Friday, July 1, 2011

Defining Solutions and Industry Best Practices the Goal

ASAE, ESCA, IAEE, SISO Leaders Announce First All-Exhibition Industry Summit:

"Defining Solutions and Industry Best Practices the Goal"

DALLAS, 29 June 2011 - The leaders of four exhibitions and events industry associations today announced that an All-Exhibition Industry Summit meeting would soon take place for the purpose of creating a set of Guiding Principles that will define industry best practices.

Chuck Grouzard, President of the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA), John H. Graham IV, CAE, President and CEO, ASAE, Vinnie Polito, Chairman of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and Sean Guerre, Chairman of the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) jointly disclosed that they will be inviting two elected leaders from each of the associations that are active in the exhibitions and events industry in the United States to attend the Summit. The industry-wide summit would be "a precedent-setting and long-overdue breakthrough," they added.

Grouzard says, "There have been many piecemeal attempts throughout the years to define those practices that are essential to the efficient and fair conduct of business in the exhibition industry. While we applaud all of those past attempts the fact remains there are too many troublesome issues that demand a common and agreed to set of understandings. We believe it is now time for the entire industry to come together. Anything less than a broad and comprehensive industry effort is destined to fail."

"A joint initiative across our sector is imperative to the future of the industry we represent," said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, CAE. "Now, more than ever, we need to put our brains together to come up with guidelines to streamline our operations and ease the many processes that guide the work of our industry as we work together on today's challenges and prepare for future opportunities."

"The stresses of the Great Recession and the anemic economic recovery ever since make it essential for all of the segments of the exhibition industry to consider how we might adapt ourselves and our industry to the new realities that lie ahead," Guerre added. "The pressures to do our business efficiently have never been greater. There has never been a more appropriate time to do this than now."

Speaking for IAEE, Vinnie Polito pointed out, "If all of the organizations in our industry set aside our respective organizational egos and devote our full attention to crafting real solutions that will withstand time and further economic stress we will have contributed something very important to our members and the customers that they all serve. We know that if the will is there we can achieve great things."

Among the organizations that will be invited to participate in the summit meeting are the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR); the Corporate Event Marketers Association (CEMA); the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI); the Exhibitor Appointed Contractors Association (EACA); the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association (EDPA); the Healthcare Exhibitors Association (HCEA); the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM); the International Center for Exhibitor and Event Marketing (ICEEM); the International Exhibition Logistics Associates (IELA); the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA); and the Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA).

The summit is likely to take place in October at an agreed to location for a day and a half. An independent professional facilitator will be retained to help guide proceedings. Invitations will be issued within several days.

About ESCA

ESCA is dedicated to the advancement of the exhibition, meeting and special events industries. Through the education, information exchange and level of professionalism shared by members and their customers, ESCA promotes cooperation among all areas of the exhibition industry. Visit

About ASAE

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 22,000 association executives and industry partners representing more than 11,000 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit

About IAEE

Since 1928, IAEE continues to provide quality and value to its members through leadership, service, education and strong relationships. IAEE is the largest association of the exhibitions and events industry in the world, with a membership of show organizers, exhibitors and exhibition suppliers. Organizers of more than 20,000 exhibitions and buyer-seller events around the world are members of IAEE. Through the 2006 consolidation with the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), IAEE delivers valuable industry research reports. IAEE also supports IAEE Services, the IAEE Public Events Council, The International Center for Exhibitor and Event Marketing, and the Exhibition and Event Industry Audit Commission, which are IAEE councils that provide products, programs and information to members. IAEE recognizes its strategic partners: American Airlines, ASP, Inc., Bearcom, Mexico Tourism Board, Orange County Convention Center and Visit Orlando, Vertical Nerve, Inc. and VoiceLogic. Visit for more information.

