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All of these books plus more are available at www.exhibitoronline.com/bookstore.

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

Building brand identity is a difficult but crucial step in becoming a successful industry player. This book, recommended by Kerry Talbot, director of trade show and event marketing at Quintiles Transnational, explains why certain brands are more recognizable than others, and is likely to spark ideas on how you can elevate your own brand's identity. It will inspire you to leave the herd behind and truly stand out from the competition.

What is your favorite part of the book?
I love the entire book, particularly the ideas on new ways to market something old - brilliant! I was actually introduced to the book from a vendor that brought it in as a part of an RFP presentation. That vendor gave us all small white plastic cows and purple paint to make our own purple cows. Now that's how you stand out.

How has this book helped you in a professional context?

I realized I needed to put all my effort, time, and thinking into how to become a purple cow. I had to ask myself, "What makes me stand out with even the smallest of details?" I was on a hunt for those specific things and was actually able to apply what I learned in the book far more than I initially thought possible.

Why do you recommend other exhibit managers read this?

The book really outlines what you need to know to create a great brand and how to improve your marketing program. It isn't a run-of-the-mill marketing book you read in college. This is real advice that works. Always be the purple cow! Anyone can be the brown cow. If you are going to work hard and spend the money to create a brand, do it right, and follow the advice in the book.

Kerry Talbot, director, trade show and event marketing, Quintiles Transnational

The Event Marketing Handbook: Beyond Logistics and Planning

Looking for an A-to-Z guide to event marketing? Janice Breuer, CTSM, trade show specialist at FFF Enterprises, added this book to our list because it is, in her words, "a comprehensive road map for creating and marketing events." It is complete with quick-to-read tips scattered throughout the chapters and quotes from industry experts, some of which the author has worked with on projects. Every chapter begins with the mantra, "Event marketing is about facilitating, easing, opening, accelerating, and shortening the sales cycle. That's it!"

How did you hear about "The Event Marketing Handbook?"
I purchased it at the bookstore in The Square at EXHIBITOR2008 after attending a session on the topic presented by the author, Allison Saget.

What is the one thing you remember most from the book?
Saget's recipe for a successful event is compared to building a BLT - not a bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwich, but rather Brand Recognition, Lead Generation, and Thought Leadership. She returns to this theme repeatedly throughout the book.

How have you used what you've learned from this book in your day-to-day life as a trade show specialist?
I can go back to the book to reference specific issues or challenges individually by going straight to the tips and templates, such as the tips on page 777 - "Seven Steps to Measurement Success."

Why are you recommending this book to our readers?
This book includes templates and checklists that can be customized to your own program. The tips scattered throughout the book cut right to the chase with reminders, hints, and step-by-step how-to lists, which are extremely helpful. Who doesn't love a good to-do list?

Kerry Talbot, director, trade show and event marketing, Quintiles Transnational

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Rather than a how-to book on great design or unique pre-show mailers or integrated marketing programs, this book focuses on your message. It may not mention trade shows and events specifically, but we've all been to shows with row after row of that sea of sameness. Recommended by Susan Shuttleworth, corporate marketing communications manager at TransCore, this book cuts through the clutter with six steps that will change the way you communicate your company's key messages. The book teaches you that, regardless of your budget, nothing will be as effective as a sticky message.

How did you happen to come across "Made to Stick?"
One of our senior engineers mentioned it to me. Eagerly, he told me that he'd heard a radio interview with the two authors (brothers Chip and Dan Heath). He said, "I immediately thought of you with all your wacky marketing campaigns - like that swimming elephant, and those sardines packed in a can, and the running of the bulls." Incidentally, all those campaigns were EXHIBITOR Sizzle Award winners.

What is your favorite part of the book?
The ah-ha moment for me was when I read that you don't have to be a creative genius to come up with a sticky message. All you have to do is follow the six simple steps for your own sticky message. Everyone remembers the 1980s sizzling eggs commercial, "This is your brain on drugs." Another successful program discussed is the "Don't Mess with Texas" campaign. This powerful program reduced litter by dramatic results thanks to its sticky program. Both programs were simple, concrete, memorable, unusual, and told a story or evoked a strong feeling.

How have you applied what you learned from this book to your career?
One of the hardest parts of my job is walking into a booth or ad concept presentation with top executives who are expecting to see glamour shots of their hardware products or images of traffic congestion. Instead, they might be seeing concepts featuring swimming elephants, sardines in a can, or the running of the bulls. If I predict a hard-sell group of executives, I send them a copy of the book a day before our meeting - with a roll of duct tape. The pre-meeting gift encourages them to think outside the box, and sets them up for creative ideas rather than run-of-the-mill product shots.

What makes this book a must-read for exhibit managers?
Anyone that's in the business of communication should read this book. It's a fast, easy read that I've re-read before new launch programs and before intensive communication programs to help get my brain thinking more creatively.

