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Our Story:

In 1990 one of last great stands of Canada's temperate interior rainforest, outside of Nelson B.C., was slated to be clear-cut logged. It would create a few jobs for a few years. A large part of the community turned up to block the road.  

David decided to put his talents instead towards creating a satirical line of t-shirts and using them to raise awareness and support both a petition drive and letter-writing campaign. He traveled across Canada more than a dozen times visiting universities, gathering signatures and promoting a letter-writing campaign. While in a town he would go to a store and tell them if they would carry his t-shirts, he would promote them to a new audience at the universities, thus bringing in a new market to their stores. All they had to do was keep the petition and letter campaigns going.  

After a few years, 180 stores nation-wide were carrying his merchandise. He then secured funding from Aveda to produce a video on the threatened forest. That seemed to tip the scales, and his campaign was instrumental in establishing the West Arm Provincial Park.  

The forest is now protected forever.  

As he returned from 7 years on the road, businesses started asking him to create merchandise for them, so he did. And then came uniforms, festival t-shirts, and promotional products. The company quickly reached multiple six figures, but Dave wasn't seeing the results he had created on the road. He was watching customers waste money on the newest marketing shiny things with little or no results. So, he introduced them to this unique, compassionate approach that helped create the park.  

Soon he was delivering massive results to his customers. Seven national marketing awards and millions in results has led him here to share with you his newest innovations in GreenTexts™ and SimpleLeads™; apps created to help you determine your best-producing lead sources, to capture more qualified leads, to reduce your print costs and save trees. 

Wins/Awards:

The advertising industry loves to hand out pieces of glass and pat each other on the back for their brilliant creativity, but we believe all our awards are meaningless unless they are for creating results for people like you.  


Edmonton Folk Music Festival  

Objective: to maximize revenue, merchandising a major music festival.  

Strategy: involved targeting three key demographics.  

Results: merchandise sales increase by as much as 300% in some categories.  

PPPC National Marketing Award: Gold  


Avatar Brand Management Launch  

Objective: to introduce a new branded service to a small target group of high-value prospects.  

Strategy: created a unique Dimensional Advertising™ piece with a two-part sequence and sent it to 20 prospects.  

Results: a 6000% return on investment within six months.  

PPPC National Marketing Award: Silver  


EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd.  

Objective: to attract two senior engineers to Canada and client's consulting firm during the height of a labor crisis.  

Strategy: created a unique Dimensional Advertising™ piece which targeted 12 individuals.  

Results: Seven came to Canada for interviews. Our client hired three.  

PPPC National Marketing Award: Gold ECMA National Recruitment Marketing Award  

National Post: "Canada's Beauty Seals The Deal" Alberta Venture Magazine: "A Target Of Twelve."  


Alberta Council of Women's Shelters  

Objective: to deliver sensitive information regarding spousal abuse, and the plight of women’s shelters to a group of male business leaders.  

Strategy: created a unique Dimensional Advertising™ piece which was given to business leaders at an event.  

Results: the promotion was so successful it was repeated in two other jurisdictions in Alberta, and then used as an example to 40 other women’s shelters nation-wide.  

PPPC National Marketing Award: Silver  

Frogfriendly.ca Launch  

Objective: to raise awareness about the global amphibian extinction crisis and to be part of the solution by increasing our sales of sustainable marketing materials.  

Strategy: Launched frogfriendly.ca web site and promoted the new vertical with a unique, very green, Dimensional Advertising™ piece. Launched Canada's first green brand management resource.  

Results: the new vertical added six figures in sales but also started a movement- the leap towards sustainable marketing.  

PPPC National Marketing Award: Canada's First Gold in Green Marketing  

LocalMotion Project  

Objective: the goal of this pilot project was to reduce CO2 emissions by compelling individuals to reduce single passenger vehicle use by 100 km in 30 days.  

Strategy: The campaign involved two phases. The first phase involved creating awareness and developing a baseline from which to measure. The second phase concentrated on incentives, rewards, and the tools participants would need to be successful.  

Results: Approximately 12% of the community participated in the 30- day challenge. The average km reduction was 400km (4X the 100km target). Estimated CO2 reductions exceeded four metric tonnes.  

PPPC National Marketing Award: Second consecutive gold in green marketing  


Our Biggest Win  

Objective: was nothing less than to preserve an endangered forest in the interior of B.C., forever.  

Strategy: Involved recruiting a nation of unlikely advocates. See our story  

Results: The West Arm Provincial Park stands testament to six years of dedication.  


