Introducing the NEW Create-n-Connect Conference & Trade Show


Dear CHA Members, Friends and Colleagues,

As I celebrate my one-year anniversary with CHA I am beyond words at how excited I am about the possibilities facing our industry. As I have listened to so many of you this year, your input and passion came through loud and clear, and is all being considered as we plan events that will help you make the connections you need to grow your business.

We are putting the final touches on the NEW Create-n-Connect Conference & Trade Show (formerly the CHA Summer Conference & Trade Show). This event will move around the country every year and makes its first stop – LAS VEGAS, NV on July 22-25.  This Show will provide many opportunities for conversations and connections that matter while showcasing new, never seen before, products coming to market.

Here is what you can expect:

  • Show Floor Access for Members – No more fees! Show floor access is FREE. Education will be priced a la carte so you can choose the sessions that will make a difference in your business. The conference program schedule, along with pricing will be available in late April.
  • Buyer Power Hours – Qualified buyer-only access to the Show floor from 9am-11am on July 23rd and 24th. Non -exhibiting Designers, Creative Professionals and members of the Press will have access to educational programs and networking opportunities off the show floor during this time.
  • Access to World Premiere Product Previews – A spotlight will shine on never seen before products through special media and buyer events. Exhibitors will gain industry-wide recognition and national media attention for their new products. Buyers will get VIP access to a sneak peak for products being released for the first time.
  • Connections that Count – The next person you meet may make a difference in your business!  After-hour cocktail mixers, town hall meetings and forums for members with common interests give you   access to conversations that may provide huge insights and infinite possibilities for your business.
  • Enhanced Match-Making Program to Facilitate Superior Connections Between Buyers and Exhibitors – We will be offering a tool for you to use, if you choose, but is in NO WAY mandatory. Instead, a new software will be available that allows you to easily connect with and search manufacturers and retailers with similar product interests. This software will be available after registration opens on May 14th

The Priority Point Deadline for exhibitors is March 1, 2013. Download the Exhibiting Contract here:

https://www.craftandhobby.org/eweb/docs/CreateConnect2013/CombinedCnCFillinforms.pdf

Attendee registration for Show floor badges and the Conference program opens on May 14, 2013. For more information visit:

https://www.craftandhobby.org/cnc

Answers to additional FAQ’s can be found here:

http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/19781160:22028553393:m:1:2065622812:185483F29E7DD1105F19A7A792F0EF17:r

CHA’s job is to help you. Feel free to contact any staff member with questions. I can be reached directly  at 201-835-1201 or at Andrej@craftandhobby.org

On behalf of the entire CHA staff, we look forward to seeing you in Vegas.

Cheers,

Andrej Suskavcevic
President & CEO
Craft & Hobby Association

6 Keys to Conducting an Effective Pre-Trade Show Staff Meeting


How to Prepare Your Exhibit Team for Peak Performance

By Jefferson Davis, Competitive Edge

_PDX7768

You would be hard pressed to find a single professional sports team that does not gather their team members for a final meeting just before the start of every game. That meeting reinforces all the important information, strategies and game plans that have been prepared over the previous days or weeks. That meeting also puts everybody “in state” and “on purpose”.

In contrast, many exhibitors do not gather their show team together for that all important final meeting before the big show. Or if they do, the meeting is informal and unorganized. This is an oversight that can seriously impact your show performance and results.

Here are six keys to conducting an effective pre-show staff meeting:

1. Hold it the day before the show opens: While you may have several meetings in the weeks leading up to show time, the best time for the final team meeting is the last setup day. A good time slot is 4pm to 6 or 7pm or later depending on if dinner will be served at the meeting.

2. Make participation mandatory: Require all exhibit staff to arrive in the convention city by 2pm at the latest, if at all possible. In your meeting invitation, stress that the meeting is mandatory and that there will be repercussions for not attending. Some of my clients tell their staff they will not be reimbursed for airfare if they miss the pre-show meeting. Of course, this would not be enforced for unforeseen travel delays, illness and so on.

3. Have a key executive kick off the meeting: The presence of a key executive like the President or VP of Marketing and/or Sales will help reinforce the importance of the meeting.

4. Have a clearly defined agenda: The agenda should at minimum cover the following topics: introduction of team members with show roles and duties, key and emergency contact information, overall show goals, schedule of show & hospitality events, booth duty schedule, review of pre and at-show marketing
programs, review of VIP invitation list, discussion of staff in booth roles, review of best exhibiting skills, product messaging and FAQ’s for products, booth layout and walk-through, demonstration overview and walkthrough, literature distribution, promotional product distribution, lead capture process and lead goals, and sales offers and required paperwork.

