Virtual Reality Use in Education and Training

In the first part of our series, we outlined the basics of virtual reality (VR). In part 2, we discuss how VR is blazing a path into education and training.

Have you ever noticed your children often navigate technology better than you? Has your child ever said, “Give it to me, I’ll do it,” and then taken your phone and made it do something wonderful that you couldn’t figure out? Today’s youth are the first generation growing up using tablets and smart phones on a daily basis. And the classroom is keeping up with them. This involves more than just smart boards, tablets, and laptops.

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VR in the Classroom

TechCrunch reports a spike in the number of companies marketing virtual reality technology to schools over the space couple of years. One factor behind this is the recent release of affordable VR headsets. These headsets are often made from cardboard. In addition to affordability, they fit comfortably and transport easily. Schools can now afford to purchase enough headsets for an entire class to use.

 

 

Some researchers report VR may lead to better memorization and comprehension. The interactive and immersive nature of VR activate more of your brain. VR also allows students to see and experience things they wouldn’t be able to without VR. For example, a class in rural Iowa could turn the British Museum or visit the Amazon Rainforest.

Current VR offerings mainly focus on biology, anatomy, geology, and astronomy. But other applications are set to make an impact, such as field trips to historical sites, museums, natural sites and architectural construction models.

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The following companies produce VR technology for schools and universities:

Pioneer Expeditions by Google: Allows students to visit anywhere from the Great Wall of China to Mars.
Immersive VR Education: Students can travel to the moon on Apollo 11 as Neil Armstrong, take a trip around the solar system, or explore Mars.
Lecture VR: Recreates historic lectures such as those of Albert Einstein.
Universiv: Students learn anatomy or explore the Titanic, Stonehenge, or the International Space Station.
Alchemy VR: Students discover the inside of the Egyptian pyramids or explore the Great Barrier Reef.
Zspace: Provides STEM education via VR.
Woofbert VR: Concentrates on the arts. Students visit museums and galleries.
Nearpod: Students take field trips to places such as volcanoes, the Coliseum, the Lincoln Memorial, caves, and travel the Oregon Trail.

 

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VR in Training

Schools aren’t the only places VR is impacting the learning process. Businesses also utilize VR to train employees. In fact airline pilots were the first to use VR in their flight simulators. Since then, other industries have adopted VR training:
— skilled trades, such as welding
— medical professions, such as surgery, paramedics, ER personnel
— hazardous occupations, such as mining, oil rig platforms
— transportation personnel, such as airline pilots, truck drivers, police and fire
departments, railroad personnel
— combat personnel
— factory assembly lines

Venture Beat outlines several benefits of VR training over conventional training:
— safety: Surgical residents can practice surgery in a virtual environment, before moving on to working with patients.
— affordability: It costs less money to purchase a virtual training module and allow pilots to train on it, rather than providing maintenance and fuel for a fleet of jets.
— relaxed: Trainees know they are using a virtual environment, so they will not be as nervous about messing up. This allows them to think more clearly and to learn.
— Knowledge retention: The VR experience involves several senses and activates more parts of the brain. It also helps promote more abstract thinking.

Chances are good that you will soon experience VR training or education or your business may benefit from VR training experiences. Geek Tech Branding offers a variety of VR headsets in every price range. Check out our website for more information. And watch out for our next installment in our virtual reality series. Part 3 focuses on the ways VR is transforming healthcare services.

 

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About the author:

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products for all occasions and events.–including custom packaging and custom promotional products.  Specifically, they offer a large selection of VR headsets at every price point.
Geek Tech Branding is a third-generation company that began in 1956 selling imprinted calendars and writing instruments and has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of imprinted technology and promotional electronic gifts in the country. We are currently celebrating our 60th anniversary of helping clients build their brand and marketing reach.

Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses  and improve their branding.
He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog.

