What Type of Trade Shows Displays Work Best

What Type of Trade Show Displays Work Best

Trade shows can serve to be dynamic environments that kick start the next wave of growth for your business or they can be a tedious waste of time and money. The key to success is largely in your preparation and presentation on the showroom floor – and that doesn’t happen by accident. Being properly equipped with the right materials and engaging display are critical to your success.

 

Start With An Eye-Catching Display

If you have ever attended a trade show or convention as a customer, you will quickly recognize that there is a lot of competition for your attention. The space can be crowded and noisy, and with a room full of marketers each vying for success, unless you are in the market for a specific product or service, it may be difficult for a vendor that you hadn’t considered to get your attention.

 

It’s important to think like a customer when you develop your trade show display. The banners or signage that you have to identify your business and get the show patrons to stop for even a moment to explore it in greater depth could be the one chance to you have to grab their attention and tell them more about you and what you do.

The cost and design of a standing display that spans the full width of your booth has evolved greatly over the past generation and now, with advances on printing and materials as well, there is no excuse not to show up with a full color display that includes striking imagery that is sure to capture the attention of even the most passive show patrons.

Your imagery should speak to your audience. If you are in the travel business, you might want to include an image which shows the view from a lawn chair on a tropical beach – both to draw upon the desires of people to travel, but also to create a stark contrast to the congestion and chaos of the trade show environment itself. This might prompt people to step into your booth as though they have found a temporary oasis in an otherwise hustle-and-bustle setting.

When considering your options for a display, consider how many members of your team will be involved with set up and tear down. Look for hardware that is lightweight, comes in a wheeled case, and is easy for one person to set up quickly and with minimal effort.

 

Practice Your Elevator Pitch

With so many sights and sounds to compete against, you may only have one chance to grab a patron’s attention. If you aren’t prepared to share your message quickly and concisely, you may lose out on the opportunity to close the deal and land a new client.  Give careful consideration to how you will represent your product in 30 seconds or less. That summary should let the customer know if they need more information, or if their time would be better spent elsewhere.

Yes, printed material and marketing brochures are great for the client to take away and keep you in mind, but they are only going to hold onto that paper if they have made a genuine connection with you at the event. Don’t lead with your “take away” content and district them from your message. Lead with your pitch first, then support your message with your hand out material.

 

Promotional Items

If you’ve spent any time at trade shows, you’ll recognize that there are some people who attend these events specifically to mine for the free prize draws and promotional items that are available for give away. While those types of event patrons may not be who you hope is picking up your products, the fact is that people love to get something for free and a branded promotional item can have a strong appeal to get people to your booth where you have the chance to engage them in greater detail.

While as a business owner, you may be considering the cost of your marketing material, so that you can purchase in mass volumes to reach a wider audience, it is important also to consider the originality and usefulness of the product. The relevance of the item to your business or to your clients is also important to consider. If you are a medical company that deals in supplies for those who are suffering from cancer, you may not want to put your logo on an ashtray.

In terms of usefulness, one product that may be sure to survive the event and make it back into the customer’s home is a canvas tote bag. In a trade show environment, patrons are picking up brochures, magazines, catalogs, promotional items from other vendors – by the time they get to you, they may simply have their hands full. A canvas bag is a thoughtful item that you can offer or patrons might seek out, referring others to you as they get overwhelmed with items as well.

Pens, refrigerator magnets and keychains are also popular as they are small, portable, easily carried or stashed in a pocket. But before you commit to these items, you may want to consider what other booths may have to offer. If you’re offering the same thing, or worse, a lesser quality item, you may not help your cause.

Other popular items now include mobile technology devices – computer memory sticks are popular as they allow you to brand a handy devices that many working people need readily at hand for personal and professional use. They are sure to hold onto this item and see it regularly. One of the added benefits of the memory stick strategy is that you can pre-load the device with material about your business – electronic versions of brochures, photographs, and more can be put into the user’s hands and viewed any time that they plug the device into a computer port.

 

Mobile tech has continued to change the promotional product market. Now, options like charge cords for phones or tablets, or other similar accessories are gaining increasing popularity as businesses look to be seen as relevant, current and hip to evolving trends.

 

Know Your Competition

For many trade shows, the vendors will be issued a layout of the floor space with a map identifying where their booth is located. For event organizers, this is intended to help with a more efficient move in and set up in advance of the show opening. However, if you only use this material to figure out your game plan for set up and teardown, you are missing an opportunity.

Take the time to see which businesses are going to be in neighboring booths, find out where your competitors are set up and consider your placement in your marketing strategy for the event. This may also help to inform what types of promotional products and materials you bring with you. This might also inspire how you decorate your booth to best set yourself apart from your neighbors, or draw upon shared demographics from the neighboring businesses displayed. If you are selling ATV’s and your neighbor is a camping retailer, there could be some mutually beneficial collaboration through advance coordination.

Create a “one stop shop” convenience to inspire more on floor sales.

