator cold (43°F) in 1 minute and bottles in 3.5 minutes. Or chill wine from room temperature (77°F) to refrigerator cold in 6 minutes. This technologically amazing machine lets you chill beverages anywhere from the trade show to the tailgate and makes the perfect gift for the person with ‘everything’. Cooper Cooler™

8

9

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Things WeLove 10. Hang Around for the Next Trade Show… …when you provide this trade show badge clip your logo is going to get noticed. These quality badge clips, with a cord that extends and retracts for easy scanning, may even go on the road to show after show because everyone has to wear a badge and not all clips are created equal. Key Bak ®

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11. Why Give An Ordinary Pen… …when you can give a pen that is sure to make it home from the show and onto the executive desk. Top clients and prospects will appreciate these high quality pens and long after the show is over and may even use them to sign their next order for your products. AT Cross ®

12. They’re coolers/lunchpacks/gymbags… …and they are sure to attract attention wherever they are carried. They are available in two sizes, small (holds 6 cans and ice) and the new large tailgater (holds 24 cans and ice). The only hard part is choosing between Footballs, Baseballs, Basketballs, Soccer balls, Tennis Balls, Hockey Pucks and Racing Tires. So get your clients ready for summer. GTM Products

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TM

RELATIONSHIPS | RESOURCES | RESULTS

Free Product Information. February 2006 Issue.

For free product information from these suppliers, complete and mail this page to: Brilliant Results Magazine 9034 Joyce Lane Hummelstown, PA 17036.Or fax to (717) 566-5431.

Supplier

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®

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Key-Bak ®

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Fancy Fortune Cookies

52

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King Louie

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Cooper Cooler ™

52

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Key Bak

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At Cross

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PPAI

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GTM Products

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Snugz

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An Industry

SUCCESS STORY Ponytail Holders, Profitable Business and Proforma Rhino Graphics – A Sassy Combination ANY PARENT CAN TELL YOU how much work it is to get their child dressed in the morning. From what time they want to get up to what they want to wear, little squabbles between parents and children take place every day. Kim Madden, Owner of Sassy Tails, knows just the feeling. The biggest topic she and her six-year old daughter squabble over – hair bows. That is, until Kim and her daughter collaborated on a solution. That solution turned into a brand new hair accessory that’s sweeping the market, Sassy Tails. These clever hair accessories, dubbed the hip and stylish alternative to hair bows, consist of an elastic rubber band and colorful ribbons, jewels and other fun accents.

CHALLENGE Kim didn’t realize the great business idea that she had until she began to receive several inquiries from moms at her daughter’s dance classes. People were even stopping her on vacation in Mexico asking her where she found the hair accessory. That’s when Kim turned to Steve Spence who owns Proforma Rhino Graphics, a printing and promotional products distributorship in Greenville, S.C. Together, they’ve built an amazing brand.

Steve certainly delivered on his promise. He and his team were able to put together the sell sheets, hang tags and displays Kim needed for the tradeshow. Afterwards, they sat down with Kim to establish the Sassy Tails brand; they’ve been the driving force behind the promotion of Sassy Tails ever since. Because of the product’s simplicity, Steve and Kim knew that branding was the most important element. They spent a great deal of time thinking things through to make sure the design and message was right. “When Kim came to me with the Sassy Tails product, I knew it was going to be a huge success,” says Steve. “The challenge for us was learning about the market and finding ways to differentiate Kim’s product from the rest.” Just how did they brand the product? After researching the market, Steve was able to provide Kim with information on the demographics where Sassy Tails would be successful. They also worked on the packaging, distribution, sell sheets, press kits and sample kits needed to get the product off the ground. Steve has also helped Kim merchandise the product in stores as well as online sales. “We’ve learned a lot along the way,” says Steve. “Proforma Rhino Graphics is proud to be a part of Sassy Tails. We look forward to working with Kim to take her business to the next level.”