Our Most Recent Win  

Objective: to preserve a significant wetlands, beach and spawning creek as a park.  

Strategy: donated website design and hosting, copywriting, strategy, and print design for brochures.  

Results: The Crawford Creek Regional Park 

What Others are Saying:

What you say means so much more than anything we could ever say  

Paul Says, "As CEO of an consulting engineering company, I had seen us for years give away marketing materials for seemingly little real return. It was frustrating to see resources being literally thrown away. There had to be a better way. I first got involved with David because he was driving our marketing staff crazy. We were just trying to buy stuff and he was asking us why we were buying it and what outcomes we were expecting. Outcomes? What did he mean? We just gave it away because everyone else gave it away.  

 I came to realize that, unwittingly, I had found an answer to my frustration. David taught us that every give away was actually an opportunity to get something back and we had better figure out what we wanted. He didn't give up and we came to understand the power of real marketing.  

 A powerful example. We were headed to the UK to try to recruit talented staff and sell them on a new life in Canada. However, we were going with our competition, who were also going to try to hire these same folks. David's solution? A focused marketing effort that played to the move that our potential employees would have to make: A leather travel case packed with Canadian stuff. It was expensive!! But it left the potential employees with a massively great impression about who they were talking to - a company that was serious about moving them across an ocean that cared about quality.  

Our competition brought hats.  

We hired three senior staff on that trip: Our goal was one.  

I would strongly recommend David to you if you worry about your marketing budget. I guarantee he will change your perspective on those "throw away" costs. I have found the more freedom you give him, the more you will get. Your costs will actually go up. But you will find that each give-away leads to sales leads. Or potential recruits. Or something you had not planned. But it will be good."  

Paul Ruffell Vice President Canadian Programs at Tetra Tech  


Julia Says, "David is a brilliant and fun marketer in a world of boring scam artists. He is full of helpful ideas, insights, and strategies for anyone with a heart who wants to succeed in business. In one conversation he gave me several ideas I can immediately implement. Thanks David."  

Julia D. Stege The Magical Marketer  

Fred Says, "David is an intelligent, engaging, creative person. My best recommendation is the simple fact that if I was looking for a person I could trust to provide me with clever, effective, results-oriented advice I would choose David!"  

Fred von Oesen VP ASI Canada 


Wendy Says, "David brings a great mix of environmental sensitivity, marketing acumen and long range planning to his clients. You will get a great promotional plan that ticks all the boxes. I would not hesitate in recommending Avatar Brand Management for anyone wanting to send a meaningful message to their customers or employees."  

Wendy Kinsella Director Corporate Communications at City of Fort Saskatchewan  

Clint Says, "One item of note that was significant to our company was a program that Dave initiated. It was an accident prevention measure that took our total recordable on site vehicle incidents from well over a dozen to 0 in its first year. The direct repair savings exceeded $50,000, however the indirect savings due to less investigations, lost productivity and credibility with clients would far exceed $250,000. This trend brought our total recordable incident frequency (TRIF) well below industry standards which has given us an advantage over our direct peers in the challenging marketplace that is Alberta’s current oil industry. We have enjoying stable workload during these hard economic times and are seeing future opportunities still coming forward. We attribute this to better efficiencies and high productivity that programs like these create"  

Clint Weir VP of Projects at Big Country Energy Services  

   

Robert Says, "Would I like to write a Recommendation? Silly question!! It's not often at all that I get to meet and establish a friendship with someone who is equally the most positive and enthusiastic person I know. And, a marketing genius to boot!! Really! 3 words come to mind: Imagine. Explore. Believe. THIS is David Betke. Go ahead! Link In with David and then tell me, am I correct or what regarding David."  

Robert Manolson BA, CCDPPowerful Play Experiences  


Maria Says, "Dave is pure genius with a matching heart. He has the experience to take your conscious business to new markets you never even considered. What’s more amazing is that he truly cares about you, your goals and dreams. Before Dave I didn't have great experiences with marketing consultants - they were always impersonal, rushed, or didn't really listen to me. While they offered "free advice", a few generic suggestions later always lead to an expensive service, or asking me to enroll in an online course.  

Dave, on the other hand asked me questions no-one else had. He took time to understand where I was at and where I wanted to go. He then built a step by step actionable plan for success that made more sense than any prior plan I had come up with, or sought out.  

