50 Ways to Shine at Trade Shows

Trade shows are an awesome opportunity to connect with buyers, raise brand awareness, and make a name for yourself in the industry, but a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to have a successful showcase. In this talk, we asked expert Jeff Sass, CMO of Paw.Com, to share the lessons he’s learned over dozens of trade shows, both as an attendee and exhibitioner. With experience working with businesses (and budgets) both big and small, Jeff offered plenty of advice and best practices to follow, with the help of our audience. 

“Take a risk to get yourself and your business out there.”

Colin C. Campbell

  1. Sit in the front row– not only to get noticed by the speaker but to get noticed by those around/behind you! 
  2. Wear your company shirt the entire time to maximize publicity.
  3. Have a solid Plan B for your booth– Jeff always travels with necessary replacement materials in case something goes wrong or doesn’t arrive on time. 
  4. Similarly, keep a USB with digital files of flyers and marketing material to be able to print on demand in a pinch. 
  5. Come up with a social media strategy for before and during the event to optimize your attendance!
  6. Go through the attendee list and make a note of the people and booths you most want to see. 
  7. Save contact information after making connections so you can follow up with any connections or potential leads after the event. 
  8. Host a party outside of convention hours to network and continue conversations from before. 
  9. Make sure you have a backup internet connection!
  10. Bring your own extension cords and similar backup technical equipment. 
  11. Traveling with large banners? Consider buying a hard case for golf clubs for easier, less expensive transport.  
  12. Don’t blindly trust that what you’ve ordered will be perfect– Jeff said to always, “inspect what you expect.”
  13. Set up meetings weeks in advance with people you want to talk to.  
  14. Have something engaging or interactive at your booth, like a Spin to Win Wheel and hand out company t-shirts and swag to attract people. 
  15. Bring something unique to your business/region as a conversation starter and to stand out from the crowd. 
  16. Put pins on your lanyards and give them out to people at the conference 
  17. Don’t waste all your time talking to one person, instead make the most out of your time and network!
  18. Identify high-value leads or opportunities at the beginning of the conference. 
  19. Stickers are an inexpensive, fun way to get free advertising. 
  20. Head to the venue first to drop off your gear and get a feel for the area.  
  21. If you can, stay at the main hotel where the convention is being held– it’s a central location and you can meet people organically. 
  22. “Take a risk to get yourself and your business out there” Colin C. Campbell
  23. Be sure to introduce yourself to the staff and organizer so you can find help when you need it. 
  24. Introduce yourself to the event floor organizer early on.
  25. Be prepared for lots of socializing and work outside of the event.
  26. Book more seats at dinner than needed so you can last-minute invite new connections in your industry.
  27. Don’t just keep to yourself and your team– make as many connections as possible.  
  28. Try to book a speaking engagement! 
  29. Don’t make it another sales pitch– share your business’s value conversationally. 
  30. Plan your talking points for meetings with clients or opportunities for new connections. 
  31. Make a unique lanyard or name tag to draw attention. 
  32. Keep notes about the conversations you have and with whom, so you can send a personalized follow-up message. 
  33. Reach out to people you didn’t get to meet with and give them a shortened version of your spiel. 
  34. Be intentional about the speaking engagements and events you commit to attending. 
  35. Never sit down at your booth– take plenty of breaks away from the area, but keep energy high in the booth. 
  36. Anytime you leave the booth, grab a handful of flyers or swag to pass out on your way out.  
  37. Stick your flyers on car windshields or in store windows.  
  38. If you dont know anybody at the event, ride the elevator for a few minutes and introduce yourself.  
  39. Send your marketing materials out to conference planners and organizers so they keep you in mind for last minute opportunities. 
  40. Read up on current industry trends and familiarize yourself with past conference stats. 
  41. Practice your pitch in advance, make sure you have a clear message. 
  42. Listen to or join panels throughout the conference for valuable information from field experts. 
  43. Ask for feedback from audiences.  
  44. Use active listening skills when talking with your audience to better understand them and their needs.
  45. Be creative– the whole point is to differentiate your business from competitors. 
  46. Everything is negotiable– consider a trade-off with other business owners or attendees.  
  47. Don’t limit yourself to the preset opportunities for sponsorships– if you have something unique to offer, think out of the box when approaching potential sponsors! 
  48. Be proactive in striking up conversations and providing specific value. 
  49. Find time to visit the people and booths you want to see. 
  50. Make sure you are fully present! If you are enjoying the moment you will attract people to you, naturally.

Listen to the full session above, and be sure to try these tips to optimize your business’s next trade show!

  • Read the Transcript

    Serial Entrepreneur Club – EP75: 50 Ways to Shine at Trade Shows


    Hello, Michele and Jeff. I am Colin C Campbell we have Jeffrey Sass and Michele Van Tilborg. And today we’re talking all about trade show hacks and tips and tricks. And let me tell you this. I don’t think I’ve known anyone to go to more trade shows than Jeffrey Sass, and I’m gonna kick it off with this. Last week.

    I called up my son, who’s entering his third year of college and he actually has not gone to college in person. He did it, um, through zoom for two years. This is in Canada because of the pandemic, but he walked into college and I asked him, where are you sitting in class? And he said to me, dad, not only am I sitting in the front row, I’m also sitting closest to the professor.[00:01:00] 

    So the first hack that Jeff came up with, and I know Jeff, we’re gonna get to you in a second here. But the first hack was let’s sit in the front row of a trade show. And I’m telling you this almost 50% of the time, you would see, uh, the speaker mention us and or our company. And of course we were sporting the shirts, which is hack number two, Michele, you’re leading us today.

    Take it away. Michele and Jeff. I’m really looking forward to hearing about all your secrets revealed. Excellent. Wow. So Jeff, as Carl said, he is the master of trade shows. He’s actually the CMO at Paw.com a premium pet company, uh, that sells beds and really cool waterproof rugs. And Jeff also has a book.

    So Jeff, uh, tell us the title of your book and a little bit [00:02:00] about that. And then I’m gonna kick it off with you on the first question, but I’m gonna say before we turn it over to Jeff here for the little, um, intro about his book is if you want Jeff’s book, which you’re gonna learn about, it’s a really cool marketing book, send an email.

    So hello@startup.Club and the first five people that do so are gonna get a free electronic of Jeff’s book. Um, so along that lines, I’m gonna tell a little bit about Jeff too. Not only is he good at doing trade shows, but this is a person that always makes money at trade shows, which I think a lot of us know that sometimes that’s very hard, but I’ve never seen anybody work harder to actually get leads and close deals.

    In addition to having a phenomenal show, um, trade show experience. So Jeff, over to you, tell us about your book first. [00:03:00] All right. Well, clearly my reputation exceeds me, so thank you. Um, Michele and Colin. Um, yeah, the, the book is called everything I know about business and marketing. I learned from the toxic Avenger, um, and it really is, is a business and marketing book.

    Uh, with tips, I learned spending seven and a half years making low budget action, horror films for a studio in New York called trauma. Um, if you’re not familiar with them, you can Google them. Uh, I will say there’s a sequel coming out later this year, uh, to the toxic Avenger, which has been turned into a big budget studio film with, um, a lot of, uh, with Kevin bacon as one of the villains, uh, and a lot of big, uh, famous people in it.

