Should Mining Companies Invest in Attending Conferences

The mining industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world. It is also the industry that goes through the most boom and bust cycles due to the law of supply and demand.

Higher commodity prices = more companies = increased supply = lower commodity prices = less companies = decreased supply = higher commodity prices.

With every boom, new junior companies come into the market to get a share of the pie. Existing junior companies with completed feasibility studies go into production because it is easier to get finance during a bull market.

On the other hand, when the bear market hits, the majority of junior companies go bust. The #1 reason these companies go bust is usually because of the lack of capital to fund their exploration endeavours and employee expenses.

Raising capital

Raising capital is one of the most important roles of the CEO of a mining company. That is either through a capital raise or option exercises. Even some of the biggest names in mining who are billionaires still have to raise capital for their ventures such as Ross Beaty from Equinox Gold and Robert Friedland from Ivanhoe Mines.

When it comes to capital raises, the CEO seeks to push up the company’s share price so they can raise more capital for the business without diluting their shareholders too much.

One way to push up the share price is by getting exposure to influencers. These influencers could be investment managers, decision makers from mid to large-cap companies, and newsletter writers and the best way to gain exposure with these influencers (in my opinion) is at conferences.

One of the best channels to gain exposure

Conferences

Conferences have been the go-to marketing channel for mining companies (especially juniors) to promote their stock. Conferences gather influencers and decision makers from all over the world into one location. Because of this, conferences are also the place where deals get done and companies get funded. According to Energy Mines and Money, $182m has been invested in projects identified at their conference.

This happens to other industries as well. For example, $72 billion worth of aircraft sales were sold in the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow.

Two key benefit of conferences

1. Get in front of decision makers face to face

Conferences are the only marketing channel where you are given the opportunity to meet with multiple decision makers face to face. For example, here are some of the attendees for the mining conference IMARC:

  • CEO of Rio Tinto
  • CEO of Fortescue Metals
  • CEO of South32
  • CEO of Newmont

You don’t do get this kind of opportunity with Facebook or TV advertisements.

Plus, people working in the mining industry are generally from the baby boomers and Gen X-ers. The median age of workers in the mining industry is 39 years. The older the demographic, the less effective digital channels like social media is.

You also get to meet with newsletter writers who have a database of thousands of investors or maybe one of the mining journalists like Kitco who post most of their interviews on YouTube and they have over 29,000 subscribers.

2. Promotion

During conferences, you may also be given the opportunity to give a presentation to these decision makers. Imagine cold calling each one of their companies and trying to schedule a meeting with 100 of them. We all know how time-consuming cold calling is.

Sometimes these conference organisers would post these presentations on YouTube or their website which gives you additional exposure to your company.

Three ways to maximise the ROI of your trade shows

Unless you are a BHP or Rio Tinto with billion dollar marketing budgets, every dollar in the bank counts. This means buying or renting a custom stand is out of the question because of the price alone. It would be more efficient to spend that money on hiring geologists, drill campaigns, or on attending more conferences.

There are three things you can do to maximise the ROI of your trade show investments:

1. Choosing the right conference to exhibit at

Obviously, you want to be attending mining conferences because that is where the people you want to meet will be. Depending on your resource, attending related conferences might be a smart move too. For example, if you are a lithium or cobalt mining company, attending a battery-related conference or electric car conference is something to consider.

2. Control the cost of your exhibition stands

When it comes to getting the best deal out of an exhibition stand, going down the custom route is out of the question unless you are a large cap company.

So we are left with two options:

3. Portability and installation

Mining investments are generally concentrated in countries such as Australia, Canada, Chile, and South Africa. If you are attending international conferences, portability and ease of installation are critical.  If you are exhibiting at a conference internationally, you want to ensure your stand is portable and easy to install. If not, you will be spending thousands of dollars paying a logistics company to transport it for you and $50/hour installers to setup and dismantle your stand.

What do we recommend?

We believe the best value exhibition stand has to tick these five boxes:

  1. Portable
  2. Durable
  3. Lightweight
  4. Easy to install
  5. Makes you and your company look good

The TRIGA GO system is a modular exhibition display system that ticks all the five boxes above.

Portable – TRIGA packs down into portable carry bags which means you don’t need a logistic company to transport the stand for you when you exhibit internationally.

