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?



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.



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.



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 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!


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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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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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Expo Exit Poll

Acts of God aren’t the only events that could heartbreak [or wallet-break] a company that is looking forward to exhibiting in various trade shows. There are so many horror stories out there from companies that had great plans for a convention, until disaster hit by events out of their control.

What about you? What caused you or your company to ‘exit’ past conventions. Heck, maybe you didn’t even make it to the show. Let us know!


Imagine if there was a place that incorporated all the aspects of a traditional trade show but offered the experience online, 24/7/365? A place where people could still have a business to business experience, show new products, network with other industry specific peers and customers?