End of Summer Fairs: Not Just for Farming

September 1st, 2015

State FairIt’s the time of year when people all over the United States do everything they can to squeeze the last bit of fun out of the summer season. Often, that means the last burst of summer fairs across the country, each state’s opportunity to show off to visitors what respective areas truly have to offer.

These state and county fairs often center on rodeos and livestock competitions. However, they also are known to provide ample commercial space for people from a variety of industries to network and connect.

Shenandoah County Fair Aug. 28 – Sep. 5

This fair takes place in Shenandoah County in the state of Virginia, and while it draws crowds with livestock and country music, it’s also a hot place for commerce. Work equipment and gear such as uniforms and farm safety equipment are on display, as well as machinery used in the agricultural industry. In addition to the commercial-grade tools, supplies for home and garden improvement can be found as well.

Colorado State Fair Aug. 28 – Sep. 7

While providing large and small animal shows and livestock auctions along with concerts like any other fair, this event in Pueblo, Colorado also features stronger focuses on art and innovation. It has two different exhibition halls dedicated toward artistic themes, and features talent shows, a variety of music genres, an interactive maze, and even Lego sculpture.

Minnesota State Fair Aug. 27 – Sep. 7

Minnesota struts its stuff by putting on a fair showcasing its various industries and attractions statewide. This year, the fair even features a special “Eco Experience” exhibit drawing attention to environmental issues. There are also heavy arts and theater presence, and over 50 food vendors featuring made-in-Minnesota victuals.

Even if you’ve missed out on this year’s celebrations of summer, it’s not too early to start getting your marketing materials gathered for next year. Contact some of the friendly professionals at eGenoa for help with designing your booths, your banners, and other marketing materials.

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How Business Owners Can Use Pinterest for Marketing Ideas

August 25th, 2015

Pinterest for business marketing ideas

You may think of Pinterest as a place where your aunt can find casserole recipes or your sister-in-law can post pictures of her knitting projects, but there is much, much more to it than that.

Business owners are increasingly seeing the power of Pinterest to inspire eye-catching marketing ideas. Designers, major companies, artists, and small businesses from all different backgrounds use Pinterest to show off their own graphics as well as others’ ad campaigns, signs, and logos.

Getting Started with Pinterest

Pinterest is a system of “pins” and “boards” where businesses and everyday people can share images and organize ideas. You can choose either to open an individual account or a business account. If you are just looking for some good ideas to get inspired (and maybe want to check out those casserole recipes later), an individual account is probably your best bet. If you are looking to use another free resource to attract clients, however, joining as a business is a must.

Follow Pinterest Boards Relevant to Your Business

Any large company worth the bandwith will have a Pinterest account, and smaller companies are jumping on the bandwagon as well. Following businesses in your industry can be as easy as searching for those businesses by name on Pinterest. For instance, as 3M Certified installers, we follow the 3M company’s Pinterest board for examples of graphic installations in our network.

Keep an eye out for the red “P” logo on websites you frequent. That way, all you have to do is click that icon to follow the company’s page, giving you a straightforward way to see what everyone is up to. Checking out a rival food truck’s menu boards on Pinterest might give you a great idea to bring more customers to your window next Saturday afternoon.

Finding Graphics Ideas for Your Next Project on Pinterest

Let’s use the example of vehicle wraps to talk about how to find ideas on Pinterest. Once you have explored different boards from designers, competitors, and other companies, you can also use the search bar to find Pins the same way you would use Google search to find websites. Type “vehicle wrap” or “vehicle graphic” into the search bar, and then narrow it down by adding your industry. “Vehicle wrap restaurant” or “vehicle wrap exterminator” will bring up different vehicles for you to browse. Pinterest even separates each word of the search term, so if you find that one word is limiting the results, all you have to do is press the little “x” next to it and it’ll be gone.

While you’re at it, of course, remember to follow eGenoa on Pinterest to see stunning graphic wraps, guerrilla marketing campaigns, and a lot more.

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Reusable Outdoor Advertising Tools

August 4th, 2015

reusable outdoor advertising tools

During the spring, summer, and even early fall there are many opportunities for you to go out into the community and strut your business stuff at farmer’s markets, street fairs, concerts, and county fairs. Unfortunately, everyone else will be out there, too, competing for space and the limited attention of potential customers. While you may not want anything too pricey for a mere temporary display, you will probably want tools to catch the eye.

The savvy business owner has a few high-exposure, highly reusable graphic advertisements up his or her sleeve for outdoor advertising. Here are a few creative and economical options to set you apart from the rest.

