Tips for Creating Eye-Catching Window Displays

Today’s smaller brick-and-mortar retailers face intense competition on many fronts. In addition to the big-box store down the street that is selling similar merchandise at lower prices, there is also the onslaught of online retailers that offer the benefit of convenient 24/7/365 shopping.

Now more than ever, designing a window display that attracts attention is essential for enticing customers to patronize your store.

Window Display Ideas

The following window display ideas can help you maximize your storefront’s merchandising potential and draw more customers inside:

  • Be creative: While there are many types of window displays, those that are the most appealing and memorable are the ones that capture the imagination. Create a captivating presentation based on a specific theme such as the holidays, the season or a local event, or one that tells a compelling story.
  • Use bold shapes and multiple colors: Distinct shapes will draw the attention of passersby, even from a distance. Use items such as cardboard or paper mache to create exaggerated versions of the merchandise you are looking to sell. Deploying only one color will not make your display stand out. Use at least three contrasting, yet compatible colors to enhance the presentation.
  • Incorporate lighting: The strategic use of lighting will highlight your merchandise and enhance its visual impact, especially at night. Avoid hanging lights directly over the products, though, as this will cause shadows that limit visibility. Instead, place lighting where it will spotlight the item’s most prominent features.
  • Avoid clutter: The most creative window display ideas are those that combine originality with simplicity.A window display that is too “busy” can overwhelm customers, causing them to lose interest quickly or not notice it all.
  • Update frequently: Even the most imaginative and eye-catching display will become “stale” and lose its appeal. Rotating your window displays at least once per month keeps things fresh and lets customers know that your store always has something new and exciting to offer.

Pedestal Source provides an assortment of attractive, durable display products that can help you maximize your merchandise’s visual appeal and generate more traffic. Contact us for additional window display ideas for retail stores.

Tips for Attending Your First Trade Show

Tips for Attending Your First Trade Show

Trade shows are full of opportunities. They bring so many potential clients, business partners and investors together in one space. They’re great for growing awareness of your brand, gaining insight from customers, promoting your products and services and getting leads. They pay off, too. U.S. companies earned $12.81 billion from trade shows in 2016.

And all you have to do is show up, set up a booth and let the money roll in, right?

The truth is, how you approach a trade show has a massive impact on how much you get out of it. With so much going at these events, though, getting it right can feel overwhelming — especially if it’s your first show.

With the right trade show tips to help you prepare, you can attend the event with confidence. Here’s what to do if you’re going to your first trade show.

Continue reading “Tips for Attending Your First Trade Show”

How to Attract Customers at a Trade Show

If you’re like most trade show exhibitors, you are always looking for ways to improve booth traffic and generate more interest in your products or services. While creating an eye-catching display is an excellent start, you can do more to draw attendees in and hold their attention. Use the following ideas to attract visitors to your booth:

1. Inform Trade Publications of Your Show Attendance in Advance

Trade journals and publications can provide an effective platform for publicizing your presence at an upcoming show, enabling attendees to plan to stop by your booth. Sending a press release or contacting an editor to pitch a new product can lead to an article where you can mention your promotional plans.

2. Hold a Contest

Everybody likes to win something. A trade show exhibition is a perfect venue for a game, quiz or contest that engages visitors and makes them want to spend more time at your booth. Of course, you will want to offer prizes as a way to entice attendees to stop and play.

3. Offer Better “Swag” Than Your Competitors

Most trade show attendees expect to accumulate a sizeable collection of giveaways. While pens, mugs and T-shirts are the preferred option for many exhibitors, veteran trade show attendees may view them as uninspiring.

You can stand out from the crowd by offering more imaginative giveaway items such as laptop skins, headphones or novelty gifts emblazoned with your logo or marketing message. The word will spread quickly among the attendees that your booth is the place to visit for the best swag!

4. Be a “Politely Aggressive Host”

Most exhibitors sit back and wait for attendees to stop by their booth. Taking a more proactive approach can generate additional visitors and make them feel like invited guests. Use a friendly costumed character to greet passersby and escort them to your exhibit. The character can also roam the floor and hand out product samples or giveaways, too.

Pedestal Source can offer additional ideas that can boost trade show traffic and maximize your return on investment. Contact us to learn more today.

How to Design an Impressive Trade Show Booth

Are you a regular trade show participant or attendee? Does it seem like there are always one or two displays that attract more attention than the rest?

Knowing how to set up a trade show booth that stands out from the crowd can make a significant difference in your show results. The following trade show booth design tips can help you create that “wow” factor that will make a memorable impression on visitors and help you achieve your marketing objectives:

1. Create a “One-Of-A-Kind” Booth

The best trade show booth designs are the ones that exude creativity. Gather the most imaginative people in your organization and brainstorm for unique trade show booth ideas that will set you apart from your competitors.

