Welcome to ExhibiTALK. Learn exhibiting tips from the pros!

The team at Marketplace Events strives to take each show beyond exhibit space, banners and logos... We build experiences. ExhibiTALK is where the Marketplace Events team shares best practices and strategies to truly get the most out of your show experience.

We bring buyers and sellers together in environments that ensure opportunity and success for our customers. Online, in print or on the show floor, we connect businesses with the audiences they need to reach; and we want to make sure every connection is worthwhile.

Brand Awareness

A home show is a great way to reach your target audience.

Face to Face

Have meaningful interactions with potential customers.

Lead Generation

Find your future customers through surveys and contests.

Celebrity + Expert Appearances

Opportunites to present to a live audience.

Social Media

Connect with a fabulous home + garden community looking for new ideas.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Boost Exposure at the Show with Internet Advertising Opportunities

It has never been easier to get more bang for your buck! All of the advertising (TV, radio, print, outdoor, and online) and PR campaigns that each show executes direct consumers to our home show websites. Once there, people are prompted to buy tickets online, subscribe to our email lists, and find out all the information about the upcoming show.

Companies taking part in our shows also utilize our websites to obtain pre-show information including exhibitor kits. In addition, our blog HomeandGardenBlog.com and Home and Garden Events Facebook community of 54k enthusiasts across North America now allow us to reach our audience year-round. These facts translate into a lot of qualified eyeballs – over 1.7 million eyeballs to be exact.

Any exhibitor taking part in a Marketplace Events produced home show is welcome to advertise their products and services to our targeted audience of potential buyers. The home show websites can promote your show specials and drive visitors to your booth or website.

Here are a few of the marketing opportunities available online:
  1. Banner Advertising – You ads appear on all pages of the home show website in rotation
  2. Email Blasts – Provide an image or text advertisement which can be included in a pre or post show email campaign. Our subscription lists are permission based and targeted by region with over 540k subscribers across all of North America.
  3. Lead Generation – Want to run a contest but are unable to host it? We will happily host your contest on our website and collect entries and subscribers for your company.
  4. Ticket Sponsor Package – Offer a ticket discount to our customers and have your logo included on our ticketing site, ticket confirmation, websites, and in all advertising. Includes lead generation and data collection.
  5. Sponsored Blog Post or Series – We are happy to run exhibitor spotlights on HomeandGardenBlog.com. Exhibitors can answer a few questions about their service or product and we will cross promote each post on all social media channels. Remember, we only want to bring useful and interesting content to our readers.
  6. Gift Guides – On special holidays we like to run gift guides on our Facebook page which promote new and unique products that are perfect for gift giving… if you have a product that is perfect for Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or Christmas let us know.
  7. Show Coupons – We’d love to create a page of show coupons for consumers to use at the event. If you have a show special – or want to extend your show special after the show closes – and are considering creating a coupon that is redeemable in your booth or in your store, the home show website is the perfect place to promote it.
If you have any questions about any of our digital marketing opportunities feel free to reach out to your sales consultant.

Friday, August 23, 2013

What Does Your Booth Say About Your Company?

When planning on exhibiting it is always best to familiarize yourself with the display and booth regulations of the show. Depending on your booth location you will need to think about walls, flooring, signage, as well as the overall design. For example, the National Home Show in Toronto requires all exhibitors to have hard walls and show management has the right to mask any unsightly areas at the expensive of the exhibitor. While at the Great Big Home + Garden Show in Cleveland exhibitors are provided with back and side pipe and drape. Remember, the rules and regulations are in place to make sure all exhibitors are held to the same high standards. After all, we all want to look good!

The overall presentation of your booth is extremely important, as potential new customers will be walking past it all day while shopping at the show. Care and attention to detail will not go unnoticed. Even if you have a great product to showcase you still need to devote some time and work on drawing people in.

Other common booth regulations are:

  • No handwritten signs
  • Signs must be one sided and not face into another exhibitor’s booth
  • Exhibit walls must be finished on both sides. No wires, frames, wood, etc. for your neighbor to see
  • Booths must have floor covering
  • Flooring must not be adhered directly to the floor and protection should be laid first
  • Tables must be skirted with floor length skirting (no plastic)
  • Personal effects, extra inventory, and stored items must be out of sight
What does your booth say about your company? Does it look like you only want to do the bare minimum or go above and beyond? Your booth is your main marketing tool while at the home show and it communicates what your company is about to the public. If it stands out as an impressive display potential customers will be impressed and more likely to buy from you.

To read the Exhibitor Rules and Regulations for the home shows you are taking part in simply visit the “For Confirmed Exhibitors” section on home show website and look for the "Exhibitor Kit" page. If show management determines a booth does not meet the guidelines, is inappropriate or unprofessional, the exhibitor will be asked to make the necessary changes to be in compliance with the rules at the exhibitor’s expense. If you have any questions regarding the design set up of your booth do not hesitate to call your sales consultant. We are always happy to help and can offer examples of past booth displays along with some solutions.

Marketplace Events

Monday, August 19, 2013

Toronto Exhibitors: Come celebrate with us!

Have you heard about our party yet?  Come beat the summer heat with us while celebrating the launch of the all new GTA Home Show taking place February 20-23, 2014 at the International Centre.  Enjoy appetizers and cocktails while getting the scoop on what we've got planned for all three of our upcoming home shows.  Tour the venue, meet the show team, and participate in some incredible giveaways.  

