Top 8 Tips for Getting the Most out of Trade Shows & Event Marketing

Getting the most out of trade shows takes strategy, planning, and execution. Don’t expect your first event or a new event to yield your biggest client. What you can count on, using the tips below, is to get the name of your business out to the community. You may even make key contacts with whom you can follow up post-event. Over time you will develop relationships with people who may become your client or who know people who are your target client. Be patient and work hard.

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8 Great Tips for Getting the Most out of Trade Shows

8 Great Tips for Getting the Most out of Trade Shows

2.  Provide an Amazing Pitch. Don’t just take the same trade show booth you took last year or the year before to your next event. Trade show attendees are there to experience your product. They want to use your magic mop or play or video game or use your app. Telling people about your product isn’t enough. No matter how great you think it is, they want to try it for themselves. You need to be creating an experience. People don’t come to trade shows to talk about products, they want to experience them.

3.  Dress for Success. Just because you have a great looking trade show booth doesn’t mean you can slack off on how you look. Marketing is about everything – from what you wear to how you speak so make a great first impression by wearing clothes appropriate for your target audience and industry. A technology-based trade show may be more casual than a financial services trade show, for example. Make sure you and your team are dressed for success based on these factors.

Dress according to your industry and the tradeshow location or event and be sure to dress professional–business or business casual-and wear comfortable shoes.  I love to wear heels but I find it so uncomfortable to wear heels for long periods of time while working a tradeshow.  If you must, take two pairs of heels so you can change out your shoes and bring ibuprofen to take as it will help with the swelling for being in heels at a show! Men also can have shoes that are not comfortable so the same idea works for you too!

4.  Train the Team. Trade show success is about more than what you wear; it’s also about being able to tell customers and prospects about your company. To do this, you need to have a well-trained team working at your booth. Don’t pick the college intern to go to a local event unless they know about the products and services you’re featuring at that event. A better choice would be someone who knows more about the full portfolio of products so they can field questions from a variety of booth visitors. The last thing you want is to be the only person who knows how to answer all the questions.

5.  Know Where to Spend Money. Your trade show booth doesn’t need to be a Las Vegas style show – unless of course your business is Las Vegas style shows. For most of us, we have a marketing budget that we have to stick to. Figure out the best use of that budget. Perhaps you spend extra on a reusable swag bag or advertising on the show’s swag bag for attendees. You might revamp your existing trade show booth to add a digital workstation or create an entirely new booth to exhibit your latest product or branding. More than likely you don’t have a limited budget so take some time to think about the best use of resources.

6.  Use Social Media. Connect with customers and community by making use of social media and PR provided by the show and on your own sites. Announce which shows you will be exhibiting or attending so customers can connect with you. This is especially important if you are spending time in a different city. Make the most of your time by connecting on social media and in real life with customers and prospects, making the most of the money invested in the trade show.

7.  Network. In addition to connecting with existing customers and prospects, be sure you’re networking with the attendees and exhibitors at the show. They could well be your next customers or be able to introduce you to your target clients. Be patient. Building business relationships takes time. The seeds you put down at one trade show may not (and more than likely will not) pay off until you’ve developed a relationship and they understand your business as much as you understand theirs.

8.  Follow Up Post-Show. This is where most businesses fail. Whether it’s following up after a local networking event or an international trade show, you’ve got to make following up with clients and leads top priority when you return to the office.

Using these tips, we think you can create a trade show strategy that’s executable and will help you meet your business goals. At EXHIB-IT! we help our clients create trade show booths that get them noticed by their target clients. Contact us today to get started on your path to trade show success.

EXHIB-IT! CEO, DJ Heckes, Shares Her Story & Recap of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, 2014

Hot Air Balloon, Balloong Fiesta, EXHIB-IT!

EXHIB-IT! Balloon

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta event was from Saturday October 4th through Sunday October 12th with over 800,000 attendees and 548 balloons registered – 28 of them being from 22 different countries and 106 were in the special shapes balloon category. EXHIB-IT! participated by sponsoring the Check Ride Balloon with Pilot Ryan Lowenstein.  The event was a success and we flew all but two days that were due to high winds or rain. Check Ride participated in three balloon glows.

During the mass ascensions on Saturday, Sunday (cancelled due to winds), Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday (cancelled due to wind gusts), the balloons launched in two waves with launches that started as early as 7 Am and continued flights way past 10 Am for all to see.   Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday were competitive flight days that competing balloons would launch 1.0 mile from balloon fiesta field and fly over field and to target areas to compete.  All non-competition balloons, along with special shape balloons, would take off from the fiesta field.

Hot Air Balloon, Balloong Fiesta, EXHIB-IT!, DJ Heckes, Susan Riedel, Attorney General, Campaigner, Albuquerque

DJ Heckes with Susan Riedel, Attorney General Campaigner

I invited Susan Riedel,Campaigner for upcoming election for Attorney General, to the Balloon Fiesta on Friday Evening and Saturday Morning of the second weekend of Fiesta,  She enjoyed taking part in the Balloon Fiesta with all its beauty and was able to meet and greet with the attendees.  We had a wonderful time and I enjoyed getting to know her and her assistant, Colt Balok.