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power banks and power chargers, imprinted Bluetooth speakers, imprinted fitness tracker watches and promotional ear buds, imprinted drones, promotional virtual reality goggles, embroidered computer backpacks,  imprinted USB car chargers, promotional stylus pens and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

 

Bringing Virtual Reality to Business (Part 1 of 6)

What’s your first thought when someone mentions “virtual reality”? Teenagers playing video games? Computer geeks building fantasy worlds? Time to update your perceptions. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have progressed to the realm of business and industry. Both are now poised to change the way we shop, learn, receive healthcare, create, and travel. pexels-photo-123335Defining Virtual Reality

First of all, what defines virtual reality? Virtual reality or VR means blocking out the “real world” to experience a computer generated alternative. True VR experiences meet the following criteria:
— Believable: you must believe what you are experiencing is real.
— Interactive: what you are seeing or experiencing must be responsive to your body’s movements.
— Computer Generated: high-speed computers produce the virtual world
— Explorable: the program must offer a place for you to explore and allow you to choose where to go or what to do.
— Immersive: engages several senses to experience the virtual world (sight, sound, touch, etc)

Fully immersive VR usually involves 3 components:
—  computer generated world to explore
—  powerful, high-speed computer
—  linked hardware, such as headsets or goggles

VR allows you to walk on the Moon, take the field in the World Series, or explore the U.S. National Parks. Businesses can use it to allow home buyers to tour houses, pilots to practice landings, and travelers to select hotel rooms.

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Virtual Reality vs. Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) shares some similarities to VR, but differs slightly. AR enhances the “real world” with computer generated images. Google Glass and other “smart glasses” are examples of AR. Cars windshield displays of maps and directions also employ AR.

Virtual Reality Gets Real

VR is not new to business and industry. Some of the earliest applications involved training airline pilots and surgeons. However, new technology and affordability are bringing VR to more disciplines. Headsets are now available in all price ranges. Additionally, they are more comfortable and easier to wear. Powerful computers are able to create more realistic experiences.

The success of Oculus Rift headsets indicates both industry and the public share an interest in exploring VR possibilities. We are in the early days of exciting new opportunities. In this series of articles I will outline innovative uses of VR in education and training, real estate, healthcare, retail, and travel.  The next installment discusses how VR and AR are changing how we learn.  Stay tuned!

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About the author:

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products for all occasions and events.–including custom packaging and custom promotional products.  Specifically, they offer a large selection of VR headsets at every price point.

Geek Tech Branding is a third-generation company that began in 1956 selling imprinted calendars and writing instruments and has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of imprinted technology and promotional electronic gifts in the country. We are currently celebrating our 60th anniversary of helping clients build their brand and marketing reach.
Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses  and improve their branding.
He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog.

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power banks and power chargers, imprinted Bluetooth speakers, imprinted fitness tracker watches and promotional ear buds, imprinted drones, promotional virtual reality goggles, embroidered computer backpacks,  imprinted USB car chargers, promotional stylus pens and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

9 Steps to Choosing the Perfect Corporate Holiday Gifts

What Metrics Do You Utilize When Selecting Your Corporate Holiday Gifts Each Year?

choosing best corporate holiday giftsAustin, Texas: Christmas is only a few months away- and many of my clients are starting to think about their corporate Holiday gifts.

Some will take weeks to ponder their Holiday gifts. Others call me up on December 15th and ask for whatever we have in stock (Funny–but true!!)

Here are some tips to choosing the right Holiday gifts this year:

