How to Compile a Trade Show Binder

Trade shows can be an effective promotion and sales tool for your large or small business, but they can also be a complete waste of time and money if not done right. Whether your trade show booth is a huge success or dismal failure hinges on your advanced preparation. Get the best return on your investment by adding an organized trade show binder, pricing sheets and solid promotional materials to your booth.

When you are exhibiting at a trade show, there are five essentials you need: your booth, trained staff, promotional materials, laptop and a trade show binder.

The contents of the trade show binder, which is a reference guide, includes the tools and information that your staff needs while talking with booth visitors.

Here’s how to compile a trade show binder, and what to include:

The Three Ring Binder

Your trade show binder should be a three-ring binder with D-shaped rings that can hold a large amount of materials. Choose a brightly colored binder that will be easy to locate at your booth.

What materials will you need at the show? Use the binder tabs to separate materials into categories. It will help your staff find the information quickly. Make the tab labels as general or specific as you’d like. Major categories may include:

  • General company information. Important people, departments, corporate offices and phone numbers.
  • Training. Instructions and materials from the pre-show training. Cheat sheets with sales information and exhibit staff phone numbers.
  • Sales. Up-to-date lists of contact information for your sales office, dealers, distributors, and demo center in this section. This section will probably be used most often. List names, phone numbers, and addresses of key people and facilities in your sales organization, and include branch offices should a booth visitor asks, “Who’s your rep in Philadelphia?” Pricing sheets should be added.
  • Product. Copies of all product brochures, spec sheets, photos, samples, and more.
  • Marketing. Company and product logos, CDs, special fonts and all exhibit graphics. If graphics are lost or damaged, or incorrect, you can easily recreate at the show.
  • Staff. Place copies of your staff’s airline itineraries, hotel confirmations, and exhibit-staffing schedule in this section of the binder.
  • Finance. The company’s earnings statements should be in this section. Staff may be asked for the latest annual report or recent news articles about the company’s latest earnings report.
  • Press kit. If press stops by your booth be ready with a press kit that includes current press releases. If you plan a press event, keep extra invitations in this section’s heavy-duty sheet protectors to hand out.
  • Stationary. If you ship leads back to the office, include pre-printed corporate overnight shipping forms. Tuck a few fax forms and some corporate stationery into sheet protectors at the back of the binder, including No. 10 and brochure-sized envelopes.

    As you compile resources, talk to sales, product and marketing departments to find out which materials they find most useful.

    Lastly, set up a binder table of contents. You can color-code this section to match the colored tabs used to separate the categories.

4 Trade Show Binder Tips

  1. In each tabbed section, insert heavy-duty sheet protectors or inside pockets to hold the documents you’ll collect. It alleviates the need to hole-punch documents.
  2. Keep the binder in a central location in the booth. Make sure that staff members know where to find it and what’s in it.
  3. Updating your organized binder is easy. Keeping it updated stops your booth staff from answering “I don’t know” or the time consuming search for someone who knows the answer when attendees ask difficult questions.
  4. The information in the binder is confidential. It should not be removed from the information counter. Keep the book locked up when it’s not being used.

Following these tips insures your booth staff will be confident, efficient and productive.

Don’t visit a big-box retailer for your company’s trade show, sales, product, marketing and other department binders. Get a durable, quality three-ring binder the first time around. Consult with a three-ring binder specialist to help you find the perfect binder for the job.

Windows XP Revisited – Teaching the Faithful Old Dog Some New Tricks

Just lately it seems to be the fashion amongst writers on the internet to compare and criticise operating systems. While one user talks up the merits of Ubuntu Linux versus Windows Vista on her blog, another is quick to criticise Ubuntu’s lack of user friendly features and available software. In this article I am here to sing the praises of the old dog Windows XP. Once the all singing all dancing multimedia darling, XP is now the older brother of the much younger and trendier Windows Vista. While Vista can be the life and soul of the party, it is still very much a problem child for many users who are frustrated with incompatibilities, poor driver support and degraded performance in multimedia applications and games. If, like me, your Vista experience wasn’t all you hoped it would be, read on as we take another look at Windows XP and find that you really can teach an old dog some new tricks.

Security

One of the biggest shocks long time Windows users had to face when upgrading to Vista was the new security measures, specifically User Account Controls. Microsoft’s answer to the problem of rampant malware on Windows machines was a barrage of security checks which can quickly become daunting. While emulating this feature might seem like a bad idea, UAC is a partial solution to a very sticky problem and the alternative, allowing malware to continue to spread unhindered, is not really an option. Although you can’t have Vista style user account control under XP, there are a number of alternatives. An aggressive firewall product such as Outpost firewall not only monitors internet traffic but also alerts you when programs misbehave or perform potentially dangerous operations. Outpost costs $39.95 per year and includes a regularly updated spyware scanner.

