Trade Show Envy: How to Stand Out from the Crowd

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Even the most innovative company may have trouble standing out at a trade show. Using the standard approach is a huge mistake – you’re just going to blend in with the other booths. Following the basic strategy may pick up a few customers here and there, but there’s so much more you could be doing. Read on to learn how to differentiate your brand at your next trade show.

Think Outside the Booth

Most brands setup a booth at a trade show because that’s what everyone else is doing. Sitting behind the booth and waiting for people to stop by is a bad strategy, though.According to Entrepreneur, when Cutter and Buck, an apparel company, participated in a trade show in Vegas, they rented out a suite and invited its most promising targets. If you can’t afford a suite, at least turn your booth into something more, like a cookie-and-coffee spread or a VIP area for interested parties.

Rent a Prop

If your booth has nothing but you and a few pamphlets, people are going to be nervous about approaching it because they’re not going to know what to do when they get there. When you have a prop, though, people have a clear goal – they want to spin that prize wheel or play a round of roulette. According to American Express, it’s always a good idea to have some type of fun, inviting gimmick at your booth.

Forgo the Sponsored Signage

Displaying signs with your sponsors’ logo is expensive and it’s more about competing with the other brands at the trade show than actually attracting customers. Consumers don’t care about your sponsors – they care about what you can do for them, not what other brands did for you.

Ask to Speak at the Trade Show

Content is king, as you know. At a trade show, request to be a speaker. You’ll be able to deliver helpful or interesting information to guests. They’ll, in turn, be interested in checking out your booth. Just make sure that you don’t try to hard sell your products or services during the presentation. Simply focus on delivering content the audience needs.

Give Out Freebies

Everyone loves getting something for free, right? Well, kind of. Branded swag sounds like a good idea, but people aren’t likely to wear a t-shirt with your logo on it if they don’t really support your company yet. Consider giving away freebies that people actually want, like gift certificates to popular coffee shops or a package of gourmet chocolates. They may not spread your logo around town, but your visitors will remember that great thing you gave them, which will make a lasting impression.

The Best Fonts for Creating Signs that Attract Customers


The best signage fonts that attract customers are bold, easy to read, and simple. Fonts, or typefaces, are specially designed letters used in advertising on signs, billboards, newsprint and magazines that grab a reader’s attention and help sell products, goods and services.

What is a font?
In the 15th century, German printer Johannes Gutenburg invented lead fonts, moveable type that had to be set by hand—letter by letter—to tediously print books and newspapers. In the early 1980s, Apple founder Steve Jobs revolutionized the way we use fonts today when he invented the first personal computer. Jobs’ invention made thousands of digital typefaces accessible to anyone with a PC, including sign makers.

When it comes to designing signs that attract customers, you want to use a font that is easily read with a personality all its own. Signs are fast absorption material and unless someone is standing in front of a supermarket or clothing store, the design will have to captivate an audience in a short amount of time. Therefore, your design will have to utilize a font that is easy to read and easy to remember.

Some popular fonts used on signs and billboards are Helvetica, Trajan, Futura, and Frutiger—all sans serif fonts. The letters of serif fonts, like Bodoni or Times Roman, have little feet on the top and bottom that help guide the reader’s eye across a page of type. Sans serif fonts are those without little feet or serifs. Typically, sans serif fonts have a more modern and timeless appeal.
Helvetica: Designed by the Haas Type Foundry 50 years ago, Helvetica is the most widely used font for signs, logos, and in advertising. Its simplicity and boldness compels customers to read and remember an advertiser’s message. Crisp, clean, and timeless, Helvetica is a seller’s first choice.

Trajan: Popularly used on old Hollywood posters and brochures, Trajan was designed in 1989 by Carol Twombly for Adobe. This typeface is a loose interpretation of Roman square lettering and is an easy-to-read serif font that grabs the customer’s eye.

Futura: The classic clean lines of this sans serif font is perfect for large signs and displays. Typical of the Bauhaus design movement of 1933, Futura’s strength lies in its distinct geometric shapes—circles, triangles and squares. Its appeal is in simple lines and a straightforward personality that attracts a large segment of the buying public while complementing a broad range of graphics.

Frutiger: Named for world renowned font designer Adrian Frutiger, this typeface was the result of work commissioned in the late 1960s by the Charles De Gaulle Airport. Frutiger was asked to design a distinct typeface for airport signage. The typeface Frutiger debuted in 1975 and became a permanent fixture of the airport. Because of its simplicity and adaptability to different styles, Frutiger later expanded into a type “family,” including several typefaces under its umbrella: Vegur, Arctik, Fog Sans, Atrian, and M+2p.


