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Trade Show Success by Design: A Three Part Series Part One: Tips for Planning a Successful Tradeshow

You want a successful trade show experience, but how do you make that happen? We’re going to answer that in a three parts: Pre-Show Planning, During the Show and Post-Show Follow-Up. Let’s begin with the planning.

It all begins before you even step foot on the exhibit floor. Echoing a statement by Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” You need to commit to your trade show goals and ways to achieve them with purpose. Crafting a trade show plan serves many purposes by:

  • Organizing the approach in one place.
  • Defining the overarching goal, objectives, key messaging, strategies, tactics, timelines and budgets.
  • Providing direction when deciding on tactics.
  • Assisting with onboarding team members new to the initiative.

Planning can take almost more time than putting it into action. Here’s a few starting points.

Start early with research.

Ask questions – a lot of questions. What “big things” will your company have to talk about at the time of the tradeshow? Did you have a big success to showcase your capabilities that could be demonstrated at the show? Launching a new product or service? Are you rebranding? Often a company will hold releasing “big things” to have something new and exciting to promote at the tradeshow. This is important not only in outlining your goals and objectives, but also in determining your messaging. Also ask: What does a successful tradeshow look? Is it all about the sales numbers, or is it building your brand, quality leads and fostering current relationships.

Define your budget.

You can have all the ideas in the world, but how much money you have to spend will really determine which ones are feasible. Start with the booth experience. Estimate your structure expenses (renting vs. owning), graphic design needs, promotional items, sales collateral, lead retrieval systems, electrical, internet, etc. Don’t overlook the costs to be there. How many team members do you need to account for travel, lodging and meals? How will you promote your tradeshow presence? Include costs for trade show promotions and communications in addition to any tradeshow advertising and sponsorships that could boost your brand presence.

Set deadlines and delegations.

Starting with the show date. Then work backward and begin plotting out key show deadlines, such as shipping and service orders. Know registration and hotel deadlines. Fill in with dates to communicate your show presence and what channels – this can begin up to six months before a show like NPE2018! Then back up further and assign dates to complete booth messaging and establish the look. You’ll want that to infiltrate through all the tradeshow communication before, during and after the show.

When the trade show plan is complete and all decision makers have signed off, then it’s time to implement! Who will do the work? Gather your marketers, public relations, graphic designers, subject matter experts and any other key players you need to execute your tradeshow plan. Is it just you? Need help – ask Vive how we can help with tradeshow support. We like to say tradeshows can be like Thanksgiving dinner — it takes 10 times as long to prepare than it does to devour!

Vive welcomes Rebecca Easton

As the newest Viver on staff, the team has welcomed me warmly as I’ve welcomed this new opportunity in my career. I’m happy to be back in Milwaukee, and even happier to be at Vive. The culture here is friendly and upbeat, and there is nothing that makes a job better than working on a talented team in a beautiful lakeside office.

My professional experience spans print and digital, with emphasis in design and photography. And while I’ve made creative arts my profession, I also possess the ability to toe the line between left- and right-brain thinking. My educational background reflects that, as I studied creative advertising at Marquette University and recently completed my MBA from UW-Madison.

When it comes to my career, I am most interested in ways that creative design can assist in business development and traction for organizations. That is why working at Vive is refreshing in that I am involved in all aspects of marketing for our clients. As Creative Marketing Manager, I specifically ensure that our creative is top-notch and all-encompassing for the industry.

I believe that great design has purpose and intent. One reoccurring theme in my career is that good creative is the difference. You can have a good marketing plan, but adding strategic, well-thought-out creative takes your good marketing plan to the next level. Vive has a very talented team, and it is my goal to collaborate in making great creative marketing strategies for our clients.

In the Eyes of the Federal Brand Investigators

The Federal Brand Investigators (FBI) are a true force in the world of marketing, and their jurisdiction encompasses anything and everything that has to do with your brand. Below are a few scenarios when the FBI should be called upon.

Brand Colors

Your logo is the face of your brand. The colors need to be specific and cannot be changed – it keeps your brand consistent and recognizable. Just because an employee’s favorite color is red does not grant them permission to change the original blue logo to red. According to the FBI, that’s against the law. Simply put, a logo shouldn’t be tarnished. However, there are exceptions to this law. A color change for a logo is appropriate, for example, during special events or holidays such as Breast Cancer Awareness Month or Independence Day.

