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Archive for the ‘Sponsors’ Category

Back In The Saddle: Convention Insider Provided Real Life Trade Show Experience

I want to let everyone know why I have been absent for a while from the blog.  I have been in complete trade show and convention mode for the last 6 weeks and it has been quite an experience.  I talk about a lot of things that are part of our industry, such as travel, meeting venues and trade shows that are occurring but never have I given real life experiences that I have had.  That all can change now as I went through that process last week in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  We had a three day conference with a two day full on exhibited trade show at that location and I was in the heart of the show and its inner workings.  I have much to discuss as it relates to the real inside of a trade show and convention.  There were some good, bad and ugly stories and I want to share all of those with you.

I had to deal with vendors, exhibitors, speakers, attendees, location managers, and staff and everyone else involved with the show. From the planning to the inner workings, to the post show analysis debriefing I was involved from start to finish.  The good news is I have been invited back to do it all again next year, and for some that might even be bad news.

I want to thank the folks at for giving me the latitude for some real inside research and participation.  I am hoping to pass on some of that knowledge I learned, some funny stories, and perhaps a nightmare or two.  Stay tuned here as I go through the process.  I am afraid I still have one event left and that will be at the Marriott Waikiki in beautiful Hawaii.  It’s not a bad gig but still it is working on a conference and convention.

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Branded Trade Show Giveaways and Promotional Products

I am now faced with my own trade show where I have an exhibit booth and trying to figure out what is the best branded object to give to those attendees that are interested in my service or product.  As a background, I provide a service to companies and not necessarily a product so I am unable to give away my own products as a try before you buy.  I am one of a few companies in the country that provides the service so it’s not like I am trying real hard to distinguish myself from the competition in that regard.

I am limited on a budget and the number of giveaways should be about half the projected attendees of 4000.  I figure that I won’t give one to every attendee and and certainly will only se about 1/2 at the most pass by my booth.  I am limited on a budget so I am hoping to spend less than about $1000 for the idea.  I have been to a number of branded giveaway sites and we have actually featured on the sites I visited. 

My question to myself is given the background of what I have for a budget and the background of what I am trying to accomplish, what is the best product to give away?  I have written before about a lip balm that was given to me and I remembered the company that gave that as I carried it around in my pocket for a few days and it was etched in my memory.  I also like the mint tins that are giveaways.  My kids love when I bring home stress balls, and little flashlights and those types of things so I am stumped.  What is the best selling products, not based on overall sales, but because it is an item that is remembered and is not going to break the bank.  My call to the companies that are selling promotional products, can you help me and the many that are like me?  What do you suggest?

Photo via Marco Promotional Products

Tags: , , , , , July Offer Almost Over: A Quick Pitch

I just wanted to take a quick moment to let you know about and their July offer.   This is from our newsletter to more than 60,000 subscribers. I apologize if you already received this but I thought it too good to pass up and post here as well.

We recently signed on our 1,000th advertiser, and we thought you would also like to know that we received over 135,000 unique visitors during the month of June.  We’re not sure what your online marketing budget is, but keep in mind we receive more qualified traffic than any other Trade Show or Meetings industry site on the Net.  Now more than ever, you need to find the most cost effective advertising that brings the highest return on investment.

We would like to make the following offer to you

Purchase 1 Annual Premium Listing by Friday July 31st for $1,395.00

Receive the following FREE additions

1 Category Featured Banner in the same Category as your Premium Listing (a $1900 annual value)

1 Additional Annual Premium Listing in a second Marketplace Category (a $1,395 annual value)

1 eNewsletter Banner Sponsorship – can be used anytime within 12 months (a $750 value)

Over 85% of our inbound traffic is ‘organic’, that means your prospects are searching on Google or Yahoo, typing in a keyword related to your business, and we are coming up on the first page results.  Now is the right time for you to join us!  Please contact us today, don’t wait!

The last day to get all of this free value is Friday July 31st!

Now I am going out on a limb here to make the offer just that much better.  If you sign up for the Annual Premium Listing before the deadline on Friday I will feature you and your company here on Convention Insider!  Shhh, don’t tell the boss, he doesn’t have a clue that I am offering this but if you read it here and sign up for the offer, just drop me a line and I will make sure you get included on the blog as an added bonus. Okay here endeth the pitch. Tags: , , , , ,

Friday Feature: EventScope – Social Networking For The Convention and Trade Show Industry

The whole world is getting into the social networking business.  Yes, even the trade show and convention industry is not immune from being caught up in the idea.  This week we are featuring a company that makes networking for the convention, conference meeting or trade show and event business easy and affordable for organizers.  I had a chance to sit down with the a founder at Eventscope. Eventscope is a UK based company that has taken the networking we normally get when attending an event to the next level and beyond.  With the companies like Facebook, Twitter, NING and all the other social sites all taking off this company is offering up some groundbreaking technology all of us should be looking into for our next event.

