Search results: IBS

5 Tips to Maximize Your Trade Show ROI

13 Jul

IBS Certainteed

Building an effective strategy that is targeted to maximize your trade show can make all the difference in its success. The following aspects should be included in such a strategy to improve your experience.

1. Create a Press Release

Creating a press release that you can distribute online to increase awareness of the upcoming trade show is vital to your ROI. Be sure that basics such as the use of appropriate keywords that your audience of building materials purchasers is likely to use to find what they want and a link to your website are included in this press release.

2. Add a Mention on Your Home Page

Increase awareness of your trade show attendance by mentioning it on your website’s homepage. Placing that kind of information in a prominent location ensures that everyone receives notification of its occurrence when they visit your site.

3. Coordinate a Marketing Strategy

Be sure that you and your marketing team are on the same page when it comes to the presentations, videos, and slideshows that you’ll display at your trade show booth. Doing so reinforces the information you’re delivering across all channels for the maximum ROI.

4. Be Prepared for the Media

Whether you expect to interact with members of the press or not, you should be prepared – just in case. This means checking the list of attendees to learn if any are expected and updating your press kit to hand out to those that you see. No press kit? This is the ideal time to create one!

5. Email and Blog About It

If you maintain a list of email subscribers, be sure to send out an email blast about your attendance at the trade show. Provide a sneak peek of what attendees can expect from you. Blog about the days leading up to the trade show as well as your experiences during the event.

The key to maximizing your ROI for trade shows is to increase your engagement with your audience. Keeping them informed about what they can expect and why buyers in the building materials industry should seek you out there can boost your ROI exponentially.

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6 Trade Shows Building Products Manufactures Must Attend

4 May

 

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Trade shows are an optimal platform from which to introduce a captive audience to the latest innovative product or service you have to offer. The following trade shows are ones that should be on your short list for 2017 and ones to keep on your radar for 2018.  

 1 . National Hardware Show

Held each year in Las Vegas, Nevada, the National Hardware Show will run from May 9-11 in 2017. This annual trade show brings resellers and manufacturers from housing after-market sectors such as repair, remodeling and maintenance together. With attendance projected to top 35,000 over the course of its three-day run, 83 percent of people who have visited the trade show previously noted that they did so to look at new products. 

 2 . ENR FutureTech

San Francisco, California is the site of this year’s ENR FutureTech trade show. Hosted by Engineering News Record from May 30 until June 1 2017 , the show focuses on technology and its continuously-expanding role in construction, engineering and architecture. Combining intimate networking opportunities and interactive workshop sessions provides the opportunity for attendees to learn how technology applications can drive performance, profits and project delivery. 

 3. Remodeling Show | DeckExpo | JLC LIVE

Remodeling Show | DeckExpo | JLC LIVE – often shortened to R|D|J for brevity – is a three-day event that combines exhibit hall activities with workshops and other conference programs to provide training, education and networking for those in the residential construction industry. Held at the Baltimore Convention Center, R|D|J  2017 is slated to run from October 25-27. 

 4. Greenbuild

Hosted by the US Green Building Council from November 8-10 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts, Greenbuild boasts 20,000 registered attendees. Focusing on the premise that not only is green building an innovation that is shaping the current landscape of the industry, it is a concept that will continue to grow in the future, Greenbuild is dedicated to providing a forum for experts, professionals and industry leaders to connect. As the biggest conference dedicated to sustainable building in the world, Greenbuild generates a “Legacy Project” each year that is designed to deliver real-world solutions for the community whose outcomes will last for years to come. 

 5. Design & Construction Week

From January 9-11, 2018, Orlando will be the host city of Design & Construction Week. Expect more than 80,000 construction and design professionals to converge on the city to learn, talk and network at an event that is a combination of the talents of the NAHB International Builders Show (IBS) and the NKBA’s Kitchen and Bath Show (KBS). 

 6. AIA Conference on Architecture

New York City will be the home of the American Institute of Architects 2018’s National Convention. Set to go June 21st – 23rd the convention will feature intensive half-day and full-day workshops, seminars by leading architects and firms on emerging industry trends, tours of city architecture, events, and experiences covering the topic of the ever-changing world of architecture. The conference aims to create a space where a collection of talented and visionary individuals who are dedicated to improving the quality of life for all people in all communities come together.

 

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Building Materials Industry 2017 Search Engine Benchmarks

3 Jan

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CoreyMorrisGuest Contributor: Corey Morris
Director of Digital Strategy

The 2017 International Builders’ Show (IBS) is upon us. As we prepare our agendas and get excited to see what is new and noteworthy in the industry this year, our digital marketing team has taken a look at the state of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) for the industry and select segments. Knowing that XX number of B2B buying decisions start with a search engine and that new technology and competition continues to make the building materials channel more important to move products through than ever, we need to harness search engine traffic to build leads and sales.

