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

Fun

Wake Up and Smell the New Year!

It’s a little hackneyed, I know, but how often do you say to yourself, “Where does the time go?”

I said it again just a day or two ago when I noticed the calendar, did the math, and said, Holy Smoke, where does the time go?

2020 beckons. Are you ready?

I don’t usually do a formal year-end assessment of my business, TradeshowGuy Exhibits. In the past I have shared on these pages and in the weekly podcast, the state of the business. And I don’t plan to do a formal assessment this year.

But, having said that, I can safely say that 2019 was the best year yet for TradeshowGuy Exhibits. In terms of new business, new clients, and total dollars. Which means we must be doing something right.

The challenge of running your own business, and specifically a business in the tradeshow world, is that cycles often determine the amount of business and the number of clients we work with at any given time.

Happy Christmas and Merry New Year!

For example, the first four months of the year were incredible. New projects, new clients galore. The next four months were good, not great. Certainly not like the first four months. And the last four months have seen us hunting and wishing for more business. But like the cycles that we end up living with, I can already see a few months into the future and see things picking up. Perhaps not as grand as it was 12 months ago, but still good.

This year also was the third year of my weekly TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee video blog, which is also posted on SoundCloud as an audio podcast.

Another 100 or so articles, along with the podcast, were posted on this blog, bringing the total posts to over 1000. In November the blog also celebrated its eleventh birthday. If you’d have told me I’d still be blogging eleven years later, I would have probably choked. But wow, here we are.

And personally, I kept up a consistent exercise routine of daily yoga, daily walks (with the dog who insists!), lots of bicycle riding and lots of skiing.

How about you? How was your year? Was it what you expected? What do you have planned for 2020?

Whatever you are looking for next year, buckle up – it should be a wild ride!

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, December 16th, 2019: FUN

What is fun? Why are some things fun to you but not to others, or vice versa? Why do some people appear to have more fun that you, even though they’re doing the same thing?

Lots of things to explore on the nature of FUN on this week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee. Also, today is ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons’ 70th birthday, so he gets a little shoutout!

This week’s ONE GOOD THING: Exhibitor Magazine.

6 Earworms for Your Next Tradeshow

What is an earworm? Basically, it’s song or melody that gets stuck in your head and you have a hard time unsticking it. It goes around and around and won’t go away.

It happens to me all the time. I must have fifty songs bounce around my head on any given day. Some stick for a few moments, others for up to an hour.

Why not come up with a short list of good songs to get stuck in your head that make sense for your next tradeshow appearance?

Let’s start with Janet Jackson’s “What Have You Done For Me Lately?”

It’s catchy and gets to the point of any attendee’s message to an exhibitor: yeah, I’ve seen your stuff before, but what have you done for me lately? Plus it’s a classic mid-80s dance video, so there’s that.

Prince – Kiss

Another video from 1986. Popular year, perhaps? Maybe not an actual kiss, but certainly a metaphorical one. You want that connection that leads to becoming either a client or a supplier. And to do that, there’s a certain amount of closeness that must be done.

So why not a metaphorical kiss?

Rolling Stones – Get off My Cloud

Exhibiting at a tradeshow means sharing the stage with hundreds or even thousands of other exhibitors. But in YOUR booth, you’re the master. No other brands allowed. So yeah, get off my cloud, two’s a crowd!

Beatles – Come Together

Now that we’re in the Sixties for a few moments, how about we ask The Beatles for a song? Come Together is certainly a great earworm, and oh-so-appropriate for a large gathering.

Billie Eilish – Bad Guy

Let’s jump up to the present for Billie Eilish and her mega-hit Bad Guy. Not only is it catchy as hell, but at every tradeshow there always seems to be a bad guy. Sometimes it’s the neighbor exhibitor that’s playing loud music in their booth or crowding out your visitors. Or some floor manager that is making it difficult to get your crates delivered to your booth in a timely maner. The good thing is, there are not that many bad guys at tradeshows. Most people are there to have a good time and be a good guy or gal.

Queen: We Will Rock You

Exactly what you’re looking to do at your next tradeshow: rock your visitors.

Got a song stuck in your head?

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee: 10 from 2019 Worth Another Listen

When you put out a new podcast/vlog every week, frankly, it’s hard to keep up. Makes sense. That’s a lot of content to devour, and it’s easy to let things slip by.