5. Make it fun: You can make the meeting holding it at a fun venue like a bowling alley, laser tag, whirly ball center, ESPN Zone or place like that. You can also make it fun by having contests and team events during the meeting.

6. Carry it over to the booth: While the pre-show meeting is the kick-off, you should also conduct brief end of shift or end of day meetings to review how the show is going, discuss problems and opportunities, and make mid show adjustments to stay on track. CHA allows exhibitors to remain on the show floor for 1 hour after show close each day to allow time for meetings and booth reset. Remember, an effective pre-show meeting is a critical part of successful exhibit program. Be sure to apply the relevant the ideas in this article so your team with be “in state” and “on purpose” when the doors open on your next big show.

Jefferson Davis, president of Competitive Edge is known as the “Tradeshow Turnaround Artist”. Since 1991, his consulting and training services have helped clients improve their tradeshow performance and results to the tune of over $500M. Mr. Davis is co-creator of the CHA Exhibitor Success & ROI Center (ESRC) program. He can be reached at 704-814-7355 or Jefferson@tradeshowturnaround.com


Looking for additional ideas to achieve higher ROI for your trade show experience?  The 
CHA Exhibitor Success & ROI Center (ESRC) is your free, on-demand, 24/7 resource to help you find answers to your most pressing exhibiting challenges, expand your exhibiting know-how and improve your company’s exhibiting performance.

Badge Registration for the CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show is now open. Click here to register. For information on exhibiting at the CHA Show, please click here.

The Most Overlooked Key to CHA Exhibiting Success


By Jefferson Davis, Competitive Edge

Guess what percentage of marketing professionals with college degrees received exhibit marketing as part of their university curriculum?  2% |  7% |  13% | 24%?

If you guessed 2% you are right. As a nationally recognized tradeshow expert, I am often asked “What is the single most important key to making tradeshows deliver real results for our company?” People expect me to tell them things like “get a better booth location”, “build a bigger, flashier exhibit”, “do a better job promoting your exhibit”, “demonstrate your products better”, “capture better leads” and things like that.

All of these things can help. But, when I tell them the single most important key to making tradeshows deliver meaningful and measurable results is to update and expand their company’s exhibiting knowledge base, they look surprised. They tell me “we know how to exhibit, we’ve been doing it for years.” I then ask them to tell me about the results their exhibit program is delivering, and far too few exhibitors can speak of any specific results. They all seem to know what they are spending, but too few know what they are really getting.

The question of how to make tradeshows deliver results is a very poignant question because many companies’ exhibit programs fail to deliver measurable and meaningful results. I believe strongly that the lack of formal exhibiting knowledge is one of the main reasons.

Consider these shocking exhibiting industry statistics:

  • Only 24% of exhibitors set objectives for tradeshows
  • Less than 20% of exhibitors do any form of targeted pre-show marketing.
  • 84% of booth staffers have never received training on how to work a tradeshow
  • 76% of sales people views tradeshow leads as “cold” calls.
  • 87% of tradeshow leads captured are never effectively followed up on.
  • Only 14% of exhibitors have any organized form of post-show measurement.

These statistics point to a major problem. Marketing departments spend almost 1/3 of their annual marketing budget on tradeshows. Sales department are asked to staff the exhibit, often against their will or desire. Both departments spend significant financial and human capital, and both with very little formal education or training on how to best do so. And it shows in their results.

Tradeshows have changed in complexity over the last several years. The body of knowledge on how to make tradeshows productive and profitable has exploded and yet far too few exhibitors are seeking out the latest thinking and best exhibiting practices. Many companies are operating on an exhibiting model that is 10 years outdated.

So where do you look for the latest and best exhibiting practices? While there are many good resources, CHA is a great place to start. All exhibitors, in the three months leading up to the trade show, will receive a bimonthly e-newsletter with timely, “how-to” articles, exhibiting tips, cost saving advice and deadline reminders. Exhibitors can also access the CHA Exhibitor Update e-newsletter and the Successful Exhibiting Article Series through the Exhibitor Success & ROI Center (ESRC).

Through the Exhibitor Success & ROI Center, CHA is providing free exhibitor webinars, tips & tools for successful exhibiting, research and statics on the value of trade shows, and an “Ask the Tradeshow Expert” email Q&A program. Please make sure you and the key people in your marketing and sales departments read the articles and review the information included in the Exhibitor Success & ROI Center. Most importantly, please use what makes sense for your situation. By doing so, we can assure that exhibiting knowledge will no longer be a gap in your company.