  1. Understand Your Target Audience: Visualize eight to ten of your best customers (or employees or volunteers) – and put yourself in their shoes.  What kind of gift would they like the most?  Do they want something with lots of bells and whistles?  Do they want something new and different? What would they proudly put on their desks or in their car?
  2. Decide Why You Are Giving Out Holiday Gifts:  What is your objective?  Is it as a token of appreciation– a way of saying thank you?  Is it because it is implied each year? Is it to keep your name in front of that recipient next year? Is it to be the talk of the office party? Once you know why you are giving these gifts, it can help in the selection of it as well.
  3. Determine Your Budget: Simple enough– but very important.  When considering corporate gifts to clients, think about the lifetime value of that client when considering your budget.  Too much can be considered a “bribe”. Too little can be insulting in their eyes.  You just need to think this through carefully. Many companies and certain industries have a limit of $25-$50 for gifts per employee that you need to abide by.    If this is for employee gifts, the same thoughts of being at the right spend levels needs to be considered, as well as to avoid tax consequences.
  4. Will Everyone on the List Get The Same Gift? For employee gifts, we usually suggest the same gift to all — as people talk and you want to look charitable without overtly choosing favorites.  When it comes to client gifts, that is a entirely different story. Do you breakdown you customer list into A-B-C lists and budget according to their past spend or future potential?  There is no right or wrong– but it is something to consider.  (We segment our client Holiday gifts into 3 lists, just FYI).
  5. How Will the Gifts be Distributed?  Will they be mailed to various offices or homes? If so, consider packaging and drop-ship options.  We drop-ship a ton of Holiday gifts for our clients–which saves them time and labor and freight going back and forth. Consider weight, package size and dimensional weights to keep a handle of shipping costs. Will they be handed out in person?  If so, how will they be wrapped?
  6. Who Will Be Involved in the Decision Process?  Why did you choose this particular group? How well do they know steps 1-5? Having multiple decision makers may be a good idea, but we have found it creates delays and gridlock.  Ask 3 people for their decision and get 10 votes.  Ask 5 people and get 35 votes–which gets you no closer to your goal. We have found it best to survey a few well-informed office colleagues initially for ideas- then have one person narrow it down and choose.  Otherwise we will get that panic call on December 15th–lol.
  7. Can You Remove Your Personal Wants from the Holiday List?  Many of my clients love to golf- and they consistently ask me for golf-related tech gifts each Christmas season.  Just because the boss likes golf (NASCAR, music, puzzles, etc.) does not mean that your recipients will feel the same way. Take your personal wish list out of the equation- and buy yourself something nice at the end of this process.
  8. Be Inclusive of All Religions and Faiths. This goes without saying.  Stay away from religious-themed gifts unless you are giving these to members of a specific church or religious group.  Be strong in your faith if you wish, but keep it out of Holiday corporate gifts. This is a diverse country and not every client or employee shares your faith and traditions– but they all love Holiday gifts. There really is no war on Christmas in the business world – so bite your tongue and call it a Holiday gift – so all faiths can enjoy this great time of the year!
  9.  Bottom Line, Remember to Make the Holiday Season Fun, Joyous and Festive. After all, we are talking about Holiday gifts. They should be fun to give out.  Be generous, but don’t break the bank. Have  great time playing Santa Claus this year and enjoy the smiles and goodwill you will have created.

What will be you choice of Holiday gifts this year?

Monthly Newsletter

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products for all occasions and events.–including custom packaging and custom promotional products.

Geek Tech Branding is a third-generation company that began in 1956 selling imprinted calendars and writing instruments and has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of imprinted technology and promotional electronic gifts in the country. We are currently celebrating our 60th anniversary of helping clients build their brand and marketing reach.

Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses  and improve their branding.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog.

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power banks and power chargers, imprinted Bluetooth speakers, imprinted fitness tracker watches and promotional ear buds, imprinted drones, promotional virtual reality gogglesembroidered computer backpacks,  imprinted USB car chargerspromotional stylus pens and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

How Often Do You Think About Your Branding?

Your Branding Should be a Complete Part of All Your Marketing Activities for Maximum Effectiveness

marketing and branding

Austin, Texas: Most of my clients are marketing managers and brand managers- and I am amazed that I still get at least a dozen calls per week for promotional swag where the client does not care, or does not know, about their Pantone (PMS) color- and just tells me to match it as closely as possible.

If you are in marketing– every single aspect of your brand matters.

Your PMS colors should be known.  Every color is recorded within the  Pantone Matching System– so each time you get something printed with your logo on it, it will be a perfect color match.

We like to save the PMS colors as part of the file extension so it is always handy whenever you reference it–like XYZcorp-342.  If you have Pantone 342 Forest Green as part of your logo color and you authorize a PMS 347 Kelly Green instead, your clients will notice.

Every single aspect of your branding matters to create an overall image of your business.

This holds true for the quality of the paper you use in your collateral pieces, business cards and other handouts.

If you are looking to be known as the cheapest vendor out there–then perhaps showing you know how to save a few pennies here and there will correctly match your brand and persona.

But if you are a law firm or financial management firm – and you are giving away a low end promotional speaker instead of ordering fewer of a better one- then your branding is speaking for you–just not very favorably.