Having been a balloon fiesta pilot for 17 years and this year was a balloon sponsor, it was much different for me being on the ground for all flights.  While I enjoyed sponsoring a balloon and being a crew member for the Check Ride Balloon, it was both surreal and enjoyable.  Yes, I miss flying and this was my first balloon fiesta without piloting a balloon, but I also got to sit back and enjoy chasing the balloon and navigating the streets to be there before the balloon would land.  I always loved navigational flights and testing my ability to see what the winds were doing at different altitude levels and challenge myself as a Pilot to tell my crew where I planned to land at takeoff. Now I got to challenge myself as a crew member to navigate the streets while watching the winds to determine wind direction for where I thought Check Ride would land.  That was fun!

On Saturday, October 11th, family and friends attended the Music Fiesta with band County Road 5, followed by a performance by Band Sawyer Brown then came Josh Turner, one of country music’s most recognized face with numerous CMA and Grammy award nominations.  What a treat it was to be out of the field, hang with family and friends, soaking up the bright sunshine and listening to awesome music.  The music festival ended with the start of the Balloon Glow.  The winds picked up somewhat and the Glow had a few balloons that participated, including Check Ride with the Large EXHIB-IT! banner displayed proudly on the balloon.  The evening ended with Fireworks for all.

Now the Balloon Fiesta is over and lots of memories were made with family and friends along with meeting Pilots and Crew from other countries.  Anyone who has not attended the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta should consider attending next year and save the dates:  October 3-10, 2015!  Hope to see you there and enjoy the photos taken by Steve Chavez of Zia’s Studios, Edgerton, Wisconsin.  He may even sell you some of his great photos – call him at 773-612-4231.

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Morning Brew – Social Media Unmasked!

Commissioner Wayne A. Johnson Invites You to

Social Media Unmasked!
Revealing What Might Work Best for Your Business

Discover and explore Social Media as a powerful tool for your business! Hands-on demonstration of creating a social
media page, so please bring a laptop, tablet or smartphone!

Social Media, Bernalillo County, New Mexico, Albuquerque, Commissioner Wayne A. Johnson, Economic Development, EXHIB-IT!, DJ Heckes, Patrick Baldanado, Sunrise Bank of Albuquerque, Workshop Flyer

Social Media Unmasked!
Facebook Event Page

Registration: 8 a.m.
Program: 8:30 to 10:15 a.m.
Networking: Close of program to 11:15 a.m.

Guest Speakers:

DJ Heckes, CEO

Patrick Baldonado, Vice President/Business Development
Sunrise Bank of Albuquerque

No charge for this event! RSVP by 10/15. Seating is limited. or (505) 468-7817

–Bernalillo County

For more details Click Here.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, EXHIB-IT! Sponsored Check Ride Balloon Day 7

It’s day 7 of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  EXHIB-IT! has been on the ground at Balloon Fiesta Park and in the skies high above Albuquerque all week long.  Here are some more amazing shots by Steve Chavez from Wednesday and Thursday of this week.


Thank you to Steve Chavez who is crewing on the Check Ride Balloon Team for taking all of these amazing shots!

Zia’s Studios
Steve Chavez
1801 E. Rd 4 Edgerton, Wisconsin 53534

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Five Generations of the Workplace & What That Means for Your Business

Info Graphic, Five Generations, Workplace Chart, Generation Y, Generation Z, Boomers, Traditionalists, Generation X, Workplace Personalities

Five Generations of the Workplace

Trade show success is based on a variety of factors, most of which include a fair amount of planning and organizing by a team. What happens when the team doesn’t get along or when some people don’t feel that their ideas are being heard? It often causes stress and ultimately it can hurt the trade show success for your business – And THAT impacts the bottom line.

In today’s workplace we can have as many as five generations of employees all working toward the success of the company. How they receive, interpret, and execute plans differs based on, among other things, their age and generation. Think about how your parents work versus how you work, for example. Ask your grandparents about their work ethic and then ask what they think of today’s workplace. You’re bound to gain some keen insights into the generations in the workplace.

  • Traditionalists, born prior to 1946
  • Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964
  • Gen X, born between 1965 and 1976
  • Millennial, (Gen Y) born between 1977 and 1994
  • Gen 2020, born after 1995

Each of these generations brings their own ideas about being employees.


Born before or during World War II, this generation values privacy, hard work, trust, formality, and social order. These will probably be the quietest people on the team as they are not known to easily share their thoughts. Focused more on words than body language, the preferred communication for traditionalists is face-to-face or written. Social media is probably not an option for most of this generation, at least not for business.

TIP: Don’t waste their time or make them feel their time is being wasted.

While they are quiet, they are also quite experienced. Find a way to use their experience to benefit your marketing or trade show efforts and you’ve got an engaged member of your team willing to work toward goals and success.

Baby Boomers

Born just after World War II to parents of The Great Depression, this generation values competition, change, hard work, success, body language, anti-rule and regulation, and inclusion. Known as the show me generation, baby boomers are keen observers of body language and speak in an open, direct style. In the workplace, they want to know if their efforts are useful and how what they do applies to the bigger corporate goals.

