Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.
Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.


2016 Tradeshow Webinars Launched

Over the years I’ve done a number of webinars, some for myself and some because other entities have asked me to do so. I’ve thought for the last year or so that I wanted to start doing them regularly, so I’ve committed to a schedule of at least one webinar a month for 2016.

webinar keyboard

I’ll be using the WebinarJam platform. I checked out a number of platforms, compared costs and related tools, and think it’s a good match for what I would like to do. I’ve also joined Webinara, which is a webinar promotion platform, so we’ll see what happens with that affiliation. Webinara, if you aren’t familiar with them, is a Norway-based company that looks to spread the word about webinars across many different markets. Again, we’ll see what happens with that!

January 20 Webinar: Your Tradeshow Marketing Questions Answered

As for the first webinar, it’s set for January 20, 2016 at 10 am Pacific. I’m going to do a Q&A on tradeshow marketing. So if you have a question, make sure you register for the webinar. It could run ten minutes, it could run 90! I don’t know. We’ll see how many people submit questions or join us online. It should be fun, and in any event, the WebinarJam platform records the webinar automatically and makes it available on my YouTube channel.

Here are the details:

Title: Your Tradeshow Marketing Questions Answered

Date: January 20, 2016

Time: 10 am Pacific, 11 am Mountain, 12 noon Central, 1 pm Eastern

Register here!

Spread the word – I hope you’ll join us!

Tweet: Join @TradeshowGuy for a great #tradeshow webinar Jan 20: Your Tradeshow Marketing Questions Answered!

Blogging 101 (video collection)

Among all of the various promotion tools at your disposal, one of the best branding and outreach tools is a personal or company blog. I admit that this blog has brought me business and gotten me speaking gigs, so as much work as I put into it, I think it’s worth the time.

So the question is: are you blogging? If not, why not? If you are, what are you blogging about?

Here’s a collection of short videos I put together recently on how blogging might be best approached. The whole collection of five videos come to almost an hour of training, so if you can’t watch them now, bookmark this page!

Blogging 101: WHY You Should Consider Blogging

Blogging 101: Naming your blog and more

Blogging 101: Creating Great Posts

Blogging 101: Nuts and Bolts of WordPress (and other platforms)

Blogging 101: Blog Promotion


7 Surefire Ways to Energize Social Media at Tradeshows – #2 – Don’t Publish Selfish Content

See previous posts in this series: The Basics and Look at What Others Are Doing.


The most common trap bloggers and social media content publishers fall into is the old ‘tell everybody everything’ trap. This misleading line of thinking leads them to publish blog posts that are self-centered and of little use to their intended audience. The kind of content I’m referring to could be press releases about company awards, self-congratulatory ‘look how cool we are’ posts and items that have no intent behind them to assist their readership in any way, shape or form.

At this point your blog or Facebook page becomes nearly unreadable and useless, except as an example of what NOT to do.

If your company is not blogging yet, here’s a roundup of ideas that may inspire you to start blogging soon.

So what do you do on your blog or Facebook pages?

Easy: identify and solve problems. If you haven’t already identified several issues that your product or service helps alleviate, use your Facebook page to ask questions, take surveys and keep your ear to the ground for those problems.

By solving problems – even if those problems don’t directly relate to your product or service – you’re positioning your company in a leadership role in the minds of those readers.

Beyond solving problems, move out in front of the pack by offering lead-edge thoughts on what’s going on in your industry. Anything that you can think of that’s worth sharing is worth publishing somewhere. Create videos, write blog posts, engage your readership online in as many ways as possible. Even short one-thought bursts such as those that Seth Godin comes up with may be useful to your readership.

To re-cap:

  • Don’t publish selfish content
  • Stay away from press releases
  • Solve problems
  • Be a thought-leader
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 photo credit: wonderferret

Keeping Track of Changes in the Social Media World

Change is good.

Change sucks!

Okay, which is it?

