United States


Tools to improve your exhibit results



Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

5 Ways to Make Meaningful Connections

When you’re at a trade show, it’s easy to get focused on simply gathering leads or generating sales – short-term results. But beyond that, are you building meaningful connections that can lead to future business or open doors to other exciting opportunities? I know I’ve made some of my best client and friend connections at a trade show. Perhaps that’s how you and I first met! In order to meaningfully connect with someone – whether that’s a customer, neighbor, coworker, or anyone else – you need to focus on a few basic things. Together, these actions guarantee more effective communication


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Market Like a Rock Star: What Exhibitors Can Learn from Taylor Swift

Earlier this year, I attended a workshop on how to market like Taylor Swift, and let me tell you … there are a wealth of insights you can learn by studying this multi-award-winning, stadium-packing music legend. Now it really doesn’t matter whether you know a single one of her songs (I’m only familiar with a few myself). We’re going to break down the strategies she uses to create raving fans who can’t wait for her next album debut – and how you can put each of these to use in your trade show marketing. Lesson #1: Understand your buyer personas


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Crafting Experiences That Captivate

Designing an impressive exhibit display just isn’t enough anymore. Attention spans are shorter, and attendees want experiences that not only educate about your products, but also involve and entertain them. At the same time, sponsoring the opening reception or other official event at the show is likely outside the budget for many companies. So what’s a creative exhibitor to do? Wendy Porter has decades of experience producing memorable events, and she joins us to share insider tips on: Why it’s more important than ever to create experiences off the show floor How to curate an exclusive experience for your ideal


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Creating Events That Care for People & Planet

Lifestyles have changed since the “Great Pause,” and stamina is a big part of that. While event attendees used to be willing to be booked solid from sunup to sundown (and far beyond), that just doesn’t fly anymore. Savvy trade show organizers and exhibitors are learning to integrate wellness into all aspects of the event – from the overall schedule to meals to in-booth activities and more. In this episode, wellness consultant David Stevens goes beyond the buzzword of wellness and shares strategic ways to integrate well-being into events by: Becoming mindful of the attendee experience Incorporating wellness elements in


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Trade Show Blind Spots: What Are You Overlooking?

Certain topics are getting lots of buzz these days: staffing challenges, budgets, sustainability, AI. But too often that’s all they are – buzzwords. So for this episode of Trade Show Insights, I invited one of my trade show BFFs to join me for a conversation that goes beyond the surface of these topics to what should be on everyone’s radar. You see for several years, Rich Vallaster and I have scheduled frequent touch-base calls to analyze what’s happening in the trade show industry, what’s working, and what needs to change. Now you have the opportunity to listen in as we


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Reimagining Trade Show Sponsorships

When you hear the word “sponsorship,” what do you think of first? The welcome reception … or tote bags … or a gazillion banners hanging all around the convention center? Sure, that’s what most shows do. But you don’t want to be like most shows, right? Time to makeover the sponsorship menu with options that stand out and benefit everyone involved – attendees and exhibitors, as well as the show’s bottom line. In this episode, brand activation and sponsorship strategist MK Granados from Gen City Labs explains how to: Tap into unique opportunities hiding in plain sight Use sponsorships to


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Let Your Goals Be Your Guide

When I ask exhibitors about their goals for a particular show, the most common answer is either brand awareness/visibility or generating leads. While these are valid reasons for exhibiting, they’re what I call “squishy goals.” That’s because there’s nothing definitive or measurable about them. So how can you prove you were successful if you don’t have a way to measure your results – especially if someone in your company (sales manager, VP of Marketing, or whoever) must be convinced that trade shows are worth the investment? But that’s a topic for another episode or blog post. Today I want to


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Discover Tools to Navigate Exhibiting Challenges

Ever faced an exhibiting challenge – like unreasonable costs – and didn’t know where to turn? That’s where The Exhibitor Advocate comes in! In this episode, Jessica Sibila shares what The Exhibitor Advocate is and how to access the resources provided to help exhibitors: Address rising costs and potential solutions Work with show management to set up an Exhibitor Advisory Council Know where to watch for unexpected or hidden fees Calculate return on their exhibiting investment (ROI) with established metrics Related links: Learn more about or join The Exhibitor Advocate Access the Maxbi tool to measure exhibit success Download the


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Creating Intentional Transitions in Exhibit Marketing

At one point in my childhood, I wanted to be an architect. I loved the idea of creating a space that connected with people’s emotions and created a feeling of excitement, intrigue or peacefulness. While I didn’t pursue that career path, I’ve continued to be fascinated by architecture. Several years ago I discovered (and now follow) one of the most forward-thinking, award-winning architects focused on using smart building design to create experiential environments that inspire and delight. Her name is Maria Lorena Lehman, founder of Sensing Architecture, and while I don’t have her as a guest on the podcast today


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Trade Show Shipping Demystified: Expert Advice

Shipping – it’s often just one more item on the trade show to-do list, and not the focus of attention … until something goes sideways. But lately with all the talk about a potential strike at UPS and then the meltdown of Yellow Freight, the topic of shipping has become top-of-mind for a lot of companies. So I reached out to a few of my go-to industry experts for a few Shipping 101 (and beyond) tips to help you navigate the logistics and hopefully avoid a lot of the headaches. Thanks to Chuck Michel from ELITeXPO and Candy Adams, The