Jefferson Davis, president of Competitive Edge is known as the “Tradeshow Turnaround Artist”. Since 1991, his consulting and training services have helped clients improve their tradeshow performance and results to the tune of over $500M. Mr. Davis is co-creator of the CHA Exhibitor Success & ROI Center (ESRC) program. He can be reached at 704-814-7355 or Jefferson@tradeshowturnaround.com


Looking for additional ideas to achieve higher ROI for your trade show experience?  The 
CHA Exhibitor Success & ROI Center (ESRC) is your free, on-demand, 24/7 resource to help you find answers to your most pressing exhibiting challenges, expand your exhibiting know-how and improve your company’s exhibiting performance.

Badge Registration for the CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show is now open. Click here to register. For information on exhibiting at the CHA Show, please click here.

Booth Placement Blues & 7 Things You Can do to Draw Traffic to your Location


The Truth About the Real Impact of Floor Location on the Overall Success of an Exhibit

By Jefferson Davis, Competitive Edge

You know the old adage in real estate…. location, location, location. This adage appears to apply to exhibiting too. Get the best booth location and your success is assured.

But is it really? Instead of blindly accepting this as truth, we might want to ask a few questions like “What is the best booth location?”, “How much of an impact does location really have on the success of an exhibit?” and “What can we do if we don’t have the best location?”

Best Booth Location Theories Abound

There are many theories on where the best booth locations are. And most of them are just that, theories, not supported with any hard research.

One theory says front and center is the best location. But in a large exhibit hall with multiple entrances, where is front and center, really? Another theory says draw a triangle out from the main entrance and try to be within the triangle. Another theory says the majority of attendees turn right when entering the hall, so be in the right center of the hall. Another theory says place your exhibit near your competitors. Another says be near concession areas.

As you can see, many theories abound. Which do you subscribe to?



Research on the Impact of Location on Success of an Exhibit

Instead of looking to theories, why don’t we look to research? A quantitative study of twenty seven (27) tradeshows conducted Exhibit Surveys concluded:
“There was no statistical correlation between a booth’s location in the front, right, left or center of the hall and who had the most traffic and who was most remembered.”

I realize this may not be what you want to hear and it may very well go against what you believe. But unless you can produce hard research to the contrary, you might be wise to accept it as truth. I think it’s enlightening and bit freeing too. It means you no longer have to be so worried about where you are located, because it doesn’t make a big difference in the end.

What to Do If You Still Don’t Believe You Have a Good or the Best Location

If you really don’t like your location, I guess you could try to get a different space. But that will not be easy to do in popular shows. Better advice would be to do a more effective job of designing and marketing your exhibit. For design tips, please read 21 Ways to Improve Your Exhibit Effectiveness.

Here are 7 things you can do to draw traffic to your location regardless of where you are on the show floor:
1. Do more targeted pre-show marketing letting people know you will be there and what they can learn and do at your booth.
2. Make sure your booth number is highly visible in marketing media.
3. Include a map of the exhibit floor with your booth highlighted in your marketing.
4. Do a better job of creating your exhibit description to draw more interest.
5. Use social media like Twitter and Facebook to announce demonstrations and events in your booth.
6. Use at-show marketing media like the official show directory, show daily ads and inserts, signs and meter boards.
7. Use city and venue marketing media like billboards, taxi top ads, hotel room drops, hotel room TV advertising.

By letting go of old booth location theories, knowing the research about the real impact of location, and using proactive strategies to drive traffic, you will no longer be singing the booth location blues.

Jefferson Davis, president of Competitive Edge is known as the “Tradeshow Turnaround Artist”. Since 1991, his consulting and training services have helped clients improve their tradeshow performance and results to the tune of over $500M. Mr. Davis is co-creator of the CHA Exhibitor Success & ROI Center (ESRC) program. He can be reached at 704-814-7355 or Jefferson@tradeshowturnaround.com


Looking for additional ideas to achieve higher ROI for your trade show experience?  The 
CHA Exhibitor Success & ROI Center (ESRC) is your free, on-demand, 24/7 resource to help you find answers to your most pressing exhibiting challenges, expand your exhibiting know-how and improve your company’s exhibiting performance.

Badge Registration for the CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show is now open. Click here to register. For information on exhibiting at the CHA Show, please click here.

About Face: The Real Power of Tradeshows


By Jefferson Davis, Competitive Edge

Here’s a few interesting questions:
1. How important is face-to-face contact in how your company opens doors, build relationships and ultimately brings in customers?
2. How important is face-to-face in how you maintain and expand customer relationships?

Most of us would answer critical to both of these questions.

Ask your sales staff, if they are finding it easier or harder to get face time in the field and the odds are good they’ll tell you it’s harder than ever before.