I had a chance to talk a bit about this cool new application with one of its founders, Hetty Browne, (pictured right).  I loved that this concept was started while her and Ewan MacLeod were sitting eating pizza.  This is the perfect application to be born out of a situation such as chatting over pizza which is what the ultimate social experience.  After speaking to Hetty, they are working now to move their online application to the next level by offering it here in the United States as well.

In our industry of trade shows and conventions we always talk about the face to face experience and how we can get the most from the networking opportunities.  This new and exciting application let’s you network both prior to the event, during the event, and long after the event is done.  I always talk about how hard it is to handle all of those business cards I get, that messy pile of contacts I have on my office floor right now as a matter of fact, and this company eliminates that problem.  I could go on about how much more that is environmentally better than business cards.

This application can also take your branding to the next level as they have the ability to be flexible with your setup.  Think about your other marketing efforts when using this application and how it can help.  They can assist in that area as well.  You can sell branded spots in the system which will help you pay for their service which I think I told them was not nearly enough of a charge.  They are quick to get you set up and can make life easier for your networking needs.

I suggest that you check out their live online demo for a better understanding of how their system works.  They have a long list of clients and I recommend that you get added to list soon!  Don’t only take my word for it, others also have chimed in.

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Promotional Products Can Be Helpful

I have been meaning to talk about this since January.  I travel to Las Vegas on a number of occasions throughout the year.  Las Vegas if you have been there can be a dry climate area.  Same with Arizona’s climate and I was there this last weekend. I always have need for lip balm in these areas.  Where do I always get my lip balm?  I get it from events I attend.

This is just a small example of how a promotional product can play into your marketing plan when setting out a strategy to get the most bang for your buck when talking to attendees at your event.  I have been carrying around a lip balm cartridge for a month or more from when I was at a Las Vegas event in January.  It just ran out and I am at another event right now in San Francisco and I can’t seem to fin anther exhibitor that has this as a give away marketing product.  I think I should talk to one of our sponsors to talk to some of these exhibitors.  What do you give away at your trade show booth.  Does it have your logo on it and is it something I carry around in my pocket a month or two?  That is a great branding tool and should be considered when you decide to give away a cool product that others can use.  Now where is that letter opener I need?

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No Guarantees In Trade Shows

I was just reading through Trade Show Week about the difficulty had by a trade show in Alberta, Canada called Rig Expo 2008. Apparently this show did not adhere to the build it and they will come idea. Approximately 60 exhibitors signed up to be a part of the expo that concentrates on the oil field industry. There were plenty of exhibitors but someone forgot to tell the attendees to show up. There were a number of reasons given for the lack of attendance at the show, but that does not take the sting out of the lost investment. The head of the show had anticipated 3,000 to 4,000 attendees and apparently that number shrunk to about 22 attendees in a four hour period. Ouch.

Unfortunately not a lot can be done for the people that paid that $2,500 price tag for a 10′ x 10′ booth. There really are no guarantees. Show organizer Paul Pearson said just this as his answer to the issue of paying back exhibitors:

“We rented the building, we advertised the show, we did everything we could,” he added. “You pay your money and take your chances.”

I’m trying to wrap my mind around the idea that the show organizers did not have a better idea of attendance. They apparently had no pre-sold tickets and had no idea if anyone would show up for the event. Something tells me that many exhibitors won’t be taking chances on this show in the future. I’m sure many of the exhibitors are now calling this the Rigged Expo.

How do you protect your investment? Go with an established show and if the show is not an established trade show, make sure that the people behind it have some good credentials. In this instance it looks as though many of the exhibitors believed the show to be a good one for them invest in and attend.

Michael Hart, Editor-in-Chief at Trade Show Week also touched upon this same problem in his blog post titled “Living With Green Fatigue” as he describes:

The show manager of this launch, designed to market – and stop me if you’ve heard this one before – eco-friendly products and services, had optimistically projected 250 exhibitors and 2,000 attendees.