SOLUTIONS Kim’s initial needs included a logo, hang tags and some sell sheets just a week before her first tradeshow. “I was invited to participate in a tradeshow with very short notice,” says Kim. “I turned to Steve because I worked with him in the past. Steve always provides the highest quality products and exceptional customer service despite tight deadlines. I knew I could trust him.” www.brilliantpublishing.com

RESULTS Sassy Tails have become so successful that Kim has left her high-profile job to devote her attention to the business. She and Steve work together weekly to develop the promotions and printed pieces needed to grow the business. Currently, Sassy Tails are sold in 130 specialty boutiques; they are also talking to national chains. • Brilliant Results | February 2006 57


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INDUSTRY NEWS FLASHES ~ PMA’S ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2006 BRANDING 360° - ACTIVATING INNOVATION Learn the new rules of engagement and stay competitive! Join McDonald’s, GE, Coca-Cola, Best Buy, Campbell Soup, Southwest Airlines, Unilever, Yahoo!, AOL, IBM, Citigroup, T-Mobile and others as they share crucial insights on the hottest topics affecting our industry. • Leverage interactive media • Strategies others have tried and succeed with • Research & ROI – Are we measuring the right things? • Building your creative muscle in a hands-on ideation workshop • Selling your innovative ideas up the ladder • Managing the creative tension between legal and marketing To Register go to http://www.pmalink.org/conferences/annual2006/ or call PMA 212 420 1100.

DOUG ALBRECHT, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Centric Group promoted Laurie Gilner to President, Travel Gear Division, TRG Group. Laurie will be responsible for domestic, corporate, and international travel gear businesses under the Victorinox and OEM divisions as well as any new travel gear opportunities.

percent over the 2005 record. Exhibitor participation was also on the rise with a total of 1,603 supplier companies exhibiting at 3,788 booths, up 6 percent. Participation in paid seminars was up more than 150 percent. In 2004, The PPAI Expo was named 48th of the top 50 largest shows in the U.S. by Tradeshow Week magazine.

SONOMA, CALIFORNIA-BASED supplier Sonoma Pins (UPIC: SONOMA) has acquired Denver, Colorado-based Clink Communications Inc., manufacturer of Tag It All ID bracelets. Sonoma Pins will now offer Tag It All bracelets to its customers as an alternative in the Emergency ID, Medical Alert and promotions bracelet market.

WHAT WAS HOT FOR THE HOLIDAYS? Hinda Incentives Merchandising Director Mike Horn, says everything iPod and anything related to MP3 players in general were hot for the holidays. “We sold out of the iPod Shuffle, the Mini and the Nano. The SoundDock from Bose and other products related to MP3 players from iHome did extremely well. The Bose Quiet Comfort headphones and their Wave radio also redeemed well.” Plasma TVs, DVD players and digital cameras from Canon, Nikon and Sony did well, as did house wares like the Cuisinart Mini Food Processor and Baker’s Secret cookware, he adds. One of the newest and most exciting items was the Palm Z22 organizer. It’s an easy-to- use, lightweight handheld with a bright color screen and plenty of memory. “It’s a great new item for anyone who wants to get organized— college students to soccer moms. It keeps appointments, phone numbers, to-do lists, and photos,” says Horn. •

HITTING THE JACKPOT IN LAS VEGAS is not a common occurrence; consistently winning is even more rare. But last week, Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) continued a winning streak as The PPAI Expo 2006 drew a recordbreaking 13,700 distributor attendees to the annual trade show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. This reflected a 2.5 percent increase over last year’s distributor attendance. In addition, distributor companies in attendance were up 7.5

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2006 March

Calendar

March 5 – 7

The 2006 Retail Conference & EXPO: Marketing Magazines & Books Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate, Orlando, FL Information at: www.magazine.org/retailconference or Call: 212.872.3746

March 5 – 9

ASD/AMD Trade Show – Las Vegas - Spring Sands Expo & Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV Information at: www.merchandisegroup.com/ or Call: 800.421.4511

March 5 – 9

Exhibitor Show 2006 Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV Information at: www.exhibitoronline.com/exhibitorshow/2006/index.asp or Call: 888.235.6155

