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Conventions

  • Booth Designs at Comic-Con

    Alright, so I'm back friends! If any of you went, I was dressed up as The Red Umbrella from the Pixar short film, "The Blue Umbrella".

    Anyway, I have some pictures here of great booth designs from the biggest pop culture & comics convention in the world, and I started to notice a pattern. There were a lot of BOATS this year. Boats and Pirates. That seems to be a running theme for 2013.

    Ubisoft

    The next addition to the Assassin's Creed saga is number "IV", featuring a pirate assassin named Edward Kenway. Ubisoft docked a pirate ship right behind the Convention Center, instead of a booth, but that didn't make it any less accessible. Attendees could walk right onto the ship, explore it's reaches, play some AC IV demos, and meet with the creators. Not only is this a fantastic idea, but it was one of the biggest things I've ever seen at Comic-Con.

    Fun Fact: I seriously believed that they towed in an actual ship just for the occasion, but the ship looked mighty familiar. Turns out, it's the San Diego-famed floating museum called The Star of India. Many kids around San Diego, including myself when I was younger, usually get to spend a day on the ship or even sleep over to see what sailor life was like. Kudos to Ubisoft for taking advantage of a great opportunity.

    Starz

    Apologies for the blurriness, but this is the Starz booth. This year they decided to feature a brand new show coming this fall, called "Black Sails". And you guessed it right...it's about pirates. Just behind the lady statue and the mast was a couple of pirate actors and a prop of a pirate lashed to the mast, and clearly dead. It was fake, but still eerie, and definitely set a tone for the coming show. Up above, they had some jumbo-screens to show the trailer. I couldn't hear a thing, so I waited until I got home to watch the trailer.

    ABC

    There's no doubt that ABC's "Once Upon A Time" is a guaranteed hit, and it's coming back with another season with a vengeance. Now, I personally haven't seen the show, but my sister informed me that this last season ended with main character, Emma Swan, forced to ally with the Evil Queen and Hook in order to rescue her son from Neverland. So, it's safe to say that this is probably Hook's famed ship. I don't think this one was accessible, but it did have screens along the side for the new season trailer, like the Starz booth.

     

    Like what you see, but a little tired of pirates? Yes, I feel the same. Well, not to worry, because next time I'll be featuring a few new booth designs: Lego, The Walking Dead, and the Ender's Game Experience outside the Convention Center. For all your trade show banner and booth needs, check out out specialty Trade Show Banners page!

  • A Lesson from Comic-Con

    Today marks the beginning of Comic-Con once again! Sounds the trumpets please!

    San Diego is my hometown and it always makes me giddy when Comic-Con week rolls around. It’s as though the whole city gets dressed up in all it’s nerdy best to visit the chapel that is the Convention Center. The effects of all the new visitors can be felt as far north as Carlsbad, and it never gets old.

    But it’s not just the attendees that are putting on their best costumes...the vendors have rolled up their sleeves and gotten down to business in booth design. In fact, some designs become so iconic at the con, that they are described by the booth then the actual brand name. For example, "Hey I'll meet you by Adventure Time!", "Meet me at The Walking Dead!" Sadly, I can’t put pictures up just yet, but I will as soon as I get back!

    But let’s talk about what’s been revealed so far:

    AMC - The Walking Dead

    AMC has once again returned with The Walking Dead themed booth (definitely going to check it out!). Judging from the pictures already online, this new booth design is incredibly interactive with the fans! Its a recreation of the prison, where the protagonists were last hiding out at the end of Season 3. There’s a guard tower, the room of Walker heads floating in tanks, and some zombie actors to take pictures with! No word yet on if they’ll stay for the whole weekend, but here’s to hoping. What I love most about this is how they recreate a set that fans have come to recognize immediately. It’s a smart move, going outside the standard square booth with some plastic zombies like last year. The more you can connect with you audience directly, the more they’ll return that back to you.

    Cartoon Network - Adventure Time

    Cartoon Network’s hottest show has to be Adventure Time. And much like in previous years, it’s back with a vengeance, taking over the booth. The entrance is the entire Ice King’s head! You walk through his mouth to get to the good stuff. Again, it connects with their direct audience, albeit without the zombies.

