Blogs

Oct 27, 2012
Most trade show exhibitors put the vast majority of their effort into creating their presence at a trade show – the trade show displays they build, the staffers they send and house, and for some, the promotions they do to create greater activity in their booth space. Unfortunately, too many waste these valiant efforts, because they fall down on managing their trade show leads.  That’s because there are more hidden roadblocks than they realize, obstacles to getting the full value from their leads. So let’s bring those roadblocks out into the light.  I believe the… more
Oct 27, 2012
Conferences, trade shows, conventions, and other events, just like people, have unique personalities. There are all different types, and many have been conditioned by their environment. Over time, they become a caricature of themselves, and this can drive people away in subsequent years. If you want a well-rounded event that has a lot to offer attendees, you need to question how people perceive the experience of participation. Just as with relationships between people, the personality of your event is important to how attendees feel while present. If a person is too serious all the time,… more
Oct 27, 2012
Giveaways are an extremely popular way to get more people into your trade show displays.  But not all giveaways are created equal. To help you whittle through the nearly infinite choices of giveaways, I’ve grouped them into 7 types, with the strengths and weaknesses of each type listed below.  Keep this chart handy the next time your team gathers to brainstorm ideas for your upcoming trade show. Giveaway Type Strength Weakness Cheap stuff Doesn’t cost much so you can give them to a lot of people… more
Oct 20, 2012
This is the third part of a six-part series on WiFi at events. Assuming your venue has sufficient WiFi coverage everywhere it is needed, the next component you need to consider for good network design is capacity. Capacity is a little more obscure of a topic than coverage because, unless you are a network engineer, you probably have never run into a situation where you connected so many devices to one access point that you exceeded the limit of the access point’s capacity.  Before I started learning about wireless networks, I naively assumed that any wireless network could… more
Oct 20, 2012
As co-creators and champions of their clients’ brands, ad agencies can immensely help their B2B clients achieve their marketing goals at trade shows. And because trade shows are the largest marketing expenditure for B2B companies, ad agencies have good incentive to get involved. Yet, some ad agencies have not fully reached their peak involvement with their exhibiting clients. Let’s look at the 5 steps along the way: Unaware of client trade show participation. Sure, ad agencies execs know that trade shows exist – they’ve been to the local car show or… more
Oct 13, 2012
How do we stay innovative, deliver value to our exhibitors and stay personally motivated about our work when we have less time, money and resources? After almost 13 years with PMA, I feel lucky that I’m still excited about what I do. Yes, I still have nights of being awake at 3 a.m. because I can’t turn off the ideas in my head,  and I still get all “giddy” when I get feedback from exhibitors about something that really worked, no matter how small. One of the biggest things I struggle with is having enough time to come up with new opportunities and ways to… more
Oct 13, 2012
I am leaving New Zealand, and I am very sad, partly because I won’t be able to watch rugby 24/7.  But watching rugby got me thinking about how you can use this game (my second favorite sport, the first being baseball) to have a proper trade show.  After all they call rugby ‘the game of animals played by gentlemen’. Aptly put. 1. Team captains – I was watching one of many matches, and there was a small break out fight on the field. The one referee (and yes, there is only one on field) easily broke it up, and then called over the team captains (not the coaches… more
Oct 06, 2012
This is the second part of a six-part series on WiFi at events. Let’s explore the topic of WiFi coverage, as this is a topic that most people are somewhat familiar with as it is similar to coverage for cell phones.  To connect via WiFi, your device (be it a computer, cellular phone or tablet) must connect to a wireless access point or router.  As with all wireless connections, the further away from the source you are, the weaker the received signal.  But distance is not the only factor that affects how far a signal can travel.  It turns out that water is a great… more
Sep 29, 2012
Are you exhibiting for the first time and feel like David amongst the many Goliaths of the showfloor? Think of any big company in the world and chances are they started out as a small exhibit on the showfloor. A common goal for all exhibitors is to provide an engaging experience that helps sell products and build a brand. As I write this, there are micro start-ups being developed on kitchen tables across America. In order to grow new business leads, they’ll be debating what to do with their first exhibit presence. It’s simple to engage, but it takes time and thorough… more
Sep 27, 2012
This is the first of a six-part series of articles about staying connected while at an event. For better or worse, we live in a world where we are always connected. I, for one, wake up in the morning and, before doing anything else, grab my phone and see what emails I’ve received overnight.  At the end of the day, the last things I do before falling asleep are read the New York Times online and check the Asian stock markets to get a glimpse of “tomorrow’s” news. Just the thought of not having access to the internet for a meaningful amount of time is nearly… more