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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO STAND OUT AT YOUR TRADE SHOWS AND EVENTS FOR 2018?

The end of the year is always a time of reflection.   How did the year go?   What did we do well?   Where can we improve?   In the trade show world it is often a time for budgeting.   All too frequently I hear, "we are cutting back on our trade show schedule for next year".   When you ask why, the response is we just are NOT getting the ROI we need.

Have you ever analyzed why you are not getting the ROI you need or do you just throw in the towel?   There are so many questions you should be asking.   Do not just look at number of leads and lead conversion.

Here are a couple of key questions to consider.  This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, just a couple of ideas for you.

  1. Are your biggest competitors at that show?
  2. Do any of your Key Accounts attend that show?
  3. How many potential prospects attend the show?
  4. Who is staffing your booth?   Are they trained?   Do they represent your company and brand well?
  5. Do you have enough people at the show or too many?
  6. Do you have the right people?   (See #4)
  7. Does your exhibit and/or graphics have big impact on the show floor?
  8. Are you participating in any pre-show marketing?
  9. Do you have documented and measurable goals for the show?
So here is my big question to you for 2018.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO STAND OUT AT YOUR TRADE SHOWS AND EVENTS FOR 2018?

We are here to help with many ideas from experiential marketing, graphics refresh, themes and many other ideas to help you GET NOTICED.

If you would like help reviewing your trade show program and the profitability and feasibility of  the various shows, we can help you with that!

If you like what you read, please share it!

=============================
Lori Hanken has been in sales and marketing for over 30 years. She is passionate about service and providing value to her vendors, prospects and clients. Lori is currently co-owner of Total Displays with her husband David. They help people look great at events, trade shows, in retail, museums and develop long partnerships with customers and suppliers. If you would like to learn more, email her at lori@totaldisplays.com. She is an open networker, connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Read other Total Displays Blog posts at http://totaldisplays.blogspot.com/

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Do You Lose Gracefully? Or are you going to make them pay?

This is a long post.  Sorry.  If you have read our other blog posts, you know how passionate I am about partnerships and about integrity.  A lack of integrity exists in all industries.  I refuse to be a person or a company without integrity.

Every line of business out there has them.  The liars, the cheats, the dishonest business person.  You hope you do not run into them much.  That is one of the reasons that we believe so much in partnerships and why we value the great partnerships we have.

Seriously I can't say it enough.  If you have great partners, do not lose them.  Value and take care of the relationships.


Last year we lost a client that stored their booth here at our facility.  The client never had the decency to call us and tell us.  They simply had another display house email us saying they wanted us to ship them all of the client's booth materials.  The client had a new VP that had a relationship with another display house.  That happens to everyone regardless of how well you care for and service your clients.

We reached out to the client multiple times, not to try to save the business but to make sure that it was ok to ship their materials to another display house.  The client would not return our calls.  Eventually we connected with the client.  We packaged up all their materials and shipped them out.  We did not charge them for even close to the time that it took us to package it all up.

So why do I tell you this?

A few months after that, the tables were turned.  We had a client acquire another company.  That company had a booth that was built by a custom house out of Atlanta.  The parent company wanted to move those materials over to use to store and manage their show schedule.  Our client had a very different experience.  The client reached out to the custom exhibit house to find out what materials were there and how to get the materials shipped to our location.

What transpired leaves me shaking my head and wondering how this company possibly has any clients.

The exhibit house treated us and the client with nothing but disdain and contempt.  We reached out to them as the client had a show coming up.  Even though the client asked us to get the booth ready for the show the exhibit house would not answer any questions about the booth property that they were storing.  They held the booth hostage and tried to throw us under the bus with our client.  They acted desperate and childish.  They continually tried to undermine our efforts.  Here are some excerpts of some of the emails they sent us and the client.

"I told you I am on VACATION, I will deal with this when I get back."

"I have been in the industry for over 30 years...."