You may recall the 1971 David Bowie song “Changes.” While it was often seen as a ‘manifesto for his chameleonic personality’ (Wikipedia), it’s not much of a stretch to say that the song applies to virtually everything in life. We live in a world full of changes, and when it comes to following the bouncing ball that is social media, we often get lost trying to keep up with the fast-paced world.

So where should you look in your attempts to follow changes? I’d love to say that this blog follows changes, but as a one-man band that’s a difficult, if not impossible task. However, there are a number of social media-related blogs and websites that I follow that do a great job. Some have dozens (or hundreds) of contributors that follow a wide variety of social media and web-related activity.

The challenge is winnowing the information down to what’s important to YOU. That’s not the easiest thing, and while I consume a lot of information, it’s difficult to read only the blog posts and articles that directly affect me. And in fact, I’m not sure that we should limit our intake to specific topics, because often a related topic or item can later become important.

So let’s look at a handful sites that have proven to be useful in tracking changes and keeping readers up-to-date.

Mashable: to me this is more of a tech-related site, but they do a darn fine job of tracking news and changes in all related spheres, from business and tech to lifestyle and fun watercooler topics, including a lot of social media. It started out on a much smaller scale, but as it’s popularity and readership rise, its horizons have expanded. They have smartphone apps and of course RSS feeds which make it easy to follow.

Social Media Examiner: Much more focused on social media that Mashable, the Social Media Examiner is often my first stop when I want to research any social media-related topic. Founded by Michael Stelzner a few years ago, the SME is the best at following trends and giving you countless how-to’s along the way.

Social Media Today: covering social media from blogging to tweeting and all points in between, Social Media Today casts a wide net.


Soshable is not high on my list, but the few times I’ve landed there I’ve come away impressed. Lots of good articles and a ton of tech and social media-related infographics make this very interesting reading.

Scott Monty: he’s the global head of social media for Ford Motor Company and knows his stuff. Scott is a fun read and you’ll always pick up some good information and tips when you land here.

Forbes on Social Media: surprisingly, or perhaps not, this is a great resource of articles and information.

Peter Shankman, the founder of Help Out a Reporter, is a globe-trotting writer, speaker and author. If you want cutting edge, read his blog.

Finally, this round-up from Hubspot is worth a look. There’s a list of 36 ‘don’t-miss’ social media blogs that they claim you should check out. I haven’t checked them all out, but  cursory look at a handful of them shows that you can’t go wrong here.

Why Your Company Should Consider Blogging

If you’ve been doing tradeshow marketing for years, and you’re edging into social media, good for you. Companies that work intelligently to drive traffic to their tradeshow booths are showing some great results.

But do you have a blog? If so, are you using it to its full effectiveness? If not, why not? Perhaps you should consider blogging. The presence of an active, engaging blog can make the difference between closing a deal or not, all other things being equal.

Here are some reasons to consider blogging:

  • It’s a marketing tool that’s much easier to maintain than a newsletter. You can add and change it at any time.
  • You want to influence people in your market.
  • You want to be seen as a thought leader or industry leader.
  • You have an expertise and you want to share.
  • You like engaging in debate with strangers, who can often become friends and perhaps even clients.
  • It helps you get found online. Blogs are search-engine friendly.
  • Blogs can bring your team together. As an example, the 300-employee company Hubspot in Boston invites any employee to contribute to the blog, which allows them to have several posts a day offering a number of viewpoints and various useful information.
  • Blogging forces you to stay sharp. By continually coming up with material you’re always learning and sharing what you learn. As a result, you become smarter and more well-known for knowing more than most people in your industry.
  • As a result of blogging people will ask you questions, which leads to you learning even more.
  • Creating great content leads to sales. Seriously. When you create great content, you create trust, which brings in people that are interested in your content. Those people often become business leads, and leads often become sales.
  • Creating content leads to comments and discussions. Those comments allow you to learn from readers to find out exactly what they’re interested in. It also gives you insight in to the pain points they’re experiencing. And in a sales call, knowing those pain points and how to solve them leads to sales.