About SISO

The Society of Independent Show Organizers' (SISO) members are represented by their respective Presidents, CEO's and Owners and twice a year meet to exchange ideas, share experiences and launch industry-wide projects. The SISO CEO Summit and Executive Conference are for strategic planning in April and tactical implementation in August. SISO represents more than 125 member companies that produce over 3,000 shows annually and range in size from smaller entrepreneurial businesses with shows in hotels and community centers to companies with billion dollar global portfolios that take over entire city facilities. SISO member companies produce shows in just about every industry sector. Please contact: Lewis Shomer, Executive Director, 2601 Ocean Park Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405: (310) 450-8831;;

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The 12 Most Effective Ways To Develop a Solid Blog

The 12 Most Effective Ways To Develop a Solid Blog
Posted by Troy Claus on Jun 21, 2011 in Blog, Blogging, Social Media | 55 comments

ShareDigg Digg1. Be you
If you’re going to write a blog you have to make sure you’re doing it because you want to, and love to. “You” is the key word here. Don’t be afraid to be yourself – if you conform to the rest, you will (usually) fall behind.

2. Compare yourself to no-one
The problem with comparing yourself to others is you create self-doubt. Everyone has his or her own writing style – you should learn to love yours and, if/when you do, it will come through in your writing. Learn from others, admire others and respect others, but don’t compare yourself to others.

3. Bend the rules
There are too many people who follow the “rules” when blogging. Is my post too short? Is my post too long? As long as your content is compelling, people will generally read it. If it seems too long, break it up with some headers and/or pictures, it makes the flow of the post a lot better for reading.

4. Do it
The best way to improve your blog is to do it more. Like anything, the more you do it, the better you will get at it. Even if you don’t hit the Publish button on every post, write every day – it will help you define your style and narrative voice.

5. Avoid the numbers game
Too many people get caught up in the numbers game. Try not to pay attention to who subscribes and who doesn’t. If you start to worry about that it can throw your writing style off, as you try and write solely for numbers, which usually means lesser quality posts.

6. Make it relevant to your audience
You need to take the time to recognize who your audience is. Once you know that, then you can create fun offers exclusive to your readers. It could be a guide filled with tips, a free chapter from your ebook…etc. But whatever the offer, it needs to be relevant.

7. Link it up
When writing a post, if there is topic/point that you’re touching on but you know of another blogger who wrote an entire post on it, link to them. Not only are trackbacks a great way to increase traffic, but it helps build a relationship with that blogger that could be expanded upon further down the line.

8. Visit and comment
Try to get out of your house (blog) and visit other ones. Start off by leaving one comment a day for each day of the week. This gives you the opportunity to meet new people, offer up your opinion and potentially have them come visit your blog.

9. Pick the right picture
A picture can speak 1,000 words (and it generates 50% more interest). This is a great way to connect with readers – it allows for that emotional connection. Whether it be funny, sad or angry, it helps set the tone for the reader.

10. Facebook linking
Write a fun or intriguing question on your Facebook page and then link it back to your blog for the answer. This is something fun for your friends/fans and a great way to drive traffic to your blog.

11. Have a strong headline
Your headline can be the reason your blog is rocking, or a tumbleweed. Find ways to spark the interest of the reader. You could position it like you’re solving a problem, telling a secret, giving away valuable information, or just keeping it fun.

12. Tweet your post
If you’re on Twitter, you may be wondering what the appropriate number of personal retweets are. I would suggest 2/day for 2 days. Remember, when we are up and working, the other side of the world is sleeping. So once every 12 hours is good. If you are a Tweet-a-holic, then once every 8 hours for 2 days is good too.

Friday, April 15, 2011

BizBash Florida Expo 2011

7 Insights From the BizBash Florida Expo
NEWS 04.30.10 10:10 AM

The first BizBash Florida Expo took place on Wednesday at the Greater Fort Lauderdale and Broward County Convention Center. Nearly 1,100 people attended the day’s seminars and trade show, along with 80 exhibiting companies.

Throughout the day, attendees and speakers—including keynote presenters Colin Cowie, BizBash editor in chief Chad Kaydo, and Bruce Sutka of Sutka Productions International—discussed the state of the corporate event market, planning tips, and design ideas. Here’s a look at what people had to say.

