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Good to Great
The book "Good to Great," recommended by J. Archie Lyons, IV, senior event producer at Caterpillar Inc., is a long-term study of 11 stock-market listed companies that followed or under performed the market, underwent a transition, and then returned upwards of three times their respective market value. It is the methodology of disciplined people engaging in disciplined thought who take disciplined action.
What led you to read Jim Collins' "Good to Great"?
In planning for a worldwide meeting of Caterpillar dealers/distributors, our then chairman and CEO, Jim Owens, requested we have Collins speak. So the first order of business was to read "Good to Great" to make sure the principles and concepts could be woven into the conference.
What concepts were particularly applicable for your audience?
The author's concept of "having the right people on your bus" is solid and even a bit basic, but it is one that is overlooked every day. The book tells you to look at your team as a bus, and make sure the right people are on the bus and in the right seats.
But doesn't the team leader (aka bus driver) control who gets on the bus?
Well, sometimes you inherit team members and suppliers and just kind of stick them where you think they'll be the most productive. But how often do you really stand back and evaluate what those people bring to the team? We have to seriously look at everyone on the team to ensure we have the right people doing the right things.
Do you think this has particular relevance in the exhibit-marketing industry?
People tend to fall into the category of being "good enough" in the face-to-face marketing industry, mostly due to limited time and resources. It's a real make-do situation for a lot of companies, especially considering the economy. But a critical thing to remember is that "good" is the enemy to "great." This book helped me to see that greatness is not a function of circumstance, but of choices and discipline. And when everyone on the team is in the right position (and doing what they love), that's when you get greatness.

J. Archie Lyons, IV,
senior event producer,
Caterpillar Inc.

Generate Sales Leads with Virtual Events
According to Steven Marchese, CTSM, manager of corporate events at Fujifilm Medical Systems USA Inc., "Generate Sales Leads with Virtual Events" is a step-by-step primer on how to select, plan, promote, execute, generate, and convert sales leads by participating in virtual events. Author Dennis Shiao focuses on virtual trade shows and conferences where companies purchase a sponsorship, and places emphasis on delivering qualified and actionable sales leads that generate strong ROI.
What did you take away after reading the book?
This book not only provided me with the basic information I needed to understand virtual events in a clear and easy-to-implement manner, but the strategies outlined have changed the way I think about my complete exhibit program. Guidelines presented on assembling a plan, selecting booth staff, using social networks to generate interest and awareness, and, most importantly, scoring and following up on leads have become part of my standard planning procedures.
If an exhibit manager only had time to read one chapter of this book, which would you recommend?
I found the "Score and Follow Up with Leads" chapter very useful. It details a scoring and prospect-nurturing program to capture sales-ready leads. Shiao defines "A" leads as marketing-qualified prospects that have scored highly based on behavior such as multiple visits to your booth, brochure downloads, survey participation, etc. Those "A" leads are ready to be passed directly to sales for follow up. "B" leads are partially qualified but require further nurturing by marketing. "C" leads are nonmarketing qualified and thus require little to no nurturing.
Virtual events seem like a niche market, currently popular in only a few select industry sectors. Do you think that will change?
As stated by Craig Rosenberg in the book's foreword: "Ultimately, you shouldn't care why people go to virtual events; the point is they do so in increasing numbers, and that means virtual events must become part of your marketing mix."

Steven Marchese, CTSM,
manager, corporate events,
Fujifilm Medical Systems USA Inc.
Free Prize Inside
How do you create an innovative product that keeps people talking? That's the question Seth Godin answers in his book, "Free Prize Inside: How to Make a Purple Cow." The book, added to EXHIBITOR's Summer Reading List by Bonalyn Boyd, east region director of marketing at Ista North America, examines how traditional marketing sometimes fails to attract attention, and suggests alternative ways to create the right product at the right cost for the right reasons and the right audience.
If you could sum up Godin's directive in two words, what would those words be?
"Be remarkable." It's a phrase that appears many times through the book, and one worth really thinking about when it comes to marketing your product or service. Another passage that got me thinking is where Godin defines the term "free prize." This was my aha moment: "The free prize is the element that transcends the utility of the original idea and adds a special, unique element worth paying extra for, worth commenting on." And that's what we, as marketers, should be creating - a value-add that gets people talking.
Has the book inspired you to create a "free prize" for your exhibit program?
As an exhibit manager, I have to keep what my company sells fresh and innovative. We travel to the same trade shows year after year, and it is easy for attendees to want to just pass right by our booth, thinking
they know all about us because they've seen us before. After reading this book, I asked myself, "What is the one thing I want people to say about my product or service? What do I want people to remember about my exhibit?"
What can exhibit managers learn from reading this book?
The book specifically speaks to the idea that it is not about spending lots of money to be remarkable, but creating your own niche by redesigning the customer's experience. My job as exhibit manager is to generate that remarkable experience to enhance my sales staff's opportunity for a transaction. I feel every exhibit manager may be inspired to do the same
for their company upon reading this book.

