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January 2008


Shut Up, Stop Whining

and sit down with

Larry Winget! Brilliant Results goes one on one with the Pitbull of Personal DevelopmentÂŽ


Booth Incentives and

Sponsorship vs. Promotion

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make a date with success! ASI l 95280 W l Contact your local Promotional Products Distributor



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Publisher’s Letter publisher’s letter ORGANIZATION‌I love it! I must admit I have a bit of an obsession with cleanliness and organization. Welcome to 2008! Brilliant I buy any and every self help organizing book or magaResults is starting out the newout there has zine I see‌after all I am certain someone year with a cover interview to once and for “the secretâ€? and it is going to work for me think keepingwell that and all. make That inyou and of itself about is the problem, by organized. simply Let’s face the all timethose it takesresolutions to get and stay resolving to ofstop whining and challenged it there are those us who are constantly “DOâ€?and make the I most of the next by chaos clutter. don’t necessary like it but I live with it takes theninI buy a new book and 12it until months. A over leader getting learn a newLarry “systemâ€? of organization. month am of embarrassed results, Winget is recognizedLast as the Pit IBull Personal to admit I bought a new computer. Well primarily because old comDevelopment, and he hasWhy? provided our readers withmysome puter was tooprovoking slow‌maybe because I never delete anything thought ideas for making the best thingsand in have life 30 or more things opening when I turn on the computer‌oops! But, happen. Down to earth, blunt and to the point this authorI am certain the magazine publishers’ andthat renown speaker and tellsmy it like it is. letter will be more brilliant in 2008 due to my investment. I also bought “Unclutter Your Mindâ€? and Bring Yourselfâ€? that together with give information about making “Organize ‌they should me some new ideas and systems thisto year’s showclean outings a resounding success, to use get thattrade uncluttered organized desk! Here at Brilliant Resultsactivities magazineinto we are always searching for that turning sponsorship successful promotional right product or idea that will super charge marketing andthis brandopportunities, solving everyday officeyour dilemmas and ing jam-packed efforts and help your organization cleanup when it comes issue is a must read. This issue concludes withtoa the bottom line! This no different...we decided to look at trend Last Word fromissue Barryis Siskind, an internationally recognized watching and its potential impact on the way business is done. We also trade show and exhibit guru. included a few up and coming trends that might inspire as well as sevResultswith welcomes newontalent the 2008 family thisproeralBrilliant articles packed suggestions how totomake a more month the addition of Jami Hubbard as Art Director, ductive yearwith whether you are evaluating your promotional merchandise or reviewing incentive programs. a little giving theyour magazine layout a freshWho new couldn’t look. Ofuse course wehelp from time to time to better themselves? contributing (PS: I also had writers them include welcome back our distinguished and an article on organization.) a few new faces. We also want to take this opportunity As strive to new bring advertisers you a betterand magazine must not forget to towe welcome thankwe our established sayadvertisers Thank you to all the suppliers that support our efforts and you our for their support of Brilliant Results. Working readers who make it all worth while. I love a challenge and 2008our will be together all of these people help Brilliant Results bring even better the 2007! I am certain of it! Let me know what you think, readers the resources to build the relationships that will what you like what you don’t like and hey if you have an idea or 2 that generate brilliant results. could make us a better resource for you let me know that too. We can onlyThis improve with yourtradeshows help. month from to personal growth we have For me I’m off my desk get continue ready for to 2008 with a it covered andtoinorganize the coming year and we will cover clean slate! topics that contribute positively to the bottom line. So, get Hard believe that another has come andset gone‌where out to those resolutions, get year reading and get for a 2008does the that time isgo? Until next time‌always remember to‌ sure to be a Brilliant year! Have a Brilliant Day!

Have A Brilliant Day,

Maureen Williams Maureen Williams Publisher Publisher 541-788-5022 541.788.5022



| January $0`WZZWO\b@SacZba j2SQS[PS` %2008 6 Brilliant Results

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Brilliant Publishing LLC 9034 Joyce Lane Brilliant Publishing LLC Hummelstown, PA 17036 9034 Joyce Lane Ph: 717.571.9233 Hummelstown PA 17036 Fax: 717.566.5431

Ph: 717.571.9233 Fax: 717.566.5431 PUBLISHER /



Maureen Williams Advertising Maureen Williams 541-788-5022 EDITORIAL 541-788-5022 Editor in Chief Editorial MaryAnne Morrill

Editor in Chief Senior EditorMorrill MaryAnne

Michelle Donofry

Senior Editor Style Editor Michelle Donofry Charity Plata

Style Editor

Asst. EditorPlata Charity Mildred Landis

Asst. Editor

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mildred Landis Michael Merrick Crooks, Susan A. Friedmann, CSP, GiftCertiďŹ, Barton Goldsmith, PhD., Contributing Writers Maria Gracia, Arnold Light, CTC, Bill Nissim, Dave Ed Rigsbee,Merrick CSP, Crooks, Robert W.Ribble, Bly, Michael Dr.Mary Peter English, Tarlow, Trendwatching, Dave Willmer CSP, Susan A. Friedmann,

Barton Goldsmith, PhD., Maria Gracia, PRODUCTION / DESIGN Arnold Light, CTC, Dave Ribble, Barry Siskind, Art Director Percy ZamoraDave Willmer Dr. Peter Tarlow, Brilliant Results is published monthly by Brilliant Publishing LLC, 9034 Joyce Lane Hummelstown PA 17036 (717) 608-5869; Fax# (717) 566-5431. Postage paid at Mechanicsburg PA and additional Artsend Director ofďŹ ces. POSTMASTER please address changes to Brilliant Results, 9034 Joyce Lane,Jami Hummelstown PA 17036. Volume 4. Hubbard Number 12. Brilliant Results subscription rates: one-year $120; Canadian $160 USD; one-year foreign $225 USD. All subscriptions Results isCopyright published by Brilliant Publishing are Brilliant non-refundable. Š monthly 2007 Brilliant Publishing LLC. LLC, LaneThe Hummelstown PA 17036 (717)to608-5869; All 9034 rights Joyce reserved. publisher reserves the right accept or Fax# (717) 566-5431. Postage paid at Mechanicsburg PA and additional reject any advertising or editorial material. Advertisers, and/or offices. POSTMASTER please send address changes to Brilliant their agents, assume the responsibility for any claims against the Results, 9034 Joyce Lane, Hummelstown PA 17036. Volume 5. publisher based on the advertisement. Editorial contributors assume Number 01. Brilliant Results subscription rates: one-year $120; responsibility for their published works and assume responsibility Canadian $160 USD; one-year foreign $225 USD. All subscriptions for are any non-refundable. claims against the publisher published work. LLC. Copyright Š based 2008 on Brilliant Publishing No All partrights of thisreserved. publication be reproduced formtooraccept by or The can publisher reserves intheanyright electronic or mechanical means, includingmaterial. information storage andand/or reject any advertising or editorial Advertisers, retrieval systems,assume withoutthe written permissionforfrom publisher. their agents, responsibility any the claims against the All publisher items submitted to Brilliant Results become the sole property assume of based on the advertisement. Editorial contributors Brilliant Publishing LLC. Editorial content does not reect the views responsibility for their published works and assume responsibility of the imprints, trademarks nameswork. for publisher. any claimsTheagainst thelogos, publisher based or on trade published (Collectively displayed the products featured No part ofthe this“Marksâ€?) publication can beon reproduced in any form or by in Brilliant Results are for illustrative purposesinformation only and are not and electronic or mechanical means, including storage available for sale. The marks do not represent the implied or actual retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher. endorsement by the owners of the Marks the product on which All items submitted to Brilliant Resultsofbecome the sole property of theyBrilliant appear.Publishing All of theLLC. Marks are the property thereflect respective Editorial content doesofnot the views owners andpublisher. is not theThe property of either advertisersorusing of the imprints, logos,thetrademarks tradethenames (Collectively “Marksâ€?) displayed on the products featured Marks or Brilliantthe Results. in Brilliant Results are for illustrative purposes only and are not available for sale. The marks do not represent the implied or actual endorsement by the owners of the Marks of the product on which they appear. All of the Marks are the property of the respective owners and is not the property of either the advertisers using the Marks or Brilliant Results.