I often advise my clients to maximize their promotional or marketing budgets by ordering fewer of an item, but going for a much higher quality promotional gift–as it will be remembered–one way or the other.

Trinkets and trash are for the other guy–not for you!  You need to brand yourself only with high quality remembrance items that will be used over and over again.

Each time your clients’ use your promotional gifts, your are making a branding impact…however subtle.

Match your entire branding experience with the image you want to convey to your clients.

Think low budget and your clients will often get that same vibe from you.

What image are you trying to portray for your brand?

Try to visualize a few faces of your actual clients for a second — and think about how they think of your brand.  Then think about some of your competitor’s clients, and visualize the same thing.

Are you best positioning your brand and image to fit these clients?

Are there places you might need to reconsider and revamp?  Do so immediately.

You only have milliseconds to convey your image.

Are you doing it correctly at all client touch points?

If not, start with the most obvious branding flaws — then work on the next.

Your branding should be a continuous and constant thought.  It is certainly not a one-and-done project.

How will you improve your branding over the next 6 months?

Happy Promoting!
Monthly Newsletter

———————————————————-

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products for all occasions and events.–including custom packaging and custom promotional products.

Geek Tech Branding is a third-generation company that began in 1956 selling imprinted calendars and writing instruments and has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of imprinted technology and promotional electronic gifts in the country. We are currently celebrating our 60th anniversary of helping clients build their brand and marketing reach.

Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses  and improve their branding.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog.

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power banks and power chargers, imprinted Bluetooth speakers, imprinted fitness tracker watches and promotional ear buds, imprinted drones, promotional virtual reality gogglesembroidered computer backpacks,  imprinted USB car chargerspromotional stylus pens and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Donald Trump Needs to Re-Learn Marketing 101: Your Brand Must Stay on Message

Donald Trump the Brand vs. Donald Trump the Candidate: Only One Brand Stays on Message

branding
Austin, Texas: As I watch the Donald Trump presidential campaign go through cycles of gaffes, mis-statements, clarifications and blustering, I wonder in amazement how a person that has been so dedicated to branding over the past 30 years can get things so wrong.

 

Trump real estate has always marketed itself as a prestigious, high quality brand that deserves premium pricing.  It was perceived as “best of the best” and its panache carried the brand to markets across the country and the globe very well over the past few decades. The name “Trump” on a building commanded a higher price per square foot that a similar one one block over.

 

On the other hand, Donald Trump the candidate seems off-message nearly every day.
He is pro-choice and also pro-life.
Pro-women and also anti-woman.
His viewpoint can vary day by day or interview by interview, as the latest Chris Matthews interview on his views on abortion can attest.

 

Donald Trump may or may not get a chance to reshape his message and articulate one point of view–while trying to sell it to the American people. It will be a very tough battle now that the brand is muddied and has very high negatives.

 

Your brand is all of your actions that shape perceptions of your company, your products and your mission.
 

 

Regular brands often do not get a second chance to shape minds.

 

Once a brand loses its focus,it is nearly impossible to regain.

 

What does your brand stand for?

 

Can you explain it in under 10 words?

 

Do you live and breathe that brand – or does it change every few cycles or years?

 

Is your marketing consistent with your brand?

 

Do your customers and prospects clearly understand your brand?

 

Does all of your social media match your brand?

 

Do all of your employees (bottom up) understand your brand?

 

Get your branding right consistently because nothing ruins a company faster than being off-brand.

 

Is your branding on message?

Happy Promoting!
Monthly Newsletter

———————————————————-

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products for all occasions and events.–including custom packaging and custom promotional products.

Geek Tech Branding is a third-generation company that began in 1956 selling imprinted calendars and writing instruments and has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of imprinted technology and promotional electronic gifts in the country. We are currently celebrating our 60th anniversary of helping clients build their brand and marketing reach.

Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses  and improve their branding.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog.

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power banks and power chargers, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves,  branded iPhone cases, imprinted USB car chargerspromotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Improving Your Marketing Through Virtual Reality

How You Can Utilize Virtual Reality To Improve Your Marketing Efforts

VR marketing

Austin, Texas One of the most popular trends of late has been virtual reality marketing.

