Successful Trade Show Tips – Be Your Company’s Convention Superstar

Whether you’re just starting to exhibit at trade shows or you’re looking to reinvigorate your existing program, we’ve identified some “must haves” for trade show success. Check out these trade show tips, and let us know if you have any to add!

Let people connect with people at your trade show booth

This interactive presentation for IAMS allowed attendees to connect with a personable and professional brand representative in a booth that provided a welcoming “wow.”

Bring in the experts. It can be tempting to DIY, especially for a smaller trade show exhibit (and you’re probably thinking, “of course, a company that specializes in trade show marketing is going to encourage me to buy their services”). But professional designers and producers will bring the level of quality you need to be competitive—in fact, they could save you money by doing things right the first time. They’ll troubleshoot areas you probably haven’t considered, help with hidden costs and free you up to focus on your attendees.

Let people connect with people. The point of a trade show is bringing people together.  Technology can be powerful, but don’t overdo it at your booth; attendees can interact with touchscreens at the supermarket on any given weekday. Instead, take advantage of the face-to-face nature of tradeshows and create opportunities for them to engage with human beings.

Staff strategically. Make sure everyone represents  your brand with excellence. Choose only your best, most personable sales reps and thought leaders. Then back them up with professional hosts and presenters who can draw people to the booth and make them feel like VIPs.

See tradeshows as part of the conversation. These days, trade show exhibits aren’t on-off, once-a-year things. They’re a chance to start and continue conversations and relationships. Reach out to attendees before the show and invite them to visit you. Collect their data and track their interests while they’re at your booth. Then follow up and keep them engaged until the next time you meet. MPG is using event digital marketing to help clients do just that.

Be a spy. Make sure to get away from your booth for a little reconnaissance. Check out what your competitors are doing. Look for inspiration from other exhibitors: How are they engaging attendees? Is there anything you could take and make your own? Include your agency and designer in this exercise; it’s never too early to start planning for the next show!

Track ROI. With budgets getting leaner, it’s vital to demonstrate how marketing at trade shows benefits your company’s bottom line. Decide what trade show success means for you—is it number of visitors? Actual sales? Qualified leads? Whatever the benchmarks, track them and follow up. Also, consider investing in a good “sizzle” video to communicate the excitement to higher-ups who couldn’t attend.

6 Presentation Ideas for Your Next Trade Show

If you’ve never considered trade show presentations, consider this: An interactive presentation is a tried and true strategy for engaging audiences. Not only can it attract a crowd, it can improve traffic flow, ensure prospects remember your message and deliver more qualified, knowledgeable leads to your sales team.

Think a live presentation is just a one-sided spiel? Think again! We’ve got 6 winning approaches to serve any message or budget.  Check out these presentation ideas:

Vignettes Want to bring case studies to life? Looking for ways to show potential customers you understand their clients? For an emotional, personal touch, use live actors to create a series of vignettes. Show your product or technology at work in a simulated clinic or office setting. Show consumers interacting with your products or services in their home environments. Present your vignettes as a series of walk-throughs, or put them on a turntable show for an even bigger “wow!” Here’s a great example.

Professional Product Demo Sure, you could have your sales reps show off your latest products and technologies. But how can you guarantee they’ll stay on-message while moving the most people through the experience? Hire a professional presenter. Then, after your audience has absorbed the basics, your reps can step in and close the sale.

Video Interaction Give the presenters something to talk about with images, footage and other back-up displayed on an array of monitors with multi-source feeds that allow them to show different visuals at the same time. Use the main monitor for a “conversation” with an on-screen thought leader that looks as if it’s happening live, in real time. Fast paced and impressive, this approach keeps ‘em captivated while you tell your story. Here’s an example.

News Format Create a buzz by turning your booth into a newsroom, complete with live anchors who conduct in-person interviews and interact with “remote” reporters either live or on video. This type of presentation is great for product launches and other occasions when you really do have news to deliver.

Audience Involvement Give your audience members hand-held remote devices that let them contribute to the show – or have them interact using their cell phones via Twitter or a specialized app. Ask questions and get responses in real time. Ask people to vote and instantly display the poll results. Audience response systems  can be worked into any number of presentation formats, from seminars to game shows.

