Can I Buy You a Drink?
There have been many articles written on trade shows. I've certainly written a few of them myself. But here is one from a different perspective.
The headline of this article came from time spent in the lounge of my hotel while at the PPAI Expo. It was extracted from a conversation I had with Promo Marketing editor, Kyle Richardson. I've worked with Kyle for a year. While we have talked on the phone several times and are always connecting via e-mail, I had never met him personally.
While visiting with an old industry friend, Anthony Stover, he mentioned that Kyle was on the other side of the room. I wanted to meet Kyle at the show, but time was getting eaten alive with everything I needed to do. Anthony noted that Kyle has four earrings in one ear and two in the other. It was a bit odd to walk through the lounge looking for earrings on someone... and trying to count four and two of them (it's Vegas, so it isn't like this is too far out to see). Anyway, Kyle and I ended up meeting face to face and had the chance to spend some quality time together.
We discussed the challenges of being in the promotional products business these days. I was curious to learn how this young, hip guy got into our industry. It was good to get to know more about the editor who has been a pleasure to work with. I also wanted to know how my "Jeff's Rant" articles compared to others in terms of views and comments. It was nice to discover I am among the top blog posters.
In our discussion, Kyle explained that opened articles are driven by catchy headlines, something that could be perceived as controversial, including numbers... like "5 ways to ??," or headlines that ask a question. Through this conversation I decided to entitle this piece "Can I Buy You a Drink?" This is good information to know as you reach out to your clients. To grab attention in your correspondence, consider using a strong headline.
One of the great things about industry events is the opportunity to connect with people on a different level. Many business relationships are built away from the trade show floor. These encounters are often as beneficial than anything that happens on the trade show floor.
I've always found it fascinating that I've developed so many friendships with colleagues that I typically only see once a year. One of the most powerful things that happened at the PPAI Expo way back when it was in Dallas was meeting someone who invited me into a networking group that truly changed my life. This group motivated me to pursue continuing education, which led to me earning my Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) designation. Two other members of this group and I went on to work together to earn a Gold PPAI Pyramid Award for a creative marketing campaign.
Through the years, there have been successes, challenges, and personal loss. We've supported each other through these times. You can have a glimpse inside this group from a video I shot at at our annual breakfast in 2010. At about 3:30 in this 7-minute video, I have a conversation with Pete Gleason who sums up the value of these friendships. Click here for the video.
The vision for FreePromoTips came from this group. I wanted to create a business resource that helps others as I was helped when I entered the industry many years ago.
There are many opportunities to build industry relationships at events throughout the year. In additional to PPAI shows and events, there are ASI Shows around the country, along with Regional Association events. PROMOTIONS EAST in Atlantic City is one of the larger regional shows and offers great connection opportunities in a fun location.
If you see me at one of these shows, please introduce yourself. Of course I will ask if I can buy you a drink? Or you can offer to buy me a drink. I'm a cheap date. My drink of choice is ice tea or cranberry/grapefruit juiced mixed.
Jeff Solomon, MAS is affiliated with a Top 10 distributor company. The FreePromoTips.com website and e-newsletters he publishes are packed with beneficial information and exclusive FREE offers from a few forward-thinking supplier companies. Don't miss out on what's happening! Opt in to receive their e-newsletters! LIKE their page on Facebook and follow them on twitter.