Bonalyn Boyd,
east region director of marketing, Ista North America
Trade Show and Event Marketing
From show selection and strategy to exhibit design and in-booth promotions, "Trade Show and Event Marketing," by Ruth P. Stevens is a practical guide to all things exhibiting. Recommended by Gale Portwine, CTSM, trade show and advertising coordinator for Minitab Inc., the book is a complete, practical tool that can be used on a daily basis to guide, refresh, and support your existing trade show program.
How did you discover this industry-specific book?
I received the book during one of my CTSM seminars at EXHIBITOR Show a few years ago. In addition to the invaluable industry information I learned that year, this book was a very coveted takeaway that I continue to reference today.
What makes "Trade Show and Event Marketing" a good read for exhibit managers?
If you're seeking a comprehensive, practical reference for exhibit management, this is it. Each chapter is broken down into layman's terms, so that every level - from novice to industry veteran - can quickly comprehend and act upon the proven methods, processes, and strategies in our reduced-budget trade show world. While many exhibit-management books reveal high-level strategy and recommendations, this book gets to the "meat and potatoes" of exhibiting. It has useful information that is applicable to so many exhibit managers regardless of the size of their budget. This book has helped change the way I approach my exhibit program.
That's a bold statement. Was there a particular chapter or lesson you learned that facilitated that change?
Definitely Chapter 4, "All About the Trade Show Booth." In particular, page 115, under the heading, "Final Booth Considerations." This section says that regardless of everything we as exhibit managers do to achieve ultimate success with our booths on the trade show floor, we need to avoid the temptation of glorifying the booth as the be-all and end-all of exhibiting. Rather, we should focus more on the less visible, yet more powerful, elements of the trade show program, such as traffic-driving activities and pre- and post-show marketing tactics.

Gale Portwine,
CTSM, trade show and advertising
coordinator, Minitab Inc.
The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs
When you mention the word "presentation," one thing typically comes to mind - PowerPoint. And the mention of "PowerPoint" often conjures images of text-laden slides, cheesy animation, and Clip Art so pixilated it looks like something from the original "The Oregon Trail" computer game. But as Holly Seese, global marketing communications manager for Celanese Corp., learned by reading "The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs," it doesn't have to be that way.
What did you like most about the book?
Although it's a relatively quick and easy read, it's packed with fantastic tips and tricks for creating the best presentations - the kind that people will remember. I liked that I didn't have to spend a ton of time poring over pages in order to find the nuggets I was looking for. And I liked the short chapters, called "scenes," in which the author covers everything from writing headlines to drawing a road map (i.e., giving the audience an idea of what your presentation is going to be about upfront).
How did you discover Carmine Gallo's book?
I was sitting next to a woman who was reading the book on a recent flight. I noticed that she was literally highlighting something on each page, and taking notes in the margins. After chatting with her, I found out she was a professional business coach. I figured it must be a good read if she's finding something of note on every single page.
Has reading the book changed the way in which you present information?
Of course. In my line of work, it's easy to get caught up in wanting to provide a given audience with a deluge of information. But that's simply the wrong strategy. This book explains that you need to capture the three most important messages you want to convey, and nothing more, because people can't really remember more than that. It's such a simple idea, but it's also ingenious. That said, I'm not down to one word per slide like Steve Jobs, but I have learned to streamline my presentations.

