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Dream Big and Go Build It!

Remember the feeling you had as a child walking home from mowing the lawn holding that crisp $5 bill in your hand, imagining all the countless things you’re going to buy with your new found wealth?  Or maybe it was the little twinge of excitement every time that quarter dropped in the bucket as you handed your customer their freshly squeezed lemonade (which we all know was really just Country Time).

Regardless of whatever your big plan was as a child for how you were going to achieve greatness, we all have within us a desire to succeed.  A dream to be able to provide for our children a life we never had.  A drive to do all within our power to overcome obstacles and leave a legacy to be remembered.

Last night, Exhibit Edge’s CEO and President, Bev Gray, had the privilege of speaking at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.  She followed a speech given by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell in which he warned Americans that “we cannot lose that dream.”

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Keeping Your Customers Focused on The Good

In the internet, news, and social media age we are living in, it is so easy for a company’s reputation to be tarnished — justified or not.  News spreads like wildfire, people voice all different kinds of opinions publicly, and rumors can begin and be “substantiated” within seconds.  In an atmosphere like this, how can a company even stand a chance these days?  It only takes one mistake, and they could be ruined!

If your company does happen to fall victim to negative publicity or if you have a controversial reputation, then consider how exhibiting may help you give your corporate image a boost.  Few things can replace the impact personal, face-to-face interaction can have on your clientele and market.

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How to Plan Ahead for Your Exhibit (Before You Hit the Drawing Board)

Prior to picking up your pen or sitting at your computer to begin designing your next exhibit, there are a few things you should think about or ask yourself.  It may seem like the creation journey is long enough as it is; but if you stop before ever going down that road and plan ahead successfully, your end product is far more likely to be exactly what you were looking for!

At Exhibit Edge, we always want our clients to determine a few of the below issues before we begin the process of designing and constructing their exhibits.  Having knowledge of these ensures that we pinpoint exactly what our clients want and what will best reach their audience of attendees.

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Breaking the Rules

Trade Show Rules and Regulations

“Rules are made to be broken.”  I think we all, at some point or another, look to our inner selves and wish we were a bit of a rule breaker.  That’s why the “bad boys” are the heartthrobs in movies, why you get a small sense of pride as your rip those “do not remove” tags off your mattress, and why every now and then you just have to enter through the exit.

When it comes to your business, though, unfortunately we are not always able to risk breaking “the rules,” even if nominal.   Depending on your business, you may have a strict set of protocols, guidelines, codes, or even laws that govern your daily operations and decisions.  As tempting as it may be, breaking these rules is just not an option.

Although not as extreme, exhibiting is no different.  There are definite industry conventions and principles that dictate rules (oftentimes strict and precise) for your exhibit and trade show experience.

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No Greater Love

Memorial Day is a day we set aside to remember those service men and women who paid the ultimate price in offering up their lives in defense of our great nation.  Those serving in our armed forces hold a special place in our hearts at Exhibit Edge.  We know that we only have the freedom to own our own business, serve our clients, and go into a job we love every morning because of the daily sacrifices made by our military and their families.

We are proud to support the Army Historical Foundation as one of our clients.  They are dedicated to the preservation of the history of the American Soldier, with their motto being “Preserve the Heritage…Educate the Future.”  The importance of organizations such as the Army Historical Foundation is especially realized on days like today, as we take time to remember those who have given their lives throughout our nation’s great history.

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Make the World Go ‘Round!

Exhibit Edge was privileged last Wednesday with hosting presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, for an event honoring women entrepreneurs and small business owners.  Exhibit Edge is committed to helping other businesses prosper through Intelligent Exhibiting®, while having a special passion for the success and advancement of women business owners.

Owner Bev Gray devotes countless volunteer hours helping women business owners obtain certification, training, and opportunities to help launch their businesses and pursue their personal goals.  When approached with the prospect of hosting a speaking engagement for candidate Mitt Romney, the timing could not have been any better.

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Ready. Set. Show!

With all the tips and how-to articles floating around the internet these days, an exhibitor has a myriad of resources available to help them pull off a spectacular exhibit.  Add to that the help of a professional exhibiting company, and you’ve got yourself the best booth at the show!

Oh, wait…the show.

With a trade show or event for just about everything you could imagine, where do you even begin to narrow down your choices?  Should you tackle them all?

There are obviously numerous factors to consider when selecting a trade show, and within those, the application to your business and marketing will vary.  However, consider these general guidelines when determining where to invest your exhibiting dollars.

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Incorporating a Green Lifestyle into Your Exhibit…Creatively

More than just mixing yellow and blue, green is a lifestyle.  It takes more than recycled fibers and a picture of a panda to convince your customers and the public that your company believes and lives by the standards of a green lifestyle.

Exhibiting offers a multitude of benefits to your company in the forms of marketing, branding, building relationships, recruiting clientele, and much more.  However, a perhaps frequently overlooked benefit is the opportunity to showcase your commitment to respecting and preserving earth’s natural resources.

Obviously, it is important to implement recycled materials, earth-friendly products, and limit your printed materials in your business processes and collateral.  Running a green business goes so much beyond this, though, so take advantage of the unique opportunity to showcase your company through a creative and memorable green exhibit.

Serve

Everyone likes free food, so consider distributing drinks or snacks at your booth to reinforce ways your company incorporates green.  There are many recipes out there for food, drinks, and cocktails which could either literally or figuratively represent a green lifestyle.  For example, you could serve a green apple martini – an obvious correlation to “green,” or an organic snack food as a statement of your commitment to pure foods, or milk to symbolize your efforts to recycle your cafeteria’s milk cartons.   This would be a consumable give-away to draw people to your exhibit, while leaving them with a clever way to remember your commitment to green.

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Do It Right!

There are many quotes that have inspired various parts of my life, but one of the many that have driven me in the business world was said by Hunter S. Thompson: “Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.”

Something that stuck out to me about this quote was that it did not say, “Anything worth doing, is worth a man doing right.”  I’m not one of those women who go around singing, “Anything you can do, I can do better,” but I do believe that women and men are equally capable of accomplishing great things — things done right.

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Exhibit Edge Featured in Trade Magazine ‘International Wood’

Exhibit Edge was recently featured in ‘International Wood’, a trade magazine for the International Wood Products Association.  You can read the article in its entirety below to understand the relationships the trade show industry has with the plywood industry.

For most business to business (B2B) operations, trade shows are an indispensable marketing tool. Customers like them because they offer an opportunity to shop competitive vendors in one place. For exhibitors, differentiating themselves from the competition is crucial because they have only five seconds to make a good impression. Walk any trade show floor and you’ll notice more sophisticated booths and interactive displays. In fact, trade shows are an estimated $100 billion a year industry in the United States alone. And at the heart of these temporary epicenters of commerce is imported plywood.

“Our job is to help the client do it right,” says Bev Gray, president and CEO of Exhibit Edge Inc. Most businesses that benefit from having a presence at trade shows do not have the in-house capabilities to design, build, store, ship and install exhibits, a process that must essentially be run in reverse at the end of a show. Companies like Exhibit Edge have evolved to offer turnkey trade show solutions. Bev Gray, along with husband Mike Gray, vice president of sales, use their combined 48 years of experience in exhibit design, packaging and logistics to make sure their clients’ trade shows go smoothly.

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