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
Sep 16, 2012
You can tell when you really need to buy a new car:  Small rust holes merging into bigger rust holes; the billows of smoke from burning oil; the engine that is so loud you have to shout to be heard. But what about your trade show displays?  What similar clues hint that it’s time to send your display to the junk yard and start over?  You’ll know it’s time if you’ve experienced any of these: The colors on your trade show booth are out of fashion – again. All the people in your exhibit photos have big 80’s hair. Your booth… more
Sep 16, 2012
There was chatter on Twitter recently about conference speaking. Julius Solaris (Founder of the Event Manager Blog) said "Seems that most advice on giving speeches is focused on short time slots.  What about longer 1 hour + slots?" Great question. Over the past few years there has been a lot of focus on the short presentation. The explosive success of TED and TEDx talks (in person and online) has mistakenly lead many to believe that "short is better".  Many event planners profess they want to "be like TED" and thus are going to limit their… more
Sep 03, 2012
As anyone who is familiar with the event industry knows, the recession has been tough on our business in more ways than one. And, even with more people attending events recently, there still are pressures on the industry, especially in light of overspending by government agencies that has resulted in calls for travel to be severely restricted, the U.S. economy and unemployment rate is not exactly on sure footing and the global economy also has its problems. So, it was with complete and utter shock that I started seeing a series of Tweets going out by a virtual event company called ON24 with… more
Aug 29, 2012
I was recently at the Disney parks and the atmosphere and genuine happiness made me think – wouldn’t it be nice if my trade show can run like this? So let’s see if we can take away any insight from the Happiest Place on Earth for our next trade show. 1. It is all about the experience. Disney is set up where everything, and I mean everything, is about having the greatest experience possible. Whether you are waiting in line for a ride, or waiting in line to buy food, or waiting in line to purchase something, you still feel like you are experiencing Disney. Every section of… more
Aug 29, 2012
Attending a multiday association conference (or other event) can be inspirational and chalked full of education.  There is a lot of industry information. Some of the best networking around. Tons of good food. Beneficial investment of time and fun, fun, fun!!! It can also be exhausting. The long days followed by the happy-hours and other parties can leave anyone feeling the pain once they get home. Plus, being out of the office all week can leave you with a full e-mail inbox and a to-do list a mile long. Yet, to maximize the ROI from attending the event, there are a few things you… more
Aug 25, 2012
He sure looked like a perfectly good prospect. He had the right color badge. He works at a company that is in the right vertical market and the right size. And your uncanny booth staffing sixth sense told you he even had an approved budget for your product. Yet with barely a glance he sailed right on past your booth. So why didn’t he drop anchor?  Perhaps for one or more of these eight reasons: Your booth looked too boring. Like too many other exhibitors, your trade show booth has dull colors, too much text, and too many small images. Your benefit… more