March 6 – 9

VoiceCon Spring 2006 Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, Kissimmee St. Cloud, FL Information at: www.voicecon.com/spring/ or Call: 800.227.1234

March 7 – 9

The Travel Goods Show Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV Information at: www.thetravelgoodsshow.org or Call: 609.720.1200

March 8 – 9

PMA’s Annual Conference & 2006 Reggie Awards Hyatt Regency Hotel, Chicago, IL Information at: www.pmalink.org or Call: 212.420.1100

March 17 – 19

ISS Imprinted Sportswear Show Atlantic City Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, NJ Information at: www.issshows.com or Call 562.436.3636

March 17 – 21

AphA 2006 Annual Meeting & Exposition Moscone West Convention Center, San Francisco, CA Information at: www.aphameeting.org or Call 202.429.7593

March 21 – 23

INTERPHEX 2006 – International Pharmaceutical Industry Congress Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY Information at: www.interphex.com or Call 888.334.8704

March 22 – 23

Medtrade Spring 2006 Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV Information at: www.medtradespring.com or Call 800.241.9034

March 22 – 24

The ASI Show – Las Vegas – Advertising Specialty Institute Venetian Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV Information at: www.asi.com or Call 800-546-3300

March 28 – 29

Chicago DM Days & Expo Navy Pier – Festival Hall, Chicago, IL Information at: www.cadm.org or Call 312.849.2236

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April

RELATIONSHIPS | RESOURCES | RESULTS

April 3 – 5

Los Angeles Majors Market Fall ‘06 California Mart Exhibit Center, Los Angeles, CA Information at: www.californiamarketcenter.com or Call: 213.630.3600

April 9 – 10

Premiere Birmingham 2006 Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, Birmingham, AL Information at: www.premiereshows.com or Call: 800.335.7469

April 9 – 12

HRMStrategies 2006: IHRIM Conference and Expo Washington DC Hilton And Towers, Washington, DC Information at: http://www.ihrim.org/events/2006spring/index.asp or Call: 866.236.6879 x 203

April 12 – 15

National Business Educations Association – NBEA 2006 New Orleans Marriott Conference Center, New Orleans, LA Information at: www.nbea.org or Call: 703.860.8300

April 22 – 27

NAB2006 – National Association of Broadcasters Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV Information at: www.nab.org/conventions or Call: 202.429.5300

April 25 – 26

Printsource New York Hotel Pennsylvania, New York, NY Information at: www.printsourcenewyork.com or Call: 212.352.1005

April 26 – 28

Human Resources Outsourcing (HRO) World – New York New York Hilton and Towers, New York, NY Information at: www.hroworld.com or Call: 203.878.2577

* To have your show listed in our Calendar please send your information to Brilliant Results magazine. *

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TheLast Word

Events. It has also become very active in The International Association for the state and federal affairs arena of the Exhibition Management (IAEM) is a U.S. and is pro-active in international trade association established to proaffairs relating to trade show and exhibimote growth and expansion of the tion issues. worldwide exhibition industry. This Steven Hacker began his associaincludes professionals who organize, tion management career in 1970 and conduct and support trade shows, has served on dozens of boards of exhibitions, meetings and events at directors as key staff, chief staff private and public venues. IAEM executive, consultant, and advisor. accomplishes its mission to promote Earning his “Certified Association the unique value of exhibitions and Executive “ (CAE) designation in events and serve as a principal Steven Hacker 1976, he has also been recognized as resource for those who plan, produce, President of the International Association for Exhibition a “Fellow” of the American Society and service the industry by serving its Management (IAEM) of Association Executives, one of members, partner vendors and service organizations that have business interests in the only 78 individuals in the nation to be recognized in this way at that time. exhibition industry throughout some 46 countries. As President of the International Association Organized in 1928 as the National Association of Exposition Managers to represent the interests for Exhibition Management (IAEM), Mr. Hacker of tradeshow and exposition managers, the has succeeded in building membership and makInternational Association for Exhibition Management ing IAEM the center of a growing network of is today the leading association for the global exhibi- national and international organizations in the tion industry. Since it first organized, IAEM has pro- exhibition industry. He has been named “One of moted the concurrent values of education and net- the 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings working. As it enters its 77th year IAEM continues to and Conventions Industry” for six consecutive successfully adapt itself to the changing environ- years beginning in 1996. For this trade show focused issue of Brilliant ment of the exhibition industry at the beginning of the 21st century. IAEM uses many channels to com- Results it seemed only fitting that we should give municate with the industry and its members, includ- Steven Hacker CAE, President of the IAEM, the ing the monthly digital magazine E2: Exhibitions & Last Word.

