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The Industrial Marketing Trade Show Dance at CONEXPO 2017

Sun, Mar 05, 2017 @ 02:10 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Trade Show Displays, Trade Show, Trade Show Displays, Industrial Marketing Trade Show, Trade Show Banner Stand, Trade Exhibit Modular Displays, Construction Equipment Marketing, Mining Equipment Marketing, Advertising, Trade Show Exhibits, Trade Booths, Trade Exhibits

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Everyone in the industrial market knows that the CONEXPO-CONAGG 2017 show is opening Tuesday March 7. The conference will be in Las Vegas from March 7-11 and is expecting over 125,000 attendees and 2,400 exhibitors. In terms of a conference, that is huge and provides quite the opportunity for any business. 

Radio_Conexpo_v5.jpgThe CONEXPO got its start here in Ohio in 1909, debuting as a ‘Road Show.’ The early exhibitors prided themselves on displaying ‘amazing new devices’ that could do the work of 15 horses. It continued to grow and did so at an unprecedented rate during the construction boom after World War II. In the 1970’s it opened its doors to the international community, as well as, the CON/AGG show, which also had began in the early 1900’s; by combining shows and creating CONEXPO-CON/AGG, both attendees and exhibitors alike we able to experience all the emerging products, equipment, and services in one place, maximizing time, money, and educational opportunities of the construction and industrial industries.

With so many people and exhibitions attending this show, most industrial companies recognize the importance of marketing their product or service. They know that this is an opportunity to reach other businesses, consumers, and influential individuals in the industry, which is why having a solid team, effective communication, and a game plan are so important for a trade show of this caliber.

Preparing for a Trade Show

This is the first step required for a good trade show exhibit. Everyone must be on the same page about what is required from him or her and how to, not just execute it, but to do so properly. This requires effective communication, clear guidelines, and stringent implementation.

Preparation for the show includes everything from how your booth will look to with whom you staff it; both should be of high quality.

Too many times have I been to a trade show that individuals are on their phones, talking to each other, or eating food when they should be grabbing the attention of the people passing by. This typically happens because stringent rules weren’t put into place to prevent such things from happening. Allowing such behavior to occur will only hurt the company and the reputations of those involved; possibly affecting your credibility and professionalism. Be sure to have educated employees and sales staff on hand who are dedicated to success and to achieving the purpose of the trade show: to gather leads and to make connections.

This is where effective communication comes into play. Let staffers know that they are there for a purpose and that purpose is to generate leads, not to eat McDonald’s in the back of the booth around noon. The typical trade booth staff will walk away from training with a good pitch to throw at people passing by, but an excellent staff will walk away knowing an immense amount of knowledge on the product as well as having a clear objective to what they are responsible for doing. Some booths include people who just catch the attention and move interested individuals to sales reps who know more about the product and while the assembly line is beneficial and provides an organized mechanism for all booth employees, reminding employees that everyone has the same objective helps keep everyone on track and can help prevent a lack of involvement from employees. Some companies sometimes implement contests, hoping to motivate employees and sales reps alike to drive in business.

Creating an Inviting Trade Show Booth

You want to make sure your booth looks welcoming, interesting, and clean. You don’t want something that is too ‘homey,’ people won’t take you seriously, but you also don’t want a both that results in looking so technological or industrial that a layperson can’t understand it and are too intimidated to stop by or don’t find it interesting. Having a well-balanced booth and a friendly staff of people who can clearly and concisely explain what you have to offer is the best route to go here. trade show

Providing information, good information, is crucial to the success of your booth. Pamphlets are great and are very popular at trade shows, but how many of those make it to the plane ride home? Not many, most natives to the city hosting the  trade show will tell you that most of them end up littering the streets once all visitors have left. This is where educated employees matter, reinforcing the point above. According to Skyline Exhibits 5 common Pitfalls to Trade Show Marketing blog, offering to take someone’s email address or telephone number on the spot and stating that they probably have enough to carry without you adding to their load can be a very effective means of gathering individuals’ information. Using technology, like a tablet for instance, in this situation can maximize your outreach. People may not have one of your pamphlets to throw away at the airport, but they will be able to check the email you sent or listen to the voicemail you left on the plane ride home; already making for a more personal experience and your booth, and more importantly your product, will stick out in their mind.