Durable – It is built to last a very long time. You don’t want your stand to break down after your second show.

Lightweight – You don’t want to exceed your 30kg weight limit when exhibiting internationally.

Easy to install – Don’t pay $50/hour installers to install and dismantle the stand. Plus, you don’t need any tools to do it.

Makes you and your company look good – Check.

Summary

Conferences are one of the most effective marketing channels for a mining company because they allow you to skip the cold calling process and get in front of multiple decision makers all within a matter of days. The next two things that you need to consider are:

  • The conferences you are going to exhibit at
  • The type of stand you are going to get

Our range of exhibition displays

How To Cut Your Exhibition Costs And Look Great – Every Time!

Do you rely on trade shows and exhibitions to promote your business and sell your products or services? If you do, you may find the costs involved can eat up as much as 20% of your annual marketing budget. That is a huge investment for any organisation. Plus there is a risk you won’t receive a decent return on your investment.

So wouldn’t it be great if there was a proven way to cut those costs and look even better on the day?

Your exhibition stand could be wasting your time and money

A large chunk of trade show exhibitors typically allocates their budget on over-engineered, custom-built stands that need an army of sub-contractors to design, construct, deliver and install.

Here is a video of what it takes to set up a custom exhibition stand. Starts at 0:25.

These costly stands are torn down after just a few days and usually end up at the tip, or relocated at considerable expense. It’s a wasteful exercise — not only in terms of money but because of its impact on the environment.

Read more about how to choose the right exhibition stand here. In this post, we compare pop up displays, custom stands, and modular stands.

A better way to spend your trade show budget

Now there’s a more effective way to use your promotional dollar and get even better results.

Gone are the days where ‘portable’ meant putting up with poor quality pop-ups that didn’t come anywhere near presenting the professional image you demand of your brand.

The amazing progress in digital printing technology in recent years, particularly in textile or ‘soft-signage’ production, has created an abundance of much-improved, re-configurable and cost-effective portable display alternatives for trade show exhibitors.

The emergence of photo-quality, digitally-printed, fabric graphics and hardware as an alternative to rigid panel displays is certainly a game-changer for exhibitors planning and designing stands.

Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and 3D rendering software allow the creation of stunning, customised, portable, build-it-yourself stands to rival traditional permanent displays. And, incredibly, at only a fraction of the production time and cost.

A custom stand look without the custom price tag

A custom stand look without the custom price tag? Is that even possible? With a modular exhibition display system, it is.

Smart companies who are looking to take their marketing dollars further are already flocking to the new modular exhibition stand instead of the traditional custom stands made out of rigid panels.

Here are some of the benefits of a modular exhibition stand:

1. Lightweight and easy to install

Their lightweight and compact design bring you immediate logistical cost savings. These modular stands take a lot less time to install and dismantle compared to a traditional custom stand. Plus you only need only one or two people to do it. Best of all, you don’t need any tools or trade qualifications.

2. The custom stand look

Their aesthetic appeal and durable fabric graphics keep your displays in tip-top shape and looking glorious. No more worrying about your materials arriving on site looking like they’ve fallen off the back of the truck!

3. Multiple add-ons

Their clever engineering design means you can attach screens, shelves, lightboxes, and other accessories to the face of the display, giving the old ‘shell scheme’ walls a real run for their money.

4. Fits into different booth spaces

Undoubtedly though, the most compelling feature of a modular stand is its ability to be reconfigured to suit multiple dimensions with minimal effort.

Think of it as a LEGO set for trade shows! You could take a seamless six-meter backdrop wall and turn it into an attractive, three by three meter corner unit at no additional cost.

This feature is found in only a handful of modular display systems on the market so be sure to check your options out thoroughly before buying. While it does add a little to the cost, the extended use this type of versatility offers is well worth it.

Our range of exhibition displays

Should Food and Beverage Brands Invest in Trade Shows

The food and beverage industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world. The industry is dominated by household names. You are competing against the likes of Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestle, Kraft, Kelloggs, and Mars. These giants control the majority of shelf space in grocery stores around the world.

In this industry, you are battling to get on the shelves of retailers and grocery stores.