Sudown is similar to UAC and allows you to temporarily elevate the privileges on a limited account to that of an administrator account in order to run programs such as installers. Sudown is less intrusive than UAC but arguably less secure and less complete (you may find that you still have to log into the administrators account under some conditions). Sudown is a free utility and is available from sourceforge.

Windows Explorer

Windows explorer featured several significant upgrades in Vista. Handling of photographs and multimedia files was improved and search was fully integrated. “Breadcrumbs” were introduced, this is a somewhat bizarre name Microsoft gave to their new windows explorer extension that allows for convenient browsing between directories and subdirectories.

While you cannot reproduce the Windows Vista explorer completely, you can actually go one better. Directory Opus is the most powerful file manager/explorer on the planet and works extremely well with Windows XP. If a little intimidating at first, most users will quickly learn to appreciate the power and flexibility this utility offers. Surpassing Vista’s new Windows Explorer in almost every department and with powerful photo/multimedia features, Directory Opus really is worth the learning curve and there are many comprehensive tutorials available on the internet to help ease new users in. Directory Opus costs around $70 per licence. If you want to learn more about this superb utility then start here.

Search

Windows Vista’s integrated desktop search is one of my favourite new features in the operating system. Here, XP lags a little behind its younger sibling but it isn’t an entirely lost cause. Many users do not realise, but Microsoft Desktop Search is also available for free for Windows XP. While it lacks the slick integration with Windows Explorer, it is still a powerful tool. You can download Desktop Search for XP

here.

Looking to really get organised? Desktop search is good, but many of us have piles of CD-R or DVD-R disks kicking around our workplaces. Wouldn’t it be great if there was something that could neatly catalogue all those files too? Well, there is. The aptly named “WhereIsIt?” is able to neatly organise and catalogue not only files on your hard disk but files stashed away on removable disks too. WhereIsIt? Is shareware, with the full version costing $39.95 per licence. Enter “WhereIsIt” into Google to find out more.

Look and Feel

For those systems able to run it, the new Aero interface in Windows Vista is both fast and beautiful. By comparison, the blues and creams of Windows XP look distinctly last generation. Of course, beauty is only skin deep and what really matters is functionality. That said, a little more eye candy obviously appeals to a lot of people, since numerous web-sites and utilities have sprung up for Windows XP with the sole aim of making the operating system look better. The pinnacle of these utilities is the Object Desktop suite from Stardock. With a few clicks you can instantly transform your XP desktops look and feel into any of hundreds of visual styles available for download from Stardock’s website. Want Aero-like special effects on Windows XP? Object Desktop Window FX can do them and you can even customise exactly which visual effects to use. Want two start menus? No problem, with Objectbar you can do that too. Want Windows Dreamscene animated wallpapers? Well sorry, you are out of luck this time. The price for all this desktop pimping? $49.95. To find out more, or download a trial version, enter object desktop into Google. All this talk of desktop enhancements brings us nicely on to:-

Sidebar and Widgets

Windows Vista comes with it’s own sidebar with detachable widgets, but sidebars and widgets are old news in Windows (and indeed in most other modern operating systems too). My favourite XP sidebar is the somewhat unoriginally named “Desktop Sidebar”. This sidebar is highly configurable, uncluttered and includes the best RSS news reader/ticker out of all the sidebars and widgets I have ever tried. In fact I even run Desktop Sidebar in preference to Vistas own sidebar on my Windows Vista installation. Google search for “desktop sidebar” to find out more.

If widgets are you thing then there are currently several competing standards. The Open Widget Engine is gaining momentum slowly, with the aim of one day uniting the efforts of widget makers across the world. Until that day comes, you can choose between Google Desktop, Desktop X and Yahoo Widgets. Desktop X is a powerful widget engine that is included as part of the Object Desktop suite that I mentioned in the Look and Feel section. Yahoo and Google’s respective offerings are free and hence much more popular. Yahoo widgets probably includes the best selection of widgets out of all the widget engines available. Again, do a quick Google search on the program that interests you the most to find out more.

Media Centre

Windows XP media centre edition has been around for a while now, but an upgrade to Vista Ultimate or Home Premium will give you full media centre capabilities included in the price. If you are using vanilla XP home or Professional and you want media centre capabilities, they are available for free in the shape of Media Portal, an open source and highly configurable media centre application. Also free and worth a look (at least if you are American) is Yahoo Go For TV. Based on Meedio, which was one of the best commercial media centre products for Windows, Go For TV seems to have been left to stagnate since Yahoo took control. Nevertheless there are already a wide range of plug-ins and accessories available for it that were previously developed for Meedio. Bizarrely, Yahoo currently insists on locking out all users outside of the United States, so if you live elsewhere in the world, give this one a miss. Set Google hunting for “media portal” or “Yahoo Go for TV” to find out more.