2. Integrate Bright Colors

A bland trade show booth that is devoid of color will fade into the background and probably won’t get a second glance. Using bold colors is an excellent way to attract attention on a crowded exhibit floor.

3. Make Your Display Interactive

Trade shows provide an opportunity for attendees to get a break from the daily routine and have some fun. Using tools such as monitors where visitors can play interactive games related to your product or staging product demonstrations can attract more people to your booth and hold their attention longer.

4. Incorporate Brand Messaging

If yours is a startup company, most visitors probably won’t know who you are and what you do. Trade show exhibits provide a golden opportunity to get the message out by prominently displaying your brand, logo or marketing slogan all over your booth. Giveaways also enable you to deliver your branding message — and allow attendees to take something with them.

5. Use Tradeshow Display Stands to Highlight Your Products

The effective use of attractive stands, pedestals and tables can draw more attention to the products you wish to feature at the show and help you project the desired image.

Pedestal Source is your headquarters for beautiful, well-constructed trade show stands that can help your products get noticed. Contact us for more information and to receive additional trade show booth design tips that will improve the results at your next exhibition.

Interactive Museum Exhibits

Interactive Museum Exhibits

More than 850 million people visit museums in the United States every year. Museums cover a diverse range of exhibits, including art, natural history, science and technology. People keep coming back to museums because they are a trusted source of information and valuable touchstone for the growth and accomplishments of human society. In 2016, 7.4 million people visited the Louvre in Paris, and another 7.01 walked the halls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Museums like this draw millions of visitors because of their amazing collections, and because they continually strive to connect with the people who keep their doors open.

Interactive Museum Exhibits

Museums are increasingly becoming aware of how digital technology is revolutionizing our daily lives. People have limitless information at their fingertips at all times. They can watch a video of the latest dinosaur fossil being unearthed. They can tweet at a professional who restores priceless works of art. They can go to Google Earth to virtually walk anywhere in the world. Those capabilities do not take away from the joy and value of seeing ancient artifacts and modern technology in person at a museum, but it does leave people wanting more than a “look-and-see” experience. People want to engage with the information museums have to offer, which is why interactive museum technology is becoming invaluable.

Here is a comprehensive look at the technology that goes into creating interactive exhibits, how the design process works and what role digital technology has to play in the future of museums.

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Why Trade Show Exhibits Are Important for Your Business

Creating the most attractive, practical, technologically advanced or innovative product won’t mean a whole lot if no one knows about it. Getting the product in front of the people who are most likely to purchase it is an essential component of a well-crafted marketing strategy.

Trade show marketing is a powerful promotional tool that brings buyers and sellers who share a common interest together in one location. Knowing how trade shows work can have a positive impact on your business in so many ways.

What Are Trade Show Exhibitions?

A trade show is a gathering of company representatives in a specific industry for promotional purposes. Usually held in large exhibit halls or similar facilities, the typical trade show setup consists of rows of individual booths.

Each company uses its allotted booth space to create an eye-catching display to attract visitors, giving the representatives the opportunity to pitch their product or service and generate interest. Exhibitors can demonstrate their products if applicable and hand out free samples or promotional giveaways.

Understanding the Importance of Trade Shows

Attending trade shows and understanding their importance can provide numerous benefits for your company:

  • Access to your target market: Because trade shows are industry-specific, they offer the perfect opportunity to reach the people who are most likely to purchase your product or service — trade shows often provide the biggest bang for your marketing buck.
  • Networking: Trade shows enable you to meet and interact with customers and “players” in your industry, which can set the stage for future business opportunities.
  • Promoting your brand: The trade show forum can help you generate brand awareness and trust, which is especially important if your company is a startup venture.

Trade Show Marketing Tips

Tips to help you maximize your trade show results include:

  • Consider paying extra to get a prime booth location that will heighten your visibility.
  • Make your display as interactive as possible.
  • Staff your booth with friendly, sales-oriented people who have a thorough understanding of your products and company.
  • Use samples, giveaways, contests, demonstrations and the like to capture and hold visitors’ attention.
  • Gather contact information and follow up after the show.

Contact Pedestal Source to learn more about trade shows and how they can help you reach your business goals.

Modern vs. Contemporary Design

Modern vs. Contemporary Design

A lot of people use modern and contemporary interchangeably to describe a design style. Although there are plenty of similarities between the two, modern is not the same as contemporary.

