Business to Business Online Expos

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Does Anyone Pick Up the Phone Anymore?

iphoneI remember when we used to let the phone ring because we thought that it “might” be someone we didn’t want to talk to. Okay, I know I’m dating myself but I’ve been there for a few blank stares at my grandmother’s old rotary phone as it rang up a party seeking to communicate.

I also remember a short few years later waiting until a device called “an answer machine” kicked on so we could listen to hear who’s voice it was. Then we would decide to pick it up or not.

As time went by, we got to see a person’s phone number on a little LED screen to help us in our ‘should we pick up’ decision making process. That led into seeing their names with something called “caller ID”, then the digital phone age really started kicking into full speed and a variety of ‘avoid your call’ options came to light.

Fast forward to today, it seems like all of the older behaviors of people like me and my generation helped groom this current generation to completely despise talking to someone on the phone.

Seriously! Nobody picks up a call anymore.

And I’m not just talking about personal calls. Even at businesses. Everything goes to people’s voicemails and call backs are rare, yet e-mails are almost immediately returned. I call businesses all the time from business phones and personal phones. Aside from a mainline phone number, most staff peeps let the calls go to voicemail as a practice.

Hey–I’m a text-a-holic so I’m no one to judge anyone’s preference for data, but I do believe there’s a huge downslide in basic communication skills today. It has become widely excepted and accepted to handle customers by using just data in business and in the personal side of our lives as well.

I’m confident that someday we will be able to just ‘think a thought’ and that brain dialogue will be sent to the receiver of our imagination. When technology brings us there, I think that I’ll be okay with that because my thoughts to a specific individual is pretty personal. I’m sharing real time emotion and feelings.  Until then however, I guess we will all have to continue to ignore each other and stay close friends with our keyboards.

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FETC 2015 Coming to Orlando

fetcFETC is the content-rich conference that brings education leaders and technology experts together to exchange techniques and strategies for teaching and learning success.

Known worldwide for its outstanding program, FETC provides educators and administrators the opportunity to explore the integration of technology across the curriculum—from kindergarten to college—through hands-on exposure to the latest hardware, software and successful strategies.

FETC offers a wealth of information for all education professions—teachers, principals and deans, district administrators, curriculum designers, media specialists, technology directors and others.

To register or get more info, visit the FETC website here.

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Turn ‘Cold Calls’ into ‘Connect Calls’

coldcallI don’t think I ever met a salesman that enjoyed making cold calls. In fact, it’s usually the entry level gig to any major sales position with a company.

I’m a salesman. I’m not gonna lie. Cold calling sucks. However, the name Cold Call doesn’t mean that you have to be cold with the person you’re speaking with. Get off the script and find a way to connect. A first time phone chat has a much better chance of converting into a future deal if the focus is on the company and person you’re calling.

Meaning, don’t call to promote your product, call them to fill a need [with the help of your product]!

Lew Hoff, President of Bartizan Mobile Apps wrote a recent piece about this on TSNN. Hoff recommends using their profiles on social media as a tool. “If you use Linkedin and Twitter your cold calls don’t have to feel like cold calls because you know something about them and can possibly relate on a human level. The prospect could be a neighbor, went to the same school, have the same hobby. Be open with the people when you call about having looked at their LinkedIn profiles. It helps break the ice. Plus it shows you’ve gone to more trouble than 90% of the other salespeople who call them every day.”

Great points, read the full story here.

Lew says Cold Calls like this are considered Connect Calls. And that makes perfect sense because you are making a connection early which dramatically improves your chances of closing the deal.

Go get ’em Tiger!


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3 Days Dedicated to the Monetization of Digital Content

dewDigital Entertainment World 2015 (DEW) is drawing near and organizers are putting together all the final schedules and appearances for their keynote speakers, industry experts, conferences and showcases.

DEW is slotted for February 10-12th and will be held at The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

300+ Speakers  100+ Sessions

The three day event brings together leading industry executives from Games, Music, Video and Publishing to discuss, debate, deliberate and celebrate the issues, opportunities and successes driving the digital entertainment industry. The digital entertainment world is changing the way content owners, enabling technology providers, digital distribution platforms and CE manufacturers meet and engage.

DEW 2015 celebrates the visionary content creators and technology innovators who are creating the engaging products and experiences driving the future of connected entertainment.

Major players who have participated in this show in years past include, NFL, Disney, hulu, Google, Facebook, NETFLIX and Microsoft–just to name a few.