TIP: Younger Boomers prefer in-person meetings, webinars, and video phone calls and prefer to be in control of the message of the conversation.

Baby Boomers are typically experts in a variety of areas which can prove valuable to your team if you let them be participants in the conversation.

Generation X

Sandwiched between the retiring Baby Boomers and tech savvy Gen Y, Gen X-ers value entrepreneurial spirit, loyalty, independence, creativity, information, feedback, access to information, and work-life balance. The first generation to recognize the value of working from home, they are strong leaders and fast learners.

TIP: Keep Gen X-ers in the loop with informal communication and keep them challenged.

While Boomers are working hard to move up the ladder, Gen X-ers are working hard so that they can have more time to balance work and life responsibilities.

Generation Y

The largest generation and a major source to replace retiring Baby Boomers in the workplace, Gen Y-ers value positive reinforcement, autonomy, positive attitudes, diversity, money, and technology. Influenced by today’s technology, they love to communicate via email, texting, and social media.

TIP: This is the love-me generation and they are constantly seeking feedback on their performance. Rather than a quarterly or annual review, consider a monthly review for these employees.

Generation Y-ers are sometimes challenging for the older generations to understand as they are working to live, not living to work. Create an environment that is fun and interactive and you will have engaged employees.

Generation Z

This is a unique generation as they have grown up with the internet and technology. Socializing to them may mean sitting in a room texting or messaging a colleague rather than a phone call or face-to-face conversation. Experts in electronic gadgets and social media, they can help your team with a social media marketing plan.

TIP: Keeping this generation focused is key to their (and your) success.

This generation is especially concerned with the environment making them ideal to lead green marketing campaigns.

When you think about your trade show marketing plan, it is important to consider how each of your team members contributes to projects in their own unique way. From the quiet Traditionalists and expert Baby Boomers to the younger generations focused on work-life balance and the environment, you can begin to embrace strengths that not only lead to trade show success, but to the success of your business overall.

At EXHIB-IT! we are focused on helping our clients engage and retain customers through effective trade show marketing. Contact us today to get started!

EXHIB-IT! Photos, Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

We’re having a blast at the 2014 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta!  Here are some more photos from our week at this amazing event.

Thank you to Steve Chavez who is crewing on the Check Ride Balloon Team for taking all of these amazing shots!

Zia’s Studios
Steve Chavez
1801 E. Rd 4 Edgerton, Wisconsin 53534

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To view more photos and our 2nd Balloon Fiesta recap from our CEO, DJ Heckes, sign up for our blog today.

EXHIB-IT! sponsored Check Ride Balloon, Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Ballon Fiesta, Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Balloon Fiesta 2014, Balloon Glow, EXHIB-IT!

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

EXHIB-IT! sponsored Check Ride Balloon, piloted by Ryan Lowenstein at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta from October 4-12, 2014. This is our third year sponsoring a balloon for this great event.

The first day of balloon fiesta started off with 3-5 mph launch winds and we were first wave in the mass ascension.  We had a 45 minute flight and landed near Costco at Renaissance Blvd. with a stand up beautiful landing back into the loving arms of Mother Earth.  Our passengers were guests of mine from College Station, TX – Scott and Ben Schams and they were first time balloon passengers.  We had the traditional after flight champagne ceremony and celebrated their first time flight.

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The Saturday night balloon glow was cancelled due to high winds, as was early Sunday morning flights.  The winds aloft exceeded 30 mph winds  800 feet and above the ground level.  We decided to do a static balloon display for the spectators and were on the local TV news station.   We are at Launch Site F1 and the Arabella Special Shape Balloon (Creamland Dairies) is located at H1, which makes it fun for us with the media and photographers with the added visibility.

Sunday night we participated in the balloon glow with about 300 other balloons and lit up the park.  It was spectacular to see in person and the attendance at the event made it even more fun. The visitors walked around and collected balloon pins and cards and the night ended with a fireworks display for all.

Monday’s flight was a  competition day flight so we had to fly from off field and locate a spot for the winds to  help us travel to the marked “X” spots on the fiesta field.  We took off in Corrales near Corrales Road and Target Road at an open small field.  The takeoff was slow and steady and the higher up winds took us to the East.  We got to the field and descended but not enough to make it low enough to compete and make the target. We flew over the field with our banner displayed proud on the balloon and landed just south of the Old Fiesta Field next to the Western Assurance Building off Paseo del Norte Road. Passengers were my daughter-in-law Reoyne Cook and grandson Malachi.  They too enjoyed their first time ever flight and said how quiet it is up in the balloon high up above the ground! What a beautiful view for all.

The flight days thus far have been wonderful and the passengers all had standup soft landings.  We are excited to continue in the Balloon Fiesta and hope for days like this ahead through the end of Fiesta this year.

SHARE YOUR Balloon Fiesta pictures with us!

Safe Landing, EXHIB-IT! sponsored Check Ride Balloon

Safe Landing, EXHIB-IT! sponsored Check Ride Balloon