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‘Jetson’-Age Tools Click with Big-Event Planners Trade Shows Expert Shares 3 Cutting-Edge New Technologies

jane-jetsonMost of us think about technology on a mostly two-dimensional plane as we flick our way from screen to screen on touch glass. But today’s tech includes applications that are far from flat, says major-events expert Ann Windham.

“What if you could control all primary aspects of major events like trade shows, big weddings and awards ceremonies through your iPad or smartphone; imagine shutting everything down at the end of a long and exhausting night by pushing one button on your phone – that’s just some of what’s possible with today’s software,” says Ann Windham, president and CEO of Imagine Xhibits, Inc. (imaginexhibits.com/events).

Lights, climate control, projectors and monitors, curtains, fountains and much more can be controlled with an app, and the data that you take away from trade shows can be used to quickly follow up on sales leads, says Windham, who will be showcasing this cutting-edge technology July 9 at Trade Show Technology Summit 2013, to be held at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas.

The summit will show attendees how to manage technology such as QR codes, mobile apps, virtual trade shows, social media, on-line asset management, interactive media and live stream video on electronic devices as simple as a mobile phone, she says.

“We’ll show planners the newest event management tools for efficiency and streamlining tasks before, during and after their event. We’ll also have hands-on, educational workshops to show them how to use management,” she says.

Windham shares three of her favorite new technologies:

• Pre-show – Event Management Software: This one-stop source for managing every detail about your event – from Fed Ex tracking numbers to vendor contact information to photos from the show – even allows you to manage multiple events from any location. “In the past, we carried all the details for each show in one huge binder. If you were at a show in Texas and someone called with a question about the show in Oregon, you wouldn’t have that information handy,” Windham says. Event management software relies on cloud storage, so members of your team can access it from their smart phone or iPad no matter where they are. Another benefit: You’ve got just one place to input all that data.

• During the show – Remote Sensors: Sensors built into the walls of an exhibit allow you to control all of the electronics from your smart phone or iPad. Not only does it save time, it’s an easy way to add valuable theatrics during a demonstration. “Say you’re standing at the back of the room and you realize the speaker can’t be heard, you just turn up the volume on his mic, right from your your iPad,” Windham says. “Or, if you want to create special effects using lighting and room temperature, you can dim the lighting and drop the temperature.” Her favorite feature? At the end of a long day, rather than walking from one device to the next, shutting off each, you press just one button and turn everything off while walking out the door.

• Post-show – Sales Leads Follow-up: Seventy percent of percent of exhibitors who capture sales leads at trade shows don’t collect qualifying information, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR).Scanners collect only the most basic data from visitors to each booth – there’s no way of knowing whether they were a “hot” lead ready to buy, or someone who stopped by for the free T-shirt, Windham says. Now, however, event management software allows exhibitors to include qualifying information every time a visitor’s badge is scanned. “At the end of the event, you can quickly see who your hottest leads were and send them an email or postcard before you’ve even left the event,” Windham says.

For planners who’ve been hamstrung by personnel cutbacks in recent years, these new tools are lifesavers, she says.

“The days of ‘The Jetsons’ has arrived.”

About Ann Windham

Ann Windham is the president and CEO of Imagine Xhibits, Inc., a full-service trade show marketing company that offers custom design exhibits using modular components. Windham’s company offers customers more than 50 percent savings on operating expenses; expert face-to-face marketing consultants that will work to increase ROI with four-step marketing; quarterly seminars offering continuous education by certified trainers; in-house design services for custom structures, graphic design and brand development; turn-key services and exhibit management program for all logistical needs; and a one-stop shop for meeting planning, promotional products, collateral web-site and more.

 

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How Businesses Can Take Advantages Of QR Codes

QR codes (aka Quick Response Codes) can help you provide customers and potential customers with instant access to your services online. QR codes are often displayed in magazines, newspapers, mail, and even some retail establishments. The idea of a QR code is to complement your ad and allow your customer to learn more or to complete a speficic action (e.g. redeem a coupon, join a mailing list, place a purchase, etc…).

Benefits of QR Codes

These computer-generated images are basically direct links to particular mobile websites that you set up to coincide with the message of your QR code. Using QR codes minimises the time spent on typing in web addresses or URL’s. Potential customers are able to scan QR codes with their smartphones, and are directed to the intended online destination. When scanning the QR code the customer is presented more information about upcoming events sponsored by your campaign, provided more information about your services or offered more information about your product.