For more information, check out the DEW website here.

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Spam Laws: What is a “confirmed opt-in”?

spamYou have a list of thousands of names, addresses, phone numbers and emails. You got the list during one promotion and now you’re doing a new promotion. Can you use that same list and tell everyone about the new event or sale?

The laws on bulk email, spam and privacy are getting more and more complicated as technology becomes more advanced. Let’s look a one method that can help protect your company, should anyone every try to go after you.

Confirmed Opt-In

According to SPAMHAUS:

Confirmed opt-in (COI) is a process by which a mailing list owner verifies that an opt-in request did in fact come from the owner of the email address and was therefore not spoofed, forged, typo’d or otherwise fraudulently subscribed. The essence of COI is that the subscriber MUST respond affirmatively to the initial message sent to their e-mail address or else they are NOT added to the list. COI ensures that all addresses are added to the list legitimately and only with the owner’s permission. Note that simply sending a “welcome” message where the e-mail address owner is subscribed unless they take specific action in order to stop the mail is a form of “opt out” and does not fulfill the “opt in” standard. Note that simply sending a “welcome” message where the e-mail address owner is subscribed unless they take specific action in order to stop the mail is a form of “opt out” and does not fulfill the “opt in” standard required.

The Spamhaus website offers all kinds of great insight, tips and clarification of the laws and I highly recommend you click over and view them. In addition, put this site on your favorite’s list for future reference. It only takes one innocent mistake to cost your company tens of thousands of dollars. Some great topics click-through directly to their site:

What is “confirmed opt-in” (COI)?
What is the right way to send bulk e-mail?
What about Email Addresses lists?
What about mailing our company’s customer list?
What about E-pending (Email-appending)?
How should we handle unsubscribe and suppression lists?
What is Listwashing?
What is “double opt-in”?
If the recipient is given the choice to opt-out or remove, is it still spam?
Spam is no worse than postal junk mail, is it?
But the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) says spamming is okay?
Any Important Documents for Email Marketing Firms to read?

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Set Short Term, Achievable Biz Resolutions

HolidayTextMany companies around the country sat their teams down and put together goals and targets for 2015 that they believe are achievable and needed to bring their company more success.

Okay, fine. Quick question though…

How many times have you done that in your personal life and stayed with it all year to see it through?

Yea, that’s what I thought. A big goose egg!

Set Short Term Goals

30-60 day goals will keep the team hungry and producing, which eventually gets your company to the annual numbers you’re looking for. Yearly goals seem unattainable and burn people out. Staff starts losing interest and focus until all your resolution planning falls to the wayside.

Motivating incentives, contests and competition based interoffice promotions will boost production and give you a very successful 2015.


As we say goodbye to 2014, and the staff at Trade Show Online and Trade Show On-Air would like to wish you and yours a Happy New Year!  Be safe, love God, cherish your family, forgive those who hurt you and give back to others. A guaranteed formula for peace, prosperity and joy! Looking forward to serving you in 2015!

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Vegas getting ready for APPNATION: Discover. Acquire. Monetize.

appnationAs you get ready for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), you may wanna arrive in Vegas a few days earlier. On January 5th and 6th, The Cosmopolitan Hotel is hosting APPNATION VI and is expecting 4000+ Attendees.

APPNATION is the largest conference and exhibit in North America focused exclusively on the business of apps and the broader consumer app economy.  The theme of this year’s event is: “Discover. Acquire. Monetize” and the show reaches the full long-tail of app developers and publishers from the cool indies all the way up through the largest brands and companies in the world.

This is not a technical conference, as their mission is to help app developers of all shapes and sizes build great businesses through inspiring keynotes, topical round-table discussions, and deep-dive workshops that deliver actionable advice and best practices.

APPNATION focuses exclusively on the consumer app economy and our core areas of coverage include:

  • Discovery
  • Distribution
  • Acquisition
  • Monetization
  • App Marketing & PR Strategies
  • Analytics & Optimization
  • Lifetime Customer Value
  • Consumer Insights
  • UI/UX Best Practices
  • Cross-Platform Development

APPNATION  offers a wide range of sponsorship and exhibit opportunities for you to engage with key influencers and potential partners and showcase your expertise in their main agenda and on their main-stage. Click here to download the prospectus.