12/29/07 1:56:50 PM

contents 8

Vol. 5, No. 01

in this issue january 2008 Cover Story 8 Shut Up, Stop Whining & Get A Life!


Brilliant Results’ interview of Larry Winget, a brash, in-your-face speaker, best selling author and television personality, offers a unique perspective on achieving personal and financial success.

Features 16 Booth Incentives In three seconds a trade show attendee can decide whether or not they want to visit your booth. Find out how ‘narrow-casting’ makes attendees stop-in. By: Mary English

20 Why Show Leads Are Mishandled

46 Advertising Index  et FREE information from this G month’s advertisers

22 Sponsorship vs. Promotion

Brilliant Results speaks with Barry Siskind, international trade show and exhibit guru, about how to make your exhibit experience successful.

48 The Last Word

28 10 Ways to Improve Your

Columns 26 Trade Show Success

Read these 10 proven techniques for creating direct mail that works. By: Robert W. Bly

Follow these suggestions and make your next trade show exhibit a winner. By: Dr. Peter Tarlow

40 Dispelling the Top 7 Myths

34 How Effective Are Trade

Start the New Year off right and don’t let any of these common organization myths derail your efforts. By: Maria Gracia

A trade show giveaway can be the best and least expensive way to promote your company. Find out how to select the right premium. By: Arnold Light, CTC

Trade Show Direct Mail

About Being Organized

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Departments 6 Publisher’s Letter

Discover the reasons why show leads are mishandled and how to avoid these common mistakes. By: Barry Siskind Understanding how to turn a sponsorship into a promotion can yield powerful results By: Michael Merrick Crooks



Brilliant Results | January 2008

Show Giveaways?

42 36 The End of the Year Review Review the top ten questions you should be asking during your yearend trade show evaluation. By: Susan A. Friedmann, CSP

38 It’s All Personal Do the math and then make sure you select the right promotional product for your trade show exhibit. By: Dave Ribble

42 Common Managerial Dilemmas — And How to Solve Them

You are sure to encounter one of these dilemmas soon or later, read these suggestions and you will have a head start on handling it. By: Dave Willmer

44 Passionate Leadership Money Over Mood By: Barton Goldsmith, PhD.

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Shut Up, Stop Whining &Get A Life!

Brilliant Results begins its 5th year of publication with this issue and while fireworks are not the norm for January, our interview with Larry Winget starts the year off with a bang! This brash, in-your-face speaker and New York Times bestselling author of It’s Called Work For A Reason and the Wall Street Journal #1 Bestseller: Shut Up, Stop Whining & Get A Life! is also the star of A&E’s reality series, Big Spender. His newest book, You’re Broke Because You Want To Be:  How To Stop Getting By and Start Getting Ahead came about as a result of the series and provides an inspiring account of how to achieve fiscal and financial security. Written from the heart by a man who was born poor on a chicken farm in Muskogee, Oklahoma, made a fortune and lost it, then learned from his mistakes and is now once again a multimillionaire, the book pulls no punches about what it takes to achieve financial success. Trade marking himself as The Pitbull of Personal Development® Larry’s philosophy is to discover your uniqueness, embrace your individuality and learn to exploit it in the service of others…


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Q&A with Larry Winget

in otherwords he urges people to discover their edge just a bit while acknowledging that his edge is just a little bit edgier than most.

Larry’s Ten Rules for Business Success A deal is a deal.

In the International Speakers Hall of Fame and having spoken to nearly four hundred of the Fortune 500 companies, Larry presents universal principles that will work for anyone in his own unique take responsibility approach that pushes the envelope but adds a dash of humor to make the medicine go down easier. Larry is a philosopher of success who is unique in every way. From his shaved head and sunglasses to his 85 pairs of cowboy boots to his delivery style there is simply not another speaker like him. It is for that reason that Brilliant Results with its aim to provide unique, informative and interesting editorial content felt that Larry Winget was the perfect match for our first interview of the New Year.

Do what you said you would do, when you said you would do it, the way you said you would do it.


How would you describe your approach to life and business?

Work faster, smarter and harder.


My approach is considered caustic, in-your-face, brash, hilarious and sometimes by the thin-skinned, downright rude. But I have a take-no-prisoners approach that is steeped in the simple concept of personal responsibility. I believe that life is your own damn fault. I think that every result you have in your life, both personally and professionally is your own damn fault. Even if something horrible happens to you, your reaction to that thing is your own damn fault. I don’t allow people to blame their condition or situation on anyone or anything outside of themselves. Period.


To what do you attribute your success as a speaker and author?


Two things: I am unique and I am authentic. There is no one in the business like me. I am the trademarked Pitbull of Personal Development® and The World’s Only Irritational Speaker®. No one says what I say, does what I do or looks like I look. That makes me unique which means if you want what I

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Do the right thing every time. Not the cheap thing or the easy thing — the right thing. Be the person others can count on to get things done. Work hard on your job and work harder on yourself. Never tolerate poor performance in yourself or others. Focus on accomplishment — not activity. You are paid to work. You aren’t paid to play, socialize, be happy or like your job — only to work. Manage priorities, not time. ©2007 Larry Winget

January 2008

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Q&A with Larry Winget

have to offer, that you can only get it from me. But just as important as my uniqueness is my authenticity. I am the way I am all of the time. I don’t put on any separate persona to go on stage. The voice and style I use in my books is the way I talk all of the time with everyone. I think and believe this way, act this way and talk this way 24/7. That is rare in this business. BR:

Would you give our readers an overview of your new book, “You’re Broke Because You Want To Be”?


My new book is a practical approach that will help you go from “getting by” to “ getting ahead.” I grew up poor, decided to get rich, got rich, went bankrupt and then became a multi-millionaire. I worked my butt off to make it happen. I know exactly what it takes to go from broke to rich. It takes prioritizing your life, changing your lifestyle, working hard, studying prosperity and success, and keeping track of how you are doing. Most people don’t do any of those things and wind up in debt and trying to survive while spending more than they earn. My book is a wake-up call and has a solid plan that when followed can turn your financial life around.


What inspired you to write this and some of your other books?


I wrote the new book simply because there was so much demand for me to write a book based on what I do on my A&E television series, Big Spender. I get hundreds of emails every week from people asking me for help like I give on the show. I have been broke and been rich and know how simple it is to turn things around so writing a money book was a natural next step for me. I am primarily a personal development/business guy, which made my first two bestsellers happen. I have worked for the largest companies in the world and have owned three of my own businesses. I have been an award winning salesperson and manager, been the company president and even shoveled manure for a living. I have real world experience that comes from making every mistake possible. I could be the poster-child for stupidity in business and life. But I learned from every mistake I ever made. Add that experience to the knowledge I gained from reading nearly 4,000 books and you figure out that you have something to say to people. Therefore, I speak to associations and corporations all over the world and write best-selling books.


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Coming Soon...

Spring Collection To locate a distributor near you, call 877 610 1444

Q&A with Larry Winget

BR: How does having a top tier speaker contribute to the success of a trade show, exposition or other event? LW: If the speaker is well-known, their name can put butts in seats.  That’s what any event or meeting planner is looking for: butts in seats.  If the speaker is really good, then the people who put the meeting on will get a lot of credit for hiring that speaker.  And unlike many other products, I have found that with speakers, you usually do get exactly what you pay for.  If a speaker can get the big bucks and has a history of success in the business, then it is because they can deliver the goods.  BR: In your opinion what is/are the key(s) to successful motivation and personal development? LW: Again, my approach is different than most.  I am not a big believer in “ with a positive attitude you can do anything.”  I actually believe that you sometimes need a really negative attitude.  You have to get fed up with your life and results - totally negative about it before you take positive action to change.  So I believe that you have to make people uncomfortable with their results.  That is my goal.  I don’t want you to feel good about your life.  I want you to take a realistic view of who you are and where you are and hopefully become uncomfortable with it and then know you could do better by working harder.  I think the world is tired of the old “circle up and sing Cum-Ba-Yah approach” and ready for a more practical realistic approach.  Thus:  ME! BR: How can promotional and/or incentive products be used to enhance a marketing/motivational campaign? LW: Anything that drives one simple message or theme home is a valuable tool.  I have one central theme in my business that I have used for years and even wrote a bestseller using it:  Shut Up, Stop Whining & Get A Life.  Having that slogan on coffee cups, shot glasses, golf towels, t-shirts, caps, and bobble-heads drives my message home and helps make it unforgettable.  Any campaign with a simple theme can make that theme unforgettable by using promotional products.