    So you’ll be hearing a lot more about the toxic Avenger besides my book, but we’re here to talk about trade shows today and, and I’ll have to say that in every position I’ve ever had from my very first job outta college, I’ve always been in a role that involved going to [00:04:00] trade shows and oftentimes organizing and, and setting everything up for those trade shows.

    So I went to my first trade show back in 1980, uh, and I’ve probably gone to anywhere from five to a dozen. Trade shows a year ever since. So if you do the math, I would say it’s safe to say I’ve probably attended exhibited at, you know, over 250, um, trade shows over the past 40 some odd years. So I’ve had everything go, right?

    Everything go wrong. I’ve had, uh, you know, shown up without my booth showing up. I’ve had no budget to put together, um, booths and I’ve had massive budgets when I went to work for a company called game tech in the video and computer game business back in 1994. Um, one of my first assignments when I joined them, as director of marketing was to set up their trade show booth for, uh, the consumer electronic show in Las Vegas.

    And I was handed a [00:05:00] budget of $278,000. Just for the booth design, which blew my mind. Cuz prior to that, I had no budget. when I went to doing a trade show. So I’ve dealt with big budgets. I’ve dealt with no budgets and um, had lots of fun experiences and I’ve written down about 30, some odd, different little tips and hacks and things I’ve done.

    Um, and there’s some stuff there’s a chapter at least one or two chapters in my book that talk about trade shows, but I’ll give three little quickies just to start us off. And then I know Michele and Colin, um, have some questions and also we want to encourage. To come up, raise your hand, come up on stage and join us and share some of your, um, tips and tricks for having a successful trade show.

    But I will say, as, as Michele mentioned, you know, one of the objectives we always try to have when going to a trade show is to do enough actual business at the trade show to cover the cost of attending. So as the bare minimum, cause a lot of the, a lot of the work is in the follow up and a lot of the sales [00:06:00] come from the follow up, but you want to at least try to make enough actual closed deals right there on the show floor to cover your cost of attending that show.

    That’s a good benchmark as a way to determine if you’re having a successful show or not. Um, but I wanna give three quick tips and then, then I’ll turn it back to Michele and Colin and, and hopefully some of you will come up and share your tips at all. But number one is it’s really important to have a plan B, uh, and, but plan B is what would you do if you got there and none of the stuff that you shipped.

    In advance had arrived. Your booth is not there. Your table’s not there. Your carpet’s not there have a plan in mind of how you can make it work. Even if you didn’t have a booth, could you get by with just a clever table and chair or do something creative that could fill the space without your actual booth, if it doesn’t show up.

    So have it plan B and along the same one, do you remember B Jeff? Do you remember the, the one in China that [00:07:00] we went to and ver sign had bought every booth in the show? And do you remember what we did? We, we said, okay, well, we’re pretty much blocked out. We can’t buy a booth. This was ver sign runs.com and we were.club.

    So we decided to just sit in the lobby of the hotel and meet people as they went in and out. Is that well, that’s the was pretty com like, so on my list is, is, is doodle that’s on your list. But I was thinking that was sort of fun because like, what you’re saying is if you don’t even have a booth. You can still do business.

    Absolutely. But that’s the lobby con I was really talking about if you have a booth space, but you don’t have your booth, your booth does it, your physical booth, your popup things. So, so the tip I have is you always want to travel, actually travel with the bare minimum you could get by with, to set up your booth.

    So meaning travel with a couple of popup banners, travel with, uh, a supply of the core collateral that you might need [00:08:00] travel with your business cards, meaning, bring them on the plane with you, bring all these things with you on the plane when you travel. So that in the event, all the other stuff that you’ve shipped in advance and expect to be there.

    If it doesn’t show up or if it gets lost, or if it’s late, you actually have a minimal amount of stuff to actually make the show work for you. You can put your banners up, you’ve got some collateral collateral you can put out, uh, and you’ve got your business cards and along those same lines, Have a USB drive with you with digital files for anything and everything you have printed and sent or might need.

    So that if you do show up and nothing’s there, you can go into the business center in the hotel, or you can go to a Kinko’s or a FedEx store nearby and stick that USB drive in and print out anything. You need print out your flyers, print out banners, et cetera, et cetera. So always have a USB drive with you with all your digital materials, even if you have everything printed and sent to the, um, event in advance.

    [00:09:00] Um, so those are a couple just to get us started. I’ve got a lot more on my list, but I’ll stop for a moment in case Michele or Colin have other questions. And, and again, if you wanna share one of your tips, raise your hand. So it’s sort of like Murphy’s law, right? Things that things will go wrong in any given situation.

    If you give them a chance, so whatever could go wrong will go. And when you’re running a trade show, you’re on a clock, right? There’s no. Okay. Let’s delay the trade show a day. The show must go on. So if your flyers don’t show up, you gotta backup. If the booth doesn’t show up, you gotta backup. I love it.

    Very cool. All right. There’s so many cool hacks. So, um, I’m just going to throw out a couple and then we’ll get to Michael who has joined us on the stage. So one that’s really helped me infinitely. Actually, I’m gonna say too, is being, you know, it’s along the lines of Jeff, but it’s more on the meetings. I, you [00:10:00] know, served many, many years, you know, in, um, marketing and business development.

    And my hack is to be very prepared from the business standpoint. So I go through the whole attendee list. Um, I set up what the targets are and I have talking points, which is really important. I literally make little folders for each person that I’m having a meeting with so that I can have an extremely productive meeting.

    So it’s like Jeff’s on the preparedness front and it’s being very prepared. E I have meetings set up dinner, set up and little folders so that when I hit the ground with the team, not just myself, we, we, we know where we’re going. We know what we’re doing, and we know what we’re proposing to people. And I can tell you that has helped so much in terms of, you know, building a business from a startup to a company [00:11:00] that we sold to GoDaddy.

    So that’s one being prepared from the meeting and who you’re gonna meet, like, know what you’re gonna do. And then the second one I have is. I like to do notes afterwards. Right? So I do the preparedness before on each person, et cetera. I’m ready. We know what we’re gonna say. We got three talking points.

    We’re gonna hit it. We have an offer, et cetera. The next point is, you know, follow up with them immediately. Like this is where I really have seen so many people fall down. They just, you know, they don’t follow up. They’re really lack of days about it. I’m even as bold, many times if we had a good conversation and, you know, I made an offer, whatever it is, uh, what I was doing was distribution.

    Um, ill literally send them the agreement and say, Hey, this is what I think we talked about. Do you have any, you know, comments? Are you ready to sign? So I try to [00:12:00] like move things right. Very quickly so that I know that everybody’s time, the company’s time, my time and money was spent wisely. So that’s my contribution, Colin.

    Yeah. And if you’re in the audience and you think this is a topic of interest, please feel free to share it on clubhouse. It’s the second icon on the left, right? That there, I just shared up myself. I think it’s a pretty cool topic. You can do a lot at trade shows and, and make an impact. Michele, you also had another little, like cool thing that I learned from you.