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TheLast Word

BR: How did you become involved with the IAEM? SH: In 1991 I was invited to apply for the position as IAEM’s CEO (then NAEM, the National Association of Exhibition Managers). I began with IAEM on January 2, 1992.

ing. Education, we know means the sharing of information on a peer-to-peer basis but it also means formal education programming that we deliver to members. The networking part of IAEM’s experience is vitally important because it remains one of the most reliable and valuable sources of communication. Knowing how trends are actually affecting exhibitions has never been more important. Our members have come to rely upon each other as important sources of this kind of business intelligence gathering.

BR: Of the various services provided by the IAEM which do you believe is the most important to your members? SH: IAEM was organized in 1928 and ever since we have regularly asked members this question. The answers are almost always the same. Members join and remain members for two principal reasons, education and network-

BR: In your opinion, what critical success factors are necessary for an exhibitor to have a successful trade show/exhibition experience? SH: Exhibitors must first make certain that they are selecting the exhibitions that deliver the audience with whom they wish to communicate. This is one reason why the independent auditing of exhibitions is taking on much more importance. Exhibitors

BR: How long have you been involved in the trade show/exhibition business? SH: I participated in managing my first exhibition in 1972 when I represented an association of property and casualty insurance agents.

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TheLast Word

“In too many cases the staff that goes to an exhibition are the newest hires, the most inexperienced, and the least prepared rookies.”

BR: What is your opinion regarding the most important aspects in designing a successful trade show exhibit? SH: An exhibit should be purpose designed for the objectives you want to achieve and its size must be determined as the result of planning. How many people do you want to interact with concurrently? The answer will determine what size exhibit and how many support staff you will need to bring to the event. The design of the exhibit, especially the graphics must reflect the message you want to convey.

want to be able to rely upon a uniform and consistent reporting system that will tell them exactly what kinds of buyers are attending different events. Once the correct event selections have been made, it is equally important for exhibitors to properly plan their event objectives. It is still all-too-common that an exhibitor will arrive on site and have little or no real grasp of what it is that they hope to achieve from the event. Smart exhibitors know that they need to promote their participation in an event to their target audience before, during, and after the event; that they have to have a message that is relevant and powerful; that they allocate sufficient resources, such as booth staff, to properly support their participation in the event. Exhibition marketing success is definitely not coincidental. It is the result of planning, planning, planning.

BR: I understand that IAEM is introducing the use of RFID technology in tracking exhibition attendance. Do you think this will become a common practice at exhibitions? SH: There is no question but that RFID will enhance the exhibition experience. There will of course be a period of adaptation, experimentation, and buy-in, but the potential the technology offers is far too effective for its use not to become virtually universal. We are just on the frontier of this exciting new technology but we know it gives show management the chance to measure the ebb and flow of traffic; we know that exhibitors can marshal the technology to enhance their communications and marketing; we know that RFID offers a spectrum of innovation that has heretofore been unavailable.

BR: What are the biggest mistakes an exhibitor should avoid? SH: Sending the “junior varsity” team into an exhibition. In too many cases the staff that goes to an exhibition are the newest hires, the most inexperienced, and the least prepared rookies. Of course, exhibitions should be part of an employers training program for its sales and marketing force but it is vitally important that the team you send to a show be highly experienced and effective. If not you are just wasting time and money.