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Q&A with Larry Winget



Do you remember the last promotional or incentive merchandise you received and for what occasion?


I get the run of the mill insurance calendar all the time and like most people put them straight in the trash. If you can’t be more original than that then forget it! But I see some really cool stuff out there by attending all of these meetings. I think the things that make the biggest impact are the fun things. Toys go a long way with folks. I have seen lots of stuffed-shirt CEO types with a drawer full of promotional toys. I say the key to any theme that will last and work with promotional items is to keep it simple and keep it fun.


Do you have any final thoughts or advice for our readers?


Take a good hard look at every area of your personal life and your business. Know that you created the results you are experiencing. Don’t bother blaming anyone else for the way things are for you. Know that you can fix any situation you have created with enough time and enough hard work. Then get to work. And have as much fun as you can along the way. Pretty simple, huh?

Brilliant Results | January 2008

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To order his books, retain his services for your next speaking event, or to just find out more about Larry Winget please visit

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Incentives By: Mary English

Three seconds. It may not seem like much. But in three seconds, a space shuttle in orbit can travel 15 miles, an Olympic-level sprinter can run 30 meters and a cheetah at full speed can cover the distance of an entire football field. And in three seconds, a trade show attendee can decide whether or not they want to visit your booth. Attending trade shows can be a key business element for marketing departments, sales departments and companies overall. It’s a way to get your name and face in front of hundreds – if not thousands – of current and prospective clients. But if you only have three seconds to capture a trade show attendee’s attention, what should you do? How can you make your booth a “must-stop” on the exhibit floor? Since driving traffic to your booth is critical for trade show success, start creating interest in your company before the show even starts. Pre-show marketing is essential to generate more flow to your booth. It’s a chance to let attendees know you’ll be at a show, promote your products and services, and feature any incentives such as gift cards or gift certificates you’ll be distributing to guests who stop by your booth. “I call this ‘narrow-casting’,” states Mike Mraz, Tradeshow Strategist for Minneapolisbased Exhibiting Excellence. Narrow-casting allows you to identify and target those trade show attendees who are uniquely suited to your particular services. “If you can target that audience beforehand and follow up with them after the show,” explains Mraz, “your ROI can be much higher and your show attendance will be a much bigger success.”

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The key to narrow-casting explains Mraz, is to keep your end goal in mind. If your goal is to facilitate face-to-face meetings with your pre-show audience, create the need for them to find your booth location. “Target your trade show incentive and give those people a reason to visit your booth.” he says. Thus, if you send a gift card to your audience prior to the show, arrange your promotion so those recipients need to visit your booth at the show to activate the card. While there are numerous incentives, gifts and handouts to consider giving to your booth visitors, gift cards and gift certificates are becoming increasingly more popular among trade show exhibitors and much more appreciated among trade show attendees. In its 2007 Holiday Gift Card Survey, Archstone Consulting projected gift card purchases to reach an all-time high of $35 billion during the recent holiday season. Among the main reasons for this increase is the perceived – and real – value of a gift card or gift certificate and the flexibility it gives the recipient in choosing their actual reward. As Mraz explains, things that are ‘given’ – items such as pens, notepads, stress balls or other similar giveaways – can still serve their purpose, they just don’t resonate as deeply as something that your customer can ‘exchange’ for an item they choose themselves. This time spent choosing their item provides more time with your company brand. By choosing something that is meaningful and memorable for themselves, the recipient creates a positive image of their interaction with your company – something that lasts much longer than the usual tchotchke. Therefore, from a prospective customer’s viewpoint, redeeming a $10 gift certificate that you give them for a gift card at a merchant of their choosing, and then selecting the exact item they want, creates a deeper and longer lasting impression. Creating ongoing impressions with trade show attendees for the duration of the show is often a challenge for many exhibitors. That’s why Mraz advises you continue to market yourself throughout the show. And your incentives can play a large role in this marketing effort each day of a particular event.

By choosing something that is meaningful and memorable for themselves, the recipient creates a positive image of their interaction with your company — something that lasts much longer than the usual tchotchke.

If you are using gift cards and gift certificates as your promotional giveaway, one way to continue to drive traffic to your booth is to vary the card and certificate values throughout the show.

For instance, you can distribute gift certificates that can be redeemed for $5 gift cards the first day of the show, but visitors to your booth on the third day may receive certificates good for a $10 gift card. Another option is to offer referral bonuses. If someone

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visits your booth the first day and receives a gift certificate, offer them additional certificates for each new prospective client they bring to your booth. Regardless of your particular trade show strategy, the end result remains the same: to drive traffic to your booth throughout a show and maximize your ROI. Prospects and leads from the show can be driven to a landing page with a unique URL to redeem or activate their card. Card redemptions, activations or requests to download marketing information can then be used as key performance indicators (KPI) to help determine ROI. This strategy works well for companies who have a long or multi-part sales cycle. The strategy to have a strong and appealing incentive – such as redeemable gift certificates or gift cards – is one way to make sure you capture the attention of the show’s attendees, spark their interest and draw them to your booth. After all, you often only have three seconds to do so.


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Mary English is the Vice President of Marketing for Hallmark Insights, the leader in providing business incentive solutions and personalized reward programs for employee recognition, customer acquisition and retention, sales and dealer incentives, and health and wellness programs. To learn more, go to

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Why Show Leads Are Mishandled By: Barry Siskind

The number of leads that are obtained at a trade show that are mishandled. is astounding. Whether you are exhibiting to increase business or have a communication need such as brand reinforcement, the contacts you make at trade shows are of value and that value decreases each day they go unanswered. Perhaps understanding the reasons why this happens will give you a heads-up and ensure that the proper preparation is done ahead of time. 1. Lack of planning — Being away at a show for an extended period means that your work at the office is piling up. As good as your intentions are, often the work on your desk gets priority over the show contacts that are fresh and approachable. 2. Conflicting roles — If the sales and marketing departments have a different focus and have not discussed their goals, the show leads may end up with the wrong group where follow-up is put on the back burner. 3. Logistics versus Strategy — All too often the focus of the exhibit program is on logistics: taking care of the electrician, the shipper, travel arrangements and so on and spending time thinking about your reason for exhibiting and how to convert your objectives into real business opportunities often falls by the wayside.

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4. Poor lead collection — A fist-filled with business cards are not leads. They are a waste of everyone’s time. Good quality leads require the collection of the pertinent facts about the contact and an acknowledgement from the contact that they would welcome a follow-up.

build a business. Follow-up requires planning, resources and systems in place to ensure that the job gets done in a timely manner.

5. Time management — Show visitors leave excited about having found new business solutions. If you leave your first contact for weeks after the show, that initial excitement will have cooled off and the chances of doing real business is lessened.

Do any of these ring true for you? If you want to know what the real return is on your exhibit investment, start with a sound follow-up strategy, which includes the right resources, the right people and the right systems. Dedicate one person to oversee the whole process and ensure that everything is done as it should be.

6. Using the wrong resources — Sales people are not necessarily the right people to do followup. Consider using dedicated marketers to turn the contacts from warm to hot before they are turned over to the sales force to close.

It doesn’t take much to win at the exhibit marketing game. A little thought and the avoidance of some of the common pitfalls can mean the difference between lackluster results and those that are spectacular.

7. Too many shows — When you go to a restaurant you should eat until you are full then push away from the table to give yourself a chance to digest. The same holds true of exhibit marketing. An overly aggressive show schedule can bloat your resources without the proper time to ingest and digest the new business opportunities. 8. Good intentions— The world is filled with good intentions but it takes more than that to

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Barry Siskind is North America’s foremost trade and consumer show expert and author of The Power of Exhibit Marketing. He is president of Toronto based International Training and Management Company. Contact Barry at for more information.