We were trying to get a list with weights and sizes so that we could coordinate shipping of the materials.  They would not provide that.  They told us,

"Just schedule a full 53' air ride trailer."

Now anyone that has been in the exhibit industry for 30 years knows you don't just schedule a full trailer without dimensions and weights of things being shipped.  Here was our response to him.

Mr 'I've Been In The Industry For Over 30 Years':

I appreciate your response yesterday advising us to schedule a 53’ air ride trailer for the 'Client' materials however our logistics partner is in need of greater detail. We respectfully request again on behalf of the client, the # of pieces, the types of pieces i.e. crates, pallets, tubs, the dimensions of such and their  estimated weights.

We cannot just send in a 53’ trailer without more detail.  It also would be excessive in equipment and money if we were to bring in a 53’ trailer when a straight dock truck would be sufficient.  This freight will not be first shipping to our Minneapolis warehouse but rather to our warehouse in Atlanta for prep prior to 'Show Name'

I hope you can understand my position.  I have to be mindful of my money and expenses as well as the client’s.

After trying to convince the client that they were better than Total Displays, trying to find our client's boss to go over her head, and stalling for as long as possible, they finally agreed to ship us the product.  They charged the client over $3,000 to pull it all and ship it and never did provide us with a list of what they were shipping.  We did get the dimensions and weights.  Here is the internal email the owner sent to his warehouse manager.  He forgot and copied our client on the message.  Whoops.

To:  'Warehouse Manager'

Why would you spend all the time to do a detailed list. Not needed. Ship it.
You seen how much we got for this move out. This is not a product that needs all the attention. Your done ship it

'Mr I Have Been In The Industry For Over 30 Years'

All the exhibit materials eventually arrived.  The crates were a disaster, they were poorly packed, pallets of junk were sent to us.  Broken things, non-working things.  It was a mess.

The icing on the cake?  We are in the process of installing this booth at the show.  The exhibit house provided the client no set up instructions, no pictures of the booth, no inventory list even though all those things were requested.

Image result for poor loserThe exhibit house had a booth right across the aisle from our installation.  Our clients booth was truly custom and complete over kill (more on that in another post later).  We know nothing about the booth or how it sets up.   As our crew was trying to figure it out, the crew from the exhibit house setting up the booth across the aisle.  What do you suppose they did?  Sit and laugh at our crew.

This is the epitome of a poor loser and why would you want to do business with a company like this?

Here are our suggestions to you in case you have an exhibit partner that may have this type of behavior lurking under the surface.

Make sure you have current photos of any booth.

Make sure you have current set up instructions for your booth.

Make sure you have graphic templates so you can replace graphics when needed.

You should not have to protect yourself from your exhibit partner.  But we learned the hard way that not everyone is a gracious loser and not every exhibit house is a great partner.


If you like what you read, please share it!


Lori Hanken has been in sales and marketing for over 30 years. She is passionate about service and providing value to her vendors, prospects and clients. Lori is currently co-owner of Total Displays with her husband David. They help people look great at events, trade shows, in retail, museums and develop long partnerships with customers and suppliers. If you would like to learn more, email her at lori@totaldisplays.com. She is an open networker, connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Read other Total Displays Blog posts at http://totaldisplays.blogspot.com/

Friday, July 14, 2017

Happy Anniversary!



13 years ago today, we sat in a conference room signing papers and checks!  Total Displays had been in business in the Twin Cities Metro area since 1984 and we were now the proud owners!

First and foremost, thank you to our many clients.  Many of you have been with us for all 13 years and we continue to add more and more great clients every month.  Without you, we wouldn't be who we are today.

Thank you also to current and former employees that have helped us continue to grow!

I feel like I am accepting an academy award.  13 years is a big deal.  10 years is a big deal.  In this economy and surviving the bottom falling  out back in 08/09 is a HUGE deal.    Last but not least thanks to our amazing manufacturing partners.  I would name them, but I know I would forget someone important.  Because they are ALL important.