    Mega-Booths!

    One last fan favorite at Comic-Con are, of course, the “mega-booths!”. These ones, including AMC’s and Cartoon Network’s booths, are designed to be seen above and beyond your field of vision. You can spot that sign, that tower, that screen above them from anywhere in the Exhibit Hall. These giants include the Nickelodeon booth, Fox, Lego, Lucasfilm, and the list goes on.

    Stay tuned next week! I’ll be posting my pictures and walking you through what sets all the booth designs apart, as well as some trade show do’s and don’t’s. And take a look at our Trade Show Banners to get an idea of what's in store.

  • The Conventions Cometh - Trade Show Banners

    The time has arrived: drum roll please...

    It’s Convention Season!

    E3, Comic-Con International, Anime Expo, and those are just the ones in Southern California. Whatever may be near your neighborhood, be it trade show, fan convention, or up-coming extravaganza, there’s never been a better time to pack up your booths and high tail it to the expo center!

    Here at Banner4Sale, we’ve got all you need to set you up with a great presence for your show. First step: aerial views. You want to make sure that people can see you as they wander down the aisles. Capture their attention with a beautiful color banner!

    Our specialty trade show banners can be made custom to your needs. Do you want it to hang? No problem, we can add pole pockets or ring grommets for free. How about a stand-alone floor banner? We’ve got those too! Additionally, we have stands and a carrying case that can accompany each purchase of a trade show banner. What if you want to wrap it all around your booth? Well, that’s a different offer.

    Provide us with the frame, and we’ll work with you to create a comprehensive and creative wrap that will blow you away. Our Vinyl Wall Graphics have been used by many of our pleased customers, including Oakley and Famous Stars and Straps. Check out our Vinyl Wall Graphics page for more pictures!

    So, what are you waiting for? It’s a great opportunity to meet new customers, make some business connections, or just plain have fun.

  • Upgrade Your Industry with Trade Show Banners!

    Expos, trade shows, conventions, and conferences....what do they have in common? Businesses and trading ventures! These gatherings are the hub for the up-and-coming and everything new, so spruce up your appearance and connect with the conventioneers with a trade show banner.

    Portability is Key

    Trade show banners can vary between your standard hanging banner, such that can be seen on our Custom Banner page, or a specialized type of banner known as a retractable banner

    Retractable Trade Show Banners

    Retractables are exactly as that sound: easy to assemble, quick to dismantle, and trouble-less travel. Each retractable banner is created with the same attention and design as any normal hanging banner would have, so there’s no need to change a ready design.

    These handy go-to banners comes with a carrying case, a stand and support clamps to keep your banner steady and professional wherever you go. With retractable banners you are guaranteed an easy and portable self-advertisement, the same investment that you can gain with a regular banner without all the hassle of assembly.

    Other Trade Show Banner Accessories

    If a retractable banner doesn't fit your bill, then take a peek at our standard banners. No matter where your conference or trade show is located, your banner will be guaranteed to last outdoors and in. Each banner comes with grommets for hanging or pole pockets for standing up.  If your event is outdoors, we recommend wind slits to endure those breezy days.

    Creativity Slumps

    Can't Photoshop if your life depended on it? Call us up, and we’ll help you out!  Let our creative team take a look at your design and help you determine what size would best fit your design. Trade Show Banners are a fantastic investment for your business, especially when you’re frequently on the road convention-hopping.

  • Tech & Design of CES 2013

    So, we've looked at some booth designs, marveled at the sheer awesome screen-space for some of the biggest names in the industry, and been dazzled by the glitter. But alas, all good things must come to an end...

    However, here's the fun part: now that CES has ended, we can now take a look at the best tech and show-stoppers that have emerged from the exhibition floor and the presentation demonstrations. I've collected my personal top 3 favorite things from this year's show, both tech & design, and have it for you all here to enjoy.

    1) Samsung's "Floating TV"

    a.k.a. That's a Big TV

    Lots of folks have been talking about this. It's an 85 inch, ultra HD monster on a specialized easel stand that gives it the appearance of "floating". Unfortunately, as with all new and shiny products, it's got a price tag that costs the same as an Engineering degree, but that doesn't take away from the wow factor.