What's up for grabs?  You could walk away with the following...
  • A free show guide ad courtesy of Homes Publishing
  • An additional 100 sq ft booth space
  • A GES hardwall display 
  • A Wi-Fi single connection and...
  • A 1500 watt 120 volt electrical outlet from Showtech! 

Friday, August 16, 2013

All About Email – Following Up On Home Show Leads (Part Two)

The most important thing a customer gives you is their trust.  Before they become your client and any money changes hands, a certain level of trust must be established. Permission based marketing helps to develop a trust relationship between your business and its customers. It also improves your credibility as a business.

Quick Tips Before Using Your Show List
  1. If you have collected emails in a fish bowl each person should be sent a personal email before being added to a database. Always ask for permission to email first or you risk starting your relationship on the wrong foot.
  2. Collecting emails on a connected device with a valid opt-in box – excellent! Now follow up quickly before everyone forgets they signed up. The most optimal time is within one week of the show.
  3. Running a contest in order to get opt-ins is a great idea. Just make sure the rules and regulations are separate from the opt-in and that opt-in isn’t a requirement of entry.
  4. Include your company name in the opt-in line; then there can be no confusion from the customer about what they are subscribing too.
  5. Keep the message relevant. If you know a potential customer is interested in windows, it is best to not send them the email about a sale on doors.
Following these tips along with the other email best practices mentioned in part one will help you grow your database, and nurture customers after the home show ends. Remember you only have a few days while at the event to set your business up for future success. Goals to grow your database can easily be achieved during and after the show.

All About Email – The Importance of Permission (Part One)

Marketplace Events prides itself on being a permission based email marketer. Permission based email-marketing means we never send to consumers who have not requested our emails and we truly value their opt-in. We feel it is best to only speak to those willing to receive our message – they are the most receptive audience. In addition, this cuts down greatly on potential spam complaints to email service providers (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) which keeps our email lists healthy and effective. 

Subscriptions to our home show email database are collected through forms on our websites, onsite at the events, and contest opt-ins – and gathering permission has not had any ill effects on our 540k plus database. Our subscribers can opt-out at any time, and although we are always sad to see them go we know and respect it is their right to do so.

A Dozen Ways to Develop Trust Through Email
  1. Send emails to only those who requested to receive them.
  2. Allow subscribers to opt-out – it should take no longer than 10 days to remove a person from your list.
  3. Include your physical address on all emails.
  4. Never sell, rent, or share your list. Your customers subscribed to only your messages and to no one else.
  5. Never use a purchased or rented list.
  6. Respond to all email inquires quickly.
  7. Every contest entry form must have a separate opt-in. The opt-in should not be required when agreeing to the rules and regulations.
  8. The opt-in box must be easily visible and obvious for people to find.
  9. Cleaning your email data is important. Removing old addresses and bounced emails keeps your list healthy.
  10. Keep a black list. Quite the opposite of a little black book, these are people you never want to email. Always move anyone not wishing to receive your emails to this suppression file.
  11. Never use misleading subject lines. The subject should reflect the content of the email.
  12. Always use a familiar company name in the ‘from line’ in order for subscribers to recognize you as the sender.
These tips will not only help you keep a healthy database, they will work to keep your emails compliant with the law. For more information on the laws around email permission visit: Canada CASL and US CAN-SPAM Act.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Get to Know Your (Home Show) Neighbors

A home show can be more than just selling to the public. Exhibitors can nurture relationships with each other which often lead to business referrals and future sales. Marketplace Events encourages our exhibitors to foster long term friendships and partnerships with other companies participating in our events. Everyone can benefit from working together – making your booth more attractive, and generating additional promotional opportunities across the show floor.

We have noticed many companies often use our exhibitor-listing tool to reach out to one another before the event, and then go on to work together and create impressive displays. Using all the home core products available and the resources already existing at the show can also save on the costs of rentals from display companies.

Here are some examples of past exhibitor collaborations shared by Toronto Fall Home Show manager Tina Holmes:

  • Furniture companies have worked with media companies helping furnish their booth in exchange for an advertisement in the magazine or newspaper.
  • Flooring companies can provide discounts on flooring to furniture or kitchen and bath companies in exchange for signage in their booth. Many times the flooring may be used at multiple events.
  • Landscapers have often reached out to patio furniture companies, and BBQ suppliers to create garden and outdoor living displays.
  • Mural and wallpaper companies can work with furniture companies to create beautiful room displays for booths or feature areas.
  • Cross promotion can be included in show brochures or you can also work together to create a show brochure featuring each other’s products.
  • Spa & hot tub companies can find opportunities outside the event to feature products in show homes.
The end result is a more aesthetically pleasing booth or feature display, and a beautiful impressive show. There is also the added bonus that you will have created a great partner outside of the show who can refer clients and customers to your business. When a potential customer visits a booth and views your product unexpectedly they will ask where it can be purchased. A referral from another friendly business can be priceless leading to more potential sales and new future customers!

Looking for the exhibitor-listing feature on our websites? It can be found under “Exhibitors & Sponsors” – you may search by keyword or category to find companies of interest.