Overall, in the building materials industry in 2016 we saw a slight decrease in direct traffic by visitors keying in the domain name and going straight to the website as well as a decrease in visitors who came from referral sites and links; however, we saw a major increase in traffic from social media sources, a slight increase in organic search traffic, and a steady rate of paid search traffic.

The number one source by far is organic search engine traffic. This highlights the importance of basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) if you want to be found by users already aware of your brand. It’s even more important that you go beyond the basics in order to be competitive for the most important generic terms.

The second and third biggest sources are both paid sources through the search engines and display ads. Combined, they make a big impact and are big drivers of traffic—right behind the “free” organic traffic.

Social media is a growth area and while it hasn’t been adopted as fast in building materials and further up the channel (compared to other consumer-focused industries), it is growing rapidly and poised for further expansion as manufacturers, distributors, and dealers find ways to help support selling products down the channel.

 

Building Materials & Supplies industry vertical under Construction & Maintenance from Google Analytics

2016 2015
Direct Traffic 13.2k 12.7k
Organic Search Traffic 46.1k 47.9k
Paid Search Traffic 25.2k 25.2k
Traffic from Social Media 4.2k 2.8k
Referral Traffic 8.8k 9.7k
Traffic from Email Marketing 3.9k 3.3k
Display Advertising Traffic 13.2k 11.2k

 

In addition to looking at stats by traffic source, we researched website engagement metrics. One encouraging discovery is that the growth in traffic is accompanied by quality content. A major increase in new visitors is coupled with double-digit percentage increases in pages per session and the average session duration. Not only is site traffic increasing in the industry, but audiences are staying on pages longer and viewing more content. This is a great trend to measure your 2017 efforts against.

While we’re not surprised by the benchmark data in 2016, there are encouraging signs. B2B companies, especially in the building materials industry, will be poised for more success if they push further into growth areas like social and continue competitive positioning in both organic and paid search. Be mindful of  competitive pressure from new entrants as well as many changes in the Google organic and paid search algorithms that have an impact on positioning and performance.

Do you know where you stand in comparison to these benchmarks? We’d love to hear about your 2016 performance and if you’re seeing the same trends we are.

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The Booth MBA

16 Dec

 3 Things to Watch for at IBS

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hillmanGuest Contributor:
Matt Hillman, Creative Director

Trade shows are usually large-scale spectacles and the  combined IBS/KBIS event is certainly no exception. Bringing  together more than 50,000 attendees and nearly 15,000  exhibitors in 2016, it provides a wellspring of information—or to some, a deluge of it. As pointed out in my last IBS-related post, it’s easy to become overstimulated while walking the show floor and miss out on a lot of what’s there to see.

This year, as you wander the exhibition halls in Orlando, take a moment to consider what you see in the booths around you. While big and bold can be a factor, there’s more to a successful booth than glitz. The true measure of a good booth comes down to whether it earns an “MBA”:

Message –  It’s easy to believe that the more messaging you can cram into a tradeshow booth, the more likely it is to get noticed. But in reality, the opposite is true. There’s an analogy in marketing about throwing tennis balls to someone—throw one or two and they can be caught; throw more than that and most will be missed. Look at the messaging in and around each booth; it should be clear and simple, not cluttered. There’s already plenty to see at the show; a booth shouldn’t make its audience work to consume information.

Brand – Similar to message, a booth shouldn’t make the audience guess as to who is providing it. As creatives, we joke about the almost cliché feedback “make the logo bigger.” But in a tradeshow booth, it’s especially true that a clear display of the brand is critical. Passersby might become just that—people who pass right on by, having neither the time nor incentive to stop. In these instances, seconds matter, so delivering the brand in a clear and appealing way is paramount. When you look around the show floor, what do you see? Are the brands obvious or buried?

Activity – If a booth is simply a brochure printed large, that’s a serious missed opportunity. When people attend a show, they expect entertainment. The most successful booths I’ve seen are the ones where something is actually happening. Whether a straightforward product demonstration, a celebrity signing autographs or hired talent charming grown men to register to win stuffed animals—it happened last year and it worked!—the booth should have a reason for people to stop by and take notice. People are social and are naturally drawn to crowds. Booths that take advantage of this are the ones people not only stop at, but remember.

When a booth brings all of these elements together—simplicity of message, clarity of brand, and appeal of activity—then it has truly earned its MBA, and will have a list of leads from those who not only wanted to stop by, but engage. Unfortunately, the bulk of what you might encounter as you stroll the aisles, bombarded by messages, colors, noises, and graphics, will simply underscore one of the most important marketing axioms: Less is more.

When the time comes to market your brand at a tradeshow, you should download our free whitepaper “Killer Booths,” a guide to the DOs and DON’Ts of tradeshow booth marketing.