Before Total Displays, David had been the general manager for a local retail store fixtures and decoratives provider.  That company serviced, Marshall Fields, Bath & Body Works, Bombay Company, Nieman Marcus, Macy's, Dillard's and many others.

We had been looking for a long time for a company to purchase.  We looked at a little bit of everything through our business broker.  An asphalt company, a placement company in healthcare, a wine and coffee bar to name a few.  One day our broker called and said, "I have the perfect company for you".

We met with the current owner, and it was a match made in heaven.  There was a lot of crossover in vendors for graphics, structures and many other things.

David ran the business, while I was part owner of an enterprise software company.  I helped out with sales, marketing, crm and process on the side. Since the beginning one of our manufacturing partners kept asking, when is Lori going to join the business?  Every time we saw him he would ask.   I joined David full time in 2010.

We are blessed to be able to work together and provide great product and services to our clients for these past 13 years.  As a boutique trade show exhibit company we offer many different and unique product lines.  Products to fit every customer and every budget.  We have custom exhibit clients and we have pop-up exhibit clients.  

The beauty of a company like ours is we have all the same custom exhibit capabilities that the custom houses do without all the overhead and without all the extra account management fees etc that go with many of those companies.



Some changes that we have made since purchasing the company:

Small Dark Showroom =======>  Large, Light Showroom

Tiny Warehouse ============> Large Warehouse Storing Multiple Island Exhibits for Clients

Limited Services ========> Transportation, Installation & Dismantle, Show Management Services

Very Limited Rentals============> Significant Rental Properties, Inlines, Islands

No Furniture or Flooring  ======>  A Wide Variety of Furniture & Flooring for Purchase or Rental

No Technology =========>  Touch Screens, Content Management, LED Screen Purchase & Rental

No Training Services =========>  A Full Line of Training Classes for Client's Staff

No Consulting Services ===========>  Unique Consulting Services Options*

Total Displays is a full service company with something for everyone.  As a boutique exhibit house that is family owned and operated, your service levels are unsurpassed.  Even if you are working with any of our reps, we touch every client and have a stake in every relationship.  Relationships are what make us a great company.

We had a competitor call us a "pieces and parts" company a few years ago.  He dismissed us as someone he really didn't have to worry about.  We won that deal for 2 10 x 20's.  We had a local custom house stop by one of our large clients last week during a show to try to solicit their business.  They called us immediately to tell us.  We were up against a large local competitor on a 20 x 30 island.  They dismissed us.  We won that business.    We store a lot of exhibits from other local exhibit houses in our facility.  Why?  Our service.

We are proud to have been servicing the US market for 13 years.   Look for more great things from us moving forward.

If you want to learn more about Total Displays you can call David or Lori at 952-941-4511 or email us at sales@totaldisplays.com

*Watch for a new blog post soon on our consulting services.

If you like what you read, please share it!

====================================================
Lori Hanken has been in sales and marketing for over 30 years. She is passionate about service and providing value to her vendors, prospects and clients. Lori is currently co-owner of Total Displays with her husband David. They help people look great at events, trade shows, in retail, museums and develop long partnerships with customers and suppliers. If you would like to learn more, email her at lori@totaldisplays.com. She is an open networker, connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Read other Total Displays Blog posts at http://totaldisplays.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 13, 2017

#Did You Know - Corporate Interiors/Retail/Museums

We were visiting last week with a long time customer.  It was a courtesy visit just to say hello.  I truly believe those visits are really important.  We care for our customers and plan on having a relationship with them and their company for many years.  Customer care visits are to make sure we are providing quality service and product to our client.


As the conversation progressed, we spoke about some of the trends that we are seeing.

We also discussed some of the newer products and services that we offer.

Guess what?  Our customers do not have ESP.  If we don't tell them what else we can do for them, they will get it somewhere else.


She spoke of a number of fairly recent projects where she really struggled to find a partner to assist her.  We could have helped her.