I have seen huge lines forming at trade show booths for companies demonstrating their virtual reality software, training or just being used as a marketing gimmick.

Companies like Six Flags theme parks will be using virtual reality to enhance their roller coaster experience and add another level of excitement to their rides.

Coca Cola and McDonald’s restaurants have been testing virtual reality to stay one step ahead of their competition. McDonald’s Sweden used custom virtual reality headsets to promote  “Sportlov”, a Swedish recreational holiday, during which many families go skiing.custom virtual reality headsets

The Coachella music festival is adding a new app and shipping out cardboard VR headsets to this year’s attendees in the “welcome boxes” containing their tickets.

 

coachella

And at this month’s SXSW Expo in Austin, there will even be a seminar entitled, “Your Brain on Virtual Reality“.

As more and more smartphones are able to handle virtual reality (VR) applications, imagine how you can use VR to bring the full essence of your brand to your customers.

Whether it is to help a client to get an understanding of what it would feel like to be behind the steering wheel of your new car or boat, get induced to book a cruise on your ship, take a full demo of your product without leaving their office, experience your new apartment or condo project while you are still raising capital, etc.-…the applications are endless.

imprinted virtual reality gogglesHow will you be utilizing virtual reality to market to your client base?

Start to consider ideas and options as I feel those that are pioneers in this relatively new medium will have a huge advantage over their competitors.

Will you be using imprinted virtual reality headsets to create a buzz at your trade show?

Will you be developing VR apps to enhance the user experience for your clients?

Will you be utilizing virtual reality to market and to increase market share.

Start planning now.

Please share with me how you virtual reality will fit into your marketing plans for this year and beyond.

Happy Promoting!

 


Monthly Newsletter

———————————————————-

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products for all occasions and events.–including custom packaging and custom promotional products.

Geek Tech Branding is a third-generation company that began in 1956 selling imprinted calendars and writing instruments and has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of imprinted technology and promotional electronic gifts in the country. We are currently celebrating our 60th anniversary of helping clients build their brand and marketing reach.

Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses  and improve their branding.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog.

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted virtual reality headsetsimprinted power banks and power chargers, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves,  branded iPhone cases, imprinted USB car chargerspromotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Promotional Power Banks Study Results for 2016

Results of the 2016 Promotional Power Banks Revealed

Ausimprinted power bankstin, Texas: Each year the Advertising Specialty Institute releases the results of their international study on promotional products and its trends – and this year’s study shows the cost-effectiveness of many promotional items.

This blog post will talk about promotional power banks.  As you can see from the study:

  1. 60% of consumers state that they would be more likely to do business with the advertiser who gave them a power bank.
  2. 32% of people age 18-44 own at least one power bank–making this the ideal demographic for another one.
  3. 87% of the consumers state that they would keep a promotional power bank because of its usefulness.
  4. Best of all form a marketing point of view, over its lifespan, the average promotional power bank generates 1,034 brand impressions.  That means the recipient will have seen your logo over 1,000 times throughout the next few years–cementing it into their subconscious.

Are promotional power banks right for your next event?

Obviously, it it depends on your target audience and budget.  But with its low cost per impression and high appeal, power banks can be a great promotional tool for thank you gifts, gift with purchase, gifts for appointments, trade show gift, conference gift and more.

Let us know how we can help with your next promotional power banks.  We offer over 3,000 styles of custom printed power banks in all price ranges.

Happy Promoting!

For more information on the Advertising Specialty Institute 2016 Study, click here.


Monthly Newsletter

———————————————————-

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products for all occasions and events.–including custom packaging and custom promotional products.

Geek Tech Branding is a third-generation company that began in 1956 selling imprinted calendars and writing instruments and has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of imprinted technology and promotional electronic gifts in the country. We are currently celebrating our 60th anniversary of helping clients build their brand and marketing reach.

Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses  and improve their branding.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog.

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power banks and power chargers, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves,  branded iPhone cases, imprinted USB car chargerspromotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Do You Really Know Why You Are Exhibiting At Your Largest Trade Shows?

