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


Awareness Can Lead to Tradeshow Success: Video

The simple act of being aware of what’s going on can transform an average exhibiting experience into a successful one. Here’s a quick video on what you things you might want to be more aware of next time you’re exhibiting.

Books I’ve Read so Far This Year

I’m a reader and have been since an early age. I grew up on comic books, the National Lampoon and Mad Magazine, and then as a teenager moved into science fiction. Favorites included Robert Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, Poul Anderson, Harlan Ellison and many others. Nowadays I tend towards Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series, Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series. Very little science fiction, although late last year I did read William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition. Not really science fiction, but good. Not his best, but enjoyable. I should have probably included it in this round-up photo below, but hey, it didn’t make it!

The books in the photo include:

Michael Connelly’s The Crossing, The Burning Room, and Chasing the Dime. I have about five or so left in the series, which now stands at more than two dozen, and then I’m caught up with Harry Bosch. The TV series on Amazon does a stellar job of portraying the stories and the characters. The books are straightforward murder mysteries and Harry Bosch is well-painted on the pages.

Lee Child has over two dozen Jack Reacher novels, and I have just a few left before I wrap up the series. He’s retiring from writing the Reacher novels, as he’s burnt out and his brother is taking over. Jack Reacher is one of the more interesting characters created of late, to my way of looking at things. Retired military investigator, a huge man who loves a good fight and has no qualms about killing a bad guy if he deserves it. Night School, Make Me, Personal and Midnight Line were all quick and enjoyable reads.

Ted Chiang’s Exhalation came to my attention from a review I’d read in the New York Times. It’s a collection of short stories. I’m new to reading Ted, and they were all fascinating, some more so than others. The stories border in science fiction and could in fact be called science fiction, but they’re so entertaining and at times otherworldly, that you hardly notice.

Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore was a helluva fun ride. Light reading, very well entertaining, and quick moving. It went by very quickly and I loved it.

David Lagercrantz’s The Girl Who Lived Twice is another in the Lisbeth Salander series, started by Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo which, to me, is one of the strongest female characters created in fiction in the past couple of decades. Having said that, this was a disappointing addition to the series. After I finished it, I realized that the main character, Lisbeth Salander, was only in the book maybe a third of the time. Weird.

The latest in the Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne series, The Bourne Evolution, is from Brian Freeman. It’s his first take on the character after several books by Eric Van Lustbader. I’m about 75% through, so I figure I can include in this wrap-up. Without going to deep into the plot, I found it interesting that Freeman created a mass shooting in Las Vegas (which really happened), but fictionalized the shooter and other events surrounding it. I’ve only read a couple of the Van Lustbader Bourne books, and it’s been several years, but I remember them as being quite entertaining. This new one falls short of the bar, I think. Too many of the scenes and the plot seems to be cookie-cutter, but with Jason Bourne, I suppose that’s what you get at this point.

James Clear’s Atomic Habits took me a while. I couldn’t get into the habit of reading it! But finally I finished it after a few false starts. Perhaps, that while it has some great ideas that can and have helped a lot of people, I found that I’m already doing a lot of things mentioned. It’s a ginormous seller, having sold more than a million copies along the way. And yes, it’s a very good book. You’ll probably get a lot out of it, if you’re willing to do what he suggests.

Finally, I’m leaving Isabel Allende’s Island Beneath the Sea for last, because it’s one of the best novels I’ve read in the last few years. It’s a 40-year span intense look at the founding of Haiti and takes place during the Haiti revolution during the late 18th century and early 19th century. It’s fascinating, bloody, brutal. The characters jump off the page. I’d highly recommend it. It moves pretty quickly, even though at times the prose gets a little thick as it dives into the context of the times and how the characters grow and change.

To me, that seems like a lot of books. But. My wife, who was laid off for nearly four months thanks to the COVID-19, did a lot of reading and told me a little while ago that she’s read 30 books so far this year. Thirty! Very little of it was fiction. Most are current historical releases that focus on black and women’s history and political impact. I wish I could find time to read all of them, they all look good!

What are you reading?

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, September 14, 2020: Jason Graham-Nye

One of the first clients I managed to snare in my early days in the tradeshow world came when I cold-called a Portland-based company called gDiapers. It took awhile, maybe a few months, but we ended up designing and fabricating two tradeshow exhibits for them. At one point five or six years ago, they decided to stop exhibiting at tradeshows and focus on other marketing efforts.

