SmartSource Rentals Blog


Trade Show Strategies to Maximize Your ROI in 2015 – Part 3
2ssr pic
Oct 30, 2014 by Karen Daniels

“Trade Show Strategies to Maximize Your ROI in 2015 Part 1”  was about goals, using proper technology and measuring success.  In Part 2  we talked about how to use giveaways and charities as a means to drive relevant customers to your booth.

In Part 3 we are focusing on the importance of setting yourself up for proper, effective follow-up.

Big Trade Show Mistakes

When your company has a trade show coming up, there is a lot of time and energy spent in the planning, the creativity, and the anticipation. Then comes the trade show and things go well. You drew in lots of relevant traffic to your booth, and everyone goes home exhausted and happy.

And then flop.  People go back to their daily regular business, and the follow-up tends to get neglected. This is a common and huge mistake.

Many businesses make one of these two big trade show mistakes:

  1. They don’t do any follow-up
  2. They do too much follow-up (calling everyone who dropped by the booth)

One of the quickest ways to make your follow-up more effective is to have categories for your booth visitors. Even when you’ve done a good job of driving relevant potential customers to your booth, there are still going to be different levels of interest such as:

  • high interest (don’t be afraid to follow up with these people right then and there)
  • moderate interest
  • low interest

What you call your categories doesn’t matter as long as you have a way to hone in on the hottest leads (those with high interest). If your booth staff has done a good job of taking notes on those who were drawn to the booth, you’ll know exactly who to follow up with first.

The best thing, of course, would be to follow up with those people who have high interest while you are still there face-to-face at the trade show by setting up a specific day and time for that follow-up call or meeting. But if that wasn’t done or there were simply too many high-interest prospects, then prioritize the follow-up for these people so that they are contacted within one day of meeting them. This means that if the trade show runs over several days, you should have staff working at the end of each day to reach out.

The quickest timeframe possible should be your goal for all levels of prospects.

And for all those follow-up calls, use the following tips:

  • whether it’s a call or email, reference something specific you spoke with them about
  • focus on relationship-building, not selling
  • make it relevant and personal
  • give them a reason to get back to you (you have a great idea for them, you have a blog article or download that will help with the issue they spoke about, etc.)
  • ask them if they would like to be on your email list, don’t just put them on
  • keep notes so you know when to call them back again
  • have your long-term plan of customer touch points

Just as you invested time and energy in determining your booth objectives and in selecting the right technology to support your trade show goals in order to boost your success, you need to have your follow-up plan and steps in place if you’re truly going to maximize your trade show ROI.

Trade Show Strategies to Maximize Your ROI in 2015 – Part 2
1ssr pic
Oct 28, 2014 by Karen Daniels

In part 1 of “Trade Show Strategies to Maximize Your ROI in 2015”  we did an overview on determining your trade show goals, how to use the right technology for your goals, and then how to measure success.

In Part 2 we’re going to give you ideas for attracting relevant customers to your booth, which is another necessary component if you’re going to drive that ROI where you want it.

The Key to Effective Giveaways

Far too many exhibiters set up their booth at a trade show, put up their cool giveaway sign which says something to the effect, “Put in your business card for a chance to win an iPad.”

Hmm. There are a number of issues with that approach; namely:

  1. The traffic that comes to your booth is not relevant to your brand, product, or service, which means they are not good prospects.
  2. An iPad has nothing to do with your brand, product, or service unless you are Apple or you happen to have a business like ours where we rent iPads for events.

Bottom line – any giveaway or competition you do needs to be relevant in some way. At least if you care about your ROI.

There is no point in attracting people to your booth who are not potential customers, potential partners, or someone who could benefit from what you offer, or could benefit your company in some way. Yes, meeting people can be fun and has value in and of itself. But we’re talking about Trade Show ROI, so it’s important that your resources – which include those who are working the booth – are focused on hitting your booth goals and bumping up your success.

