Over the last week I’ve been pondering the differences between having very specialized knowledge or training, such as being a commercial jet pilot or brain surgeon, versus having more generalized knowledge, such as knowing how to use MS Word, or posting things online. I got to the point where I decided that I’d ruminate on it for awhile for this week’s vlog-slash-podcast:
Tradeshows are hectic and chaotic and it’s easy to forget things when you’re in the midst of the maelstrom. Here’s a quick video on ten things that might be easy to forget:
A couple of months ago I interviewed Michael F. Schein, founder of Microfame Media, on the TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee vlog/podcast about his new book, The Hype Handbook. He sent me a PDF copy of it and it languished on my iPad for several weeks before I finally got to it.
And I’m glad I did. It’s a fun and worthwhile read. It’s chock full of entertaining examples of how hype has been used for good and not so good ways in the world. Yes, it’s great to see how hype is used in good ways, but to Michael’s point, sharing stories of ways hype has been used to nefarious ends is really useful, once you break down what was actually done.
From Alice Cooper’s promoter trying to sell tickets in London to the founding of the Nation of Islam; from the Greek God Hermes to Andrew Loog Oldham’s brilliant positioning of the Rolling Stones and more, it’s all here: how the right hype at the right moment can create big splashes, long careers or even legends. Not only does The Hype Handbook give you a great collection of historical stories as examples, Schein breaks down the twelve hype strategies and shows you how you can use them to your own advantage.
Become a Trickster; Make Love Not War; Find a Void and Fill It; Embrace Theater and Drama are just some of the twelve indispensable success secrets you’ll find in The Hype Handbook.
As in any business or marketing book, you could find fault with a few things here and there, and if I had to point out a few shortcomings, it’s that I doubt I could use all twelve of the methods described. Most people probably couldn’t. But if you find one thing to use that shows off your product or service or company in a light that you otherwise wouldn’t have come up with, the price of admission is more than worth it. It’s a great read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Last April I had Rama Beerfas of Lev Promotions on the show to talk about how the pandemic had affected her world. Thought it was time to check in again and see what has changed in the meantime. Yes, at least some things have changed, including the challenges of promotional product vendors to bring items in from across the sea. Check it out:
Ever have one of those moments when you wish you had a picture of something from the tradeshow appearance you did, oh, six months ago, but you can’t find it? Setting up your exhibit at a tradeshow is a fleeting moment, and the more photos you take and the more records you keep, the better off you’ll be as you prepare for next year’s show. Here’s a quick video on a handful of things you might consider tracking from show to show:
We’re overwhelmed with choices on a daily basis. How many decisions do we make, on average, in a single day? The answer may surprise you! On this week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, I take a look at the decision-making process on choices large and small:
Check out the Seth Godin podcast I mentioned on Modern Choice Theory at Akimbo.link.
This week’s ONE GOOD THING: Audio-Technica AT202USB microphone.
Yeah, everyone is tweeting or posting social media from tradeshows. But is there any plan behind those posts? Here are 7 great ways to make sure you’ve got cohesiveness to your social media outreach at shows.
It was March 2, 2020, when things began to fall apart. When things really started to hit home.
I was getting ready to head out to Portland to catch a flight to Southern California to assist a number of exhibiting clients at Natural Products Expo West. It was a Monday, and I’d already heard from a few clients the previous week who’d decided to pull out. By the time Monday morning rolled around there were still some clients hanging on, but as the morning progressed as I alternated between packing and checking email and refilling my coffee, another couple of clients had cancelled.
In the midst of all of that, I managed to set my Hydroflask coffee cup in the microwave to heat another cup. You’re not supposed to microwave it. As I stood in the kitchen with a hundred things bouncing around my head, I didn’t realize what I’d done until it was too late. Oops! Hydroflask coffee cup meltdown!
The AirBnb was already booked, as was the flight and the rental car. I had reached out to a couple of friends that I was planning to drop by to see. I spoke with my wife and we came to the conclusion that since it was all paid for, even though there were only a client or two left on the list who still intended to be there, I might as well head out. What’s the worst that could happen, right?
As I sat on the plane in Portland awaiting takeoff, I got an email from the only client who had so far not cancelled. Now they were withdrawing. No clients left. A moment later, the official email came from New Hope: Expo West was cancelled. Nothing to do now but ride it out.
The next day, I went to the Anaheim Convention Center and found that about half of our clients had exhibit crates sitting in their booth space, but no one from the company had come to the show. So of course, I offered to assist. I spent the day coordinating return shipments, making sure that clients were taken care of.
The next few days were mostly a nice little vacation. I visited a handful of friends in the area, visited both the Nixon and Reagan Presidential libraries, which were fascinating, then spent a day at Joshua Tree National Park. Got a tour of the Entercom radio building on Wilshire, thanks to my cousin who worked there. Good memories. Hard to believe it’s been a year.
Since then, Expo West was initially postponed for a couple of months. Then cancelled. Then Expo East was cancelled. Then Expo West for 2021 was pushed back to the end of May. Then it was turned into a virtual event.
Shows keep getting pushed back, postponed and cancelled. Yes, a few are going on here and there, but industry vets seem to agree that tradeshows and conferences won’t return in full until early 2022. Sure, there might be an uptick in shows in Q3 and Q4, but not like it used to be. In fact, 2022 is still kind of up in the air.
Closer to home, TradeshowGuy Exhibits is still operational. We’re not going anywhere, and are looking to when clients are ready to upgrade exhibits for shows in 2022 and beyond. In the meantime, we’ve found a way to keep moving ahead – like most everyone we know – and keep after it day by day.
I had heard of the group Women in Exhibition, bur frankly admit that that’s about all I knew: that it existed. So I caught up with Katina Rigall Zipay, Creative Director at Classic Exhibits, and someone’s who’s been intimately involved in Women in Exhibition for years. We had a fun conversation and I learned a lot. No doubt you will, too:
Women in Exhibition has a LinkedIn group you can find here.
And check out the Women in Exhibition Virtual Experience here.
This week’s ONE GOOD THING: Carl Hiaasen’s “Squeeze Me.”