Do You Have Clearly Defined Reasons for Exhibiting at Your Major Trade Shows and Conventions?

trade show marketing ideas

Austin, Texas: We work daily with clients that are looking for cool promotional swag for their up-coming trade shows.

Some have really clearly defined ideas and goals for their shows. They have done pre-show marketing and have targeted specific clients that they will be targeting during this trade show extravaganza.

Others are just hoping enough “qualified” and “warm” leads to just walk into their booth — without taking any pre-show marketing steps.

Most of these folks are disappointed with the trade show results…and rightfully so.  After all, how can you gauge the measure of a trade show without having a clearly defined goal ahead of time?

Before exhibiting at another trade show, take some time and ask yourself: What are the top 3 reasons you are exhibiting at a specific trade show – and what steps do you need to do ahead of time to reach those goals?

Too many companies exhibit at trade shows without setting up goals and objectives.  Some exhibit at trade shows just because they’ve done so for decades without re-thinking if that strategy is still sound.

Perhaps a different trade show has come along that better suits your new goals and strategies?  You won’t know if you don’t spend time ahead of time targeting your audience.

Is your booth size still correct? Maybe you need a larger booth or different configuration at the show.  Maybe a corner booth would do better than an inline booth. Maybe your booth size is perfect.  But  have you thought about it lately?

Who are the Top 15 clients or prospects that you are looking to speak to or to demonstrate to?  Have you invited them to your booth? Do you have appointment times with them?

Do all of your trade show personnel understand your goals and objectives? Are they trained properly on expectations? Do they know who you have pre-invited and how to handle them as they come into your booth? Do you have sufficient staff at peak hours?

How are you marking and taking notes on prospects’ questions and concerns for follow-up?   Do you have a paper pad that you can attach their business cards to with room to write down notes?  Are you doing the same thing–only digitally?  Or are you planning to remember everything that happened at the show–or jot some illegible notes on the back of a prospects cards–regardless of whether the handwriting adheres to the cards?

Trade shows can offer fantastic returns on your marketing investment if done properly.  You have a chance to “press the flesh” with clients and prospects and meet with other industry professionals.

With a little more pre-planning, you can maximize the success of your trade show dollars – and reach a higher level of sales.
Happy Promoting!


Monthly Newsletter

———————————————————-

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products for all occasions and events.–including custom packaging and custom promotional products.

Geek Tech Branding is a third-generation company that began in 1956 selling imprinted calendars and writing instruments and has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of imprinted technology and promotional electronic gifts in the country. We are currently celebrating our 60th anniversary of helping clients build their brand and marketing reach.

Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses  and improve their branding.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog.

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power chargers and power sticks, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves,  branded iPhone cases, imprinted USB car chargerspromotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Don’t Buy Trinkets and Trash–Be Sure to Buy Only Branding Solutions

trinkets and trashTrinkets and Trash are Not a Wise Branding Strategy

Austin, Texas: I got a call today from a company asking for “trinkets and trash” for their up-coming trade show.

I asked him why he would want to give away trash — and he replied that he just needed something with his name and didn’t care whether or not it ends up in the trash or not.

I told him to save his money and just throw one dollar bills down the trash.

I was being facetious, of course, but why would anyone want to give away an item with their logo that they couldn’t care less about?

If it has your name and logo on it–then it is a branding piece–whether you want to look at it that way or not.

A cheap plastic 29 cent pen with your logo that leaks ink after the second use brands your company has shoddy with no attention to detail.

A tote bag with the wrong shade of orange or blue in your logo brands your company poorly.

Think about your audience and what makes them tick .. and try to think about what they’d want to get at a trade show, convention or event.

I bet they are not thinking ” I would love to receive a trinket or trash”.  Nor would you.

I tell my clients that they are better off ordering a smaller quantity of high quality, properly imprinted promotional gifts than a higher quantity of crap.

Think about the lifetime value of a client and how you want to be remembered.

Every promotional product with your logo represents your brand.

They are part of your marketing mix.

Think about this next time you consider ordering “trinkets and trash” — and stay away from them.

Be sure to order only branding solutions and remembrance marketing that will showcase your brand and your company for a long time in a positive light.

Rethink quantity to stay closer to your budget and give gifts that your clients and prospects will say “thank you” to…not trinkets and trash that will end up in the trash.