With that in mind, if you do decide to do a giveaway or have some form of competition, what you do needs to be aligned with your brand, product, or service. So, rather than offer a piece of technology that has nothing to do with your business, offer one of your services or products as a giveaway. Right away this attracts people who are interested in what you offer and ALSO tells people what you do.

The Key to Effective Charity-Giving

Giving to charity always seems like a great idea, and you don’t have to look far to see the increasing trend of companies tying their sales to a certain donation amount to be given to their selected charity.

Yes, you could select the latest popular charity and announce that for every ten Tweets where people use your #charityyourcompany you’ll donate x amount. Or, just like with the Giveaways, you could set it up so that the charity you select is relevant to your industry or business. People who care about that relevant charity are more likely to care about what your business offers. When you support things that are relevant to your business, you again draw in a more targeted demographic while also enhancing their trust.

When people trust you, they are more inclined to become your customer. When properly planned, you can generate a profit, improve your company’s social relevance, and better the world all at the same time.  Now who wouldn’t want to do that?

SSR – Charging Stations: A Universal Donor, Part 2
charging station part 2
Oct 23, 2014 by Anonymous

By Tia Crawford

In Part 1 of this article, we looked at the benefits that mobile charging stations bring to their users. With so many aspects of our lives organized and facilitated by our devices, cell phone charging stations are more than a modern convenience. Simply put, charging stations give people something that they need.

Moving forward, let’s look at some of the many ways that mobile charging stations are advantageous for businesses, associations, organizations, public spaces, offices, charities, and more!

  • People come over for a charge, but they leave with your message. With an integrated touch screen computer, vinyl wrap capability, and an average of 7 to 12 minutes of screen-viewing time per charge, there’s a world of potential for delivering whatever content suits your business needs. The stations can be adapted to nearly any purpose!
  • Charging stations provide branding options that really drive the point home. From static graphics, logos, and branding on the station itself, to the myriad multifaceted media possibilities of the interactive screen, it’s clear that a charging station can be customized to create exactly the scenario that you would like for your consumers.
  • Charging stations attract sponsors. If needed, it’s easy to regroup the money spent on the units through the sponsorship potential they can create.
  • They’re functional AND eye-catching. They have a truly customized, unique look when branded.
  • Mobile charging stations serve multiple devices. Charging stations can power up to 16 cell phones, smartphones, iPads or tablets simultaneously through Apple Tips, USB Tips and Micro USB Tips.

What kind of content can a charging station deliver?

You have the ability to deliver any digital content through a mobile charging station; however, there’s a larger picture. Think of a charging station as an opportunity to create your own customized, interactive, Internet experience—a world populated only with the content that is relevant to your business and your audience! The charging station draws a captive audience to your customized document library—a made to order experience that leads viewers into material such as:

  • Ads
  • Agendas
  • Application Software/Apps
  • Digital Signage
  • Documents or Document Libraries
  • Downloads
  • Feedback and Surveys
  • Flight Boards
  • Forms
  • Games
  • Information
  • Literature
  • Live Data Feeds
  • Maps and Wayfinding
  • Member Services
  • News Feeds
  • Product Demonstrations
  • Questionnaires
  • Registrations
  • Sales Presentations
  • Schedules
  • Social Media
  • Videos
  • Web Applications

Mobile charging station users have exposure and access to any combination of these options while the charging station is being tapped. Users can even select documents and send them to themselves while their phone is charging. It’s a simple and streamlined method of information transfer that makes it easier for consumers to become involved with your organization.

In conclusion, businesses are just beginning to utilize the remarkable potential of mobile charging stations. With so many aspects of our lives controlled through our devices, we need to know that we can rely on a charging oasis to keep us connected on the go. This valuable dual-purpose technology provides consumers with something they truly need, while it gives businesses an opportunity to present their unique services. It’s a rare case where EVERYONE WINS!