Holly Seese, global
marketing communications manager, Celanese Corp.
Secrets of Successful Exhibiting
If you've ever wished you had the EXHIBITOR Show conference-session speakers on speed dial, then this is the book for you. Lucy Albert, CTSM, exhibit coordinator at the Space Telescope Science Institute, added this reference book to our Summer Reading List because it's full of useful information - and several chapters penned by EXHIBITOR Show faculty members, such as "High Impact Promotions" by Judi Baker-Neufeld, "The 5 Secrets of Successful Trade Show Public Relations" by Wayne Dunham, and "The Secret to Qualifying Prospects: The Power of Asking Questions" by Susan A. Friedmann.
Where did you first hear about this book?
I found "Secrets of Successful Exhibiting" at EXHIBITOR2007 - which is quite fitting considering the book's various contributing authors and their connection to the show. Come to think of it, a lot of the exhibiting books I own are ones I've discovered at EXHIBITOR Show over the years. This book, in particular, contains so many timeless tidbits that it still sits on my bookshelf where I can easily reference it.
Is there a particular chapter that you find yourself going back to again and again?
Chapter 4, "Great Trade Show Graphics, Concept, Design & Production." The shows at which I exhibit aren't really conventional trade shows per se, but rather scientific conferences. So as you can imagine, I have to work hard to convince the various science teams I work with that they don't need to cram all of their data and dense information on an exhibit's back wall. This chapter has helped me prove my case many times.
What makes "Secrets of Successful Exhibiting" such a valuable read for myriad exhibit managers?
It's full of great suggestions regarding all aspects of exhibiting, and it's a book that I can turn to whenever I have a question I need answered or a problem I need solved. It's almost like having a gallery of industry experts at your fingertips - and I think we can all use a little help from seasoned exhibit-marketing pros now and then.

Lucy Albert, CTSM,
exhibit coordinator, Space Telescope Science Institute
As exhibit and event marketers, it seems every business book urges you to "think outside the box." In fact, the saying is so prevalent that it has lost its meaning, and instead of being a provocative directive, it has become a stale cliché. Fortunately, "Rework," added to this year's Summer Reading List by Kerry Talbot, director of trade show and event marketing at Quintiles Transnational, breathes new life into that cliché by urging readers to throw out business plans and really get to work.
In your opinion, what makes "Rework" such a successful marketing book?
The book tells you to work hard, and work smart, and you will ultimately win. I think as marketers, we get too concerned with sticking to the plan and doing things strictly by the book. While that's not always a bad thing, sticking to the plan can eventually suppress creativity, and that can affect your success.
Did you have a so-called "lightbulb" moment while reading the book?
I did - which is why I decided to recommend it to EXHIBITOR readers. The authors talk about putting everyone on the front line at events. In other words, your marketing program isn't just about your key messages or promotions. It's about the people behind those messages and promotions, and you want your best people to represent your brand in any environment, whether it's a corporate event or an exhibit at a trade show. I think we sometimes forget that those people could very well be an audience's first impression of our brand and company.
If you had to boil down the content of "Rework" to one or two bullet points, what would they be?
People tend to get in a rut and cease to be creative individuals. This book will help you refocus on what you really want to achieve, and it will inspire you to think outside the box - pardon the cliché. Forget the processes and org charts and to-do lists. Break out of that stagnant cycle, really start to think about what you want to accomplish through your marketing efforts, and make it happen.

Kerry Talbot, director of trade show and event marketing for Quintiles Transnational
Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter
Keeping co-workers, employees, and team members motivated can sometimes be an uphill battle. Instead of reaching for a cryptex to crack the motivation code, open this book, recommended by Lisa Lawley, CTSM, event-marketing manager for Cisco Systems Inc. It describes two types of leaders: the "diminisher" and the "multiplier." The diminisher is the idea killer, energy zapper, and demotivator. The multiplier, on the other hand, leads in such a way to get the most out of people, motivating them to push themselves to accomplish greater things. And that motivation can help keep your team on track.
Is there a particular part of the book that speaks to you as an exhibit manager?
When I heard about this book, I was right in the middle of planning a show with the most difficult internal client I had ever worked with. Period. I realized the reason this was so hard and so draining was that this particular client was a textbook diminisher. The experience of trying to plan a trade show with someone that sucked the life out of the room forced me to look at my own style of leadership, and that's when I decided that I wanted to be sure I wasn't a diminisher on any level.
Why do you think other exhibit managers should read "Multipliers?"
Since we are planners and lead the planning process, we need to be able to build teams in which everyone feels secure enough to offer ideas and solutions, and does their part to make events successful. Being a diminisher can make things harder for you as the leader. The skills in this book are ones that anyone can learn.
Have you been able to implement any of the skills you've learned from the book into your daily work as an exhibit manager?
Since this is a new read for me, I'm still trying to incorporate some of these into my daily work life. But I truly believe that with practice, the skills outlined in the book will become second nature for me, and will eventually lead to better exhibit planning.

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