Effective Marketing of Your Trade Show Attendance

Standing out at a trade show is important and learning how can be difficult. According to Susan Friedmann, the Trade Show Coach there is more than one way to do this. One of the best strategies is having your company/client try and align new product announcements and trade shows together. Having a new product to premier at a  trade show is a good way to get some press prior to the show. We have had a couple of clients take this route for the CON/AGG conference and we have been shooting out press releases and public relations left and right. Most publications, whether print or electronic, are willing to take such information and publish it. They too recognize the enormity of the show and know that many people are reading publications to ‘be ahead of the game’ and to know what to expect from the trade show exhibits. Also be aware that most publications need this information well in advance, so having your own deadlines to accomplish the media announcements is necessary.

trade showUtilize social media. Make it known on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. that you will be there and that you have something new rolling out. This also will build an interest with your followers who aren’t going to the show itself and could even prompt them to come along too.

Schedule a press conference if possible. Many media outlets, local and international, will be covering the convention; such large conventions can get a lot of coverage time via the media and having a press conference about your new product or your attendance can really increase your popularity at the show; not to mention the publicity involved with media coverage.

Learning the trade show dance can be difficult, especially when the convention/show itself has been around for over one hundred years; that makes for an evolution of dance. But, surrounding yourself with a positive, well-motivated team who is willing to work hard, combined with effective marketing and a welcoming booth should create a successful experience.

See you there!

If you liked this post, you will also enjoy Trade Show Display Exhibit Booth Marketing Trends

______________________________________________________________________________ 

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Trade Show Display, Exhibit Materials Sale

Mon, Aug 03, 2015 @ 01:29 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Trade Show Displays, Trade Show, Trade Show Displays, Industrial Marketing Trade Show, Trade Show Banner Stand, Trade Exhibit Modular Displays, Graphic Design, Trade Show Exhibits, Trade Booths, Trade Exhibits, Graphic Design Agency, illustration, Advertising Agency

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The Industrial Marketing Trade Show Dance at CONEXPO

Wed, Jul 22, 2015 @ 11:30 AM / by Lauren Campbell posted in Industrial Trade Show Displays, Trade Show, Trade Show Displays, Industrial Marketing Trade Show, Trade Show Banner Stand, Trade Exhibit Modular Displays, Construction Equipment Marketing, Advertising, Trade Show Exhibits, Trade Booths, Trade Exhibits

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Everyone in the industrial market knows that the CONEXPO-CONAGG 2014 show is coming up in March. The conference will be in Las Vegas from March 4-8 and is expecting over 125,000 attendees and 2,400 exhibitors. In terms of a conference, that is huge and provides quite the opportunity for any business. 

CONEXPO-CON/AGGThe CONEXPO got its start here in Ohio in 1909, debuting as a ‘Road Show.’ The early exhibitors prided themselves on displaying ‘amazing new devices’ that could do the work of 15 horses. It continued to grow and did so at an unprecedented rate during the construction boom after World War II. In the 1970’s it opened its doors to the international community, as well as, the CON/AGG show, which also had began in the early 1900’s; by combining shows and creating CONEXPO-CON/AGG, both attendees and exhibitors alike we able to experience all the emerging products, equipment, and services in one place, maximizing time, money, and educational opportunities of the construction and industrial industries.

With so many people and exhibitions attending this show, most industrial companies recognize the importance of marketing their product or service. They know that this is an opportunity to reach other businesses, consumers, and influential individuals in the industry, which is why having a solid team, effective communication, and a game plan are so important for a trade show of this caliber.

Preparing for a Trade Show

This is the first step required for a good trade show exhibit. Everyone must be on the same page about what is required from him or her and how to, not just execute it, but to do so properly. This requires effective communication, clear guidelines, and stringent implementation.

Preparation for the show includes everything from how your booth will look to with whom you staff it; both should be of high quality.

Too many times have I been to a trade show that individuals are on their phones, talking to each other, or eating food when they should be grabbing the attention of the people passing by. This typically happens because stringent rules weren’t put into place to prevent such things from happening. Allowing such behavior to occur will only hurt the company and the reputations of those involved; possibly affecting your credibility and professionalism. Be sure to have educated employees and sales staff on hand who are dedicated to success and to achieving the purpose of the trade show: to gather leads and to make connections.