SSR – Charging Stations: A Universal Donor, Part 1
charging station part 1
Oct 21, 2014 by Anonymous

By Tia Crawford

Most of us are aware of the concept of the universal donor—this idea involves ONE solution that can be used for anyone in need, regardless of their individual circumstances. Believe it or not—in the business world, mobile charging stations have a similar function.

How are charging stations a universal donor?

First, they infuse energy into a vital system. Our electronic devices are tools, certainly; however, for many people, their phone is much more than a helper. Our phones keep us connected, our phones hold valuable information. They may be the key to surviving in our business . . . the key to finding our way.

Second, cell phone charging stations offer a valuable service in a time of need. Have you ever found yourself short on battery power while you travel, as you’re gearing up for an important meeting or in an emergency situation where you need to connect with people and services on the go? In these situations, a depleted battery can mean the difference between being lost or arriving on time, succeeding or failing.

Increasingly, our modern world depends upon the charges we hold in our devices. This condition isn’t going away. We’re more and more dependent upon electronics for our communications, our health, our personal and professional lives, our travel, our banking, our record-keeping, and our safety. It’s hard to find an area in our lives that is not affected by power loss.

Simply put, every business and social service can benefit from mobile charging stations.

Charging stations provide a service that everyone needs; however they do more than just charge phones. Charging stations draw an audience for your valuable material. No matter whether your organization is for profit or non-profit, public or private sector, selling or serving—your business has a mission, and a cell phone charging station attracts users into a setting that can easily promote education about your enterprise.

Let’s look at some fascinating functions of charging stations!

  • Charging stations attract people. Due to their practical nature, people from all walks of life are drawn to them.  Whether located in an airport, a lobby, a hospital, a waiting room, a store, a café, a meeting venue, or at a business event—it’s guaranteed that people will take advantage of the opportunity to charge their devices while they can.
  • The end user is getting something they need. Unlike many forms of advertising, a charging station is first and foremost GIVING something useful. In the course of a day, the average person may receive junk mail, spam emails, and telemarketing calls. People will view billboards, television commercials, and advertising “previews” before movies. They may even have flyers pushed into their hand or have people come to the door of their home. NONE OF THESE THINGS BENEFIT THEM. A charging station, however, actually provides something that people need and want. A charging station is a free vending machine that donates power!

Now that we’ve seen how mobile charging stations benefit their users, in Part 2 of this article, we’ll look at some of the many ways that charging stations benefit businesses!





Engage Attendees: Create a Trade Show Tech Lounge! – Pt. 3
Tech Lounge Part 3 pic
Oct 14, 2014 by Anonymous

Now that your trade show tech lounge is designed for comfort and convenience, it’s time to put in the elements that best support your business needs. Corporate events depend upon deliberate audience engagement—you need to attract and engage visitors to ensure that your business message can be heard and that your leads can be pulled into the sales funnel. You’ve succeeded in drawing trade show attendees in and engaging them with your charging stations, laptops, touchscreens, video walls, informational kiosks, and comfortable seating. However, your booth represents specific business opportunities and goals for your company. What elements can help you increase sales and move casual visitors into new customers?

  1. Sound Shower Directional Speakers – these remarkable speakers are designed to deliver audio that’s tailored specifically to the location of your listener. Trade show floors are noisy places full of ambient sounds from conversations and competing booths. Sound Shower speakers counteract those surrounding noises with specially designed audio technology that focuses your message directly to your listener! Simply choose a display area where your attendees will be lingering, have the speakers installed (or hung!) to create the “Sound Shower” effect. Directional speakers give you the audio advantage that is necessary to compete on the trade show floor.
  2. Lead Retrieval – you have visitors in your booth, but where do you go from there? A well-implemented Lead Retrieval System will give you all the information you need to convert visitors into sales. A Lead Retrieval System can distribute relevant and valuable information on each attendee, instantly—information that lets you know what company they represent and what services or solutions they’re seeking. The modern Lead Retrieval System is capable of providing you with so much more than basic business card information. Capture data on your attendees, and follow up on leads armed with the data that positions you to make sales.
  3. ROI Reporting – moving forward with attendee tracking, you use this technology to gather sales leads, but attendee data can—and should—be used to support your ROI reporting. Exhibiting at events is a sizable investment on the part of your company; when the time comes for you to explain the value of your participation, you need data to support your reports. Was the event a success for your company? Did your trade show booth bring in new business—if so, how many sales? How much revenue? Your competitors will be using this data to their advantage—it’s essential that you have the same opportunity!

