Insanity: Event-Style – Event Xray

Over the last 45 years I’ve heard repeatedly a conversation that goes something like this:

Party of the First Part:  This trade show/conference/meeting was such a waste of time.

Party of the Second Part: How come you’re here this year?

Party of the First Part: Oh, we always attend.  We always have.

If the Party of the First Part happens to be a tradeshow exhibitor, this line invariably is included:” You know, if we don’t show up people will think we’ve gone out of business.”

Trade shows and conferences are terrific resources…if you participate in the right ones. Which are the right ones? That depends on what you want to learn and who you want to meet. What’s right for me may not be right for you.

Selecting the wrong conference or trade show imposes very harsh costs:

  • You have wasted your organization’s money.
  • The time that those attending invested could have been put to more productive use.
  • With some research, you might identify an event that is a better investment of your time and money.

As it has been said (generally misattributed to Albert Einstein), the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

This may cause some to question the very idea of participating in conferences and trade shows. Should it? That’s the subject of another post.

How We Meet…How Things Have Changed – Event Xray

How has technology changed love and romance in today’s world? I have the advantage of the long view: I’m about to turn 76, but my daughter only recently turned 26. In addition to that, I work in an office populated by people mostly my daughter’s age.

Back when I was that age, we met in the workplace and in bars, more often than not. Today more than 30 percent of all marriages in the United States are the result of meetings through social media.

The mobile phone has made a huge impact on relationships. When my daughter was in high school, I recall her being incredulous when I responded that no, when I was a kid (back in the ‘40s and ‘50s), I didn’t have a cellphone. The joke among parents back then was that, just wait, when your kid becomes a teenager your phone will be tied up all the time (remember, in each household we all shared a single landline).

There were certain advantages in not being available 24/7. It was much easier for a girl to avoid a boy she didn’t care for. When he called, she could always instruct her family members to “tell him I’m not home”. And there was nothing comparable to a text message. You could escape, if you wanted to. Today, as we say in New York, “Fuggedaboutit!”

Not to be indelicate, but this very day when I walked into the office men’s room I heard a young man say, “Honest, I love you”. Then I realized that while using the urinal, he was speaking to his beloved on his mobile phone. From the little bit of pleading  I overheard, it sounded as though she had tracked him down and was none too pleased with something he had or had not done.

Guilt vs. Shame – Event Xray

In his column in the March 15, 2016 edition of The New York Times, David Brooks wrote about the concepts of “guilt” and “shame”. He makes a very cogent case about their differences and he observes that in today’s culture in America, shame has overtaken guilt as a force in our lives, largely the result of social media.

Guilt is something that is self-generated. When we feel guilt, it is because we realize that we have done something that we know is  wrong. Shame, however, is something that others impose, so Mr. Brooks posits.

Generally speaking, I find that when one person shames another it is, well, shameful. On the other hand, if you feel guilty because you know you have done the wrong thing, why that’s a good thing. It means that you know right from wrong. Knowing right from wrong is important. Someone who doesn’t know the difference can commit terrible acts without ever feeling a twinge of regret.

What has this to do with meetings, conferences, trade shows and exhibitions? Quite a bit, I’d say. These events bring people together. When people get together, good things can happen…or not. People who don’t know right from wrong can produce toxic results. That’s true, too, of participants for whom embarrassing or ridiculing others is sport.

But read David Brooks column. He explains it all far better than I.

Tradeshow or Conference in Manhattan? – Event Xray

Walking the floor at a trade show or attending seminars all day long can be fatiguing. Unless there is an event-related social activity at day’s end, you may want to do nothing more than return to your hotel and call room service. But if are in you need of rejuvination, amble north from the Javits Center to the Signature Theater on 42nd Street.

“Two Hats”, starring Bill Irwin and David Shiner, will keep you laughing out loud for two hours – not chuckling – but roaring with laughter. This with nary a four-letter word, or any words, for that matter. There is also some very good music between scenes provided by Shaina Taub and her band.  Truly, there is never a dull moment in this show.

Not only is “Two Hats” uproarious fun, but the Signature Theater is pretty special, too. Not a bad seat in the house (unlike some of the newer broadway theaters where you may be a football field away from the stage) and the seats are comfortable (unlike the cramped seats in most older Broadway theaters) and where, unbelievably, beer and wine can be purchased for $5-$7 (that gets you a small bottle of water at most theaters).

If all this appeals to you, don’t tarry. The final performance of “Old Hats” will be on April 3rd.

Crowdsourcing Your Next Event – Event Xray

The internet has revolutionized so many aspects of society. One, which I find particularly helpful, is the way the internet has allowed everyone to become a reviewer. From the vast array of products sold on Amazon, to movies, restaurants, hotels and airlines (I know, they are all bad), the internet has allowed the crowd to speak out on what it does or doesn’t like.

admin-ajax.php_-300x300I can’t remember the last time I purchased a book on Amazon without reading the reviews first.