I wanted to catch up with gDiapers CEO Jason Graham-Nye to see what he and the company have been up to lately. I know Jason moved his family back home to Australia five years ago from Portland, which meant changes for the company as well.

Little did I know what kind of adventures he and his team got up do, especially once the coronavirus hit. I hope you enjoy the conversation – I sure did:

Check out gDiapers.

This week’s ONE GOOD THING: The return of the NFL.

Subscribe to TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee on Apple Podcasts here.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Tradeshow Marketing here, where the vlog version of the podcast appears weekly.

Pandemic SWOT Analysis

You’re familiar with a SWOT Analysis, I presume?

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

Year ago, I wrote a brief article on doing a tradeshow marketing SWOT Analysis, which would be a bit different from a more general SWOT Analysis.

But now that we’re in a pandemic created by the COVID-19, how would you approach doing a SWOT Analysis and is it worth doing?

Photo by PhotoMIX Company from Pexels

I would argue that while a formal SWOT is probably unnecessary, it’s not a bad idea to at least examine some of the changes the pandemic has wrought, to see what obvious and perhaps significant changes your company is facing.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

How are you positioned in the marketplace? Do you have new products about to launch? How are you perceived by your customers and clientele? Are you doing things to keep relationships going? Are sales strong or flat? Just knowing these and other related things will help you understand your position in the marketplace compared to your competition and compared to how you might have been with no pandemic.


With no tradeshow marketing coming for at least another quarter or two, can you put the budget towards something else? Is a virtual event worth the investment? Can you do another kind of outreach for a fraction of the cost of exhibiting at a big tradeshow? Take a look at your options and see if there are missed opportunities that you may have overlooked.


Are there marketplace threats you sense but perhaps haven’t put your finger on? Are your supplier lines still open and working well, or are there kinks that may signal something worse down the line? Do you have any competitors that are taking this time to move aggressively into an area that you thought you dominated? Threats are often overlooked because, unless you actively think about them and look for them, they can sneak up on you without you knowing until it’s too late.

All in all, doing a brief SWOT check-in may help you understand how the company is doing and give you insight and context in how you’ll handle the rest of the year and move into 2021.

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, September 7, 2020: Perspective

It’s not always easy to put your life into perspective when you’re caught up in the daily crazy stuff that can overwhelm you. In this episode of TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, I make an attempt to take a longer view of life, and how to deal with what you want to do in your time on this planet. Happy Labor Day!

Subscribe to TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee on Apple Podcasts here.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Tradeshow Marketing here, where the vlog version of the podcast appears weekly.

Moving Forward: 10 Things Exhibitors Should Do Now: Video

After viewing Exhibitor Magazine‘s latest survey data last week from the exhibitor and supply side of the tradeshow world, it got me to thinking about what exhibitors should do now. Here’s a short video:

Check out Exhibitor Magazine online here, and view the Exhibitor Insight Presentation I made reference to as well.

Exhibit Fabricators Add Protective Equipment

It’s not a stretch to see how tradeshow exhibit manufacturers can use the same exhibit building blocks and, with a little creativity, create much-needed physical barriers, office dividers, safety shields and more. We’ve been fortunate over the years here at TradeshowGuy Exhibits to work with one of the top exhibit manufacturers in the country, Classic Exhibits. Their creativity in design and their ability to put great products out that meet needs is unmatched, in my humble opinion.

Whether it’s coming up with needed rental equipment for corporate gatherings, office dividers, or hand sanitizer stations – all that look sharp and are miles beyond what you typically see in offices and retail stores – they keep adding.

Check out these desktop safety shields, newly available from TradeshowGuy Exhibits, manufactured by Classic Exhibits:

Download the PDFs here:

Chances are your desk or reception area doesn’t exactly fit the dimensions in the examples, in which case leave it to our designers to create a rendering showing exactly how they would look in your facility. Just go to and contact us, or call the number at the top of this page.

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, August 31, 2020: Jane Gentry

In the midst of a pandemic, what’s a nationwide staffing entity to do? In this week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, we find out how one agency is doing it, anyway. Jane Gentry, CEO of Fusion, spoke with me about how they’re addressing the myriad issues surrounding staffing events and retail outlets both physically and virtually.

Plus, she shares some great tips toward the end about how to make more sales and maintain great relationships. Take a look/listen:

Find Fusion online here.

This week’s ONE GOOD THING: Twitter.

Subscribe to TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee on Apple Podcasts here.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Tradeshow Marketing here, where the vlog version of the podcast appears weekly.

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