Expert Q&A Bring your thought leaders to the booth and allow them to interact with your audiences. A professional moderator can filter questions, monitor the time and make sure your personnel look their best. An on-site producer can also manage visual support, freeing your people to focus on delivering critical information in a relaxed setting.

Some of these ideas might seem simple enough to DIY, but hiring professionals to craft, produce and present means you can be assured your presentation runs non-stop and is top-notch 100% of the time.Want to know more? Check out this post on effective presentation strategies.

Must Haves for Successful Trade Show Presentations

Our team just returned from the 2012 American Academy of Dermatology meeting where, once again, we helped P&G engage with doctors and key influencers whose recommendations are crucial to the company’s beauty and grooming brands.

We’re always proud of our work at AAD, and this year’s success reminded us again how a live presentation—correctly and expertly executed—can make a company the star of the trade show floor. P&G for Dermatologists was packed from start to finish, while attendance lagged at competitors’ booths.  And derms walked away with a full message about how P&G is a leader in science and a partner in solutions, thanks to an experience that included a main presentation detailing key products, a pre-show exploring P&G’s scientific heritage, and a demo experience that gave dermatologists a deeper dive.

What is an effective presentation? Here are some must-haves:

A Compelling Script – There’s an art to weaving science, research and (often multiple) product messages into a presentation that’s credible and interactive.  You’ve got to hold the audience’s attention and set a fresh, conversational tone.  A professional writer knows how to hit the sweet spot combining optimal timing with a balance of hard science, entertainment and audience engagement.

Eye-catching Visuals – High-quality images, video and graphics are a must for effective presentations.  We can work with clients to make the most of existing assets, or we’ll shoot our own to ensure that they look great on the show floor. Many of our presentations use multi-source video, but we are equally adept at weaving great assets into platforms such as Keynote and Prezi.

Professional Presenters – For a truly effective presentation, you need world-class talent to deliver your message. Professional presenters know how to take a great script and make it sound natural, conversational and engaging. At MPG, we put prospective presenters through a rigorous audition process, then hire only those we know will connect with our clients’ unique audiences.

Variety – Nobody wants to sit through a dry lecture, so shake things up by incorporating testimonials, interviews and interesting themes and transitions. Look for as many ways as possible to get the audience in on the action. You want the experience to be memorable, so work in simple messages with taglines and calls to action that stick with peoplelong after they’ve walked away.

An Element of Surprise – We’ve got a ton of tricks up our sleeve—technical “wows” that leave audiences asking “how’d they do that?” It’s all in the name of keeping peoples’ interest, but we never indulge in whiz-bang tactics for whiz-bang’s sake.  Everything we do helps tell our client’s story; if it doesn’t, then it ends up on the cutting room floor.

Optimal Timing – Tradeshow attendees have limited time and attention spans. Keeping the presentation to 8 minutes or less ensures they will retain more of your message. It also helps ensure they’ll spend more time  engaging in other booth activities and talking to your sales representatives.

A Great Support Team—If your presentation is top-notch you won’t need much help keeping your theater full, but a team of professional hosts can help gather crowds, pulse them into the seats and make sure everybody has a great experience.

Giveaways/Samples – Let attendees know you value and appreciate their time by offering product samples or another giveaway tied directly to your message or theme.

Whatever your objectives, an engaging trade show presentation can significantly increase traffic flow, message retention and sales. And who doesn’t want that?

MPG Wins Spirit of Cincinnati Partnership Award

Image1The MPG team has been honored by the Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau with a Spirit of Cincinnati Partnership Award for its work on a multi-media live spectacular that was presented as part of the closing ceremonies at the 2010 World Choir Games in Shaoxing, China.

Titled “The American Dream,” the show introduced singers from around the world to the city of Cincinnati, which will host the World Choir Games in 2012.

Calling the show “one of the most powerful tools we had to demonstrate the power of American music and Cincinnati USA,” the convention and visitor’s bureau gave MPG the Partnership Award at its 2011 annual meeting.

“MPG created a truly memorable show, and let the world know that Cincinnati USA will be ready to take center stage in 2012,” said members of the selection committee.