January 2008

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Turning a Mere Sponsorship Into a Powerful Promotion By: Michael Merrick Crooks “Toilet paper?” he asked in astonishment. “Are you out of your mind?” Roger was a travel agent sharing with me his sad tale at spending $500 on a golf sponsorship — and getting no response. His sponsorship of the event made sense. The outing was a senior event, held at a country club attended by lots of seniors with enough disposable income to afford travel. Problem was, Roger confused “sponsorship” with “promotion”. “Roger, sponsorship itself is not effective promotion,” I said. “The sponsorship is merely your “Option Cost”. Before you cough up $500 for a sponsorship, you have two options. One is the option to donate, which is what you did. Two, is the option to promote, which is where the toilet paper comes in.” “So what do I do with toilet paper,” he asked. I bit my tongue for a second, then continued. “Before you agree to sponsor, explore the ability to integrate with the event. That means having a physical or interactive presence. “A physical presence is an event booth or table. At a golf event, you can host a putting or chip shot contest where prospects can win a prize. In your case, a prospect plays your game, you jot down their name and phone # and reward them with your promotional item.”

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powerful promotions

“What do I give ‘em”, he asks. “That’s where the toilet paper comes in,” I said. “I’ll get to that in a minute.” “The other approach to integration is to have an interactive presence. This pertains mainly to door prizes and is designed to drive traffic from the event to a retail location. Use this tactic when you can’t have a physical presence. But it’s most effective when used in conjunction with a physical presence. “You offer a door prize that is too valuable, large or fragile to have at the event. The winner receives a prize certificate directing them to pick up the prize at the retail location. “For you, I recommend the physical presence. You offer an eventrelated game of skill or chance and reward them with the toilet paper up front and award the grand prize— a trip or whatever —during the awards banquet.” Roger was growing impatient so I shared my idea.

Understanding how to turn a sponsorship into a promotion can yield powerful

“Roger, you being a travel agent, imagine the talk you’ll generate if you handed out rolls of toilet paper imprinted with your logo and the message, “Where Do You Want To Go?” Understanding how to turn a sponsorship into a promotion can yield powerful results. And you can mold the concept to nearly any event. First, ensure the event is a good fit for your business. Ensure attendees want or need what you have to offer and can afford it. If it’s a good fit, then consider paying the “Option Cost” a.k.a. sponsorship fee.

results. And you can mold the concept to nearly

any event.

But before you do, ask if you can have a physical presence at the event. If you can, the goal is to collect actionable data to facilitate effective follow up. Collect business cards as the “admission price” to play your game or ask people to “register” while they wait in line. In lieu of a physical presence, ask about door prize options allowing you an interactive presence. If you can’t have either option, then you’re about to make a donation. If it’s a worthy cause and you’ll be satisfied generating goodwill for which R.O.I. can’t be measured, then go ahead. If not, pass.

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powerful promotions

And just because you’re sponsoring a golf event, doesn’t mean your promotional item has to be golf related i.e.: toilet paper.

If you can have a booth or table, talk with the event coordinators. Find out what other companies are supplying so you can plan your prizes appropriately. And just because you’re sponsoring, say… a golf event, doesn’t mean your promotional item has to be golf related i.e.: toilet paper. Remember, these people do something else when they’re not golfing. Example: You sponsor a golf outing for real estate professionals. Offer a logo’d tape measure with built-in note pad and pencil to use when prospective homebuyers want to measure closets and what-not.

A restaurant can imprint their “To Go” menu on a banner pen. Other ideas that can afford a good imprint area include bandanas, playing cards and imprintable paper clips attached to a card with a special offer.

Again, using golf-outings as an example, the next best thing to having a table or booth is driving the beer cart. You wear a logoed shirt and have access to everyone on the course. Perhaps you can distribute the drinks in your logo’d drink holder. If it’s hot, keep some logo’d bandannas in a cooler of ice water and hand them out.

With a subtle shift in mindset, you can turn a passive sponsorship … into a powerful promotion.

Last on the list of event opportunities is the “goody bag”. Most events allow you to donate “goody bag” items for free. This can be the most cost-effective promotional tool of all. Think in terms of how the item can generate phone calls, drive people to your website or your retail location. Keys attached to a key tag inviting them to stop by and try their luck is an option.


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Michael Merrick Crooks owns Crooks Advertising Alliance, a creative strikeforce specializing in creative problemsolving as it relates to advertising and promotional marketing. For more of the Crooks brand of thinking visit and request the Crooks View Creative Digest Newsletter.

12/28/07 8:24:20 PM

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12/29/07 3:01:15 PM

Trade Show


By: Dr. Peter Tarlow

Although not always called by the name “Trade Shows” the idea of people coming together to share and exhibit their wares is as old as recorded history. In fact trade shows may be one of the original forms of commerce. Examples of trade shows can be found in Hebrew Scriptures and in other early Near Eastern documents. Although the name trade shows has not always been constant the ideas behind successful trade shows have stayed the same. Trade shows are a way to get people to know your merchandise. They are also a way for people to network with each other, to shop, and to learn about new places. As such the local community in which the trade show is taking place is also on exhibit. Successful tradeshow communities are those that provide clean and efficient exhibit space, have well trained security, and provide after show activities. All too often convention centers or exhibit halls forget that pilferage may be a major problem. Tradeshows are also most successful when lighting matches the products’ needs

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and when eating and bathroom facilities are readily available. Simply put ever since Biblical days, people have understood that selling a product means more than simply having a good product, it must also be presented well and in an accessible manner. One of the major mistakes of exhibits and trade shows is to crowd the room or have it so noisy that people simply stop thinking. Trade shows exhibitors tend to be most successful when they offer new and innovative products, listen to what people in the market place are saying, and provide free-bees at their booths. These free-bees are not only a good source of advertising but permit the exhibitors to interface with customers and learn the direction in which the product is going. Use simple yet eye catching colors and designs to attract people to your booth and if the show requires personal discussions then make sure that the booth has sufficient personnel in it at all times. The basic rules of customer service are even more necessary at a tradeshow.

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Dr. Peter Tarlow is a founder and president of Tourism & More Inc. Dr. Tarlow has appeared on National televised programs such as Dateline: NBC and on CNBC. Dr. Tarlow organizes conferences around the world dealing with visitor safety and security issues and with the economic importance of tourism and tourism marketing. He also works with numerous cities, states, and foreign governments to improve their tourism products and to train their tourism security professionals. For additional information visit Dr. Tarlow can be reached via email at or by telephone at 979-764-8402.

✓ Make sure that people at ✓ Never promise what you ✓ Always put your best foot your booth understand the reasons for their being there. No matter how clear it may be to you, it is always a good idea to make sure that employees understand the reasons that you are paying to exhibit. Go over personal responsibility and while everyone is expected to interact with the public, this is not a social time or personal time, but work.

cannot deliver and never fake it. Make sure that what you promise at your booth is real and do-able. Never pretend to know what you do not. The public at tradeshows knows all too well how to separate the honest booths from the con artists.

forward and place a smile on your face. No matter how tired you are… you never know if the last person to visit may not be the person who made all the work worthwhile. Treat every person who comes by your booth as if he/she were the only person to have visited your booth that day.

Remember that you may well be exhibiting products of a similar genre as those being exhibited by your competitors, gain brilliant results by using sound, light and personal touches to distinguish you from the other exhibitors at the show.