Now I love the direction my business is going! It is really expressing my heart and now I’m more focused and motivated than ever. One last thing; Dave saved me saved thousands of dollars and months of frustration before I even paid him a dime? I didn’t know if I could afford to work with him at the beginning, but it quickly became obvious I couldn’t afford not to!"  

Maria Latouf Owner at EquilibriOm, Creator of Posture Beads  

Michelle Says, "I first met David when I interviewed him for an article on eco-friendly promotions. We have kept in touch. I don't know if this man uses a different part of his brain than other marketing types, but he and his ideas are entirely new and refreshing. Best of all, they work! His small company has pummeled marketing giants in national awards competitions, and for good reason. David combines genuine goodness and humanity with clever, strategic ideas that deliver results."  

Michelle Morra-Carlisle Tutor at TutorBright  

Cliff Says, "David is a master at creativity. He is open-minded, innovative, client focused and measurement driven. If you choose Dave, you’re 90% of the way to being successful... the rest is up to you.  

If you choose not to utilize his talents, pray your competitor doesn’t."  

Cliff Quicksell, MAS Professional Speaker, Author, Consultant & Coach  

Patti Says, "Communicating with others is one of life’s biggest challenges, whether in the personal or the public domain. When we get it wrong it can prompt frustration, unanticipated failure, or even a permanent falling out. When we get it right, the results are often surprisingly beyond what we planned – escalating buy-in, fostering partnerships and allies, and intensifying that ‘aha’ moment of understanding.  

David and Andrea have the uncanny ability to take a key message and merge it with a unique visual focus to make a ‘pitch’ that can be unforgettable. One of many pieces they created, for my past work with the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters, used a light beam to highlight little known facts about interpersonal violence for businessmen at an awareness event. Several years later, a former guest noted that every time he sees that “darn little flashlight” he is reminded of how those facts changed his thinking. I think that comment is a fitting tribute and a perfect example of their invaluable contribution.  

Making heartfelt connections, underscoring fresh perspectives, communicating something memorable - that is what David and Andrea do best and what sets their work apart from simply ‘marketing’. I wish them continued success in their work to discover exceptional solutions for their clients.  

Patti McClocklin (Formerly) Alberta Council Of Women's Shelters  

Julie Says, "We initially approached (Avatar) to provide eco-friendly give away items, but instead they worked with us to develop a more comprehensive campaign that included incentives and measurables, breaking down a large goal to small manageable steps."  

The results are in and we are very happy!  

A few numbers of the Localmotion Challenge:  

• 12% of the households in the neighborhood of Parkallen registered for the challenge. • 13, 534 fewer Km were driven • Approximately 3979 kg less CO2 was emitted from May to june 2009 • average reduction of approximately 400 car km per household  

Julie Cournoyer Office of Environment & Energy The City Of Edmonton  


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Reduce your event print costs by 75%, shorten your sales cycle & save more trees.

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The Problem with Trade Shows & Events:

Exhibiting is Expensive

Brochures and catalogues cost a lot of money to print, and even more to ship.  

If you are like most exhibitors, you find it less expensive to leave unused print material behind instead of shipping it home after an event. This all too common practice wastes money, trees, and increases your carbon footprint.

GreenTexts™ allows attendees to digitally receive what they want from you by simply texting a single word.

There is Little Accountability

A significant number of brands have no idea which events or channels are producing their best results. If you have more than one offer, you have no idea who put what in their show bag, so marketing ends up having to rely on a single message for all approach which rarely lands with anyone.

Our apps were designed to allow your prospects to self-segment, so you know who is interested in what. The result is a clearly defined and segmented list at the end of each event, and a shorter sales cycle.

They Produce a Lot of Waste

Venues are grappling with the problem of post-show waste. The average overall waste generated per venue is an astounding 1115 Metric tonnes. (2017 Green venue report). Print collateral is a significant part of this waste.

Our apps reduce the amount of paper you need to print per event, and we can also help you source reusable, re-purposed and recycled displays, lanyards, show bags, and swag.

Together we can tackle the problem and reduce our collective footprint.

How we help

GreenTexts™

Reduce your print and shipping costs by printing less. 

GreenTexts™ allows individuals to choose to receive your marketing collateral digitally, then enter your marketing funnel via a simple text. 

Show Strategy & Followup

Attention is easy. What's more important is keeping the right people engaged after your event until they are ready to join you, buy from you, or rave about you.

We have seven national marketing awards for helping enterprises like yours make a difference.

GreenTaps™

Reduce your stack of paper to a single tappable chip on your table.

