Alphagraphics blog

Category: Public Relations

Update Trade Show Materials Before Your Next Convention

The winter season and heralding New Year are more than just precursors to a fresh start: for businesses big and small, they’re a signal that trade show season is right around the corner!   According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), roughly 13,000 annual trade show events are held in North America, with more than 10,000 of these focused on the B2B market. Trade show season for most of these major B2B industries begins in the winter season and runs through early spring, meaning it’s tremendously important to start making sure your business is prepped and ready for any and all upcoming trade show events that are looming.   Focus on presentation   The number one thing to consider when assessing and updating your trade show materials is your booth. It doesn’t matter if you occupy a basic stall or if you’re a featured attraction at a convention: if your booth materials themselves aren’t up to par, you’re going to fall flat in the impression you make.   Your booth needs to be attractive, captivating, provoking of inquiry and, above all else, memorable. Remember: the goal at any trade show is to spread awareness about your products, company or brand, and your ability to do this is going to be dictated by the impression you leave on visitors. Consider these simple materials as you update and retool your booth’s image for maximum impression:   • Table runners are a great way to create cohesion at your booth. If your branding is projected outwards via table runners, you’re going to have a better chance at getting someone to step over and sit down, where you can engage them organically.   • Be they vinyl or mesh, big or small, trade show banners are a key component for your booth because they’re the biggest and most captivating tool in your marketing arsenal. If attendees can see your signage from afar, it’s going to draw them in closer for more information.   • Floor signs can come in all shapes and sizes, but they work to do the same thing: create a stand-out message that causes attendees to stop, read and inquire. A floor sign here and there is a good investment in your trade show efforts.   Far and above just having the right materials, it pays to have materials that are up to date, in good condition and tailored with your company’s branding. Cohesion is key and when done correctly, creates a powerful presentation that’s sure to stand out among the crowds.   Smart marketing materials   The second component to a successful trade show appearance—and an equally vital one—is having marketing materials that can be purposed to drive your exposure. This means having informative, heavily branded and attention-grabbing materials on hand, including:   • Business cards are always a necessity at a trade show—you’ll be giving them out and collecting them frequently. Make sure yours are up to date with current information and designed to stand out from the inevitable stack they’ll end up in.   • Brochures and pamphlets are going to give your prospects the information they need in a branded format that is indicative of your company. Make sure your handouts are speaking well of your brand with crisp designs, up-to-date information and clear contact information.   • Signup sheets are often overlooked, but deftly important in walking away with critical information. Getting attendees to, if nothing else, sign up to receive communications with you will keep the channel open.   • Freebies may seem like a waste of money to you, but they’re a marketing tool that keeps on giving after you’ve disseminated them. People love free stuff, which will bring them flocking to your booth, and what they take away will keep your company’s name and branding in front of them long after the show has ended.   There’s no end to the marketing materials that can play a vital role in turning your trade show visit into a success. Make sure you’re pinpointing the materials you need to fuel your brand exposure and get these items in order now, before trade show season is fully upon us. Getting everything updated, printed and in hand before you start setting up shop means being one step ahead of potential competitors who might not be as well-equipped to captivate attendees. Read article →
December 15 / 2015