So, what exactly sets modern and contemporary design apart? In this piece, we will look at the differences between modern and contemporary design as well as the similarities. We will also explore ways you can create a contemporary or modern look in your home. Continue reading “Modern vs. Contemporary Design”

Culture Club

The Pedestal Source/Xylem Design Culture Club is not for fans of obscure 80’s bands.  It’s not that kind of Culture Club.  But we did have our second meeting of what we call the Culture Club last week.  While it’s certainly an opportunity to hang out and have a meal with our ultra-cool co-workers, and to discuss a few of the ins and outs of the pedestal display business,  it’s really more about sitting down as a group and not only discussing what the culture of our company is, but moving towards the definition of what the culture will be.  This is achieved through defining our values; first individually, then collectively.  Each employee has been given a long list of values and asked to rank each one in order of importance.  Then, after everyone’s thoughts and opinions are heard, our fearless leader Greg Glebe will take a lot of the input and formulate it into the “Stone Tablets” that reflect his values for the company.

The #1 rule of the Culture Club is this:  Leave Your Ego At The Door!  The ego is always and only self-serving. We value serving each other and serving our customers and vendors.  The #2 rule of the Culture Club is this:  Don’t forget about rule #1!  This is part of what we call the “basic” values: honesty, integrity, kindness, respect, and humility. Without the starting point of these basics, the discussion of our cultural company values is a moot point.  So when our employees bring these basics with them, we have a good, common starting point.

Greg came up with the idea of the Culture Club, and believes that by defining what we value, we can move more intentionally towards nurturing a culture that draws the best out of everyone.  As the meeting progresses, certain values rise to the top. Values like:  “Wowing the Customer”, “Over-communicating”, “A Fun Work Environment” and a desire for “Continuous Self-Improvement”.  As we move forward with our Culture Club meetings, we hope to move closer and closer to defining what that culture will look like. Because ultimately, culture is the key and values are the constant point of reference that great cultures are built on. Making pedestals may be the nuts and bolts of our business, but our mission is so much more.

How the High Park Fire Affected Us at Pedestal Source

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No alarm clock can awaken you with the sense of panic that the smell of thick, heavy smoke can do. But in the early, pre-dawn hours of June 10th, that’s exactly what Pedestal Source team member Emily awoke to; and she knew what was coming next. Indeed, the eerie silence was broken at 5am with the phone call to evacuate. In utter shock that the fire could actually be that close, she took only what couldn’t be replaced, and left her home not knowing if she would see it again. The days that followed were filled with stress, anxiety and a helpless feeling of knowing there was nothing she could do. Hoping that going to work would provide some normalcy, it only added to the stress. Her office window faced directly towards where her house was, complete with a view of the billowing smoke and a constant reminder that her house could be a pile of ash by now.

Here in Fort Collins, CO we have recently had our world shaken by the High Park Fire. The images of devastation have been hard to view, and the stories of loss have been heartbreaking. And while we all have joined in the sentiments of many of our community members in thanking the firefighters, it wasn’t until this past weekend that I really understood what I was being thankful for.

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My family and I decided to take a drive on Sunday to view some of the burn area. I was immediately struck by how seemingly random the fire was, but at the same time how selective it seemed. Burned vegetation yet a wooden fence untouched. A row of mail boxes with a random one melted to the ground. Blackened, charred, dark as coal trees in one spot and not 20 yards away the greenest and most normal looking, unaffected trees you’ve ever seen.

And the houses as well. We saw our share of destroyed structures, but in the case of so many houses, the building was spared. With Emily’s house, the fire came within 200 yards, and in some cases in her neighborhood the fire burned right up to the foundation, but didn’t burn the house. After giving this some thought, you realize what this means. These houses had most likely been protected by firefighters. House after house still standing amongst the charred forests and burnt brush covered hillsides.

Now, it’s easy to understand all the signs. Just on my short drive alone I saw dozens of signs trying to express the un-expressable to the firefighters and emergency personnel. Incredible gratitude. Thank you indeed. Yes, okay. It’s their “job” right? But the unpredictable nature of fire automatically puts these men and women in harms way. They risked their lives to save someone else’s memories. Someone else’s hard work. Someone else’s reality. For that, our community can express no adequate words of thanks.

Community. Although just a bunch of individuals, together we make up a collective consciousness that keeps us bound together on a certain level. Here at this company, we join in with our community in saying “thank you”. We say it because we know the firefighters would do the same for any us. Emily’s relief of her house being spared was tempered of course by knowing so many people were not so fortunate. But it’s the same community that thanked the firefighters that now helps the devastated, less fortunate ones pick up the pieces. It’s what community does, and we’re proud to be a part of it. 

