Tips For a Successful Trade ShowWritten by Janice Byer
Well, autumn is upon us and with onset of this season comes cleaner air and colourful outdoor scenery and, it is also prime season for trade shows. Sure, trade shows happen all throughout year but, with many areas recognizing small business month/week, there is a greater opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their products or services to their target markets.
As small business owners, especially those in start up phase, preparing for a trade show can be a very scary and frustrating time. What do we take and how do we present it?
You first need to find out specifics of trade show you are registered for or considering exhibiting in. If necessary, contact organizers of event and get details on type of visitors that show attracts and layout of area you will have to display your business. Be sure to find out size of table you will have, whether there is wall space for your company sign, if there are electrical outlets available, and anything else that may or may not be included (ie. table cloth, etc.)
Once show space specifics have been established, then you can move on to thinking about and deciding what and how you can ‘show your stuff’. The following are just a few ideas to help you get ready for that all important trade show. (Note: most of these ideas are based on being in service industry but will work for products industry companies as well)
* If table you have does not include a tablecloth, be sure to get one that compliments your display and represents your company’s image and colour scheme (without being overpowering). Even if a tablecloth is supplied, bring your own or something to add some depth to your table (ie. table runner). Your table will definitely stand out in a crowd.
* If space will allow, erect a stand-alone presentation board. On board, you can show how clients can benefit by using your services. Be creative and make it stand out. Include pictures, if possible, and be sure your company name and logo are more than obvious.
* If there is wall space, but your budget is minimal, use your trusty desktop publishing software to create a template of your company name. Use template, along with bristle board, cardboard, or foam core to make a sign that you can put up on wall behind your booth.
* Arrange your table in levels. Put larger items at rear, shorter items in front of those, and even shorter items in front of those.
How to get Booked on Oprah!Written by Susan Harrow
Most people believe that getting on Oprah will make them a millionaire, their book a bestseller or their business boom. For your career to take-off like last space shuttle, you must prepare to make most of your appearance. Here are some hot tips to help you get invited as a guest on show, rivet your audience on air, and ultimately sell yourself along with your product(s) or book(s). As a media coach and marketing expert, I have helped many people get booked on Oprah, so I know there is a strategy that, if followed, will help anyone increase their chances of getting on show.
Pitch and prepare. Before you actually get booked on Oprah, you need to know how to pitch an idea to show's producers and how to prepare yourself for big day. 1. Tape and watch Oprah. At least a dozen hopefuls call me every year for media coaching or to help them create a marketing plan. The first words out of their mouths are: "I want to be on Oprah." When I ask them if they watch show 90 percent say, "No." Part of preparing for success is becoming familiar with content, format, rhythm and pace of Oprah show.
Your first step is to record two to four weeks of Oprah. Then, sit down in a comfy spot and watch them all at once. This will give you a sense of what's hot on Oprah for next few months. (It does change and go in cycles). Notice which producers (listed on credits at end) are responsible for each particular type of segment. Send a producer information only after you are sure of who you'd like to approach and why. 2. Pitch a hot topic. Never pitch your yourself, your speech, your product or your book. Instead pitch something that's newsworthy now: a pressing national issue, a controversial subject, a problem for which you have solution, a common myth debunked. Propose a topic that is relevant to Winfrey's audience (controversy, relationships, personal triumph, makeovers) then prove you are expert on that topic by telling only information that is relevant to idea you're pitching.
For acting coach Cynthia Brian, speaker and author of "Be Star You Are!" (Celestial Arts), we created a pitch about how she helps teenagers work out their problems by role-playing with them on camera. We proposed a makeover show with before and after footage for parents with difficult teens. Although show idea isn't directly related to her book this is an area of Brian's expertise-and Winfrey has been doing a lot of shows around parent eenage relationships. Think about areas in your personal or professional life where you're an expert and connect that to a provocative theme.
3. Put together a winning press package. Send your book (if you have one) along with a pitch or angle page with two or three different ideas, and a paragraph bio highlighting your expertise as it pertains to your pitches. Be as brief as possible. You must be able to sell your idea in one page. Remember Oprah producers get hundreds of packages every day. If possible include a two-to-four-minute video of you on other talk shows or doing a presentation to a group. If your demo video includes talk show clips, cue it up to those segments. If not, cue your video up to a short segment that shows you speaking succinctly so producers can see that you're a viable guest.
4. Explore show's Web site. Winfrey's Web site, http://www.Oprah.com, has as much information as you will ever need to get on show. There, you can review her entire wish list of subjects. She even makes it easy for you with a link called, "Be on show." With touch of a key you can send an e-mail that will reach her producers instantly.
Make your topic relevant in a short paragraph to receive a quick response. Let producers know that you'd be glad to hop a red-eye at a moment's notice to be a part of their show, and you increase your chances of being invited.
5. Create 6 dynamic sound bites. Mark Twain defines a sound bite as "a minimum of sound to a maximum of sense." Sound bites or talking points, are essential messages you want to convey. Talk out loud most important ideas, concepts, and points of your topic as they relate to idea you are pitching.
Ask yourself, "What do I want my audience to remember?" Carla Winter, niece of Sol Wurtzel who ran Fox Film (20th Century Fox) with founder William Fox described success of studio this way: "For Fox Film it was an excellent director, a good story and a box office star." In her book, The Myth of Perfect Mother (Contemporary Books), Jane Swigart says, "Being a mother is like asking half population to do brain surgery without sending them to medical school."