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, January 31, 2014

Move In & Move Out Tips: During the Show

Once you get to the show, there are three primary ingredients for a successful, well-managed home show experience. These can be broken up as follows:
  • Move In / Move Out
  • Proper Boothmanship
  • Selling Techniques
In this next series, we will address each of these three critical areas. Think of this as the "to-do" list which will enable you to be better prepared, do everything right the first time, achieve the objectives you have set for your company, and have a stress-free experience. 

Move in / Move Out Tips

The first step towards a smooth move in and move out process is to READ THE EXHIBITOR MANUAL, and read it carefully.  The most common exhibitor mistake is to put this thick stack of papers aside for later, however later never comes and important details will be overlooked.  If you have any questions after reading the manual, call your sales consultant or the show manager immediately for clarification.  Most importantly, you should:
  • Order services prior to the deadlines.  Keep in mind, anything ordered on-site will cost more.
  • Order everything you need in the correct size, color, and quantities.
  • Have as much work as possible done on your exhibit before it is packed or shipped.
  • Number and label your crates and boxes accordingly to contents for easy move in and set up.
  • Put a diagram on each crate showing how it is to be unpacked and repacked.
  • Provide special instructions for your electrical requirements.
  • Arrive at the exhibit hall early to see your booth location and find the service desks.
  • Confirm, revise, or initiate orders for rentals and services that you will require.
  • Obtain work passes or exhibitor badges for yourself and your team.
Following these tips during move in may result in you being so organized and well-prepared that you even have time at the end of the day to put your feet up.  A luxury many exhibitors can only hope for!

Starting the show off right during move in will also leave you in a better state of mind to meet all those new potential customers on opening day.

Marketplace Events
US Shows  |  Canadian Shows

Visit HomeandGardenBlog.com for tips + trends!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Marketing & Promotion: Opportunities During the Show

After you have enjoyed the rewards from the pre-show exposure, it's time to maximize your participation while at the home show.  There are numerous ways to create brand awareness on the show floor, from large sponsorship partnerships to smaller visual ways which help bring traffic to your booth.

Here are just a few of the possibilities while at the show!

Contests on the show floor – With the donation of a product or service you can take advantage of thousands of free dollars in TV, radio and newspaper advertising space.

Product Placement on the Show Floor & New Products Showcase – Increase awareness on the show floor with product placement in our features, on our stage and other in prime locations at the show.

Press Release - Alert your local media and show management about any new products or services that will be on display in your booth which may be newsworthy.

Social Media - Promote your company LIVE from the show floor. There are plenty of opportunities for photos and loads of content for you to share via your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts! Remember to also follow the show via social media, and use the show hashtag - we love to connect with exhibitors and sponsors.

Sponsorship - Become a sponsor of a special show event and increase your on-site exposure.  We're always interested in new ideas... Investigate the availability of any of the following:
  • Bags
  • Balloons
  • Ceiling Banners
  • Aisle Banners / You are hear boards
  • Pillar Wraps
  • Floor Signage
  • Product Sampling
  • Stage Sponsorship
  • Celebrity Sponsorship
For more information on marketing opportunities please contact show management, or check the home show website under the tab "For Confirmed Exhibitors" then "Marketing Kit" to confirm what is available.

Marketplace Events
US Shows | Canadian Shows

Visit HomeandGardenBlog.com for tips + trends!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Marketing & Promotion: Opportunities Before the Show

The most effective marketing plan is one that is customized based on business objectives. Below are just a few of the marketing opportunities available to our exhibitors, sponsors, and partners. Our goal is to work with all taking part to ensure they have a successful show. 

Work with us to promote your participation in the show! Here are a few ideas on how you can promote yourself and your involvement:

In Store Coupon Distribution –
Promote your participation in the show and offer your customers a discount to attend. Just let us know how many coupons you need and we will send them out to you.

Internet Promotion –
Drive people to your web site and encourage them to find out more about the show and save on online tickets. We can send you a promotional banner (button) to load onto your website, which will link your customers to our show site and great ticket deals.

Coop Advertising –
Leverage our advertising campaigns with top radio, TV stations, newspapers and on the Internet. Contact us to see how you can share our premier rates for your own advertising prior to the show.  

Email a special offer to your database of potential leads –
book appointments with prospects while at the show by offering them discounted tickets.


Let us help promote you online!

Media Promotions and Contests / Online Lead Generation –
With the donation of a product or service you can potentially take advantage of thousands of free dollars in TV, radio and newspaper advertising space.  Host the contest on our website and we will promote it in email campaigns, social media, and in show materials – A great opportunity to collect relevant data and email subscribers.

Email Campaigns –
Place an advertisement in one of the pre-show email campaigns. Reach our database of home and garden enthusiasts and capture the number of click throughs to your website.

Web Banners –
With Marketplace Events produced home show websites receiving between 25k and 200k unique visitors per year depending on the market, it only makes sense to advertise on our websites. Not only are the number of visits increasing year over year, visitors searching the website are within the specific “home and garden” demographic.

Social Media –
Sponsor a blog post on HomeandGardenBlog.com, now running for almost two years our blog received over 60k unique visitors in 2013. It is a great way to get word out about your products and services.