“I think in the last 30 to 45 days we’ve started to turn the corner and the phone is ringing again,” and budgets will be back to normal in 2011.
—Colin Cowie

“Corporate is coming back. It’s just that instead of one event with 300 people, we’re doing three events of 100 people to spread out the budget a bit.”
–Keith Blauschild, co-owner, Parkland Chef Catering

“There’s a lot of movement in the corporate market. The extravagance of ’05 and ’06 is gone, but people are opening up [to doing events again]. They stayed away from entertaining for so long that they are starting to see they need to do it for both incentive and marketing purposes.”
–Warren Dietel, owner and president, Puff ‘N Stuff Catering

“I am negotiating hotel contracts for meetings like I never have before. You can get deals now that make no sense not to sign right away. The benefits are unbelievable.”
–Mona Meretsky, president, Comcor Event and Meeting Production

“People want to see the food prepared in front of them. It’s not just about the food, it’s about the presentation and show. And it doesn’t cost any more.”
–Ralph Rendsland, partner, Three2Oh

“Projections really help create an atmosphere. When you have a theme in mind, it really takes it to the next level without a whole lot of extra decor.”
–Bruce Sutka, president, Sutka Productions International

“I’m amazed at how much furnishings have come into parties but I like that type of residential design. It makes me feel like I’m bringing someone into my home and creating an environment where 200 people feel like 10.”
–Colin Cowie

—D. Channing Muller

Thursday, April 14, 2011

ESCA Standards & Best Practices Committee Reaches Out to College Students

On Monday, March 21st, ESCA's Standards & Best Practices Committee member, Rich Curran, presented the Site Inspection Workshop to Johnson and Wales University's School of Hospitality in Miami, FL. "How to Plan and Execute an Effective and Productive Site Visit of Hotels and Exhibition Venues" was presented to a class of 40 students who represent the future of our industry. This workshop is for everyone involved in exhibitions and meetings, i.e. general service contractors, Hotels, Convention Centers and CVBs.

Typically it is held as a lunch and learn that is an open forum with a panel of professionals from GSCs, Hotels, Convention Centers and CVBs, but it has been condensed to better educate the entry level status of the students. This presentation not only educates the students about site inspections but also familiarizes them with the ESCA brand. Please contact ESCA if you can help set up this presentation at a local college near you.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Expo Convention Contractors, Inc. Places two In the TSE’s Fastest 50.

Tradeshow Executive’s Fastest 50 Honors

Press Release
Expo Convention Contractors, Inc. Places two In the TSE’s Fastest 50.

MIAMI FL USA – Expo Convention Contractors is proud to announce that two of its clients: FIME International Medical Expo and Jewelers International Showcase (JIS) won the Trade Show Executive Magazine’s Fastest 50 tradeshow award.

“The average trade show declined (2.7)% in net square feet in 2010 and I have been told that any show that managed to grow during these tough economic times is truly remarkable” states Brad Mandell Executive Director of FIME. “For FIME 2010 we grew over 30% and Expo Convention Contractors took care of all the extra exhibitors without missing a beat. In fact, Expo Convention Contractors received the highest rating from our exhibitors ever and this was the 21st FIME Expo. At FIME we value our employees, our vendors and our customers, and strive to provide all of them with a positive experience and atmosphere. FIME takes pride in recognizing outstanding talents and efforts and we have to attribute some of our success to Expo Convention Contractors and their outstanding attention to detail in every area. They are truly a topnotch GSC” Mandell further states.

FIME is the largest International Medical Trade Fair and Congress for medical equipment, products, supplies, technology and services in the United States. Registrants from around the world and from all specialties and disciplines of the total health care arena attend FIME to find new and cutting edge products, meet with top manufactures and learn from industry experts in the 3 day 5 track conferences. For more information about FIME visit the website at

Jewelers International Showcase (JIS). In its fourth decade of serving the Jewelry Industry, and is the largest Independent Jewelry Tradeshow in the Americas. Leading world-wide Manufacturers and Wholesalers of Jewelry market and sell their products and services at our Shows to thousands of Jewelry Trade Attendees from 50 Countries in the Caribbean and Latin America; plus Florida and 42 other USA States. Leading worldwide Manufacturers and Wholesalers of Jewelry market, sell, and deliver their products and services in our secure one-floor/one room environment.

