I ❤ Heart Shapes

Heart Pedometer

Next month’s Hallmark Holiday promotes an icon that we see throughout the year. Hospitals, Wellness Programs and Organizations who Care use this most recognizable symbol to promote their cause.

The first thought in promoting these organizations is to look for Heart-Shaped Products that can be imprinted with their logo, and we have plenty of said products to choose from in our catalog. At last count there were 1820 Heart-Shaped products to be exact.

Heart Shaped Products are probably the most requested shape that we get throughout the year because it’s so very effective. A Heart-Shaped anything with your logo on it says a lot without adding a lot of copy to read.

Heart-Shaped Stress Balls, Pill Boxes, Pedometers and Heart-Shaped Notebooks drive the point home every time your customer sees it or, better yet, holds it in their hand.

Embrace the Heart-Shapes. Connect with your customer’s emotions. Let them know you care.

And don’t forget to stop by your Hallmark Store on the way home tonight to get a jump on the crowds that appear at 4PM on February 14th every year.

www.markit4events.com

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Do Your Business Cards Measure Up?

Measuring Tape

This little seemingly insignificant 2″ x 3 1/2″ piece of paper can be the difference between a follow up or no follow up after a networking event like a Trade Show, or Conference.

There are really only 2 purposes for your business card, Establish your Brand and provide your Contact Information.

Here are some tips about what NOT to do with your card.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

Font Frustration

Don’t make your font too small. Avoid light colors and distracting elements.

Your name, company and relevant contact information should be easy to read at arm’s length. Don’t make me get my readers out. It makes us both look bad.

Icon Overkill

Only include social icons if it is important to your company.

If you haven’t secured your vanity URL ( ie: www.Facebook.com/MarkitMotion ) then a Facebook icon is unhelpful. Facebook thanks you for the advertising though. You must list the full URL if you can’t be found by name.

Unless you have a purpose for showcasing your social presence, leave it off your card. If you don’t manage your social sites, it’s like inviting someone to your house when you’re out of town.

Information Overload

Your Business Card is not a brochure. Decide what’s important first, before you design it.

  • Do you need your address if no one ever comes to your business?
  • Do you use a fax anymore?

Inconsistent Branding

Is your logo the same as on your website or store front? Policing your brand is crucial to building trust. Be sure your logo is consistent and clear.

Don’t forget about the back of your card. This is a great place to share your brand message or logo. Reinforce a promise or give directions.

                   www.markit4events.com

No Holidays, No Weekends…No Way!

Calendar-Die-Cut-Houses-Calendar

Throughout history we’ve relied on our calendars to track and plan events. Without them we wouldn’t have weekends or Holidays. 45 BC was called “The year of confusion” because Julius Caesar added 80 days to the year to synchronize it with the solar year.

Our Western calendar has deep roots in the Roman calendar, so it’s no wonder the months come from Roman words. It gets confusing at the end because many of the later months are just numbers, but they are wrong according to our current calendar. The Roman Calendar started in March. It wasn’t until Julius Caesar named January as the first month of the year that we had 12 months as we know it now.

What’s in a name? Do you know the origin of the months of the year?

JanuaryJanus the Roman God of beginnings and endings

FebruaryFebrua a Roman festival of Purification

MarchMars the Roman God of war

AprilAphrodite the Greek Goddess of love

MayMaia the Italic Goddess of Spring

JuneJuno the Goddess of Marriage

JulyJulius Caesar named the month after himself

AugustAugustus Caesar also named a month after himself

September – Latin Septem “seven”

October – Latin Octo “eight”

November – Latin Novem “nine”

December – Latin Decem “ten”

Wall calendars, desk calendars, pocket calendars and journals are welcomed by all, rarely tossed in the recycling and looked at multiple times per day. Calendars are excellent for getting your brand in the hands of customers and prospects.

According to a 2018 study by the Advertising Specialty Institute, 64% of people in the workplace own a promotional calendar and they view it 850 times a year. A $3 investment in a calendar will cost only $0.003 per impression. Very Impressive!

Get your company name on one and they won’t forget you for an entire year.

8 Steps to Trade Show Exhibitor Success

Whether you’re a first time exhibitor, or a seasoned professional attending multiple trade shows every year, the experience can be both fun and exhausting. Attracting attendees to your booth, then sorting out the qualified prospects will ‘make or break’ the experience.