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| Brilliant Results


12/28/07 10:13:54 PM

10 Ways

to Improve Your Trade Show

Direct Mail

By Robert W. Bly

Direct mail, in the hands of a knowledgeable pro, can be a powerful promotion that builds both traffic, targets key prospects, generates sales leads, fills conference rooms, creates an awareness of an event and your participation in it. Or gets the word out about your products and services. Unfortunately, most trade-show direct mail I see violates the fundamentals of successful direct marketing. For this reason, few of these mailings generate anywhere near the desired response. (How many of your mailings produce the results you want or expect?) Here are 10 proven techniques for creating direct mail that works. Try them in your next letter or invitation and watch your response rate soar. 1. The importance of the list. Even the most brilliant package will flop if it is mailed to the wrong list. Selecting the right mailing list is the most important step in ensuring direct mail success. According to Freeman Gosden, Jr., author of Direct Marketing Success, list selection is twice as important as copy, graphics, and printing combined. For a trade show invitation, the best list is key prospects and current customers within a 100-mile radius of the exhibit hall. Invite only those people who are genuine prospects for the products you are featuring in your display. One good source of names might be a list of people who have responded to ads about the product within the last six months. 2. Executive seminars. An even more select list of key prospects can be targeted to receive special invitations to hospitality suites, executive briefings, presentations of papers, seminars, and other special events held in conjunction with your exhibit. If the event is relatively minor, a notice about it can be included in the invitation to the exhibit. But, if the even is major (such as the opportunity to see a new product introduction) you can play it up in a separate mailing. 3. Carry cards. A carry card, mailed with the invitation, is a printed card the prospect can present at your booth to receive a small gift, or perhaps to enter a sweepstakes or drawing. I call it a “carry card” because the prospect must carry it with him to receive whatever is offered in the mailing. By printing your booth number on the card, you remind the prospect to visit you; the offer of the gift provides the incentive to do so. The gift need not be expensive or elaborate; perhaps you offer free information, such as a special report, or an inexpensive item such as a pen or tie clip. 4. Be personal. The more personal a mailing piece, the greater the response. One effective technique is to personalize each mailing with the prospect’s name. A form letter, for example, can be made to look personal if produced on a word processor using a program that inserts the prospect’s name and address. There are other ways of individualizing the mailings. Carry cards or invitations

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10 Ways to improve...

can be numbered in sequence; therefore, each person receives a unique number, which may be used to qualify him or her to receive a prize or other gift. Another technique is for salespeople to write brief handwritten notes to each prospect. The note, written in the margin of a preprinted form letter or on the flap of a formal invitation, adds a human touch to the communication. 5. Urgency. Direct mail is a medium designed to generate an immediate response. Therefore, your mailing must give the reader reason to read and act now. A “teaser” – a short message written on the outer envelope – is often used to urge the reader to open the mailing right away. For example, it can tell the reader that the envelope contains dated materials. It can stress the importance of attending the show or emphasize benefits. Or, it can tell the recipient to take action - for example, the teaser copy could read, “Urgent: open by November 15.” Such a letter should be mailed so that it arrives a few days before the 15th. If you want the reader to RSVP your invitation, you should create a sense of urgency for this too. The close of an invitation to a seminar might say, “But hurry. Attendance is limited. Reserve your seat at this important briefing today.” 6. Give them a choice. Years ago, direct marketers discovered that they received greater response when the reader was given a choice. And this holds true in trade show promotion. For example, many of the people you invite will be unable to attend, even though they may have genuine interest in the products being displayed. Why not have your mailing do double duty by offering information or further action to those people who can’t come to the show? You could offer to send them a brochure or a newsletter or to call on them in person and tell them what they missed. One exhibitor even offered to send a videotape of his exhibit! This technique can dramatically boost response. Always include a business reply card or business reply envelope in mailings designed to elicit a response. Without these devices, response drops to near zero. 7. Create an event. Although it is difficult for our egos to accept, the truth is, your next trade show is not a major event in the lives of your customers. Your challenge, then, is to change their reaction from one of boredom to one of excitement.

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10 Ways to improve... How? There are many possibilities. One exhibitor featured the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders in his booth. Another had an exciting increase their profitability at tradeE-mail is an easy, effortless way to additional time and effort, but you’ll multimedia presentation on a revolutionary new type of technology. An shows. Author: “Riches in Niches: reach multiple people at once. It has lNDITWELLWORTHTHEEFFORTs instrumentation manufacturer employed a magician to perform at his How to Make it BIG in a small the added advantage of being free. display. major manufacturer a quick-draw to Market� (May 2007) and “Meeting However, this isAone casedefense where you Susan hired A. Friedmann, CSP, fighter The teach people how useyou’re a six-shooter (with blanks, course!). & Event Planning for Dummies.� clearly get what you paytofor: Tradeshow Coach,of Lake Placid, For more information visit www. running a huge chance of your e-mail NY, is an internationally recognized Once you’ve invented an event (one that generates real excitement but being deleted unread — if it isn’t expert working with companies to also ties in with your product or theme), make this the feature subject flagged as ‘junk’ by the company’s of your mailer. Just as spam filters. Your target audience publishers win subscribers may never get a chance to lay her by featuring a free gift or a eyes on your e-mail message. price discount, a successful This leaves us with direct mail. trade show mailing features Combining the best of both worlds, the “gimmick� rather than mailings offer the ability to reach the exhibit itself. For several people at once in a fashion example, a mailing designed that’stoeffective and polite: draw people to the you’re gunbringing your attendee fighter exhibit mightvaluable read, information forcing them to “MEETwithout THE WEST’S adhere to your schedule the way a FASTEST GUN-FIGHTER telephone call does. AT HIGH NOON AT THE I’mAMCOM particularly fond of postAIR SHOW – AND cards.WIN Colorful, distinct and to the A GENUINE, OLD point,WEST postcards can serve a numTEN-GALLON HAT.� ber ofHere functions: we are selling the sizzle s#APTURE ATTENDEES ratherTHE than the steak.ATTENTION with bright colors and eye catch8. A powerful ing Exclusivity. graphics appeal of direct-mail – and of s$ELIVERESSENTIALINFORMATIONINACONcisetrade fashionshows – is exclusivity. One study released by s3ERVEASATANGIBLEREMINDERTOVISIT Trade Show Bureau yourthe exhibit reported that halfYOU thePLACE people s2EINFORCE THE VALUE ON attend trade shows the who customer relationship go AS specifically to MUNICATION see new s3ERVE THE INITIAL CO products and services that of your marketing message for have not been shown before. the event

If you’re introducing a new technology, a new product, or an improved version of an old s"EDISTINCTIVE product, play this up in your s"E DELIVERED IN A TIMELY FASHION mailing. Emphasize both the there is absolutely no sense in sendimportance of the product as ing out a mailing that will not arrive well as the fact that the reader until after the show is over is having an opportunity see s#ONTAIN A COMPELLING OFFER THAT it first – an opportunity not motivates your attendees to visit extended to other people the booth in the business. This sense of being exclusive, of being Ensure your success by making prefirst, is flattering, and it can show promotion part of your tradedo wonders for your response SHOWPLANNING2EACHINGOUTTOYOUR rate. To be effective, postcards must:

key customers and hot prospects before the event may take a little

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10 Ways to improve...

9. Completing the set. A classic trade show mailing is one in which the prospect is mailed an invitation along with a single cufflink. The cufflink is a free gift, the letter explains, and the reader will be given the other cufflink (to complete the set) when he visit the manufacturer’s booth at the show.

invitation package. It can consist of a letter, an invitation, a carry card, a reply card, a booklet or brochure, or any combination of these elements. The theory is that more people will read the full invitation if they are “warmed-up” with the postcard first.

This is a powerful technique, and if you can think of an appropriate variation that is relevant to your sales pitch, use it. An automobile manufacturer, for example, could mail key chains to important customers and enroll them in a drawing for a brand new car. But to win the car, they must bring the key chain to the drawing. The mailing stresses how you can add a key to your chain (and the car that goes with it) by visiting the show.

iii. The third mailing can be either a follow-up reminder or, if the reader has responded to the invitation, it can be a letter confirming the time, date, and location of the event.