“The longer you’re in the beverage industry, the more you realise you’re really in the distribution industry.” – Ben Weiss, the founder of Bai Brands who recently got acquired for $1.7 billion.

The battle for shelf space

In this video, Sparkling Ice’s CEO Kevin Klock mentioned that he sees shelf space as a battleground to compete for consumers’ attention. Sparkling Ice is the fastest growing beverage company in the US. They grew sales from $10 million in 2010 to $667 million in 2016.

Skip to 0:20 to hear his thoughts on this.

Thousands upon thousands of salespeople call retailers every week to get their products on their shelves. Brent from New Age Beverage, ex-President of Coca-Cola said you will rarely ever get a retailer or distributor calling a food and beverage company.

So if these retailers and distributors aren’t going to come to you, the question now becomes…

How do you get your brand in front of retailers and distributors?

There are a few viable marketing channels available here:

  • Cold call – This is the most common practice to get in front of retailers and distributors.
  • Trade shows – This is the most convenient way because, during a trade show, retailers and distributors are there to find the next product to stock on their shelves.
  • Social media – A powerful brand-building tool that can influence consumers to buy your product from the retail stores.
  • TV and radio – Quick way to gain exposure very rapidly but it comes at a cost.
  • Event sponsorships – Sponsorships have been slowly getting popular among F&B companies. RedBull leads the way in this category by sponsoring all types of events. SparklingICE is following the same plan and they have plans to 200 events this year.
  • eCommerce – This is a growing channel. Currently, it is nowhere near as big as retail. The majority of food and beverage purchases are still done in-store.

Two benefits how using trade shows can get you onto shelves

1. Get in front of decision makers face to face

This would be the biggest benefit to exhibit at a trade show. Mom and pops wouldn’t pay $500 to check out the latest food and beverage brands. For example, the ticket price for 2019’s USA Trade Tasting Exhibition is around $600. So those people walking around the trade shows are either (i) retailers and distributors, (ii) journalists and bloggers or (iii) your competitors.

Cold calling is a grueling process. Unless you have connections within the industry, it takes hours and hundreds of cold calls per day to schedule a meeting with retailers. In a trade show, decision makers are there shopping for the next best brand to stock on their shelves. They are essentially coming to you!

Here is a testimonial from a salt company for a food expo:

The Naturally Good Expo was fantastic! We had 175 lead opportunities and one very large USA retailer who within a few weeks had placed their first order for 37 stores in Australia and 3,000 stores overseas.” – Michael Lindsey, founder of Saltylicious

2. Meet journalists and bloggers

Another huge benefit of trade shows is journalists and bloggers attend trade shows all the time. These people are always hungry for content. Their jobs and businesses depend on the content they produce and they want to be the first to cover the next upcoming Sparkling Ice or Coca-Cola.

Getting in front of these people is equivalent to getting in front of thousands of shoppers, retailers, and distributors among their readerships.

Two ways to maximise the ROI of your trade shows

Unless you are Coca-Cola or Pepsi or another food and beverage company with multi-million dollar advertising budgets, getting a custom exhibition stand is most likely out of the question. There are two things you can do to maximise the ROI of your trade show investments:

1. Choosing the right trade show to attend

Obviously, you want to be attending the trade shows with the most retailers, distributors, and journalists in the F&B industry. Two key questions to ask the expo organiser:

  • What is the attendance like? How many attendees attend the show each year?
  • How many of them are retailers, distributors, and journalists?

2. Control the cost of your exhibition stands

The space of the booth is just one part of the cost. This is something that is out of your control but what you can control is the cost of your booth.

  • Are you going to rent or buy?
  • Are you going with a basic tablecloth and pull up banner combo or maybe full custom?

If you decide to go full custom, you would have to factor in the costs that go into building one such as:

  • Design and concept
  • Construction
  • Graphic prints
  • Installation and dismantling costs – You would require a team of professional installers to set up your stand before the show and dismantle it after the show.
  • Logistic costs – You can’t throw it into the back of your car and bring it to the show.
  • Maintenance and repairs

Read more about what do you need to budget for a trade show.

The next question is do you rent or buy?

The short answer is if you are going to attend more than two trade shows, you are going to be better off buying. Renting makes sense if you are attending an international show with the goal of opening up a new distribution network there. By renting, you don’t have to deal with shipping your stand internationally.