With audience engagement being crucial, your trade show tech lounge has all the elements needed to draw visitors in. You have the chance to provide them with the conveniences they want, while you present them with the opportunity to consider your business services and solutions!

About SmartSource Rentals

SmartSource has 21 locations nationwide, a network of technology support specialists, and over 30 years of experience. SmartSource can supply, program, and install Lead Retrieval Systems and Data Collection Solutions, including desktop terminals and hand-held units. Our software applications have real-time lead access and management; we can provide you with the metrics you need. With our multimillion-dollar inventory and our experienced Account Executives offering complete technical support, before, during, and after your event, we’re a Total Technology® provider! Submit your request for a quote or call us at 800-888-8686 to speak to our Sales team.


Engage Attendees: Create a Trade Show Tech Lounge! – Pt. 2
Tech Lounge
Oct 10, 2014 by Anonymous

In the first half of this article, we discussed the advantages of creating a tech lounge within your trade show booth. The trade show floor holds a tremendous amount of competition—devoting a portion of your booth to a club-style tech lounge is an alluring and functional way of drawing visitors out of the stream of traffic and into your plush seating arrangement. Impress trade show guests with the generosity and forethought of your free and fast Internet connection and your convenient charging stations!

Previously, we examined the three basic elements of trade show tech lounge charm:

  1. Comfort
  2. Eye-appeal
  3. Functionality

We also discussed the first two essentials of tech lounge convenience—charging stations and quick, complimentary WiFi. Moving further into the precise technology that can enhance your lounge while it promotes your business goals, here are six more tech rentals that can amaze your attendees while they deliver the demonstrations and presentations that will increase your company’s bottom line.

  1. Internet Kiosks – set up a couple of freestanding interactive kiosks at the edge of your booth. These can be used as charging stations. They can offer quick Internet access. They’re able to hold document libraries, or they can simply provide access to the trade show agenda and relevant information. In addition to these helpful services, interactive kiosks are also a great branding and advertising opportunity. Use them to display your company logo within the pages and navigation, or have a logo wrapped around the kiosk itself. Visitors using the kiosks’ convenience can be shown short videos on your company’s products.
  2. Digital Signage – although you have a generously comfortable tech lounge in your booth, there’s no denying that your brand has a product or service to sell. Using digital signage for your company logo offers two advantages—it feels infinitely more modern than banners and printed materials, plus digital signage can be used to quietly run promotional videos while visitors are enjoying the services of your tech lounge.
  3. Laptops or tablets – consider offering a few tablets or laptop setups. While the majority of trade show attendees will use their smartphones to access the event app and the Internet, a certain portion of the population is simply more comfortable using larger screens. For those trade show attendees experiencing micro-reading burnout, your laptops or tablets will be a welcome opportunity for eye-strain relief.
  4. Printers – some attendees may find themselves wanting or needing hardcopy print-outs. Use letterhead, branded paper, or printer paper watermarked with your logo for an additional promotional opportunity. Not everyone embraces tiny mobile screens and digital copies—you’ll win the hearts of hardcopy devotees by offering printing concierge services on demand.
  5. Touch Screens – if you’re able, consider offering touch screen displays. This interactive technology can allow visitors to easily access trade show agendas, maps, or regional information. Touch screens can also be used to offer your guests a self-guided tour through your company’s videos, documents, and other materials!
  6. Video walls – feel free to use a video wall display to broadcast and highlight tweets and other social media posts pertaining to the trade show. Video walls continue to draw attention—naturally—through their astonishing size. Using a video wall for your logo and promotional video is an easy way to make a BIG impression.

