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Business to Business Online Expos


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It’s Hard to go Swimming in a Blizzard

AtlanticCityThe Pool and Spa Show [2015] just wrapped up at the Atlantic City Convention Center yesterday and it’s pretty safe to gather that Attendees were hesitant to come out for a dip with dipping temperatures and a blizzard threatened to slam South Jersey.

MARTIN DeANGELIS of Press of Atlantic City wrote, “The weather apparently held attendance down a bit Tuesday — even if the snow was nowhere near as much as most forecasters feared, at least in New Jersey. But the organizers and vendors said they expected the crowds to pick up before the show ends Thursday.”

But it didn’t.

Not by much anyway.

And Exhibitors that spent thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars were very disappointed with the results.

No one is blaming the expo itself, their sponsors or convention center. It wasn’t their fault.

It’s that little unforeseen thing that happens sometimes called, “Act of God”. There’s nothing anyone can do about it and for those who frequent the trade shows every year, it’s not the first time this has happened–and definitely won’t be the last.

Every year, businesses spend collectively over $8 billion dollars to exhibit at trade shows. Companies do this because expos are a necessary part of doing business. However, aside from high costs, office interruptions, weather disruptions and employee wrangling, there is another issue 9 out of 10 business owners will tell you they have with these shows.

Lack of time.

A 2-3 day long expo doesn’t give companies enough time to see even half of the current and potential customers they are planning to connect with.

Trade shows are an important part of doing business. I’m not implying that your company shouldn’t attend them. With most businesses, showing at an expo is crucial for growth.

What I am saying is, if there was a way for you and your company to exhibit at an industry specific, on-going business to business trade show, with an unlimited amount of attendees from all over the world, at a cost about 98% less expensive then what you would spend at your typical show, would this be of interest to your company?

If you answered, “YES”, click HERE.


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3 Huge ‘Checking In’ Travel Tips

checkinWith The 5th Annual Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show returning to the San Francisco area February 5th through the 7th, I thought I’d throw out some travel tips for my peeps based on my own traveling experiences.

You may be wondering how I qualify as an expert in this field and I’ll just say this:

In the last 25 years, I have taken over 1100 flights, stayed in over 500 hotels, rented over 75 cars, 3 long distance bus trips, 2 train rides and stayed in 2 Bed and Breakfast joints throughout 11 countries. Will that due?

TIP #1 – LEAVING HOME

CHECKING IN TO YOUR FLIGHT

I found something the hard way and I want to save you some grief. When you check in for your flight, you are telling the airline that you are 100% certain that you will be on that flight. The phrase “Check In” was created at the actual location in the past because you were letting the airline know you were “in”; you were “there”; you were ready to get on the plane.

Now-a-days, for convenience, passengers have the ability to “Check in” even when they’re NOT “in”. Unfortunately, the airline and their reservation system doesn’t have any flexibility here, so wherever you check in from, if you do not make it to your flight, there are no late fees, discounts or penalties–your ticket is just cancelled. No refund either. And to travel that day to your original destination, you have to purchase a brand new ticket–with same day expensive pricing.

A few years back, I checked in from home on one occasion and got stuck in a four hour parking lot on the freeway because there was a fatal accident 10 miles in front of me. I missed my flight and got on another one two hours later. For $1240.00.

My Advice: If you want to avoid the check in lines at the airport, check in from your Smartphone when you’re on the Parking Shuttle, already at the airport.

TIP #2 – ARRIVING AT THE DESTINATION AIRPORT

CHECKING IN FOR YOUR RENT-A-CAR

I don’t know why people don’t do this but I find this small tip to be successful almost 50% of the time when I’m renting a car.

Ask for the upgrade!

You’re at the counter, they’re checking your license and running your credit card, in a friendly, playful manner say, “Hey by the way, I want to thank you so much for the free upgrade. That was really cool of you.”

They will laugh. Don’t take it wrong. If you do it right, they’re not laughing at you, they’re laughing because they thought your comment was fun.

If you have been pleasant with the clerk and they feel moved by your personality, you are going to hear many of them say, “Ya know what? I may have something available.”

Know This: Most of these employees are given the power to make upgrade decisions. They don’t just give upgrades to frequent renters or unhappy folks, they also give them away as a blessing at times.