How to Lower Teen Cell Phone Costs


The average monthly cost of a cell phone bill is approximately $80 in the United States. That price is just for one person. If you add people to your plan, your monthly cell phone expenditure can easily exceed $200 per month.

If you have teen cell phone users on your plan, you may be looking for ways to lower the costs of their cell phone plans. After all, there are better ways to spend your money than on a cell phone bill. Here are 5 ways you can easily lower the costs of the cell phone bill for your teens.

Prepaid Cell Phones
Prepaid cell phones may not be a popular choices for teen users. However, they are the best choices if you want to save money on your bill each month.

These plans begin at $10 per month and can increase up to $50 per month for unlimited data, texting and phone features. A prepaid cell phone will help you eliminate the stress associated with unexpected costs.

Eliminate Cell Phone Insurance
Cell phone insurance can easily add $10 per month to your monthly cell phone bill. By eliminating this one feature, you can save up to $120 per year.

Another benefit of eliminating this insurance is it will teach your teens to respect their phones. If they know they will have to pay full price to replace the phone, they will be less likely to haphazardly leave the phone in places where it can get damaged.

Buy a Cheaper Cell Phone
There are many plans available in which you can buy a cell phone and pay for it monthly. If you enroll in this program, you can easily pay an additional $30 per month on your cell phone bill.

A good way to eliminate this additional expense is to purchase a phone for your teen in cash. This might mean your teen will not have the most advanced smart phone. However, the cell phone will not be a monthly burden on your cell phone bill.

Negotiate Your Monthly Rate
If you have a good history with your cell phone carrier, you might be able to negotiate a lower rate. The only way to find out if lower rates are available is to ask.

Instead of going directly to the store, call your carrier’s customer service center. They will have more leverage to lower your bill than representatives in the store.

Assess Your Phone Bill
If your teen’s phone bill has gotten out of hand, it is important to take a hard look at the items that are on the bill. Eliminate every feature that you do not use or need.
You might be pleasantly surprised to discover you can save $30 per month by eliminating useless features.

A cell phone with all of the bells and whistles is a luxury. It is not a necessity. If you find that your teen’s bill is too high, make appropriate changes today.

How to Cater the Perfect Birthday Party On A Budget


When you’re planning a birthday party for a child, one of the things that you want to keep in mind is the food. You likely want to have a cake, which is sometimes where you will spend the most money. The food could get expensive, but it doesn’t have to be outrageous as you can cater a perfect party and still stick with a budget.

Plan Ahead
If you know of an approximate number of guests who will be at the party, then it can make it easier to purchase food. When you don’t know how many people you will have to serve, then it can be easy to spend more money on items that aren’t needed. Make a list of all the people who you want to invite. Set a limit as to the number of people. Once you have an idea as to the number who tell you that they will be there, then you can begin shopping for the essential items that are needed.

Instead of serving a meal, consider serving snack foods. You don’t even have to cook anything in order to have a fun party. Set up the cake in the center of the table, and add bowls of chips, nuts and ice cream so that guests have something to enjoy. These are items that are easy to open and pour on a plate or into a bowl, and you can often get them on sale without paying a lot of money.

Simple Steps
If you do want to serve a meal to guests, consider something that’s easy to do and doesn’t involve a lot of money. Hot dogs are ideal for children. The toppings are rather inexpensive as well. You can use slaw, chili, ketchup and mustard as side items so that guests can choose what they want on their hot dog. If you have a little more flexibility in the budget, consider hamburgers for the adults. Another option for something simple and inexpensive is pizza. Grab a few frozen pizzas, and serve them on a fun platter that matches the theme of the party.

Dollar Stores And Bulk
You don’t need to get everything at a high-priced supermarket. There are quite a few items that you can find at a general dollar store, such as chips and the accessories that you need to serve the food. When you buy in bulk, you can often save money as you can get larger amounts of the items that you need that have been priced at a lower cost per unit.

Friends And Family
Talk to friends and family who are coming to the party to see if they can help with the food. You could do a pot luck dinner with each person bringing a dish. Another option is for everyone to bring a favorite candy or ice cream. Once you have all of the items that guests bring, you can set up a table for everyone to get what they want.

Five Ways A Steel Structure Will Protect Your Business


Steel is quickly becoming the building material of choice when erecting a variety of different structures. Part of this is because steel has a wide range of advantages over most other common building materials. Here are five ways a steel structure will protect your business.

