Thursday, October 26, 2023

Your Brand Matters

One of the first steps in establishing a company is to determine your mission and to create a brand that represents and communicates that mission. You can achieve this through engaging designs, which includes a logo, crafting a slogan, and creating a website. Often, this is the most critical aspect of building your brand. There are several main reasons to do this: building growth, fostering customer loyalty, establishing a sense of identity, and clarifying your values.

Creating an identity that sets you apart from the competition and fosters a genuine connection is crucial. Your identity is what makes your business unique. It reflects your beliefs and dictates how you communicate with and assist your clients. This is an integral part of brand creation, and it's essential to convey exactly how you want potential clients and employees to perceive your company.

Effective branding promotes customer loyalty, as clients are more likely to return if they feel a strong connection to your brand. Building a good relationship from the outset is key, this includes creating a booth that helps you build on those relationships. Maintaining your promises throughout the entire process fosters loyalty.

You also want to instill value throughout your company. Branding can help you define principles and core beliefs that enable your employees to work cohesively, demonstrating value to your clients and achieving your goals. Your values can be demonstrated through your website, signage, or a slogan that reflects your principles. These subtle elements can consistently convey value throughout your organization and serve as a reliable foundation.

Total Displays will help you communicate your identity and values by creating a booth design that fosters relationships with current and prospective clients. 

Thursday, September 28, 2023

AI and Trade Shows

Recently, all eyes have been on artificial intelligence (AI) and businesses are trying to figure out how it will affect them. Specifically for Total Displays, we are staying on top of how it will help or hinder trade shows and the companies that create and manage them. 

What are the positives of AI that will help the trade show experience? Some of the biggest ways AI could enhance the trade show experience is through personalized planning and interactive tools. Imagine attendees using AI to guide them through the trade show floor and simply answering questions they may have during their visit. Attendees could personalize their trade show experience making their time and your time more effective and efficient. You may also consider using AI within your booth on tablets and interactive screens so your clients can immerse themselves into your company to learn more about your products or services. 

Will this affect the in-person connection? Trade shows allow for that very important face-to-face connection to build relationships. The concern with AI is the potential reduction of human connection as it slowly evolves in our everyday lives. Even though this up and coming technology that could impact the trade show experience, it could actually enhance a booth as well and should be consider in the future. 

I think that AI could be helpful to get fast results but as humans, we still need connection. I think over the last couple of years, that need has become even more apparent, and AI can never replace those interactions. As a trade show business, this will be a challenge for our team to make sure AI is effectively used in booths and the overall trade show experience.  

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Handling Sales Objections vs. Harassing a Prospect

 I just received an interesting sales call. It is for a lead generation, database management tool.  Not a CRM. But a place where you can get decision maker contact lists for companies.

I was at least impressed that this person didn't email me but actually called me today saying he found me on LinkedIn.

I have looked at this service before. It is VERY expensive. Right now, it is just not a good fit for us for multiple reasons.

Here is where it got interesting.  I told him why it wasn't a good fit right now. He tried to refute my stance. He then proceeded to tell me about a great new tool that targets people that are searching for our products/services and blindly sends them a series of emails.

If you have followed along at all, you know I am not a fan of the blind pitch.

I proceeded to tell him; I am NOT A FAN of the unsolicited email without any personal interaction. That if I get them, I immediately flag them as junk.  He argued that they were emailing people looking for our products/services so that is ok.

I told him, we build relationships and don't just email prospects.

Understanding in our world, that some companies have been using the same exhibit company for 10, 15 or even 20 years. The chances of them just replying to a blind email and me selling them an exhibit, is pretty slim.

Can it happen?  Of course, but it would be very rare. You have to catch that person at just the right time, in the exact right circumstances to get them to reply to your email, engage and then buy from you. 

He proceeded to argue with me again, saying they have had a lot of success with other companies like us, in our industry.  Ok, maybe the REALLY big companies.

Remember, I told you they were VERY expensive. The most expensive option like this out there on the market. I have researched this previously.

My last objection was that they are by far the most expensive option out there.  Of course, his reply was, "I'm sure as you know, there is good reason for that."

So, this gets even better. Out of curiosity, I went out to their website to see what their pricing is like now.  There is NO pricing on their website.

My phone just rang. It was my persistent sales rep. He got a notice that I was out on their website, and he wanted to know if I wanted pricing.

I know all about handling objections. The best salespeople handle objections without the prospect even knowing they are handling the objection. Arguing with your prospect is not a good look.

Remember, I told him point blank, I would never use a blind, targeted email. That is just not how we do business. I really despise those emails that lack any personal attention and are clearly sent by a bot. 

AND it gets better! I just got another call from someone else at this company. This call came from a local number. I asked to be removed from their list. Her response, "You're not on a list".  Then why did I get 3 calls in less than hour. Clearly, they need some CRM consulting to not call the same prospect multiple times within an hour. 

How do you handle objections, and do you use automated emails?

Monday, August 28, 2023

Are Trade Show Goals Important?


When it comes to building a trade show booth, you might want to set some goals. These goals can be for both your company and your client or individual goals. These can be set by an artwork deadline, ordering your products on time, and getting everything checked off the list to be built at the show. There are a lot of steps to getting everything completed before the show. Goals are a great way to start the process of building your booth and will ensure that both the client and you can stay on schedule, get on the same page, and have good communication. 

