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Bring Your Print Ad To Life On The Trade Show Floor

I am part of a small Marketing Department at UGL Services with limited resources so we take every opportunity to repurpose content that we have already developed and tailor it for distribution through other marketing vehicles.  In 2008 my team created an advertising campaign targeted to facility managers of corporations with the message that we understand how overwhelming building maintenance can be and we suggest outsourcing these responsibilities to UGL Services.

The Ad

Tradeshow Print AdThe first ad in the campaign shows a facility manager lying awake in bed with a skyscraper tucked in next to him with the headline “You have a facility.  Now it’s time for a life.”  It is a literal depiction of a stressed out facility manager experiencing insomnia because he cannot get his mind off of work or the price tag on new upgrades needed in the buildings he manages.

In 2011 we exhibited at a conference managed by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA).  When attendees registered for the conference online they were asked a survey question “What job-related issues keep you up at night?”  IFMA took all of the responses and came up with topics for roundtable discussions conducted during the event.  My team decided to sponsor the roundtable sessions as it was a vehicle for us to leverage the ad that was created in 2008.  As part of the sponsorship we were able to put a full page ad in the show directory and posters were hung in the roundtable location.

The Trade Show

We decided to bring the ad to life and add an element of surprise at our trade show booth.  I hired an actor to play the sleep-deprived facility manager dressed in his pajamas and chained to a building.  All of the attendees were dressed in business attire so our actor really grabbed their attention and became a successful conversation starter.  We gave away prescription bottles with jelly beans inside and a label with the text that said “For fast-acting relief and a better night’s sleep” and our logo underneath it.  Posters in our booth featured the ad once again and supersized text that read “Tired of taking your work home with you?  We’ve got the remedy.”  Our actor handed out business-sized cards with the dates and times of the roundtable discussions to encourage participation and promote the problem-solving ideas that attendees would learn about.

Tradeshow Live ExhibitTradeshow Actor

The Response…

Overall it was a very successful promotion and a few attendees commented on how they related to the actor chained to the building.  Many facility managers said that they try not to take work home with them but it is difficult to put down their Blackberrys especially when they are getting ready to turn in for the night.  My response to them was “Have you considered outsourcing your facility services?”

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Thanks to Jocelyn Sacco for writing this guest blog post, sharing her experience as a trade show exhibitor.  We welcome similar blog posts from Skyline clients who want to share with their peers new and inventive ways they’ve achieved greater trade show success. Click here to tell us your story!

About the Author

Jocelyn Sacco is the Marketing Specialist at UGL Services, a real estate and facility management services company based in Auburndale, MA. Jocelyn has managed the UGL Services trade show schedule for 3 years and spent 4 years working in the promotional products industry prior to joining the company.

One response to “Bring Your Print Ad To Life On The Trade Show Floor

  1. Great example of a fully integrated program. Next step would be to tie it strongly to a social media campaign/microsite for life post-event.

    Nice job!

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