Steel Structures Are Resistant To Fire

Steel structures will protect your business because they are resistant to fire. Steel can resist incredibly high temperatures without melting or even buckling. This means small or moderate fires are not going to affect the steel structure. This is important because many other buildings materials like wood will catch fire right away and then turn into an out of control blaze in a matter of minutes. You do not have to worry about this when you choose steel to make a structure for your business.

Steel Does Not Attract Pests or Harbor Mold

Most traditional building materials like wood and brick actually attract pests. This means pests of all types could infest a structure quickly damaging it and potentially creating hazardous conditions for the people inside. Those same materials can also become beds for mold and fungus that release spores into the air. Those spores can trigger allergic reactions or reduce the air quality in the area. Mold and fungus will not grow on steel structures. This makes it easier to maintain good air quality inside.

Steel Structures Have High Wind Resistance

One of the reasons that over 1.3 billion tons of steel are produced every year is because it is incredibly durable. Steel is difficult to damage when used to build a structure. It has an innately high resistant to wind and the elements. It is even possible to create steel structures that can withstand the winds from some of the fiercest hurricanes ever seen. This makes steel a good material for building structures in locations that are prone to severe weather like hurricanes and tornadoes since it is so strong.

Water and Moisture Are Not Issues with Steel

Water and moisture are major issues in most buildings constructed from traditional materials. Water can quickly damage the structure of the building. High levels of humidity inside will do the same only much slower. Water can weaken walls and roofs. Steel structures do not have issues with water and moisture. Water will simply roll off the surface of steel structures harmlessly as long as the alloy has been maintained. This resistance eliminates many problems that normally face other types of structures.

Steel Structures Do Not Wear Away, Rot or Degrade.

Steel structures do not wear away, rot or degrade due to age. If maintained properly, then a steel structure could stand for centuries. Steel is usually recycled when a structure is no longer need. All steel products today contain at least 25 percent recycled scrap making it an energy-efficient alloy to produce. The strength and longevity of steel will protect your business by making it unnecessary to constantly repair, rebuild and update the structure. This lets your business save money over the course of many years.

8 Surprising Wedding Dress Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

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Weddings are magical. Every bride wants to be a princess walking down the aisle to meet their prince charming. There are key elements that make this day possible, one of which is the bridal gown. Sure the cake, venue and flowers are important too; but everyone is going to be looking at that dress. Wedding dresses have evolved over time and today’s description of this famous gown isn’t what it was 100 years ago. Here are some fun facts that might surprise you about the wedding dress.

1. Brides Buy Their Gowns At Least 11 Months Before The Wedding:

It’s a proven fact that when a girl gets a ring, the next thing she is looking for is the gown for her big day.

2. Brides Spend More Money on Their Dress than on Their Hair and Makeup:

The bride cares so much about the dress; she will often max out the wedding budget to get the one she wants. That means if she must cut costs on hair and makeup, so be it.

3. The Longest Train on a Wedding Dress is 1.85 miles Long

This record was set in Romania and made it into the Guinness World Book of Records. It was made by Andree Salon for a Romanian Bride.

4. The Wedding Dress was Patterned After Queen Victoria

When Queen Victoria wed Prince Albert back in 1840, she insisted on wearing a sparkling white gown. It wasn’t meant to represent purity; rather she liked the color white.

5. Pinterest is Considered The Place To Go For Wedding Dress Tips

Pinterest has become so popular that more than 50 percent of women in the UK are using their tips and tricks to find and design the perfect wedding gown.

6. Blue Was The Standard Color For A Wedding Dress

We’ve already discussed that the wedding gown changed colors when Queen Victoria wore white in 1840. Before this time period, women wore blue dresses because it was a sign of purity in the middle ages. The old saying “something borrowed something blue,” came from this time.

7. The Average Cost of a Wedding Dress is Near $1,400

Though some may spend way more on their wedding gown that the average price of $1,355 the typical bride in the US doesn’t spend as much as one would think.

8. 46 Percent of Brides Pass Their Dress Down To Their Children

Though we often see tons of dresses online that are being auctioned off daily, almost half the population still believes in the old tradition of saving the dress for their children and grandchildren. It’s a sweet gesture, but usually, the dresses don’t get worn.

There are so many things about the wedding dress that people don’t know. About 32 percent buy their dress from a retail store while 18 percent will order their online. However, a bride chooses to find her dress is up to her. There is no right or wrong way to have a spectacular dress on a memorable day.