Public Relations – If you have a new product or an interesting story to tell we can help get your message out to the media.  Just submit a “New Product” request form – found on all home show websites under “Confirmed Exhibitors”

For more information on available marketing opportunities please contact your exhibit sales consultant.

Marketplace Events
US Shows  |  Canadian Shows

Visit HomeandGardenBlog.com for tips and trends!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Before the Show: Learn the Marketing Opportunities (EARLY!)

Marketplace Events continues to lead the home and garden event industry with innovative marketing initiatives and strategies that drive attendance and add value to your participation in our shows.  These strategies have been developed with exhibitor participation in mind!

Marketing and sponsorship opportunities are available leading up to the show as well as throughout the year.  By attending one of our exhibitor seminars, keeping in touch with show management and visiting the show website often, you can take advantage of all the newest marketing initiatives. Opportunities may be found on most home show websites, by clicking on "Marketing Kit" under the heading of "For Confirmed Exhibitors" or by calling your sales representative. Pricing varies by show based on factors such as show size, number of attendees, website traffic, and the type of opportunity you are interested in.

We have also seen impressive results focusing on digital marketing. Everything from websites, banner ads, email marketing, detailed exhibitor listings, blogging, to social media - we do it all.  Our email database continues to grow year after year and we love to share our success with exhibitors.  The email newsletters promoting our events receive excellent deliverability and above average open rates. We follow the best practices of top email marketers, and are proud of the content we create for our email campaigns and social media channels. Using detailed analysis of our online activity our digital presence continues to improve and helps us maintain our leading edge within the industry. 

There are many marketing opportunities available; more than we can mention in one blog post! Our marketing team and show managers continually come up with creative ideas to help exhibitors promote their products and services based on every type of budget. Therefore, this lays the foundation for our next weekly series... Marketing & Promotion Ideas.

Marketplace Events
US Shows  |  Canadian Shows

Visit HomeandGardenBlog.com for tips and trends!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Before the Show: Develop An Effective Lead Card

Leads are one of the main reasons most exhibitors participate in home shows.  Some might actually write orders on the show floor, but many take leads.  The following are four basic concepts that will make the difference between being profitable at shows or just covering costs:
  1. What is a lead card
  2. When to use it
  3. Follow-up
  4. Tracking and reporting results
Leads represent the return on your investment.  When the home show is over and everything is packed up, the only thing you have left for the money spent (aside from any orders you've taken on-site) is the stack of leads in your hand.

What is a lead card - A lead card is a simple piece of paper that causes many other things to happen:
  • A lead card can initiate the qualifying process
  • A lead card can indicate the next step to take - i.e., sending literature or making a sales call.
  • A lead card can provide research data about your attendee's interest and preferences.
  • A lead card can provide another name for your mailing list.
The physical attributes of a lead card are important.  If it's too big, too small, too thin, or doesn't contain the right spaces to fill in FOR YOUR BUSINESS, then it will not do the job.  The following are three simple steps to designing a lead card that your salespeople will use:
  • Make it small.  A good lead card fits into your open hand.  It is the size of a 3 x 5 index card.
  • Put a backing on it.  A card stock backing will give staff a surface to write on.
  • Make it multi-part.  A multi-part form can be especially useful.  One copy can go to the person sending out the literature, another to the person sorting leads for immediate follow-up, and the last can be a permanent record.
The key to great leads is having a place for all the right information.  Ask show management for an example of an effective lead card. Many home shows will provide lead cards for you in the show office.

Customize your own lead card!  Make it work for you!  Just remember that attendees will answer only a certain number of questions.  The design of the lead card will shift slightly depending upon how your company sells its products and services.

When to use it - Use the lead card often and early.  When a salesperson uses the lead card at the beginning of the sales process as a place to write notes, he or she is working as a consultant.  If a salesperson really cares about solving the attendee's problems or serving a need, he or she needs to fully document it on the lead card.  Taking the time to fill out the lead card shows respect for the attendee.

Follow-up - A well-designed and professionally executed lead card is worthless if follow-up is not done properly.  Assign someone to collect all of the leads daily and see to it that they get to the next point in the sales process.  If your lead card has multiple parts, be sure that they are distributed appropriately. Remember to follow-up on your collected leads as quickly as possible after the show.

Tracking and reporting results - Tracking and reporting the results of your exhibit efforts are the final steps of participating in a home show and are often the most overlooked.  Once the show is over and the leads have been sorted and prioritized you are anxious to get on with other things.  It takes relatively little effort to analyze the success from lead cards. By marking your completed sales and tagging them as generated at the show, you'll be able to add any sales dollars collected after the show to your final return on investment.

There's an App for that - Rather than using the paper cards, you may wish to use tablets or iPads.  The key to using technology at the show is to make sure there are enough iPads or tablets for all your salespeople during the busy days. You may wish to set it up kiosk-style. If your team is waiting on one machine to capture leads, the time wasted means you will be missing out. There are a multiple apps available to do the job, a few of which we've listed below. Many others can also be found with a bit of internet searching.

Marketplace Events
US Shows  |  Canadian Shows

Visit HomeandGardenBlog.com for tips and trends!