Show off your pearly whites and give them a reason to bless you.

TIP #3 – ARRIVING AT YOUR HOTEL

CHECKING IN TO YOUR ROOM

Just like rent-a-car employees, hotel staff has the freedom to provide upgrades as well. Every shift, front desk clerks are given a certain amount of “strokes” that they can pass on to people like you and me.

The same approach I used at the rent-a-car place works for hotels as well. “By the way, I really appreciate you upgrading our room to a suite. It’s reasons like that I love this hotel so much.”

On a different note, if you don’t like the room the hotel randomly selected for you…you’re not stuck with it. Even if you call down to the desk and they tell you they are overbooked, you can still get the satisfaction you’re looking for. You just need to know the back story.

Back Story: Most hotels are never sold out. Not literally anyway. They have a “sold out” status when a certain amount of rooms are occupied but they always leave extras for high rollers or ‘never know’ type of situations.

Knowing this, if you don’t like you’re room, you don’t have to settle for their excuses that make you feel like you’re stuck. Tell them this is unacceptable and you want a different room. If they try to downgrade you to a worse room, tell them that you want to walk the available room options with a manager until you find one you like.

I know, I know, you sound like a spoiled Beverly Hills brat! But it rarely gets to that point. Most decent hotels will make you happy without you having to show your spoiled side.

Just don’t settle for their first comments. I don’t want to call them “liars” but most of them are trained to pass along a little loving deception. You’re dropping $200+ per night to sleep in the same room that hundreds of strangers occupied in the last 12 months. Make sure you get what you want.


I hope that you found these tips helpful.

If you’re in the Travel Industry, check out the Resort and Travel Show at InternetTradeShows.com. Sign up for FREE today.


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Engaging Attendees at Your Booth

I love the Swag Vending Machine! Awesome idea!

 What other things can you do to make your convention experience better for others?

Some great ideas here.


 

To reach professionals worldwide in your specific industry check out InternetTradeShows.com!


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i.T.S. Bringin’ Biz Peeps Together

its_general

Click on the photo to view larger.

 

The next-generation of Trade Shows has arrived! Whether you’re an Exhibitor, Attendee, Buyer, Manufacturer or member of the Press, InternetTradeShows.com [iTS] has you covered. We are the destination for the employee, the employer, the self employed and even those looking for employment.

Online Expos

InternetTradeShows.com is the first and only online expo portal where businesses can display and sell their products, market their services and network with a large industry specific user base.

The Show Floor Never Closes

Stay connected to hundreds of thousands of Attendees and Exhibitors in the comfort and convenience of your home or office 24/7. Plus, the show stays open all year long and is constantly updated.

How Do I Participate?

Signing up is easy. Just click on this link, choose the expo(s) that best represents your industry and click on the Exhibit Now or Attendees button. Fill out a few short fields and you’re ready to join the show.

All Things Trade Shows

In addition to our in-house online expos, iTS is your one-stop-shop for breaking news, entertaining blogs, cutting edge podcasts, media, floor plans and every resource you need for All Things Trade Shows!

How Can My Company Exhibit in the Online Expos?

Becoming an Exhibitor is quick and easy. You’re just a few clicks away to reaching a business to business audience worldwide. Our autobooth-builder will guide you through the set up process and our knowledgeable team is always on stand-by to assist as well.

What Others Say

Let’s face it, anytime that you do a live show, there’s no way of knowing what your success rate is going to be. It could be huge sales or no sales. What iTS can do is fill in the gap for you. It’s gonna help you throughout the year to constantly do that kind of business that you do at the live shows. Companies won’t have to rely so heavily on making huge profits at the show, they can reach people all year long.  –Kim Thornton, Exhibitor

I attend 40-50 expos per year as I cover trade shows for a variety of agencies and publications. This web portal is the answer to so many business to business needs. Not only are the online expos a great way to keep commerce alive inbetween the traditional shows, but the media and resources this site offers are refreshingly original and entertaining.  –Lisa Marie Brandt, Press


 

For more information visit www.InternetTradeShows.com

 


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DO NOT give an office massage

handsoffEven though the workplace is getting a little more comfortable today, the sexual harassment laws are getting more strict.