Visitors tap the chip with their phone and then choose what assets they want to receive while also joining your list.

Displays, Uniforms & Swag

We can produce all the moving parts for your next event.

Need displays, lanyards, bags, apparel, or swag? 

 There is no need to go anywhere else, and we can build trackable intelligence into each of your products.

SimpleLeads™ Smart Pages

Focus your budget, where it generates the best returns.  

Take the guesswork out of which events and marketing channels are providing your best leads, by allowing attendees to self-qualify and self-segment. 

Trackable Swag™

We can supply you with the same shiny things as anyone else.

The difference is, we turn your swag into individually trackable leads instead of expensive giveaways. 

Now you can know with confidence if and where your swag is working best.

Let's make your future events greener and more profitable.

Book a free consult

Earn up to 100% off your next swag order or donate your dollars to charity

Our innovative referral program empowers you to earn up to 100% of your next swag order or to donate your banked dollars to charity.

More here

We partner with:

GreenTexts™ & GreenTaps™

Reduce your print and shipping costs by printing less.  

GreenTexts™ and GreenTaps™ allow individuals to choose to receive your marketing collateral digitally, then enter your marketing funnel via a simple text or  

Show Strategy & Followup

Attention is easy. The real challenge is keeping the right people engaged after your event until they are ready to join you, buy from you, or rave about you.  

We have 7 national marketing awards for helping people like you make a difference.

Book Your Free Discovery

SimpleLeads™ Event Funnels

Focus your budget, where it generates the best returns.  

Take the guesswork out of which events, and marketing channels, are providing your best leads, by allowing event attendees to self-qualify and self-segment.

Let's make your next event greener and more profitable.

Book Your Free Consult

Displays, Uniforms & Swag

We can produce all the moving parts for your next event.  

Need displays, lanyards, bags, apparel, or swag?  

 There is no need to go anywhere else, and we can build trackable intelligence into each of your products.

Trackable Swag

Turn your promotional products into individually trackable leads instead of expensive giveaways.  

Now you can know with confidence if and where your swag is working best.

Earn up to 100% off your next swag order or donate your dollars to charity

Our innovative referral program empowers you to earn up to 100% of your next swag order or to donate your banked dollars to charity.

Want some great ideas to promote your brand? 

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Want us to suggest some ideas?

Contact Us

Earn up to 100% off your next swag order or donate your dollars to charity

Our innovative referral program empowers you to earn up to 100% of your next swag order or to donate your banked dollars to charity.

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Event Survival in the Age of Disruption: How to Be Prepared

David Betke

Read Time: Approximately 6 minutes  

Inefficiencies, diminishing returns and changing customer expectations are all creating opportunities for disruption, and the event industry is ripe.  

Trade shows and events are expensive, and many exhibitors are experiencing diminishing returns. Exhibiting at a single event can easily cost five figures when you add up the cost of renting space, displays, print, swag, hotels, and travel. On top of it all, there is often an opportunity cost to being out of the office for the duration of an event. Multiply that by a few events per year, and you have a significant investment at risk.  

Owners and managers are scrutinizing spending and demanding accountability.  

A good show can provide significant traffic and exposure, but your key messages are often forgotten by the time an attendee reaches the end of the aisle.  

Costly badge scanning systems do little more than capture an attendees badge information and then spit out a list at the end of the show. Unfortunately, these systems only work when someone is willing to let you scan their badge. Many attendees find this practice obtrusive and fewer are being scanned. In the end, too few of these leads are qualified, segmented or sales ready, creating even more expense your post-show follow-up.  

After the show, many exhibitors get back to their office and get so distracted catching up, that leads are not adequately followed up with- and they often go cold. Don't even get me started on the opportunity cost of losing a well-qualified lead.  

Then there's the physical waste. Many exhibitors find it less expensive to scrap unused print material than to ship it back to the office. The average overall waste generated per venue is an astounding 1115 Metric tonnes. (2017 Green venue report). Print collateral is a significant part of this waste. 

All this leaves the trade show, and events space ripe for disruption. Here are three main trends you need to prepare for:

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Trend #1- Measurable

The days of ego advertising are over. Unless you have bottomless pockets, the bottom-line demands that you focus your marketing dollar where it is working best, that means choosing your best-producing events and optimizing them for cost per lead.