Reviews can tell you so much. Not only how much the person liked a particular book, but why they liked the book (or hated the book for that matter). I can sometimes read a five star review that convinces me not to buy a particular book because the reviewer’s description has convinced me that this particular book is not for me.

Reviews can also help shape a product or service. While books, recorded music and films cannot be changed, the food and service at a restaurant can certainly be shaped by positive and negative reviews. An astute reviewer can use a review to help improve their favorite restaurant, hotel or bar, if the restaurant, hotel or bar pays attention to the reviews.

However, one industry has not taken advantage of crowdsourcing reviews….yet. That is the trade show industry. Imagine, if you will, that you are an attendee or exhibitor looking to attend (or exhibit) at the leading trade show in your industry. But there are two or three different trade shows which all cover your particular industry. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to read reviews from other professionals in your industry? Reviews that help you figure out which trade show is best for you?

Also, as a reviewer, you have the ability to help change this dynamic industry. You have the opportunity to share what works and what doesn’t work at your favorite trade show.

This is also an excellent opportunity for show organizers to read what their attendees and exhibitors have to say about their show. Such feedback could be invaluable in improving the show from year to year.

Well, this website now exists. It’s called EventXray and you can now rate and review your favorite trade show (or consumer show) at www.eventxray.com just as you rate and review your favorite books, movies, restaurants, and hotels.

Never Doubt the Power of Marketing – Event Xray

We were sitting around chatting one evening after dinner, my wife Hannah, my 26-year old daughter and I (Stella, our Beagle pup, participated by nudging one of us, then another, to urge that we pet her non-stop). Orly sells high-end Manhattan real estate, so we often talk marketing and sales.

“Orly, I said, “if not for a marketing letter I received one day, you wouldn’t be sitting here right now.” That elicited a half-smile and a quizzical look. I went on to explain that in the late 1970’s I received a letter from an accountant offering his services. It just so happened that my bank was suggesting (demanding?) that the company that I had co-founded in 1970 should provide it with audited statements from a CPA. To that point our attorney, Bill DeLorenzo, had done our accounting, in addition to our legal work.

There was something about the tenor of the letter that struck a chord, so I picked up the phone and called the letter’s author, Jay Sanders. Little company that we were, I was surprised when Mr. Sanders offered to visit my factory to discuss what he could offer us. After all, he was in Manhattan and we were in Yonkers, a New York City suburb, parts of which had seen better days…and we were in one of those parts.

As time went on, Jay and his wife Carol were gracious enough to invite me, a bachelor, to dinner periodically. One day Jay called to invite me and my girlfriend to join them at a party that another of his clients was throwing. My girlfriend had a business function to attend, so Carol suggested that a friend of hers could round out a foursome.

I got to the party early. As people gathered around the piano, I struck up a conversation with a pretty young woman next to me. We exchanged numbers. Shortly thereafter the Sanders arrived, their lovely friend in tow. We had a delightful evening.

A few days later, I decided to call the woman with whom I had exchanged numbers. Some eighteen months later we married. Four years later, Hannah gave birth to Orly. It all started with a marketing letter.

There is a moral to the story, but you knew that, didn’t you?

Event, Trade Show, Conference, Meeting, Trade Fair, Festival & Consumer Show Reviews & Rating – Event Xray

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EventXray Launches Website. EventXray is a new rating and review website that saves time and money for event participants- exhibitors, attendees, organizers, and sponsors.

NEW YORK – EventXray, a community-based website where event participants can rate, review and research trade shows, conferences, conventions, meetings and venues, went live on March 7, 2016. User-written reviews and star ratings will help prospective participants select the events that are right for them and their organization.

A new rating and review website for the trade show industry: http://www.eventxray.com According to EventXray’s CEO, Lew Hoff, “Every year hundreds of millions of dollars get misallocated by sending people and exhibits to events that do not meet their expectations. Too often decisions are based on a flashy brochure, the opinion of one or two colleagues or because ‘We’ve always gone to that event’.”

The EventXray platform is a free resource that provides peer ratings and reviews. Using it, better decisions can be made. Businesses and participants can now use EventXray to read and write show reviews featuring topics ranging from venue services and materials to speaker panels and networking opportunities. Organizations can be more effective and reduce costs by exhibiting, attending, and or sponsoring those events that will best serve their needs.

About Event Xray: EventXray is a free website where event participants read and write about trade shows, conferences, meetings, conventions and event venues. Its goal is to help better align the interests of event participants and event organizers. For more information, please visit eventxray.com or send an email to info@eventxray.com.

Contacts
EventXray
Clare Eisenberg, 914-513-3228
info@eventxray.com