Archive for the ‘Trade Show Manager Ideas’ Category

For those in the corporate world who have to travel to earn their pay, many times we find ourselves in the presence of unpleasant people.

From plane trips to restaurants to meetings or events, an occasional rude person expresses his or her discomfort at something we may have said or should have said or did or didn’t do.

Sometimes their unhappiness is expressed by a few choice words, a nasty look, or – if we are driving and someone feels we are not driving fast enough – the mere dexterity of their fingers communicates the message. Hopefully, you don’t feel compelled to respond to this form of communication, other insults or goofy looks that others throw your way. It’s easy to respond; however, it’s more challenging – if not rewarding – to not respond. The next time you get the urge to respond, remember this story:

Buddha was once asked by his disciples why he didn’t respond to the insults that others would cast toward him. Buddha said, “Imagine what would happen if someone placed a gift at your feet and you chose to ignore it. Or someone sent you a letter and you did not open it.” The disciples answered that it would be returned to the original owner. Buddha responded with one word, “Exactly.”

Just let the anger or insult from another person pass you by, and, like a boomerang, it will have to go back to its owner. That is the one of the best and quickest ways to deal with mean people.

©2014BobGarner – See how these corporations brought the WOW factor to their eventshttp://tinyurl.com/62u2u2y

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SWAG (which stands for the “Stuff We All Get”) at trade shows is enormous, yet it serves a purpose. While it can aid in getting attendees to stop by your booth, help initiate discussions, or be used as a “thank you” for coming to the booth, the main purpose is to help remind attendees about your booth and product/service after the show. In other words, it’s about post-show mind share.

Like much advertising/promotion (which is what SWAG is), some companies over-think it, some under-think it, and some don’t put any thought into it at all. With nearly 30 years of experience at trade shows for companies that range from small to Global 100 corporations, here are the most common groups and some tips to more effectively utilize the power of SWAG.

The Over-Thinkers:
It’s wonderful when an exhibit has a theme, and tying your give-away into your theme can be neat. However, primarily the people who will be aware of a booth “theme” are those who created it and possibly those who are working the booth. Attendees may notice, but they actually don’t care nor will they remember your theme.

What is most important on a giveaway is your logo and website. If you choose to have your slogan, that’s fine, too. But, keep in mind, instead of fussing over the tie-in to your theme – spend that time looking for a giveaway that will be something an attendee will actually want to take home. Any giveaway can be customized with your theme, but remember, unless it’s your slogan mark, they won’t remember your theme. Instead, focus on obtaining some SWAG that is eye-catching, interesting, fun or useful.

The Under-Thinkers:
Every year, a “new” giveaway is born and the under-thinkers jump on it not only because someone said it was new, but also because it’s an easy decision. Never mind that a bunch of other exhibits will have the same giveaway or that, as marketers, a little creativity is a good thing to use.

This group is the polar opposite of the over-thinkers and will put little thought into choosing a giveaway. Like the over-thinkers, you need to spend some time researching not the “latest and greatest,” but what would be appealing to your particular audience at the show. Think about what YOU would like to bring home or to the office.

The giveaway doesn’t have to be super expensive. There are many inexpensive, creative, eye-catching giveaways out there. You just need to do some research. As mentioned, it shouldn’t have tons of copy on it, a list of products, etc. It’s not a brochure; it’s SWAG. Keep it short and simple.

The Not-At All Thinkers:
This group usually consists of those who refuse to give away free stuff, because they don’t want a bunch of free loaders stopping by the booth. This group can also contain those who actually think that attendees don’t want free stuff!

Unless you have the hottest and latest product/service at the show, you are deluding yourself to think that your service/product is enough to entice potential customers from walking by your booth. True, some of your current customers may stop by, right before they go to your competitor’s booth that has giveaways. While they’re there, your competition can now chat with them, while you stand in your booth and check your email for the 30th time. You may get a few new attendees to drop in, but what’s the incentive?