Written, produced, orchestrated, cast and costumed entirely by MPG, “The American Dream” featured Broadway caliber performers with video transitions that followed a young boy from China and a young girl from Cincinnati as they chatted via computer about their plans for the 2012 games.

MPG Kicks Off Countdown to the 2012 World Choir Games

Recently the MPG team had a chance to let our city—and the world—know about an amazing event coming to Cincinnati in July 2012. It’s the World Choir Games, and we couldn’t be more excited.

So we were thrilled to help create and produce a Countdown to the Games event in Cincinnati’s Fountain Square. The lunchtime celebration featured Drew Lachey as emcee, performances by Kelly King of last year’s “American Dream” show in China, an introduction to Whirl and Twirl, the 2012 Games’ official mascots, and a “musical postcard” welcome (below), which is being broadcast to the world on YouTube.


Despite the record heat, we had a huge turnout for the Countdown, and everything went off without a hitch. Team MPG is so appreciative of the many volunteers and performers who helped make this event a success, and we can’t wait to help create even more memorable moments when the games arrive here at this time next year!

Now’s the Time to Build a New Trade Show Booth

For companies considering a new trade show booth, the time has never been better. That’s because the U.S. Government recently passed new legislation that lets businesses fully expense in 2011 the cost of capital equipment.

What does this mean? Instead of depreciating the cost of a new booth over several years, companies can write off the full purchase in 2011. The result? You get most of the tax benefits of investing in new exhibits now, giving you more working capital up front.

It’s all part of an effort to boost job creation and keep the economy energized. For companies that routinely appear at trade shows, it can mean making a splash with a new custom-designed booth—one that you own.  It also can mean added cost savings in updated, lighter-weight exhibit structures that lower operating costs and increase flexibility.

Moening Presentation Group (MPG) and our design partner, InterGlobal Exhibitions (IGE) Group, have already helped a number of brands and companies take their trade show presence to the next level with new booths that combine award-winning design with expert messaging, plus a commitment to sustainable materials and practices. You can see some examples of that work right here.

The new legislation provides for full expensing of new property eligible for bonus depreciation, including exhibits, which are placed in service between Sept. 9, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2011. So the clock is ticking! Consult with your tax advisor to learn more about bonus depreciation, then call MPG to discuss how we can start designing your new booth today!

Get the Most from Your Event Agency: Pick a Pest

They say nobody likes a pest, but when it comes to choosing a partner to create your events and trade show activations, a pest might be just what you need.

Now, when we say “pest” we don’t mean someone who’s going to call every single day, show up unannounced and spam you with emails “just to say hi.”

What you want is a company that isn’t afraid to prod you when a deadline’s coming, let you know when a request will impact budget in a major way and stay in front of you when feedback, assets and approvals are needed to keep a project on track.

A good partner knows you’re busy, and most likely you’re working on several projects at once. We’ve seen the in-boxes of some of our clients, so we respect the many, many things competing for their time and attention. We’ve learned that sometimes it takes a bit of pestering to break through the noise and get what’s necessary at critical project milestones.

Because being timid can become costly. What we may gain in not bothering someone today we risk losing multiple times over when deadlines are missed, change orders come in and rush charges start piling up.

A good partner’s priority should be on keeping your project running smoothly, with as few major hiccups and nasty surprises as possible. The only way to do that is to make sure everyone’s aware of where things stand from a schedule and budget standpoint, ensure that all major stakeholders sign off on key pieces before moving forward, and manage expectations every step of the way.

In today’s crazy world, sometimes the only way to accomplish those things is to be a bit of a pest. So if you’re working with a company that isn’t afraid to email and call a few extra times when a project’s mission-critical, then be glad. Often, it’s the pests who turn out to be your best partners.

Finding Top Talent for Your Trade Show Presentations and Corporate Events

???????????????????????????????Corporate events and trade shows are one place where the messenger is just as important as the message.  When competition gets fierce and setting the right tone is vital, a good presenter can make all the difference in building brand equity, establishing credibility and—most important—forging connections.

When selecting talent for live presentations, it’s important to go beyond video clips, websites and resumes. At Moening Presentation Group, we always meet prospective new talent for an in-person audition and interview, so we can see for ourselves how the person will do in front of an audience and whether we’ll work well together.