1) Fun with Inflatables

Do you have a fun logo, mascot, or interesting-looking product? A giant inflatable replica might be the perfect way to draw people to check out what you’re selling. It’s hard not to take a second look at a giant ice cream cone or cell phone, and it can be a great conversation piece to start off your sales pitch.

2) Ultra-portable Graphic-Wrapped Vehicles

If you are a caterer or restaurant, outreach can be a vital part of your marketing game. Even restaurants with a brick and mortar location can benefit from some high profile, vehicle-based food sales. Not selling corn dogs or cookie-wiches? Incorporating your vehicle into your display can be as easy as parking behind your booth. That way, crowds walking along both the front and back can see your business name and logo.

3) Fly Your Banner Year Round

Banners are a low-cost way to advertise sales, specials, contests, and featured products. Particularly flag-style banners with sturdy bases are easy to set out in front of your booth, and are perfect for featuring one time specials, or simply to advertise a clearance. You can easily set these same flags outside your store front in the off-season.

4) Funny, Foldable A-Frames

A simple a-frame or sandwich board can extend your message beyond the front of your booth or kiosk. That way, customers who are already in line won’t be blocking all your signage from the view of other customers who may not know about you yet. Customizable a-frames also make it simple for you to change out, or even simply erase a dry erase sign and make room for a new message.

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4 Ways to Stay Healthy at a Tradeshow

July 28th, 2015

stay healthy at a trade show

There are so many things to remember when getting ready to exhibit at a trade show. We’ve discussed ways to use technology to give show-goers a memorable experience, which stunning trade show displays are available, and general pointers to have a more successful trade show experience.

The most important part of all, though, is taking care of your body.

If you are traveling a long way to your exhibit or if you have to deal with uncomfortable weather conditions, it’s extra important to take proactive steps to stay healthy and comfortable. (Disclaimer: we’re not doctors, so make sure these suggestions fit with your specific health and nutrition needs)

1) Keep fueled with healthy food and drink.
At such a hectic time, it can be tempting to swipe the first sugar-packed goodie that you see in the pastry case at the coffee shop across the street. All it takes is a little planning, though, to get yourself the fuel you need to stay on top of your health at the trade show. Start your day with a little bit of protein like a hard boiled egg and some complex carbohydrates. These will take a longer to break down, giving you energy over a longer period of time. Be sure to bring enough water while you’re on the trade show floor as well.

2) Keep your tootsies cushioned.
Maybe the chance to impress potential customers with your new pair of hot high heels or Italian dress shoes is too tempting to pass up, but now is not the time to bust out your James Bond persona. When you’re standing for hours, you want to go for comfort first. If you absolutely must wear shoes that are more style than substance, pick up inserts, moleskin, and a bottle of over-the-counter painkillers. Standing for hours can hurt more than your feet, so invest in cushioned flooring or a mat to put in your display area.

3) Sleep as much as possible.
Trade shows and conferences can bring out the party animal in the most sedate of people, but it’s also a time where rest is the most important thing you can do. Do what you need to do to get a good night’s rest, including bringing along earplugs or eye-masks.

4) Wash your hands!
You’ll be shaking lots and lots of strangers’ hands. You want their business, but you don’t want their germs. While it can be hard to avoid airborne viruses in airplanes, washing your hands often (or using hand sanitizer if you can’t get to a sink) is an easy way to protect yourself. That way, you are much less likely to bring a bug home to torment you over the next several weeks.

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Say it with Type: The Power of Text Based Logos

July 21st, 2015

Wooden printers typeface

We’ve talked here before about how, when it comes to design, often less is more. You might be struggling over picking the right colors, shape, or style for your business’ logo or sign. It can be tempting to over-design; trying to cram every symbol that represents your business or industry you can think of into a very small space.

Don’t forget to consider that sometimes, the letters themselves can have tremendous impact. There are thousands of different typefaces, and they generally can be broken into three categories:

Serif Type: Typefaces like Times New Roman or Georgia fall under the “serif” category. These typefaces have small decorative lines that push outward from the edges of letters or characters. Serif typefaces have been used since the days of ancient Rome, and are often are used to convey authority, prestige, or vintage qualities. GAP, Google, and IBM all have recognizable and well-respected serif-type logos.

Sans-Serif Type: This means just what it sounds like. Sans-serif typefaces have no decorative flourishes on the characters: clean, simple lines only. Sans-serif fonts evoke the feeling of modernity and forward thinking and sometimes a sense of fun as well. FedEx, Nike, and social media networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter have sans serif fonts comprising their logos.