Five Tips for Crafting Relevant, Engaging Marketing Messages

Any advertising professional will tell you that crafting an optimal message is about more than just stringing together some words or pictures and kicking a product out to the masses. More often than not even the best marketing messages fall flat, sometimes for the smallest of reasons, leaving entire marketing teams to head back to the drawing board.   If you’re a small business, creating relevant, engaging marketing messages might sound impossible as you don’t have an entire marketing department to fulfill your needs; it’s just you and your knowledge doing all of the work. But, while it might seem like an uphill battle, understand that being a small business doesn’t put you at any less of an advantage when it comes to understanding what goes into creating a good message.   Take a look at five things you can always fall back on when you’re brainstorming your next advertising campaign and why taking into account these five tips can pay off:   1 - Emphasize seasonal messages: You may or may not realize it, but the seasons have significant sway over the world of marketing and advertising. Certain products become available or emphasized during certain seasons; different tones and feelings are characterized by the time of year; and, most importantly, consumer mindsets shift with the seasons. Understanding and wielding seasonal power for the benefit of your marketing message is absolutely going to turn favor and give you a better chance at landing a message that’s effective.   2 - Evoke emotion: There’s nothing more ineffective than an advertising message that makes a person feel nothing! If someone feels nothing when they intake your message, they’ll have no motivation to act, meaning you’ve lost them right from the get-go. Instead, make sure your messages evoke some kind of emotion! Make a person laugh, pluck at their heartstrings or even make them angry—whatever it takes to provoke emotion and inspire action!   3 - Be transparent: We’ve all seen those advertisements that are too good to be true, that usually end up being a scam in the end, right? They’re not just annoying—they’re a great way to lose customers. People don’t like being tricked or taken advantage of: they prefer to be spoken to with a straightforward message and honestly. With this in mind, tailor your messages to be honest in their appeal—no asterisks with hidden messages or sneakily-worded jargon that tricks people. Your audience will appreciate transparency and know you for being honest, which will lead them to pay attention to what you have to say now and in the future. On the flip side of this, remember that it’s okay to talk things up and embellish a little—so long as the message is clearly understood and everyone has the same expectations!   4 - Showcase value: Benefits-driven content is the key here and it’s truly the cornerstone of any successful marketing message. People want to know what they’re getting and they need to fully appreciate the value of what you have to offer them. Whether you’re selling a product, advertising a service, offering a membership or creating awareness, the chief takeaway from your message for every customer should be the value.   5 - Talk the talk: Know how to talk to your customers! This can never be overstated. Knowing how to talk to your customers means knowing how to relate to them, which ultimately leads to better communication and a more engaged audience. This means using the right vocabulary, embracing the right values, speaking to the right “person,” showing the right images and communicating the right benefits. It may seem like a tall order, but if you know your audience and what it has to offer people, bridging the gap to create effective marketing messages becomes a whole lot easier than you might think.   Keep these five tips in mind the next time you’re sitting at a blank computer screen trying to come up with the next feel good marketing hit of the summer! Embracing as many of these tips as you can means raising the bar for your success when it comes to pushing out messaging that’s truly effective. Read article →

Multi- & Cross-channel Marketing: A Love Story

"Jill, will you marry me?”  That’s what the billboard said.

I couldn't believe it.  My roommate had pulled it off.  Of course, he was only able to negotiate the rep down to a one-month lease, rather than the standard three-month.  So the actual proposal happened a couple weeks ago.  Since then, someone had the (genius) idea to spray-paint the reply “No, leave me alone!!” in big, red letters across the bottom.  Made me laugh every time I saw it. (more…)

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Recruiting the Right People for the Right People – The Recruiting Funnel

RECRUITING FUNNEL STEPS STEP 1 – PRE-SCREEN - This is an opportunity to quickly weed out the candidates who are not a viable option.  Checking for red flags and verifying the candidate meets the minimum requirements is essential at this step.  The prescreening can be done while reviewing resumes and also with a phone call. STEP 2: INTERVIEWS & ASSESSMENTS - Interviews are the most common selection method.  Generally speaking, structured interviews are the most effective.  (more…) Read article →

Consistently Communicating Your Brand

As our world has evolved and our communications paradigm has not just shifted, but rather completely transformed, it is more important than ever to take a holistic approach to all of your customer-facing interactions. When you are creating your sales and marketing plans, which are key to your branding and identity, where does the role of public relations fit in?  For many businesses, it is thought of as a unique part of the marketing mix—a few press releases to announce charitable contributions, new business openings, new hires—the expected items that you should, well, send a press release about, right? (more…) Read article →