Games and Direct X 10

As any PC gamer will tell you, XP is (at the time of writing) the best operating system for games. With Vista, Microsoft introduced DirectX10 and made it Vista only. A number of breathtaking DirectX 10 games are regularly plastered over the preview pages on major PC gaming websites and magazines. To date however, aside from a few update patches for older games, Microsoft’s cutting edge games for DirectX10/Vista basically consist of Shadowrun (an above average multiplayer FPS) and Halo 2 (A conversion of an old Xbox game). Re-hashing a previous generation console title to demonstrate your bleeding edge graphics technology must have made sense to someone in Microsoft but it makes little sense to gamers assessing if an upgrade to Vista is worth their money, especially in light of the performance handicap or crippled sound that some games exhibit under Vista. However, like every new gaming platform, fast forward to Christmas and XP gamers can expect to be enviously eyeing up the new Vista only games starting to appear. If you are hoping that I’m going to tell you now some way of getting DirectX 10 to work on XP, you are going to be disappointed. A company called Falling Leaf systems claims to be working on some sort of project that would accomplish this feat, but they still have a lot to prove especially considering early versions struggled to run the most basic of DirectX 10 demo code. Unfortunately, it looks like DirectX 10 is one trick that XP isn’t going to be performing any time soon, if ever.

So there you have it, far from being on its last legs, Windows XP is still a very capable operating system with a fair few tricks up its sleeve. If you’re willing to invest in a little new software mentioned in this article (much of which also works under Vista) you can easily transform your XP into a top notch operating system and still enjoy your old games and multimedia software.

How CLAT Tutorials Help in Intensive Training of CLAT Rank Holders

CLAT success stories are really inspiring when the CLAT toppers disclose their preparation techniques. Tens and thousands of CLAT aspirants vow to follow those techniques, but yet, a majority of them fail to score a decent rank in CLAT. The chief reason for this is the fact that the Common Law Admission Test toppers follow more than just a daily routine. From the right study materials to the right mentors, their approach towards CLAT preparation is a holistic one.

The Mindset of CLAT Toppers

CLAT toppers are not special people. They are among us who simply took a smarter way to crack CLAT with lots of positive attitudes. As has been pointed out by Common Law Admission Test experts from time to time, a positive attitude towards one’s goals makes the journey easier. It is natural for human beings to get disappointed and lose hope in the face of hurdles, but success lies ahead for those who start all over again with fresh enthusiasm. For CLAT, an exam which sees cut-throat competition; it is obvious for the aspirants to face a lot of obstacles, sometimes unsuccessful CLAT attempts too. But every time the winners fall on their face, they resolve to work harder and achieve the grades they deserve.

The Role of CLAT Tutorials in The Life of CLAT Toppers

A good CLAT tutorial is the most crucial aspect of any Common Law Admission Test rank holder’s preparation routine. CLAT coaching comprise of everything that needs to be read and practised, as well as the mock tests and their answer keys. They also provide guidelines and tips for taking the CLAT.

How to Select the Right CLAT Tutorial

While preparing for Common Law Admission Test, one is likely to come across too many study materials. But it is not necessary to follow all of them. Being selective in the choice of CLAT tutorials will actually make one’s preparation better. Though many CLAT mentors advise collecting all relevant study materials during the initial stages, it is not possible always. You may come across a better mathematics guide or a logical reasoning question bank any time during your Common Law Admission Test preparation. Common Law Admission Test toppers aim at covering the theoretical sections, especially the concepts within two or three months at the initial stages of their CLAT preparation. Reliable CLAT coaching will give in-depth knowledge of the concepts- an essential factor for solving the mocks.

But accessing a series of CLAT tutorials is not the end of the line. To score high in CLAT, one has to follow them in a systematic way, and not randomly. CLAT tutorials by reputed CLAT coaching institutes are designed by CLAT experts and mentors who have years of experience in Common Law Admission Test coaching or who are directly associated with the CLAT examination procedure. This is why CLAT tutorials given by CLAT coaching centers are comprehensive, yet compact.

Rank Holders in The Making

As a matter of fact, most CLAT toppers confess that they followed the CLAT tutorials throughout the preparation phase. It is wiser to learn new concepts and practice mocks simultaneously. A good beginning is half the battle won- goes the popular saying, and a good Common Law Admission Test coaching proves it to be completely true. A good CLAT tutorial that covers the whole CLAT syllabus, and is updated according to the latest syllabus and question patterns of CLAT will help in understanding all the subjects- including the ones in which the aspirant lacks expertise.