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Real-World Crisis Management Lessons from RISKWORLD 2023

It’s a situation no event organizer wants to face. But the team at RISKWORLD 2023 was forced to deal with the reality of an active shooter in the city, which put their crisis management plans to the test. In this episode, Gary LaBranche, CEO of RIMS, the risk management society®, shares the story of what happened at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Learn behind-the-scenes details of: How the situation rapidly unfolded and the team responded Which communication methods worked and the challenges they faced How event organizers need to think beyond the convention center itself (especially for a


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Effective Lead Management from Gathering to Onboarding

Too many exhibitors think of lead gathering as simply a race to scan the most badges. Instead it should be the beginning of a system that guides a visitor in your booth along the path to becoming a valued client. In this episode, Janae Peel from Captello shares tips and best practices for: Staying focused on the conversation in your booth Transitioning leads into your follow-up system Personalizing follow-up to increase response Building a relationship with your new leads Related links: Trade Show ROI Calculator Request a personalized demo of the Captello lead capture software (Note: Some links on this


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

The Power of Community: Extend the Value of Your Show

Why stop with a one-week experience? (Too many trade shows do.) Instead, think of your trade show as the centerpiece of an ongoing community for exhibitors, sponsors and attendees. In this episode, membership development consultant Joy Duling shares strategies, tips and tools to: Create Discovery Magnets for your show Onboard attendees with personalized communications (it might be easier than you think!) Craft audience journeys for first-timers and loyal fans of your event Study how universities nurture community Related links: Joy’s blog articles on Roadmap to Growth – Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 iExit app (helpful for road trips!)


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

5 Ways Exhibitors Sabotage Their Success

Recently, I was invited to be one of the first contributors to the new Exhibitor News Network. This podcast episode is the audio version of that article. Here’s where you can read that blog post. (Thanks to the team at TSNN/ENN for permission to repurpose as an audio version.)


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Creating Sensory-Friendly Events

Anyone who’s ever walked a trade show knows how easy it is to hit stimulus overload. And that becomes even more of a challenge for neurodiverse or introverted attendees. So how can we make our conferences and trade shows more sensory-friendly? Professional Event Host and former BBC broadcaster Clare Forestier shares tips on how to: Create breathing space for attendees to recharge Consider sensory needs like you do accessibility issues Provide a better AX (Attendee-first eXperience) Include sponsors in the conversation Related links: Overland Park Convention Center’s Sensory Room Trade Show Insights interview with Al Mercuro on sustainability Clare’s website


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

AI Pros & Cons: What It Means for Events

Everybody’s talking about ChatGPT and other hot AI tools these days. But how do you sort through the hype and learn how to incorporate them into your event planning tool kit? Tech expert Michelle Bruno provides insights on: What options are currently trending Ways to use them for trade shows and events How to verify the information is accurate Dangers and landmines to watch out for Links mentioned during the interview: ChatGPT DALL-E Plus some of my personal favorite AI tools: (Note: Some of these are affiliate links, which means if you click on them and choose to purchase I


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Trade Show Strategy in Action: Canon Medical

Trade shows are not a stand-alone marketing tool. Instead they should be integrated into all your other marketing efforts as part of a comprehensive strategy. The team at Canon Medical Systems is a great example of that, so I featured their story in the updated edition of Build a Better Trade Show Image. Listen in as Debbi Kemp shares behind-the-scenes details (beyond what’s in the book) on how they: Designed an exhibit to engage and draw attendees deeper into the booth Incorporated virtual elements to reduce expenses Took the show on the road to reach those who couldn’t make it


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Reflections & Intentions

It’s that time when everyone begins to reflect back on the year winding down, while also eagerly awaiting the new one that’s just ahead. So in that vein, I wanted to share some perspective on what you can expect from me in 2023. Now back in 2020, I started hosting Virtual Lunch as a way for the trade show industry to stay connected. Since then, we’ve hosted more than 50 Lunches featuring guest experts on all kinds of topics. (If you’d like to check out the archives, you’ll find them at ExhibitMarketersCafe.com/lunch.) But over the past few months, as things


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Crafting Memorable Moments at Expos & Events

We all want our trade shows and events to be memorable. Instead they often wind up mostly forgotten by the audience. But Phil Mershon doesn’t believe it has to be that way. Listen in as he shares strategies for how to: Lean into your audience’s interests to create “magical moments” Pay attention to the audience journey (especially for first-timers) Create a culture for serendipity Craft ways to avoid overwhelm Here are links to resources related to our interview: Social Media Marketing World The Power of Moments by Chip & Dan Heath Phil’s book, Unforgettable: The Art & Science of Creating


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Exhibit Strategies for the Sharing Economy

Our economy – and climate – is changing and trade shows need to adapt along with it. In this rebroadcast of Virtual Lunch, Rhiannon Andersen joins us to discuss the Sharing Economy: What is it and how does it fit in with exhibit marketing? What are the benefits for exhibitors and the environment? How can you get buy-in from executives at your company? How can virtual experiences be better integrated into events? Here are the links to resources related to our interview: Why the Sharing Economy is good for the environment 6 Benefits of the Sharing Economy How to take