May 19, 2012
I read a LinkedIn post on the frustration we have all felt dealing with the never-ending list of rules and regulations for trade shows.  I believe the post even asked, what is with all these rules?  Let me share some of my thoughts on that subject. 1. No room for interpretation. Let’s be honest – people like to ‘interpret’ rules in a way that benefits them.  I can say that I have bent the rules to get six more inches on my structure and block a competitor’s sign – and I have seen the error of my ways. With years of experience in dealing… more
May 17, 2012
What is it about games that b-to-b event organizers are trying to hide? Some third-party event producers and even game developers have taken to calling them “engagement platforms” to try to gloss over the notion that (heaven forbid) an attendee might have fun while learning and networking at a live event. As affirming research piles up and the number of game options for events increases, tradeshow and conference organizers (corporate meeting planners are way ahead of these two groups on the game front) may soon be convinced that a game layer placed on top of an otherwise ho hum… more
May 12, 2012
I wrote to my representative in Congress this week.  As a proud participant in the Meetings Industry, I am concerned about the backlash that has popped up around the abuses by people working for the GSA in regards to inappropriate use of money spent in regards to conferences.  Similar bad press rumbled around in 2008 because of the WordCom fiasco and the 2011 "MuffinGate". Waste should not be tolerated by government agencies, companies, associations or anyone who plans meetings. But people who overstep common sense (and the laws) are not proof that meetings are somehow… more
May 07, 2012
It’s not surprising that some of the hottest trade show marketing trends revolve around social media. In the new age of social networking and technology it may seem like trade show marketing is a thing of the past. But with the use of social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, businesses can be even more successful with their trade show marketing. Trade shows are a great way to connect with prospective customers while manning your tradeshow booth, marketing partners, new employees and influentials in your industry. Learn how to use social media to get the most out of… more
Apr 30, 2012
Editor's Note: Mike Thimmesch and Joyce McKee will be giving a TSNN Webinar - "Getting More Leads and Making Them Count" May 24 at 1pm - sign up here: A newly published white paper by Marketech reveals what 3,341 trade show attendees, in interviews held at 30 events, said caused them to visit trade show exhibits. Skyline has sponsored this new research report and made it available free to exhibitors, who can get a copy by requesting it here. The Value Of People, Product, and Promotions in Attracting Visitors… more
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