 

Complacency is a Killer

Probably the most important thing you can bring to a trade show is your undivided attention for the patrons. Trade show traffic flows in waves and during the slow periods at any event, it can become easy to get distracted by your phone or tablet to check e-mails, scroll your social media feed, or respond to text messages.

While this may feel like being efficient as a multi-tasker, it conveys a complacent and dismissive attitude to passing clients, who may simply pass you by undetected. Find ways to remain engaged and attentive to the traffic on the trade floor and eliminate distractions. Should you find yourself in a position where may you have to manage business at your office remotely while representing your brand in your booth – schedule a partner to attend with you or to take over at key points throughout the day to give you an opportunity to refresh, tend to business, and reduce distraction from the task at hand.

 

Need Help Getting Started?

If you are just getting into the trade show game to market your business, getting started with the right resource materials and products can be quite overwhelming. At Laser Screen Printing we have worked with many business owners in your same predicament to create striking, visual displays and memorable promotional products to make your next trade show experience a success.

We welcome you to get in touch with us and share your challenges, ideas and needs to help us get you started on the path to success. Let’s get working on your jaw-dropping, customer-inspiring trade show package today.

Employees Appreciate Your Appreciation

Employees appreciate your appreciation

Employees are central to the success of any thriving company, either established or up and coming. Showing employees appreciation ensures that they will not only work hard and with pride but will help to create a close knit yet welcoming community within that workplace. An employee expects to receive a paycheck so give your employees an added perk to the job where they work their day away. Show the people that embody your company that you appreciate them, have faith in their ability to represent your brand, while also promoting your business. All the actions above are achievable through the use of embroidered products and other promotional items as incentivized gifts, a reward for reaching a significant milestone, or just some added thanks for a job well done. The product, given as a gift to an employee, still promotes the company brand similar to product placement in a film. The consumer sees an employee using an item which then becomes the starting point in a conversation about work. The fact that the company whose brand is on the product rewards their employees helps to solidify a real and lasting understanding of the way the business in question operates behind the scenes. The outside perception is now complimentary meaning the positive reinforcement of work-ethic is now concrete and right in front of both employee and client becoming a powerful tool in gaining positive recognition for the company.

 

Recognition with reward

Everyone enjoys recognition for hard work. A pat on the back is not always enough so show your employees that you are willing to go above and beyond when it comes to your appreciation and give a quality gift. The more frequently an employee receives this positive response leads to higher job satisfaction resulting in many other productive actions and reactions. It is not practical or even possible to give a raise or extra vacation days once a week or daily, so an employer branded product is another effective way to recognize hard work and give an employee the reward a company wants them to have with more regularity. Employees will see the item that they receive as an example of an employer’s faith in them. People wear uniforms to connect one person to a team or visible unit showing clients, prospective and current, that both employer and employee respect the relationship. Your employees will wear or use this gift as and it will also act as a connection to your company.  The first time the public sees a brand, in any form, matters as it places a certain manner of thinking on all future business interactions. This gift ensures that the good will that you give it with is then relayed through the employee’s willingness to represent your brand with pride.

 

Embroider your gratitude, print your praise

A company, just like a new book, is always judged by its cover, in other words, a consumer’s first impression is important and will stick with them when dealing with a company. Well-treated employees provide positive first impressions through their daily business interactions as well as within their personal life. People create an extraordinary reputation for an establishment with excellent work ethic yet also through the spoken and unspoken pride they have regarding their employer.

Embroidered and promotional products as an employee incentive is a perk that is extra to or beyond the employee’s earnings. The employee sees this bonus as an unnecessary yet welcome addition to their wages. The various promotional items represent the employee’s hard work and provide them with a physical and possibly personalized product to use with pride. The success of the product as a promotional tool relies on how practical the product is within everyday life. Your company’s specific needs will decide which product or products will quickly reach your audience, and there are many to consider. Choosing an item that is catered to a person’s interests and made with quality ensures the receiver knows they are important. An article of clothing or a blanket can reach a more generalized audience while another person may enjoy an item useful or even central to an individual hobby. Stylize and accent a rain jacket, which, would come in handy with Alberta’s recent rainy weather, with your company specific content adding a finishing touch to quality merchandise. The eye-catching embroidery creates an attractive and intricate personalization that is a pleasure for an employee to wear and that your prospective clients will admire. A logo, text, or another type of image relating to your company are unique, texturized representations of your business’s dedication to your clientele and to the people that represent your expertise within your scope of work.

 

Show how important your brand is to you

Linking your name to quality promotional products shows customers that your brand is important to you and that it should also be important to them. The external presentation of a company taps into the subconscious of any person the business as a whole or an employee interacts with in personal or professional life. These interactions can be as simple as a person telling another they enjoy their work environment or wearing a hat that a passerby decides to read. The products that represent your business are your packaging. Each article of clothing, every piece of promotional product that bares your name is under judgment as soon as someone uses or even sees the product. Your clientele will connect your name with quality. The interaction that people have with these products need to leave a lasting and positive impression. Your benefit doubles when you reward employees with your carefully selected promotional products. You help to increase employee job satisfaction while also further advertising your brand touching more prospects within and outside of your current clientele.