Ideally, you want to start the process a few months ahead. Especially if you’re relying on artwork from your client or your designer. This can be the longest part of the process, which involves a lot of going back and forth with the client and production. Key components of the artwork are high-resolution photos, PMS colors, and branding guidelines. When clients are doing their graphics, it's important to identify and communicate these requirements. If not, there could be issues with the design that cannot be fixed, or worst-case scenario, require starting from scratch. Artwork is the most important part of a booth. 

When deadlines are set, both sides are liable for getting everything completed. You must be timely with weekly updates over email or notifications. This will ensure you have enough time for production, shipping, and fixes if necessary. It's important to have some buffer time in the process. These days, we have encountered production and shipment delays that we need to account for in the timeline. Most clients don't understand this long process time, but this is what will save you time and money in the end. Rush fees on shipping and production could almost triple in price, so this is important to stay on your timeline. 

Goals are important to be established to motivate and to hold each other accountable. Creating a trade show booth is a long and stressful process, but setting these goals and deadlines can help make something complicated into a stress-free show. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Are You Interested Or Not?

 If you follow me on LinkedIn at all, you know how much I dislike the people that connect and then pitch their product or services immediately.

Here at Total Displays we build more than trade show exhibits. We build relationships. You cannot build a relationship with someone through email, or LinkedIn messages.

This month I connected with someone that does website development. The first message was pretty generic asking to connect because we had some "synergies" (a word I dislike, but that is another story). 

Since connecting with this person, I have received 5 messages since connecting on August 7th. 

Today I received this message.

Now, I am all about responding to salespeople that I have engaged to provide us with product or services. I do NOT feel the need or responsibility to respond to people that have sent unwanted or unsolicited pitches. I don't like being ghosted by a customer or a prospect any more than the next person, but this felt a little aggressive considering I have never replied to a single one of his 5 messages.

I will say it until my dying day. Provide value. Build relationships. Treat people with respect. 

People buy from people they like.

Friday, August 4, 2023

How to Reach Your Target Audience

Key to any business and its growth is marketing. There are various tactics to consider which include: digital, print, telemarketing, and of course, trade shows. All of these are an important way to reach your audience and to grow your business. 


Digital Marketing

In today’s fast paced and digital world, you need to reach clients through digital platforms. First and foremost, a company website is essential. A website is a great place to showcase products, tell clients about your company, and provide an easy way for them to contact you for further information. Once you have your website established, you can then implement other digital efforts like email marketing, social media organic and paid advertising, and targeted banner ads. These efforts can be good awareness generators and client growth initiatives. 


Print Media

These need to be simple and impactful, and placed in outlets that include your target market. Print media includes things like billboards, newspaper ads or inserts, magazine ads, direct mail pieces, and more. Depending on your industry, print media is still part of marketing budgets. These placements can drive awareness of your goods or services and deliver calls or traffic to your website. 



Calling someone still adds a nice personal touch to building relationships with current and potential clients. A phone call can make a person feel like a priority and worthy of your time. This can make you look more professional, especially if you are trying to reach out to highly professional companies. A phone conversation is a great way to make yourself stand out especially in the digital world that we live in today. 


Trade Shows

Trade shows allow companies to implement a little bit of everything mentioned above. Booths can be created bringing in aspects of digital media with digital displays showing videos or utilizing iPads or laptops for clients to view your website. Creating printed display graphics, flyers and brochures that highlight your products or services. And of course, in-person conversations with current and potential clients helps you build on those relationships that are essential to the growth of your company. 

These are just a handful of ways that you can reach your target audience. Total Displays can guide you through your booths' design and display structure. With our knowledge of different types of trade shows, we can help you create the optimal booth for your next show! 

Monday, June 26, 2023

How Can a Monitor Elevate Your Booth?

Add a monitor to your booth to add more character and to create more opportunities to highlight your company and products or services. This will also deliver more engagement from attendees and will help you tell your story in the booth. Monitors can be displayed anywhere on your booth, some of the different options include a singular monitor stand within a graphic display or simply a stand on the show table. Many businesses have found different ways to utilize monitors to help draw in attendees to not only learn more about your company, but to elevate the attendee’s experience in their booth. 


Monitors can be important to add to a booth is if you are wanting to show demonstrations, slide shows, photos/videos or even information about your company that wouldn't be able to fit on your fabric displays. You are able to have flexibility to change and manage the screen for any attendee finding interest in your business. 


People assume adding a monitor to their booth can be costly, but actually it’s one of the less expensive ways to elevate your space. You can purchase or rent a monitor for an affordable cost and we will do the rest.  It is important that when you go buy the monitor, it will fit the regulations of the monitor stand. For most suppliers’ products, it comes with guidelines for size and weight. The trade show company you are working with should help you with the process of deciding what product to purchase and to inform you on the guidelines of the monitor stand. 


At Total Displays we have been seeing monitors being used in almost every booth and have heard from clients that including a digital element has helped engage with attendees. If you have any questions about adding a monitor to your existing booth or need help starting your booth, please contact us at sales@totaldisplays.com