Expo Convention Contractors is currently celebrating 15 years of service to the exposition industry and is consistently ranked as the number one service contractor in South Florida and a top contractor across the nation. For more information about Expo Convention Contractors visit

Contact: Scott Bright
Director of Sales
Phone (305) 751-1234
Expo Convention Contractors Inc
57 N.E. 179th Street
Miami, FL 33162

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nerds Support Client of the Month : Expo Convention Contractors Inc.

Expo Convention Contractors the largest company of it's kind in the South Florida area is the client of the month and will receive a donation to the charity of their choice. Nerds Support is the leading IT & computer support company in Miami.


PRLog (Press Release) – Dec 14, 2010 – Our December client of the month is a 2nd generation family business started by Richard Curran.

Richard is the founder of Expo Convention Contractors ( and has been in the trade show business for over 40 years. Since the beginning of when he first got into the industry he has seen major technological changes and has seen how those changes have impacted the way that companies conduct business. Richard Curran has embraced those changes and has managed to move up from being a worker on the trade show floor to finding Expo and growing it into the biggest convention contractor in the South Florida region.

The current Vice-President and general manager of Expo Convention Contractors is Rich Curran Jr the founder’s son. He shared that Expo Convention Contractors currently has 54 employees and has had 20% growth in the past 8 years. Miami is well known for its conventions and trade show gatherings and Expo Convention Contractors is right in the middle of that scene. They have worked for the famous Antique Show in Miami Beach for the past 30 years. Recently they have also acquired The International Boat Show (The largest Miami boat show) as their new client. With all this growth they are now shifting their focus on capturing a bigger market share especially in areas such as Orlando and West Palm Beach.

Although, in times of recession marketing dollars are usually the first cut and thereby trade show spending also drops this hasn’t affected Expo. Expo claims that because much like Nerds Support they have taken a proactive approach in wowing their customers and delivering on their promise they have not only retained their clients but have also grown during their past years.

Rich shared that one of the most important changes that he’s seen is how customers now expect an immediate response. Social media has spoiled us in the sense that we want everyone to be accessible and easy to get a hold of, especially people and companies that we are working with. This back and forth communication has made technology a critical part of the business. Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine a world without cellphone, email and instant messaging. “When my father first started in the industry no one had cellphones and only few had beepers” Said Rich.

“Expo Convention Contractors has had no computer crashes in the past 5 years and because of Nerds Support’s proactive approach and constant maintenance has minimized the system’s downtime especially with the glitches that happen with outside services and vendors.” Rich proudly stated. He then continued and shared that one of the biggest benefits of working with Nerds Support is “I never have to worry about getting on the phone and talking to our ISP or phone vendors. I can rest assured that I ever have issues with them Nerds Support will handled all the technology related issues on our behalf.”

Nerds Support congratulates Expo Convention Contractors on their success and will be donating $50 to the charity of their choice. We are grateful and honored to have Expo as a client and member of the Nerds Support family. To learn more about Expo Convention Contractors and how they can help you and your business contact them by visiting:

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Nerds Support offers Computer Support that takes your small business to the next level. With Network Services customized to meet your needs, you can enjoy the benefits of advanced IT Consulting without the hassle of challenging maintenance or support.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Love / Hate Relationship With Trade Shows

I came across this article and I had to post it because it is so true.

My Love / Hate Relationship With Trade Shows
May 22, 2010 | Mike Thimmesch |

Ask people about trade shows and you’ll provoke a strong reaction: they either love them or hate them. Me? It’s complicated. I love trade shows … most of the time. Here are 6 reasons I love trade shows, and 3 reasons I hate them:

1. I love to talk with customers at trade shows
At a trade show you have the opportunity to talk face-to-face to more customers in one day than you could in a month or more in the field. And while talking to hordes of customers is great from a sales standpoint, it’s just as valuable for a marketer like me. You get to listen to so many clients talk about their needs, challenges, pains, and goals. If they love your company and products, they tell you, and tell you why. If they don’t love your company they’ll tell what you need to improve. It’s like a monster focus group, except you are simultaneously generating valuable sales leads.