Social Media

One of your employees enjoys working for your company, so he decides to changes his profile picture to the company logo. It’s great your team member is taking pride in their work, but this is a major offense in the eyes of the FBI. The problem? Anything posted on their social media page is now a direct reflection of your brand. There is no supervision and this employee has the potential to create a very poor perception of your company.

Logo Quality

An employee takes a screen grab of the company’s logo on the website and tries to use this low-resolution logo in marketing materials. This is a chargeable offense per the Federal Brand Investigators. People put in tireless hours to make a perfect logo. Never let anyone tarnish your image by using a low-quality version of your logo. Your logo doesn’t need to be available for the entire company, but it should be accessible for marketing materials.

Elevator Pitch

A brand goes beyond a logo; a brand is communicated through messaging too. Keeping a consistent message of who the company is and what it does with an elevator pitch is an asset in ensuring a consistent brand. Let’s say an employee is out to dinner and happens to be sporting a t-shirt with your organization’s logo plastered on the front. Yes, it’s great brand exposure, but what if that employee doesn’t know how to accurately describe what the company does? Employees are always representing the company during and after hours. If they aren’t sure how to explain to a customer/neighbor/vendor exactly what your organization does that can be detrimental to your brand. An elevator pitch helps to build the personality and value behind a brand that customers learn to recognize and trust.

Don’t be afraid to dispatch the Federal Brand Investigators to make sure all employees are abiding by the rules. Implementing a Brand Standards Guide permits employees to know what variations of the logo, typeface, and colors are acceptable. The Brand Standards Guide plays the ultimate Federal Brand Investigators role, and should be enforced throughout the organization.

MAPP Inspires Once Again

vivemappAnother MAPP Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference is in the books! Vive plans and prepares for this annual plastics industry event with plenty of anticipation. It’s great to reconnect with those in our network and meet new plastics professionals across all areas of the business. There was high energy right from the start as the association’s executive director, Troy Nix, got all 550 attendees excited about this year’s theme, Perseverance.

The theme of perseverance was apparent throughout the entire conference. From a Stanley Cup champion to a prisoner in solitary confinement, everyone showed how they persevered to become the successful people they are today. The presentations were moving experiences and every one of the speakers focused on connecting their stories of perseverance to the plastics industry.

The conference concluded with Lieutenant Colonel Rob “Waldo” Waldman. His fear of heights and what he had to overcome in order to be a fighter pilot certainly moved the crowd. He had people standing up screaming “Push it up!” with their hands in the air. The biggest message taken from Waldo was don’t let fear outweigh your passion. As Waldo explained his fear of heights but his passion to fly, he persevered and overcame his fear to do what he loved.

Just like the conference began, Troy Nix brought the event to a close by encouraging everyone in attendance to make necessary changes in order to persevere and be successful. The Vive team came home inspired to make positive changes individually and as an organization. We’ve already marked our calendars and are making plans to return to Indianapolis for next year’s annual MAPP Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference, Oct. 12-13, 2017!

The Journey to the Real World

Emma_UpdatedHeadshotWe understand the importance of shaping our youth and preparing them for a future in the workforce. Earlier this summer Vive was excited to announce the arrival of our new Marketing Intern, Emma Nowak. Emma will be a sophomore at University of Wisconsin – La Crosse this fall with a business major.

Being an incoming sophomore in college, I never expected to have an opportunity as great as the one I was offered to join to Vive team for the summer. As nervous as I was to start my internship, I was very determined to try my best and learn all that I could out of this experience.

This internship is a way for me to set the basis of my future career goals and offers an opportunity to get a better grasp on what a marketing job would entail, as I continue my college career with a degree in marketing. I hope to be able to build my personal portfolio and develop a more professional presence. Sitting in on multiple client calls and emailing back and forth with the Vive team, I have begun to understand the type of communication that is expected. The amazing office with an even more amazing view, along with the great team at Vive has made me even more excited to begin this new chapter in my life.

