Sep 26, 2014

5 Futuristic Trade Show Displays That Raised The Bar

Screenshot 2014-07-28 16.14.24By Jocelyn Cunanan

Jocelyn is a Creative and Quality Improvement Manager at Display Creatives. She loves keeping up with all the newest technology innovations as well as attending as many tech shows and events as she can. She strongly feels incorporating technology into any business is essential for productivity, marketing and customer service-plus its fun!

Building displays for trade shows here at Display Creatives for years has taught us one important thing – truly impressive displays are what draw traffic and generate buzz. A well-designed display can dramatically increase the ROI that a company receives from attending a tradeshow. Whether through word of mouth, social media, or simply visual beauty, innovative displays can gain attention that a normal display would not. So there’s little surprise that companies are continually finding innovative ways to design displays. They want to impress attendees and competitors that are attending the tradeshows. Futuristic trade show displays have been particularly impressive at trade shows, raising the bar regarding what can be accomplished within the specific parameters.  Here are five futuristic trade show displays that have really raised the bar:

One: WorldSpace Display

Based in Silver Spring, Maryland WorldSpace was a satellite radio network that had most of its subscribers from Asia. Their trade show display had an innovative design that utilized a combination of materials such as metal and wood. The futuristic shapes added to the innovative presentation. Other features of the display included a conference room, and a dynamic setup that showcased the brand values and story of the company in an immersive environment.

Two: TLC Tradeshow Display

TLC (The Library Corporation) is a company that services libraries with technological products. Based in Inwood, West Virginia they built an innovative trade show display with a lit arch structure that was composed out of ethereal, lightweight materials. At the front was a curved and streamlined receptionist desk and sleek stools. The display also featured a backlit wall and demo stations. The TLC tradeshow display sought to present themselves as technologically advanced and elegant. The lightweight materials along with the excellent lighting created a calming environment with an elegance suited to a company that services libraries.

 Three: NASA Display

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NASA Trade Show Display
Sep 24, 2014

It’s National Punctuation Day! Let’s Celebrate.

It’s National Punctuation Day! Can you feel the excitement in the air?

Punctuation MattersThen again, as writers, every day is national punctuation day…at least if you’re writing well.

But September 24th is the official day to celebrate our faithful friends, punctuation marks. Punctuation can make or break a message (sometimes spectacularly), so let’s celebrate the occasion with a little fun and a little learning.

First, punctuation fails. We’ve all seen them. We’ve all had a laugh. And then we’ve all realized, at some point or another, we’ve been responsible for them, too. But to underscore just how important punctuation is, here’s an entertaining and sometimes cringe-worthy compendium of punctuation gone wrong. Here’s hoping none of us ever end up on a similar list.

Some of these are somewhat NSFW (primarily for language), so if you’re on the clock, read at your own risk.

Second, punctuation quizzes. These can test your mastery for bragging rights or help you discover if you’re a bit rusty.

And just for fun, HuffPo’s brand spanking new Which Punctuation Mark Are You? quiz.

Finally, punctuation lessons. For a refresher on punctuation in various styles:

How are you celebrating National Punctuation Day?

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Punctuation Matters
Sep 19, 2014

A terrifying week for a Newsweek writer

newsweek

Zach Schonfeld, Newsweek

Sometimes it’s hard to explain to my clients that sending a great pitch involves a lot more than just emailing a writer. Recently Zach Schonfeld at Newsweek decided to try to respond to every press release and pitch he received in a week. Granted, he chose the week including Labor Day but the task became laborious at best and terrifying at worst. In particular, I enjoyed that he received a pitch   to “Take a free family photo or ‘doggie selfie’ (does this collar make me look cute?) in a professional canine-ready photo booth.”

If nothing else, it gives people an idea of the enormous amount of crap that writers have to sift through. And the enormous amount of crap that we need to break through in order for our pitch to be heard.  Schonfeld’s article is really fun to read and what makes it even more fun is that he is respectful toward the PR’s who are trying to do their job, even if they’re missing the target. Made me want to pitch him a story about pink elephants or something.

Read the entire article on Newsweek.com here

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Sep 17, 2014

Does Urban Outfitters Typify ‘Edgy Marketing’ Gone Bad?

