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Posted by on in From the Trenches

Economic conditions over the last five years have been extremely difficult for business in general, but especially for small to mid-sized businesses trying to navigate uncertain times. The trade show business has been no exception, and many companies have closed or been sold off. This consolidation has created more opportunities for organizations like ours.  Based on our ability to quickly change to meet our clients’ evolving requirements, we have been able to grow our business each of the last five years at a consistent and manageable pace without the need to significantly increase expenses. We are optimistic about the future business environment and will continue to build The Tradeshow Network Marketing Group on the principles of putting the customer first while continuing sound financial planning.

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Posted by on in From the Trenches
Freebies at exhibitions - good or bad?

Driving to an exhibition recently, we were listening to the local radio and heard the DJ plugging the event. The exhibition was free of entry and totally accessible to the public. When the DJ was talking about it however it seemed that his promotion of the event mainly encouraged people to attend with the prospect of the freebies that would be available to them. Now I’m not saying that there is anything particularly wrong with this (everyone loves freebies and it’s clearly bringing attention to the show), but it did raise the question in my mind into the benefits of freebies at events and if it is worth companies investing vast amounts of money into them.


On the one hand you can see why companies distribute branded freebies at events; they’re easy to design and produce, easy to giveaway and can help to keep you to stick in the memories of prospective customers. However, if they are all going to people who have no ideas what your business does but do know that they want a new USB, can the money spent on making them be justified?

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Posted by on in From the Trenches
Social media buzz - to the event and beyond

Social media is a powerful marketing tool for any business in the modern world, regardless of sector or size. Recent statistics have revealed that 36% of people have posted about a brand on Facebook, and 61% are willing to give feedback on brands and products over Facebook.

But how can this relate to exhibitions? Well, getting people talking about your brand can be a fun and hugely rewarding thing to do. Below we have compiled some points on just why you should take advantage of the buzz that can be created by both social media and events, and how you can do it for your brand:


1. Pre-event buzz

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Posted by on in MyBlog

Errol Ahearn is Vice President, Exec Admin - Design & Creative at GES...

For my Wife and I's next date night, I'm planning to take her to a play. Chances are I’ll be thinking a little bit about work (sorry honey!). Why? Because live theater and exhibiting have obvious parallels. For starters, a theater’s stage is strategically lit and filled with props and actors to perform in front of a live audience (just like your exhibit). It’s the nitty-gritty parallels that I find most interesting. You don’t need to be an experienced thespian to know what I’m talking about. Take a minute and think about the most memorable live performance you’ve ever seen. What made it so interesting? The whole experience or a small detail?

The best performances require lots of planning, a great script and clever physical solutions to make it extraordinary. Think of your exhibit in reference to the topics below. What areas of your performance could use improvement?

  1. Actors – Is your exhibit staff well rehearsed and do they know their lines? Did they repeatedly “hit their mark” for that day’s performance? Never underestimate the power of pre-show staff training.
  2. Wardrobe - Is your staff’s apparel unified or is it a free for all? Can visitors quickly identify who’s working your booth and who’s an attendee?
  3. Props - What tools does your staff use to heighten their performance? What “props” need to be redesigned to work better?
  4. Backstage - Does your storage and meeting space contribute to or deter from the show?
  5. Stage - Is your set design a comedy or tragedy? Is your exhibit inviting? What grabs the attendees’ attention enough for them to leave the aisle and enter your space? Can they find you? Remember the rules for creating a visual hierarchy.
  6. Script – Is there a beginning, middle and end to the attendee experience? What’s your pull-thru strategy? What key messages are you relaying through graphics and multimedia?
  7. Debut- Are you putting your company’s newest products and services in the limelight? Does your audience need a visual cue to find it?
  8. The Big Reveal – First, you must engage the attendee then impress them! What pre-show marketing have you done to generate attendance? What in-booth presentations, demonstrations or hands-on activities do you have planned? Check out how Bell Helicopter used marketing to set the stage for their big reveal.
  9. Intermission- Are you using in-booth hospitality to get your audience talking about your performance?
  10. Standing Ovation or Lay an Egg– What measurements are in place to determine outstanding results or attendee feedback?


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Posted by on in From the Trenches

Doug Shockley is Vice President, Global Events at GES

As I board my plane to Beijing, China for another corporate event, I realize that working on international projects has taught me so much, from cultural differences to the unique event management processes that vary in each country. The global journeys my team has been invited on are endless and unique.


We’ve taken the specific event I’m traveling to now, from Las Vegas to Madrid and now we’re on to China. Here are the five tips you should use before you take the big international leap:

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