    When we showed up to the conference, you would order from like, uh, food delivery, service, cheese, and wine and alcohol. And we would put that in the hotel room. We, we generally rented a nice suite and then we would have an after hours party, but really it only cost us a few hundred dollars yet. Every time we [00:13:00] put on a, an event like that, we had like 50, 60 people show up in our industry.

    And I just thought that was a very cheap and cool hack that, you know, brought people together and sort of like, um, elevated.club at those conferences. Yeah. And it worked right more importantly. So it really worked, uh, yeah. Like people would be spending tens of thousands of dollars and our parties would end up being more popular.

    We’d have like a after party in the suite. You’re you’re right. That people enjoyed it. They always asked for it actually. So. Yeah, go ahead, Jeff. No, I was gonna say, um, the real hack, what Michele did there, Colin is you pointed out is we didn’t order this stuff from the hotel we ordered from outside, and now you can do so many delivery services and that saved an enormous amount of money and, and allowed us to have a lot more stuff at that party than we would have if we were limited to the hotel’s catering services and along the lines [00:14:00] of, of money savings and convenience, I’ll, I’ll rattle off a few more things that are on my lengthy list here.

    Um, but one thing is important. Make sure you have backup internet. Um, some trade shows now will have open internet for everyone for free. Um, but it’s gonna be very busy and cluttered. So it’s a good idea to make sure you have a phone with you that you can do tethering. From in the booth and that you have obviously, uh, the ability to keep that phone charged throughout the trade show in the old days, you know, um, they used to actually charge you quite a bit of money for internet access.

    In more recent times, the conference will typically have open wifi, but it often is very slow and doesn’t work well. So you want to bring your own wifi if you can. Um, the other thing that is a, a lifesaver is bring your own extension cords, right? Um, you don’t know where the power plug is gonna be in your booth, and they’ll charge you a lot of money for extension cords.

    If they have to, if you want [00:15:00] power at one part of the booth, but the outlet, the way the convention hall is set up is at a different part of the booth. They’re gonna charge you an arm and a leg, um, for that. So if you just bring a couple of extension cords with you, um, stick them in your suitcase, have them handy.

    It’ll save you a lot of time and money. Um, when you’re in the booth. So I think, um, that’s really important. And then the last tip now, before I’ll be quiet and let some other people share is I talked earlier about bringing banners with you, bringing the popup banners as a backup. So you’re all set in case your stuff doesn’t show up.

    Well, here’s a hack on how to bring those with you on a plane. Oftentimes these popup banners may not fit in your suitcase, especially if you got a lot of clothes with you. Um, and you don’t want to pay excess baggage fees, et cetera, et cetera, with the airlines. Well, guess what? Airlines let you bring golf clubs on the plane and they treat golf clubs as a regular piece of luggage.

    It doesn’t get an excess baggage fee. You can go to a sporting good store and buy a very inexpensive hard. [00:16:00] Golf club case. So this is a hard case that’s designed to put your golf bag inside of when you travel. They probably cost anywhere from 50 to $75, typically under a hundred bucks for a decent, hard covered golf club case.

    And that golf club case is perfect for putting long banners inside and other things that you wanna bring to the trade show. So I just pack up a golf club case with all of these things, bring it to the airport with me, check it in. Like I’m checking in a set of golf clubs. They never look inside and it’s an easy way.

    Plus they have wheels typically on them. So they’re easy to wheel around and that’s a real easy way to bring banners and other supplies for your trade show with you on the plane, uh, and avoid excess baggage charges. So that’s another tip. Uh, I know also that you had, um, you did this odd thing. I thought it was odd when you first did it is you bought the television when we were in Vegas, are you right?

    And then you offered to give it away. At the end of the show or you had a contest or whatever. [00:17:00] And why was that? Yeah, absolutely. I, I think you looked over my shoulder when I was making my list, but yes, buy a TV on Amazon, give it away at the end of the show is right here on my list and buy it on Amazon because then you can have it shipped directly to your hotel or to the trade show.

    So you’re not paying for shipping the TV. If you’re a prime member, it’s free shipping and the cost of buying a TV and literally giving it away at the end of the show is significantly less than the cost of renting a TV at the trade show from the AV, uh, company that’s involved. So typically if you’re gonna show video in your booth, if you’re gonna have a real playing in the booth, just order the TV on Amazon, send it, just get a new one at every trade show because it’s not even worth the cost of shipping it back to your office.

    And at the end of the show, what we would typically do is give it away so many shows and other things that’s on my list is people love spin to win wheels. If you’re looking for fun ways to attract the crowd to your booth, it’s very old [00:18:00] school, but it really works. People love it. You can get one of these spin to win wheels.

    You can customize them with whatever swag you want to give away. It draws a crowd to your booth. Um, and then you can use that to get people, to get swag at your booth. And then you can put the TV on the last day of the show. You can actually put the TV on the spinning wheel as one of the prizes someone might get for spinning.

    And if they get it, pack it up, stick it in the box and give it to them. And invariable you’ll find someone who’s local to the conference. Who’ll be thrilled to take home that TV. So you’re absolutely right. Colin. Can I just say guys, this is a absolutely brilliant topic. It’s a fantastic topic. And um, I’ve just come through a, a conference and I got, I got a few things to share what we did to.

    Um, uh, hack what we did at the conference. Um, I think that some of you, you very, some of these things already, and the first one was, um, uh, be prepared beforehand that Michele mentioned, [00:19:00] uh, I always make all my meetings and everything like that. And I check that attendee list as much, uh, as much as I possibly can to find out all the people are gonna be that I really want to get a meeting with.

    Cuz those people will be so busy. You wanna lock those meetings in even weeks in advance and make sure you’re really prepared for every single meeting. Um, that’s one thing, the other thing, um, uh, in terms of, of a booth. One of the things we did recently is that we actually hauled, um, about 15 kilograms of chocolate from Australia in little tiny bars from Australia to put on our booth.

    So it was something unique that people couldn’t normally get, but it was something that was consumable and they can go along and, and, and, uh, and attracted them to the booth. But the interesting thing with that was, is that we were very, very particular about this. We also had that combined with, we used to [00:20:00] pin people’s lanyards with different, um, different types of pins.

    Like we had a little kangaroo in this case or something like that. And if they had a kangaroo pin on or, or one of the pins we had, then, um, they’re allowed to have a chocolate, which meant we knew that person had already been spoken to. They could have chocolate and like they can come back. And many times they like to in the conference.

    And so we knew that that person being spoken to, but not only that, each one of our sales guys wanted our team had a different type of pin. So we know knew who spoke to them. Then we had other pins that you carried in our pockets when we, the lanyard, which meant this particular person is a high value opportunity.

    And so we went along and, uh, pinned their, their lanyard even differently, uh, with a different pin so that other members of the team, they met them at a social function at night. They would then spend more time with them. Cuz to me, the whole name of the game of conference is [00:21:00] kissing as many frogs as possible to be able to find the princesses.

    And uh, that’s the name of the game. So, so what you don’t wanna do is have your team talking to the same. Over and over and over again, and you want to go along and get to the next person, the next person, next person, so forth. So, so we had some, some fun things with that. The other thing we did was, um, I always tried to front load the beginning of the conference.