Urban Outfitters' Kent State FiascoLast week we talked about DiGiorno’s careless Twitter mistake. This week in faux pas news was Urban Outfitters, who sold a “vintage Kent State sweatshirt” dyed with what appeared to be patterns of blood splatters and bullet holes. (I doubt anybody a reminder why this displayed incredibly poor taste, but just in case, the reason millions took offense was the 1970 Kent State massacre.) Of course, Urban Outfitters said the resemblance to blood and bullet holes was due to the unique dyeing process and natural wear of the fabric, but backlash was swift and severe nonetheless. Pictures of the garment and angry comments poured across social media and the story made headlines just about everywhere.

You know the saying “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”?

It’s a lie.

In the world of new media, publicity isn’t about how many people are talking about you, it’s about how people feel about you. And people aren’t feeling warm fuzzies about Urban Outfitters right now. (more…)

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Urban Outfitters' Kent State Fiasco
Sep 12, 2014

There’s a Time and a Place for Pizza…and for Crisis Management

By Dina Ely

Pizza and Crisis ManagementOh, DiGiorno. What a week you’ve had.

In the wake of the Ray Rice video and ensuing controversy, the Twitterverse showed some true vulnerability and profound emotion with a trending topic #WhyIStayed. Domestic violence survivors used the hashtag to tweet incredibly honest and visceral stories about their experiences. The hashtag has been used more than 92,000 times, according to The Huffington Post.

And then there was DiGiorno.

DiGiorno’s reputation on Twitter has always been fairly good. They usually have their fingers on the pulse of Twitter trends and frequently play off hashtags and memes with great speed and clever wit. However, they made a massive mistake at the height of the #WhyIStayed trend. Not bothering to read any of the tweets actually associated with the hashtag, they simply tweeted, “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.(more…)

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Pizza and Crisis Management
Sep 10, 2014

Study: Social Media Usage in the Midwest

Social Media Usage in the MidwestSome time ago I was happy to participate in the Social Scene Midwest study of social media usage in the Midwest. In exchange, they promised us participants a copy of their final report, which they recently delivered.

The results were quite revealing, particularly from a regional marketer’s perspective.

First, a little background about the survey:

  • 10 Midwest states were included
  • A total of 1,339 responses were collected
  • Conducted by two firms (Brand Driven Digital and Vernon Research Group) with an interest in both individual and business usage of social media throughout the Midwest

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Social Media Usage in the Midwest
Sep 3, 2014

Interactive Content is Coming. Are You Ready?

The Presets - No FunFor years, the tried and true adage has been “content is king”. That hasn’t changed much – content still rules the ‘net, whether it’s user-generated like CNN iReport, click-baited goofiness on Viral Nova, time-wasting inanity on Buzzfeed, professional advice on Inc., breaking news on MSNBC.com, the eclectic mix on HuffPo, tales from the parenthood trenches on mommy blogs, fandom obsessions on Tumblr, video treasures on YouTube or Vimeo, infographics galore or storytelling through photos on Instagram or Pinterest. Content is everywhere and we consume it in incredible quantities. Thus, content marketing is included in any good integrated marketing communications plan.

But there’s a new kid on the content marketing block, interactive content. Specifically, interactive graphics, or interactives as they’re casually called. Karl Schutz of the visual.ly blog recently talked about what interactives are and why they are the wave of the future. Schutz explains:

Interactive graphics, or ‘interactives’ for short, are like the Transformers of visual content: They can take on a variety of forms. You can find an interactive that’s a microsite, dashboard, or a map, to name a few. But at the core, they’re all visualizations that allow viewers to explore the information presented for themselves.

By definition, interactives engage viewers in a very active way – and that engagement can be incredibly powerful to marketers. People viewing interactives spend more time on the page, seeing a brand associated with content that interests them, all at their own pace.

If infographics blew up because they caught people’s attention where a boring report wouldn’t, interactives are blowing up because they catch people’s attention – and hold it.

The difference comes down to being active versus passive. People consume information in infographics and motion graphics passively, by sitting and staring at whatever’s on their screen. Interactives, however, are more dynamic: The information you see can change depending on where you click and scroll.

Interactives make consuming content an active, not passive, experience.