 

No risk just the perfect reward

We look forward to finding the ideal reward for each of your hardworking employees. The standards that create the foundation of your company are important, and your interaction with the public should reflect these standards. Use the perfect piece of promotional gear to show everyone what makes your business noteworthy.

We invite you to join us at our store, call in to speak with our knowledgeable staff, or peruse our online catalogs to find the items that best suit you. You deserve a good first impression, and we aim to provide you with useful options that your employees will be excited to earn.

The Benefits of Promotional and Branded Products

The Benefits of Promotional and Branded Products

 

If you’re in business, one thing that you quickly discover about your marketing strategy is that you will run out of money long before you run out of creative ideas. Just log onto the internet and you’ll see that there are literally thousands of experts out there each trying to sell the guaranteed sales conversion strategy. The truth is, that the solution you need to grow your business is not complicated, it’s not exclusive to those who subscribe to the latest trends in sales and marketing. It’s as simple as understanding your own product and building relationships with your clientele through the development of branded promotional products.

 

There are many reasons why countless businesses and brands rely on branded promotional products as a staple of their marketing strategy. If you’re currently considering what your next steps are for your marketing strategy, this may be something that you look to introduce or continue to develop as you build your brand.

 

An alternative to business cards

If you’ve ever attended a large trade show or conference, the stack of business cards that end up in your pocket by the end of the event can be overwhelming. If you don’t follow up on a lead that you generated within the first 48 hours, as time passes, you may simply find that all names and faces begin to blend together from the experience. Many business owners look to their pocket-sized promotional products as an alternative to the business card which is sure to grab attention and create a more lasting impression.

 

In some cases, entrepreneurs are looking at a reinvention of their business card itself to ensure that it stands out from the pack. Instead of the traditional white card stock, one might consider using a translucent material, or crafting a card with a different shape (but still able to fit in a standard business card portfolio). Locksmiths may have a card fashioned in the shape of a key or homebuilders might create a miniature foldout home. The possibilities continue to evolve and that expands your opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

 

You are one-of-a-kind

Think about your business card as a sample of your product or as a representation of your brand. Suddenly a number of possibilities begin to take shape. With the wide variety of products from the traditional pens, pencils, key chains and refrigerator magnets to customized portable computer drives or other commonly needed devices as part of daily life, you can engage your audience and set yourself apart from your competitors. The promotional items itself can become an ice breaker that starts the conversation that changes the future of your business.

 

If the nature of your business is an emergency service like a plumber, electrician or air conditioning repair – consider how handy you want your number to be when it’s needed. If it’s likely that customers will be calling from home what products might they keep handy near their telephone or, in the case of a growing number of folks who have discarded their reliance on a landline, the place where they commonly recharge their mobile devices? If you are a company that provides roadside assistance, you’re probably best to go with a product that customers are more likely to keep in their car.

 

Beyond the first impression

It’s true what they say that you never have a second chance to make a first impression, but after you have wowed your potential new client with your professionalism, dress, deportment and communicated expertise in your field, a clever promotional product continues to represent your brand with a professional image and it conveys that you have confidence in what you’re selling. This helps to improve the customer’s opinion of your product. And after all, who doesn’t like getting a free gift?

 

When selecting a promotional item to sport your brand, you should remember that value to the customer is the key to success. It may not be the most inexpensive item mass produced in the greatest volume that ensures your connection to your clientele. Consider the quality, usefulness, and value of your promotional item in the hands of the customer. That is the representation of your value you want to convey should they do business with you.

 

Customizable by campaign or event

If you’ve already been using promotional products and have experienced success, one of the hardest decisions to make is whether to keep producing the items that have been most popular or to innovate and change your promotional item. If you have created an iconic representation of your product that has proven to be popular, you may want to continue with that item, but also consider what happens when you attend the same trade show or conference a year later. Will you have potential clients pass you by because they see the same material and products at your booth and feel that there’s no need to renew the conversation?

 

Promotional products can be developed for brand representation generally or can be created in smaller quantities for a specific campaign or event with a particular audience in mind. In this manner, branded promotional products become one of the most versatile tools in your marketing kit. Depending on your campaign or focus of your marketing at that time, you may want to consider your target audience – products that appeal to the baby boomers may not inspire the imagination of millennials. If your product is gender-specific, your promotional material and give away items should have a similar appeal.

 

Increased brand exposure

What businesses are discovering is that promotional products have a much longer life expectancy in a client’s hands that a traditional business card, brochure or flyer. While your printed material may be relevant for the next presentation to an administrative team, chances are likely that your printed material may barely make it out of the venue where the event is being held. Promotional products have been proven to be retained for a much longer period, ensuring repeated passive exposure to your name and your brand both at home and at the office. Cleverly developed promotional items can become conversation pieces that allow your clients to become brand ambassadors for your company.