So here is this weeks, #DIDYOUKNOW

There is a very fine line between custom trade show exhibits and retail fixtures.  With our partners we can build any kind of fixture that you may need.



Along those same lines are corporate interiors.  This is a very wide range of potential projects.  As much as I hate bullet lists, here you go.

  • Wall graphics/wall paper
  • Framed wall lightboxes
  • Reception Counters
  • Information Kiosks
  • Lobby Signage
  • Donor Walls
  • Museum Kiosks/Exhibits
  • Job/Application kiosks
  • Comment Card Boxes
  • Prize Wheels
  • Acrylic Display Cases
That is just a few items that we have done for clients in the past.  We love a challenge.  The creative side of this business is what gets us up in the morning and makes the industry exciting.  I tell people all the time, we are not an exhibit house that has a stock of kits.  Almost everything we do is custom in some way.  You want your office, exhibit, or your kiosk to be unique to you and your brand, not something that looks like what everyone else has.  That is one of our strengths.  

Your brand should permeate everything you do, from your office lobby to your trade show exhibit.  Having one partner that understands the importance of that, will help you achieve that continuity.

The bottom line, if you have a special project, call us.  If we can't help you, we will try to point you to the right resource.


If you like what you read, please share it!


Lori Hanken has been in sales and marketing for over 30 years. She is passionate about service and providing value to her vendors, prospects and clients. Lori is currently co-owner of Total Displays with her husband David. They help people look great at events, trade shows, in retail, museums and develop long partnerships with customers and suppliers. If you would like to learn more, email her at lori@totaldisplays.com. She is an open networker, connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Read other Total Displays Blog posts at http://totaldisplays.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

#Did You Know? - Exhibit And Materials Storage

As a full service trade show exhibit house we offer everything and anything that relates to trade shows, exhibits and events.  That can be overwhelming for a prospect.  I can send an email out to a prospect with a bullet list of things we can do for them.  That is pretty ineffectual.   First, they are not going to read the list.  Second, even if they read it they won't remember anything beyond the one or two things they might be considering at that time.
Island Exhibit Ready to Head to Advance Warehouse

So, we are going to be starting a once a week, DID YOU KNOW post.

So often when a prospect or even a customer comes into our showroom we often hear, "I didn't know you did that!"

Shame on us.  So stay tuned, and follow our blog to learn all the things Total Displays can do for you.  Our goal is to make you look great and take some of the pressure out of exhibiting!





STORAGE


We have a large warehouse and offer storage of exhibits, booths, materials etc here in our location.  We have customers from all over the country and world that use this service.

Storage can be so much more than just physically keeping your properties here.

How often have you gotten to a trade show and found that you were missing things, or that the last person to use the display didn't pack it correctly or that the table throw is covered with mold because it was packed up wet.  Or, the worst... your exhibit is broken.

Let's talk about getting ready for a trade show.  You have booked a space.  Now is when the fun starts.  Here is an example of the steps someone may have for a trade show.

  • Figure out the advance warehouse dates and determine when you need to ship it to get it there on time.
  • Fill out all the paperwork
  • Order electrical
  • Order furniture
  • Order lead retrieval
  • Order flooring
  • Pull out the exhibit, make sure you have all the pieces and parts you need.  You don't want any surprises during setup!
  • Check the graphics, iron the table throws, steam out any wrinkles.
  • Do I need to order anything new?
  • Pull together your supplies box
  • What are the giveaways and do you have enough
  • What literature are you bringing
  • What product are you bringing
  • Pack everything up
  • Put it on a pallet an shrink wrap it all
  • Set up the shipping
Of course these steps vary slightly for everyone depending on your exhibit size and the type of shows you do.

Here comes the DID YOU KNOW?

We handle all that for many of our customers.  Storage is not just about physically having your exhibit here, it is about so much more.  We once had a prospect with a heavy show schedule get very excited when they learned, we could manage all those smaller inline shows for them for an hourly rate.  

Our services are a la carte so you pick and choose what you want us to for you!  