So what about tradeshows, events and conferences? How can blogging help in your event marketing? Let’s take a look.

  • By having a blog platform, you are able to share more information about what happened at the event in real time.
  • As the date of the show gets closer, your blog is a platform for sharing what you’ll be doing at the show. Classic Exhibits’ lead-in to their appearance at Exhibitor this year was a perfect example. Their regular blog readers saw the various videos they posted that teased their Exhibitor appearance.
  • A blog is a perfect platform for posting multi-media from the event: audio, video and photos. This is a great place to interview happy clients and post those video clips on your blog, which become power testimonials for your product or service.
  • Once the show is over, your blog is a place to do continual follow-ups. Material that you compiled at the show can be spun out on your blog over the next few months.

Yet, in spite of all of these great reasons to blog, make no mistake: blogging isn’t easy, and there’s not necessarily a direct payoff from all of the effort that goes into a blog. However, an active blog can be a powerful tool and is often the difference between making a sale or not when going head to head with a competitor who is not blogging.

(photo by Annie Moles, courtesy

Detecting Classic Exhibits at Exhibitor 2012: Part Two

Still on the track of what the heck Classic Exhibits is up to for Exhibitor 2012 (March 4-8, 2012 at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas), I made another quick visit to their manufacturing facility this week.

The result? A disagreement among the bigwigs, a rescue by a new designer, and the ‘inside scoop’ (perhaps!) from a Russian spy???

Take a look:


To be a Social Media Writer

So you’re the company blogger, tweeter, Facebook poster and all-around social media go-to person. How do you make your posts readable, sharable, entertaining or informative? Here’s a quick list.

  • Shorter is better. There are no cut-and-dried rules, but whenever I feel like I need to write 750 words on something, I remember that a majority of Seth Godin’s posts are only a few dozen words each.
  • Woman washing her hair

    Make it easily digestible. Short posts are part of the task. The other part is to stick to one idea. Two ideas in one post: not so good. Two ideas should be split into two posts.

  • Be entertaining, informative or engaging. Find a new slant on an old topic. Introduce a character, take a different viewpoint, play devil’s advocate, spin a yarn. There are as many ways to say something, as there are readers.
  • ABC: Always Be Churning. If you’re the go-to social media person, everything – and I mean everything – may be fodder for a blog post or a tweet. Just make sure you follow the previous rule: be entertaining or informative or engaging. Keep your eyes and ears open.
  • Regular posting. The good news here: you get to decide what’s ‘regular’ for you and your readers. For some blogs, it’s several posts a day, or a week. For others, a handful of small, meaningful, insightful posts each month are plenty. And for others, one post every month or two is sufficient.

Find what works for you. Adjust as necessary. Rinse and repeat.

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 photo credit: SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget

Top 5 Business Social Media Bloggers of 2011

To limit this year-end list to just five biz bloggers doesn’t do justice to the dozens – hundreds, really – of other business bloggers. But these five have always enlightened me, entertained me and yes, informed me with cutting edge material. Good stuff.

Seth Godin – long considered the granddaddy of permission marketing, Seth Godin’s blog is deceptively simple. Short and thoughtful posts are the rule, with few exceptions.

David Meerman Scott – David went from a corporate type to speaking and writing about social media and PR. He’s given his books away as free PDF downloads, which has garnered him attention, speaking gigs and a pretty good career.

Chris Brogan – “Learn how human business works.” I don’t get to Chris’s blog as often as I’d like, but when I do, something tasty is always waiting there for me.

Brian Solis – “defining the convergence of media and influence.” Brian has been blogging since before it was called blogging. Known as a thought-leader in the business and social media world.

Jeff Bullas – leading commentary on social media and how it affects your company.


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