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


Essentials of Tradeshow Booth Design: Slide Deck

If you got a chance to see the webinar I did recently with Handshake, thanks! I hope you got something useful out of it. I’ve had a handful of requests for the slide deck so people can review it closer. Here’s the deck:

If you’d like to see the replay, click here.

Use a Webinar to Promote Your Tradeshow Appearance

I must get two dozen webinar invitations a week. On average, I attend one or two a week. Some are useful, most are not that great.

So is the webinar-as-promotion tool saturated? Overused? I suppose it depends on where you’re coming from. Many attend webinars, but even more people do not. And most companies don’t use webinars to show their expertise on a specific subject.

Webinars are useful when they are narrow, drilled-down topics, when they’re used to show expertise or to promote a specific product or skill.

But I think the exhibit industry is missing one area where a webinar might prove to be a very useful promotional tool: to promote an appearance at an upcoming tradeshow.

Here’s a brief video I put together to explore this topic:

Download the slide deck here.

A Dozen More Social Media Ideas for Your Tradeshow

  1. Tech@NYU Startup Week Spring 2011

    Put a ‘like’ button on your website. Install a FB widget.

  2. Keep Twitter followers informed. Information seems to spread quickly through the Twitterverse – it’s extremely easy to retweet a post and share. If you send something out on Twitter, chances are good that someone somewhere will pass it along.
  3. Make sure your Twitter profile is complete. This means having at least the basics: a link back to your site – or better yet, a specific Twitter landing page or to your Facebook page so they can connect with you on another platform; a good photo; and enough information so a visitor can decide if you’re worth interacting with.
  4. Tag posts ,YouTube uploads, Flickr photos: tags are how people find you. You can’t tag things enough.
  5. Schedule tweets and FB postings using Hootsuite. ‘Nuff said.
  6. Create an alumni group for your event on LinkedIn. It’s a great way to keep in touch with folks after the actual event, and to get them involved in the next event you do. If it’s not your event, look for a show group on LinkedIn. If there’s not one, consider starting one.
  7. Create a Deal. Yup, people love a deal, and they’ll go out of their way to get a good deal. How will they find out about your deal? One very effective way is through social media, especially Facebook and Twitter. If it’s a great deal, your followers will tell their followers, and so on.
  8. Use Foursquare to create deals for followers and check-ins Foursquare is still a bit out of the mainstream, but it is useful for those who choose to get involved. It’s yet another way for people to connect with you at a tradeshow booth.
  9. Use or create #hashtag for your event. This allows anyone on Twitter to track down any information on the show.
  10. Create a custom Twitter Background. Yeah, the basic Twitter backgrounds are sort of nice, a bit bland, but a custom Twitter background really helps to set you apart from the crowd. Just search for ‘create custom Twitter background’ and get a ton of resources.
  11. Need to get a video stream out? Use or
  12. Put your slide deck on Are you speaking at a show or conference? Share your slide deck with people who couldn’t make it to the show.
Creative Commons License

 photo credit: techatnyu

Exploding iPad Use at Tradeshows

A few months ago I took a look at ways you can use iPads at tradeshows. Several bloggers chimed in with apps and ideas that were are worth a look. Given the exploding popularity of iPads once the iPad 2 came out in March of this year, perhaps its time to take another look.

Classic Exhibits of Portland is stepping into the hardware side of the iPad tradeshow discussion by making various bits of hardware, including counter inserts, swivel stands and other frames. Get a look here (yes, we’re a dealer – if you want an iPad mounting unit from Classic, give me a call or drop a line!)…

Roger Lewis at Alliance Tech looks at many ways iPads can be used, including (but not limited to): product demos, lead retrieval,  surveys, electronic marketing and social media. Check his post here.

The National Conference Center Blog chimed in with a few ideas for iPad usage here, including building navigation and white-boarding.

And if you’re considering using iPads at tradeshows, make sure you don’t do a few things, like not confirming you have wi-fi access (and more). This list thanks to FatStax Apps.

Lou Bartizan of Bartizan Connects recently posted a slideshow at on ways to use the iPad at tradeshows. Check it out here:

Event Marketing Summit –Thoughts on a Conference

Just wrapping up the three-day Event Marketing Summit at Chicago’s Hyatt Regency – and so how has it gone?

Tim meets the Sumo wrestling world champ...
Tim meets the Sumo wrestling world champ...

First, the real reason I came was that I was invited to speak – and that I did. Beyond that I had a chance to attend learning sessions with some great presenters from a wide variety of folks in the event marketing world – and network with people from across the country and as it turns out, several countries as well.

On Monday I gave a 40-minute presentation ‘The Tradeshow Four-Pack: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube” on how to use social media to promote tradeshows, events and conferences.

Had a great time doing the presentation and received very positive feedback. I’ve included the slide presentation below. Having put together a lot of webinars and live presentations, I try to use the slides to support the stories I tell and the points I make. So – unlike a lot of slide decks – there aren’t as many statistics and detailed information as you might like to see. But that’s the point: the slides should support and enliven the stories – not tell them for you.

