TSNN's Ultimate Reading List

March 14, 2013

Traci Browne

Owner, Red Cedar Marketing, auhor of "The Social Trade Show: Leveraging Social Media and Virtual Events"

I recently found myself with an Amazon gift card burning a hole in my pocket. I reached out to some of our trade show industry veterans and asked them what was on their bookshelf or Kindle that’s had an influence on their work.

Here is a run down on the books they shared with me and why they think you should read them.

Thank goodness for the ease of one-click ordering.

Lee Anne Orange, Special Projects Manager at AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology

Book: Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration by Scott Doorley & Scott Witthoftby

Why you should read it: It’s an amazing book, talk about "out of the box" thinking.

Lee Anne also shared she was reading about Feng Shui

Nicole Hallada, Senior Director, Marketing (Global) at AEM/CONEXPO-CON/AGG

Book: Steve Jobs (Biography) by Walter Isaacson

Why you should read it: Never underestimate the power experience has on a brand.

Kent Allaway, VP, Meetings and Trade Shows at Produce Marketing Association

Book: Fl!p by Peter Sheahan

Why you should read it: This book looks at common business practices backwards, allowing readers to see everyday situations from a completely different perspective and then act accordingly.



Book: Flash Foresight Daniel Burrus

Why you should read it: This easy read will help you look into your future and see how to avoid pitfalls on your best laid plans while looking elsewhere for answers to those pitfalls.



Book: The Likeability Factor by Tim Sanders

Why you should read it: Want to improve the perception of yourself? This book describes the factors needed to make you more liked by those you come into contact with and shows how that affects everything from your job to your friends.

Stephanie Selesnick, President, International Trade Information, Inc.

Book: Guerrilla Trade Show Selling by Conrad Levinson, Mark S. A. Smith and Orvel Ray Wilson

Nancy Drapeau, PRC Research Director at Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)


Book: Freak Nation by Kate Stevens.

Why you should read it: This is not so much of an immersive read as it is a quick scan. Though the topic is funky, it calls attention to a powerful aspect of human beings of direct value to exhibitions: that we are social animals. Many of us want to congregate with others like us. It is an important reality for trade exhibition organizers to keep in mind to tap into the passion of their audiences, to give them a burning need to attend their events. What are the burning reasons why attendees go to an exhibition? What characteristics and purpose do they share? SHOT Show attendees have great passion, as do SEMA attendees, COMICON attendees, NAMM attendees, SURF Expo attendees, the list goes on, examples of events that compel attendees to come back to congregate with their peers, yes, to do business but also for much more.



Book:The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver.

Why you should read it: I have only begun this book. In today's world where we have access to more data than ever before, it can be very difficult to know what is a valid trend and what is something to set aside. Nate Silver predicted the last presidential election accurately, stuck to his guns when other polls were all over the place in the last week. It is worth a read to help apply common sense to one's approach to using data in one's business.

Dana Freker Doody, Vice President, Corporate Communications at The Expo Group

Book:Customers For Life by Carl Sewells

Why you should read it: This book is required reading for everyone at The Expo Group. In it this fellow SMU grad talks about the importance of the long-term partnership with a client. He doesn’t want to sell just one car to a customer but rather have them return again and again. It’s our corporate philosophy and I refer to it often.

Thom Singer, Speaker/Conference Catalyst

Book:Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield

Why you should read it:This book pointed out that if we really want to do something, we need to be all in.  We can go through life as an amateur or a pro.  A pro goes on to find the top levels of success

Book:The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Peopleby Stephen Covey

Why you should read it:I read this book many years ago, but it has been the groundwork for so many things I have done in my career.  It is one of a small number of books I have read more than once.

So should you find yourself with a gift card burning a hole in your pocket, or even just some time to kill … why not pick up a book or two and expand your thinking.

What’s on your book shelf or Kindle?

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