I applaud the efforts to make companies and job sites less sleezy and better working environments because back when I first got into business, I witnessed some interoffice behavior that would make your head spin. Chauvinistic, hurtful, rude and crude actions between managers and employees, employees and employees, even employees and customers.

Corporate reaction to sexual harassment really started taking form in the mid 90s. I remember working for a Los Angeles radio station back then, a time when I encountered my first taste of how serious companies were dealing with this issue.

LA RADIO

I was a radio host and producer of a popular morning show, I believe it was 1996.  There was a sales assistant in the office where I worked who I always bumped into day after day. It quickly became obvious that this young woman had a thing for me because she started leaving me naughty little love notes in my office message box.

When I say, “naughty little love notes”, I mean, very detailed descriptions and fantasies of where she was hoping to go with our interoffice friendship. The wording was graphic, crude and something that could have been taken from the pages of an erotic romance novel.

I was in my 20s, I was single and I didn’t have the relationship with God that I have today. In other words, at that moment in my life, receiving communication like this didn’t bother me at all. In fact, it kind of flattered me.

Me and the Program Director [my boss] were tight. I was able to talk with him about anything because producing content for the radio show opened up all kinds of conversations. That said, knowing we were boyz, I took some of these notes to him so that he could get a kick out of them with me.

Upon reading them, he laughed [a little uncomfortably] with me and then we went our separate ways and finished our work day.

The following morning, I got called into the General Manager’s office. The GM was sitting at his desk, the PD was there, a company attorney was there and the woman in question was also in there, her head down and crying.

I was confused. I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong. I didn’t hook up with this woman. I wondered for a minute if I was being set up by her. I concocted a thought that since I never accepted her advances, she turned on me and was trying to take me down. People are crazy like that. It’s a fair thought.

The GM started speaking, “Wayne, we brought you in here because it has been brought to our attention that you have been a victim of sexual harassment.”

“Sexual Harassment?” I asked. “I was not sexually harassed.”

The lawyer then opened up a folder with copies of the letters that this woman wrote to me. They had prepared a whole legal file against her and they were trying to get me to sign off on the complaint so that they could fire her.

“I thought sexual harassment was unwanted advances in the workplace,” I queried. Then I made sure to let them know that “I didn’t have any issues with her advances.”  I really didn’t. Being young and immature, I actually thought it was kind of funny.

Their legal team gave me an explanation that moved in circles and didn’t really make any sense to me. I was, however, able to quell the situation and get them to just give this woman a warning, instead of firing her.

At the time I thought their response was ridiculous. I felt it was a corporate overreaction and unnecessary. However, as I grew up in business, I started understanding the possible ramifications I could have brought to that company had they not documented it. If I had ever taken issue with that company, I could have pulled out those letters as a smoking gun and made them pay for it.

They needed to protect themselves.

BE CAREFUL OF THE LITTLE THINGS

That was an extreme and obvious example of a sexual harassment situation. What about the simple ones? The little things like when a co-worker asks you to give her a neck massage. That happens in just about every office.

DO NOT give an office massage! Any kind touching in that manner will get you written up or fired for sexual harassment; even if your co-worker asked for it.

Take a look at what The CA Fair Employment and Housing says on the subject:

They define sexual harassment as unwanted sexual advances, or visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This definition includes many forms of offensive behavior and includes gender-based harassment of a person of the same sex as the harasser. The following is a partial list of violations:

  • Unwanted sexual advances
  • Offering employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors
  • Making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to sexual advances
  • Visual conduct: leering, making sexual gestures, displaying of suggestive objects or pictures, cartoon or posters
  • Verbal conduct: making or using derogatory comments, epithets, slurs, and jokes
  • Verbal sexual advances or propositions
  • Verbal abuse of a sexual nature, graphic verbal commentaries about an individual’s body, sexually degrading words used to describe an individual, suggestive or obscene letters, notes or invitations

The three most common types of sexual harassment complaints filed with the Department are:

  • An employee is fired or denied a job or an employment benefit because he/she refused to grant sexual favors or because he/she complained about harassment. Retaliation for complaining about harassment is illegal, even if it cannot be demonstrated that the harassment actually occurred.
  • An employee quits because he/she can no longer tolerate an offensive work environment, referred to as a “constructive discharge” harassment case. If it is proven that a reasonable person, under like conditions, would resign to escape the harassment, the employer may be held responsible for the resignation as if the employee had been discharged.
  • An employee is exposed to an offensive work environment. Exposure to various kinds of behavior or to unwanted sexual advances alone may constitute harassment.