Be aware.  There are companies out there that are giving away storage.  TRUST ME - THEY ARE GETTING THEIR MONEY FROM YOU SOMEWHERE!

In quoting exhibit storage for one of our new storage clients there was a HUGE variation in storage quotes they received.  They received 3 quotes.  
  1. 2,000/year
  2. 5,000/year
  3. 11,000/year
Why the variation?  Some people offer this as a service, some as a revenue center.  Others almost give it away and make it up by over inflating prices somewhere else.  Watch for hidden charges like account manager fees and other fees that pad charges in other areas.  

With Total Displays you always get 100% transparency.  We will explain any charges or line items on any invoice.  We will show you when and where you can save money.  We provide you with white glove service so that your exhibit experience is as painless as it can possibly be.

Call Total Displays to ask for your free storage quote and analysis.  We will also review bills with you from current providers to be sure you are getting the best value.


If you like what you read, please share it!

====================================================
Lori Hanken has been in sales and marketing for over 30 years. She is passionate about service and providing value to her vendors, prospects and clients. Lori is currently co-owner of Total Displays with her husband David. They help people look great at events, trade shows, in retail, museums and develop long partnerships with customers and suppliers. If you would like to learn more, email her at lori@totaldisplays.com. She is an open networker, connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Read other Total Displays Blog posts at http://totaldisplays.blogspot.com/

Monday, March 6, 2017

Product Innovators vs. Product Copiers

Every industry, every product ever built (at least the good ones) have been copied.  Does that make it right?  Someone changes something just slightly, small tweak here small tweak there and voila you have a "new" item.

Total Displays is primarily a distributor.  What exactly does that mean in the exhibit industry?

We are not limited to our own product line.  We do not have the overhead of having production staff and a shop.  We don't have to keep our production shop staff busy.  So often we have seen prospects come to us that have worked with a custom exhibit house and wanted something more modular.  The custom exhibit house proposed something that they would build for them.  Complete overkill.

But...  here is the big secret.

WE CAN BUILD CUSTOM EXHIBITS THAT DON'T REQUIRE NUTS, BOLTS, HAMMERS, OR NAILS.


But I digress.  Watch for a blog post coming soon about the advantages of working with a distributor like Total Displays.

We are very spoiled.  We have spent years culling the industry and selecting the best of the best manufacturers out there.  Everyday we see reasons that validate our decisions to A.  Not be a custom display manufacturer and B. To partner with the companies we selected.  Read more about a custom exhibit house story HERE!

One of the reasons we select a partner?  A product innovator.  What we see, continually is our partner creating a new item for the exhibit and event industry.  Often they win awards for those items.  A year, later many other exhibit houses now have a new product.  Some are blatant in their copying of the idea and some change things up a bit more.

Here are some examples where one of our partner has been an incredible innovator (just a small list)

MOD-1444 Event Charging Station MOD-1443 Event Charging Station MOD-1441 Charging Coffee Table
Those are just three of many.  Each year following the release of a new product the "copiers" come out. 

This year you are going to start seeing competitors roll out cell phone charging stations.  If you want a Coach purse why would you buy a knockoff?  If you want a BMW why would you buy a knockoff?  If you want a diamond, why would you buy a cubic zirconia?  

You may say, the knock offs are cheaper?   Well based on the "new" or should we say "copied" cell phone charging stations I have seen so far?  If they are NOT remotely of the same quality, they are MORE EXPENSIVE.  

Why would you buy a copy when you can get the original?  Just asking?  

Thank you to Classic Exhibits for being an innovator and a great partner.

If you just want a reality or truth check, I am happy to chat with anyone that might have questions about this.  If you don't have a partner to consult with you on these issues we are here to help.


If you like what you read, please share it!