Here are some other criteria to consider when hiring the people who will be your face and voice of your brand:

  • Are they ear prompter experts? If your presentations are tightly timed, coordinating live action with video, then you don’t want your presenters to wing it. Make sure they demonstrate proficiency with an ear prompter before you bring them on-site.
  • Are they warm and relatable? Whether talking hard science or chatting about a consumer brand, a good presenter should be able to take a script and make it sound natural.
  • Will they behave like professionals on- and off-stage? Your presenters are a reflection of you and your brand; you should be able to count on them to be at their best from the moment they arrive in an event city until it’s time to pack up and go home.
  • How are they at being a team player? Are they willing to take direction and go the extra mile, helping with crowd gathering and recognizing potential hot leads?
  • How’s their energy? The trade show floor is not for wimps. Presentations can run several times an hour and you should expect every last one to look, feel and sound like the very first.

Hiring the best talent isn’t easy, especially when you consider that you’re selecting someone to represent you in front of hundreds, perhaps thousands of people. MPG has a roster of professional presenters who have proven themselves the best in the business. If you have a project that requires superior talent, get in touch with us. We’d love to put their expertise to work for you, because your message deserves nothing less!

MPG Senior Writer Celebrates Launch of Debut Novel

Image4Sara Bennett Wealer, MPG Senior Writer, recently took on a new title: published author. Her first novel for young adults, RIVAL, was released Feb. 15 by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins.

RIVAL is the story of two girls, once friends, now enemies, who are getting ready to go up against each other in a major singing competition. Reviews for the book have been outstanding, with Kirkus advising readers to “Think Glee, only with chamber music.”

Sara held a launch party for RIVAL at the Blue Marble Bookstore in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Speaking to an audience of friends, family, readers and book bloggers, she talked about the inspiration for the book and her journey to publication, with a bit of advice for aspiring novelists thrown in for good measure.

“We’re extremely proud of Sara,” said MPG Vice President Kimberly Moening. “She worked so hard to achieve this goal. It really shows the depth of her abilities, and demonstrates to our clients that MPG works with the best of the best!”

RIVAL is on sale now.

Celebrating Team MPG

Our hearts are heavier as we head into this year’s holiday season because we do so without one of our beloved team members. Jean Carey, who most recently acted as MPG’s Finance Director but has been a dear friend and colleague for more than 20 years, passed away early this month after a brief illness.

Those who knew and loved Jean have been mourning her passing but also celebrating her life. Of course, we remember the many ways she touched us personally, but we also remember how wonderful she was to work with. Jean taught us so much about professionalism and attention to detail—she was one of the best in her field, and we all benefited from her advice and expertise.

We loved working with Jean, and we know she loved working with our team members. As we celebrate her contributions to MPG during this season of Thanksgiving, we also want to celebrate the other talented people who help us succeed and grow and provide the best possible service to those who entrust us with the job of putting their messages in the spotlight.

Our creative team – From concepts, scripts and graphics to video, digital and décor, we live for the ideas! And we never cease to be amazed at what comes out of our brainstorms. One thing’s for sure: we’ve got some big thinkers on Team MPG.

Our amazing producers – They not only execute the big ideas, they contribute a few of their own—all in the name of delivering unforgettable experiences. Our producers get the job done and make sure it exceeds expectations. They aren’t satisfied until a project is flawless.

Our incredibly talented presenters – Simply put, we hire only the best, and they deliver for us—time and time again. Whether they’re singing and dancing or talking hard science with industry professionals, our people have a special ability to connect with audiences and make a real impact.

Our world-class hosts and hostesses – In many ways, these team members are the face of MPG and our clients. They go the extra mile at events, troubleshooting, educating (sometimes even selling), and making sure all goes smoothly. They work with class and discretion to make sure everyone has an outstanding experience.

The partners who help us shine – We know we can count on these folks to bring a little something extra—to complement our skillsets, make us look good on the show floor, and help provide our clients with the latest event marketing solutions.

And finally… Our clients – They provide us with wonderful stories to tell. They push and challenge us. And they allow us the privilege of continuing to do what we love best. We’ve made some great friendships within the companies with whom we work, and we’re proud that we can continue to give them our very best.

Thanks to everyone who helps makes MPG a special team to work with. We value you more than we could ever express!