I brought this blog into play so that you could take a moment to look in the mirror. Have you been “getting away” with office behavior [management or employee] that you know could eventually come back to haunt you. Remember, the playful fun co-worker today can easily turn on you tomorrow if the company wrongs them in any way.

Keep it on the straight and narrow when you’re at work–especially if you’re in management. The laws written towards supervisors harassing employees are hardcore and in some cases serve up criminal punishment. It’s not worth it.

You go to work to work. Save the play time for after work.

Your future will thank you for it.

Go get ’em Tiger!


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No internet allowed; in the internet department

internetdeptI used to be the Sales Director of the Internet Department at a car dealership. Just to clarify, the Internet Department in the auto-biz is a division of the sales force who specifically serve web clients that have been shopping through the internet. From referrals by buying companies to lead sources, email, text, etc., this team spends the majority of their days in front of a monitor. These employees are all over the digital marketplace chasing down customers.

One day, our genius [sarcastic] General Manager decided that he was going to lock down everyone’s computers to only include a few scattered links that they used every day for their email, customer management program and most pages associated with our brand. The rest of the internet–off limits.

ASININE

The prospects they talk to on the phone every day have full access to all their shopping options in a variety of places on the web. On the other hand, the sales team that needed to be competitive and informed about their competition was unable to stay efficient because a GM was worried someone was reading FoxNews.com too often?

Handicapping his staff, the department started seeing a consistent decline in monthly numbers. Captain Power-trip blamed other factors but truth be told, the new policy was not very smart.

The IT department had access to every key stroke the people made. If they were concerned about where their ‘internet employees’ were surfing, they could have run a report to see for themselves and determine if corrective action was needed. But to treat them like small children and take away tools they need to be successful is just ridiculous.

One member of upper management tried to defend the GM by saying, “He probably is trying to keep people off of Facebook and focused on their job.” Okay, smarty-pants, there’s just one problem with that theory. Social Media is an incredible way of building your customer base. When I was an internet salesman, 4-6 cars I sold per month were a direct result of frequent posting on these sites.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Do not take away your team’s access to social media!

Even if they don’t use it for work, a short amount of friendly interaction on Facebook can be beneficial to the overall production. Here’s the bottom line–they’re gonna do it anyway. Most of your employees have smart phones and checking their posts is part of their hour to hour lives.

Regulate it.  Give them a time window when they are allowed to take social media breaks.

Use it to your advantage. If your company generates revenue from the public, come up with contests and promotions that encourages staff to reach out to their power circle on Facebook and generate some new business.

You’ll keep your team happy and productive.

Go get ’em Tiger!


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What if the trade show industry was run like the airlines?

airporttrtadeWritten by: Jim Obermeyer

What if the trade show industry were run like airlines?

Several months ago I saw an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “If the World Were Run Like Airlines”.  In this ‘altered’ world, sandwich prices would spike at peak hours and ‘priority’ elevators at the hotel would cost extra.  Grocery stores would narrow their aisles to get more product in the store and generate more revenue.

While this article poked fun at the vagaries of the over-regulated and super competitive airline business, it got me thinking about our industry.  How much different than the airline industry is the trade show industry, really?

Imagine if airlines ran trade shows.  We’d work in an industry where price changes happen at a moment’s notice, where customers are hit with penalties of hundreds of dollars and schedules don’t necessarily mean much.  Just imagine…

In the airline industry, buy your ticket more than 14 days out and it’s one price; buy it the day of your flight and it can be more than double.  In the trade show industry, reserve your show services two months out and it’s one price; wait until you’re on show site and it can be more than double.

In the airline industry a multitude of outside influences – weather, traffic, and mechanical issues – can impact flight schedules and cause delays that an individual passenger has no control over.  In the trade show industry a multitude of outside influences – weather, traffic, jammed marshalling yards – can impact the delivery of freight to an exhibit, something the individual exhibitor has no control over.

Read the rest of the story here.

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