How it works

By placing QR codes in the right locations, your proposal, service, or offering will attract more leads or customers. Using their smartphone’s QR code scanner application, they simply scan the image, and the desired information is displayed almost instantly on their smartphone. One thing that you should not do, while using QR codes as your way of advertising, is to cluster the images any and everywhere without purpose or cause. Use QR codes to allow your audience to take a specific action.

Placement is one of the most important aspects of QR codes. You should make sure that people that will be most interested in your products, services or offers are viewing your content. Your marketing campaign is used to persuade your audience, as well as to inform them of any upcoming promotions or events.

Actions

As we said before, putting a QR Code randomly in your ad with no purpose will likely result in very few amount of people actually scanning it. If you want to maximize your returns, ask people to scan the QR code for a specific reason (aka incentive). Example: let them know that the only way they can redeem a coupon or take advantage of a special offer is by scanning the code.

QR codes on Pinterest

While many teachers have already learned the value of QR codes on Pinterest for their classrooms, the business community is quickly catching up. Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media forums. On Pinterest you are allowed you to deliver significant images and videos to your supporters, and increases your ability to set up or grow a social network. QR codes give your customers a direct link to whatever messages you are trying to give. While you are extremely limited in the amount of words you can use on Pinterest, you should try to explain to your audience exactly what the QR code will link them to and the benefits of scanning it.

Growing a Mailing List

If you are trying to grow an email list, a QR code may be the perfect answer for you. This feature is ideal for your marketing campaign. These QR codes allow supporters and customers to join mailing lists by using their mobile devices decoder application. More people than ever before are using their mobile phones to surf the web so do not overlook the potential of marketing in this way. Once the customer scans the QR code they can become members of your email list and receive newsletters and other valuable information.

Increase your Fanbase with QR Codes

Directing supporters and potential supporters to your website using QR codes saves you time and is a quick way to obtain likes and followers, on popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter. A QR code can be used as a direct link to your Facebook and Twitter page and This is a direct link to your campaign and gives supporters and inquirers a chance to view any posts, images, or uploaded videos on your Facebook or Twitter page.

When using QR Codes as part of your marketing, it is important to use your imagination to come up with a way to seamlessly integrate the code within your ad. Check out some great examples of QR Code usage here.

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned

Marie Maslow is a tech enthusiast that enjoys writing about technology and marketing.

 

 

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What Your Business Cards Says About You

What Your Business Cards Says About You

Business CardsLike many things in life, all business cards are not created equally. For this reason, it is essential that you truly think about what you want your business card to say about your business when you are creating it with an online printer. After all, your business card is much like a good hand shake. In fact, it is a business card that usually allows someone to form their first opinions about you and more importantly your business. Keep reading below to avoid making business card mistakes that can allow people to develop a poor opinion of your business.

Create High-Quality Business Cards Online

The best way to impress your customers, potential customers, and those you are going to network with is to make sure you wow them with a high-quality business card the very first time you meet them. In order to be considered high-quality, a business card should not look like it was hastily put together. For this reason, you must take the time to proofread and edit your business card template. A quality online publisher will take care of using quality products and centering the information, but it is the business owner‘s responsibility to make sure everything is spelled correctly, and that all phone numbers and contact information is correct.

Negative Effects of  Poor Business Cards

Consequently, if your business card contains noticeable errors, your customers and contacts will notice, which will give them a negative reaction to your business. In fact, customers and networks may think that you rush through your work and can’t be bothered with details if you pass out a business card with erroneous information. Also, if you try to create the business cards yourself on a home printer, they will likely look cheap, and unprofessional, which will reflect poorly on your business.

For the reasons listed above, it is incredibly important that you take the time to proof your business card template, and order from a high-quality online business card publisher.

Positive Effects of Stellar Business Cards

On the other hand, if your business card immediately wows customers, potential customers, and network contacts, you will make a great first impression on these people. A great first impression means that when the need arises, people are likely to contact you first.

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to grow your business by passing out less than stellar business cards. Instead, make sure you deal with a quality online printer who will ensure that your business cards are professional and useful.

Once you have created the perfect business card for your business, make sure to choose an online printer who will save your information for you. This way you don’t have to recreate your information every single time you need a fresh batch of cards.

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned

Guest post by David Dobson – Using my 30 years of experance in the printing industry to pass on information on business card printing

 

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