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Does Exhibitor Training Make A Difference, Even If It’s Free?

trade show marketing successSkyline provides a lot of free training to exhibitors.  The question is, is it worth it for you to follow our advice?

We wanted to know, so we asked hundreds of exhibitors.  They told us, yes, yes, overwhelmingly yes!

Here are just 18 of the more than a hundred responses from exhibitors relating how they’ve boosted their trade show marketing effectiveness with the free trade show training we provide.  We hope this has been your experience, too, or will be in the months and years ahead as you continue to sharpen your trade show marketing with us.

Skyline Trade Show Marketing Seminars:

Successful Trade Show Marketing Strategies SeminarStarted in 1988, several thousand exhibitors annually attend Skyline trade show marketing seminars in dozens of cities all through the year, covering topics like overall exhibiting skills, booth staffing, exhibit design, and more.

  1. “We doubled our response and at the same time cut our expenses at a national gathering. This followed a Skyline seminar.  I know this is what helped us increase our return.” — Tim Deveney, Christian Foundation for Children and Aging
  1. “I went to a Skyline seminar when I first started as a Trade Show Coordinator. It gave me all the basic information I needed to understand how the whole game works and filled me up with enthusiasm for the job.” — Lisa A. Schwind, Eden Foods, Inc.
  1. “I learned most of what I know about trade show marketing from Skyline seminars. They are great, thank you.” — M. Turner. Peoria County
  1. “Your seminar on Trade Show marketing was excellent.  It had real world actionable advice, strategies and useful facts.  I incorporated everything I could that would apply to my firm’s situation.  End result is that we were able to shift resources and increase return on the events we attended.” — Richard Littledale
  1. “You have proved to be a valuable asset to our company for many years and I’m very much looking forward to your next seminar.” — Blake Adams, Graphic Artist / Webmaster at MaxLite

Skyline Exhibiting Trends White Papers:

4 of the 10 trade show white papers from SkylineSkyline has commissioned or sponsored 10 trade show white papers over the last 5 years, providing detailed research on exhibiting trends and best practices in a variety of areas.

  1. “I’ve used many of your white papers. This year, the number of leads we got was 35% higher than last year. The quality of leads was also much improved!” — Renee Staul, West Penn Wire
  1. “White papers on why to exhibit and value of exhibiting have been incredibly helpful over the past few years to draw a bigger audience and generate traffic.   We appreciate this service and find there is great value in the materials.” — Mindy, US Digital
  1. “I love the white papers and I went to a training seminar which was great too!  The expert advice is always wonderful to read.” — Jocelyn Sacco, UGL Unicco

Skyline Trade Show Tips Newsletter and Blog:

Skyline Trade Show Tips blogSkyline has published Skyline Trade Show Tips, a monthly e-newsletter, since 2004, and has accelerated the pace of ideas, insight, and inspiration in a companion blog since 2009.

  1. “I am the show manager our annual buying show and I use your trade show tips in my magazine continually to enlighten our readers and exhibitors. Thank you and please keep up the good work.” — Caren Kelly, WRLA
  1. “Your tips are great!!!  Keep it up the industry needs more vendors like Skyline!!!” — Chris, Contemporary Design
  1. “Love the articles that make me think.” — Doug VanderWoude,  DCV Advisors
  1. “Yes, all correspondence from you has been helpful.  I copy and paste some articles in our company newsletter for our Reps working the conferences.  Great information.” — Cindi Guillot, Pamlab, LLC

Combo Plate:  Skyline Seminars, Blog, Newsletters, White Papers and Books:

Many exhibitors have used multiple training resources Skyline provides to put together a better trade show marketing program.

  1. “Thank you for putting on the seminars and giving out the workbooks. Sure makes my job much easier!  I have dog-eared copies of the Trade Show Marketing Idea Kit and the Maximize your Trade Show ROI binder.  I use these resources for every show.  Maybe this is why our trade show budget was increased this year!” — Lisa Peterson, Federal Heath
  1. “I love the fact that you offer so much more than just your display and that you provide the confidence to venture into this unknown area for us.  We are still deciding how to get started to include sourcing out shows but I feel much better about the idea now that I have had some insight on the dos and don’ts.” — Bev Weber, Logistics International
  1. “When I first started coordinating trade shows for our company I knew next to nothing about trade show planning. Thanks to Skyline training I now have nearly 50 successful trade shows under my belt.” — Harold White, Sy-Klone International
  1. “We’ve certainly used a lot of Skyline resources (seminars, newsletters, etc.) to refine our approach. We’ve seen more success and have a professional exhibit because of Skyline.” — Sara A. Richards, EMC Insurance Companies
  1. “We use the Skyline book in all new-employee training.” — Kathleen Arnold
  1. “You have really helped us in our prep for the show, who to bring what to train and how to measure.  It gave us a real chance by having the right people in place to make the connection.” — Stephen Vannelli, The Lakeland Companies

To all the exhibitors that answered our survey, thank you so much for letting us know it’s working for you.  It’s truly gratifying to hear how our efforts have helped you become more successful at driving real business results at trade shows.  We realize that when you succeed we succeed together.

There were several other questions on the survey.  Most of the over 750 survey respondents also shared a trade show tips of their own, so look for more insights from your fellow exhibitors over the following months to continue getting ideas that help you improve your results.  Five survey takers won a new iPod Shuffle:

  • iPod Shuffle prizesErin Eller of Gusmer Enterprises
  • Jill Stevens of Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program
  • Tricia Smith of PCS Mobile
  • Jenny Leichtfuss of Hoffmaster
  • Lisa Jordan of Higher Ed Jobs

Congrats to the winners, and again, thank you for sharing your experiences and insights with our exhibiting community.

What's Working In Exhibiting White PaperOur most popular white paper during the past year is What’s Working In Exhibiting, a 32-page guide to the best overall practices in exhibiting today.  Click here to get your free copy.

About the Author

Mike Thimmesch is the Principal at Thimmesch Marketing. For over 25 years, he has created and implemented innovative marketing, lead generation, and exhibiting strategies that profitably grow company sales and brand awareness. Mike rose to Director level at Skyline Exhibits, where he helped generate over a half million leads, resulting in over $1 billion in sales. He published 11 industry white papers and eight exhibiting books, presented over 100 trade show webinars, and wrote over 200 exhibit marketing blog posts.

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