This is where effective communication comes into play. Let staffers know that they are there for a purpose and that purpose is to generate leads, not to eat McDonald’s in the back of the booth around noon. The typical trade booth staff will walk away from training with a good pitch to throw at people passing by, but an excellent staff will walk away knowing an immense amount of knowledge on the product as well as having a clear objective to what they are responsible for doing. Some booths include people who just catch the attention and move interested individuals to sales reps who know more about the product and while the assembly line is beneficial and provides an organized mechanism for all booth employees, reminding employees that everyone has the same objective helps keep everyone on track and can help prevent a lack of involvement from employees. Some companies sometimes implement contests, hoping to motivate employees and sales reps alike to drive in business.

Creating an Inviting Trade Show Booth

You want to make sure your booth looks welcoming, interesting, and clean. You don’t want something that is too ‘homey,’ people won’t take you seriously, but you also don’t want a both that results in looking so technological or industrial that a layperson can’t understand it and are too intimidated to stop by or don’t find it interesting. Having a well-balanced booth and a friendly staff of people who can clearly and concisely explain what you have to offer is the best route to go here. trade show

Providing information, good information, is crucial to the success of your booth. Pamphlets are great and are very popular at trade shows, but how many of those make it to the plane ride home? Not many, most natives to the city hosting the  trade show will tell you that most of them end up littering the streets once all visitors have left. This is where educated employees matter, reinforcing the point above. According to Skyline Exhibits 5 common Pitfalls to Trade Show Marketing blog, offering to take someone’s email address or telephone number on the spot and stating that they probably have enough to carry without you adding to their load can be a very effective means of gathering individuals’ information. Using technology, like a tablet for instance, in this situation can maximize your outreach. People may not have one of your pamphlets to throw away at the airport, but they will be able to check the email you sent or listen to the voicemail you left on the plane ride home; already making for a more personal experience and your booth, and more importantly your product, will stick out in their mind.

Effective Marketing of Your Trade Show Attendance

Standing out at a trade show is important and learning how can be difficult. According to Susan Friedmann, the Trade Show Coach there is more than one way to do this. One of the best strategies is having your company/client try and align new product announcements and trade shows together. Having a new product to premier at a  trade show is a good way to get some press prior to the show. We have had a couple of clients take this route for the CONEXPO-CON/AGG conference and we have been shooting out press releases and public relations left and right. Most publications, whether print or electronic, are willing to take such information and publish it. They too recognize the enormity of the show and know that many people are reading publications to ‘be ahead of the game’ and to know what to expect from the trade show exhibits. Also be aware that most publications need this information well in advance, so having your own deadlines to accomplish the media announcements is necessary.

trade showUtilize social media. Make it known on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. that you will be there and that you have something new rolling out. This also will build an interest with your followers who aren’t going to the show itself and could even prompt them to come along too.

Schedule a press conference if possible. Many media outlets, local and international, will be covering the CONEXPO-CON/AGG convention; such large conventions can get a lot of coverage time via the media and having a press conference about your new product or your attendance can really increase your popularity at the show; not to mention the publicity involved with media coverage.

Learning the trade show dance can be difficult, especially when the convention/show itself has been around for over one hundred years; that makes for an evolution of dance. But, surrounding yourself with a positive, well-motivated team who is willing to work hard, combined with effective marketing and a welcoming booth should create a successful CONEXPO-CON/AGG experience.

See you there!

If you liked this post, you will also enjoy Trade Show Display Exhibit Booth Marketing Trends

______________________________________________________________________________ 

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Chuck Lohre's AdVenture Presentation of examples and descriptions from Ed Lawler's book of the same title - 10 Rules On Creating Business-To-Business Ads

Industrial Marketing Creative Guide by Lohre Marketing and Advertising, Cincinnati

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Attract visitors to your industrial marketing trade show exhibit

Thu, Jan 02, 2014 @ 10:04 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Trade Show Displays, Trade Show, Trade Show Displays, Industrial Marketing Trade Show, Business to Business Marketing, Trade Show Exhibits, Business to Business Advertising, Trade Booths, Trade Exhibits

1 Comment

You hate it, you love it, you hate it, you love it! The industrial marketing trade show conundrum.