While you will get the “tire kickers,” keep in mind that just because an attendee approaches your booth because of the free stuff, doesn’t mean they couldn’t necessarily be a good prospect. As mentioned, free stuff – if used properly in the booth – can aid in initiating conversations with reps.

Additionally, everyone likes free stuff; they just don’t like free junk or more of the same stuff that everyone else is giving away. I have been to countless high-level executive trade shows, and when we had a good giveaway, the “suits” take it. When you have a fun, unique or useful giveaway, attendees take it.

What I also find interesting about the last two groups of thinkers is that they spend a lot of time discussing signage, videos and booth design or money to sponsor the big party, a lunch or a banner and spend little to no money or time on choosing an object that an attendee can take back to his/her office or home with their company name/brand on it.

It’s highly unlikely that attendees will remember the look or design of your booth, your signs, your video or what company paid for lunch. But, when they take a piece of cool SWAG back home or to the office… now you have some mind share. It not only reminds them about your company, but, if it’s a neat giveaway, they talk about it with others back at work. It sits there on the desk or at home as a reminder of your company. That’s mind share; that’s power!

Therefore, in addition to the aforementioned benefits of using giveaways to initiate conversations or as a “thank you” for stopping at the trade show, some thought should be used when choosing your giveaways. Remember, SWAG is a small piece of advertising that gives an exhibitor the opportunity to provide current or potential customers with some mind share, after the event is over. And in today’s competitive business world … that’s the power of SWAG.

Bob Garner has nearly 30 years of experience as not only a trade show magician, but also as a consultant to many of his Fortune 1000 corporations on sales performance and trade show ROI. To see how you can increase your trade show ROI, watch his trade show magicians video.

©2013 Bob Garner. All Rights Reserved. Feel free to post this article, but please use my byline and resource box. Thank you.

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Convention and conference planners understand that with tight budgets, the advent of web meetings, and more companies than ever before hosting their own customer events, conference trade shows have taken a bit of a hit. Some conferences have vanished, while others have had to combine with other shows in order to stay alive. True, there are some conventions that are still robust, yet the footprint of many companies at those shows has been reduced.

Despite cutbacks, one concern that affects a company’s decision to exhibit at a show is whether they receive a quantifiable ROI from their participation. While conferences do make money from attendees, they also make a huge amount from exhibitors via exhibiting fees, sponsorships, and advertising opportunities at the show. Therefore, it would be in the conference planner’s (and conference management company’s) interest to aid exhibitors in receiving that ROI. The following are a few things that meeting and conference managers can do to make that happen:

1) Non-Conflicting Show Hours:
Probably the largest complaint from exhibitors is having the exhibit floor open while there are sessions running. Oftentimes, the traffic is light to non-existent and exhibitors view this as a waste of time.

Conducting sessions concurrently during exhibit floor hours forces your attendees to choose between attending sessions (for CEUs, personal interest, etc.) and visiting exhibitor’s booths. Depending on the industry, you may be required to supply a certain amount of educational hours. However, don’t keep the hall open at those times. Instead, start the sessions earlier or open the hall later. Possibly hold a session or two in the exhibit hall. This gives attendees the freedom to attend the session, while others can visit the booths.

2) Lunch is Not Hall Time:
Some conference planners still insist on having lunch in the exhibit hall and then starting up sessions shortly thereafter. By the time attendees have gotten through the food line and have eaten, there needs to be time for those attendees to visit the booths. Try to keep the hall open – with no conflicting sessions – for an hour or more after lunch. This not only helps your exhibitors, but also aids your attendees, as they do want to spend quality time with exhibitors without being rushed.

3) Talk to Exhibitors:
Make sure your staff actually visits all of the exhibitors – not just the large booths – and asks them for feedback. Make sure that the staff listens and backs up those conversations with viable actions.