Susan Shuttleworth, corporate marketing communications manager, TransCore

Organize Your Work Day .
In No Time

Lisa Lawley, CTSM, CME, event-marketing manager for Cisco Systems Inc., suggests reading this book because it focuses on helping you make more efficient use of everyday technology. According to Lawley, the back cover is what sold her. It says, "With growing pressure to accomplish more tasks in the same amount of time plus the added weight of an overflowing e-mail inbox, endless meetings, and family obligations after work, average employees feel like they are losing control of their work schedules and ever-growing to-do lists."

In what ways has this book helped you become a better exhibit manager?
It gave me the idea of using a second calendar in Outlook to track deadlines and shows. I was originally doing this on a paper calendar that I then carried with me when I traveled. Now I have my regular Outlook calendar that contains all my meetings, appointments, and so on, and the new one that is cleaner so it's easier to see the show deadlines. Since it isn't cluttered with all of my appointments and meetings, it is easier to see what I have coming due. Also, I can see the calendars side-by-side if necessary. I hated trying to track these deadlines in my main Outlook calendar, so this was a great solution that also lightens my load when I travel. Another thing the book did was really get me thinking about having a digital show binder, instead of lugging a binder and a laptop, which is what I was doing. There is a lot of information that I can just scan and keep on my laptop. There will always be some documents that I will take in print to a show - such as service order forms - but this idea lightens the load even further.

What makes this book a must-read, particularly for your peers in the exhibition industry?
I believe that everyone who has to deal with paper and digital information can benefit from this book. Over the past 12 years of working for a high-tech company, I have been struggling with managing everything and getting it all done, especially when there are so many piles to get through - the e-mail inbox, the Outlook task list, the pile of paper on my desk, the mail that comes in every day. This book provides ways to help you get organized.

If readers only have time to read one chapter of this book, which one would you recommend?
Part III: Managing Daily Tasks. This is the part that really got into the meat of what I was looking for - some tips that solved the kind of problems that I face daily and that I could actually implement right away in my work day.

Lisa Lawley, CTSM, CME, event-marketing manager, Cisco Systems Inc.

Trade Show and Event Marketing: Plan, Promote, and Profit

This book is a wonderful hands-on guide to trade show and event marketing, which is why it got Kristen Bostedo-Conway's vote for our Summer Reading List. Bostedo-Conway, marketing director for Southeast Anesthesiology Consultants Inc., suggested this title because it provides exhibit managers all the tools they need to start a successful trade show program. It covers everything from the basics to ROI - and will help you impress the C-suite in no time.

If you had to condense this book down into one or two essential sections, what would they be?
My favorite chapters in the book are "Lead Generation and Qualification" and "Lead Management and Nurturing." Both sections get right to the heart of how to take control of your leads, get them out of sales' pockets, and start turning them into revenue generators for your company - which, let's face, is everyone's goal.

How has reading this book helped you in a professional context?
This book helped catapult my career to the next level. It helped me develop the processes and ideas that have allowed my career to really take off because I now have the tools and tactics to prove that what I do is effective and adds to my company's bottom line.

How has reading this book empowered you as a marketing director?
I learned how to stop being an order taker and how to be a strategic partner by working with the sales team to choose the best and most profitable shows. I also learned how to develop a comprehensive lead follow-up process that provides sales the tools they need to convert leads quickly, but also holds them responsible for that follow-up. Finally, the book provided me ideas on how to tie revenue to leads generated. This made the most impact and created cost-saving initiatives which became a cause for praise company-wide.

Who should read this book?
If you are order-takers for sales when it comes to trade shows, if you are not tying leads to revenue generated, or if you are having to justify your budget on intangible items, then this book is a must-read for you.

Kristen Bostedo-Conway, marketing director, Southeast Anesthesiology Consultants Inc.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Difference

"The Tipping Point," added to the list by Mara Weber, events and users group director at Honeywell Process Solutions, explores how social and behavioral change is brought about. The author, Malcolm Gladwell, breaks it down simplistically, explaining that three things are required - context, ideas, and the people involved. His examples from both business and society help to illustrate how small changes to context or the situational environment, coupled with how well the idea sticks and whether the idea reaches a key group of people who further it along, can create dramatic and often unexpectedly quick changes. It helps you understand how "right place, right time, right triggers" can make or break a concept.

What made you decide to read "The Tipping Point?"
We had a marketing director who read the book and became a "salesperson" - one of three categories of key people described in the book that are required to instill change. He quoted it so often that I felt if I didn't read it, I might be missing something.

What did you learn by reading it?
I learned that lining up the right people to support your idea, help you launch an offering, or build credibility for your marketing and trade show efforts are all critical elements. We spend so much time focusing on the product, the graphics, the booth, and so on without really looking at the strategy required to catch the attention of - and make an impression on - the target audience, which includes buyers, influencers, and internal stakeholders.

How have you used this book to enhance your exhibit program?
The breadth and depth of our portfolio is overwhelming, and we had a tendency to make each exhibit elaborate and complex because there is a lot of emotion tied to the events and the feeling was "bigger must be better." I already knew that thinking was outdated, but needed to institute change with internal stakeholders and balance that with external perceptions. I used the categories Gladwell puts people in - connectors, mavens, and salespeople - and began to test some fresh ideas using his concept. It took a few years to get to our tipping point of success for adoption, but we are able to now track ROI and have built credibility among our leadership for the program to make sure that "those dreaded trade shows" are now viewed as an important part of an integrated marketing communications plan and support business-growth goals.