 

Wil your promotional item be something that a client wants to keep on their desk or in view in their office? Is it likely that they might share it or hand it off to a friend to spread the word about you? These are all things to keep in mind before you make your investment.

 

Cost effective coverage for mass outreach

If you consider the cost per impression for print or broadcast advertising, you may be convinced that your options for marketing to the masses are quite limited. If you do find budget dollars to spend in this area, you may be discouraged to learn that the key to successful campaigns through either of these mediums is repetition. The shelf life of a single ad in a local newspaper could be as little as a single day. Did you catch all of the customers you intended through that format? Were they all paying attention? Alternatively, promotional products offer a lower cost per impression and have a longer exposure with your audience than most other advertising channels you can utilize.

 

In Edmonton and area, Laser Screen Printing and Embroidery has been helping businesses, sports teams and non-profit organizations to create a higher profile and elevate their brand through promotional products. There are several reasons why this continues to be one of the most popular marketing strategies out there, even in the face of emerging and changing technology and online channels to connect with people.

 

If you have questions about the use of branded promotional items as part of your marketing strategy, we welcome the opportunity to learn more about your business, your target market and how we might best help you. From information on the latest trends and popular items to identifying opportunities to carve your own trail with an original innovation, we can help you to bring your vision to life.

 

Is Your Marketing Plan Scoring a Hole in One?

Regardless of the size of your business, you can expect that you will be approached by local organizations to sponsor community events, fundraisers and other special initiatives.  Many merchants embrace the opportunity to connect with the community as an opportunity to generate publicity for your business but also as a forum to develop rapport and goodwill with your target clientele.

 

Often, the greatest platform for business is not a cash donation, which might secure you a live mention or printed recognition in the event program.  Instead, when you have the opportunity to offer a donation “in kind” you have an opportunity to best maximize your visibility to that new audience but also give them a sample of your wares which may serve to improve your odds of seeing a return on that marketing spend.

 

As the temperatures start to climb and Albertans itch to get outdoors, golf tournaments are often a great venue for you to ensure that your brand is seen by both participants as well as event organizers.  If you are in a business that offers services or products that may be attractive to that clientele, sponsoring a local tournament with an in kind donation could put your product line in front of a whole new demographic, one that understands the importance of quality and the prestige of being ahead of the pack.

 

If your marketing plan is considering sponsorship of your local golf tournament, here are some strategies to keep in mind:

Consider products that are not disposable

While it would seem that golf balls bearing your brand are an obvious choice, consider your own participation on the local links.  How many times have you lost a ball in the rough or on a water hazard?  Has the value of that ball inspired you to seek it out rather than replace it?  Though golf balls are an implement used by golfers, their value as currency is very low.  How much value is your logo to your clientele if it’s sitting in the bottom of a watery ditch?  The same applies for tees or the short pencils kept at each hole to keep score.  Instead consider products that are likely to be retained and valued by those lucky enough to get their hands on them.

 

Be Mindful of the Quality

The greatest advantage that merchants have by pursuing an in-kind donation instead of a cash sponsorship is that it allows them to offer a sample of their wares.  When you put a product bearing your logo into someone’s hands, you want them to take note of the quality and not to discard it before packing their golf bag into their vehicle and heading home.  If a player has had a good day on the course, a prize donation of logo’ed glassware might serve as both a great reminder and conversation starter as that participant relives the story at social gatherings for years to come, forever attaching your brand to that fond tale.  For the lucky recipient, both the quality product as well as the treasured memory become entwined.

 

Set Yourself Apart from the Pack

If you have ever been to a local tournament for fundraiser where local merchants have donated items for prizes or a silent auction, have you ever found yourself rather dis-satisfied with the slate of items that is up for grabs?  Consider not only what products will make people readily think of your business and brand, but what they aren’t seeing from other vendors.  If they are not already familiar with your brand, they may not wear a ball cap or golf shirt with your logo embroidered on it.  Be creative with your selections.  With the growing number of products and novelties available, you don’t have the break the bank to stand out from the crowd, you just need a little imagination.  At Laser Screen Printing and Embroidery, we can help to introduce you to some innovative product lines that will set you apart from the crowd.

 

Your product choice is intended to build relationships

While many merchants may be hesitant to become a visible sponsor for local events as it opens the door to an endless parade of requests from other events, projects and causes, it is important to remember why you are putting your name out there in the first place.  You are attaching your name and your brand to events and building a rapport with event organizers that encourages them to keep you in mind and to reach out to you.  A successful sponsorship should see those organizations encouraging their patrons to support the sponsors that are responsible for the successful events, and under the best circumstances should inspire those organizers to become familiar faces in your business to ensure that they can call upon your support next time.