You’re making a significant investment in being a trade show exhibitor so be sure you manage the process effectively after the event. Even the best looking booth won’t bring in business unless you follow through and take action on the connections you make.

8 Steps to Trade Show Exhibitor Success

1) Pre-Show Marketing

Let the attendees know you’re there and where to find you. Obtain a list of the attendees weeks before the show from the trade show facilitator so you can communicate with them before they arrive. Some effective methods of reaching attendees are email, direct mail, social media, and mentions on your website.

2) Set Goals

First you have to understand why you’re exhibiting. Most will say ‘to get sales’ but you need a more defined goal to make the goal actionable. Do you want to collect leads to pass on to your sales department for follow up? Do you want to make the sale on the spot? Maybe you’re there just for brand recognition in a specific industry.

3) Evaluate your Lead Collection Method

Simply displaying a fish bowl to collect business cards for a prize is not an effective lead collection method. All you learn is that they want a prize. Prizes are good, but be sure to have people fill out a short registration form to capture more information if that’s your draw. Not all attendees are prospects so focus on lead quality, not counts.

Ask for type of business, product interest, purchasing authority, contact info, etc.. Whether you’re using an electronic lead management system or a simple printed follow up form, include a limited number of qualifiers (hot lead, send salesperson, mail literature) to the form to get them in the correct follow up bucket.

4) Create a Winning Trade Show Booth

A free standing floor graphic wall provides an 8’ or 10’ backdrop to attract attention and tell your story. A less expensive option is to use 3 or 4 free standing retractable banners next to each other to create a similar affect. Tables are usually provided to exhibitors with a blank table throw. Use this 30” x 72” space to reinforce your brand with your own Custom Table Throw.

One note here – AVOID the temptation to place the table in front of your booth separating you from your prospects. Place it along the side of your booth to keep your space open and inviting.

5) Staff Training

Choose the employees that will staff your booth carefully. Representatives must be engaging, approachable and trained to understand the goals you set for the trade show. Not all of your staff needs to be trained for answering detailed questions about the product or service, but you should have at least one person available to field the detailed questions.

Provide your staff with qualifying questions to ask during training to avoid investing too much in the time-wasters that will show up just for the SWAG.

Also provide your staff with casual uniforms like a polo shirt with an embroidered company logo so the attendees can identify them. A visually cohesive team adds a level of professionalism and strength to your brand. Selecting a shirt color that reflects your brand adds to the booth appearance. It’s also great when your team is recognized walking through the convention because of your stand out company colors.

6) Booth Giveaways

Part of the fun of attending a trade show is gathering great giveaways from each booth. Use this to your advantage and provide thoughtful items that create a buzz at the show. You don’t need to spend a lot on these giveaways for them to be effective.

A simple Toy  can go physically viral at a show while attendees play with them and others ask, “where did you get that?” Imagine colorful toys flying around the show sporting your company logo. Items they display instead of tossing in their bag are great walking advertisements.

A simple 3” dia. button that reads “My Name is Jim” can created a buzz throughout the show. Everyone will be calling each other Jim and they want their own custom button to be part of the fun.

Invest in some nicer giveaways for people who give you information and qualify as a good lead. Corporate logo T-shirts, branded cell phone chargers and selfie sticks with your company logo can be the most successful gifts given to a qualified prospect.

Keep your printed handouts minimal. Attendees are walking around with an event tote bag full of business cards, branded giveaways and  brochures. Their totes are too heavy for your complete printed catalog.

7) Daily Staff Debriefing

A daily staff gathering after the exhibit hall closes provides instant insights into what worked and what didn’t. Take notes no matter how unimportant the observations might seem. Most attendee feedback is forgotten shortly after the dust settles. The feedback on what wasn’t successful will help you avoid the same mistakes next time.

Remember that you’re seeing the trade show as an exhibitor but it’s the attendee experience you want to know more about.

8) Lead Follow up System

Prepare your follow up system before you exhibit at a trade show. You need to act quickly while you’re still fresh in their minds. Remember, trade shows are exhausting and attendees visit hundreds of exhibits while at the show.  Make quick notes on the back of a business card to remind you of a discussion that will set you apart.  When you send out a speedy response with a personal note it will insure you are remembered.

