The most amazing, cost-effective, niche-filling product isn’t worth much if no one knows it exists. Spreading the word and making your small business known requires planning, outreach, and marketing. For SPEEDlabel®, this means attending tradeshows and industry expos, as COVID-19 restrictions allow, so shop owners nationwide can see their product in action.
One recent show was The International Surface Event (TISE) held in early February 2022. Organizers explain that TISE is made up of three overlapping Las Vegas tradeshows: SURFACES, StonExpo/Marmomac, and TileExpo. This makes it “the largest North American floor covering, stone, and tile industry event and is THE industry marketplace for buyers, specifiers, and influencers to source products, gain design inspiration and develop their businesses.”
SPEEDlabel®’s Western Regional Sales Director Ted Lambert admits that this year’s “attendance was down due to current state of affairs, but it was a good show.” TISE has hosted shows for more than three decades and takes pride in being the first such show for many attendees each calendar year. They recently launched TISE TV as a way to share information and showcase vendors all year round and posted a variety of informational articles on key topics. These include Best Practices for Return to Work During Covid and How to Increase Production at your Fabrication Shop.
Industry experts stress that tradeshows like TISE are a unique opportunity that’s not to be missed. Shows are where you’ll “be face-to-face with potential customers, have a motivated audience, check out the competition, find valuable partners, expand your reach, get instant feedback, meet existing clients, advertise your brand [and] make sales.”
Lambert says that at this year’s TISE, staff was on-site to answer questions from potential customers like “How does it work? How much does it cost? How long does it take to get set up after sign up?” He also got to meet newly started customers he’d spoken to during the enrollment process. Shops like “Skyline Tile & Marble, Granite Gallery, Granite Connection UT, Accent Interiors, and many more!”
SPEEDlabel® staff tries—before COVID-19’s impact on travel and get-togethers—to attend two to three such shows annually. As well as meeting new and ongoing clients, they also use the opportunity to obtain customer feedback on their proprietary organization system to potentially improve the overall format, layout, and design.
Staff also look around at current and upcoming trends in the marketplace. This year, perhaps unsurprisingly, they found that the classic (and much showcased on HGTV and other home renovation shows) “white and gray quartz with marble look is still prominent,” says Lambert.
Whatever the color scheme or material, SPEEDlabel®’s labeling system can help increase your shop’s organization, improve quality control, and simplify processes. They’re always happy to answer questions or walk you through the many ways it can reduce errors, streamline fabrication, and help your business go paperless which saves time and money.
Mingling in a crowded Las Vegas convention center may sound like something from a retro movie. Experts at Forbes agree that “in our hyperconnected digital world, trade shows can be seen as a bit of a relic, an outmoded business-building tool that entrepreneurs shouldn’t waste their time on.” But, they stress, “nothing could be further from the truth.”
“Today’s ultracompetitive business environment demands smart marketers, savvy entrepreneurs, and serious small-business owners build relationships with their prospects, partners, and customers…People are looking for an authentic experience, want to do business with companies that have shared values, and are looking for more of a ‘human touch,’ even if the overwhelming majority of their business interactions are handled online or through a mobile app.”
If you don’t want to wait for TISE 2023—which returns to Vegas from January 31 through February 2—to learn more, request a SPEEDlabel® demo today. Whether virtually, by phone, or in person, staff can explain the benefits of their customized, waterproof labels which include piece dimensions, job details, and spots for fabricators to sign off on their portion of the job. This means fewer errors, miscuts, and wasted time or materials.
For some makers, the idea of marketing their product or service is daunting. They may be nervous about speaking in public or just more comfortable behind the scenes on the shop floor. This is where tradeshows are a win/win. Not only can business owners advertise, but they can also stand shoulder to shoulder with folks who know the lingo and understand the nitty-gritty of daily operations. That’s always worthwhile…and who doesn’t love a weekend in Vegas?