 

By reaching out the first time as a gesture of goodwill, you invite the host organization to do the same.  Look at many of the successful annual events around Edmonton and take note of some of the ongoing sponsorships that come from small business.  That shows you that the exchange of support has successfully fostered that relationship over time.  It is important to remember that in the sponsorship game, it is often hard to directly calculate the return on investment in dollars over a single year, relationships take time the grow.

 

How Do You Get Started?

If you have been considering sponsorship as part of your marketing strategy but aren’t sure where to start, that’s where we can help.  As Edmonton’s leading provider of promotional products and branded apparel and specialty ware, Laser Screen Printing and Embroidery can help you to customize a marketing product line that won’t break the bank, but will create value for your investment.

 

We encourage you to browse our website, give us a call or drop by to see our showroom to find the ideas that will help you expand your business profile this year.  Our team has worked with many business owners just like you to identify the products and ideas that will elevate your visibility in the Edmonton market, without breaking the bank.  Let’s get started.

Building Brand Awareness with Custom Products

Building Brand Awareness with Promotional Products

 

Let’s face it, in a city of over 800,000 like Edmonton, building brand awareness to become a household name to the customers that mean the most to you can feel like a formidable challenge.  There is a lot of competition within your industry, but there is also a pull on consumer attention from a variety of other influences as well.  Promotional products can be used as an effective means to reach your audience in an impactful way that will create a connection and start to establish your brand presence in the market.

When you consider your investment in promotional products that will have the desired result, here are some of the criteria to consider:


Advertising current services.

There are thousands of promotional merchandise items available on the market, but consider which ones best associate to the current line of products and services that you offer.  If you are a firm that promotes healthy lifestyle choices, probably your message isn’t best conveyed on a logo’ed ashtray.  What is it that you do and who are your primary customers? Those two questions might help you to identify a promotional item that best aligns with your brand to ensure rapid association.

 

Marketing a new service or product

The expansion of your business to present new products and services to your clientele presents a great opportunity to develop a promotional products.  Issued in step with the launch of your marketing strategy, these products serve to create an immediate awareness of something that you hope to become known for.  Especially if you have established your business in the community and are well known for a specific type of service, putting a product in a client’s hand expresses a personalized invitation to give you a try in your new business line.

 

Remind Customers of What You Do

One of the worst mistakes that someone can make in business is to get comfortable with the notion that previous marketing efforts have ensured that “everyone knows us already”.  Marketing is an ongoing function in business, so from time to time, it may make sense to simply remind people about what it is that you do.  A promotional item that draws that ready association to your business and your brand is a worthwhile investment.

 

Build your reputation in the community

It could be that your promotional item is an in-kind sponsorship to another community cause or organization that residents are passionate about.  Maybe as a sponsor for the local minor sports team, your logo appears on the magnet listing the season’s schedule.  While only indirectly promoting your own business, you are establishing a connection with an activity that their family is involved with/may be passionate about.  It helps to establish goodwill and trust in your community.

 

Your employees become ambassadors for your brand

Used in the course of routine business and to establish good will with your potential client base as well as to reward your existing clientele, your employees can feel more empowered to represent the brand by giving away these promotional items.  The more voices carrying your message within your market the better.

 

Ready to get started?  Are you looking for ideas?

Whether you have a specific promotion in mind or are curious about what products are available that can help you meet the objectives outlined in this article, we invite you to drop in and see us for your greatest selection of promotional products in Edmonton.  Call us, reach us by e-mail or come visit us in our showroom to develop promotional products that will create a measurable result for your brand awareness in the city and wider trade area.

Get Creative With Your Business Cards

Get Creative with Your Business Cards

Standard doesn’t have to mean boring.  That is especially true when you start to design your business card.  For decades, even in the face of many changes in business technologies and processes, the business card continues to be a staple of communication among professionals to exchange contact information.  But just because the avenue of communication has been pre-determined, that doesn’t mean that you’re limited to doing the exact same thing as your competition.  Your card can be as individual as you are to set you apart from the deck.

 

Consider Your Colors

When you think business cards, what commonly comes to mind as a white cardboard rectangle with black text and maybe a splash of color via a logo emblazoned on the top corner.  Several years ago, this may have been simply a matter of economy – as full color gloss printing was a much more expensive option to pursue.  Now, with the evolution of printing and the accessibility of color, you have a full slate of options to ensure that your card doesn’t get shuffled into a pile that includes your competitors.  Consider colors.

 

Color has been find to inspire emotion in the viewer.  You can use this to your business advantage to help generate a connection with your new contact through your card alone.  Consider these colors and how they are used by popular brands that you know:

  • Red declares excitement.  It is considered youthful and bold
  • Orange is friendly, cheerful and confident
  • Yellow communicates optimism, warmth and clarity
  • Green is peaceful and is associated with growth and health
  • Blue communicates strength, trust and dependability
  • Purple is used to convey creativity, imagination and wisdom
  • Gray is considered a neutral color but is used to communicate balance and calm

 

Pictures are Powerful

The philosophy that a picture is worth a thousand words is especially true when you are thinking about business cards.  You have limited space to communicate your message, so when you can include a head shot, to attach your face to your name, or use the flipside of your card to simply display a photograph that sells your product or service, imagery can be a very powerful component to ensure that you remain atop your client’s mind.