More details about renting vs buying can be found here.

What do we recommend?

If you have been using trade shows as a marketing channel or are serious about using trade shows, then we would recommend our TRIGA system.

  • It is a modular exhibition display system. Meaning the stand can be used to adapt to different booth sizes. So if you have a 3×3 booth space in one show and are exhibiting at a 6×3 booth space in another show, all you have to do is get more parts to suit the 6×3 space and fabric prints to suit the larger booth space.
  • It packs down into bags which saves you on your storage costs.
  • The hardware is durable which means you can reuse them for years to come.
  • Exhibit internationally If you are looking to exhibit internationally, you can transport the stand yourself and save on shipping costs.

Summary

“The longer you’re in the beverage industry, the more you realise you’re really in the distribution industry.” – Ben Weiss, the founder of Bai Brands (acquired for $1.7 billion by Keurig Dr Pepper).

Trade shows is a key marketing channel for F&B brands especially startups with little to no distribution. Trade shows get you in front of retailers, distributors, and journalists. These are the people who can sell your products.

Our range of exhibition displays

One Thing Booth Staffs Can Learn From The Wolf Of Wall Street

“You have four seconds to make a good first impression. If you make a bad first impression, it takes 7 subsequent meetings to change that.” – Jordan Belfort

I know for sure after a trade show, the chance of booking 7 meetings with a client is not that high.

Here are some other stats on making the first contact (a call or email where the client replied) with the client:

  • 5 out of 10 salespeople give up after the first.
  • 7 out of 10 give up after the second.
  • 8 out of 10 give up after the third.
  • 9 out of 10 give up after the fourth.

If 9 out of 10 sales reps give up after the fourth contact, imagine the chance of booking that first meeting let alone the seventh meeting.

Hence, that first impression is critical.

Go to 39:00 to hear Jordan’s thoughts on first impressions.

Our range of exhibition displays

Top 8 Factors That Makes A Quality Trade Show Display

David A. Garvin wrote a post on Harvard Business Review on the 8 factors that determine the quality of a product. The 8 factors are:

  1. Performance
  2. Features
  3. Reliability
  4. Conformance
  5. Durability
  6. Serviceability
  7. Aesthetics
  8. Perceived quality

In this post, we’ll discuss these eight factors and what makes a great quality exhibition stand.

1. Performance

Performance refers to a product’s primary operating characteristics. For example, a car’s performance would be its acceleration, handling, safety, and comfort. For a fast food franchise like McDonald’s, performance would be the speed of service and the quality of their food.

When it comes to exhibition stands, here are four common performance factors:

  • Simple to set up and dismantle: It is designed in a way that the average sales rep can assemble a whole stand themselves. If it requires no tools or special skills to assemble, that would be a huge advantage.
  • Flexibility in replacing graphics: Who likes paying a specialist to just replace your graphics? A good exhibition stand system allows you and your staff to do it all themselves.
  • Adapt to different booth sizes: From time to time, you may need to have a booth of a different size. A good exhibition stand should easily adapt itself to suit different booth sizes.
  • Easy to transport around: It can be packed down into portable carry bags which means you don’t have to pay a logistics company to transport your stand for you and risks being late for the show.

2. Features

A lot of people confuse features with performance. Features are additional factors that improve the appeal of a product or service to the customer. These are the bells and whistles. Features are generally used as differentiators between competitors.

TRIGA’s accessories

One of the key features that makes TRIGA unique compared to other exhibition systems is its modularity. This means you can customise the stand to how you want it to look. It also comes with multiple accessories such as TV mounting brackets and shelving units to customise the look of your stand.

3. Reliability

Reliability is one of the most important factors. No matter how many features a product has or how well-built it is, if it isn’t reliable, it isn’t a quality product. According to Garvin, reliability is the likelihood that a product will not fail within a specific time period.

Depending on the product, this factor becomes increasingly important when it is used for a time-sensitive job. Farmers, for example, are especially sensitive to downtime during the short harvest season because that can mean the difference between a good and bad year.

Reliability is also a major contributor to a company’s brand and image and can be a huge competitive advantage. For example, recent research shows that reliability has become a car’s most desired attribute.

