Summer Reading to Enhance Your Exhibit Marketing

Photo: © FreeImages.com/Pasi Romppanen

Photo: © FreeImages.com/Pasi Romppanen

During the warm, sunny summer months, it seems everyone is talking about great reads. And while that often may include an epic work of fiction or the latest thriller, why not include a title or two that can make you a better exhibit marketer?

While some of these may be familiar to you because they’ve been bestsellers, the rest haven’t likely been on your “must-read” list. But they should be!

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Youtility
by Jay Baer

Baer starts with the basic premise that “Youtility marketing is so useful, people would gladly pay for it.” His theory is that a company’s goal shouldn’t be to be found at the customer’s point of need, but to be so useful that customers want to find a way to work with you or buy your products.

Let’s face it – a majority of people have already educated themselves most of the way to a buying decision before even connecting with a sales rep (think about the last time you bought a car, for instance). By becoming the most-preferred information source, you’ve positioned yourself as the logical choice to spend money with.

So how can exhibitors develop their Youtility factor? Baer covers six blueprints in the book and includes an assortment of real-world examples, from swimming pools to cloud computing to household cleaning supplies.

The Art of Innovation
by Tom Kelley

I guarantee that at least once in your life you’ve wished you could be more creative. So how would you like to learn behind-the-curtain strategies and secrets of one of the world’s leading design firms?

As the general manager of IDEO, Kelley knows how to foster an environment ripe for creativity to bloom. Some of their techniques may seem predictable, like brainstorming and prototyping, but even these tools are given a new spin. A core belief is that “no idea is so good that it can’t be improved upon.” And sometimes the best ideas can happen as a result of observing (or asking users) what works and what doesn’t.

No doubt a trade show can offer one of the best environments for studying your target audience. Taking the lessons learned from this book, you can make your next trade show a hot innovation lab.

How to Write Copy that Sells
by Ray Edwards

I’ve been a fan of Ray Edwards’ podcast for several years now, and have also sat in on a few of his webinars on copywriting techniques. But in case you haven’t heard of him, I bet you’ve heard of a few of his clients: Tony Robbins (Awaken the Giant Within), Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul series), among others. He’s also written thousands of pages of copy for radio and TV commercials, websites, brochures and more.

In his book, Edwards teaches techniques to write headlines that grab attention (think booth graphics signage), e-mails that get results (great for both pre- and post-show contacts), and irresistible offers and powerful closes (a la show specials and in-booth conversations). You’ll discover the hidden structure behind all persuasive copy and how to avoid the most common copywriting mistakes. There are also a wealth of templates, examples and “swipe” files to help improve your future writing.

IdeaSelling
by Sam Harrison

I know what you’re thinking … “every time I get creative, the powers-that-be shoot my idea down.” Well, this book is for you!

In this sequel to IdeaSpotting (another great idea-generating how-to book), Harrison focuses on how to bring those ideas to life. From boosting your believability to presenting a powerful pitch, you’ll discover secrets of the pros in bite-sized, thought-provoking pages instead of traditional chapters. There are also fill-in-the-blank worksheets throughout to gather your thoughts.

Here are just two of the many things you’ll learn:
“Before you pitch, master the climb” and “Stand tall, talk short.”

So … what’s on your summer reading list? Please share your suggested titles in the comments below.

© 2016 Marlys K. Arnold  (from the July 2016 TradeShowTips Online. To receive tips like this in your inbox every month, please take a moment to fill out this request.)

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Marlys Arnold

With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community. To request an “Extra Shot of Exhibit Success” go to www.ExhibitMarketersCafe.com.