Case Study: 4BF – Skyrocketing Success with Trade Shows
They say dog is man’s best friend. We don’t know about you, but we like giving our best friends only the, well, best. Enter 4BF (For Best Friends), a dog toy company headquartered in Albuquerque, NM that produces the finest quality, non-toxic, plant-derived, natural rubber pet toys specifically formulated for pet safety and enjoyment.
4BF is a division of Grupo 201 Oficial based out of Mexico City, Mexico that has specialized in making natural, colored rubber products since 1945. They do not use any plastic additives, chemicals or artificial anything else. They’re pet-tested, puppy-proven for endless hours of play and owner interaction.
“It’s important to us that nothing but the best ingredients go in the mouths of dogs,” says Paul Daniels, President of 4BFUSA.
They’ve built a business model on never compromising on the ingredients of its products. In addition, 4BF’s manufacturing process is eco-friendly because the rubber used is low impact and sustainably harvested. To top all this goodness off with greatness, they donate 5% of profits to pet-related organizations.
That’s a great to start to a successful business. Getting the word out about your products and mission is the next key component to keeping a business successful and exhibiting at a trade show could be the difference between a good business and a great business.
4BF did just that. A few years ago, they decided to exhibit at SuperZoo, the most attended pet industry trade show in North America, and came to EXHIB-IT! Trade Show Marketing for a used modular display. 4BF needed to shine amongst the 1,000+ other companies exhibiting. Together, we created something strong, clean and true to the 4BF brand and mission, not only highlighting the quality of their all-natural dog toys, but also the work they do in the animal advocacy community.
We also assisted 4BF with their trade show show management. Let’s be honest. Expos are stressful enough pitching your company and product over and over, qualifying potential customers and writing orders all while standing on hard concrete floors for 12 hours a day. Leave the nitty-gritty details of exhibiting (deadlines and registration, freight and shipping, set up and breakdown) to us so you can focus on building relationships and promoting your business.
Read About 4BF’s Experience in Exhibiting:
- 4 Best Friends (4BF) first trade show experience was a learning experience for our company. Our 1st trade show 4BF attended was Superzoo in 2016. We purchased a 10×10 booth and learned a lot on all the necessary steps in order to be ready for the trade show. From the carpet, electricity, shipping and handling to the show and back to Albuquerque, time and labor needed for setup and much much more. All the staff at EXHIB-IT! were extremely helpful preparing all the necessary documents to ensure our booth was going to be ready once the show opened. During the show we were extremely excited to be at one of the world’s largest pet expos. Our modular display was very easy to assemble and our booth traffic was very successful considering it was our 1st show. Some of the takeaways from this first show were that we needed a bigger booth and we definitely needed to invest more time and money marketing and advertising the launch of a new brand in the U.S.A. We also learned what questions people ask when attending our booth and knew that this 1 st show was going to help us grow as a company and help us be more successful for the next show.
- 4BF decided to use EXHIB-IT! for show management services for several reasons. One of those reasons is from previous experiences. Another reason is DJ and her entire staff always upheld a high level of professionalism. Customer service is the most important part of operating a business and the staff at EXHIB-IT! understands that. Lastly, I believe that local companies should promote local businesses. Albuquerque is home to EXHIB-IT! and is also home for 4BF.
- Some of the obstacles we learned from previous trade shows are that our booth display needed to be anchored more secure due to the weight of our products. Unfortunately, at 1 of our shows our booth collapsed due to being too top heavy with all the products being displayed. Fortunately, our booth was not damaged and we were able to get it back together before the trade show. As a result, we added weights to the back of the booth to support the weight of our products being displayed.
- Attending trade shows have been extremely effective in getting into the pet business industry. Our brand has gained some significant amount of attention and our show at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando in March of 2017 allowed us to land an agreement with a highly reputable national brokerage firm called Chuck Latham and Associates. If we did not attend the show we would not be in the position we are in today.
- In addition to attending trade shows every company must have a successful marketing and advertising firm to promote brand awareness. Without the help of Steve Wedeen from Vaughn Wedeen , our brand would not have gained the amount of attention from trade shows. Steve and his colleague Dianne have been instrumental in making sure we advertised our booths properly. Vaughn Wedeen also was responsible for redesigning our packaging, catalogs, advertising designs, website design, and overall theme of our brand. Steve’s creativity and passion for helping his clients is absolutely incredible.
- With that said, I believe trade shows are extremely effective and I would highly recommend attending shows in any industry to grow your business. Whether you are launching a new company or brand in a new industry or have been in an industry for many years, attending trade shows are extremely beneficial. The networking and connections you make are so important that allows you to gain a wealth of knowledge from people all over the world. Trade shows allow you to see your marketplace and allows you to see your industries leading competitors. It gives you and your company new innovative ideas on things you may or may not want to pursue. It gives you an opportunity to see what challenges others are faced with and how to grow. Although trade shows and marketing can be a significant investment for most companies they are definitely a justifiable investment to pursue. As a result, in order to become more proficient in your industry, I highly recommend attending your industries most recognizable trade shows.
Paul E. Daniels
Managing Member, 4BF
Exhibiting at two of the world’s largest pet product expos in the world has bolstered 4BF from tiny start-up to a powerhouse business making noticeable waves in the pet product industry. They recently won the top industry award for its Tugging Star Toy by Pet Business, a leading pet trade publication. Now that’s an exhibiting success story.
Be sure to follow 4BF on Facebook for updates about their products and their work in the pet advocacy community. They also share some pretty adorable videos of pups doing what pups do best: being adorable and hilarious.