TRIGA’s reliability

When designing TRIGA, one of our key requirements is reliability. We understand how frustrating it is to work with exhibition displays that you can’t count on. You want to set up the stand and be confident it works. The last thing you want is the stand not being able to be set up because of a missing tool or broken hardware.

One of the ways we improved the reliability of TRIGA is to reduce the number of moving parts in the system. Because the fewer parts there are in the system, the lower the likelihood that something breaks.

Another advantage of TRIGA is the system doesn’t rely on any single hardware or part to work. This means if one part breaks, all you have to do is fix or replace that part instead of replacing the whole system.

4. Conformance

Does the product meet industry standards? All products and services involve specifications of some sort. When products are developed, these specifications are set and a target is set, for instance, the materials used or the dimension of the product. Not only the target but also the tolerance (the range of permitted deviation from the target) is defined. One problem with this approach is that there is little interest in whether the specifications have been met exactly as long as the tolerance limits are met.

In service businesses, measures of conformance normally focus on accuracy and timeliness and include counts of processing errors, unanticipated delays, and other frequent mistakes.

TRIGA’s conformance

For an exhibition stand, industry standards would relate to finishing, hardware quality, and most importantly accuracy of the colours on the graphic prints. Because the stand will represent our client’s brands, we need to ensure the colours on the graphic prints accurately match the colours of our client’s brands.

5. Durability

Durability is the length of a product’s lifespan. It can also be defined as the amount of value a customer gets from the product until it breaks or when a replacement is required to continue using the product.

TRIGA’s durability

TRIGA was designed with durability in mind. We want it to be the best value trade show system you can buy. It is designed and built to go through multiple installations, dismantlings, packings, and transportation. We wanted our clients to have an exhibition stand that lasted for years and the only thing they need to replace are the prints.

“If you’ve ever seen the crazed expression of an exhibitor at the end of a show who wants to get their display packed quickly so they can get to the taxi line, you know how much abuse a display can receive in those few frenzied minutes.” – Mike Thimmesch

6. Serviceability

Serviceability is the speed with which the product can be put into service when it breaks down. This also includes how the service is handled. For example, the timeliness of the service, the behaviour of the staff, and the frequency of calls required to get the job done.

Garvin also pointed out how these services are handled is important to a company’s reputation for quality and service which will ultimately affect the company’s profitability.

TRIGA’s serviceability

Unlike other exhibition stands, TRIGA is modular. The benefit of this is if one part breaks, all you have to do is replace that one part which will (1) save you a lot of money and (2) a lot of headaches.

In terms of service where we stand out is:

  1. Our calls go directly to the receptionist. Therefore, you don’t have to answer to a robot and press a few numbers before reaching a real human being.
  2. Each of our clients is assigned to an account manager which means you will be dealing with someone who understands your needs compared to dealing with another customer service rep.

7. Aesthetics

Aesthetics is one of the most subjective factors of quality. The reason for that is because how a product looks, feels, sounds, tastes, or smells are all subject to individual preferences. The aesthetics of a product can also be influenced by a company’s brand such as Apple’s iPhone or iPad.

When it comes to exhibition stands, how the exhibit looks and feels is very important because the ultimate goal of the exhibit is to grab attention. The quality of the graphics plays an important role here. Are graphic images vivid? Are the colours accurate?

TRIGA’s aesthetics

When designing TRIGA we wanted it to be aesthetically pleasing and elegantly portrays our clients’ brand. The TRIGA exhibition system is also modular which means you’re also able to create U-walls, L-walls, or any shaped walls and it doesn’t expose the frame, unlike some systems which give you a more minimalistic look.

8. Perceived Quality

A company’s reputation or product’s brand is one of the most influential factors in perceived quality.

For example, Apple’s iPhone is made in China but consumers view the iPhone as a high-quality product. Huawei’s smartphones are also made in China but it is perceived as a lower-quality product than the iPhone.

For an exhibition stand, perceived quality is determined by reviews of the company, word of mouth, and brand perception.

TRIGA, a modular exhibition system that ticks all the boxes

Bottom line

The 8 factors that determines a quality exhibition stand are:

  1. Performance
  2. Features
  3. Reliability
  4. Conformance
  5. Durability
  6. Serviceability
  7. Aesthetics
  8. Perceived quality

Our range of exhibition displays