Business

Tradeshows a Dying Breed? 13 Tips to Help Improve Show ROI

tradeshow, pr, events, sales, leads, press, editorsRemember the days when tradeshows were jam-packed and everyone registered to attend as soon as they could to reserve their spot?  People milled around and networked for hours looking at some of the greatest booth presentations and demos the industry had to offer.  It was THE BEST, wasn’t it?

Tradeshows were so important. They were an ‘absolute must’ travel expense.  And then, all of a sudden, there was a drop. Slowly, these fun networking extravaganzas seemed to slowly fade away.  But just like print magazines themselves, we’ve seen it come full circle and hopefully there will be a resurgence as organizers are learning what works in today’s new environment.

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Content Topics: What to do when you’re stumped

nov1-great-ideaHave you ever been charged with having to write something, be it a blog, article or a short piece for your website and have no idea what to write about?

You struggle with topics that you think your audience may be interested in, or feel that you have exhausted all possible topics that can be written about. You want the piece to be engaging and timely, with a “personal” spin to it that only your company can provide.

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How global is your business?

global businessThe Internet has given every company, large and small, a digital footprint.  It’s not a matter of can you be found, but rather, once you are found, who are you really trying to reach.

 

The real question is not whether your business is global or not, but rather: How global is your business?

 

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Putting a Positive Spin on Things

June2.positive spinLet’s face it, things don’t always turn out as well as you had expected.  Sometimes you need to deliver news that isn’t particularly flattering to your company or its products. And although we would love to keep a lid on negative publicity and not let the world know about it, sometimes it is unavoidable.  So, what are we to do? Sweep it under the rug? Lie? Act like it never happened?  The answer to each of these questions is a resounding NO! Read the rest of this entry »

Keep Your Shovel in the Dirt: gardening tips from a not-so-green thumb

 

Farmer on local sustainable organic farmI’ve never been very good at gardening, even though I still try each year.  I till my little patch of land so that I can sow my vegetables, spending far more on plants and preparation than my meager harvest would ever come close to paying out.

Each year, my timing seems to be off.  Right around the time that my tomatoes are ripe for the picking, I’m typically out of town for my family reunion.  My house sitter says they are delicious, though.  Read the rest of this entry »

How Well Do You Know Your Brand? 4 quick tips to give you a baseline

Mar2.personalbrand_bannerSo many companies focus on identifying their brands by sitting around their own conference room discussing what they think their customers value about their brand.  Few step outside the office to truly figure out what resonates from an end user perspective.

 

Time, money and sometimes even ego are the often the root causes of a misguided branding strategy, but let’s look at how a few simple outward-facing steps can help you start to formulate a valuable branding strategy. Read the rest of this entry »

The Personal Aspect of Collaboration

networking, relationships, collaboration, business development, personalEmail, cell phones and web-based platforms have made global collaboration as common as using an ATM. It has definitely redefined our models of business efficiency and what can be accomplished in a day, with the limitations of geographic borders and time zones essentially eliminated. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Build (and Sustain) a Successful Agency Relationship

stop collaborate and listenAccording to helpguide.org, ‘a good relationship is more than something we want—it’s something we need to be our happiest, healthiest, most productive selves. But at home or work, supportive, fulfilling relationships don’t come automatically. They take an investment in time and energy.’ Read the rest of this entry »

Project Management with a Personal Touch

project collaboration, project management, teamwork, communication, project coordinationIn today’s global business environment, many different departments take an active role in the development of a project, and with good reason. Everybody has a different perspective and different needs. Read the rest of this entry »

The Devil’s in the Details

trade show presence, event marketing, event best practices, trade show, best practices, event, show tips, trade show success, trade show roadmap, success roadmapWhile attending a tradeshow for the packaging industry recently, I was a bit surprised to see a large number of marketing snafus that could have been easily avoided, and would have resulted in much better lead generation on the show floor. Read the rest of this entry »

Have you embraced The Cloud?

cloud computing, network, online, work flow, digitalCloud computing has become more than just a place to store information; it’s an essential part of daily business operations.

 

Having moved the mobile workforce beyond merely ‘working from home’, the cloud provides a location-agnostic environment where collaboration can effectively be conducted regardless of your physical location or local time zone.

 

What is the cloud?