My goal in college is one that I’ve embraced as long as I’ve been in school: to try my best and be proud of my work. I strongly believe that if someone feels confident they have done their best – whether it be for a paper, speech, or even a tryout – you have been successful, no matter the results. Another major goal for me while in college is to narrow down my career options. As of now I have a declared major but there has been very little thought into what I would want to do in marketing. My ideal job as of right now would be to work for a marketing firm in a large city like New York City or Chicago. Although my goals for college are very broad in a sense, they are goals I had set for myself a long time and they’ve always helped me achieve new things.

Why Outsource Marketing? Let Us Explain…

The team at Vive prides ourselves on being an extension of your company, offering our best insight to help you succeed in the marketing department of your business. With proven success in the industry, Vive should be your go-to source for all marketing needs.

Outsource-Marketing

Marketing in plastics can be a troubling ask. It is a booming industry with a lot of players all trying to make their brand stand out. Hiring somebody without the experience and expertise needed to be successful can be detrimental to any company. A direct hire needs training and resources to help your company become successful in your industry.

Working with Vive brings in an outside perspective that allows us to offer reliable objectivity and fresh ideas you wouldn’t receive from a direct hire. The team at Vive works collaboratively every day, bouncing ideas off each other to come up with the best possible solution. Our team provides depth, with a multitude of different talents that serve a plethora of marketing needs. Having the ability to work with a team of marketing specialists that all have knowledge and experience in the plastics industry sets us far above a direct hire.

Our team can provide insight on the best publications, tradeshows and events to help your brand achieve maximum exposure. Having decades of experience in the plastics industry, we know how to get things done and how to gain exposure. The Vive team will guide you every step of the way to ensure your marketing department achieves its goals the best way possible.

Maintaining a marketing department is a daunting responsibility and key to successful business. Our competitive advantage is offering creativity and critical thinking as a catalyst for meaningful change that is immediate, enduring and effective. Vive has the resources and expertise, no training needed. Let Vive be your marketing department.

Welcome to Vive, Austin Haga

For the first time ever, Vive has extended an internship to a second semester. Austin Haga, Vive’s Marketing Communications Intern and current senior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will remain with the company through the spring. Austin will graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing in May of 2016.

Austin HagaStepping into my first internship was such an exciting time, and I couldn’t have asked for a better place to begin my professional career than Vive. A beautiful office with a great view, a welcoming team, and I even got my own desk. I was determined to do my best and keep an open mind by learning new practices, which have really benefited me during my time at Vive thus far. Each day is something new and an opportunity for a learning experience. The ability to be involved in day-to-day operations and provide assistance on a multitude of projects has helped me grow professionally and taught many great business practices. It also made for an easy transition into the workforce.

The team at Vive welcomed me with open arms. Great culture in the office makes it very easy to communicate problems or questions when they arise. Weekly team builders and meetings allowed me to better understand the in’s and out’s of the industry in a way that isn’t just textbook. The versatility of everyone at Vive has provided me with the resources to further my knowledge in many aspects of the marketing agency industry.

Working at Vive has also given me a chance to build a portfolio. In the past three months I’ve had the opportunity to compile several social media calendars, business cards, PowerPoint templates, collateral sheets, SWOT analyses, and numerous creative projects. I’ve also had the chance to research analytical data from clients’ website traffic and help create content for new site launches.

As my final semester of college approaches, those feelings of nervousness to enter the “real world” have quickly escaped. Being Vive’s first intern to extend the internship over the course of two semesters is a great accomplishment for me. It also excites and makes me want to take on bigger projects and more responsibility. Working at Vive has not only prepared me, but has pushed me to pursue a career in a marketing agency.

VIVE Introduces Same Great Offering in Bite Sizes

Traditionally, working with Vive on your company’s brand presence is a yearlong partnership. While this robust marketing plan fits most, we recognize that there are times when a more focused marketing approach is preferred. Vive is excited to announce our new marketing a la carte menu—an avenue that lets you choose what package(s) are best for your business objectives:

  • Company Message

    What’s your unique differentiator? Vive will drive an analytical evaluation to determine what sets you apart from competition based on your company’s core strengths and customer feedback.

  • Logo Development & Rebrand

    Is your company image stale? Let Vive lead your brand into the 21st century by spearheading the creative process to acquire the perfect update as well as a communication plan to introduce your new identity into the marketplace.

