Apr 22, 2012
I will admit that I shouldn’t be writing this right now because I am really steamed and maybe it would be best if I calmed down a bit. But, forget it. I am going for it. I am so fed up with airlines nickel and diming every little thing to death to the point where I think airline tickets are higher than they have ever been in a very long time. Case in Point No. 1 I recently flew from Detroit to Los Angeles on United Airlines. I was leaving on a 9-day trip so I had my purse and computer as my two allotted carry ons and I checked two bags, a garment bag and small rolling bag. Yes, to… more
Apr 17, 2012
The busy season is over and you’ve just exhibited at the same trade shows that you always exhibit at year after year.  Which can make you too easily fall into the “same old, same-old” mindset: Same competitors, same booth staff, same exhibit, same promotions, same city, same products, same, same, same. Be careful. That complacency can dangerously slip into irrelevancy. To keep your edge, try to see trade shows with fresh eyes. Give yourself some time at your next few shows to get re-inspired.  All you need is your eyes, your feet, and an open mind. Question… more
Apr 07, 2012
Is content king? I continue to see the discussion around the meetings industry about "content versus style" when it comes to speakers. I have long argued that there should be no disagreement on this topic, as it is not too much to expect both from those who make presentations at events. I would never argue against content. That is crazy talk. However, there seems to be a fear of "pure motivational speakers" taking over the meeting world. I am not even sure what that means. Without content, there is no motivation. "Fluff" cannot stand alone. We need and… more
Apr 03, 2012
Full disclosure: I am not an LA Dodger fan. I am an insufferable Chicago Cub fan. This is our year. Really. The LA Dodgers just sold for US$ 2.15 Billion. Nice day for Frank McCourt, a fairly vilified citizen of LA; not quite as nice for his ex-wife Jamie. But that is another post. Why should the event marketing industry care? The Dodgers sale goes beyond the actual games and the true dollar value comes from the extension of the games off the field, in much the same way that trade shows and meetings now are looking to extend their live events by embracing the online… more
Mar 29, 2012
I’ve traveled the world looking for the best practices in exhibiting. Though at first the following steps to creating the best attendee experience may seem counterintuitive, they are in fact revolutionary. Step 1- Prepare a “show-stopping” layout: No one wants too many people in an exhibit. Do what you can to prevent attendees from entering your booth. Designing visible and physical obstacles is your goal. Start by blocking the perimeter of your exhibit with counters, walls or whatever you have left in your crates. Pay close attention to the corners of the exhibit… more
Mar 18, 2012
It started with a tweet: “Connect to #Badgeless2012, FB and the Web” At first, I thought that “Badgeless” might be referring to a technology that allowed event participants to interact with one another without using the square 3 x 4” piece of paper dangling from a string that we refer to as a badge. I was wrong. A subsequent Twitter exchange with Chris Heuer, the founder of the global Social Media Club organization and member of the Badgeless Group at SXSWi, revealed so much more: Badgeless is an organized movement of individuals… more
Mar 10, 2012
Hidden rules govern almost every area of our lives. They guide our behavior and expectations, yet are rarely written down for us in neat little books. For example, there’s the 5 Second Rule:  When a piece of food falls on the floor, you can eat it if you pick it up within five seconds. There’s the High Heel Rule: if a woman is taller than her date, she is less likely to wear high heels. And there’s the Full Moon Rule: On days with a full moon, there are more crimes committed and babies born. Uncover the 18 Hidden Rules of Trade Shows… more
Mar 01, 2012
A lot has changed during the past three years. Virtual Events, hybrid extensions of live events and perpetual (year-round) environments are becoming more mainstream. The platforms also have evolved - costs are coming down and the solutions are more flexible. These developments come at a time when associations in particular are revising their business models and looking for alternative content and education delivery systems. Forprofit groups are seeking ways to enhance and grow their live events. Even with all of the recent discussion and activity around virtual events, some individuals… more
Feb 26, 2012
*Editor’s note – Mike’s blog on leads previously was published on Skyline Exhibits, but after a recent #Expochat Twitter discussion on the continuing issue of lead followup, this post is as timely as ever. If you think you are doing a great job following up on your leads, unfortunately, the visitors to your trade show exhibit may not agree. What you consider good lead fulfillment may look very different to them. In a blog post on her Trade Show Institute blog, Traci Brown tells a sorry tale about her visit to the AIBTM show, where she happily had… more
Feb 26, 2012
UPDATE - Tues. Feb. 28 - Breaking News - TSEA transfers members, assets to EACA --- more on TSNN HERE. I started hearing rumors a while ago about the possible fate of the Trade Show Exhibitors Association, most suggesting the organization was going to close its doors. I’ve been a journalist for a long time, and I firmly believe in two things about rumors: 1.) I would never, ever print one unless it was confirmed and 2.) Usually rumors don’t start in a vacuum – there tends to be something to them, although they might be a different version of what’s being spread around… more