Simply put, the cloud is a network of servers that either provides an online service or stores data. You can then can access your info from virtually anywhere using a computer, tablet, smartphone, etc., as long as you have an internet connection.

 

What can be saved to the cloud?

Any digital file — documents, pictures, video, contact information, calendars, maps — can be stored on the cloud on both public and private networks. Common business services available via cloud computing include email, digital editing, design and publishing and some collaborative software.*

 

How can the cloud work for you?

Generally, businesses use the cloud to save money, as its more cost efficient for three main reasons.

 

  • First, it’s scalable—Businesses don’t have to spend money on limited hard drive storage. Cloud service providers only charge for storage used, with an almost unlimited amount of storage available. Businesses have the option to upgrade and expand or downsize their storage needs whenever they desire with no financial backlash.

 

  • Next, it’s flexible—The cloud can be accessed from any device connected to the internet. This means two things: employees and clients can collaborate from anywhere on the planet and files can be opened in any operating system, regardless of the word processing applications that are installed.

 

  • Finally, it’s eco-friendly—In society’s attempt to be paperless, the cloud reduces paper and ink requirements. From editing to filing, all of it can be done electronically and more efficiently on the cloud.

 

Another business benefit is enhanced disaster recovery, since cloud companies back up your data off site, and the data will be immediately available via the internet no matter the catastrophe.

 

For existing as well as up-and-coming businesses, cloud storage is a natural progression towards a modern business model that focuses on cost efficiencies and global collaboration. Check out this list of things to consider before employing a cloud-based environment.

 

*It is important to keep in mind that, as with any digital environment, precautions need to be taken to properly secure personal or sensitive business information.

 

All You Need to Know about TED Talks

ted talk, better presentation, engaging audience, engaging presentationOver the past several months, we’ve heard people saying: ‘did you hear so and so give a TED talk about such and such’ or ‘did you catch that TED talk last week about blah-did-e-blah’.

At first, all I kept picturing was a cuddly, foul-mouthed brown bear, smoking a cigarette and hanging out with Mark Wahlberg. I couldn’t help myself…those were the visions that came to mind.

Obviously, I knew this was not what people meant, but it was certainly funny thinking about a stuffed bear standing up on a stage giving a riveting talk about the hazards of smoking as he’s puffing away on a cigarette and drinking a beer….

So for those of you who don’t know what a TED talk is, it’s pretty straight forward and simple. TED is an acronym for Technology, Entertainment and Design. TED began at a conference in 1984 when those three topics converged. The talks are usually short, powerful and last no longer than 18 minutes. And according to its website, TED is a non-profit, global community devoted to spreading ideas and free knowledge from the world’s most inspired thinkers.

What intrigued me is that when you listen to one of these talks, you’re captivated. Honestly, you want to sit and listen to what the speaker has to say. Their presentations are so well done, you feel like they’re over in a blink of an eye. Don’t we all wish we could give presentations like that?

So it got me to thinking. What makes a good talk, presentation or speech?

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there…a speaker droning on and on and your mind wanders to the 10 other things you would like to be doing at the moment. Basically all you hear is ‘wha, wha, wha, wha’, like the teacher from the Peanuts. You don’t want to be ‘that speaker’. But how do you avoid that?

Know your audience and why you’re giving that talk. These two key factors will make speech writing and delivering much easier.

  • Hook ‘em in the beginning and involve the audience. People tend to be more interested if they feel they are being included in what you are saying.
  • Keep it real. Tell a story from personal experience or use real life examples that the audience can relate to. This helps you work the crowd.
  • Be sure to allow for questions throughout the presentation. Don’t wait until the end.
  • Show, don’t tell. Use interesting visuals, not slides that you are reading from that the audience can read at the same time. Nothing’s worse than being ‘read to’. The audience isn’t full of preschoolers, so don’t treat them that way.
  • Always remember less is more…be brief. Say what you have to say and then STOP!
  • Practice…you know the saying, practice makes perfect. So be sure to practice, practice, practice.
  • End powerfully. Make your ending as powerful as your beginning.

With that said, I hope I kept you engaged…

Check out this PDF for more do’s and don’ts of public speaking as well as a checklist to get you ready for your next presentation.

You can also check out the TED Talk website for more information.