Las Vegas, NV- Now live! See below for video marketing content. Video Content Director Don Colliver directed video interview and b-roll footage for Australian Security Company Threat Intelligence at the Black Hat 2019 Conference at the Mandalay Bay Conference Center on August 5, 2019. Don interviewed Managing Director Ty Miller and shot b-roll of his renowned Shellcode Lab Training Session showcasing Threat Intelligence’s long relationship with Black Hat. Pre-production handled by 12 Worlds Marketing Consultancy.
San Jose, CA- On September 12, 2019, trade show booth staff trainer Don Colliver led a 3-hour workshop at Dremio’s San Jose Headquarters for 8 members of their marketing team. To prep for their booth presence at Strata Data New York from September 23-26, Don led Dremio trade show veterans and newbies in immediately actionable improv exercises, on-your-feet role-plays and energizing group best practice discussions. Booth staff learned how to deeply engage with prospects and effectively deliver messaging in order to show a measurable impact on Dremio’s trade show ROI.
San Francisco, CA- A friend of mine put up a social media post a few weeks ago seeking encouragement. He’d lost the passion to pursue public speaking after years of rejection and denial. This little social media blurb really got me thinking about an internal conflict I’ve often bumped up against, a conflict that relates specifically to realizing my vision as a professional speaker and trainer. On one side: the oft-recommended self-help trope of specifically visualizing your dream, right down to the door knob on your eventual mansion. On the other side: the also oft-recommended self-help trope of staying present in the moment. How do I reconcile these two concepts? Especially when staying present in the moment is terribly painful specifically because I am failing to achieve my door knob vision?
For a highly self-critical and goal-oriented person, living for the future can be the opposite of being present. And even more importantly, when it comes to public speaking, focusing on one’s goals at the expense of being present to your audience can reek of desperation, as opposed to the essential energy of play. Here are three tips to help you stay present while realizing your goals.
Acknowledge that it ain’t easy.
Acknowledging that we’re in a difficult situation rather than getting angry at our inadequacies can be challenging for hard-driving achievers. I’ve heard Buddhists call this “the second arrow.” The first arrow would be the pain of the situation, and the second arrow would be the suffering we place on ourselves by wishing it were different. In a society that focuses on relentless improvement, there is a surprising lack of acknowledgement of difficulty. It can be seen as ‘weak’ or a waste of time. However, I’ve found that some self-compassion can actually improve my speaking performance when in scary new environments. I’m currently reading Dr. Kristen Neff’s excellent book “Self-Compassion.” It suggests simply placing your hand on your heart and taking a breath during difficult moments as a way to acknowledge and give credit to yourself. Give it a try, it works!
Public speaking happens in public. To get better, we must practice and make mistakes. Hence, public speaking mistakes will be made in public. I love clowning exercises because public failure is the path to transcendence. Failure is not only encouraged, it’s essential. I often refer to an experiment conducted by Social Psychologist Richard Wiseman for his 2010 book '“:59 Seconds.” He had 2 salespeople identically demonstrate blenders to mall-goers. However, one salesperson consistently forgot to fasten the top of the blender, so that salesperson was covered with smoothie in each demo. Who do you think sold more blenders? It was the salesperson who made the mistakes. Mistakes are your friend, folks.
Be kind to yourself.
I love asking people what they do for self-care. A few years ago, I had no idea myself. It took conscious thought and experimentation to simply figure out what I liked to do if achievement were not involved. If you’re a subscriber to my newsletter, you know that my go-to these days is heading off to an afternoon at the Korean spa for alternating hot and cold pool dips. But how do you to figure out what works for you? A good place to start is to sit down and make a list of ten things you enjoyed as a child: coloring, swimming, playing ball, etc.. Some of these can still bring a surprising amount of joy. Credit for this childhood ten things list goes to Julia Cameron’s transformative book, “The Artist’s Way.”
Both vision and presence are critical in the pursuit of excellence. Both practices have their merits, but moderation is the key. Have that mansion door knob image, but hold it loosely in the present moment. And remember, if you don’t believe you are already enough right now, everything else just falls apart. “You are enough” is a primary tenet of my presentation coaching curriculum. Hopefully these three tips can keep you present on that road to your vision-mansion. By the way, what do you do for self care? Please let me know in the comments!
Las Vegas, NV- Trade Show Consultant Don Colliver directed video interview and b-roll footage for Australian Security Company Threat Intelligence at the Black Hat 2019 Conference at the Mandalay Bay Conference Center on August 5, 2019. Don interviewed Managing Director Ty Miller and shot b-roll of his renowned Shellcode Lab Training Session showcasing Threat Intelligence’s long relationship with Black Hat. Pre-production handled by 12 Worlds Marketing Consultancy.
Las Vegas, NV- Professional trade show emcee Don Colliver returned to once again host a fun Security Trivia Game Show for Trustwave at the 2019 Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas, NV. Every hour, Don gathered crowds, energized the quick games and prize giveaways, and then delivered packed and primed booth audiences to Trustwave presenters for their expert presentations.
Check out Trustwave’s 2019 Global Security Report here.
