On The Fifth Hour of Set Up.

On the fifth hour of set up M2W produced for me…

Five Golden Rings, with Aerialists A-Swinging

(Aerialists compliments of Cirque Central)

Tip: More than just a pretty face, performers can act as a functional piece of decor.

Promotional Idea: Natural Juice – Smoothie Company. Redefine your taste tests by transforming them into a fantastical journey. Image your current sampling campaign meets a Mid Summer’s Night Dream.

Aerialists in custom outfits can perform on custom cirque equipment that will transform our performers into nature spirits performing in a mythical forest. Higher performers can call attention while performers closer to ground level can provide the ultimate Instagram or Snap Chat post. Guests can snap pictures or videos of our aerialists pouring samples from high up in their mythical trees amidst mid performance.

* Music in Aerialist Video compliments of http://www.bensound.com

Cheesing in Chicago


This week I went off to Chicago to work two events. I woke up at 2 AM to leave for Sioux Falls, flew to Minneapolis, and then boarded my flight to Chicago. I was so excited for my journey to begin that I accidentally put a tablespoon of pepper in my oatmeal instead of brown sugar. Not even that unfortunate surprise like that could ruin my excitement for the week in Chicago to begin.

The first event I worked was for a client that hired us to work a silk screening machine. The idea was that we would make the crowd free shirts and they would be drawn in with this huge piece of equipment that we would screen print the shirts with. People would see what we were doing and stop by to watch what was happening. In exchange for waiting patiently, they would get a free t-shirt and get to ask questions about the shirts and products as the client got advertising from his company name on the shirts as well as new potential clients for his company.


The second event I worked was for a company called Galbani and this was a big project. Galbani is a cheese company that is based out of Italy and is starting to be sold in American pizza parlors. Our target for this event was Chicago pizza parlors and to get them to start using Galbani cheese on their pizzas. Galbani hired M2W for the logistics aspect of this event and helping to get the necessary equipment needed to carry out their plans.

Picture this: a huge glass truck decorated with the Galbani logo wrapped all the way around the truck with red chairs inside that cushioned the butts of the United States world champion pizza spinning team.IMG_6764

As the glass truck would be driving down the busy streets of Chicago, the pizza team would be spinning dough inside attracting the people of Chicago to stop and watch. Once we would get to a pizza parlor location, the pizza spinners would come out of the truck and spin dough on the sidewalks. What my job here was as soon as we would stop in front of a restaurant, my coworkers Vlady, Rob, and I would start unloading the other truck full of equipment and start setting up the music, Galbani stand, photo machine, and Galbani back drop. The owners were asked to come outside and take pictures as well as draw in a crowd of hungry bystanders for pizza as soon as everything was set up and running.

13497899_10208134872521084_6789335444556018551_oEven though I don’t think I can ever eat pizza again after having so much in Chicago, it was definitely a fun experience!

My next stop will be in New York City to help work pride week…. Stay tuned!

Effective Trade Show Strategy Guide


Tactical Strategy:

Social Media displays, sweepstakes, performers, games, and branded giveaways are just a few of the many attention-grabbing tactics exhibitors use to try to get your attention. But are they effective?

They can be, but they can also be the single biggest reason a trade show booth is ineffective. No matter how “cool” or innovative a tactic may be, if it doesn’t fit with the audience, or match with the key messaging it can be a complete fail.

The key to matching the right tactic with the right audience comes by knowing when you should identify tactics within the planning process.

The next time you are thinking about designing your trade show booth, here is the order in which you should make your key decisions.

1. Identify your audience

Who exactly are you targeting? Don’t be general or vague. Spend an hour+ really thinking about who your dream audience will be.target audience

Don’t think marketing manager for a small to mid-size firm. Think about their demographic, their age, their company size, their preferred social media (or traditional medium). Dig deep, the more specific you are the more fruitful this exercise will be.

Not only is this a vital step in crafting the right message; it should be the main determinate of which trade shows you participate in.

For help creating a customer profile you can check out these articles

2. Identify the right trade show(s).

neck walletsA big mistake I’ve noticed is that companies fall for the “prestige” of a trade show, instead of selecting the right trade show. For example, just because you are an events company doesn’t mean you need to exhibit at TSE. Your audience may not be there, and even if they are, the trade show message you’ve constructed may be out of place or inappropriate for this particular trade show. If you aren’t going to be effective, then don’t exhibit. If you need a presence just attend.

Identify the tradeshows that your target audience attends, but also pay attention to the location and the type of conference. Geographic factors can play a role in “what’s relevant”, so your message although directed at the same audience, might not be as effective. Look for trade shows that apply to the right audience, and have the same tone / feel and take place in a similar geographic or demographic region. This way you will get the most bang for your buck across multiple trade shows.

For help identifying the right trade show

  • Talk to trade show promoters
  • Look at your competitors –where are they showcasing
  • Research current or past attendees
  • Pay close attention to sponsors of the show

 3. Identify your Message

be consistentNow that you know whom you’re looking to appeal to and where you will be presenting, it’s that much easier to write your key messaging.

Having taken the time to understand your target audience, you should have identified the hot buttons that make them tick. Utilize those hot buttons by thinking about your messaging from their point of view.

(For more on Hot Buttons – Power Marketing Training – Hot Buttons & Innovations)

Once you’ve captured your audience’s pov, let it set the tone for your entire booth display. It should influence the look & feel of the color scheme, furniture, and the uniforms of your employees.

Remember, consistency is the key to effectiveness.

4. Identify your tactics

Now it’s time to think about the attention grabbers. Never before you’ve identified your audience and crafted your message.

Your tactics, your games / activities, your sweepstakes, your giveaways etc., are just to draw people’s attention. They are the icing on the cake. If they aren’t in line with what you are trying to say, they are as pointless as Cat Memes on Facebook.

Tactics are also the easiest element on your trade show to change if you’ve decided on them in the correct order. If you know your audience, and your message is strong, it’s ok to experiment with different attention-grabbing techniques or modify one that isn’t as effective as you’d hope.

However, if you wrapped your messaging around an innovative piece of technology or event craze then you may be completely out of luck if that attention grabber is not working. It will cost too much time & money to change the messaging and tactic.

When identifying your tactics here are a few things to consider.

  • Age vs. Social Media
  • Industry type vs. Complexity of a game / sweep stakes
  • Demographic vs. giveaway

This is the process I think about whenever I sit down and start talking to a client. This is the same process you need to think about. Understand who you are trying to reach, and where you will be presenting. Craft your message around those two factors, and then bring that message to life with the right tactic. Your cohesive and well-planned exhibit will be the standout at your next tradeshow.