With all the business books available today, why is this one particularly worthy of readers' time?
The concepts outlined and defined in the book are simple to understand and can be applied to just about any marketing idea or event concept. It's an easy read and is truly timeless because it focuses on human behavior and what is required to bring about change.

Mara Weber, events and users group director, Honeywell Process Solutions

Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo From Maslow

This book offers a deep understanding of how psychologist Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs applies to running a business, a theory William Bright, CTSM, CMP, event-marketing manager for AAA Northern California, Nevada, and Utah, became familiar with through a handful of marketing and business courses. The author, Chip Conley, takes you through the building of what he refers to as "transformational pyramids" for the three constituents in business: customers, employees, and investors. It offers a comprehensive and integrated approach to how your constituents of survival and transformation can translate to success and create those transcendent, "peak experiences" in our lives.

What one takeaway do you remember most from this book?
The author uses a "pyramid" model to explain his various theories. I liked how this model was built and discussed in the book, especially when the three pyramids (the employee, customer, and investor) outlined in the book were integrated into a larger pyramid, leaving a space in the middle for what Conley calls the "Joie de Vivre heart." I know it sounds complicated, but the book clearly illustrates how everything integrates, and it helped me finally understand Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs within a business context.

What makes this book stand out from all the other business books available?
It's an inspiring case study on how a business leader made a personal commitment to his business and found a principled approach to regrouping and working through the challenging time of the post-dot-com and post-9/11 economy. It thoroughly discusses each concept and provides a step-by-step listing of how to apply the concepts with "peak prescriptions" outlined in each chapter. I appreciated the use of illustrations to visually - and intellectually - demonstrate the material in describing a path to a higher meaning both professionally and personally.

How did this book impact your career?
It refreshed my understanding of why I do what I do. I recognized that what I do is not only my job and career, but it is also my calling. The "transformational pyramid" helped me realize that I don't just schedule people and move equipment from show to show - I create "peak experiences" for customers, employees, investors, and myself.

William Bright, CTSM, CMP, event-marketing manager, AAA Northern California, Nevada, and Utah

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

"Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done" is about how to get the job done and deliver results through the consistent practice of execution - understanding how to link together people, strategy, and operations. This book, suggested by Judy Volker, marketing director at Iatric Systems Inc., teaches you to view execution as not simply tactics, but rather a system of getting things done through questioning, analysis, and follow-through.

What is your favorite part of the book?

One passage that sticks out in my mind is "Many people regard execution as detail work that's beneath the dignity of a business leader. That's wrong. To the contrary, it's a leader's most important job." The term "strategy" is horribly overused in today's business environment. Strategists are equated with position, power, and influence, when in reality, the real talent comes from people who not only have vision and can set strategy, but are then able and willing to execute against that strategy and make things happen.

How has reading this book helped you professionally?
In a trade show or event role, the ability and willingness to envision and strategize an end result is only a small component. Rolling up your sleeves and executing against a plan is the only way to ensure effective results. In an exhibit environment, this book is the equivalent of taking a piece of cement in an exhibit hall and creating a living, breathing space.

What makes "Execution" a valuable read for exhibit managers?
The book goes beyond the "why" level to the "how" level. It is a wake-up call to leaders to rethink the structure, process, and hierarchical thinking that can often slow decisions and reduce positive impact. The real-world examples and combination of quantitative and qualitative information makes this a great read for both the left- and right-brain reader.

Judy Volker, marketing director,
Iatric Systems Inc.

Brand Digital: Simple Ways Top Brands Succeed in the Digital World

Glenda Brungardt, CTSM, trade show/event manager at Hewlett-Packard Co., added this book to our Summer Reading List because it is all about the changing digital landscape - and the digital tools and media that are here to stay. The book puts in context the roles Google, YouTube, Second Life, Twitter, social media, and blogs play in the branding process. The bonus is that the book is written in easy-to-understand brand language, and not high-tech jargon.

Why do you like the book?
"Brand Digital" is full of relevant, current case studies that illustrate how social media - and digital media in general - can be manipulated and used to communicate a company's brand messages, and essentially shape the public's perception of that company. I also liked that the case studies profiled companies in a variety of industries, from the automotive sector to retail and even finance, proving that these digital avenues and tools have numerous applications across the board.

How has reading this book helped you in your role as trade show/event manager?
After reading this book, I felt it was a reminder that the basic rules of branding still apply, and that the fundamentals of brand building remain the same, regardless of the communication medium you are using. What has changed, however, are the tools and technologies at my disposal that I can implement to have conversations or to create experiences with the customer.

Why are you recommending "Brand Digital" to our readers?
No one would argue the fact that we are in a digital age, and you can either adapt to the changing communication environment, or you can die out. This is a great read for anyone who wants to keep up and is trying to implement an online component in their marketing activities. E

Glenda Brungardt, CTSM, trade show/event manager, Hewlett-Packard Co.
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