6 Creative Ways to Add Flair to Your Wedding Day Look

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You are unique, and you want your wedding to showcase your personalities. While many couples have some traditional expectations for their big day, many more are looking for ways to add a memorable flair to their wedding day look. Below are some fantastic, creative ideas to get you started.

Carry out a theme

If you have a family heritage, hobby or memories you want to include, make it a part of your look. For example, if you’re Irish and planning an Irish-themed wedding, give each other claddagh rings symbolizing love, friendship and loyalty. Try “hand-fasting,” literally tying the knot during the ceremony, carrying a horseshoe or incorporating green into your look.

Creative floral design

Go with unconventional pops of color and interesting combinations when choosing your flowers. Berries, buds, small branches, greenery, rhinestones, copper wire and more can add charm and vivaciousness to your bouquet. Also, wrapping the stems with a handkerchief, raffia, or strips of silk, burlap or lace can be a creative way to incorporate your overall wedding day theme into your floral design.

Change up the white dress and tuxedo

Your wedding dress is a huge part of your big day look. Once you find the perfect dress, personalize it with a shawl, colorful sash or pin. Maybe you want to invest in a“transformer” dress, one that shortens to be perfect for dancing at your reception or utilize pieces of a vintage family gown in your dress. Options are almost limitless! If the traditional tuxedo is too much for the groom, consider the type of wedding you’re having. A church wedding may still necessitate a suit, but an outdoor wedding can include anything from khakis, suspenders and bowties to jeans and cowboy boots.

Experiment with headpieces

A traditional veil is beautiful, but get creative with using your mom’s or grandmother’s veil in addition to incorporating your “something old.” Also, short headpieces featuring feathers and lace, exotic hairbands and beautiful tiaras abound. If you have an artistic flair, you may even want to create your own headpiece! For the groom, a cowboy hat or fedora can add some fun to the wedding day look.

Add some fun shoes

Nothing is more fun at a wedding than seeing a great, happy pair of shoes peeking out from under a wedding gown. Whether you choose rhinestone boots, “glass” slippers, colorful heels or comfortable Chuck Taylors, your feet can have a personality all their own. The same goes for the groom with Van’s, Sperry’s or flip-flops. One-of-a-kind shoes also add lots of pizzazz to pictures!

Find some out of the ordinary accessories

A statement necklace is sure to garner ooh’s and ahh’s from everyone, but artistic bangles, earrings, rings and anklets can add a pop of style as well. Don’t forget about carrying something that reflects your personality, like a monogrammed handkerchief or parasol.

Ultimately, your wedding day is about you as a couple and your love for each other, so work together to choose looks that will feature the best of who you are.

4 Benefits of Proper Humidor Care


So you have taken up smoking as a hobby? Choosing and maintaining a Humidor to house your tobacco products is extremely important. Taking the time to properly set them up, maintain their humidity, and keep them in a safe place will yield many benefits. Here are a few of the major benefits you can expect to see with proper care.

First off, if you take care of the Humidor, you are saving yourself quite a bit of trouble with your cigars or pipe tobacco in the long run because they will stay fresh longer. When the humidity is right, the tobacco stays fresh and crisp. If you do not make sure the humidity is ideal, you are asking for your products to dry out. Checking the humidity regularly can save you loads of money just by keeping your tobacco products ready for you when you want them. Wikipedia has a great section that deals with how important the proper humidity and temperature are for your Humidor. It also has some interesting facts about typical construction and types of Humidors that you may find interesting.

Secondly, you will be preventing devastating mold. If the humidity is too high, mold may grow, and we all know that once something is exposed to mold spores it has to be replaced. Mold will always grow back and at an excellerated rate. This is especially important if you have invested in a high-quality Humidor because there is no coming back from a mold infestation.

Thirdly, you are preventing the possibility of tobacco beetles. These little beasts are tiny, but like mold, they can mean a death sentence for your beautiful new Humidor. They eat anything they can get their little feelers on and they are about the size of a pinhead. If given the chance, they will devour all of your tobacco products as well as the Humidor itself. If you catch the infestation quick enough, you can get rid of them by freezing everything in Ziplock bags, but that alone is causing you a great hassle. By keeping the humidity below 74%, you can prevent them from hatching and if you are truly passionate about your hobby, you will want to save yourself that headace.

Lastly, caring for your Humidor properly is important because it will do it’s job longer for you. Many are beautifully carved works of art and can last for many, many years if the proper steps are taken to ensure it. Thompson & Co. Cigars stresses taking steps toward “Long Term Maintenance” such as keeping your Humidor away from direct sunlight, dust, and direct interior lighting. They also suggest opening the lid as little as possible to keep the humidity even and rotating your cigars monthly.