In watching other presentations throughout the past two days, most (but not all) of them went overboard with information on the slides. And most presenters ended up almost reading many of the slides verbatim.

There was one presentation – a keynote by author Scott Belsky (“Making Things Happen”) – which to my mind was extraordinary for a couple of reasons. First, Scott is obviously an accomplished presenter. He knows his topic inside and out – he’s lived it. Second, the slides were there to support his presentation – not to BE the presentation. The visuals he used to help illustrate the stories were well designed, easy-to-understand and were enhanced but not overwhelmed with animated elements.

One of the best reasons to attend an event like the Event Marketing Summit is for the networking. This event it set up with numerous networking opportunities and even for a hesitant networker such as myself it’s a lot easier to reach out to people and find out who they are and what they do and to see if there are opportunities to help them out.

The event is bigger and broader than I thought it would be. At the opening luncheon it was announced there are about 1000 people attending, including many from other countries.  It seemed like half the people I met, though, are from Texas! I did encounter Carol Abade of EXP, who came with a group of eight from South Africa.  Her company puts on a conference every October and may bring some speakers over from the states. She asked if I’d ever been to South Africa. No, but it would be quite an experience – so, yeah, I’m game!

Mozes provided text message survey results and updates throughout the conference. In fact, at the beginning of most presentations (but not mine!), the moderator asked everyone to respond via text to a survey question, with results being shown in real time.  The survey results were interesting, but it seemed at times that they felt like because they had the service, they had to use it – some of the questions seemed contrived. Nonetheless it was a good tool and it got people engaged at the outset of the sessions.

I used a service called Opiniator to ask three separate questions during my presentation. I liked the display of results in Opiniator better than Mozes, simply because they were shown in graphical form and to my mind easier to read (see screen shots of the results as they were displayed in the attached slide deck).

As far as the actual presentations, my overall judgment is that they were generally of a higher quality than I’ve come to expect at events like this. Speakers seemed more prepared. They handled questions adeptly. Slide decks – for the most part – were appropriately balanced between offering too much information and being too bare. There were some presentations, however that fell short in at least one respect. I tweeted after one presentation that whoever designed the slides should have kept in mind that slides are free. Instead of putting ten slides’ worth of information on one slide, they could have broken it up into ten slides. Putting too much info on one slide does a couple of things: first, they’re harder to read and second, if you are able to read all of the information, it’s natural to jump ahead, read the entire contents of the slide and make the presenter superfluous. As a presenter, it’s not in your best interests to do that!

From an organizational standpoint, the Event Marketing Summit is exceptional. The Hyatt Regency facility is set up to handle all of this. Everything went off without a hitch (from my perspective – who knows what happened behind the scenes!), so the attendees all seemed pleased with the event overall.

Dan Hanover, the General Manager with Red7 Media Division of Access Intelligence, was my main contact. Red 7 is the publisher of a number of magazines in the event and media industry, including Event Marketing, EXPO and Event Design, and produces numerous events nationwide tied to the magazine audiences, along with smaller regional events. Red 7 Media was acquired this year by Access Intelligence.

Kudos to Red 7 and all the speakers for a fabulous and engaging event.


Managing Your Online Relationships

If you’re online and involved in social media, you’ll soon run into the question: how to manage those online relationships? After all, you don’t really KNOW these people that you’re connected to. You don’t HANG OUT with them on weekends. You don’t PARTY with them.

But they’re still in your life. Sort of. Your digital life, anyway.

It’s an interesting question, and there’s no one answer. But I did run across a slide show from Heidi Miller that addresses the question. I didn’t get to see or hear her presentation, but the slides will give you a lot to think about:

EDPA Slides and Audio Playback

Due to popular demand (okay, I had a couple of people ask if these items would be available and for some unknown reason I’m able to accommodate them), here are the slides and the slightly edited live audio recording of the recent presentation I made on social media at the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association annual conference. This was in early December in Jacksonville, Florida. I had a damn good time. I hope you enjoy this.

Note: you should be able to listen to this in ‘real-time’ and follow along with the slides. The presentation is about 45 minutes (with Q&A) and there are 90 slides so you’ll be clicking through, on average, about two slides per minute.

PS. If you listen closely to my advice about blogging, you’ll notice that I’m breaking my own rule with this post.

A Social Playbook for Marketing Events – David Berkowitz Keynote

If you’ve discovered one thing about this blog, it’s that I like to share cool articles, videos and information from other folks that are of a like mind or offering info that is in the same vein.

With that said, I ran across a terrific presentation from David Berkowitz, a guy I’ve followed for years. Great writer, fun thinker…he’s billed as a ‘social media and mobile marketing strategist for i360, blogger at, author of weekly Social Media Insider with Media Post; speaker, columnist on media, marketing and technology.’

David was the keynote speaker at ‘Event Camp 2010 conference in New York City, it covers social media marketing for event planners, including lessons organizers can learn from other marketers. It focuses on developing a strategy for social media, along with top trends such as mobile social networking, social metrics, augmented reality, and Facebook connect.’

Informative and thoughtful slide show from that presentation:

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