Happy Promoting!


Monthly Newsletter

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products for all occasions and events.–including custom packaging and custom promotional products.

Geek Tech Branding is a third-generation company that began in 1956 selling imprinted calendars and writing instruments and has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of imprinted technology and promotional electronic gifts in the country.

Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses  and improve their branding.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power chargers and power sticks, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves,  branded iPhone cases, imprinted USB car chargerspromotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Avoid These 9 Mistakes When Choosing Corporate Christmas Gifts This Season

Are You Making These 9 Mistakes When Ordering  Corporate Holiday Gifts?

tips on choosing the best corporate Holiday gifts

Austin, Texas:  It is our favorite time of the year–the most wonderful time of the year.

Christmas songs are playing on the radio./ Decorations and Christmas trees are going up. Time for friends and family . Everyone is excited to wrap up their year.

And, time for Christmas gifts!

As nice as Christmas gifts and Holiday gifts are to give and receive, you can make Holiday gift giving easier and less stressful if you follow these 9 simple steps:

  1. Be sure your name is on the gift AND the package.  I have seen Christmas gifts sit on a shelf for months after the Holiday has ended as someone puts the box on a shelf –thinking it is office supplies. Have festive packaging or mark the box: Happy Holidays for even more impact.
  2. Don’t wait until the last minute when delivering.  Many of your intended recipients will be off the week of Christmas and some through the first week of January, so try to get your gifts to everyone no later than December 18th.  This year, we had all our gifts delivered by November 20th and I received more “thank you” notes than previous years.
  3. Keep dimensional weight in mind if mailing out your Holiday gifts. For the past few years all major carriers changed their billing structure to dimensional weight rather than actual weight.  That means large, lightweight but bulky items, like fleece blankets can cost more to ship than bluetooth speakers, headphones and power chargers.  Don’t underestimate the freight cost when calculating best value for Christmas gifts.
  4. Consider having the gifts individually drop shipped for you.  Many people do not consider the time and effort it takes to drop ship dozens of Holiday gifts to the correct recipients.  Sometimes, it is less expensive to have the gifts drop shipped to each person’s office or home rather than to pay for a bulk shipment to your office, repackage, and then re-ship each gift. We have seen a 30% increase in the number of gifts that we have drop shipped directly to our client’s customers this year.
  5. Divide gifts into A-B-C accounts. Not all your customers are equal.  Spread your budget by dividing your Holiday list into 3 categories–so more money can be spent on A Accounts, less on B and even less on C accounts.  Each person will end up with a nice gift, but the support you show to your A accounts will have more impact.
  6. Avoid controversial gifts. Nothing tasteless, racy, off-colored, political, etc. Social media has a way of letting the whole world know about the gift you gave to somebody–whether or not the intent was private or not.
  7. Think about the recipients’ tastes–not your personal preference. Remember, the gifts are for your customer –not for you. Just because you want a new fishing pole, hunting knife, purse or golf clubs does not mean your customers are craving the same thing.
  8. There is no war on Christmas. Despite what Fox News says, there really is not a war on Christmas.  If you say Happy Holidays—people still get your drift. Why offend when you don’t have to? In fact, the majority of the people you are giving gifts to may not even be religious at all.
  9. Be sensitive to all religions. See number #8. Not all your customers and employees are likely to be Christians — so be sensitive to their tastes.  Happy Holidays. Season’s Greetings. If you stick with those, you will not offend.  It goes back to #7–the Holiday gifts are for others–so despite your religious beliefs or leanings or lack thereof, be inclusive and make it a joyous occasion.

If you follow these 9 steps, you can make quite a lasting impact–whether the gifts are for clients, employees or volunteers.

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah! Feliz Navidad!

…….and Happy and Healthy New Year!


Monthly Newsletter

———————————————————-

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products for all occasions and events.–including custom packaging and custom promotional products.

Geek Tech Branding is a third-generation company that began in 1956 selling imprinted calendars and writing instruments and has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of imprinted technology and promotional electronic gifts in the country.

Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses  and improve their branding.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power chargers and power sticks, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves,  branded iPhone cases, imprinted USB car chargerspromotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.