There are as many different kinds of friendships as there are friends. Some are business-related, some are school or college-related, others are just friendships you struck up from people you met randomly. This episode of TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee peeks at friendships.
I got an email the other day from someone whose newsletter I had just subscribed to, and in the introduction email there was a link to the top 5 most read blog posts on her blog. That’s when an idea light lit up over my head and gave me an idea for a blog post (as a blogger, you’re always looking for ideas, right?).
Next thing you know I was pawing through my Google Analytics account to find out what were the most-viewed posts on this blog. These are the ones that floated to the top, for whatever reason. It’s all organic. I don’t advertise, but I do share links now and then on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. On occasion there might be a link here from Pinterest. Or another blog.
This blog is aging. It’s over ten years old, having been launched in November, 2008. There are almost 1000 posts.
One more note: the analytics breakdown shows the front page as “most-viewed” and a couple of pages (not posts) showed up in the top ten as well, including the Contact Me page and the We Accept Blog Submissions page. But beyond that, here are the top ten blog posts since the beginning of the blog (in traditional countdown order):
Number Ten: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Exhibit RFPs. I created a one-page sheet on what should go into an Exhibit RFP (Request for Proposal), and posted it on Cheatography.com, a site for thousands of cheat sheets. Kind of fun. They regularly sent me emails telling me how many times it was downloaded (500! 1000! 1500!). Not sure how accurate that is, but obviously it’s been seen by a lot of people. From September 2017.
Number Seven: How to Build a Tradeshow-Specific Landing Page.Inspired by Portland’s Digimarc, it’s a look at the steps you can use to put together an online site specifically to interact with potential tradeshow booth visitors. From December 2017.
Aaaaand, at Number ONE: SWOT Analysis for Tradeshows. It still surprises me that this post gets a whopping 3.95% of all of the traffic on the site. At the time I wrote it I had been spending a fair amount of time with a friend who was going through school to get his degree in marketing, and one thing that we discussed in depth was the SWOT Analysis. S=Strengths; W=Weaknesses; O=Opportunities; T=Threats. It’s a great exercise to work through in regards to your tradeshow marketing appearances. Check it out. It’s from February 2015.
In such a connected world, there is a lot of value and importance placed in disconnecting from everything for a short while. But do we really do it that much? In this week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, I disconnect from the grid for a few days.
I’ve alluded to Seth Godin’s The Marketing Seminar a few times in recent blog posts and podcasts/vlogs. In this episode I discuss the online seminar in more detail – without giving away much at all. It’s a great course, and I highly recommend it. Check the below for some bonus Seth Godin material.
What does it take to be sustainable in regards to your tradeshow marketing program? Regarding your tradeshow exhibit booth? In today’s episode of the TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, I chat with Tom Beard, National Sales Manager of Eco-Systems Sustainable Displays:
For this week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee podcast-slash-vlog, I thought it’d be fun to chat with a longtime radio broadcaster that I’ve crossed paths with a few times during my radio career. Dave Scott started in radio about the same time I did – the mid-70s – and has tales to tell. So that’s fun.
But one of the reasons I wanted to talk to him was to get more information about his new podcast, Embrace the Change, which you dan find at his website, DaveScottNow.com.
Natural Products Expo West is in the books for another year. About 85,000 attendees, 3,600+ exhibitors made for a crazy, chaotic and ultimately fun week in Anaheim. From the Airbnb in Santa Ana where I caught a little down time between long and busy days to the early morning free breakfast and the after-show Oregon party at McCormick and Schmick’s, it was a helluva week. Take a look:
This year, our company TradeshowGuy Exhibits, had a great showing at Natural Products Expo West. In fact, our best ever, as we introduced three new clients and five new projects. Let’s take a look:
Schmidt’s Naturals has been a client for a few years, but this year they stepped up from a 10×20 custom exhibit to a brand new 10×40 custom exhibit. The brand, which was purchased in late 2017 by Unilever, has seen fast growth for an expanding product line that was created basically out of a Portland garage a decade ago.
The new 10×40 custom booth features backlit panels from side to side, a generous closet and a pair of LED-highlighted display podiums with storage. The design is clean with lots of white space, and is set off by colorful iconic custom flooring.