====================================================
Lori Hanken has been in sales and marketing for over 30 years. She is passionate about service and providing value to her vendors, prospects and clients. Lori is currently co-owner of Total Displays with her husband David. They help people look great at events, trade shows, in retail, museums and develop long partnerships with customers and suppliers. If you would like to learn more, email her at lori@totaldisplays.com. She is an open networker, connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Read other Total Displays Blog posts at http://totaldisplays.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies

More and more we are hearing exhibitors being misled by the general contractor for trade shows.  For new exhibitors or people new to an exhibit manager position it can be very confusing.    Here are a couple of misconceptions.

1.  You have to use the general contractor to install your booth.

You should always check each show's regulations carefully because rules are kind of wacky these days for installations.  This is specifically true with things like lightboxes lately.  Rules are also different for inlines vs. islands.
Image result for not trueBut one thing is certain, YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOT HAVE TO USE THE GENERAL CONTRACTOR.  Any exhibitor can appoint what is called an Exhibit Appointed Contractor (EAC).  I would recommend you choose that person/team carefully and have them become familiar with your exhibits to save money and be sure your exhibit is in 'tip-top' shape when you arrive to the event.

2.  Exhibitors must rent from the general contractor. 

ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE.  You can rent from anyone that offers a rental program.  Most rentals from show services that I have seen are beat up and often not in the best of shape.  They are used many times with little refurbishment to the structure in between uses.  That is how they make their money and why they can often be less expensive than other rentals.  

Image result for lies lies liesThis is your brand.  If your booth is banged up and graphics don't look great your company doesn't look great.  Here are three things that drive me absolutely crazy when I see them on the show floor.

  • Loose or poor fitting graphics
  • Visible cords 
  • Banged up or damaged hardware
DETAILS MATTER PEOPLE!

3.  You must get flooring and furniture from show services.

Guess what?  ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE.   Many companies, like Total Displays, have furniture and flooring available for purchase or rental.  Flooring can pay for itself in 3-4 shows (depending on selection) and furniture can pay for itself in as little as 1-2 shows.  I don't mean this as a shameless plus (ok maybe I do), but look into this.  You can get what you want instead of the limited options available from show services and you can save money.  Who wants to pay $30 for a cardboard garbage can?

International Exhibitors Tips

International Exhibitors especially can benefit from renting a for US shows.  You can save money on things like customs etc.

Are you doing give away items?  Work with a US partner to get those items and have them shipped directly to the show to save on shipping and customs.

If you just want a reality or truth check, I am happy to chat with anyone that might have questions about this.  If you don't have a partner to consult with you on these issues we are here to help.


If you like what you read, please share it!

====================================================
Lori Hanken has been in sales and marketing for over 30 years. She is passionate about service and providing value to her vendors, prospects and clients. Lori is currently co-owner of Total Displays with her husband David. They help people look great at events, trade shows, in retail, museums and develop long partnerships with customers and suppliers. If you would like to learn more, email her at lori@totaldisplays.com. She is an open networker, connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Read other Total Displays Blog posts at http://totaldisplays.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Why I Won't Respond to Your RFP

A little reality jolt here people.

RFP's ARE A WASTE OF TIME


I can hear you....

What?  I just got an RFP with a $200k budget for a 50 x 50 booth.  I really want that business and if I do a great job, fill out all the questions, spend hours and hours and hours on structure design and answering every little detail they ask.  Even if they ask what color underwear I am going to answer because that is going to earn me that business!  You are crazy to not fill out that RFP!

Sorry.  Won't do them anymore.

Now, I will put one small caveat here.  If the company will meet with us to go over their design request, I will consider submitting a design and responding to the RFP.  Or if they allow us to present our design to them, I may consider.  