Industrial marketing trade shows offer much anguish and apprehension for many a marketing director. All the time and expense to build an exhibit can never be justified by sales made at the show. You might see it as a costly get together for employees and sales representatives with clients and customers. While you might think a better solution is to forego the show and hold court in a nearby hotel, that's an "illegal" move according to most show organziners. That hasn't stopped some exhibitors from taking a booth at the show and booking a large hotel suite where they control the hospitality. It's all part of building the best mousetrap to attract your customer. In the end, though, the show floor is the place to meet current and potential customers and make a lasting impression and in that way, the expenditures are "priceless." It's up to you to work it on all customer touchpoints!

But for companies with machinery to display, there's no way around taking space on the show floor. This article will try to help you make the best of your next trade show effort. Read on to learn some time-honored visual marketing techniques used notably by retailers. Plus we'll look at some new display products.

Industrial trade show attention getterHere's a short history of visual marketing at retail: Before L. Frank Baum wrote a series of books based on his characters in the "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," he was a retailer and later a trade magazine ediitor for retailers. His story dates to 1888 at a Dakota Territory mining camp. He decided to get into retail with "Baum's Bazaar" and spared no expense to bring in the finest products to the new store. Thousands of folks attended his store's grand opening, but no one purchased anything. Turns out his audience didn't have the means to buy anything that expensive. Baum may have abandoned his store, but he went on to start The Art of Decorating Dry Goods Windows and Interiors (trade publication, 1900), where he dispensed advice on how to display goods for sale and published photos of what retailers around the country were doing in their show windows.

Baum knew the window was both the store's billboard and newspaper advertisement. And the trend for years was to put a representation of your goods in the windows. Anyone walking by could see exactly the type of merchandise offered for sale -- all they needed to do was walk in and ask for it. In time, though, owners began removing barriers between shoppers and their wares. That was the start of self-service retailing where customers no longer needed the assistance of a sales clerk to unlock the merchandise from behind the counter. It meant customers could touch and feel the goods they wanted to buy and that became a powerful force in pursuading customers to purchase.

And now more than 100 years later, the science of visual merchandising has been honed to a fine art. Just think of the stores you shop and how the displays attract your attention. For instance, Target uses the real estate at the end of aisles to present promotionally priced or seasonal goods. Similarly, the end caps at Lowe's or Home Depot often feature a DIY project complete with the necessary materials and tools paired with the finished piece. Most customers are passing by these displays as they travel the store. Bingo! These stores are capitalizing on their captive audience with economical, smart strategies in these high-visibility areas. Goods placed in the path of customers always post good numbers.

Did you know that an electrical distributor can increase sales 20% by just placing the most important merchandise where a customer can see it and positioning related products nearby? The photo above shows ILSCO's "Connectosaurus Rex," a monster made from hundreds of its electrical connectors. The competition lamented the fact that they would never have been able to get it through their engineering department!

Industrial trade show promotionTrade show exhibits must attract attention from the show floor, just as your neighborhood store does from the sidewalk or street. Now that might be easy if you brand is Ferarri. Just slap your logo on a blank white wall, shine a light on it, and the guys will line up, right?  The photo to the left illustrates an easy way to increase the lighting in your booth, provide overhead truss structure to mount extra lighting.

Turntables are a great way to catch the eye as well as well-informed sales representatives practiced in engaging the visitor and encouraging conversation. Educational signage can tell your story when you can't. You can see these display techniques in action at the Detroit Auto Show and Disneyland's Epcot while you stand in line for a ride. You'll see mouth-watering engine cutaways and in no time you've learned the history of NASCAR, as you wait for the next group of stock cars to take you around the track at Epcot.

So if you were to think about your display as a diorama telling a story, there's nothing like the Dayton Ohio Airforce Museum where standing next to Col. Dolittle getting ready to launch his B-24s to Japan off the deck of the Hornet, is one way to learn and remember.