  • Website Management

    Your virtual front door needs consistent attention and continuous updates. Vive manages the navigation, layout, and content creation with the web developer to ensure first impressions are positive.

  • Sales Tools

    Vive crafts effective communication tools to convey why others should do business with you. This is accomplished via brochures, PowerPoint presentations, banner ads, direct mail, and anything else that will help drive your brand forward!

  • Ad Campaign Development

    Vive has the experience and skills to create a one-of-a-kind ad campaign that brings your company into the spotlight. Let us be the creative source behind the compelling message with the memorable concept.

  • Company Video

    Tell it through a story. Vive will devise a creative storyboard to successfully illustrate your company’s core competencies as well as manage the videography team to establish a ‘wow’ factor.

  • Tradeshow Management

    Draw the right audience with a tradeshow display that presents your message with pizazz. But it’s not just aesthetics that brings success; Vive supports the tradeshow effort with pre/post-show communication efforts.

  • Social Media & Blog

    All media channels need attention. Vive submits a monthly calendar of suggested posts based on industry-related content and company highlights. We’ll even post on your behalf!

  • Brand Material Update

    If you like your logo, but your business cards, letterhead, PowerPoint templates, and social media banners need a design update, Vive will be the creative change agent.

  • Award Submission

    So you say your company is great? Let Vive author award submissions so others know what sets you apart from the competition!

We look forward to welcoming new companies who want to get started with our new project-by-project offering!

Just Begun or Halfway Done?

Earlier this summer, Vive announced the arrival of Rachel Heinzinger, our Marketing Communications Intern. With the blink of an eye, Rachel is halfway complete with her internship, but only halfway started with her journey to a career.

Rachel will be a junior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the fall. Seeking a bachelor’s degree in Advertising and minors in Spanish and Informatics, Rachel hopes to land a job for a marketing firm in Chicago or work in-house marketing for a large business firm.

At the start of her internship, Rachel established a list of objectives and expectations for her time at Vive. “My goals are to adapt to working in an office with a full-time schedule, learn new design programs, better my marketing skills, and overall enjoy my time working as an intern,” she noted.

In seven swift weeks, Rachel has accomplished myriad tasks, teaching her various lessons about marketing and the professional world. Within the first two months or so, Rachel has drafted two social media calendars (along with goals for each month), created a seven-month drip-marketing plan, written blog posts for clients, designed and built a manufacturing dictionary, listened in on logo and brand development discussions, and participated in an on-site factory tour of a local client. Rachel remains busy each day with new projects while also maintaining social media for Vive and other clients.

Vive builds their own portfolio each day with remarkable projects; Rachel aims to build her own personal portfolio with her success at Vive. Rachel believes that the internship is benefitting her by giving her a foot in the door and the opportunity for future internships, all while learning programs and improving her writing and networking skills.

When asked the best advice she has received and advice she would give, Rachel stated, “The best advice I’ve received is the same as I would give. Never give up on your dream job. With the right combination of networking and strong work ethic, you can accomplish any goal. A huge part of networking is asking questions and following up; never neglect to do both of these.”

Rachel’s internship at Vive runs through the summer of 2015.

Vive Welcomes Intern Rachel Heinzinger

Vive is extremely pleased to announce the addition of our newest marketing intern, Rachel Heinzinger. Rachel, a soon-to-be junior at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, is an Advertising major with minors in Informatics and Spanish. Rachel’s summer internship at Vive will focus on responsibilities including research, social media strategy and messaging.

Rachel

To learn more about our newest team member, please read on:

What are you known for?

Always taking the stairs, no matter the circumstances.

Greatest personal accomplishment?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an ongoing passion to learn about computer systems. The dedication to acquire the knowledge of software and design is imperative to my future career endeavors. Having the opportunity to show and flourish my skills at Vive will give me the experience to test my abilities while also learning new ways to operate systems and design web spaces.

Greatest educational experience?

With many years of education and practice, I have become fluent in Spanish. The hours spent studying have paid off immensely, as being fluent in Spanish has bettered my communication skills overall. Being bilingual also gives me a competitive edge in the job market, as I’m able to communicate with a wider audience.