In another variation on this theme, Omron Electronics mailed a box containing a fortune cookie. The fortune inside the cookie predicted “A fortune in your future!” at the ISA show in Philadelphia. Copy on a carry card enclosed with the cookie reinforces the message: “bring this ticket to Omron’s Booth #R631 to collect a fortune.” Note that the nature of the “fortune” is never specified. In direct mail, you can often boost response by leaving a part of your story untold. This creates a sense of mystery, and many people respond simply to satisfy their curiosity. 10. Use a series of mailings. A series of mailings can generate more response than just a single mailing. So it may pay to mail more than once to the same list of people. Many exhibitors have used the following three-part mailing format with success: i. The first mailing is a simple postcard that “previews” the show. It is used to tweak the reader’s curiosity and interest, but demands no response. ii.The second mailing is the full


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Telemarketing – the use of telephone calls to follow-up direct mail - can dramatically raise response levels. But, it is expensive: A phone call generally costs about 10 times more than a mailing piece.You might want to save the telephone for targeting a small, exclusive list – say, your top 20 or 30 clients or customers. They would receive calls after the second or third mailing; the caller would repeat the offer of the mailings and urge prospects to attend your display. Bonus tip: Here’s one thing to keep in mind. Even if you design your own invitation, it’s a good idea to include an official show pass or registration form in the envelope, as well. Having a show pass gives your prospect the comfort and security of knowing he has the necessary paperwork to get him into the exhibit hall. You should imprint your company name and booth number on the show pass, so the prospect will be reminded to visit you even if he throws away the rest of your mailing.

Robert W. Bly is a freelance copywriter and the author of more than 50 books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Direct Marketing (Alpha). For more information visit his Web site at

12/27/07 10:30:55 PM

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12/29/07 3:23:23 PM

How Effective Are Trade Show Giveaways? By: Arnold Light, CTC

One of the nice things about trade shows is the giveaways. More people than not won’t admit it, but they really like the little trinkets that eventually find a place on a desk or a bookcase. How effective are they? Well according to Simmons Market Research Bureau, 91% of respondents ranked trade shows as “extremely useful” as a source for purchasing products. The study also pointed out that 50% actually purchased at trade shows. With this kind of data, if you are exhibiting at a trade show you’ll want to find the kind of giveaways that match your corporate image and message. A trade show giveaway can be the best and least expensive way to promote your company. You can actually use 3 types of giveaways… • Those for your customers or hottest prospects; • Good prospects and; • The general population or “trade show junkies”. You know the type. The one’s who cart around a suitcase on wheels. The key to selecting the right premium to giveaway is your objectives because there are many thousands of items and price points you could choose from. So once

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you determine what you’d like to achieve such as promoting a specific product, getting a certain message across, leaving a certain impression or just informing your prospect about your full line of products or services then you’ll be in a position to make a selection. A good way to find the right item would be through a registered ASI or PPAI representative. ASI stands for Advertising Specialty Institute and PPAI is the Promotional Products Association International, both organizations dedicated to matching manufacturers of premiums with those who sell and distribute them. The best way to find one in your area is do an Internet search or just contact Brilliant Results. An important point to note is to make sure those who have visited your booth remember you after the show. One way to do this is to offer a higher value gift with a long shelf life for qualified prospects. Because once the show is over and you start to do your follow-ups that little gift will make the recipient more favorable to your call.

Arnold Light, CTC, Founder of Fire and Light has 35 years of marketing experience specializing in incentive and loyalty marketing helping multinational corporations develop and implement B2B and B2C results oriented performance improvement programs. For additional information visit or call 914-397-0800.

A great way to involve a prospect is through the use of a real incentive that will make the prospect proactive. And that is through the use of a gift certificate for your product or service or some type of discount coupon. When the recipient redeems the certificate or discount coupon, they will have an opportunity to experience firsthand your product or service and hopefully come back for more. Another very effective tradeshow giveaway is a drawing that is related to your business products or services. Make sure the prize or reward compliments your business and make the entrant either fill out a small form or use their business cards that are dropped into a bowl for the actual drawing sometime during the show or on the last day. These cards will be a great way to follow up after the show. And finally, no matter what type or quality or price point you invest in for your trade show giveaway and incentives, none of it will matter unless you establish a follow up or tracking routine once the show is completed. Have a system in place to contact all of those leads you received. Have a Rewarding Day!

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The End of the Year Review By: Susan Friedman, CSP The end of the year offers exhibitors a valuable opportunity: a chance to review the year’s performance. It’s a great time to identify strong points and celebrate them, while also pinpointing areas needing improvement and beginning the needed changes. Create a Year in Review team that includes members of top management, the tradeshow team leader, and select booth staffers who can provide leadership during the upcoming exhibiting season. Each will have a unique perspective and ability to affect change on the show floor. During this session you should be considering the year as a whole. This goes beyond assessing performance and results, obviously. You want to find good points and make them great. To do this, you have to begin by asking questions and getting answers: It goes without saying that each company will have their own set of questions to consider. However, there are some universal points. Here are the top ten questions you should be asking during your yearend review: 1. Were we at the right shows? The right show puts you in contact with a large number of people from your target audience. If you were a stranger in a strange land, you were at the wrong show. 2. Was our booth in the right place? Not all show floor locations are created equal. Leaving booking to the last minute can put you in the middle of a mile-long aisle of nobodies ­— or right next to the bathroom!

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3. Was our exhibit the right size? Bigger isn’t always better — but you need a booth large enough to accommodate your traffic. 4. Did we send the right people? Staffers should act as positive ambassadors for your company. You want people who are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and friendly. 5. Did our exhibit have a clear message? Exhibiting should be an integrated part of your overall marketing campaign. Pick one strong point and focus on it. 6. Did we draw traffic effectively? Did you have a good crowd? Were they the type of people you want to do business with?

Susan A. Friedmann, CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, Lake Placid, NY, is an internationally recognized expert working with companies to increase their profitability at tradeshows. Author: “Riches in Niches: How to Make it BIG in a small Market” (May 2007) and “Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies.” For more information visit

7. What type of return did we get on our efforts? It can be difficult to track sales back to an initial contact, especially if that contact happens at a tradeshow. However, some deliberate effort should be made to track performance results. 8. Were our giveaway items unique and appropriate? You can draw traffic like nobody’s business by giving away free iPods — but unless you’re an iPod dealer, that’s foolishness. Be unique — and tie your promotional items to your product offerings. 9. Did we stand out from the crowd? If you’re doing the same thing as everyone else, you fail. You need to be one of a kind, and stand out from the crowd. Remember: if you’re not remarkable, you’re invisible. 10. What would we do differently? This is the most important question, and one you should ask throughout the review process. What would you change to have your results match your desires? Use those answers to help you start planning next year’s events now.

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it’s all personal | By:

Dave Ribble

Whether you are attending the Atlanta Build Remodel & Landscape Expo or the Springfield Bridal Show in Massachusetts, you already know you will have a lot of expense involved. There’s personnel costs, travel and accommodation costs, food and drink, transportation. Then you have the cost of the exhibit hall, the carpet, drapes, lighting, freight, set up, etc. And, let’s not forget the costs of all the printed material: brochures, flyers, one-sheets. Did you remember the Promotional Products with your logo on them? This is where we come in, because there are thousands upon thousands of promotional items out there you can slap a logo on to give out to all those wonderful folks we in the business affectionately refer to as “The Scoopers”. You’ve seen them coming. As they approach your booth, their oversized bag opens in their left hand as their right forearm shovels those promo items off your counter and deep into the recesses of their third collection effort in 2 hours. But, I digress.

At best, meaningful conversations with your targeted audience will last no more than a minute or two because you will be busy. Your prospects don’t have more time, either, because they need to get through the show on their timetable.

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What did it cost for you to go to this particular tradeshow and set up shop? $50,000? Less? More? Take the number of hours the show is open and divide that into the amount of money the show is costing you. In this example, let’s say your spend is $50,000 and the show hours over four days totals 32. That would mean you are spending approximately $1562.45 for each hour the show is open. Let’s also assume in this example, that you are expecting 10,000 in attendance. If you divide that by 32 hours, to see everyone who attends, your people will need to talk to 312 ½ prospects per hour to get to all of them. Is this likely? No. At best, meaningful conversations with your targeted audience will last no more than a minute or two because you will be busy. Your prospects don’t have more time, either, because they need to get through the show on their timetable. Here’s another question: if you can get in front of your targeted audience, what is your batting average? .500? .600? .700? If you can snag 7 out of 10 and those 7 represent a lot of business to you, then over the course of 32 hours of exhibit time, you’ll want to talk to 320 to create 224 new accounts. That’s ten targeted conversations an hour. Would 224 new accounts help you? How do you do that? Tell your Promotional Products Professional that you don’t want the Scoopers, but you do want a solid, proven promotionally targeted campaign that will go after 320 of the best, most likely prospects with a pre-show, show and post-show strategy that will ‘get ‘er done’ for you. That’s spending your tradeshow dollars the most cost-effective way possible. Let “The Scoopers” find your competition! Is that the personal way to more clients? Yep. It’s ALL Personal. Dave Ribble is President of The Company Image/Geiger. and, an award-winning Promotional Products and Marketing company. 818.906.9894.