  • If literature or samples were requested from your company, send a daily mailing list to the office to have that information mailed out the next day
  • If they requested a call from a salesperson make sure all follow up calls are made within one week of the show.
  • If the conversation was more detailed and an estimate was requested, prepare the estimating department for multiple requests and demand that they are expedited.

An email from your company thanking attendees for stopping at your booth and reminding them that you are acting on their request will continue the relationship. This reconnection is also an opportunity to include clickable links to your website for more information.

Following these 8 Steps to Trade Show Exhibitor Success to assist in your Preparation, Execution & Lead Follow up to assure that you realize a substantial return on your investment.

Rick Garrett

 Rick Garrett is the CEO and Founder of Markit Motion providing event and  corporate branded products to businesses. He has written over 100 Markit-in-a-Minute articles drawing from his 25 years in the industry.

www.markit4events.com

Easy Holiday Business Gift Giving

Every year the Holidays sneak up on us. Not that we haven’t been forewarned 4 months ahead of time when the Holiday decorations start to show up in retail stores.

At first, we ignore it because it’s too ridiculously soon to even think about it. Then, before you know it December 15th arrives and we scramble for appropriate business gifts.

Remember that your gift should be a gift of Gratitude, not a billboard. It’s not the time for a T-shirt or a Padfolio with a calculator.

Be Tastefully Thoughtful

Sweets are a universally welcomed gift for the Holidays. They’re not just for the CEO or Business Owner, but for the entire office to enjoy throughout the Season. Showing your Gratitude to the entire customer’s office will get you more kudos from the boss than giving him or her something just for them.

Neatly packaged, and Tastefully Branded, professionally prepared Food Gifts are an excellent Corporate Gift for the Holidays. Your customers and their employees will be reminded of your gratitude with every tasty bite.

Your printed logo on the ribbon is a tasteful way to show you care without being self-serving.

Get it Off Your Plate and Onto Theirs

For your convenience, many food manufacturers can ship your gifts directly to your customers. This service eliminates the hassle of shopping, packaging and shipping.

Send us Your List and We’ll Check it Twice.

Be a Thoughtful Gift Giver

Aside from having your Tower of Chocolates wrapped in a ribbon with your logo printed on it, Be creative. You can also include a Holiday Greeting Card  if you wish.

Don’t make Holiday Gift Giving an opportunity to make a sale. Be gracious, be grateful, be sincere with your gift. And leave a great taste in their mouth when they think of you throughout the year.

If we can help you give appropriately this season, we would also be grateful.

www.markit4events.com

Agua Fria Freddie – Arizona’s Groundhog

Agua-Fria-Freddy

While onlookers in Pennsylvania are bundled up anxious to see what Punxsutawney Phil forecasts on February 2nd, here in Arizona, we have our own weather prognosticator.

Agua Fria Freddie, the legendary rattlesnake comes out every year to predict the coming of spring. Whether you care or not,  his accuracy is way better than his Pennsylvania counterpart.

The legendary, yet lesser-known, Agua Fria Freddy lives right here in Arizona with a 95% accuracy rate.

Locals know him as Agua Fria Freddie, a shadow-seeking rattlesnake that comes out every year on February 2nd to predict the coming of Spring to us desert-dwellers.

This event is actually a non-event, as we cannot find record of any gathering to watch this legend search for his shadow. There are some legitimate reasons for not having an actual event to celebrate his findings this year.

  • Tourists are already in shorts and t-shirts so they don’t care
  • Nobody ever volunteers to get close enough to look for the shadow of a rattlesnake.
  • The big party is at the Phoenix Open Golf Tournament
  • Football fans are focused on Super Bowl LII

Rustler’s Rooste got to Freddie first and he’s an appetizer

It’s not difficult to predict when Spring will arrive in Arizona when the sun shines about 300 days a year, but it is comforting to know that Agua Fria Freddie is watching out for us.

Just watch out for him the other 364 days a year when you’re hiking around South Mountain.

If you’re planning an event that will be attended, be sure to check out Markit4Events.com where we have everything you need to make your event memorable.

Pro Football Season Schedules

Football_Schedule

Intercept some business from the competition with a Pro Football Season Schedule!

Compact sized and foldable, it lists every game for every week of the season in an easy to read format. Folding to the size of a credit card, this must-have for any football fan is great to carry along and handout at your next event.

Make sure to customize this football schedule with an imprint of your company name or logo and have your clients carry your brand all season long!