Industrial Trade Show IdeasMake your equipment the star, but if you can't bring the actual star you have to make it with smoke and mirrors. Think about a well-done museum exhibit of paintings and sculpture. Your message needs to be presented front and center in a manner that compels the viewer to stare and stop right in their tracks. Not easy. For industrial marketers, we have the country's science museums to help us get ideas for presentations. Check out Milwaukee's Discovery World Center for Public Innovation. The photo to the left is a Sony Aibo mechanical dog we programmed to present Post Glover's high resistance grounding resistors at the Power-Gen Show. Every time we would fire up "Spike." a crowd would gather. His short, two-minute presentation and dance act was mesmerizing. High-resistance grounding is a unique application that requires some education. Spike was perfect for the job.

Industrial Marketing Show DesignAs for what's new in exhibit design, there are now lightweight, but large displays and new LED internally lit frames. There's also a version of transformers -- systems that can morph into many different displays by spinning or flipping around. Check out all the new displays by downloading the 2014 Exhibitor's Handbook. Another cool new idea is to control a monitor with the LEAP motion control, priced around $100. Plug it into any computer and with a wave of your hand control a 3D model of your equipment or when you get bored, fly around the world in Google Earth with your body motion! The most awaited display, a rollable monitor, is still to come!

All told, the best way to make the most of your industrial trade show effort is to invite your customers to meet with you, attend the industry association events, engage with the editors of industry publications and finally but not least go out into the show and introduce yourself to related businesses, potential customers and partners. We'll be at the upcoming CONEXPO - CON/AGG show for three days meeting some of the 1500 exhibitors and attendees. Stop by the Stedman Machine Company booth, Exhibit # 51871 Central Hall 4, LasVegas, NV March 4-8, 2014, or give us a call at 513-260-9025.


If you liked this article you may also like Trade Show Display Exhibit Booth Marketing Trends.


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Manufacturing Industrial Brand Marketing, part 2

Fri, May 24, 2013 @ 08:59 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Trade Show Displays, Marketing, Trade Show, Trade Show Displays, Industrial Marketing Trade Show, B2B Marketing, Trade Show Exhibits, Cincinnati Marketing Agencies, Trade Booths, Trade Exhibits

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Brand strategy reflects the business strategy

Industrial Trade Show Marketing resized 600

Tradeshows are where content and people come together, both are hard to manage, train and measure their success. Dale Carnegie, Sandler Sales System and Business Networking International (BNI) can help your employees focus on your message. Tradeshow booth design should be treated like an internet landing page, it needs to encourage interaction with your people.

Each brand message needs a champion in the company. A person that is a leader in the industrial associations, contributor to professional publications and a mentor to new employees. Industrial marketing is unique in the high level of personal attention given each customer.

Industrial brands are about products and services. The engineers, technicians, assistants, administrators, safety personal, executives and salespersons play an important part in caring for the performance of the offering but cannot magically fix a technical problem. They can forsee problems, communicate with customers, juggle logistics and many things machines cannot. It's by understanding nature and politics that your industrial brand can successfully grow and evolve.

Industrial brand strategy starts with the company business strategy. It starts at the top. The reason the company exists and how it plans to continue to exist in the business climate. The brand strategy only communicates the company's offering to the customers, if the industrial brand has a personality; it's the personality of the stakeholders, the officers and the owner.

Industrial Marketing Brand Ad Gilman resized 600

Gilman produces some of the most accurate slides and spindles for creating machine tools. Every machinist in the plant contributes to that accuracy and everyone involved supports it.

A brand is something you will pay more for. No industrial brand is cheap.

Branding isn't asking, "What do you want to be known for?" It isn't in contrast to how you are perceived in the industry. Your equipment's quality, its durability, its resale value can't be changed by changing your message. If you have a serious problem with existing equipment in the field, you will have to fix that first before you worry about trying to distract the public. You can't do it. The machines aren't going away unless you buy them back. It won't be the first time.

Industrial Marketing Brand History resized 600

Your brand starts with your history. Everyone in your company needs to know it and know how it has evolved to serve your customer's needs. It's a wonderful story, a human-interest story; it's your story. The illustration above shows the 10-year history of the Missouri Gateway Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council Chapter.