 

Consider more “active” designs

Start with a blank card and look at it to identify how you could bring the card itself to life.  Maybe additional flaps that fold over one another to create a 3D representation of your products and services could be the eye catcher.  A relator or architect might consider small fold over walls that turn your business card into a miniature show home.  This type of innovation brings your card to life.

Maybe the inclusion of a QR code which can be scanned by a smart phone and direct customers to a website or a video about you and your business can give your card more power to promote what you have to offer.

Consider that while you should be mindful that cards larger than a standard size might be problematic for a customer or colleague who files their cards in a business card portfolio, that doesn’t mean you are restricted to cards of the same shape or that will fill the entire frame.  If you own a pizzeria, maybe your business card is shaped like a slice of pie.  Photographers might include their message on a transparent panel in the center of the card which projects with light onto a wall.  There are many creative approaches to business cards out there that are changing the way we look at the standard tools of communication for business.
In Edmonton, business cards are a focus of the work that we do at Laser Screen Printing and Mero Sportswear.  We welcome the opportunity to discuss your ideas and to share from our portfolio of completed work to help you develop a one-of-a-kind format that is sure to turn heads.  Give us a call, drop us an e-mail or visit us in the showroom to get started on developing a business card that belongs at the top of the deck.

On the go Promotional Products

Branded Products Make Both Dollars and Sense

Promotional Products Make Both Dollars and Sense

When you are looking for an effective vehicle to help promote your brand without breaking the bank, the first option to consider should be promotional products.  With a wide variety of products from the practical devices that will be used in the home or office every day to the unique conversation starter that creates an immediate association with your business, promotional products offer a slate of options that are as individual as your own tastes.  Here are some great reasons you should be thinking about including promotional products in your marketing strategy:

Your customers and employees become brand ambassadors

Let’s face it, as active as you are in promoting your business in person and through all of your marketing channels, you can’t be everywhere.  Word of mouth can be a powerful tool, so putting a clever item in the hands of your satisfied customers can lead to them talking about their experience with others and driving more traffic through your door.  Additionally, encouraging your staff to freely distribute items over the counter when potential customers come into your store, even if they are just browsing, will help to create a favorable first impression and probably a second visit to make a purchase.

Your brand name and phone number are now readily at hand.

One of the biggest challenges that any business has is ensuring that their message is hitting home with their customers.  Will they retain that flyer they received in their mail box?  Will they remember the ad they heard on the radio while driving to write down the info when they next stop?  Everyone loves a free gift and a promotional product is more likely to be in the home where it is seen every day, perhaps even on a product that gets used by everyone in the home on a regular basis.

Promotional items keep you top of mind and can be a great conversation starter

Consider the impact when colleagues are talking about their collective successes over the past year and are mentoring others to achieve the same success.  Those professionals that have used your services can readily point to your business as a provider they have had success with in the past.  The right item, placed on a desk top can be a curiosity that begs further explanation or discussion and before you know it, your business is on the tongues of a room full of business people that may be in the market for your services.

Look around your own home.  What do you see?

If you’re still not convinced of the power that promotional products have to find themselves into the homes and offices, take stock of the products that are in your own home.  Maybe you have a wall calendar from the local insurance agency or financial institution, perhaps a local plumber is affixed as a magnet on your refrigerator.  Whose pen do you have in your desk drawer?  Chances are a quick search around your own home or office will reveal dozens of businesses and brands that you didn’t realize.

Let’s continue the conversation.  Visit us at Mero Sportswear at 5615 – 94A Street Northwest in Edmonton, or check us out online at merosportswear.com  We can help you expand the reach of your brand with a selection of popular promotional products and handy devices that will get people talking.

Making a Brand Association with Business Products

Making a Brand Association with Promotional Products

You want your customers to think fondly of their interaction with you and the quality of both the products and services that you have provided them.  How will you maintain that relationship?  You’re certainly not going to call up those customers on a weekly basis and shoot the breeze.  What if there was a way to ensure that they were regularly reminded of you and in a manner that allowed them to share their positive experience with others?

The ability to do that is within your reach when you incorporate the use of promotional products into your marketing strategy.  With the wide variety of items that are available, you can even customize what you have to offer to set yourself apart from the pack and reinforce your brand at the same time.

Think about your core business

What is it that your company provides?  Do you provide personal or business solutions for people on the go?  Then think about what other needs that travelers might have that allow you to further become a part of their daily lives.  For the busy traveler or commuter, a travel mug or water bottle might be an essential piece of their everyday equipment.  You could further expand upon your rapport with that customer by issuing a branded drink container that they will see and use every day.