    So I was doing the keynote. And so we had little cards. We had a giveaway at the keynote session. We gave away an apple watch and people filled in these contact cards and stuff. And immediately after the con the, my session, the team went through all those cards. And like, you’re talking about Michele, they straight away identified the high value targets and contacted them to make, make, meeting times during the rest of the conference.

    And, uh, that really worked, that really worked well. So we’ve got a lot of business, [00:22:00] um, from that, but there’s a few hacks for me anyway. And, uh, hope that helps out. I love the, the pins and the, the pinning and the different codes that the pins stood for. Michael, that’s a great idea. You’re literally tagging the people who have come to your booth, so you could recognize them when you come back and stickers.

    Uh, along those same lines, stickers are really helpful too. Um, cuz you’ve put stickers on people. That’re walking around with your logo and you brand, you put stickers on people’s, um, badges, you know, we’ve done pins and stickers. Um, too, I wanted to share another tip. If you are responsible for setting up the booth, which has typically been my role many times over the years.

    Um, and you’re arriving at the con conference center, especially if it’s a city you’re not familiar with and I’ve done trade shows probably in 12 or 15 different countries besides the United States. So you’re arriving from the airport, you’ve got maybe your suitcase, you’ve got your golf bag full of banners and stuff.

    Maybe you’ve got some boxes of other things that you actually brought with you, cuz especially [00:23:00] if it’s an international show, it’s sometimes difficult to ship things in advance. So you end up bringing a lot with you. Um, when you travel, I would always ask the taxi or Uber. Coming from the airport to first go to the venue, to drive from the airport to the convention center, wherever it was, um, or wherever the venue was being held.

    Uh, and then if it was open, even if it was late at night, I would have them wait. And I would go in and deliver all that stuff to my booth and make sure that everything was there. So I didn’t have to deal with getting it from the hotel to the convention center the next day. And then the second benefit of doing that is then I’d have them drive me from the venue to the hotel and I’d get a sense of how far away my hotel was from the venue or what type of a commute I would have in the morning when I had to get back to the convention center.

    Sometimes you’re lucky and the convention center is in the hotel you’re staying at and we always recommend staying. The main [00:24:00] hotel where the convention is, if that’s possible, even if it’s more expensive, the benefit of being where everyone’s hanging out of being in the main venue, where you could run into people in the elevators and at the bars and the benefit of not having to wait on long taxi lines or Uber lines in the morning to get back and forth, or at the end of the day, far outweigh the extra cost of staying in the main hotel.

    So we always recommend staying in the main hotel, but if the hotel and the convention center are not near each other, it’s really important when you first arrive that night before to figure out how far apart they are and what your commute’s gonna be like. So you can plan that advance. So I always stop by the venue on my way to the hotel.

    And then if it’s possible, I always stay in the main hotel of the event. So Jeff, I remember some fun, little tricks. We did. Um, you talked about stickers. I remember you walking around and I think in the. You know, the places where people meet for lunch and stuff, you’d put flyers out on the table or stickers on the table.

    [00:25:00] I remember one event for.club now.club was an alternative to.com.net.org. Just to give you a perspective. And I remember when we put a sticker, a dot we were at, uh, at, um, I can’t remember the name of the hotel, but they called it club, uh, something club. And we went up and, and, you know, late at night, the Tropicana, the Tropicana club.

    Right. And so we went up and we put a.in front of the, the, the, the club. So everybody in the, in the conference would walk around. And how much did it cost us? Zero, a little bit of nerve. Right? We didn’t get arrested, but we put a dot. We weren’t really vandalizing it. We just put a red. In front of the word club.

    And so it was a tropicana.club and people who went to the elevators would see that. And I just thought that was a cool little hack. I know it’s not relevant, but sometimes at these trade shows, you gotta be bold. Right? You gotta be, take a little bit of a risk. Not, I don’t think we’re vandalizing anything.

    I [00:26:00] don’t think we could have got arrested, but sometimes you gotta push the envelope a little bit. You know, what do you think about that? Oh, absolutely Colin. And that was a lot of fun to do. And we were a little bit nervous that we get in trouble with the hotel. But the funny part is people would come up to us and ask, how much did we pay for the right to do that?

    Like other people at the conference assumed that that was some sort of a sponsorship that we arranged, um, to be able to put the dot there so that everywhere you. Tropicana club. It was tropicana.club and we were there to promote, um, the.club domain name, extension. So Y you have to stick your neck out.

    Sometimes there’s actually a chapter in my book about, um, when I worked for trauma, we were at the American film marketing association conference, the a FMMA in Los Angeles, and this was a trade show where it was inside the hotel. It was in the century Plaza hotel. Um, and they basically took all the beds out of the hotel suites.

    And those suites became your offices. So they were in effect the booths, and then the buyers would walk up and down [00:27:00] the halls and just go into each room to see what movies were being sold and, and all the rooms were decorated with posters and things. And you weren’t allowed to stay in the rooms. The beds had been pulled out and that was really the convention floor, but, um, we were a low budget company.

    My hotel was a cheap, you know, red roof in type place. And it was miles away from the century Plaza. And frankly, I didn’t want to, um, commute back and forth every day. So I would sleep in that room, even though it wasn’t allowed behind our posters. So we had some big Florida ceiling posters for our movies and I, uh, behind the couch and I’d pull it away from the wall just enough for.

    Squeak in and sleep behind them. And the reason why I slept behind them is because security would check the rooms. So each night, while I was sleeping behind the posters in the room illegally, you know, the door would open at two or three in the morning, a security card would come in. They’d flip the lights on, look around the room, flip the lights off and leave.

    [00:28:00] Um, thank goodness. I didn’t snore that much as much then. So I never got caught. And then I would wake up in the morning and quickly shower and change. And, and when they came by in the morning, I would just act as if I had gotten there early. Um, so sometimes as Colin said, you have to break the rules. You have to, uh, take some chances just to make the show go better.

    Yeah. I, I think Jeff, sometimes it’s better to ask for, for, um, uh, forgiveness than permission. with a lot of these things, like you are there for a few days and trying to maximize the effectiveness of your time there. And, uh, one of the things I also do is if there’s a, a bar there or something like that, I find out, wait a wait or waitress.

    It’s gonna be there the whole time, the conference. And I tipped them really well at the beginning. And, and I say to them, I want you to look after me for this period of time. And I’ve been in conferences where there’s big, massive queue of people trying to get into this, say that the bar of the restaurant and the Wayer Becks me over and Asher’s me pass the queue straight to a, [00:29:00] to a table.

    And, um, and I’m having my meeting straight away with a person and I’m not just standing there in this huge queue. And that that’s been, that has made me so much money over the years by just doing something like that and really looking after, uh, particular staff member at the same time. Hey Jeff, can I talk about the.

    deals at the bar. I mean, that’s insane, right? How many deals we did at one o’clock in the morning? Absolutely. Well, that goes back to staying in the main hotel too, because you you’re greatly increasing your chances of running into people late at night at the bars. But I wanted to mention what Michael was saying.