2. I love learning at trade shows
Today’s constant change requires constant learning. And while I gain lots of new ideas and insights via the web, people I follow on Twitter, magazines and books, I get a more potent infusion of knowledge attending sessions at trade shows. There is something about getting away from the office and its distractions that make these training sessions that much more impactful. I simply absorb more when attending a live presentation. You also learn what is the current state of the industry, as your body is an antennae receiving hundreds of transmissions a day answering the question, “How’s business?”

3. I love the marketing challenge
Trade show marketing is the epitome of integrated marketing. You bring together exhibit design, booth staffing, and promotions to create a memorable event that vividly engages your clients and prospects. Guess what? So do all your competitors. So the thrill is devising and executing a theme that stands out and gets attention, yet is clear and concise enough to be quickly understood. It’s a buzz when your booth is the buzz of the show floor.

4. I love to see our worldwide network
At our main industry show I get to connect with our far-flung team members who have also traveled to the show. I love to see friends from London to Los Angeles, Toronto to Texas, Memphis to Montreal, Canada to Costa Rica, and Frankfurt to Florida. I enjoy hearing how they’ve experimented with new marketing ideas. They are intelligent, passionate, caring, and just the people you want on your team and at your dinner table. The only downside: during show hours I am focused on taking leads for them and can’t chat so much then.

5. I love to talk to competitors at trade shows
In your normal day-to-day routine you never see your competitors. But at a trade show there are so many you are surrounded. That’s a good thing: They are not your enemy, they are your community. Your competitors share common goals, challenges, and interests. They can also be funny with a capital FUN. And networking with your competitors gives you deeper industry insights than you’ll get from talking only with your fellow employees.

6. I love the travel

Miami seen from Key Biscane, the day after a trade show.
When I fly to a trade show I always get a window seat because the view still astonishes me (such as Lake Mead on the way into Las Vegas). And when I get there? I try to tack a vacation day onto each trip, especially when good friends live there. Memorable days include biking on Angel Island in San Francisco, strolling the beach at Key Biscayne in Miami, touring the art museum in Philadelphia (no, Traci, I did NOT run up the steps), and rollerblading the Lake Michigan waterfront in Chicago. Each location has its own delicious flavor, and as a worldwide destination there is the blend of languages I also love to hear.

That’s a lot to love, but it’s unfortunately not the whole story. There are things I hate about trade shows:

1. I hate time away from my family
While I am having fun at trade shows, that’s tinged with missing my family. I miss the giggles, the growth, and the closeness. Whether it’s getting the kids off to school in the morning or homework patrol in the evening, I hate leaving my wife to carry a heavier load while I am gone. This year I will spend the 4th of July in Shanghai instead of with them, and other years I’ve missed soccer games, school performances, and spent my own birthday over a thousand miles away from the ones I love. And while milestone days are harder, every day away can suck.

2. I hate the weight gain
Okay, this doesn’t happen at every show because I’ve learned to watch out for it. But 8 years ago on a trip to Europe, where even bread and cheese is a culinary delight, I was astounded to find I was the Biggest Winner, putting on 11 pounds in 2 just weeks. People often tell me I have a hollow leg and can eat whatever I want. Not anymore, and especially at the tempting tables at trade show meals. (So sorry, no more seafood buffet at the Rio in Las Vegas.) Vigilence doesn’t taste as good, but it makes for less stress after the show.

3. I hate the growing pile back at the office
Sure, we’re more connected now with smart phones and wireless internet in our laptops, but when you truly engage with the entire trade show experience (booth staffing, show floor walking, networking, classes), there’s little time to keep up with the regular workload. And when you get back to the office after the show with that stack of leads, the pile on the desk competes with the quick follow up necessary to bring that trade show mojo to fruition. (Which is why you must have an excellent follow-up plan in place.)

With twice as many reasons to love trade shows as to hate them, I’ll be doing trade shows for years to come. What do you love about trade shows? Hate about them? Share your passions and pains in the comments box below. I’d love to hear from you!