For other questions and inquiries about sponsorship opportunities, please email Drew Ianni at

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Today’s Companies Employ A lot of Opera Singers; ‘Me Me Me Me Me Me’

mememeFrom the President of the company all the way down to the retail sales associate, every company has their share of opera singers.  If you listen closely, you’ll hear them warming up, “me me me me me me me me me me!”

And that’s one of the largest problems with businesses today, they’re all about themselves and instant gratification selling.

Instant Gratification Sales

The car business is one of the most obvious businesses that operate with a ‘sell now and don’t be concerned about the future’ approach. These dealerships actually train their people to hold on to customer’s ankles, lie, spit, beg and steal in order to make them buy something right then and there. And it’s not an unwritten rule. Tactics that most of us consider “sleazy” are actually written in the sales handbook.

At the dealership I used to work at, the General Manager once pondered in a management meeting why lease conversions were down. Meaning, why were people returning their cars and not getting into new lease agreements? The answer was simple. The customer that your company completely screwed over from 2 or 3 years ago didn’t develop amnesia. They remembered the painstaking process your sales team put them through and couldn’t wait to give their business to someone else at the end of their term.

Unfortunately, these tactics have spilled over into all industries. The culture of the business nation today is self serving and focused on immediate results, without considering long term affects.

[Recommended Reading: The Impulse Society–America in the Age of Instant Gratification]

If you put this topic in a search engine, you will find a lot of organizations, authors and advisers who will actually support the instant gratification sales process. Makes no sense to me.

Yes, I want the sale now. Yes, I want to meet monthly goals. Yes, I want to beat my competition. Yes, I want my company to grow. But I don’t want to have a short term victory, I want a lifetime victory.

When I worked in the car biz, one of the reasons that I was told not to let anyone leave is because 9 out of 10 who go, never come back. And generally, this was a legitimate statistic because I watched it unfold before my very eyes with other sales people at the dealership. Notice how I said “with other sales people”.

When it came to customers that I let leave to ‘think about it’, I had an unprecedented return rate [“Be-Back” as they called it] of 60-70%. Managers and salespeople alike couldn’t believe it and constantly asked me what my secret was.

“It’s simple,” I would say. “I didn’t annoy them with skeevey tactics that are obviously intended to trick them into a rapid decision.”

People aren’t dumb. Yet, frequently sales people and executives treat them like they are because they may be unfamiliar with ‘how it works’. What they don’t consider is, today the truth is one Google search away and two thirds of the folks you meet are going to try to verify the stuff your shoveling. If that’s the case, you better be shoveling sparkly soft fairy dust and not that stinky stuff. Cause once you’re exposed, you may still get the sale, but they’ll never forget that you were a shark.

If you’re an ‘all about now’ sales peep, you may sleep fine at night knowing that you annoyed the customer, so long as you got the sale. But I’m telling you that this mindset is a huge mistake. You have to think about the future, even if it means that you don’t get the sale now.

Giving a customer an incredible experience with integrity, good service, honest assessments and a no pressure approach will make them advocates of your business. Not only will they do business with you now [or in the near future], they will tell everyone they know about you. It’s a weird thing with humans. We love to brag about knowing a guy. [“I got a guy”] However, on the other hand, as humans, we also love to tell our friends to stay away from people that didn’t do us right. [“Don’t go there, they ripped me off”]

I don’t need a crystal ball to tell you about your future if you take the Instant Gratifications Sales approach. You may have a nice run, but you won’t have longevity. Make a commitment to giving people good service, even if it costs you the sale, and you will be paid back 100 fold in due time.

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Why is it harder to get hired after 40?

oldermanI was browsing the business groups on LinkedIn to see what people were talking about and I tripped over a post about senior executives who are out of work and struggling to get their career back on track because they were being passed over in the hiring process by younger, cheaper candidates.

I’m glad they brought this up because as a 45 year old man, I have some experience in this area.

First of all, let’s break this down and be real here. Many businesses and corporations have an unwritten [or scratch paper written] policy for their human resources department to find the younger, least expensive staff options. I know it seems unfair for us seasoned resume carriers, but hey, it’s life, get over it. People by nature behave this way in all industries and even sometimes in their personal lives.

I never fell for the [Younger = Better] formula. As a director, I don’t use a narrow game-plan when building my teams. I am open to all age groups, so long as they provide the company with some upside.

What is upside?

Merriam’s Dictionary: Upside:  noun;  a part of something that is good or desirable : an advantage or benefit

In regards to employees I hired, ‘upside’ was the deciding factor in bringing them on.


Here are some examples of UPSIDE that I want to see if you apply at my company:

  • Are You Teachable?