If you don't get a meeting with the decision makers, or don't get to present your concepts in person or via virtual conference,  run fast; very fast. 
Image result for run very fast
Here are is reality.
  • If you are not the incumbent exhibit house you have about a 2% chance of earning their business.
  • You cannot do an exhibit design (especially an island) justice on paper.  It needs to be presented.
  • Marketing people send out RFP's because their boss told them to get 4 competitive bids.
  • Generally speaking, they already know from whom they want to buy.
  • You will spend hours filling these out.  Oh and don't forget they want to see your financial statements.
  • You will take potential billable resources like a structure designer and waste a lot of their time.
  • And references?  They will ask for references and never contact any of them.
Image result for revenue producing activitiesI may sound a bit jaded here.   Here is the way I look at it.  It is not high probability business.  Period.  I would much rather my reps are focused on higher potential revenue earning activities than losing hours on an RFP.
Is there the rare occasion when you blow them away with your design or have a lower price point than your competitors?  Of course.  But it is not the norm.  

Here at Total Displays we look at our customer relationships as partnerships.  Exhibit design is a process and generally multiple iterations of designs are done, with communication.  Communication.  Remember that?  It is a wonderful thing.

RFP's are 'make-work' all around.  Some marketing manager either spent hours doing it themselves or heaven forbid they paid a high priced consultant to meet with them multiple times and put it together for them.

Back in my software days, you really don't want to know what I did with software RFP's.  Let's just say we could do EVERYTHING that was listed on the RFP.  😁

Carry on.  Sell strong.  Don't waste your time.

If you like what you read, please share it!

====================================================
Lori Hanken has been in sales and marketing for over 30 years. She is passionate about service and providing value to her vendors, prospects and clients. Lori is currently co-owner of Total Displays with her husband David. They help people look great at events, trade shows, in retail, museums and develop long partnerships with customers and suppliers. If you would like to learn more, email her at lori@totaldisplays.com. She is an open networker, connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Read other Total Displays Blog posts at http://totaldisplays.blogspot.com/

Thursday, February 9, 2017

I Am Done With My Custom Exhibit House

Today we had a large prospect come in to meet with us in our showroom.  I have been calling on this account for a long time.   They have been working with a local custom exhibit house for many years.

I like to think of us as the Little Engine That Could or David of David and Goliath.

Today that prospect sat here in our showroom and said,

"I'm done with 'Custom Exhibit House ABC'."

We had another prospect in here yesterday that basically said the same thing.  They said they felt the industry was moving away from the true custom booth and wanting much more modular and lightweight options.

We are finding this in many cases to be true.  Of course there are still some true custom displays out there.  We saw a 10 x 20 at a show recently that actually required drills, nuts and bolts to set up.  It was all wood and had to weigh a ton!  I know we could have designed something that would have looked better, been lighter, easier to set up and still represent their brand really well.

A couple years ago we won a 10 x 30 deal where we were up against a custom house.  The custom house told our prospect, "Oh yeah, I know Total Displays.  They are just a pieces and parts company."  I guess they underestimated us and our product offerings.  We have MANY stories where we have beat out custom houses.

Our conversations with our prospect continued today.  They were renting some items from this custom house.  They said, by the time they added all the account management and other fees the rental was twice what it should be.  As they sat in our showroom and we looked at some of the items we had available they were very pleased.

What they came away with really astounded them.

1.  We don't charge a lot of extra fees in any of our jobs
2.  We have all the same custom capabilities through our partners that the custom houses do
3.  We are invested owners providing a high level of honesty and service
4.  They realized we did not have all the overhead that a custom house has
5.  They really liked what we offered and our honesty.

Image result for score 2 0
I am proud to be a pieces and parts company that can save companies money on storage, shipping, drayage and install and dismantle services.  A future post will be coming regarding storage and other services - watch for it!

If you really want custom, yup, we can do that too.

This week's score:

David 2   Goliath 0

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Lori Hanken has been in sales and marketing for over 30 years. She is passionate about service and providing value to her vendors, prospects and clients. Lori is currently co-owner of Total Displays with her husband David. They help people look great at events, trade shows, in retail, museums and develop long partnerships with customers and suppliers. If you would like to learn more, email her at lori@totaldisplays.com. She is an open networker, connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Read other Total Displays Blog posts at http://totaldisplays.blogspot.com/