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View our Pinterest board dedicated to the High Park Fire here

Buying or Renting Trade Show Pedestals: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

The start of the trade show is 2 hours away. The set up is going great. Everything so far is looking spectacular. Everything except… Except the fact that the pedestals never arrived from your exhibit supplier. OK, don’t panic. Take a deep breath. You can just set the product up on the floor. Um, no. I know! Steve can hold them, he is sometimes called the human pedestal around the office anyway… Wait! Boxes! Cardboard boxes will hold them! No… the product weighs 40 pounds – an accident waiting to happen. Alright Steve, get your haz-mat suit on we’re down to dumpster diving – just find something we can use as a pedestal!

Has this ever happened to you? Maybe it’s a slight over-dramatization. Or maybe not. Either way, no one wants to end up in a frustrating situation like this. That’s why renting vs. buying display pedestals has turned into one of the classic dilemmas for trade show planners. The lasting impression that you want to present is one that is aesthetically pleasing. Having all of your pedestals show up on time should be the least of your worries. So naturally when considering all aspects of your exhibit the question arises: should I rent or should I buy the display pedestals for the upcoming trade shows? Whether you’re a large Fortune 500 company or a small company with a local and regional focus, budget concerns will figure prominently in marketing decisions, especially where the ROI can be somewhat tricky to assess. There is no doubt display pedestals play a significant role in the look and feel of your trade show exhibit. But is it really necessary to invest your money in purchasing your pedestals? Here are five questions every event exhibit planner should ask themselves when considering whether to rent or buy the display pedestals for a trade show.

1. What are my quality requirements?

You put so much time and energy into the planning and preparation of your trade show exhibit. The aesthetic quality of the display pedestals must be top notch. The last thing you want is for this to be a wild card in your exhibit setup. So how do you ensure that the pedestals you will be using meet your high standards? Renting can offer you a tremendous amount of flexibility if your shows are seldom and if it’s acceptable that the quality and style vary a bit from show to show. However, if you have very specific needs for style, color and size, buying will allow you to control all of these aspects. It also allows you to inspect the pedestals for quality control days or weeks before the show to ensure the condition. It can be incredibly frustrating to realize at the last minute that there are damaged or missing pedestals in your rental inventory!

2. What are my time constraints for the upcoming show?

We’ve all had the last-minute trade show entry. Perhaps you have overlapping shows or need additional pedestals for a larger space. The reality is that you just may not have the time to put in an order to purchase pedestals. In these cases, renting gives you the flexibility to work on very short turnaround times. However, many quality pedestal manufacturers have pedestals in stock or pedestals that can be custom-made and shipped within a couple of days. This allows you to remain consistent with the style and color of your other exhibit pieces.

3. What do I need to consider as far as storage?

Let’s be honest: storage is an added long term cost. Sometimes it feels like you need a small warehouse just for your trade show materials! For some, this is just not an option. You can’t keep overhead costs down if you have to figure out how to store bulky trade show exhibits. Renting, however, alleviates this problem altogether. Allowing storage space to be the rental company’s concern solves a big headache. With that said, it’s probably worth the time to really consider just how much space you need to store your pedestals. Many pedestal manufacturers are aware of this problem for businesses and offer portable, collapsible pedestals that allow for easy storage and travel. Suddenly, space will become a non-issue.

4. How often will I be using the pedestals?

This question is really the crux of the issue regarding renting or buying your trade show pedestals. Do you have only one show per year that you attend? Or occasionally do you have two or more shows happening simultaneously that you need to add additional pedestals to your stock? Then renting may be the best option for you. There is simply no need to purchase and store pedestals that get so little use. But maybe you are the trade show king, a real road warrior attending multiple trade shows a year. Perhaps your pedestals do double-time and you need them to display items in your office. Then buying would be the best option. Your pedestals will pay for themselves in no time, and as stated before, you get to control the quality, style and color.

5. What’s it going to cost me?

This is where the rubber meets the road and obviously goes hand in hand with Question 4. Many portable trade show display pedestals can be purchased for as low as $75 and will pay for themselves within 3 or 4 shows. Renting pedestals does offer flexibility especially where storage is concerned, but can become expensive over the long run. Again, the question of cost will be answered by analyzing how much you will be using your pedestals.

The question of renting vs. buying spills over into many aspects of your business, especially when it comes to your marketing materials. In addition, perhaps there are some general philosophical questions that need to be asked: How important are trade shows to your business? Are they part of your long-term marketing strategy? If so, the materials you use will say a lot about your company on the big stage. Consequently, your pedestals will say a lot about you as well. Hopefully, these guidelines will serve to aid you in making the best decision for your unique situation thereby resulting in achieving the right balance between aesthetics and economics.