Black Hat occurred from August 6th through 8th, 2019 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada
San Francisco, CA- The Captain is back, that salty sea-dog who inexplicably loves talking trade show engagement! This time, the Captain breaks down how to use the concept of Variable Rewards to get more prospects into your booth (and how to get scurvy crew to swab those darn decks). For more information, read “Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products” by Nir Eyal.
Photo credit to Chris Violette
San Jose, CA- Evolving regulations and increasing investment have created a rapidly maturing Cannabis B2B trade show industry. I visited the Cannabis Business Summit and Expo in San Jose on July 23 and 24, 1019 to check out the state of booth engagement in this burgeoning industry. CBS is produced by the NCIA, the National Cannabis Industry Association, so advocacy and B2B commerce were heavily focused upon.
As this was my first cannabis trade show, I was surprised to find it to be primarily a heavy equipment manufacturing product show, with booths consumed by giant gleaming steel machines and elaborate corporate farming lighting systems. Although there were a few booths staffed by stereotypical overall-wearing farmer-types, many of the larger booths showed growing sophistication in the trade show engagement landscape.
In this edition of my ongoing series of post-show tactical analyses, I offer up a brief overview of some of the engagement techniques I observed at CBS 2019. I hope you can use this info to increase booth effectiveness while saving money and time wasted on unsuccessful tactics.
Giant gleaming high-tech agriculture machines dominated booths throughout the floor at CBS. Most of these booths seemed to have an engagement strategy of simply rolling out their giant machines and then letting prospects wander in and ‘kick the tires’ without assertive engagement. Reasons for this laid back approach included “long sales cycles,” “people who want us come and talk to us,” and “we’re just here for brand awareness.” I would highly recommend a re-evaluation of marketing budget in cases like these to judge ROI. If a trade show presence makes hard financial sense, then booth staff training for assertive engagement is critical to make it worthwhile.
Booth Promotional Models
Unfortunately, a few booths utilized skimpily-attired promo models to promote their brand at CBS 2019. Although this tactic undoubtedly works for a small subset of prospects, this somewhat cringey throwback evidences a still-maturing industry trade show environment. There is a clear disconnect between utilizing promo models and delivering use case-specific messaging to prospects. If this industry hopes to continue growing in legitimacy and sophistication, I hope it will redirect engagement budgets to more effective means like booth engagement training and professional presentations.
Social Media Portraits
A couple of CBS 2019 exhibitors provided professional portrait photographer services in exchange for leads. As one of the few truly useful giveaways on the floor, this tactic successfully lined up prospects at booths. Although not directly related to the solutions provided, as long as booth staff properly engaged and qualified prospects, sales will be in good shape on the back end.
As a relatively young industry in the process of gaining legitimacy and learning to take itself seriously, Cannabis B2B offers many growth opportunities for trade show marketing managers. A few recommendations:
I noticed fairly standard giveaways like can coozies and fidget spinners at CBS 2019. A clever marketing manager could easily create buzz by creating a industry specific branded giveaway. A small tool used in cannabis production that could be branded, perhaps?
Ongoing raffles of low-cost prizes are an easy way to create all-day traffic at a booth. However, traffic is only as good as the conversations generated by booth staff, so ensure that staff is prepared to engage and qualify the crowds.
Booth Theater Presentations
At a show like CBS with obvious experts manning the booths, why not have them add value for attendees by offering scheduled expert presentations in the booth? Just ensure that your experts are properly prepared to present in the distracting trade show environment. If a brand overview is relevant, consider a professional presenter, who will not only deliver your messaging in a compelling way, but will also pack your booth all day long.
Until next time, best of luck planning your next event marketing initiative. We’ll see you on the show floor!
San Francisco, CA- Say hello to The Captain, a salty sea-dog who inexplicably loves talking trade show engagement! Here, the Captain breaks down the three kinds of booth rewards, including the one that will get the most prospects into your booth (plus how to get scurvy crew to swab those darn decks). For more information, read “Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products” by Nir Eyal.
Photo credit to Chris Violette
San Diego, CA- Professional game show emcee Don Colliver ran four different trivia game shows in the Cisco Live Gaming Lounge on the floor at Cisco Live 2019 in San Diego, CA. Topics covered included Security, Collaboration, Enterprise Networks and IOT.
From June 10th through 13th, 2019, Don packed the booth with excited crowds, ran head-to-head trivia challenges and handled prize giveaways. Cisco Live 2019 was held at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA. The Social Point gaming platform was provided by Interactive Meeting Technologies.
Cisco booked Don through Steve Multer- Corporate Storytelling.
San Francisco, CA- On April 10, 2019, I placed second in the Toastmasters Division A International Speech Competition with my inspirational speech, “Failure in not an Option.” The winner, Aaron Samson, went on to compete for the designation of World Champion of Public Speaking, the highest public speaking award in the world. On June 6, 2019, I reprised my speech by request for Slalom Toastmasters in Palo Alto, CA.
Orlando, FL- Professional trade show moderator Don Colliver moderated a busy and expansive booth theater for a major medical device company at the 2019 AACN National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition in Orlando, Florida. Don wrote and delivered health care expert introductions, gathered crowds and facilitated engaging Q and A sessions every 45 minutes.
AACN NTI 1029 was held from May 21 through May 23 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.
Don was booked through Skye Agency, a trade show staff agency.