12/28/07 7:51:51 PM


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12/29/07 3:28:24 PM

Dispelling the

Top 7 Myths About Being


By: Maria Gracia

There are lots of myths going around when it comes to getting and staying organized. Here are the top 7, along with the truths: MYTH NUMBER 1




While you can certainly be neat AND be organized, the two terms should never be confused with each other. While you might have NEAT piles, or NEAT boxes piled one on top of the other, or objects lined up NEATLY in a straight line, you may still not be able to find a single thing when you need it. Being organized means you’re using a structured system that allows you to find everything you need when you need it, and you get everything done when it’s due — without frustration, chaos or stress.

MYTH NUMBER 2 TO BE ORGANIZED IS TO BE CLEAN. Once again, while you can be BOTH organized AND clean, those terms should not be confused. Cleaning means that you’re removing dirt, grime and otherwise preparing a sanitary surface. But, you can have the cleanest home or office on the block, and still be disorganized.

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While scheduling appointments, projects you need to complete, chores, etc. is highly recommended, you certainly do not have to schedule ‘every moment’ of your day to be organized. ‘Scheduling is the fine art of packing every day JUST FULL ENOUGH of the most useful activities.’ Never overload it. Your schedule should always allow you time for spontaneity.

MYTH NUMBER 4 ONLY CERTAIN TYPES OF PEOPLE CAN BE ORGANIZED. While there are a very small percentage of people who ‘don’t have the ability’ to be organized, such as someone with a serious illness, most people CAN be organized. Being disorganized is not a disease, it is a decision. If you truly want to be organized, there are proven systems to help you. Once you know these systems and apply them every day of your life, you will be organized.

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MYTH NUMBER 5 BEING ORGANIZED TAKES LOTS OF TIME AND EFFORT. The truth is, it takes a lot less time and effort to be organized, than it does to be disorganized. Disorganization takes more time than you can imagine, and ensures that huge obstacles are always directly in the path of ‘getting things done.’ Getting and staying organized is not rocket-science. The systems and ideas, once learned, applied and practiced, can become as simple as brushing your teeth or combing your hair.

MYTH NUMBER 6 EVERYONE I KNOW IS ORGANIZED, EXCEPT ME. Beware of this myth. Being organized is both an outer and inner trait. Unless you really know a person well, you really can’t come to this conclusion. For example, someone may have a very neat home, but she is never on time. Another person may have an organized home, but his office filing system is out of control. Yet another person may have an organized home and office, but never reaches any of her goals. You are not alone. There are many, many people in the world who need help getting organized in certain areas of their lives — even if it doesn’t seem so on the surface.

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MYTH NUMBER 7 ORGANIZED PEOPLE HAVE NO FUN. On the contrary, the people who are organized are getting the very best out of life. They are getting things done. They’re achieving their goals. They’re not wasting time searching for lost items, or re-doing things, or missing appointments. They’re finding the time they need to do the things they love, and to spend time with the people they care about.

For more information visit Maria Gracia — Get Organized Now!™ on her website Want to get organized? Get your FREE Get Organized Now!™ Idea-Pak, filled with tips and ideas to help you organize your home, your office and your life, at the Get Organized Now!™ website.

January 2008

| Brilliant Results


12/28/07 8:14:46 PM

Common Managerial Dilemmas — And How to Solve Them By Dave Willmer, The Creative Group

There are some challenges that managers in every workplace in every field will face. Whether you’re in marketing or manufacturing, you’re going to encounter some common but vexing difficulties that test both your mettle and patience. The following tips will help you deftly handle three of the most frequent managerial dilemmas: Employee conflict No marketing department — no matter how well run — is immune from friction. Differences in employees’ abilities, temperaments and work styles can lead to tension on the job. In a recent survey by our company, executives said that almost 20 percent of a manager’s time is spent dealing with staff personality conflicts. When coworkers clash, you must deal with the immediate issue as well as prevent fallout that could negatively impact the rest of your team. It’s wise to meet individually with all employees involved and, without assigning blame, restate the situation as you see it. Listen objectively, even if you disagree with certain viewpoints. Encourage the parties to collectively brainstorm ways to resolve the issue. If the conflict proves to be intractable, you may have to reassign or transfer one or more of the individuals. Performance problems Most managers have at least one employee who isn’t living up to his or her potential. The best strategy for dealing with this dilemma is to hold periodic performance reviews. Schedule a private meeting with your under-performing marketer and review

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recent work. Begin by recognizing instances when the person exceeded expectations and explain why you value this type of behavior. “You did an excellent job under tight time constraints with the marketing campaign for XYZ Corp.,” you might say. “Your strong work and extra effort helped strengthen our relationship with them.” Then, discuss areas where you need to see improvement. Work with the individual to establish performance goals and discuss how to monitor progress. Focus on accountability and schedule another review session as a checkpoint. Unfortunately, there will be times when no amount of monitoring will reverse weak output. When you don’t see positive changes after ample time and numerous efforts to assist the employee, termination may be the best option. A poor-performing employee is generally an unhappy one, and his or her dissatisfaction could spread to other members of the team. If you are considering this option, keep in mind that you should consult with your legal and human resources department before taking action. Sagging morale Many factors can cause a slump in morale, including a downsizing, uncertainty about the company’s

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future or a shift in corporate culture. When employees are dispirited, they’re likely to fall into a cycle of inefficiency and low productivity. Turnover may increase as people seek more secure jobs elsewhere. As a manager, you must take decisive action to boost your staff’s spirits. Communication is key. Meet with your team and acknowledge that the organization has been through a difficult period. Thank them for persevering and continuing to do their best. If you can honestly offer reassurance that the situation has stabilized, do so. If this is not the case, or you’re not in a position to comment, never make promises you can’t keep as your staff may be further demoralized.

Dave Willmer is executive director of The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service placing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals with a variety of firms on a project basis. For more information, visit

Also, remember the power of positive reinforcement by regularly recognizing and rewarding good performance. Don’t wait until annual-review time to give pats on the back. A simple thank-you or public praise for a job well done will help bolster lagging morale and aid your retention efforts. The managerial dilemmas highlighted above are as universal as they are challenging. But by addressing these scenarios swiftly and strategically, you can keep these problems from jeopardizing your marketing or creative department’s stability and profitability.

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January 2008 | Brilliant Results


12/28/07 8:11:34 PM

passionate leadership | By:

Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D.

Money Over Mood It’s no secret and there’s no shame to it. Almost everyone feels better when they have a little extra money. It’s easy to understand why so many people are having difficulty adjusting to the recent turnarounds in the business economy and the real estate market. For those who own a business, a home, or have funds invested in Wall Street, the past few months have been scary. Even if the profits were on paper, the downturn removes the joy most felt at the peak of the business market. Knowing that your company is growing tends to make everyone working there feel better and safer. It’s only natural that when the direction changes, we would tend to emotionalize the reality and feel a little down. Unfortunately, a number of companies have lost significant value as a result of the mortgage debacle and the stock market slide. Keeping morale up when profits are down is a tough job for the best of leaders, but the best of the best will hold their teams together by whatever means possible…That kind of commitment is what will make their businesses secure in the years ahead.

Keeping morale up when profits are down is a tough job for the best of leaders, but the best of the best will hold their teams together by whatever means possible…That kind of commitment is what will make their businesses secure in the years ahead.