But 2019 has given me a lot of great guests, and chances are you may have missed some of the really good ones (and there are many!). So here’s a random list of 10 guests I hosted on TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee this year that you might have missed. And even if you didn’t miss them, they could be worth another listen:

January 8: BJ Enright of Tradeshow Logic discusses the groundbreaking NAB Show Cares program that looks to address hefty drayage and material handling fees at the National Association of Broadcasters show.

March 25: Dave Scott, long time Portland on-air radio fixture, gets into the podcast game with his Embrace the Change podcast.

May 13: Phil Gorski discusses 3D Virtual Tour Technology and how it can affect tradeshow marketers.

April 8: Tom Beard of Eco-Systems Sustainable Displays talks sustainability in the exhibit world. This vlog/podcast made more timely by the recent announcement that Classic Exhibits and Eco-Systems are merging.

June 17: Danny Orleans. Magic on the tradeshow floor is always an attractor. Danny, Chief Magic Operator at Corporate Magic Ltd talks about how he works magic into a presentation.

June 3: David Newman of Do It Marketing talks, as you might expect, marketing. I have to admit that I like to read his emails, which come about once a day. Really short, but a good mix of very usable info and pitches.

July 22: Howard Berg. Fascinating, fast-paced learning. Howard was a gas.

July 15: Ken Newman of Magnet Productions. Ken travels the world doing his professional presentations for tradeshow clients. He is also a big presence in the Blanket the Homeless effort in the SF Bay area, and talks about both in this fun interview.

September 16: Jay Gilbert, a long time music industry executive has had his own company for years now. And while this is not much related to the tradeshow world, it’s a fascinating look at what it takes in the world of music promotion.

September 23: Laura Allen, The Pitch Girl, helps distill the essence of your pitch down to a simply formula. Very useful in so many situations!

There are many more of course – just search for TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee – or browse the archives at your leisure.

We’ll be back next week with another episode.


“Up My Influence” Podcast Features TradeshowGuy

Not too long ago, Josh Elledge of Up My Influence reached out to me and asked if I’d be a guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur podcast. Sure, why not? Sounds like fun!

Take a listen:

Josh posted The Thoughtful Entrepreneur podcast complete with transcript here. Check out the main site here: Up My Influence.


7 Questions You’ll Never Ask Your Exhibit House (Free Report)

Nine Soft Rock Songs to Guide Your Tradeshow Success

Okay, we can look at a lot of different things to help us along the way to a successful tradeshow appearance. I’ve posted on this blog about 6 classic rock songs to help you become a better tradeshow marketer, or the music inspired blog posts post here.

Let’s try something a little softer and head for the soft rock or pop rock side of things from the 70s.

Gotta greet your visitors! Say hello to those passing by to start a fruitful engagement with them Follow it up with a pertinent question and you’re off to determining if they’re a potential customer or not.

Friendliness goes hand in hand with engagement. Andrew Gold’s classic echoes the idea of being friends, or at least extending a friendly face to those in your booth.

After hours often means dinners with clients, parties and other gatherings. England Dan and John Ford Coley make the perfect expression of the invitation.

Whether the show is in Las Vegas, Anaheim or Boston, part of the process of getting potential clients to the show is to invite them. You can insert the city name in the title of this song to match the destination you’re headed for, but the sentiment is the same, thanks to Dave Loggins.

Selling is all about having a product or service that people actually want! Yes, in this song Lobo is looking for love, but the idea is similar: I have a desire to have you want what I’m offering!

Similar to Logo, Badfinger takes this Paul McCartney-penned ditty and invites all visitors to just come on down and get it! Samples, demos, in-booth activities – come and get it!

After all is said and done for the day, for some people it’s a relaxing and restful night in the hotel room. For others it’s a quiet chill down at the local watering hole before calling it a night. Maria Muldaur makes that invitation.

Walking the show floor means walking line after line of exhibits. Gerry Rafferty takes it one at a time, right down the line.

You tried hard to make that sale. But you came up short. And now she’s gone. Hall and Oates know that even though she is gone, the sun still rises and another prospect is just around the corner.

There you have it – nine songs that look to capture the sentiment of tradeshows inside the bars of a song and the rhythms and rhymes of a lyric. Maybe you can come up with your own playlist and share. Or at least do a little slow dancing along the way!


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