Here are 12 questions to help you create a successful event strategy:  

1) What do you hope to achieve at the event? Be specific with your goal. For example, are you aiming for qualified leads? If so, do some research. Know the amount of your average sale, your cost per lead, as well as your closing and customer retention rates. If you are trying to recruit employees, begin with cost per lead, closing rates, etc. Having key benchmarks to measure against ensures you can make informed decisions on which shows deliver your best return on objective.  

2) Who is your ideal audience? Perhaps there are a few segments. Can you define them? Do you have resources aimed at each? Some events are great for sales and recruitment, but if you have a one size fits all marketing strategy, you may fall short with both prospective customers and employees.  

3) Will the event attract a high percentage of your ideal audience? If they won't be there, should you?  

4) What does your audience hope to achieve from this event?  

5) How will you help them achieve their goals better than your competition will?  

6) What is the best way to connect with your audience (pre, during and post event)? Where do they gather, who influences them and how do they share?  

7) How much do you know about your competition? Have you used their products or services? How well branded are they? What technology do they use? Who are their key customers? What is their market share?  

8) Can you make a compelling case for why someone should choose you, instead of your competition? Need help? 

9) How will you attract your ideal audience to your space? Can you give them a great reason to make your booth a destination?  

Tip: Promotional products are great tools for this purpose as long as they are meaningful, support your brand story and can be measured. See more in the link: Promotional Products: Essential Channel or Spam?  

10) Can you measure precisely how many leads you attract, how many turn into real prospects, and how many of these turn into customers, employees or advocates?  

11) How will you determine which events and channels are attracting your highest-returning leads? Services like GreenTexts™ can help you with this so you can focus next year's budget on these channels.  

12) How will you apply what you measured and what you learned to improve your success at future events?


Trend #2- Meaningful

Be clear about your purpose. 2 out of 3 consumers would switch brands to support a good cause. 6 out of 10 have bought a product to support a cause regardless of price (2009 Edelman Trust Barometer). The trend for events is to create meaningful and personalized experiences. 

Here are a few tips we have found that help.


1) Engage your prospects in your purpose. Give them a compelling reason to jump into action to support your brand over your competition's  

2) Support a cause that aligns with your vision. There is nothing like a cause to rally your ideal audience. Beware though; your intent must be pure. If it is just PR or an initiative, it will likely fail.  

3) Create a dedicated landing page for each event that captures, qualifies and segments leads  

4) Consider gamification to keep your attendees engaged  

5) Encourage and incentivize social sharing  

6) Provide attendees with a souvenir of their experience (a well placed promotional product that acts as a reminder of their experience with you can work wonders). 


Trend #3- Sustainable

Sustainability is probably the most significant trend, both from an environmental and a budget standpoint. An environmentally sustainable event cannot continue without being economically sustainable. 

Tips:  

1) Plan better. The old shotgun marketing approach relies on sending your message to as many people as possible and hoping it will connect with a few. This outdated strategy wastes enormous amounts of resources. Plan to increase your number of opportunities to capture leads, qualify and segment those leads, and then convert them at a higher rate. Follow the tips below Trend #1.  

2) Print your marketing collateral on post-consumer recycled stock or better yet, go paperless. GreenTexts™ allows your audience to download what they want on their terms, captures their information and allows them to self-segment. You get a sales-ready list. They get what they are interested in and nothing else to clutter their inboxes.  

3) Create a lanyard library or purchase lanyards made from recycled or biodegradable materials. Badge holders are also available made from biodegradable corn cellulose.  

4) Choose useful promotional products that reinforce your key message. Print a call to action on them or require effort before someone receives them. It's incredible how innovative these products are getting. We just discovered journals that are made entirely from apples. The cover even looks like leather. We also love working with our bag manufacturer who repurposes printed vinyl banners to make bags.  

5) Choose booth materials that are made from repurposed or recycled materials such as booths, pop-ups or table covers made from recycled plastic bottles. 

6) Measure the success of your event with a solution like SimpleLeads™  

Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to an event that continues to be both sustainable and profitable- in our age of disruption.  

Book a Consult Here

About The Author

David Betke has dedicated his career to helping brands that give back, make a bigger difference. His campaigns have helped save a 65 000-acre forest forever, reduced carbon emissions in a city measurably, and helped recruit three senior engineers during the height of a labor crisis. One even generated a 6000% return within six months and attracted a couple of great customers for life. David has been personally recognized with seven national marketing awards.

Event Survival in the Age of Disruption: How to Be Prepared

Ever Wonder How Your Festival and Event T-shirts are Printed?

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Ever Wonder How Your Festival and Event T-shirts are Printed?

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