About SmartSource Rentals

With 21 locations across the nation, SmartSource Rentals is perfectly positioned to provide you with ALL of the technology you need to stand head-and-shoulders above the trade show crowd! SmartSource has the technology you want and the expertise to make installation and execution effortless!  Give them a call today at 800.888.8686!



Engage Attendees: Create a Trade Show Tech Lounge! – Part 1
Oct 08, 2014 by Anonymous

On the trade show floor, every exhibitor is looking for new ways to divert the stream of foot traffic into their booth. Using technology rentals to create an inviting trade show tech lounge is one of the easiest ways to draw in visitors and make them linger!

Three Basic Elements

An inviting tech lounge is a finely-tuned mixture of three elements: comfort, eye-appeal, and functionality.

1. Comfort – attendees will be drawn to spaces that offer ample amounts of plush seating. Trade shows are generally housed in warehouse sized spaces with overhead fluorescent lighting—do everything you can to offer a break from that. If possible, offer a slightly darker, sheltered space that feels cozy and intimate. You’ll develop an advantage by offering a change from the cavernous space of the convention center. Side tables and lamps are a good choice—you want visitors to feel like they’re back at home, in a better version of their own living rooms. Trade show attendees walk around a lot; they’re exposed to a tremendous amount of stimuli. Offer them an opportunity to sit down in comfort and take a load off—physically AND mentally—it will be difficult for them to pass up the chance!
2. Eye-Appeal – beautiful design seems like a luxury, but eye-appeal is irresistible. While most trade show booths focus on bright branding and loud logos, let your trade show tech lounge pull people in with its cool comfort and delightful design. As any salesperson knows, getting a customer to put their guard down is half the battle. Let your trade show tech lounge instill trust and gratitude. Work to create an environment where attendees are at ease.
3. Functionality – your tech lounge must be far more than just a chance to sit down. The right blend of comfort and convenience will ensure that potential customers remain in your booth long enough for your brand to make an impact. Top-notch technology rentals will engage your visitors while simultaneously ensuring that their needs are being met.

Technology that Captivates

Which technology rentals should you consider? First off, offer charging stations. Although most of us like to think that we’re prepared, even the most organized of people can find themselves behind schedule. Hurried travel arrangements and unforeseen circumstances can lead to improperly charged electronics; in the case of poorly charged devices, this can mean the difference between professional success and personal embarrassment. For those individuals who found themselves short on time, and later on find their devices short on battery, your trade show tech lounge—with its generous charging stations—is like an oasis in the desert. Let your oasis lure visitors in with its services and convenience.
Second, free WiFi is a must. Use a WiFi booster to offer remarkably fast Internet connection speeds and reliability. The speed and reliability of your free Internet will reflect favorably on your brand, and you’ll have gained the respect and appreciation of the visitors in your booth. Certainly, the event will offer WiFi, but your booth will have two distinct advantages—reliable, fast Internet connections AND a comfortable spot where attendees can connect!

In the second part of this article, we’ll suggest a few socially savvy ways to increase activity and interest in your tech lounge, as well as discuss a few more technology rentals that can convert your trade show booth into THE spot for attendees to recharge—in all ways!

About SmartSource Rentals

SmartSource Rentals is your ONE source for Total Technology rentals. We are the largest Total Technology rental company in the US with 21 full-service locations offering a complete range of cost-effective solutions including Audio Visual, Digital Document Libraries, Charging Stations, iPad Solutions, Video Walls, Digital Signage, Computers, Laptops, LCD & LED Displays, Touch Screens, Kiosks, Lead Retrieval,WiFi, and much more. All of this with dedicated, experienced 24/7 technical support. (800) 888-8686

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