Overall, if you have purchased a nice Humidor to keep your tobacco in, you will want to make maintenance a priority. Proper maintenance will not only save you time and money, but will also yeild these important benefits for your products.

4 Ways Telecommunications Has Evolved Over Time

The Electric Telephone
The original telecommunications date back to the 1700s when ancient systems, such as smoke signals and talking drums, were used in Africa, New Guinea and South America as methods of communication. In 1726, scientists began experimenting with electricity to create lines of communication to allow people to transmit voices through telephone wires. Several versions of the electrical telegraph were invented. In1870, the first electric telephone was invented, and by 1878, commercial telephone services were offered to customers in New Haven, Connecticut and London. Bell Telephone Company was the first U.S. commercial telephone service created on July 9, 1877, in Boston, Massachusetts. The initial patent was given to Alexander Graham Bell, and all other patents were subordinated to the master patent. In 1899, Bell Telephone Company was changed to what it’s known today as American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T).

First Wireless Communications
On June 17, 1946, the first mobile services were issued in St. Louis, Missouri, by AT&T. During this time, mobile phones were only offered in limited areas in the country. By 1949, AT&T commercialized its mobile services, allowing customers to place and receive calls by way of an operator. The costs to maintain a mobile phone were very expensive, and only a few callers in each city could make calls at the same time. AT&T began to implement more improved technologies for mobile services, which allowed more people to concurrently make calls by dialing numbers rather than via an operator. By the 1960s, radio common carriers were established and competed against AT&T services.

Today’s Market
Over the years, the telecommunications industry has diversified and become a more competitive market. Key players in the industry continue to design easier and more affordable ways for customers to communicate. Customers have many opportunities to acquire telephone and mobile services, which make the competition fierce among telecommunications companies looking to dominate the industry.

Today, the mobile service market, which includes voice calls, text messages, apps and data usage, is a billion dollar industry with several companies dominating the market in each country. More users are using their mobile devices to download apps and browse the Internet. According to Statista, a third of website traffic comes from mobile devices.

The demand for mobile services continues to grow among billions of users worldwide. In the United States alone, over a 100 million users search the internet using their tablet or smartphone. With the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010, Apple has been dominating the smartphone market. Google is also leading the way of smartphone technologies with the Android mobile phones.

With the constant changing of technologies in the mobile industry, users anticipate the next wave of mobile communications. Companies continue to seek out innovative ways to provide customers with better connection speeds and bandwidth in addition to more improved mobile applications.

4 Important Reasons to Switch Up Your Workout Routine

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At the beginning of your workout program, you probably had a lot of enthusiasm. Exercise may not have been the most fun activity you could think of, but you saw results quickly and it encouraged you to work out more and more. Over time, though, that motivation – and the results – may have waned. Here are four reasons why it may be time to switch up your workout routine.

1. Your Workout is Getting Boring

If you now dread a workout you used to look forward to, it could be that you’re simply bored with what you’re doing every week. Spark People suggests that you add variety to your workout, even if you stick with the same basic exercise. For example, if you usually walk on the treadmill on the gym, go for a walk around a park instead or try going for a light hike. Even something as simple as choosing new music or working out with a friend can breathe new life into a stagnant workout. Another good idea is to try out a class at the gym – you’ll be more encouraged to get through it when there’s a crowd around you.

2. Your Weight Loss Has Halted

If your goal is to lose weight but you don’t seem to be shedding the pounds anymore, you probably need a more intense workout, according to Women’s Health. If you love attending classes at the gym, talk to the instructor about what you can do to make them more challenging. If you workout on your own, increase resistance or speed, or extend your workout for a longer period of time.

3. You’re More Sore and Tired Than Usual

Exercise is supposed to give you energy, not zap it. If you’re feeling more sore or tired than normal, you may be overtraining. It’s important that you give yourself time to rest and recover between workouts. Down time is when you really build up your endurance and strength because your muscles are repairing and rebuilding. Without the right amount of recovery time, you’ll actually get weaker, no matter how many strengthening exercises you commit to.

4. You No Longer Feel Challenged

If you like a good challenge, you may be missing out once you start getting really good at your workout. In the beginning, you may have found it difficult to run a ten-minute mile, but now it’s a breeze. You don’t have to stick to the same routine if you don’t feel like it’s challenging enough. Wear a heart rate monitor to figure out how intensely you’re working out. As you get more in shape, you’ll notice that your heart rate changes.