The same principle can apply to any business.  If you are in the business of outdoor leisure – perhaps as a camping outfitter, a recreation vehicle dealership or even a manufacturer of back yard fire pits, a great item to add value to your customers might include a durable camp chair with your logo to demonstrate the complete package of services that are offered by your firm for those who actively enjoy the outdoors.  Your logo and name on the back of the chair or arm rest becomes a conversation starter and an indirect referral to others to explore how you stand out from your competitors.

What do you know about your customers?

Besides patronizing your business, what other common traits do your customers have that might create an idea for a valuable promotional product that would be appreciated by as wide an audience as possible?

For students or working professionals, a portable memory stick or an external hard drive might be an essential piece of kit that they use every single day.  To attach your name to the work files and personal data that they hold most dear might ensure that you are putting your brand in front of their eyes daily.

How do customers typically connect with you?

Don’t forget that while you are issuing a promotional product to a customer that knows about you, as they spread the word directly or indirectly, they are going to cross paths with customers that you haven’t met yet.  When customizing your promotional products, be sure to include the main methods of contact.  That might be a phone number, your business address, a website address, or information on your social media page for them to seek out for further information.  What’s the point of putting your name out there if you aren’t helping people to easily get in touch?

 

We can help you create a strong brand presence with your present and future customers through promotional products.  Visit us at Mero Sportswear at 5615 – 94A Street Northwest in Edmonton, or check us out online at merosportswear.com.

Let’s Make Your Business Card Unforgettable

In business, the standard currency for communication in most professional and social settings is still considered to be the classic business card. Even in the modern era of technology where we can reach out to our contacts electronically, the exchange of business cards is still recognized as a required gesture to build rapport when we first meet new clients and contacts in the workplace or at a trade show.

But, if you have ever attended a large conference or trade show where you made dozens of contacts with new people, what you may find is that the stack of business cards you have collected starts to become an indistinguishable pile of names, phone numbers and contact information that all seem to blend together.

Through the exchange of a simple business card, what can you do to ensure that you will stand out from your competitors when they take your card? Is there anything you can do to elevate your first impression from the very issue of that item of social currency? Here are five clever hints to ensure you leave a lasting impression.

Remember you’re working with a visual medium

Yes, you will pay more to be a little artistic with your card, but this is an investment that will pay off if you are strategic.  Look at the business cards that have been handed to you during your career. Which ones stand out the most? Consider the use of bold colors, images, and create a card that grabs the reader’s attention. Steer clear of the boring white background and black font and incorporate your brand and logo. A double sided card allows you to present a stronger visceral image on the front and dedicate the reverse side for your name and contact information.

Photography

Remember the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words? Re-enforce the interaction that you have with your contacts by putting your own headshot on your business card. This can help the visual learners among your new contacts to more readily remember where and when they met you when you follow up at a later date. You see this commonly with realtors and financial advisors as putting your face out there to the public helps to build credibility and trust with your clientele.

Preview your specialty/philosophy

Do you have a unique approach to your trade that resonates with your current clients? Don’t be afraid to be bold and include that vision as part of your card perhaps as a brand image, or included as a thought or text bubble on the front of your card accompanying your photo. What do you represent in your industry? Why should clients put their faith in you? Include that verbiage on your card and it can be a very powerful draw for the people that you meet who share your values and vision.

Think beyond the 2×3

In a world that is saturated with millions of standard two inch x three inch business cards, don’t find yourself in a position where you feel that you need to fill in the blanks on that traditional rectangle.  Take the opportunity to experiment with other shapes even a subtle change can mean the difference from someone accepting your card and jamming it into their pocket without looking at it or taking a moment to focus on what you have just presented.

Why can’t your card be in the shape of a square or an oval if that better communicates how you’re different from your competitors in the field? You may want to consider that someone who maintains a large directory of business card contacts will want to slot this into a standard business card rolodex or binder so if you can still accommodate the slot for the cards that others are issuing, that may have the best chance of being retained over the long term.

Consider your industry

Ultimately, the look and feel of your card may come down to the type of industry that you’re in. A As part of a larger corporate environment, the brand standards may already be established that allows for very little flexibility. A However, as an entrepreneur, or as the brand manager for your firm tasked with finding new ways to creatively engage the market, your field may influence the design of your business card. A trucking industry business card might be a fold over card that includes the look and shape of a truck in your fleet, a greenhouse might offer a card that doubles as a sample pouch for seeds as a gift to new contacts, or in the hospitality industry promoting your night club or restaurant, you might consider a business card that bears the appearance and shape of a coaster. A There is literally no limit to the creative direction that business owners are taking with their cards from photographers that have developed a transparent card that appears like the view through a camera lens, or a home builder that has brought their brand to life with the silhouette of a home as a fold over format, showing the yellow glow of the flipside of the card through the windows.