Script Type: Script typefaces can appear as anything from simple handwriting to elaborate calligraphy, their modes ranging from fancy and high end to fun, low-key, and approachable. Coca-Cola and Cartier have two of the world’s most recognizable calligraphy-esque script typefaces. Ray Ban and Chick-Fil-A have script typefaces that are more casual and fun loving.

Currently, minimalism is in. Flat icons, sans serif fonts, and white backgrounds are extremely popular. You always want to consider, of course, your own personal tastes and what you want your business to represent to potential customers.

Be sure to browse the websites and ads of other businesses in your industry and see what other successful companies are using for their typefaces as well. Of course, the sign makers or designers you select will be happy to help you make a tasteful and informed decision as well.

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Matte is the New Black for Vehicle Wraps

July 14th, 2015

BMW E71 X6

With roadways full of glossy paint jobs, a “less is more” approach to vehicle wrapping can really catch the eye. That is part of why the matte finish has been popular since the mid 2000s and why, whether you are advertising on the Central Coast of California or anywhere else in the USA, it’s a look that can set you apart.

What is a matte vinyl wrap?

A matte finish subdues the gloss that characterizes most vehicles’ paint jobs. The 3M company produces the highest quality matte vinyl, which is applied as a solid sheet with no need for an over-laminate. This vinyl adheres to the vehicle with pressure-activated adhesive, so it goes on as smoothly as any other 3M wrap. The result is a seamless, rich matte finish that makes your vehicle look solid as a tank or fighter jet.

Who should use matte vinyl wraps?

Since we all know different colors attract different customers, a matte finish won’t be the right fit for every business. Car-crazy celebrities such as Flo Rida, Kanye West, and professional rally driver Ken Block have used black matte to emulate the sleek power of stealth bombers. If you want your business to convey strength, muscle, and durability, black matte might be the right choice for you. Matte wraps are also available in other colors such as green, though black remains the most popular choice.

A high-quality vehicle wrap can be one of the most ingenious marketing investments you can make.

Since the 90s, vehicle graphic wrapping has grown more than 20% in terms of how much business owners have been willing to spend. The impact of this form of advertising is easy to see. Graphic wrapped cars stand out from their solid color compatriots on the highways and city streets, drawing the eyes of thousands of people every day. The Outdoor Advertising Association of America released statistics wherein 30% of Americans claimed they were influenced to buy a product or service from a vehicle graphic wrap.

Whether you choose a 3M matte vinyl finish or would prefer to go with a different color or gloss pattern, wraps represent a cost-effective, striking marketing tactic. Our professionals will set up your vehicle or fleet of vehicles with a finish free of flaws or air bubbles so you can get out there and start snagging more customers.

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3 Things to Consider for Custom Outdoor Signs

July 7th, 2015

Outdoor Signs in Quaint Neighborhood

The letters “H-O-L-L-Y-W-O-O-D” illuminated on a Los Angeles hillside; the bright lights of Vegas, above the strip or rusting in neon graveyards; nothing implants itself in the memory the way an outdoor sign can.

Placing your own iconic image out into the world is an exciting step for a brick and mortar business, but also presents its own set of challenges. You may even need a sign that is more portable depending on the type of business you run. Here are three things to keep in mind when creating an outdoor sign.

Visibility
Be sure to use the right combination of colors, with different elements contrasting enough for passersby to see. If your business is open in the evenings, it may also be prudent to either make a light box or individual letters lit with long-lasting, high-efficiency LEDs.

Durability
Your sign will be enduring daily (and nightly) exposure to the elements. If you have a traveling storefront, or temporary signs to indicate sales, an a-frame or vinyl banner might be great for getting attention. Even if it is tempting to save money by just going with a banner, using acrylic or composite material like DiBond (a combination of aluminum bonded to polyethylene) is a wise decision for permanent outdoor signs.

Context
Location, location, location. It not only matters for customer accessibility, it matters when you are deciding what kind of sign best reach those customers. If you are located in a strip mall, your decision is literally “straight-forward”. A front-facing LED or light box sign will be easily seen from the parking lot. If you are located on a crowded city street, you have a greater combination of options. A hanging sign suspended over the sidewalk can catch the attention of people walking in both directions, and you can supplement it with window graphics and a-frame signs that might be more within your customer’s eye line.

With continuing technological advances, your outdoor signs can be as impressive as you want them to be. Don’t cut corners on one of the most important elements of marketing and advertising your business. Instead, get in touch with the creative team at eGenoa and we’ll help guide you to the most effective materials, positioning, and design for your outdoor signs. We’ll help make your business even more recognizable and iconic in your community.

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