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Lessons From The Builders’ Show

18 Feb

An Open Letter To Trade Show Exhibitors

Dear Friends,

According to the Convention Industry Council, trade shows added more than $280 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012, drawing more than 225 million participants. That’s a staggering set of figures and it underscores the importance these shows play. As marketers, we all know exhibiting at trade shows can be vital to our business—to see and be seen, to market products and services, and to nurture relationships.

Over my career, I’ve had the opportunity to attend a variety of trade shows across numerous industries, the most recent at the building industry’s combined 2016 IBS & KBIS in Las Vegas.

And over the years, I’m struck by one constant of booths, regardless of time, region or industry…

Chances are, your booth sucks. It’s cramped, cluttered, and really boring.

While harsh, it’s also probably true. Worst of all, you probably know it. But take heart because you’re most certainly not alone in this. Everywhere, at every show, are long swaths of cluttered and uninspired landscape—overwhelming collections of shapes and colors, fixtures and messages, all masquerading as brand. It’s as pervasive and inescapable as it is predictable.

Why? When did this happen? When did it become okay to develop a trade show booth as if someone pitched the idea “You know what people will want to do after spending thousands of dollars and traveling hundreds of miles? To stand inside our 4×9 brochure!

Sure, it sounds ridiculous, but it’s the reality we’ve all seen time and again—and sadly, what we’ve come to expect and attendees to accept. Throngs of people shuffling past a booth, each scanning over it and moving on. And that’s after you’ve spent—what?—tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars of marketing budget, ostensibly to get exactly their attention.

So now that I’ve pointed out the obvious problem, let me point out the not-so-obvious remedy. The secret, the greatest missed opportunity, comes down to a simple idea that the majority of exhibitors overlook which is…want a hint? Here you go: International Builders’ Show, Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, International Consumer Electronics Show, SHOT Show, Club Industry Show, Nightclub & Bar Convention & Trade Show…

Notice anything in common? They’re trade shows. And what is a show? It’s an event, a spectacle, something to witness and enjoy. It’s active, not passive—and that’s the key. If you were invited to “dinner and a show” you’d naturally expect to be entertained, and yet at trade shows, we invite people to come see us and then reward them with opportunities to stand around and read something. Where’s the spectacle? Where’s the pizazz?

Face it, contemporary trade shows are overgrown ice trays of bland inactivity. But there is hope, bright morsels of brilliance among the milquetoast masses.

As recently as the IBS/KBIS in Las Vegas, I found a few who got it right and as a result, got noticed—some with every chair filled and some with onlookers clogging the aisle (drawing even more to come and see what the buzz is about). Others would do well to follow their lead.

CertainTeed

IBS Certainteed

If you have the budget, go big and use celebrities. CertainTeed brought in HGTV star Mike Holmes for an appearance and photo opp, plus constructed a climbing wall. What does a climbing wall have to do with their products? It was lost on a lot of people. But see the woman in the foreground…she’s capturing it on her phone, probably sharing it with others. She’s sharing images of a B2B trade show booth unsolicited. Money shot, indeed.

GAF

IBS GAF

Don’t have big budgets for big talent? Go traditional and use models and simple RTW giveaways. Your own team is paid to be productive experts, but hired talent is paid to be charming, inviting, and generally attractive. At the GAF booth—just inside a major entry point—a smiling woman with a bubbly personality was getting grown men to register to win stuffed animals. And it worked; in the few moments it took for me to grab this picture, two men asked where to sign up.

Plastpro

IBS plastpro

I walked by the Plastpro booth a few times and each time I did, people were standing-room-only to watch a pro install a door. To most people, this would be a punchline, but to attendees it was interesting, valuable, and yes, entertaining. The presenter was upbeat and personable…and he presented, not simply talked. I’ll admit, I stuck around and learned how to square a door much easier than I used to (and I’m not even the target audience).

Okay, so it’s great if you have the resources for a 30×40 booth with big events and headline talent and boxes of prizes. But what about the 10×10 along the back wall? What about those who spent a third of their marketing budget just to get it all to the show?

Bad Dog Tools

IB baddog

For more than 10 minutes, I watched two men at Bad Dog Tools do nothing but demo their product and answer questions. No brochures, no giveaways, no models. Yet people were constantly lined up on two sides of the booth to watch drill bits bore through everything from rasps to brake discs. Bad Dog Tools could have made a video of it and had it looping while two of their salespeople sat on bar stools and watched attendees shuffle by and not stop, but instead they made the product the show. Brilliant.

What’s the takeaway? Don’t settle, make a spectacle. Create a booth that’s a destination, or at the very least, an interruption. Remember that people can get information about your products or services at your website, so use your trade show booth to interact with them in a way you can’t otherwise—and in a manner that doesn’t feel like you’re pressuring them to buy a timeshare.

And here’s one final thought to consider…

“People will pay more to be entertained than educated.” –Johnny Carson

So come on, marketers. Show us what you’re made of.

Sincerely,

Matt Hillman

ER Marketing, Creative Director

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