We have just what you’re looking for

At Laser Screen Printing and Embroidery we have helped individuals and companies to create the unique look they are looking for in Edmonton with their business cards. A Working with a wide variety of top suppliers across the country, we can find the products that will meet your expectations while observing your available budget. A Give us a call or drop in to see us in person and let’s explore what’s happening in your industry and how we can contribute to helping you deliver a dynamic first impression that is sure to be remembered. A From concept through to the printing and delivery of a stunning card right to your hand, we guarantee that you’ll be excited to get out in front of new clients and put your card in their hand. A Call us today.

Stand Out From the Crowd At Your Next Trade Show

A trade show can be one of the most dynamic and exciting environments to showcase your business.  The energy is electric and the pulse of the event beats at a high tempo, but it is easy to get lost in the shuffle if you don’t arrive prepared and ready to introduce your brand and product to hundreds or thousands of new potential customers.  Among a field of your competitors, how can you be sure to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate a measurable return on your investment for participation?  We find that many of our clients getting ready for their first Edmonton trade show or for their first foray outside of the city have questions about how they can maximize their investment of time and money at trade shows.

Here’s some of the best advice that we can suggest:

Make a Game Plan Before The Show

Participation in a trade show shouldn’t be an expense on your ledger that you simply have to write off as a marketing expense.  Just like any other day in the office, taking your business on the road to a trade show should represent opportunities for you to make at least as much in sales as you would be not having visibility on site.  If not, it may not be worth your investment of both time and money.  While show promoters won’t guarantee the volume of sales that you can secure as part of their show, advancing your business requires more than just the exposure that these events can offer.

In advance of the event, market your involvement to your customers and your following on social media.  You may also want to send out an e-mail to some of your key contacts to make them aware that you will be one of the exhibitors on site.  This provides a great opportunity for you to promote an exclusive promotion that will be available only at the show to inspire interest for people to attend and connect with you.  Get creative – maybe you want to offer a bonus promotion to existing clients as well as something introductory for new customers that are finding out about you for the first time.

You should also take time to educate yourself about which of your own direct competitors are planning to attend.  This will help you to consider how you might set up your booth to differentiate yourself from those companies and avoid a duplication of similar engagement activities that those marketers might employ.  Additionally, make plans for who you will connect with at the show to expand your network, source new suppliers or promote your services to other merchants that may be in the market for your product or service.  Growing your business is about more than just the engagement with customers who will be touring the show floor.  Approach the event as an opportunity to meet and network with professionals from a variety of fields.  You never know what conversation might inspire some new ideas for the growth of your company.

Your planning should include preparation to sell.  Bring all the tools that you need to conduct business and convert interest into sales from the trade floor.  Innovations such as Square which allow for credit card payment processing directly through a mobile phone has been a great resource for merchants who take their product to the market on the road.  But also consider pens, receipts, order forms and quote documents that you use most commonly to conduct business.  Don’t lose sales by showing up unprepared to meet the needs of your potential customers.  That includes having a sufficient inventory on hand of some of your popular products so you can capitalize on impulse buys on the show floor.  Trade shows do create a sense of urgency for buyers, but if you don’t appear to be prepared to meet their needs, you may not get a second chance to make the sale.

If you plan to use technology at the event such as running audio or video, you may want to ensure that your booth has that capability and that you will be situated nearby an electrical outlet as required.  You may also wish to keep your mobile device charged up if you are using it to process credit card payments or using it to scroll through your website or other online resource for engaged buyers.  You might also choose to post regular updates, photos, videos to your social media page to promote your attendance at the event and share highlights with your network.

First Impressions Are Key

The activity on the trade show floor can create a bit of a sensory overload for patrons.  Every ten feet is another exhibitor that has paid a significant sum for the opportunity to get in front of those attendees with hopes of selling their wares.  You can give yourself a strong start by ensuring that your displays, backdrops and banners are bright and eye catching.  Invest in a professional design that you can use to your advantage in any environment.  Remember, that the point is to create brand awareness, so your name, logo, and slogan should be prominently featured in a manner that doesn’t get lost in the mix.

When trying to capture the attention of new customers that are not familiar with your brand or your product, this is not the time to be humble and modest.  Instead, make sure that your booth design includes mentions of anywhere that you have received media attention.  A notation of “As Seen On …” can lend to your credibility with your customers instantly and increase curiosity from people who want to find out why you have this momentum behind your business.

Create a lively environment in your booth.  Consider that a booth with the table across the front and someone seated behind may not convey the most welcoming message.  A small change such as running your table along the edge of your booth with all of your sample products and literature, allowing your booth staff to stand and engage people at their eye level without any barriers will be more inviting.  Assign your most enthusiastic, outgoing and approachable staff for the event and make sure that they are wearing your brand logo to represent the investment in your brand and the professionalism of your team.  Your booth can set itself apart from neighboring displays by communicating fun.  Maybe even incorporate music as a sound track to your day, which can attract attention and also help to stave off complacency among your staff who are committed to long hours in a single position.