You could say the first hint of interactives came with services like ThingLink, which allows you to add interactive elements to your images and videos (sort of like captions on-demand when users hover over certain portions of your image or video). But they’ve come a long way in a very short time. A great example of interactives was recently launched by Australian band The Presets in partnership with Google Play. It now dominates The Presets’ website in an immersive, interactive experience that involves a cube with a different music video on each face. Users can switch between sides, while listening to the same (new) song on each, but with a unique visual. The song is made easily available for purchase on Google Play. The interactive sets the ear worm in place, keeps users on the site longer (thus listening to more and more of the song) and makes them more likely to fall in love with and purchase it for later listening. But at the same time, it’s providing entertaining content for fan consumption free of charge. Remember – content is king. Clever.

The potential for interactives is a “sky’s the limit” situation. Learn more at the visual.ly blog.

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The Presets - No Fun
Sep 3, 2014

This is Why We Love Bloggers, and You Should Too

Blogs in PRWhether you’re a public relations specialist whose primary contact with blogs comes from relationships with bloggers themselves – not unlike media relationships – or whether you’re a diehard blog reader returning to your favorites every day for your dose of posts, blogs are a phenomenon that’s meteorically risen in significance and really can’t be ignored in PR.

Jessica Edmondson at The Moz Blog recently published a very insightful article about the power of bloggers today and why PR specialists and brands should include them in their outreach. For one thing, bloggers are influencers and their words carry tremendous weight with their readers. It’s the best of word-of-mouth marketing that also carries side benefits like purchasing influence, back links for SEO, brand awareness and more. Also, consumers flock to blogs to find out about new products and services and according to Technorati, 31% of online shoppers get their advice from or do research through blogs. 70% of online shoppers learn about products through blog posts and 61% of online shoppers say blog posts influence their purchasing decision. Convinced yet?

Even more interesting statistics from the article:

And while not everyone who blogs is considered an influencer by definition, bloggers with smaller communities are proving more influential than their celebrity counterparts, as Technorati also reports 54% of consumers believe that the smaller the community, the greater the influence.

All in all: bloggers, even the smaller community ones, are influential.

When looking more specifically at demographics, Nielsen reports that most bloggers are women, and 1 in 3 are moms. Overall, 52% of bloggers are parents. This is why you’ve probably heard the term “mommy blogger”. But more importantly, this large demographic is perfect to tap into with family-friendly B2C clients.

Learn more about the importance of including bloggers in your PR plan and what the different types of blogger relationships look like over at The Moz Blog.

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Blogs in PR
Aug 29, 2014

The Social Video Starter Guide

By Ivan Serrano

Back in the day, marketing was done Mad Men style – advertisements on large banners and in pages of magazines, advertising “Buy One Get One Free” and spamming potential customers with snail mail campaigns and emails.

Soon enough, social media was born. Customers and clients discovered how to block annoying, unwanted messages from coming in, and the amount of information available from the Internet induced a sort of sensory overload campaign of information. Companies had to change their style, and thanks to websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google +, they could. The social media revolution made it easy for companies to get information out in an educational, attention-grabbing way. Not that traditional marketing is dead altogether.

But now, the rise of platforms like Youtube, Vimeo and Google Hangouts are transforming the industry again. With so much information available, companies are scrambling to create ads that will hold attention… And video is the new way to do it.

Social Video

This post is presented by Ivan Serrano, a web journalist and infographic professional from California. Ivan’s niche is in social media, content marketing and technology.

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Social Video
Aug 28, 2014

How Google Has Ruled Online Communications

By Ivan Serrano

In 1985, just when the mobile phone was getting on its feet, the idea for Google was born. Two 22-year-old Stanford graduate students decided the Stanford campus needed an online database, as opposed to the physical database in libraries, to store, collect, share and search data. Soon enough, Google was born, until it became so popular on the campus that storage space ran out.

Less than a year later, Google became a public online encyclopedia that was spread nationwide. A year or so after that, it became global. Derived from the mathematical term “googol,” which is a symbol of near-infinity, the term caught on, and an angel investor wrote a check to the company for a mere $100,000. The rest is history.

Google, which now operates on every continent and has billions of worldwide users every minute, is more than just a company: it’s a concept. The idea has created a digital revolution, with Google dominating the Internet’s search engine by creating an immense sea of information, email, cell phones, marketing and even now, an automatic self-drive car. The question we’ve all been waiting for: what’s next, Google?

Google Communications

This post is presented by Ivan Serrano, a web journalist and infographic professional from California. Ivan’s niche is in social media, content marketing and technology.

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Google Communications
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