4) Trade Show Police:
While every booth should adhere to the rules, don’t go overboard and run the show like it’s the military. I have seen small exhibits attacked for minor infractions, while larger booths get carte blanche. Remember, this is a trade show where companies are competing for the time and attention of attendees. While some companies spend money and time creating ways to attract attendees, others do not – and these are the exhibits that do most of the complaining. Again, there are rules, but they need to be flexible. A trade show is not a library or a high level meeting room. There will be noise, contests, attractions, and attendees in the aisles. As long as the noise is not overbearing and the aisles are relatively clear, then let the companies do what they do, which is compete.

Following these simple steps will aid your exhibitors in realizing a higher ROI from participating at your conference. While they seem simple and logical, many conferences planners and convention planners do not take them into consideration. Hence, why many companies have lessened their footprint at trade shows or have decided not to go at all. As a conference or meeting planner, it’s important to take all parties of your event – attendees and exhibitors – into consideration. After all, both are your customer, and part of your job is to help them to come together – so that all may benefit from being at your show.

With nearly 30 years of experience at trade shows, Bob Garner has seen it all. A trade show magician with clients worldwide, Bob has also counseled many of these clients on what shows to attend and how to exhibit. As one of the most respected trade show magicians in the business, Bob helps his clients achieve a high ROI.

©2012 Bob Garner. All Rights Reserved. You may use this article, but you must use the byline and author resource.

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As a trade show presenter, my job is to gather a crowd, entertain them and deliver important information about my client’s products and services. Being a trade show magician – actually, a trade show mentalist – and a corporate entertainer makes my job a little easier because I can entertain an audience. However, the job does entail delivering messages that will aid my clients in finding out who, among the crowd watching me, is interested in finding out more information and then getting  those attendees into the exhibit. It’s like being a live commercial that shows instant results!

I am always grateful to my clients when they provide me with a video testimonial. Even though all of my written testimonials are on file, the video testimonials are special.

Here are two of the latest:

In this video, my client confirms that I DOUBLED their booth demos…


In  this video, my client confirms that I created a “BUZZ” for them and aided their reps in “breaking the ice.”


Bottom Line: If you want to create a “BUZZ” at your booth, increase your number of demos, get more attention to your products and enhance your trade show ROI, then give me a call or go to my trade show magician site. Watch the video demo of my services as a trade  show corporate magician.

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Many companies are now allowing employees to work from home a day or two a week. And the vast majority of human resource professionals will be the first to tell an employee that working from home is a privilege, not a right – and they are correct. Just because you “think” you can do your job from home doesn’t mean that your company “thinks” you can. It’s about accountability and efficiency. If you can prove that you deliver at work, there is a good chance – with more companies offering telecommuting opportunities – you will have a good shot to “deliver” from home. However, if you’re the employee who is always gossiping, hanging out at the water cooler and “slow to perform,” then you will most likely not get “the nod.” Making the transition from working at the office to working from home requires not only self-discipline, but also adhering to a few strategies. As someone who has worked from home (or should I say a “home office”) for nearly 30 years, here are 6 strategies to help insure success:

1 – Your Environment: Clear out an area from which you can comfortably work. If this can be a stationary location such as a small desk or table in your abode – or a separate room – so much the better. That way, you know when you sit down in that location, you are “at work.” Having a dry erase board, a post-it board or something hanging from a wall on which to clip notes is always good for reminders, etc. With regard to keeping your desk neat and tidy, Albert Einstein said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then is an empty desk a sign?” Well, I would ask, “Of what then is an orderly desk a sign?” Unless you have a mind like Einstein, keeping your work location neat and orderly may be beneficial to increasing your overall efficiency.

2 – Minimize Visual Distractions: Make sure your work space is free from visual distractions such as the television or awaiting chores (i.e. dirty dishes in the sink). That doesn’t mean that you must face away from a window with a nice view. It means eliminating what might detract you. If you are in the middle of an important conversation and something comes on the television that distracts you, then you have just potentially created an uncomfortable moment that could have been avoided. The TV diverted your attention, which is different from looking out the window and taking a short break.