    You know, I have on my list, um, too in bold letters, make friends with the show organizer long before the event. And it’s along the lines of what you do, Michael. But I think if you’re the one making arrangements for the show, you probably have talked to someone at the organizers about securing your booth and the placement of the booth and all that stuff.

    You want to be super nice to that person. You want to get to know them, [00:30:00] make friends with them, email them, even if you have nothing important to say before the event, um, to let them know about, you know, that you’re excited for the event. And then the first day you. Find that person search for them and say hello and introduce yourself, make friends with that person right up the beginning.

    And before the show, if possible, because during the show, as Michael said, that person will become your savior. Um, I have had numerous occasions where maybe I needed a chair or I needed a table or something was the wrong size. And instead of having to wait on long lines, I would just text or email that person or go and find them and speak to them in person, call them by name, be nice to them.

    And, um, anything I needed was taken care of, uh, for me. So it’s really important to make friends with the show organizer and by the show organizer, you want to find the person who runs the show on the floor during the day, not the executive who owns the company. You want to know, who’s the person who’s running around with a walkie talk.

    You know, [00:31:00] who’s making sure everything’s happening. That needs to happen. That’s the person you want to make friends with. Give them a, t-shirt give them a t-shirt from your company, you know, give ’em some cool swag. If you have some cool swag, um, let them know that you appreciate all the hard work they’re doing to make the show and it’ll pay you back in spades.

    But can you talk about the bar, the pun, the fun stuff, how you work a bar? I’m curious. Cause I, okay. I know why I’ve had my experiences there with you. Tell us Michele. No, you, you, you, you tell us, cause you’re, you’re great at this as well. Uh, what I’m good at having glasses of Pinot noir late at night. I definitely agree with that and meeting people.

    Well, the thing is the thing is Colin. What you say is the one thing about these trade show. It’s, it’s a 24 hour a day job. So you might have been on your feet all day in the convention hall, pitching your stuff. Then you’ve gone out to a big dinner. Maybe before dinner, there was a cocktail party. Then you went to a dinner with potential clients.

    Then there was [00:32:00] an after party, and then you’re barely alive. And you walk by the bar. It’s 3:00 AM. And there’s the person you’ve been trying to meet the entire time. This happened to Colin and I in London once, right? It probably was three in the morning. We were exhausted. We’d been out all night and finally, there’s the person that we’ve been wanting to talk to all show.

    So we cornered that person and had a. good, serious, long, and, and productive business, um, discussion. So you’ve gotta be ready even after drinking and eating and, and, and whatever. You’ve always gotta be on and always ready because you never know when the moment will arrive where that one person you’ve been hoping to get time with the entire conference is sitting next to you at the bar or in an elevator with you, or in some other situation that was unexpected.

    And it’s such a different tone. Like when you’re in the meeting, everybody’s stressed up in suits and you’re handing out presentations and just that, you know, everybody’s there and they don’t want, they wanna look good [00:33:00] in front of their, um, coworkers or boss. And then you’re at the bar and you’re like, Hey, you know, this is how it could actually work.

    We could just do this, this there’s. I feel like they let their guard down a lot more when it comes to, um, meeting them in a different setting, the other setting, we would also meet them in sometimes we’d invite them to a dinner. If we knew, we’d try to book key dinners with key buyers.

    Yeah, we definitely with the dinners too. And Michele is the, is the master of making reservations at amazing places at trade shows. But also when we would book dinner reservations, we’d book a bigger table than we actually knew we needed, because you always want to have the opportunity to invite that special person to join you at the last minute, if you’re able to.

    So if there’s four of you, don’t book a table for five book, a table for eight, you know, so that you have room to invite some people. And some of our best [00:34:00] business dinners of some of these conferences were ones where we booked a big table and kind of randomly invited some key people. And it turned into, um, extremely fruitful, uh, business.

    The worst though, I see the worst is when you see companies and they got their shirts on. And it’s the first night of the conference and they’re all having dinner together by themselves with no clients. Oh, that’s very annoying that infuriates me. You see that, Michael? Yeah. Yeah. That just drives me crazy.

    Well, they get these little holy huddles and they talk to one another and I’m thinking stop, like seriously, like you’re in a target rich environment, stop talking to each other. You’ll do that in the office. it’s like, let’s get home with it. Right. Yeah. And I would say, you know, a lot of people are there obviously alone because not everyone’s exhibiting with the big team, but you know, your prospect might have sent the person that makes the decision or who can get you to that [00:35:00] decision.

    So don’t be shy. I, I think that’s the big thing. Everybody’s there it’s work and they’re away from their family or other interests. So I think just don’t be shy. Be very inclusive. Um, and friendly. It’s an amazing opportunity obviously to not only, um, meet people and make connections, but also to make discoveries, um, about things that your customer wants, which is absolutely critical to keep you on strategy as well as what competitors are doing.

    So I wanna add another one, Jeff. Uh, this is one that obviously we employ a, a lot, which is, you know, you get the, you know, the brochure from the show organizers, it has set plans, set, you know, menus, so to speak set lists of what you get. Don’t be afraid to negotiate and change the package in a way [00:36:00] that, you know, will help you get better recognition.

    One thing for us is we always, always try to get a speaking spot. Speaking spots are. Infinitely, um, useful it’s you you’re up in front of everybody. Everybody immediately starts to know who you are and the company starts to get associated with some level of expertise. People will just start, you know, introducing themselves to you.

    People will start asking you questions. Speaking engagements can be very, very valuable. And a lot of times we would get the lower end package and then we would negotiate really hard to get a speaking engagement. So that’s my hack. Yeah, I I’d agree with that one. It’s one. We do a, a lot. Um, Michele is really go for the speaking, the speaking spots, but you’ve gotta make sure that when you, when you speak that you’re adding value to the [00:37:00] attendees, don’t do a sales pitch add value.

    And that’s the thing you’ve gotta really think about cuz people can, they they’re. So over the sales pitch, you know, and, um, I, I just think you’ve always gotta think about what are the, what’s the value I’m adding just, just on dinners. The other thing I should mention about dinner is, is really think about who you gonna invite your dinner.

    What you don’t want have is a really big client and there’s a quite a small client together. You want the big clients. and then you want say the medium one, the smalls, and it may be a different dinner or something like that. They’re still worthwhile talking to you, but you don’t wanna mess that up too much.

    I find is you want the, the same caliber of organizations sort of, um, uh, trading off one another and also think about if you don’t wanna a dinner where everyone is introverts, um, otherwise gonna be like a very awkward dinner. So think about the personalities as well. Uh, in that, in that process of who’s gonna [00:38:00] be at the dinner, it’s, it’s quite a bit of finessing in that and more in particular.

    When you sit at the table, um, for a business meeting or for a dinner or anything, think about the, if you, if you are gonna be sort of guide, how are you gonna guide the conversation like in a business meeting? And if you’ve got two people in the business meeting, what you don’t wanna do is put, um, the other person, um, in a position where they’ve gotta play tennis.

    So they’re looking at, at you, then they’re looking at your colleague and then looking at you and then looking at a colleague like backwards and forwards, put it. So they wa simply look in one direction and they’re seeing you both at the same time. There’s also sort different things you can do there to make it easier for them, um, before any business meeting.