BR: What do you think is the most successful marketing tactic to increase the number of attendees (or exhibitors) at an exhibition? SH: Pre-show promotion is the most effective aspect. Even if you don’t get everyone to attend, you are certain to be reaching your target audience with a series of pre-show messages. Some will respond to the message even if they ultimately don’t attend the event. Those who do attend the event will be much more likely to visit your booth. Failure to engage pre-show promotion rel-

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“We believe in promotional products, in fact, we offer IAEM members a wonderful program of promotional products through our partners at 4imprint.com.” egates you to just on of several hundred or several thousand exhibits competing for very limited time and attention. BR: Do you think that educational opportunities should constitute a major part of any organized exhibition? SH: This depends upon the nature of the event and the audience. Almost all events today will include an education or learning component. How robust that component is will depend upon the needs and desires of the audience. Scientific and technical audiences will generally want more programming, for example. This is where a close collaboration between show organizer and exhibitors can be vital. Often, the expertise that resides among exhibitors, as well as their experience in dealing with buyers in an industry, can be of tremendous value to the shaping of an appropriate program to support the exhibition. The key term is “support” —- too many state and regional associations still don’t understand that an association’s education program should not conflict with the exhibition but must support it. BR: What was you best trade show experience . . . your worst? SH: One that comes to mind as a ‘best’ was an event that services the cruise industry. The combination of program content, exhibition layout, exhibitor participation, and relevant networking events combined to create an electric atmosphere for everyone. The flip side is exhibitions in which there doesn’t seem to be any consistency or theme or purpose. If not properly planned and managed an exhibition floor can quickly dissolve into what

www.brilliantpublishing.com

looks like just a big flea market or bazaar. Creating the environment that is most conducive to communication between buyers and sellers is vital and not easily achieved. BR: What is the best trade show/exhibition you have ever attended, and why? SH: I would not dare say which of the more than 10,000 events that IAEM members conduct each year are the best. Of course I have my own opinions but this question is not much different than asking, “which of your relatives do you like the best”? BR: How do you use promotional products to increase awareness of IAEM exhibitions? SH: We believe in promotional products, in fact, we offer IAEM members a wonderful program of promotional products through our partners at 4imprint.com. If used wisely promotional products allow us to build excitement and help us cement our members (customers) awareness of us in a crowded marketplace. BR: What is your favorite promotional product? SH: Years ago I was able to recruit several hundred members at another association by mailing a plastic 14” long fish. Inside the fish was our themed membership recruitment promotion and membership application. If I recall correctly, the opening line was, “There’s nothing fishy about this offer”. BR: Do you remember the last promotional product you received and the name of the organization you received it from? SH: Of course! It was an elegant coffee mug designed to fit into the cup holder of my car and it was sent to me by 4imprint.com •

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Off The Cuff

Quote A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well. Jeff Bezos, CEO and cofounder of Amazon.com (1964 - )

Trivia By The Numbers 96.5 ~ Percentage of Internet users who select Google as their search engine of choice

90 ~ Percentage of business users & IT professionals who use the Internet to research products and services

80 ~ Percentage of anything that is trivial compared to 20% that is vital

65.3 ~ Percentage of 35 – 44 year old Americans with Internet access at home

61 ~ Percentage of U.S. adults who do not know all the words to the national anthem: “The StarSpangled Banner”

51 ~ Percentage of NFL tailgate partiers who claim neither rain, sleet or snow would stop them from tailgating

39 ~ Percentage of Americans who admit searching the Internet for their name

36 ~ Percentage of Americans who love their car 20 ~ Number of federal agencies trying to install a security system designed to protect online transactions

% 1. (KnowledgeStorm survey), 2. (KnowledgeStorm survey for CMO Council) 3. (U.S. Census Bureau), 4. (Harris Interactive survey for The National Association for Music Foundation), 5. (Weber-Stephen Products Co. survey) 6. (MSN sponsored survey), 7. (Mercedes-Benz USA survey) 8. (GAO, 2004), 9. (TNS Media Intelligence data)

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