3 – Minimize Interruptions: When working from home, put phone numbers from relatives or friends who may call during your work day on vibrate. When checking your email, skip over personal messages until you take a break – that is also the time to check your personal phone messages. Also, refrain from web surfing, tweeting, and Facebooking, during your work time. Focus on what needs to get done and do it.

4 – Work Time & Breaks: Coordinate your day, so that you know when you will be working and when you will be taking any breaks. Try to stick to that time schedule. When it’s time to take a break, step away from your “office.” When it’s time to return to work, put personal issues or responsibilities aside and do your business.

5 – Shirt or Slippers: Maybe you can work just fine at home in your pajamas or sweats. However, for many people, “cleaning up” and wearing something more “appropriate” can increase efficiency and overall productivity. You don’t need to put on what you might wear if you were to actually go into the office, but you will probably feel more “professional” if you are wearing something other than a bathrobe and fuzzy slippers.

6 – Make Time for Motivation and Inspiration: Prior to starting your work day, take a few moments to read something that will inspire or motivate you. As stated, working from home requires discipline and discipline requires you to be self-motivated. Write down some sayings or affirmations that you like and keep them near your workspace.

While these strategies appear to be simple, many human resource professionals will tell you that some employees are unable to follow them. While those employees will have to trek into the office and continue working “in the cube,” by following these strategies, you may increase your performance and productivity and, therefore, be offered (or maintain) the privilege of working from home.

As a funny motivational speaker, I am known for delivering usable strategies on increasing performance and productivity via my programs for corporations worldwide. To view what I offer, visit my funny motivational speaker site.  

©2012 Bob Garner. All Rights Reserved. You may use this article, but you must use the byline and author resource.

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Hi Jill again,

Just got this testimonial from one of Bob’s clients with regard to Bob and his teams work for them at a recent trade show in the Big Apple! At the show, Bob was more than a trade show magician, he was a trade show mentalist who gathered crowds and then sent them over for a more detailed presentation by two of Bob’s top trade show presenters.

Take a look at the testimonial to see one of the top trade show magicians, as well as outstanding trade show presenters. For more trade show presenter testimonials or to take a look at Bob’s trade show magician video, just click on the links.

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Most companies hold hospitality events and provide the usual drinks and snacks or other food. With regard to hospitality suite entertainment, occasionally, there is a band or disc-jockey, a casino night, etc. These are considered “the norm,” and do little to differentiate your event from the next. Obviously, to go beyond the normal, requires doing something different.

If you want to go beyond the normal, then you may want to enlist the aid of mentalist Bob Garner. Bob is a mind reader and entertainer that adds the “WOW” factor to any event. Primarily because mind reading is such a personal thing, yet it can be performed in front of large groups, as well.

Having your mind read  – in a fun way – is something that most people have never experienced. Bob is a master at getting people involved in his show and making your guests feel special. Unlike walk-around magicians who have a tendency to interrupt conversations, Bob is stationed behind a table with chairs in front. This allows for a more sophisticated setting and allows your guests come to him and stay as long as they like.

Needless to say, his station is always full and, even more importantly, your guests talk about your event long after it is over. You may want to check out the video below, where one of Bob’s recent clients confirmed that Bob “rocked” the house at their latest hospitality event.

When deciding on how to make your next hospitality suite or event more memorable, make sure that you go beyond the normal and provide your guests with something they will remember and talk about… after your event is over.

After all, you can spend a lot of money on food, drinks, or a disc-jockey, as well as a casino night, but how much “mind share” do you think you will receive for that expenditure?

Just click on this link: hospitality suite entertainment – to see Bob’s video demo. You can find more information by going to his mentalist Bob Garner site and scrolling down to “Hospitality Suites.”

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