    So careful where you sit down at the table, wow. This is insane. All of these tips and tricks. And if you’re in the audience and you have one, please raise your hand. It’s Friday afternoon. It’s, it’s a, it’s a nice room and we’re relaxed and we’re [00:39:00] talking and you might have an idea of something you did. I know a couple weeks ago, We had someone who had come on the show and talked about, um, so every show they hand you a lanyard and a little badge that you put around your neck and, you know, but what he did is he, he brought in a custom one.

    Now, in his case, it was huge. Like it was like a sandwich board sign or something like that. But just the idea of swapping out the standard lanyard. Now you might need that lanyard and badge to get through the gate, you know, the security and stuff, but you can still have another one that’s different than the one that everybody else has.

    And that will really make you stand out. I thought that was a pretty cool trick. So if you have an idea and you’re in the audience, come on stage, raise your hand. We’d love to have you up. Excellent. So Jeff, talk a little bit. About some [00:40:00] more of your hubs, like I’m interested. Like you’re really good at making sure the brand is all over the place in a very simple way.

    Tell us about that. Yeah. So Colin touched on it earlier, but I, I really think you can’t stress it enough is you gotta wear your logo attire at all times. And I mean, at all times, if, if you, again, if you’re the one selling, there’s, there’s two different strategies. If you’re at a trade show and you’re a buyer.

    It’s a completely different strategy, because if you’re a buyer, you may not want everyone to know who you are because you don’t wanna be inundated with people trying to sell you stuff. You want to be selective, but if you are selling, if you’re at a show and your purpose there is to sell something, right, then there’s no excuse to not be wearing your logoed shirts a hundred percent of the time.

    And I mean, a hundred percent of the time. I mean, if you’re going out to a fancy dinner at a steakhouse, you’re still wearing your logo shirt. You’re not switching clothes [00:41:00] because you never know who’s gonna see you. And recognize the company as someone that they want to talk to. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been in an elevator and someone stopped and said, oh, do you work with.club?

    If I was wearing a.club shirt, you know, I’ve heard about that. Can you tell me more? So when you’re there for the purpose of selling, you should be wearing your logo shirt at all times, cuz you never know where it’s gonna get the attention of someone you might want to be selling to. So I encourage you to wear it a hundred percent of the time.

    I know a lot of people wear it when they’re in the booth because their boss told them they had to. And as soon as they get a chance to strip it off and put something else on, they do, I think that’s that. Mistake, you should be wearing it a hundred percent of the time. If you’re a seller, if you’re a buyer, not so much, but if you’re a seller a hundred percent, the other thing for branding, just, just be just before you go on that, Jeff, sorry, Jeff.

    I, I, I, I need to absolutely emphasize that what you said there is just so important and it should be that every single [00:42:00] person has the attire. And, and it’s very clear what it is when I say every single person, for instance, in this last, uh, conference, my wife was just traveling with me, but I made sure that she had a, a branded sh, um, shirt that she wore.

    And she, we may have gone at some of the social functions and she was still wearing our shirt. I’ll tell you, because to me that was another opportunity to go along and, and put the brand out there. So you may have like, uh, significant others with you or something like that. Even your kids. I don’t care.

    Make sure they’re wearing the shirt. Get it’s free advertise. It’s easy. I know, but I’m amazed again, back to that, you know, point earlier about the people just sitting and talking to each other, how many times I’ve seen businesses like at the domain conferences, the internet corporation for assigned names and numbers.

    I can we go to these conferences and maybe two or three companies, including our company had our, our company logo [00:43:00] on it, but everybody else got nice sport jackets. They looking really nice. And you know, how many times, like it costs you almost nothing to feature your company as a startup? Why not wear the merchandise?

    It’s we’re trying to make money here. We’re not trying to be cool. E exactly. We actually got, um, like polo shirts and everything like that, but we also got really nice jackets to wear just in case we happen to go to a, a geo region, which was cold, but they’re always branded. Everything is branded and absolutely critical to me.

    Um, that cuz just, it’s just free, like, like the, the, the, um, conference con convener didn’t even charge you to do that. it’s like, it’s a free item. So like just do it

    yeah. Just, and just to finish up, uh, the talk about the, the branding stuff that Michele asked. So a little bit about booth etiquette, um, you know, when you’re Manning the booth or womanning the booth is the case may be, but when [00:44:00] you’re in your booth, um, number one, never sit down in your booth. Now, granted, you’re gonna be on your feet all day.

    You want to take a break when you want to take a break, leave your booth, go sit in the, the dining area, go sit in a lounge, go sit somewhere else to rest your feet. Don’t rest in the booth. When you’re in the booth, everyone in your booth should be on their. Work in the booth, you know, working the customers.

    That doesn’t mean you can’t take a break and get off your feet. Just don’t do it in the booth. The other thing is when you leave the booth, anytime you leave the booth, maybe you’re going to the restroom. Maybe you wanna walk the floor and look at some of the other booths. Maybe you’re gonna go, uh, for lunch, anytime you leave that booth, grab a handful of swag, flyers, whatever, whatever collateral you have in the booth, bring a supply of it with you.

    Because when you’re walking around and again, you’re wearing your logo shirt, you never know who’s gonna come up to you and say, oh, what stock club I heard about it? Boom. You’ve got the flyer right in your hand. Oh, here’s our sales flyer. Take [00:45:00] a look at this. Here’s my business card. Oh, can I put a sticker or a pin on your badge?

    All those things that you have in the booth, you want to have them in your hands. Anytime you leave the booth to walk around so that you’re bringing your booth with you, wherever you go. I think that’s really important. I remember researching the best type of shoes you can buy for a trade show. And I found gravity to fire shoes.

    It’s hilarious. I know they got little Springs in them and whatnot, but they made a huge difference. The type of shoes, because you’re right. You stand up for 16 hours a day. It’s tough. Yeah, I, and with flyers and collateral, one other thing is, you know, Colin mentioned this earlier. We’ll typically I carry a stack with me and if you’re walking through the, the dining area where all the tables are elite, put your flyers on the tables, put them at the bar, put them in random places.

    And sometimes if you’re at a trade show where, you know, the hotel has blocks of rooms that are [00:46:00] dedicated to the trade show, if you make nice with, um, someone at the front desk, they might tell you, oh yeah, the trade show, book floors five, six, and seven. So then you know that everyone who’s staying on floors five, six, and seven is part of this trade show.

    So what do you do at midnight before you go to bed or 2:00 AM, or whenever it is before you go to bed, grab a bunch of your flyer. Go up to floors five, six, and seven, and slide one of your flyers under every door, um, on those floors because everyone in those rooms is part of that trade show. And now they’re gonna get your collateral.

    Sometimes you can get in trouble. I’ve been in situations where the hotel, you know, someone complained in the hotel, um, Stopped it because sometimes they actually charged for that. The hotels, organizers charge you to put stuff under the doors, but if you’re clever, you can figure it out and you could do that same thing with vehicles.

    You know, um, when I was in the entertainment industry, we would go to the can film festival every year. And what we would do is we’d put our flyers in collateral, underneath the [00:47:00] windshield wipers on every single car that was parked up and down the Croce, which is the main street that everyone who’s at the can film festival has to walk along every day, all day long.