    Now here's how they displayed it:

    They put these magnificent beasts on pedestals. Than again, this entire show was ego-tastic, so let's just smile and nod.

     

    2) Sony Xperia Z

    A.k.a. The Best New Smartphone coming out this year.

    Tech sites everywhere are raving about this sleek new model for the coming year, boasting a high resolution screen and a camera that'll put your iPhone to shame.

    Here's the display at the Sony booth:

    Instead of keeping this beauty behind glass, Sony laid out a beautiful buffet spread of Xperia goodness for all attendees to enjoy, along with what looks like their new tablets as well.

    3) Valve and the Xi3 "Piston" PC

    a.k.a. Yet Another Reason to Switch to PC Gaming

    This little handheld box is already packing a punch, and it's not even on the market yet. Valve has teamed up with Xi3 to create the "Piston": a solution to the hardware problems of PC gaming.  With this device, they promise a better experience with PCs and PC gaming without the hassle and floorspace of a bulky, expensive traditional tower. Not only that, you can bolt this thing straight onto your TV or computer monitor like a normal PC. Valve is also partnering with Steam, who are already major game providers for gamers on a budget. Bravo, Valve!

     

    So, there you have it. My top three tech joys and designs to come out of CES 2013. As this year progresses, we can see which of these comes out on top. Stay tuned!

  • The Consumer Electronics Show 2013

    Hey y'all!

    Yesterday, was the official opening of the CES 2013, with the grand display of the very shiny exhibition floor. While press conferences have been going on since over the weekend, this was the part I was most excited about. I may not have been able to go myself, but man, do these booth designs look stunning this year.

    Contemplating a business booth for your next convention or trade show? Take a look at some of this year's best contenders from CES 2013 and be inspired! After all, these are all giants in the industry, and thus can be learned from.

    Intel

    Again with the swirling vortex of screens?....Meh, why not? Still looks just as cool.

    Samsung

    See those four screens in the middle on the pedestal-things? THEY ROTATE. I kid you not.  This shot is with them in mid-rotation, but they move around to form images, quotes or whatever other shape that Samsung wants to display with. Wow. Definitely cool.

    Sony

    I just wanted to highlight this spectacular hanging banner. Very beautiful coloring, and eye-catching to boot.

    Hisense

    Hisense is a newcomer to the American market, based out of China. Even so, I'm loving the green and turquoise hues going on in their booth. Makes it look very "green", very environmental.

     

  • Trade Show Booths: The Best of CESs Past

    Starting tomorrow, January 8th, the Consumer Electronics Show will be in full swing in Las Vegas, NV. My father, a geek in every right and proud of it, and being of sound mind and body, has said that CES is like the Comic-Con of tech junkies everywhere. After all, in our house one only has to look at the living room table to find piles of Consumer Electronics mags. But is he right?

    I wouldn't know, but what I do know is that trade shows and conventions are spectacular due to one thing: fantastic booth design. I said it, folks. Forget the freebies and product placements for a moment, will you? When you go to a convention you will always gravitate towards the most attractive booths to your eye, whether you know it or not. It may be some company you've never heard of, but "by golly that flying prop looks amazing. I want to see what it is!".

    I've gone back into the archives of CESs past to bring you some truly amazing vendor booth designs. They've got lights, they've got hanging banners, they've got more screen space than a stadium-size jumbotron. They sparkle, they shine, they tempt you with free demos. Let's go:

     1) Intel, 2008

    I...what IS that? A towering spiral of laptops? Who thinks of this? Regardless what I think, this is pretty sweet. And that blue lighting just makes it look all the more ethereal. Bravo.

    2) Samsung, 2012

    Not only is the sheer floor space a relief, but that ceiling decoration...wow. Samsung displays they're visionary might with tons of television screens and what look like reflective mirrors(?). I could be wrong. But in any case, I would totally be a slack-jawed spectator, just watching that for hours.

    Man, I wish Comic-Con had space like that....