Consider these two facts:
1. The average cost of a field sales call in North America is $596. The average cost of a tradeshow interaction is $227. Tradeshows reduce the cost of a face to face contact by $369 or 62%.
2. In the field, the average salesperson gets face time with 2.3 people per day. At a tradeshow, they can see 3 to 8 people in a single hour. Multiply that number by the number of people staffing your booth and the number of hours in the show and you begin to appreciate the efficiency factor of tradeshows.

Combine those two statistics with the fact at a tradeshow, the customer comes to you, with a relatively open mind, on your turf, in an environment hyper-conducive to talking and doing business and now you really start to see why tradeshows are one of your most effective sales and marketing media.

When it comes to tradeshows, however, ask the unsuccessful exhibitor what they are buying and you’ll hear phrases like; “concrete”, “real estate”, “floor space”, “visibility” and “leads”. Sometimes you’ll even hear things like “it’s a necessary evil” or “our absence would speak louder than our presence”.
Ask the successful exhibitor what they are buying and you’ll get a whole different set of answers like, “great opportunity”, “our most effective marketing and sales media”, “industry access” and “face time.”’

This may sound simple, but when it comes to tradeshows, being absolutely clear about what you are really buying is the first step to making them more productive and profitable for your company. When you strip a show down from all the big, pretty booths, the lights, images and sounds, what do you really have? You have an industry specific marketplace where the supply and demand sides of the industry meet face to face to talk and do business.

We need to face this fact… any meaningful results we achieve from tradeshows will be in direct proportion to the quantity and the quality of the face-to-face interactions we have with show attendees.

You can get more done in three days at a tradeshows then you could in weeks or even months in the field – if you approach and execute the show properly.

Jefferson Davis, president of Competitive Edge is known as the “Tradeshow Turnaround Artist”. Since 1991, his consulting and training services have helped clients improve their tradeshow performance and results to the tune of over $500M. Mr. Davis is co-creator of the CHA Exhibitor Success & ROI Center program. He can be reached at 704-814-7355 or Jefferson@tradeshowturnaround.com

Why Trade Shows?


The Cost Effectiveness of Exhibition Participation:

How Much Does It Cost to Make a First Face-to-Face Contact With a Potential Customer?

This post is the first in a series of articles and research provided by CEIR – the Center for Exhibition Industry Research – and focuses on the value of Trade Shows. These informative articles will help you understand and report on the overall effectiveness of trade shows.

To determine the cost effectiveness of exhibiting, a survey was conducted among sales and marketing managers of random firms over all sectors of the industry with annual sales above $50 million. When asked the question, “Annually, how many people visit your trade show displays?” respondents’ answers averaged 20,000+ visitors per year! These 20,000+ visitors present thousands of opportunities to capture better qualified leads, making exhibiting clearly the right choice when it comes to a truly cost-effective method of selling.

Among other findings of the survey, it was determined that in order to make an initial, face-to-face visit with a potential customer, companies can expect to incur the following costs…

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

Become an official CHA Blog Guest Blogger!

The CHA Blog is currently seeking guest bloggers and blog posts. Any CHA member can submit a post! Basically, a blog post consists of either a video or photo of an event or experience and a short blurb. We want you to tell your story: what current trends do we need to know about? What is the one thing you look forward to the most at CHA shows? What crafty community service project are you involved with? If you’re interested, please submit your post idea, blog post, name and contact information to jbaum@craftandhobby.org.

All guest blog posts are the sole responsibility of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA), its staff members, sponsors or exhibitors. The inclusion of a link or reference does not imply the endorsement of the linked site by the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA).

CHA LAUNCHES HOT, NEW EXHIBITOR EDUCATION PROGRAM


 

CHA's Exhibitor Success & ROI Center
CHA’s Exhibitor Success & ROI Center

CHA today announced the availability of its new Exhibitor Success & ROI Center, a cutting-edge, free, online ready-reference for exhibitors across the craft and hobby industry.  The program can be found at www.craftandhobby.org/ESRC.

 
The new ESRC program is complete with information on how to increase booth traffic; the importance of pre-show marketing; the value of face-to-face meetings; closing sales and more. The ESRC also offers exhibitors with pre-show education through a webinar series; articles by Jefferson Davis, president of Competitive Edge as well as research and reports from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), the trade show industry’s leading source of research; Exhibi-TIPS & Tools; and a monthly exhibitor e-newsletter with important CHA Trade Show news and information. By creating the ESRC, CHA will help trade show exhibitors improve their return on trade show investment, reduce expenses, increase sales lead generation, and identify and improve metrics for trade show and exhibition success.