Boring Exhibitor Sales Brochures


by Jim Curry

I am neck deep in exhibitor sales brochures at the moment. That involves reading endless exhibition statistics, questionable exhibitor testimonials, and vomit-inducing openers from organizers.

It is a very boring and predictable process, because 85% of them are templated tosh.

When reading the brochures, you can normally tell quite quickly the 15% of marketing teams that are trying to up their game and the other 85% who are just updating the previous years’ copy and taking instruction from very shouty event directors.

(Message to the 15%: Nice one, loving your work!)

The exhibitor sales brochure has been around for years and, although the layouts and graphics have undoubtedly improved, the format and tone have remained pretty much unchanged over the years and across the sectors:

“The must-attend event for the industry,” said a faceless sales exec.

‘A great place to meet all the relevant people under one roof,”…

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Hosting the Perfect Event


by Carl Landau

As a seasoned veteran in the niche event world, I’ve pretty much seen it all. What event organizers should do, mistakes to avoid, and most importantly—how to generate more revenue!

I recently sat down with Magnificent Media’s Dave Reimherr for a podcast about live event management for niche publishers. We talked about how to go from thee sponsors at your first event to 20 at your next event, estimating attendee turnout months in advance, and more.

Here are a few of my tricks and tips discussed in the podcast:

  1. What to charge attendees? Consult a circle of industry advisers before you start to determine the right price point.
  2. Seek out top speakers. Speakers that approach you are usually not as good as they may seem.
  3. Provide solid networking opportunities at your events. Networking is much more than parties – done right, networking offers meaningful connections with peers, and a great opportunity to create a core group for advice, support and new…

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4 Trends Disrupting Events


by Michael Barnett

Virtual reality, drones, artificial intelligence, big data, live streaming, the list of buzzwords “revolutionizing events” is endless, and therefore meaningless.  If everything is a threat to the events industry, then nothing is. But here are four trends indisputably affecting events:

Isolation. Instead, consider that a majority of Americans do not have someone they trust to call in a crisis.  The British found it better to be separate from Europe than united.  And lastly, over half a million Japanese young adults do not leave their home for weeks.  We do not have to wonder whether the events industry should grow.  People desperately need events to connect and form meaningful relationships.

Look at SXSW, CES, Burning Man; these events do something special to elevate themselves from the mundane to be inspiring, and captivating.   They attract the most engaged and engaging, thrill seeking, and thrilling, the most valuable, and…

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2 Golden Rules for Writing Tradeshow Marketing Emails


by Elizabeth Johnson

In college I had an economics professor who decided to bring a whistle to class one day so that he could blow the whistle before making an important point in his lecture. As the class wore on, he was blowing the whistle before every sentence and thus just began saying “tweet, tweet” before making his next point.

I’ve never forgotten that specific lecture—not the content to be sure—no memory of what was so important, but my reaction to that tactic. I thought, what was the purpose of the whistle to highlight important points if it’s all categorized as “important”? And the same is true in marketing writing—when you emphasize everything, you emphasize nothing.

After nearly 15 years of writing marketing materials for events ranging from small meetings to large tradeshows, I’ve honed a writing style that cuts through the clutter. It boils down to two basic rules…

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Please Come In …


by Caitlin Fox

When’s the last time you looked at your event’s website through the eyes of your end user, searching for event content you’d need to make a decision about attending? While event websites used to be an afterthought, I consider them to be the front door of a campaign, and of a show. And while a visually stunning entryway might be the most important thing to some, in the eye of this beholder, the real beauty lies in the architecture (in the form of clear navigation and an easy path to registration). Ben McRae, mdg’s UI/UX expert, and my go-to on all-things-web, agrees and shared these top tips for achieving the perfect blend of design and organization.

Use the tools of the trade

A sitemap, a flowchart-like diagram that visually demonstrates page hierarchy, is the user guide as they begin the experience: the headings represent the top-level pages…

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Female Empowerment in the Exhibition Industry is a Numbers Game

The industry needs a scorecard to prove that advancing women is more than just talk.

Source: Female Empowerment in the Exhibition Industry is a Numbers Game

The Trade Show Director Never Saw It Coming


Ever wonder why a new trade show director’s hair goes gray by Day 3?

by Tony Compton

Johnny’s smartphone alarm rang precisely at 5:30 in the morning, but today he didn’t need it. He was already sitting in the drive-thru of his favorite fast food restaurant awaiting his routine cup of coffee. It was Johnny’s first day at work as the new trade show director for an up-and-coming software company in downtown Atlanta and he was too excited to sleep.

At just 27 years old, Johnny couldn’t believe his good fortune. He was hired by the VP of Marketing to lead the event efforts for a software company starting to make a name for itself. Even better, it was a software company that had just gone through a major round of funding. They had money, were willing to spend it, and the future looked awesome.

Johnny was hired at a most…

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Are Digital and Face-to-Face Marketing Frenemies?


by Caroline Meyers

Think about the last time you went a trade show, conference or networking event. There was a hubbub of noise and conversation. You are there to learn, meet, listen and, if you are booth staff, greet and teach.

Imagine that you are approached by someone, or maybe are seated next to someone, and you exchange mutual hellos. A couple of incidental questions and you both find a topic of common interest. You know this because your conversational partner has emoted more energy, maybe turned a little on her seat, stepped a little into your personal space.

Your conversation is enjoyable. Maybe you learn something or are able to engage her with your company’s brand message. You both smile and shake hands. Exchange business cards (which have their own personality) and part.

There are so many nonverbal cues in this scenario that you can sense and use to…

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Effective Marketing Appeals to Emotions


by Silvia Pellegrini

The most difficult things to sell ALWAYS end up being products and services people actually  need–the kinds of products and services they feel are almost forced upon them.

When we have to make a logical purchase, like car insurance to protect ourselves and our financial future, for example, we aren’t at all excited about having to do so–even when we know, deep down on a logical level, that it’s the smartest thing for us to do.

There’s just no real appeal in logic, and that’s why the world’s most successful marketing campaigns appeal to our emotions, as opposed to laying out a clear-cut and concise view of why we “need” to buy whatever it is we’re peddling.

Emotions ALWAYS trump logic

When you get right down to it, human beings are tremendously emotional creatures, and the emotional part of our brains–our “lizard brain”–is much older and much more…

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25 Quarters and… Stopping: Consistent Tradeshow Industry Growth Comes to an End


by Michael Hart

You had to figure it was going to end sooner or later: After 25 consecutive quarters, tradeshow industry performance experienced a decline at the end of 2016, according to the most recent CEIR quarterly report.

The year-over-year decline was a modest 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016. The decline in real revenue looks a bit more serious: 1.8 percent less than a year earlier.

Everything ends sooner or later. Still, when you move past the top-line numbers of the CEIR Index report of tradeshow performance, you might start thinking it isn’t just “one of those things.”

For the total year – not just the fourth quarter – growth in the tradeshow industry was modest at best. The 2016 total index grew 1.2 percent over 2015, compared to 3.3-percent growth in 2015 over the year before.

Net square footage growth for the year, at 1.8…

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