Aug 29, 2012
I was recently at the Disney parks and the atmosphere and genuine happiness made me think – wouldn’t it be nice if my trade show can run like this? So let’s see if we can take away any insight from the Happiest Place on Earth for our next trade show. 1. It is all about the experience. Disney is set up where everything, and I mean everything, is about having the greatest experience possible. Whether you are waiting in line for a ride, or waiting in line to buy food, or waiting in line to purchase something, you still feel like you are experiencing Disney. Every section of… more
Aug 25, 2012
He sure looked like a perfectly good prospect. He had the right color badge. He works at a company that is in the right vertical market and the right size. And your uncanny booth staffing sixth sense told you he even had an approved budget for your product. Yet with barely a glance he sailed right on past your booth. So why didn’t he drop anchor?  Perhaps for one or more of these eight reasons: Your booth looked too boring. Like too many other exhibitors, your trade show booth has dull colors, too much text, and too many small images. Your benefit… more
Aug 16, 2012
The hottest thing on the Web right now (and there’s always a hottest thing, right?) is Pinterest. It has been reported that Pinterest is currently driving more business referrals than the top few social media sites and for most businesses, it simply came out of nowhere. The Pinterest model is certainly nothing complicated. As you navigate your daily web activities you post images to a board using the “pin it” button or upload from a computer or smart phone. You have to request an invitation to Pinterest or be invited by someone who’s already a member. Once registered… more
Aug 10, 2012
You can do everything right in the preparation and execution of your show, but the wrong Master of Ceremonies can undermine the whole vibe. It goes without saying that if your host is awful or says something inappropriate he or she will hurt the event. But it is also a problem if the person who controls the flow of the general sessions is just blah. The Emcee (and every speaker and panelist) sets the tone for everything that happens at the conference.  Too often, the selection for who will be center stage is an executive or board member of the company or organization that is the… more
Aug 04, 2012
As an event professional, you probably have a few tips and tricks to surviving a large amount of travel. My trick is to not leave home without my iPhone and iPad. Basically, they’re the electronic Swiss army knife that can provide immediate information or entertain me while on a flight or in the taxi. There are plenty of hi-tech options to improve your traveling experience, but the question is – what’s better, Websites formatted for mobile devices or apps? Here is my opinion on these simple and portable technologies: Mobile sites are best for quick updates on information… more
Aug 04, 2012
I smell an analogy. The similarities between athletes competing in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and one company’s program to train conference and tradeshow attendees to deliver peak performances are compelling. Did I mention the company is based in the U.K. where the games are taking place this week? Actually, the link between peak attendee performance and Olympic-level athletic achievement is by design, according to the Founder of Meetings Mindset, Jonathan Bradshaw. “For athletes, optimal performance requires accessing a certain state of mind aided by the appropriate foods,… more
Jul 29, 2012
If you haven't been reading or seeing this new thing called 'augmented reality', let me first introduce it.  The idea is to have graphics and other auditory or sensory environments superimposed on a real world (kind of like in the movie Minority Report). There are a few cool players in the market, as well as Google with their Google glasses.  First is Aurasma, which provides a free app for a virtual browser. If you watch their video, they take a tablet or smartphone, and if the Aurasma icon is in the corner, and you have the app on your smartphone or tablet, it… more
Jul 29, 2012
What’s the first question to ask when you are exhibiting at trade shows? That’s a good question. There are many important questions you and your team can ask when preparing for your trade show program: Which shows should we exhibit at? How big a booth space do we take? What color should we put on our trade show exhibit graphics? Should we invite attendees with an email, a direct mail piece, or both? What giveaways should we buy? What clothes should our staffers wear? Where in the show hall is the best place to put our exhibit… more
Jul 21, 2012
It’s understandable that as an exhibitor you get caught up in logistics, because no matter what, you have to get your booth from point A to point B (and to point C, D, E, and so on). But those required logistics can sometimes crowd out the even more important marketing aspect of trade shows. So let’s take a few minutes to set logistics aside (don’t worry, they’ll still be there when you get back) and focus on how you can be a better marketer who just happens to use trade shows. Target Your Best Personas Personas are portraits you create to better understand… more
Jul 21, 2012
Whether you participate in presentations on a regular basis, like I do, or only occasionally (and under extreme duress or threat of torture), there are basic preparation steps you can take to make the experience more successful for you and your team. I can’t share all of my secrets, but here are a few: 1.  Have an equipment “kit” and/or checklist. My laptop bag always contains the following: *Flash drives or an external hard drive (have your presentation copied onto one, in case you have to make a last-minute equipment change). *A remote to advance slides (… more
Partner Voices
Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact