I love it when my clients make the most out of the Trade Show Samurai Arts. Most people hem and haw about how they’ve always done it and like to go back to their happy place which is free of leads.
The people who see the light will prevail. One of my clients has a booth in Paris in a few weeks where they will be presenting housewares. They weren’t happy with their success at previous shows, but they knew that there was potential. I went over some of the concepts with them, they read the book and they are really putting together a great show.
Click here to download a Great Pitch Card. Notice that is has slightly different messages for the different people at the show. However, the overall message is consistent. This is great work. Read it, learn it, live it.
When the booth staffers look like a team, they act like a team. However, there is often great resistance to booth uniforms, especially between genders, generations and management levels. Women don’t want to wear what men wear and senior managers don’t want to wear what their lowly subordinates wear. Likewise, “old-dog” salesmen don’t want to wear what the young whipper-snapper marketing dude is wearing. This conflict is either resolved by compromise or it’s not resolved at all. However, looking like a team doesn’t mean you all have to wear a logo-polo shirt and khaki pants.
The key to looking like a team is to coordinate colors and styles and, if possible, embellish a little with branded elements. If your corporate color is red, for instance, men can wear red ties and women can wear red scarves. The wayward Gen Xer can wear a red polo shirt or whatever. The point is everyone coordinates and looks like they are part of the program.
Here is an excellent example that I came across at the Exhibitor Expo in Las Vegas. The company, Tridente, is a trade show exhibit company in Spain. Notice that while they aren’t wearing the same uniform, they both coordinate and look like a team. Many of the exhibitors at the expo had their act together which is the least I would expect from an event that was made up of people who specialized in trade shows. There were a few instances where the pitch was weak, but for the most part it was quite well done.
Tridente did a couple of other things well too. They were passing branded poker-chip key chains making your tchotchkes a souvenir of the trip rather than strictly a business promotion is a nice touch. This isn’t to say they couldn’t benefit from a little Trade Show Samurai training, but it was nice to see a company with such a thoughtful approach.
Here is another good marketer at the All Things Organic Show. This one promotes plates and things. You eat the food; the worms will eat the plates and utensils. That is, of course, if you are using Ultra Green utensils that are 100% biodegradable, compostable and sustainable according to Ultra Green CEO Phil Levin. These remarkable paper products will breakdown in a landfill in about 90 days. The cornstarch and seashell-based plastic will be gone in about 150 days. You don’t even have to throw them away. They will breakdown in a regular backyard compost pile with regular kitchen waste.
A complete place setting will run you about $1 if you use the Ultra Green Picnic/Party Pack which retails for $11.99 and comes in a package that doubles as a tray for chips and dip.
I came across “Toats” at the All Organic Expo in Chicago in 2009. I must admit I was quite skeptical of these “Friendly-O” things when I first saw them. They were little brown discs that looked like they might be the kind of thing you stick in the bottom of a flower pot to feed a plant. Not much to look at themselves but the package they come in is quite nice. And the woman behind the product was hands down the most passionate person I have spoken to in the entire organic foods industry. Even their Web site is certified “Green”.
Marisol Fernandini-Gaffney created Toats (ToatsOrganic.com) to bring the world a healthy natural snack that you can feed to humans and horses and dogs or anything else that has a mouth. Rarely will I admit to eating much less enjoying something designed to be consumed by animals as well as humans but these things are addictive. She gave me five sample packs each containing two cookies and I just at the last one. I’m already jonesing for my next fix. It’s downright frustrating to be out of them so fast!
The cookies do take a leap of faith. They do have the texture and odor of an animal snack. They are hard and grainy at first bite but by the time you swallow the first you are eyeballing the second. The next thing you know you’ve eaten ten, (beware, they are 290 calories!) The good news is that the entire experience was good for you, good for animals and good for the environment.