Leaders and team members who have to deal with this kind of a financial loss are going to experience grief. It is both natural and necessary. If we don’t mourn for our losses, we can’t recover from them. There are hundreds of professionals who are dealing with the anxiety of having to refinance or reconfigure their financial futures. For some, it’s difficult to avoid worrying, and this is understandable. There is so much in the media about market downturns and the state of the economy. If you so much as flip on any news channel, you are likely to be bombarded by someone’s negative opinion. For most of us, however, the best thing to do is to count our blessings. If you’re still better off than you were, and it’s just a paper loss, you need to focus your attention on what’s in front of you and do your best to ignore the naysayers. Life will go on. If you’ve been around for a while, I’m sure you have seen things turn around more than once. Everything works in cycles, and eventually your company’s financial forecast will be back on track. The trick is to not let the fear destabilize your business and keep you from enjoying what you have. Remember that if you have your health and you work with people you care about, you can make your business safe and comfortable once again. Just because your company may be worth less, it doesn’t mean that you are. For more than two decades Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions, and government organizations worldwide have relied on Dr. Barton Goldsmith to help them develop creative and balanced leadership. He is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, business consultant and author. His columns appear in over 500 publications, including the Chicago Sun-Times, the Detroit News, and the Los Angeles Business Journal. Considered an expert on small business, he has spoken worldwide to groups of 10 to 5,000, and is in high demand for Keynotes, Training and Consulting. He may be contacted through his web site or at (818) 879-9996.

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the Last


For the past 25 years the International Training and Management Company (ITMC) has been helping businesses achieve positive results from their trade and consumer show activities both domestically and internationally. Now recognized as a global leader in the field, they are dedicated to enhancing the performance of people and organizations at trade and consumer shows and contributing to their success.

Brilliant Results was delighted to have the opportunity to question Barry Siskind, ITMC’s Founder and President, about the secrets of business and particularly trade show success. Barry is a consultant, speaker and internationally recognized expert in trade and consumer shows, addressing numerous conferences, association meetings and clients around the globe each year. Barry is also a best-selling author of business books: The Successful Exhibitor, The Power of Exhibit Marketing, Making Contact, Bumblebees Can’t Fly, Eagles Must Soar, and his latest book Powerful Exhibit Marketing. As a business writer Barry has developed research reports for the prestigious Centre for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) and has been designated as one of their distinguished industry gurus. He has also written over 500 original articles for industry publications, newsletters and websites, and he is a regular Brilliant Results contributor.

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In 2006 Barry was the recipient of the Canadian Exposition Industry Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of 20 years of outstanding achievements in furthering the professionalism of the Canadian Exposition industry. BR: What prompted you to start the International Training and Management Company and how is it different from other trade show and exhibit management consulting firms? Prior to forming International Training and Management Company, I owned and operated a display company. Our focus was not in trade show displays rather we designed and manufactured retail displays. As owner and operator of this company, I used trade shows regularly to promote our services. Back then we participated in a dozen or so shows across Canada and the United States. Being a small company and cash strapped, I would look at larger companies in the shows I was participating in and experience “booth envy.” Part of me knew if I could afford it I would be able to create a spectacular display. Then another part of me saw how the booth staff in these expensive booths were acting and I knew that I had an advantage that size couldn’t quash.

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the last word

Going back a few years earlier, I was involved in sales training. It helped finance my way through university. This background gave me a unique vantage point. I knew that working at a trade show required a different set of skills and that if the people working in the more elaborate booths understood the skills, they could be so much more successful. All that was put on the back burner until I was approached to sell my company…here I was, mid-life making the decision about what I would do. My thoughts turned back to sales training which I really liked. The problem was there were too many sales trainers on the market and for me to join the throng as a “me too,” was simply not appealing. Then I realized that there was a growing need for specialized training for the 2.5 million companies who annually appeared at a trade or consumer show. I did some research and learned that there were not a lot of people taking care of this market and that I had a strong message to convey. I took the plunge. That was twenty five years ago and since then I have helped thousands of exhibitors improve their bottom line through their show investment. In addition I have written and had published five best selling business books including The Successful Exhibitor and Powerful Exhibit Marketing. What makes us different from most of the other consultant’s is that this is all we do. We live and breathe exhibiting. It’s not like we have a menu of programs and have added exhibit education to the bottom of the list. As a specialist I have been able to grow our offerings from training to the full gamut of strategic show planning and measurement. BR: W  hat is the key(s) to trade showexhibiting success? The key elements to a successful exhibit marketing experience are: • Develop a strategic plan

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• Integrate the plan into the corporation’s overall marketing mix • Focus on clear and measurable objectives • Choose the right shows • Create a display that will help stand out amongst the competition • Participate campaign





• Train, motivate and coach booth staff • Aggressively follow-up shows leads. BR: H  ow do you advise your clients to measure their show ROI? This is a good question. I have had many clients who approach their show investment backwards. They participate because they feel they have to be there, because their competition is there or because they don’t know what else to do. In addition there are clients who simply throw up their hands when it comes to measurement because of the mistaken attitude that: “We are not looking for sales and therefore measurement is impossible.” or, “Our sales cycle is so long that we really don’t know if the ultimate sale was a result of our trade show participation.” To all of these exhibitors I have the same answer, “If you can’t measure the results then it’s not worth the investment.” Measurement comes down to understanding there are two types of exhibiting objectives: sales and communication. Sales objectives include those activities that lead directly to sales such as gathering qualified leads, making contacts or reinforcing relationships. Communication objectives include brand support, image or awareness. Both objectives can and must be measured. Measuring sales objectives is relatively easy. It can include the number and quality of a specific contact made at a show, the number and quality of leads obtained or the dollar amount of sales achieved.

January 20 January 2008

| Brilliant Results 49

12/29/07 4:55:23 PM

the last word

International Training and Management Company The Exhibit Specialists

Measuring a communication objective means understanding what you are trying to achieve. Here are three simple steps that an exhibitor with a communication objective can take. Define the message. If the objective was brand awareness then it is important to recognize the exact brand message. Exhibitors need to clearly articulate the message and focus on two or three key aspects that they want their public to know. Define the audience. Rarely will one exhibitor want to talk to everyone at the show. In this step it is important to clearly articulate who the target is. This means creating an exact profile of the most likely candidate for the message. Create a measurement. Here we can now define our communication measurement as the number of people who fit into the profile that your booth staff had an opportunity to present your key messages to. BR: What do you recommend for successfully using promotional and/or incentive products at exhibit booths? Promotional products are often misused. They are placed on a counter in piles with the result that they attract the trade show “collectors.” Studies have proven that promotional products have value. They leave the visitors with a positive feeling and they reinforce the message. However, when they are left on counter tops for everyone to pick up the value is lost. My suggestion is to take them off the counters and hide them. Never approach visitors and say, “Want a free pen?” because they will answer, “Yes,” and continue walking. In my opinion the correct approach is to use your interpersonal skills to engage someone in a conversation and once the conversation is finished then offer the promotional product as a thank you. You could simply say, “Thanks for visiting our booth. We have created this special gift for all our visitors. If you want any additional information about our company, our web-site is printed on the barrel of this pen. I hope you will pay us a visit.” This


Brilliant Results | January 2008

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way you make the promotional product special and it now has value. BR: Do you have any final thoughts or advice for maximizing exhibit results? Exhibit marketing is serious business. It is getting more expensive to be a participant and the CEIR reports that the visitors who attend have never been of higher quality. The trick is to approach your exhibit planning strategically which means to understand what you want from your investment and know how it fits into the overall marketing program. Then undertake the necessary steps to achieve success. Often companies make the mistake that doing all this is a matter of logistics – hiring the decorator and arranging to have products shipped. That’s only half the battle. The other part that is often missing is the strategic approach. If a company does not have in-house people who can assure that both the strategic and logistic sides are attended to, then looking for an expert’s advice is a good investment. BR: What was the last promotional or incentive product that you remember receiving? I get so many. The products that stand out in my mind are things that I can use – not stuff I can bring home to my kids. This would include good quality writing pens, note books, travel alarm clocks, luggage tags, breathe mints and business card holders. For more information about the International Training and Management Company and Barry Siskind, please visit

12/29/07 4:55:41 PM



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plus Sponsorship vs. Promotion and sit down with and Brilliant Results goes one on one with the Pitbull of Personal Development ® January 20...

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