Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Evolving exhibitions

It wouldn't surprise me at all if my contribution to this Marketing Week roundtable on conferences had gone unnoticed, given how little I am quoted, but nevertheless it was an interesting event.

The key takeaway for me was how creative some industries are being with trade shows and conventions, thinking far beyond the traditional display to offering real added value to attendees. This can be in the form of great speakers that fit in with the exhibition itself, or by finding new ways to drive engagement. My favourite story was about the company who produced some kind of environmentally friendly material (I forget what, exactly) but who decided to dedicate part of their stand to a micro pig. Needless to say, their footfall was off the scale - who could resist a micro pig?

Photo credit: Flickr lwpkommunikacio

If I am brutally honest, I just don't see this level of thinking going into conferences in my sector, and there is little appetite from those who drive these forwards to make a change. But I do think events like these can and should evolve. Why, in 2014, should we as exhibitors be tied to the same old dreary book displays? Let's think outside of the box! Let's find new ways to get attendees to engage with our brands!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Commitments for 2014

How does one commit to something? They say it takes 60 days of doing something every day for it to become a habit. It's just how you manage the endurance test of that initial period that is difficult!

It's the time of year that many of us are making our annual commitments. A new year, a fresh start. Actually, by 6th Jan many of us have probably already thrown in the towel!

I'm being fairly ambitious with my New Year's resolutions, but equally I know they are all achievable and I'm confident in my ability to stay self-motivated to keep on track. This is in stark contrast to my husband who is actually pledging money against his goals via beeminder.com as he knows he can't keep self-motivated without some third party assistance. I have no beef with this, so long as he doesn't give away too much of our money in the process...he has been warned!

So what is on the list for this year? I've had a three month break from pretty much all my good habits whilst I adjusted to a new routine, and now that I'm feeling more confident at work and have the benefit of two week's relaxation behind me, I'm ready to dive back in. I'll be back doing regular reading around marketing, PR and business. I've got a lengthy list of titles lined up and welcome other suggestions. I will be blogging about what I'm learning along the way as it always helps me digest knowledge better. I've also got a new Coursera MOOC coming up, which I'm really looking forward to.

There are other things on the list too for me of a more personal nature. Basically, it's going to be a very very big year. I did mention I was being ambitious, right?! Here goes...