    3) Samsung, 2010

    Okay, I take that back. THIS is even more awesome than Samsung 2012's booth. The shape of the room, the way it looks like curtains into another world, the countless screens...hats off to you, Samsung.

    4) Griffin Technology, 2012

    Now for something completely different. How nice and homey, and (almost) away from all the blue tech giants.

    5) Microsoft, 2011

    It looms over the attendees like a god, and has the floor space to boot. Also, they put all their products at eye level, unlike Samsung where you have to crane your neck.

    Well, there you have it! My top five favorites after scouring the histories of the Consumer Electronics Show's for the best booth designs. And as CES 2013 is about to kick off, stay tuned here, where I'll be posting a look at this year's best designs.

  • Five Tips for Trade Show Events

    Trade shows, conventions, expos....they’re the meat of every industry. It’s a place for like-minded businesses and people to gather and peek at each other’s projects, upcoming products, etc.

    But the trick is how to get yourself there.

    I’ve gathered some pointers here about some things you should take care of before you go jetting off to the nearest convention. A checklist, if you will.

    1. Booth Design

    First thing’s first: you need a home-base for said convention or trade show. If you’re planning on being an exhibitioner, rather than a visitor, it’s time to start thinking about how you want others to see you.

    Consider what you deem most important about your business: is it your products? Your people? Your brand name? Whichever one it is, put that up front and center in your design. Use clever displays, such as custom trade show banners, to hang and draw more customers from across the halls.

    If you’re putting up displays or a mini store, make sure to leave lots of room for people to roam and browse. Most importantly though, is to stay in your space! Adhere to the space measurements that the convention has given you, and don’t encroach on your neighbor. For more detailed info, read about it in our post for trade booth design.

    1. Freebies & Giveaways

    Want a surefire way to gain more customers? Give ‘em a gift. Conventioneers love free things, no matter how small or mundane: from frisbees to promo coupons, we keep them all. Diversify your giveaways by setting times during the day that these giveaways will occur. Not only will you attract customers that want it, you’ll gain new customers who stick around to see what’s new.

    1. Transportation

    This is the tricky part: getting your booth to the show. For smaller shows, they may provide you with a table or chairs, although most larger shows won’t. In the case of smaller shows, a simple van or your own car can be enough to transport your things. For larger events, with massive booths and walking space....it’s going to be a little trickier. There are many companies out there that specialize in shipping for events. Search for the nearest shipping company to you, and get going!

    1. “Clothes Make the Man”

    Your body language and appearance are the first impression. People tell you this advice all the time in interviews and such, but it still rings true for trade shows. If you’re attending as a professional, stick to the shirt and tie for men, a nice blouse and skirt/dress pants for women.

    If your target demographic is little younger, then  you can get away with some t-shirts, collared shirts, etc. but try to have a “team shirt” with your logo or slogan printed somewhere visible.

    1. Gathering New Customers

    Trade shows and conventions aren’t just for showing off your shiny new toys and products, but it’s also a place to gain new customers. Have a sign-up sheet somewhere (which is old school) where customers can leave their email for future events. If you really want to wow them, gather their contact information with some cool tech: tablets, computers around your booth, or give them a card that they can use to sign-up for newsletters at home. The more interactive the better, and don’t just stick to the social media: branch out a little!

  • A Guide to Using Banners and Other Advertising at Conventions: PART 3

    PART 3: Extra Tidbits to get you Started!

    We’ve talked about different styles of booths and now let’s talk about what you can put on your booth or advertise about it. These are just suggestions, so I don’t want to dictate what you put on display.

    “Free” is a word that everyone loves! These don’t have to be extravagant, but something small and versatile such as buttons, stickers, or patches. People will collect these, tell their friends and bring more people to your booth, where the rest of your beautiful art is displayed!

    You can also make postcards or business cards that have your websites, social media links, or other relevant information to showcase your art.

    Collectibles!

    Having collectible items would be beneficial to you as well. Such as art sets, button sets, etc. If you start a tradition of featuring some new item every time you go to a new convention, you’ll have plenty of visitors (including repeat visitors)!