Industrial Brand Marketing Cook resized 600

If you have a problem with your visual brand marketing communications, the first thing is to inventory your resources, determine the variations you will put up with and recycle the rest. Focus on correcting the most public marks first. Be careful to remember all those nameplates you have out there. The public expects and will embrace the evolution of a brand. Typically the time to do it is the same time major technological advances are transforming the industry. A secondary reason is change of ownership, like this Cook Screen ad. It was a nice touch that they offered a "new" guarantee for on-time shipment. A true brand promise being corrected.

799px Katana Masamune resized 600

Katana signed by Masamune with an inscription (城和泉守所持) in gold inlay, Kamakura period, 14th century, blade length: 70.6 cm, thanks to Wikipedia.

The worst case of branding hell comes from the purchase of many smaller companies, creating a much larger company that requires an appropriate global brand to compete. It will take ten years for you to slowly lessen the miscellaneous marks, nameplates, customer's memories and old phone numbers. In some cases you can't and shouldn't give up the legacy brand. Especially in the case of a famous, overwhelming market penetration. U.S. brands are now reaching their 200th Anniversary, at least we don't have the problem of thousand year brands like Japanese samurai swords but then again they correspond to a time when craftsman started signing their work. The beginning of industrial branding.


if you liked this blog post, you may also like "Manufacturing Industrial Brand Marketing, part 1."


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Trade Show Display Exhibit Booth Marketing Trends

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 @ 01:10 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Industrial Trade Show Displays, Trade Show Displays, Trade Show Exhibits, Trade Booths, Trade Exhibits

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Trade shows and conferences by industrial associations are the core of many industrial marketing communication programs.

If there is one thing a company focuses on yearly, it's their annual series of shows, the products they are introducing and the presentations they are delivering. Along with that come continuing education needs and certifications earned.

At the recent Precast Concrete Products Show in Indianapolis I made a survey of best practices as shown by current trade show exhibits. All of the exhibitors I spoke with had sent out invitations to the show. Last week I got a quote from an industry association publication to send postcards to their circulation living within 200 miles of the association's upcoming show. The pub's sales rep said that mailing postcards has been a successful promotional program for their exhibitors.

Years ago many trade show display exhibit booths were huge two-story affairs of custom cabinets. Construction, shipping, erection, teardown and storage fees were huge as well. Today, lightweight, modular exhibits are the rule. Even renting parts of an exhibit that are not used frequently, like small rooms and overhead banners is a more cost-effective approach.

Banner stands and branding300

One trade show display exhibit booth strategy, illustrated to the right, is to design your room and overhead structure to display your branding message and use portable, two-sided banner stands for person-sized product presentations around the booth. This allows your sales staff to quickly grab a banner stand that's appropriate for their audience and head out to a regional industry association chapter dinner program they are sponsoring.

It's always illuminating to visit a client's booth and catch the conversations. Every one is very educational and after the visitor has left you see the careful notation made about that customer and their interest. The lesson learned?  If a customer stops by to ask a simple technical question, you don't need the rep to make a sales call. It's that kind of attention to detail about your customers needs and wants that will never go out of style.

Give Away Promotional Items300

Give away promotional items "swag" are always popular, one client at the show was providing all the refreshment stands with their beverage cozys for the adult beverages served. Football was the theme here along with the garb of the sales staff. They all wore the jersey of their hometown team, perfect for the playoff weekend show, shown to the right.

Smart phone use at shows is as prevalent as anywhere and the Precast Show also had a great app to centralize your show experience. All manner of information was accessible from conferences, Twitter channel, local places, maps and even your own schedule. The Precast Show is pretty old school and there were only two exhibitors Tweeting from their booth, six others were Tweeting via their social media "gal" back home. I wish LinkedIn was more savvy about mobile media and then you could set up a group. But, I learned that there is some pushback on LinkedIn, once you're in there you can't get out, especially if your company set it up. The Content Marketing Institute recently reported the following percentages of social media adoption by B2B: Google+ (39 percent), LinkedIn (83 percent), Twitter and Facebook (80 percent) and YouTube (61 percent).

Lastly, remember followup is the most important thing about your sales leads. Evidence has shown that between five and eleven contacts will be needed to turn a lead into a sale. Like Google, visitors that attend a show are in the position to buy and they will buy in the near future. Those that followup will win.

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Chuck Lohre's AdVenture Presentation of examples and descriptions from Ed Lawler's book of the same title - 10 Rules On Creating Business-To-Business Ads

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