    So we would put our flyers under the windshield wipers of cars. So people would see them as they walked around. So there’s a lot of creative ways you can get that brand around. And a lot of it is tied to always having an ample supply of flyers stickers, pins, collateral. T-shirts, it’s great to give t-shirts to people.

    They’ll wear them. It promotes your brand. All that stuff can help you get more bang for your bucket, a trade show. Excellent. So we have Noel, who’s joined us on the stage. Noel. We’d love to hear from you. That’s so funny. Cause I used to play mini roles. I was, uh, a conference planner and developer meeting planner.

    I worked in hotels. I did AV and catering. So, so I know these hacks that you guys are doing and they’re so fun. Um, I just wanted to share that, oh, I was [00:48:00] invited up, but I wanted to share that at names con I’m I guess I’m a domainer but I don’t sell domains. So I’m didn’t know anybody there. And what I did is I rode the elevators for the first 10 minutes at the conference and met like six people.

    and then I was kind of set and it was nice cuz we were confined and it was easy to ask questions. So I really liked that idea as well. And I love the idea of encouraging to be a speaker at a conference. When I went to south, by my first time I went as a volunteer to scouted out. Then the second time I came as a speaker and I got trade.

    So I think that’s a nice way to do projects as well. And I love this topic. So this should turn into a book oh my gosh. Even Jeff, maybe you should turn into a book Noel before you answer Jeff Noel or Jeff, either one of you, uh, this idea of speaking and Michele talked about establish yourself as an expert in your industry.

    One of the best ways to do that is to get on [00:49:00] stage. How do you do that? How do you, how do you get yourself a speaking gig at one of your trade shows? Maybe start with you Noel. Yeah, that actually could be a whole topic in another room. Um, um, I know I put you on the spot, right? Yeah, no, no, no. I’m just, I, I have, I have so many different types of clients, such big ones and small ones and different, or I mean, apple and Oracle and things.

    Um, I think sometimes going to the client direct, not just the conference planner, but the, the client direct and getting some marketing materials for that client, either your materials emailed or the old days mailed. And then when they meet with the conference planner, if you talk to the, the show organizer or the producer, they should be tickled as well.

    So that when they talk and they’re throwing ideas out, both of you guys have a little starting point. I think that when we suggested something and they already had known about it, it was more likely to advance, even if it was, they weren’t sure if it was the right fit. Just the fact that, [00:50:00] uh, we were marketed from both sides.

    Yeah, I think one of the things is obviously you always to get to know, know the, the, the conference convener as well and the conference. What openly, can you say that again? Convener convener, the conference convener. Is that a word? We use the person, the person who’s putting on the conference. Okay. Got it.

    And to get to know them and, and, and give the pitch. They’re, they’re looking for content for their contr conference, but they’re looking for good quality content. And so give the pitch to them of, Hey, I can speak on this and it’s gonna be just awesome. And these are the reasons why, and here’s the four points I’m gonna cover.

    And then make it easy for them. So you’ve already dropped up that one paragraph summary, which they can just put it straight into the program. They don’t have to think about it anymore and that spot’s filled and now it’s gonna be really good. Um, yeah, definitely, definitely looking at past, um, agendas for conferences and also reading their current trends, like, um, their media files, what’s, what’s new for [00:51:00] them and what catch phrases are, and then incorporating that in and again, keeping it simple and, um, showing them how that your turnkey is always the best.

    And I know they generally ask for speakers like a year in advance or eight months in advance. You can’t just the month before the conference say, Hey, I’d like to speak. So keeping your eyes open for when they call for speakers is, is maybe another thing, any thoughts on this topic, Jeff? Yeah. Well, a couple of things.

    So, so going back to befriending the show organizers, you know, that’s really important too, cuz I had this happen to me. Michele, you might remember where, um, at the last minute we decided to attend to show. I tried to get a speaking engagement, but it was way too late, but then someone backed out and the show organizer who knew, um, you know, had seen me speak at other shows, uh, offered me an opportunity to speak at the last minute as a replacement, which of course I was happy to do.

    So again, the more friendly you are with the ho with the organiz organizers, the more likely those opportunities will come [00:52:00] up. And if you haven’t spoken at shows before, um, you know, it’s so easy now to make videos of ourselves doing something, literally make a video of yourself, giving a presentation, even if it’s just you in an empty room, they don’t know it’s not in front of an audience and, you know, ha point the camera on yourself, present and speak as if you’re speaking in front of an audience.

    Um, and just give a presentation, do your best job, because almost every show is gonna want to see if they’re not familiar with you already, or if they haven’t seen you speak, they’re going to want to see you speak. But that doesn’t mean you have to have spoken at 10 conferences already. Just show them on a video that you’re capable of getting up in front of a, a room or an audience and giving a thoughtful and meaningful and informative and entertaining presentation.

    And you could literally just do that alone, uh, to create that video. But again, when you’re doing it alone, don’t look like you’re alone. Make sure you’re looking at the camera and speaking to the camera as if you’re speaking to a full [00:53:00] house in an auditorium.

    Yeah. And along that lines, you don’t always have to be like, I’m the speaker. And it’s just me standing up here. Panels are a fantastic way. To really meet people and get in front of an audience without all the burden or the nerves or whatever of doing a formal presentation. So never, you know, dismiss that type of opportunity as well.

    I personally really like doing panels. You get an opportunity, um, to, you know, build a different kind of rapport on stage and with the audience. And can I, can I say something about, about this is that over time, if you’re doing speaking engagements and you’re constantly adding value, um, to the audience, then what happens is the audience know that when you are gonna be speaking that that’s gonna be really worthwhile to, to attend to, and you’ll [00:54:00] end up getting daresay a following.

    And the, the conference organizers know this and they want to go along and make sure that the, the, the attendees really like, like the content for that stuff. And so it becomes easier over time. And just your point, um, Michele on panels, um, I’m very picky, which panel I will go on. And I look at the people on the panel beforehand to determine whether, yeah, I’m gonna be on this panel or not, cuz sometimes what you don’t want to have is your brand mixed up with someone who dare say is doing questionable things in your industry or has reputation, which is not as not that good and be very, very careful to keep your brand separate from that.

    And that’s the only thing I would say about panels, but I’ve had a lot of panels and they’ve been great times and really good people on them and that sort of stuff. We’ve had fantastic discussions. Um, but just be very wary about your brand and if there’s other people in [00:55:00] the industry, which are less savory, I’ll, I’ll put it that way.

    Um, and making sure that they’re not trying to get some of your brands glamor for their own benefit as such. Yeah. Um, you mentioned just, um, this is a secret I use. So my husband’s an astronomer and he’s asked to speak all over the place, but now I’m choosing where I wanna go. And so I’m contacting destinations like Hawaii and Thailand and other places, and letting them know about our services for incoming groups, because I wouldn’t mind pairing with them on those kind of adventures, but also when I’m in my audience or when you have your other team in the audience, I’m saying to people I see who likes it, I’m like make, let the conference planner know, please highlight us on the survey.