Nothing worse than hiring a know-it-all. I know you have experience in this field, that’s why I’m interested in hiring you. Yet, if you think you don’t have anything to learn from me or my company, I’m gonna show you the door. Everyone has something to learn, at all stages of their career, you just need to be open to it.

  • No Bad Habits

This is similar to the last upside example I gave but I really want to drive the point home. Many people with a long resume come to a new position like an old dog that can’t learn new tricks. I call them ‘bad career habits’. They may even be willing to change but because they’ve done something one way for so long, they are unable to change. A new industry professional [a young person] has the upside in this area because they don’t have any habits yet. If I interview you, I want to hear you say, “I’m not a slave to ‘bad career habits’. I can be trained to follow any procedures or protocols.”

  • Are You A Team Player?

This isn’t always easy to detect during a job interview because most people are putting on their best behavior, but if you are all about you, I want nothing to do with you. I want to hire an employee or executive who is so company focused, that I catch you taking your own garbage to the dumpster. I want you to be hungry to see the team succeed, not just yourself. I want you to, by nature, be willing to lend a hand to a co-worker, without being told to. Selfless acts of good overall work ethic.

  • Don’t Despise Small Beginnings

You may have read or heard to this quote in The Bible, “Don’t Despise Small Beginnings”. It’s a great quote in today’s work place because companies may see you in another role that you didn’t apply for. And as long as there is an opportunity to grow with the company, accepting a different position in this tough market should definitely be considered. Another common thing today is the merging of job descriptions. Let me explain. You may have worked at one company in the social media/marketing department and another company as VP of Sales. A willingness to play a role in both areas will get you hired in a minute at my company. People that can wear many hats bring great value to a business.

  • A Good Personality

This sounds like it should be a given, but you’d be surprised how many people come to a job interview with the personality of a pet rock. You need to smile, have a positive outlook on things and display a sense of hungriness without seeming like it’s forced. You need to be excited and passionate to tell me about your credits but you also need to shut up when I’m talking. I like when you’re confident, even borderline a little cocky, but I also have information that I need to give you and it’s hard to do that if you keep talking over me.

  • You’re Hungry

I touched on this in the last paragraph, but this is big. I can’t tell you how many people I interview who show up looking like they’re forced to be there. Dude?! Do you know how hard it is to find a decent paying gig right now? When you sit across from me, I want to see that you’re excited about the chance to be a part of this company. I want you asking me, “when can I start?” That kind of passion gives me a sneak preview of you taking on projects or working with clients. I like energy.


When I was a radio producer in charge of major market radio shows, I interviewed for a morning show producer position at a Los Angeles radio station and I feel I made a pretty nice impression on my interview. I was hungry, full of energy and passion. However, I have been involved in many situations over the years where I thought I nailed it, only to get rejected later.

So, just to be sure, at the end of my interview I asked if they would let me prove my skills to them. I told them to give me two or three topics they planned on discussing on tomorrow’s show and then let me have access to their production room for about 30 minutes.

“Oh that’s not necessary,” the Program Director responded. But I insisted.

After gaining access, I quickly wrote and fully produced a few parody commercials and jingles that they could use to accent their planned topics. I did all the voices, added effects and music, and the quality was at such a high level that all of a sudden the “we’ll let ya know” closing comments turned to “how soon can you start”?

What’s my point?

Young or old, go to your job interview with confidence and on a mission to snatch that gig out from everyone else. If you face hesitation based on age, don’t let it shake you. At the end of the day, companies need the position filled by the best candidate. Show them that YOU are their best option, regardless of the fact that you’re over 40.

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Build Expo 2015: Dallas & Los Angeles

buildBuild Expo 2015 provides the building and construction industry an unrivaled environment to meet a lot of your buyers all in one place. By attending, you have the chance to meet with exhibitors, check out new developments and keep a close eye on your competition. In addition, you can try out new products, attend demonstrations and compare features and prices.

The show launches in Dallas for two days at The Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center on February 4th and 5th. A week later, the show arrives in Los Angeles at the LA Convention Center on February 11th and 12th.

This year, Build Expo will offer over 20 expert seminars and workshops covering many topics. Education is essential for any successful company or professional. Without learning new techniques, strategies and information, growth cannot happen. In today’s business climate everything is rapidly changing. Seminars and workshops will keep you updated and allow you the chance to speak directly with the experts.

For more information, visit the Build Expo 2015 website.