Monday, 16 November 2015

How to Network at Trade Shows

Exhibit Surveys Inc. says that 49% of attendants come to trade shows with the intention of making real purchases, whether this be immediately or through networking. Networking at trade shows is your primary goal of attending, and there is a real art to it.

It does take some getting right. Experience is the best teacher, so make sure you review your performance every time. If you want to network better at a trade show, follow these smart tips.

Send Your Soldiers Out Alone

The chances are you will be bringing staff members along to help you manage your booth at the trade show. This is all well and good, but you also need to take the initiative in some things. Some staff members should be asked to network alone.

This can be intimidating, but it actually increases your chances of successful networking. It can be intimidating for people to approach a group. It’s much easier to approach someone who is alone because you are in the same situation.

By being alone, your staff become instantly more approachable.

Give Out Free Trinkets

Some would call it a bribe, and perhaps it can be construed as such. But it is also a fantastic way of sparking a conversation.

The toughest part of networking at a trade show is starting that first conversation. Give out pens, lanyards, and other little trinkets. Brand them so they subtly communicate the company message at the same time.

Brand Your Staff Members

When your staff members walk around a trade show, what makes them stand out?

If the answer is nothing, you need to change that. Make your company stand out from the competition by adding some adornments to the people representing you. This could come in the form of a lanyard with their names on it, or a tablet with a company logo on the back.

Not only does your company become noticeable, but it will also attract the individuals who are trying to seek out your company.

Figure Out Who You Want to Meet in Advance

Figure out who you want to meet and who you want to talk to prior to attending the trade show. Have some clear goals in mind and be persistent in meeting everyone on your list.

By having a plan, you can make sure you are always hard at work. Yes, you will come across individuals who are not on your list, but through scheduling some meetings in advance you can guarantee a visit to a trade show will always be worthwhile.

Pick the Right Conversations

Think about what a trade show really is. It is a lot of human beings in a room trying to talk to each other. These people are all different. Some are nervous, some are enthusiastic, and most fall between these two points.

It’s only natural to start with small talk, but make a conscious effort to limit small talk. Engage in relevant conversations quickly. Here are some smart tips for engaging in meaningful conversation:

1. This is not a sales pitch. It is a simple introduction where you exchange contact information.

2. Make it quick without feeling rushed. Spend too much time with one company and you will not have time to speak to the other targets on your list.

3. Every company has a goal. Talk about these objectives. Always keep your conversations relevant.

4. It’s not quantity; it’s quality. If someone is clearly not interested, end the conversation and move on.

Following Up after the Show

The reality is these leads often come to nothing because they are not followed up. Create a lead capture system that you follow up upon rigorously. Call your leads a few days after the show and try to advance discussions.

Take note that your leads may come to nothing. Some companies are simply dipping a toe in the water. But if you gather a long list of contact details, the chances are one or two will come to something.


A successful trade show is ultimately about gathering lots of contact details. After the trade show is where the magic tends to happen. Do not focus too much on pushing sales immediately. Use every minute to engage in quick and meaningful conversation.

If you follow these tips, you will get so much more from your future trade shows.

Get in touch with today to find out how we can provide you with high-quality Printed lanyards and other Personalised, Custom Lanyards products to boost your advertising campaign.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Printed or Embroidered Lanyards - What's the Difference?

A lanyard is a fantastic type of personal branding. Whether you use your lanyard as a form of identification or exclusively as a marketing choice, you are going to extract a major return on your investment.

But lanyards come in all shapes and sizes. One of the significant decisions you will have to make is whether you want to invest in a printed lanyard or an embroidered lanyard. The differences are substantial, so read on to find out more about both types.

Printed Lanyards

A printed lanyard involves taking some kind of graphic submitted by you and printing it onto the lanyard itself. It works through using a sublimation process. Essentially, the design is fused into the material. There are no colour limitations involved, so you can choose from over a million shades.

Printed lanyards will not run, and they are easy to clean if this is required. Since modern printers are so advanced, it is easy to print small text.

This is the best option for those who want lanyards in the fastest possible time or for those that want photographic realism.

Embroidered Lanyards

Embroidered lanyards work slightly differently. Using a base of twill, the design is sewn into the fabric with thread. You will find this gives the embroidered lanyard a slight ‘raised’ effect. The texture will feel different when you run your finger across it.

Extremely small text and minute details are harder to insert with embroidered lanyards, so elaborate designs may not be ideal for this option.

The Difference in Cost

Embroidered lanyards will always cost more than printed lanyards because of the workmanship involved. The machinery used to produce them is more advanced and the materials more costly. A printed lanyard can be done through using a modern colour printer and little else.

Generally, the difference in cost is not significant. If you order in bulk, you can drive the cost of embroidered lanyards down.

Ordering small numbers will make embroidered lanyards significantly more expensive than their printed counterparts.

The Quality Issue

It is no secret that embroidered lanyards do come with a more ‘prestige’ look. This is simply because of the texture and the ‘raising’ effect. In a business environment, customers and other companies may well prefer an embroidered lanyard because it shows you invested more in your marketing tools.

Will it be a deal breaker? Probably not, but it does not hurt to have this little advantage on your side.

Design and Details

If you want a simple design, you can use either option without any problems. On the other hand, if you want fading effects and other uncommon shades you may well be out of luck. Embroidered lanyards do not support this.

Printed lanyards, on the other hand, can print out anything you can see. As long as you can look at the design on a computer screen, you can place it on a lanyard.

This gives you far more versatility and the chance to really experiment with your designs.

Time Taken

Turnaround time is important. If you are moments away from a networking event and you have left lanyards to the last minute, a printed option is by far the superior choice. It can take less than 24 hours for you to receive an order of printed lanyards. On the other hand, embroidered ones could well take an extra day or two to produce.

It may not sound like much, but if you are rushing to get everything ready, then this can prove crucial.

So What’s the Best Option?

The best option depends on your situation. If you want to create something that resembles a graphical firework, the printed option is best for you. Alternatively, if adding an extra dimension through texture sounds attractive, embroidered is the superior option.

The cost difference is negligible, so you should not let that be the decision maker. The printed option does have a time advantage, so if you need a fast turnaround, the choice is clear.

Test out both options to see what goes down best with staff members and customers. Every company will have different preferences.