Wildbrine’s designer worked with our designer to come up with a clean and colorful 10×20 design that featured a bright green design for the flooring, and bright colors for the back wall and side return walls. There is an inset shelving unit in the closet, lit by white LEDs and a set of RGB custom-controlled lights.
Another custom 10×20, this one highlighted by a large mounted monitor, a big lightbox and a custom product display. Two similar counters for drink machines and literature and an LED-highlighted round charging table topped it off, along with a white oak printed rollable vinyl floor.
Hop Tea, out of Boulder, Colorado, is a company founded last May! They found us online and we partnered with Salem’s TimbrandMoss to create a custom reclaimed barnwood back wall and counters to serve their brewed tea through kegerators. The back wall accommodated a rented refrigerator. The front counter was highlighted by a burnt-in logo. We also created a cut-out vinyl-wrapped 3D version of thei rlogo to hang from the back wall. Their product won a Nexty award for Best New Ready-to-Drink Beverage. And their exhibit went over really well in the Hilton Hot New Products hall!
I go back over a decade with Hyland’s. The company I worked for back in 2005, Interpretive Exhibits (since closed due to retirement), designed and built a unique koa wood 10×20 exhibit. They’ve used it ever since – except for this year. They wanted a brighter, simpler approach, and we helped put together a large 8′ x 20′ single-photo pop-up back wall. Striking!
Graphic Updates: Bob’s Red Mill, Wedderspoon and Dave’s Killer Bread/Alpine Valley
Long-time clients Bob’s Red Mill, Wedderspoon and Dave’s Killer Bread had us do some updates. For Bob’s Red Mill, we coordinated the creation of a 42″ touchscreen video unit in the alcove portion of their booth, along with graphic updates throughout the exhibit.
For Dave’s Killer Bread, new graphics included a stark look at second-chance employment for convicted felons on their front counter, and the addition of a video monitor which looped a short video on the issue.
For Wedderspoon Manuka Honey, some more graphic updates. All great clients to work with – and glad to have them all!
I didn’t think the halls at the Anaheim Convention Center could get busier and more crowded than the previous day here at the Natural Products Expo West, but I guess I’m wrong.
It was really busy, and my FitBit says I’m at about 23,000 steps as I write this around 8:30pm. So not only did I walk a lot, bump into a lot of people, ingest about a billion food samples, but my feet hurt like jiminy cricket. Or whatever expletive you want to insert.
The day started with a referral from a present client. This is what’s so great about having your company’s exhibits on display at such a big show. Someone will inevitably see a booth, inquire as to what company designed and built it, and voila, a connection is made. It doesn’t mean any business will come out of it, but at least, from a sales standpoint, you’re working with a warm lead. So I tracked down the other exhibitor and we had a good introductory conversation. Who knows where it will lead.
Which is how I approach the whole walking-the-show-floor bit. During a long and busy day, you end up standing in front of a booth and someone in the space will ask a question, which starts a conversation. What do you do? Where are you from? Questions lead to answers, which lead to more questions. I’ve learned to be patient, and be open. Since my natural inclination is to be mostly introverted, putting myself out there isn’t natural. It requires more focus and energy. But good things usually come from it. No expectations, no real agenda other than meeting people.
With such a big show, one must make a conscious choice to move from one hall to another, from one floor to another, from one building to another. Otherwise you just won’t see everything. And even when you do that, there’s no way in hell one person can engage with 3500 exhibitors in three or four days. Do the math: that’s about 1000 a day, and with the halls open 8 hours, that’s about 125 an hour, or one booth every 30 seconds. Ain’t gonna happen!
Since that’s the case, I spend a lot of time working to reconnect with people I’ve met in the past, so we can make a brief reacquaintance, which is always good for business. During this process, you find out changes: companies bought or sold, employees promoted or changing jobs, or leaving the company. That’s what makes the world go around: change. It’s what leads to new business. What worked a year ago may not work next year. Any business owner or salesperson should be prepared for those opportunities.
During the day I had opportunities to take photos of exhibits, exhibitors, mascots and get my photo taken. Lots got posted on social media – always fun to give a shoutout to exhibitors to make the whole thing more fun. Let me close the day with a few more photos!