Our contributing editor Lisa Plummer counted 40 booths and, while the show’s manager claimed he had 350 pre-registered attendees, Lisa said there may have been 15 at the most on the showfloor during the time she was there.

Another example of a show that had some lofty numbers projected and came nowhere near those projections. Those exhibitors also must have felt the sting of not having attendees to show their wares. Hart seems to imply that the reason for the poor attendance is the fact that there are far too many “green” type trade shows on the market. If that is the case, then I suppose it is the fault of the exhibitor for making a bad choice of shows. That can be a hard pill to swallow, and makes it tough for new trade shows to get the establishment they need to get sponsors and exhibitors.

Woodworking Trade Show Off To The Races

awfs_logo A friend of mine in the trade show industry helps manage the AWFS or better known as the Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers and their trade show that is scheduled to take place July 15-18, 2009 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  I went over to see their web site, and noticed something I had never seen before, Belt Sander Racing.

Yes BSRA, the NASCAR of woodworking apparently and according to the information given on the site:

BSRA_Right_Logo AWFS®Fair, Accuride and the Belt Sander Racing Association present “BSRA’s Big Event.” Racing enthusiasts compete on a 75-foot long wooden track with their “customized belt sander racing machines.” All AWFS® Vegas participants will receive complimentary tickets, but SEATING IS LIMITED, and this exciting event promises to draw a crowd, so you’ll want to get to the track early!

Now that is a trade show I could get into attending.  Nothing like a room full of power tools and some sawdust to get your machismo rate up.  They even had Richard Karns who played Al Borland the sidekick to Tim “The Toolman” Taylor as a host last year. The show took place last year for the first time in Las Vegas, which is another feather in the cap of the LVCVA.  The show only takes place every other year but I wonder if they will have the Belt Sander races again? 

Convention Insider returns to an old feature in the "Friday Feature"

I have been spending a lot of time lately speaking to and interviewing some of the leaders in our industry of conventions and trade shows and I will be doing a series of posts to reveal the results of those interviews and discussions.  One of the things that seems to occur to me after speaking to these industry leaders is that there seems to be a shift in what is the norm in trade shows and conventions and how they are being handled.  I have heard tell of new technologies being used, new players in the old world of how things were done and show managers that are seeking new ways to plan events and shows.  One thing is certain, there will be some benefit to the show exhibitors and attendees based on the changes I have seen in little areas.  Stay tuned for more information as I get all my notes together and get my posts completed.

If you would like to be featured as a thought leader in the industry or if you are doing things in the convention or trade show industry that you feel is revolutionizing the way we do business, please feel free to drop us a line or use the contact section to let us know about you.  I’ll be contacting many others to find ways to reveal what is happening in the world we live in.

Searching For Conventions

We here at Convention Insider understand the world of search and the power of Google.  One of my mantras is “We live in a Google world.”  We are constantly trying to rank high for search terms that will bring people to our site at  When we bring them to our site, we are bring them to our customers, the people that list their services or wares on

I was recently doing some background checking and working on some keywords and phrases as it relates to the search term “convention.”  One of the things that I realized is the highest searched for phrase in that family of searches is “Silver Convention.”  Thinking that people were searching for a convention about the silver industry I decided to see what turned up by searching for silver convention in Google.  I think I really missed the mark on my idea of a silver industry show. 

silver_conventionTurns out everyone wants to find who that cool 70′s disco band was from their early years.

This dates me a little bit  but I too know of this group and I can remember using my best moves on the dance floor of the local disco with my bell bottom jeans and and long David Cassidy hair.  I’m not going to show any of those “moves” again for a very long time.  I’ll let the pros take you there.  Enjoy the video.

Convention Insider Too Lijit To Quit

We have not stopped blogging here at Convention Insider, and we haven’t broken our spell check features, we have been busy making adjustments to the site and making plans on how we can be the most used convention resource guide in the trade show and convention world. 

Part of the changes we have made, is the use of a new search feature here on Convention Insider.  Over on the right side of the page here, you will see a search widget, or as the folks at Lijit like to call it, “a search wijit.”  There goes the spelling alarm in my head.  This feature allows you to search not only the content here on Convention Insider, but it let’s you search the entire site, our network of linked friends, or the entire web, you get to choose.  Your search results will be show you directly to the information you are looking for.  If you wanted to find out about moving people for your convention and search for the folks at The Convention Store, you not only get the Friday Feature article written here, but it also send you right over to their spot on .  Feel free to poke around here and use the search feature and we’ll keep providing you with the results.