    Label Your Prices

    There’s nothing like awkwardly walking up to your favorite artist and asking how much something is, only to find out it’s beyond what your wallet can handle. Avoid the awkwardness with your fans and make a display instead.

    Try not to use Post-it notes or sticker labels, but rather something more professional looking, like a small sign or a banner. Making a sign leaves more room for interaction with your fans and the fun questions that you can answer. It doesn’t have to be boring either! Spruce it up, decorate it and make it your own!

    Embrace Your Pop Culture

    To get the people’s attention, showing something familiar like pop culture characters could draw people to your booth. For example, when I went to Anime Expo, it was right after the “Avatar: The Legend of Korra” finale and I can’t even begin to tell you how much Korra fanart was in Artist Alley alone. Most of the artists were fans of the show, sure, but they strategically put the Korra fanart before some of their original pieces to draw the hardcore fans to their booth. This is a good strategy, and by no means demeans your artwork at all! It’s all about acknowledging the trends of the day. Not only will people come to see their favorite characters done in your style, but they are more likely to stay and look at your other art in the meantime. It’s the bait that draws them in!

    Advertise Ahead of Time!

    No doubt, most of you who are reading this have a website, a Facebook, DeviantArt, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogspot, etc.! Use them to your advantage, the closer you get to convention day. Talk about your freebies, your collectibles, or any other tidbits you plan on selling at your booth. Use a physical sign, like a banner or a flag, so your fans know what to look for when trying to find you in the Artist Alley!

     

    The End!

    So that’s it! That’s all I got to give. Above everything else: HAVE FUN. These people love you. Even if strangers only stop to look for a little while, the fact is that they stopped to see you. And that will speak volumes about your art.  

     

  • A Guide to Using Banners and Other Advertising at Conventions: PART 2

    Seize Your Space!

    Take advantage of your space! Every artist is allotted the confines of a certain size booth. You get all the table space as well as above (although that may differ depending on the convention). Don’t be a jerk and try to spill over onto your neighbor’s table: keep it classy and stay in your cube. Many artists implement different techniques with what they have.

    The following pictures are pulled from Google, and come from different conventions. Let’s take a look at some booths and examine how they make it work in their own right.

    These lovely ladies have definitely utilized the space that they have!

    • Take a look at their table: every inch is covered with their merchandise, from cards to prints to postcards.
    • Observe the edges of the table: there’s a fold out screen where they hung buttons and keychains for sale, propped up some books and displayed prices. There’s also signs about who they are.
    • Above them is a PVC pipe arrangement where various prints and art examples are hung.

    Now, it’s understandable how some people could be “turned off” by how this looks. BUT let’s consider the advantages of such a loud display:

    • their art style is very clear, from the sheer amount of art on display. If someone happened to be passing through the aisle and something caught their eye on the PVC pipe hangings, boom! New customer.
    • Nothing is hidden: honest display
    • The more that’s on the table, the longer that someone interested will linger and possibly buy something

    Here is the lovely Mike Gray: I don’t know who he is, but I like how his booth is arranged. He has taken a more simplistic approach.

    • Background: He chose to show a simple banner with a cartoon figure of himself and his website.
    • Table: Signs (i.e. “Free Sketch!” etc), free candy??, a contact sheet clipboard, books, sketchpad, even a DVD player in the corner!Sides & Above: Nothing other than a button/magnet board
      • Tables like these typically feature albums with all their art stored inside, rather than hung up like the other booth example.

    This is a “comfortable” booth: not too loud, but not quiet either. Some advantages:

    • Approachable, very open: depending on your style, it might behoove you to NOT be cluttered with so many hanging displays and busy table bits.
      • He also leaves room to draw where someone can see, rather than hide behind his sketchbook.
    • Display is clear, more geared to his professional work: he showcases some of his art, but not too much where it overloads the senses
    • The banner is advantageous: shows information that may not otherwise be shown on his other merchandise

    Now, here at Banner4Sale, we can provide you with banners specifically tailored for conventions and trade-shows. We recommend a Trade Show Banner, although those tend to run larger. A retractable banner is more practical for booth use.

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