About ten years ago, a close associate urged me to start writing a book based on my experiences in sales and the trade show and event industries. I tried. There are several dozen pages along with edits and rewrites stored on my computer and backed up on a hard drive. I learned that being an author involves time and dedication to the task. When raising a family and running a business, those are two luxuries that are in short supply.
A few years later I was asked to write a monthly column in a magazine. That, I thought, would be much easier than writing a book. I was so wrong. Time and lack of commitment were the tyrants again.
Now here we are, in cyber space, in a world of blogs. A word that does not exist in my weathered, paperback, 1984 version of Webster’s New Riverside Dictionary. Prompted by the ease of using Google and the internet’s seemingly insatiable appetite for information and content, I am told blogging is a good first step. Good because now businesses other than large, consumer product based companies are starting to see the benefits of social media for exposure in the blogosphere.
We used to advertise in the yellow pages, reserve space in buyer’s guides and design print advertising and direct mail pieces. That’s how we used to get our name out there to get the sales ball rolling. Now, we’re utilizing social media tools and joining the online blogging community.
So this is a baby step for me and for Prairie Display/Chicago. No time for a book or regular print magazine column, but maybe time for a blog. Less corporate marketing and more conversation may help alleviate the dedication aspect.
While I‘m not sure how many, if anyone, will read or follow this blog, I vow to continue walking and writing, one foot in front of another. Learning to walk before we dedicate ourselves to the 5K and eventually the marathon. I will try to keep it quick and meaningful, offering advice, observations and insights into the trade show and event world, taken from our customer’s experiences and our perspective. I will focus on best practices, bringing in outside sources and different authors who may have a unique or experienced perspective on a given topic.
Sales is a process - specific steps need to be accomplished in a specified order to finally turn a prospect into a customer. Trade shows and other types of marketing events, because of their face-to-face nature, have been proven to accelerate the sales process. The live component of trade shows and events are not going away because, at the end of the day, humans are social by nature. For many of the products and services we purchase, either for ourselves or for use by our respective companies and organizations, the face-to-face aspect is an important factor in the decision-making process.
What is changing is the way we start the relationship. If blogging and sharing honest, useful information and resources, is one way to do it, then let’s get the conversation started.