    So I do a whole bunch of after bounding. , you know, I walk the room and, uh, plant seeds and then, uh, get feedback. These people said they like this. And then we’ve been invited back. We’re doing one conference five years in a row. So, um, [00:56:00] understand the audience and see them as valuable people to market for you.

    Hey, Jeff, that brings up a good point, you know, after the conference. . Um, do you have any tricks for that? Like, you know, you’ve done this conference it’s ended. Is it over or do you keep working the list? I mean, you grabbed their business cards. You might have scanned their badge. What happens after the conference?

    Well, Michele, Michele talked about this at the beginning of the hour. I mean, the follow up is, is 90%, uh, of the impact of the show. So it’s really important that you do follow up with the business cards you collected or the lead list you collected. Um, and that’s why it’s important to make your show presence memorable, right?

    Because when you follow up, you can refer back to it. So, you know, Joe, uh, no, Met those people in the elevators going up and down. I’m sure that when she followed up, she says, Hey, I’m Noel. I met you in the elevator at the such and such hotel. And they’re gonna remember that as opposed to just remembering, you know, people walking around.

    So you wanna, [00:57:00] um, follow up and make your follow up personal. Um, a lot of times I will get emails after a trade show. I’ve attended from people whose booths I never went to. And it just says, Hey, Jeff, thanks for coming by our booth and telling us how interested you are in our product. And I know I never went to their booth and I know that they just bought or got the list of attendees.

    And they’re just sending everyone to that list, the same email. Um, it would be much more impactful if it acknowledged, Hey, Jeff, I’m sorry that you didn’t have a chance to come by our booth cuz they didn’t collect my name at the booth. You know, here’s what you missed or something to make it personal. So you.

    Don’t just blast the attendee list after the show. Um, as most people do, but go through the cards, make notes during the show when you talk to someone. So when you follow up with them, you can reference something you discussed in the booth. Hey, I remember when you came by a booth and you mentioned that you, um, had one of our products or, you know, do something to make it personal.

    So it’s not just [00:58:00] a mass mailing to a list. So you’re gonna get a much better result that way. I think. And Jeff, I know one thing you’ve done and I’ve seen you do with pot.com. I’ve seen you do with.club is we’re going to a trade show for the first time and you tell them, look, I’m a startup. I’m just getting going.

    Can you give me a discount this year? And if it works out well, I’ll pay the full rate next. Absolutely. Everything is negotiable and, and, and pleading poverty as a young startup is, is a good way to negotiate and to, to Michele’s point earlier, which was a great point, um, to emphasize is you don’t have to limit yourselves to the standard sponsorship opportunities.

    You know, if you want to be creative, if you want to do something, that’s outside of what they’ve asked for, they’d be happy to take your money. Plus you can pay less for those kinds of sponsorships because it isn’t part of their menu already. So you might come up with a creative idea. Like we once did a coin.

    Uh, we printed up, uh, a [00:59:00] thousand coins, actual metal coins, and we wanted them to give everyone a coin. One of our coins when they picked up their badge at the booth, that was not something that was in their. Um, sponsorship opportunities bag. They didn’t have a set price for it. Right? So we just were able to negotiate.

    Well, look, they’re handing in the badge anyway, how much extra work is it gonna be for them to also hand them one of our coins we’ll pay for the coins. Why don’t you do this for us for a very low cost? And we paid very little, um, for the right to have them give everyone our coin when they came in. So you can be creative and do things that are not part of the sponsorship menu.

    Um, and as Colin said, you know, you can do things that are, are, are creative and, and make you stand out without spending a lot of money. Yeah, I, I agree with you just on that. Uh, Jeff is, everything is negotiable and I don’t think I’ve ever done a conference where we’ve taken, uh, the packages as such as, as, as written.

    Um, [01:00:00] we’ve always crafted something which worked well with our brand and we well with the entire strategy around what we were trying to achieve at the conference. And, um, when that strategy gets in place, you can maximize the effectiveness of what you’re trying to do and low and behold you get it for less.

    But I loved your idea at the point. That’s great. Yeah, I have to, uh, apologize. I have, uh, to jump to a three o’clock meeting, but this has been a great discussion. I, I didn’t even go through all the things on my list so we can do this again. And I’d love to hear more tips and hacks from other people, uh, like Noel, uh, about what they’ve done at the show, but I’m gonna have to jump right now, but, um, Michele and Colin, thank you so much for this opportunity.

    Absolutely. And it’s been a great show today. Uh, I know the blog Mimi’s in the audience here. We’re gonna try to come up with 50. So if you missed, even though you might have not got everything in there, Jeff, um, on the blog, you can go to the website startup.club and you’ll be able to read 50, uh, trade show [01:01:00] hacks.

    It was a bit of a niche topic, you know, but next week, We have something that’s a little bit more broad and it’s the art of war startup lessons for modern entrepreneurs. And Rucha, I know you’re new to clubhouse. Welcome. I came across her article and I read it about a month and a half ago and I was just blown away.

    I loved the book, the art of war. And you put it in context for startups. Are you able to just give us like a 32nd sort of clip of what we’re gonna talk about next week? Uh, yes. You’re problem. Thank you so much. Uh, for introducing me. Uh, when, uh, we talk about the art of war, the book, people often associate it with politics, right?

    But that’s not the case. In fact, we can use those war analogies for almost everything that we do, including entrepreneurship. And that’s why, uh, that’s what I focus on when our, uh, uh, writing that article. [01:02:00] And that is what we would discussing next Friday, as you can use those strategies with the wrote thousand 2000 years ago in, and it has lived to that time.

    And if this is something that I view discuss the same.

    Yeah. It’s, it’s gonna sound great. I know your voice sounded a little muffled today, so maybe we’ll work on the microphone for next week, but it’s gonna be a lot of fun. I mean, it’s an incredible book. I read the article. I’m gonna read the article again. Uh, if you just search the art of war for startups on Google, you’ll see her article.

    And she talks about, you know, she lines it up with the book. It’s pretty cool. So we’ll see you all next week. Thank you very much. Noel and Michael and Michele for coming on stage. Uh, we do have a huge author coming on to this show next, other than, other than Rucha is that pronounce? I Rucha, uh, yes.

    College. Oh, by the way, very much [01:03:00] better, much better. When you just came on right now, that was much better by the way, from a sound perspective, I’m glad we practiced, but we have another huge author coming on next next month. I’m not gonna tell you the name yet. Uh, and you’re not gonna find out unless you go on to startup.club and sign up for that mailing list.

    And, uh, we’ve had so many great authors and serial entrepreneurs and billionaires come on this show, uh, really, really exciting. And you can get, um, you can get access to this show. We are now a podcast by going to your favorite podcast channel and searching for serial entrepreneur club, Michele, close it out.

    Excellent. This has been an amazing show and we’re looking forward to seeing everybody next week. So like Colin said, make sure you go to www.startup.club. You can see over 200 past recording shows and podcasts. There’s an amazing amount of knowledge. And, um, you know, it’s all free. So, you know, feel [01:04:00] free.

    We we’d love for everyone to go up there and benefit from it. So have a wonderful rest of your week and we’ll see you next week. Thank you so much. Thank you, Mahalo. Bye-bye see you later, everyone.

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