How a Local Marketing Expo Can Help Increase Business

While advertising and referrals are very important and even indispensable for these main street businesses, it is always important to find and use other marketing vehicles to increase traffic and sales. One such smart vehicle is to participate in a local marketing expo. One of the main advantages of this marketing activity is that it creates an event. A properly planned and executed expo will draw attendees and create exposure for the participating merchants that they might not have gotten from regular advertising or referrals. Local residents are drawn to such events because they are novel, local and free.

Creating and putting on smart and effective activities that form the backbone of such an expo is crucial for success. The type of activities must be appropriate to the neighborhood’s demographics and be appealing and even exciting to the local residents. This can include as something as elaborate as having a performance by a locally popular entertainer, to as simple as holding a raffle or contest for some prizes – which should of course be donated by the participating merchants.

Build Sales As an Exhibitor at a Marketing Expo

Eye-Catching Displays

Marketing conferences are filled with booths that are advertising for different companies. Each booth wants to attract people to browse their products or services first. There are many ways to decorate a booth so that it will stand out from the rest. The basic structure of a booth display should be professional and polished. Cloth table coverings and large banners make a company look well-established and legitimate. Over-sized photos, especially photos that feature people and faces, can make a booth feel more inviting. If the company’s product or service lends itself to video or computer displays, people may want to visit the booth to see the programming more clearly. Interactive displays are a very powerful way to give visitors a chance to manipulate a computer screen or fill out a form while visiting the booth.

Giveaways Draw Attention

Everyone likes to win something. A local marketing expo is no exception. Any business can generate interest and create more traffic by giving away something interesting in a drawing or lottery. A wonderful way to gain customer information and create interest in the booth is to allow people to enter a drawing by providing an e-mail address. Everyone will want to know who wins in the end, and the result will be a ready-made mailing list to contact after the expo ends.

Take Advantage of Focused Networking Opportunities

Expos gather hundreds of people who are interested in similar products and services. Everyone who visits a table or booth is there because they want to know more about what is being sold or offered. The contacts that can be made with colleagues and customers during a large expo can be priceless to ongoing business efforts. It is also possible that a product will be seen by large distributors who may be interested in providing opportunities for a small business to reach a wider audience. Make sure to distribute plenty of cards or papers with the company’s complete contact information so that the company can be reached by interested customers after the expo has ended.

Stock Market Cycles – Key to Profitable Investing

The ebb and flow of stock markets present opportunities to profit if an investor understands these cycles. Since 1900 we have had 27 bull markets with corresponding bear markets to make things interesting. Presently, we are experiencing the 6th longest and the 5th weakest stock market rally as measured by the Dow. While this is interesting, it would be more helpful if we could better understand these cycles in the market. Well, the stock market does tend to move in cycles, short term (also called cyclical), and long term (also called secular). Secular markets typically can last between 10 to 20 years, while cyclical markets usually last between 2 – 3 years on average. Think of a secular market as the primary long term trend, while a cyclical market is simply a shorter term cycle within the primary long term secular market. As investors and traders, we need to understand where we are within these market cycles, so we can be on the right side of the trend to enhance our success.

For example, the market was in a secular bull market from 1982 – 2000, experiencing a strong primary uptrend where the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased over 10 fold from about a low of 800 to over 10,000. Of course, there were short term bear markets such as in 1987, however, the easy money was made on the long side as the primary trend was up.
However, here’s where the danger lies: The majority of investors today have only experienced a secular bull market, such as the one from 1982 – 2000. Most of us have not experienced a long term secular bear market where the primary trend is mostly sideways to slightly down. The last secular bear market lasted 16 years from 1966 to 1982. Just to give you some perspective, the Dow Jones hit a high near 1000 in 1966, and hit a low in the 800s during 1982. In other words, the Dow essentially was flat for 16 years. During this time, the ‘easy money’ was not made on the long or short side, but by being being a good stock picker identifying undervalued opportunities.

Special situation stocks, and sectors that are temporarily strong. Understanding whether we are in a cyclical bull or bear market greatly enhances our chances for success. The problem is that the secular bull market that began in 1982 ended in 2000. Therefore, while the stock brokers advice to hold for the long term was good advice for a secular bull market, it is totally the wrong strategy for a new secular bear market. The market entered into a new secular bear market in 2000, and as history shows, this new secular bear market will probably last at least until 2010 or longer. The market rally from early 2003 until now is simply a cyclical bull market within the new long term secular bear market. Holding for the long term will not work in this new secular bear market.