authorWell, I have been with Optima™ for a little over 11 years now and I have been through just about every position here (with the exception of production). I was our Receptionist, Customer Service Rep, New Business Coordinator, Estimator, New Product Development Coordinator and Frame Detailer/CAD Engineer. I have seen a lot of the business because I enjoy learning and I enjoy a challenge. I have worked with a large percentage of our customers and I feel I am pretty darn good at most of what I do. So when our new President started here almost 2 years ago, I got a couple of shocks. Read more…

What a Trade Show Could Be Like in 50 Years – A Futuristic Observers View

authorWith the rapid pace of technology and the ongoing restrictions and limitations of abuse on the world around us, I decided it might be fun to imagine what shows will be like in 50 years.

A mingling buzz is not only heard but also felt as attendees, distributors and service drones move about the event space communicating in ways we can’t possibly imagine today.

Most are wearing their eYe (Extend Your Experience) glasses, made by a company with a weird name, to see displays, collect product information and communicate with each other. Half truths or exaggerated promises in conversations are absent thanks to the new eYe app that employs a virtual lie detector and background check. No shipping or set up costs for this Trade Show since it is held in a large empty warehouse. Virtual reality trade shows are still years away since too many big businesses still depend on travel to keep them in the black. Read more…


April 4, 2014 2 comments

We have become a YouTube/Vimeo nation. We love to share and view videos. Every day, all day, we are bombarded by emails and texts. Most of us skim the bullets, headings, and bolding for the key message(s). Video is different. It’s linear. I find myself more likely to commit to a few minutes of video even when copy is available.
For sharing industry news and ideas, video is often more engaging than a static catalog or website. With today’s technology, even an amateur can get their point across, often with some funny out takes! Better yet is the opportunity to comment and share through social media. It may not be every literature professor’s favorite form of communication, but video isn’t going away any time soon.

Read more…

Exhibitor Recap

March 28, 2014 3 comments

Well, another Exhibitor Show is in the rear view mirror and I want to say a big thank you to those who attended, stopped by our booth, and came to our reception.

I was thrilled with the effort my team put in to construct our exhibit that featured 16′ h double-sided Panoramic® Lightboxes, a custom Aviator hanging sign, and two inTouch™ Interactive tables. I saw many more touch screens this year and I can tell the interest is increasing because we had double the number of people come and ask us for demonstrations. Read more…


March 21, 2014 1 comment

Returning from another Exhibitor show in Las Vegas I made a strong connection with a popular and entertaining Vegas illusionist and the hard working installers of the many SEG (silicone edge graphics) exhibits at the show.

Criss Angel has a show called “Believe”. I didn’t see the show but have seen his work on television, including some really remarkable illusions using seemingly random pedestrians. Really freaky stuff. Most of us are satisfied with watching and knowing there has to be some slight of hand, misdirection or simple trick that fools the eye. Truly only few actually “believe”!

As the old saying goes “seeing is believing” so we are entertained. “Don’t always believe what you see” resonates more with me personally – just my suspicious nature I guess. Fact is, just because you see something doesn’t always make it so. Sometimes, the difference is all in the execution or trick. Take, for example, SEG fabric graphics. If I grabbed any unsuspecting passer by on the exhibitor show floor and asked them to install an SEG graphic, it will not fit – guaranteed. Read more…


March 14, 2014 Leave a comment


I am on my way to Exhibitor 2014. I have now worked the show for 11 consecutive years. I always tell people it is a trade show about tradeshows. It sounds like an episode of Seinfeld. Regardless, it is the premier show for our industry…the tradeshow industry, an industry built entirely on lead generation. The goal of each show is to add new customers in hopes of building a new source of revenue for your organization.

Optima™ is no different. Yes, we enjoy seeing our loyal customers, but we are also looking for ways to help our customers and grow our collective businesses. Additionally, we keep an eye out for leads for our customers. All Exhibitor vendors have their peacock feathers out attempting to attract new business to their booths. Read more…

The Do’s and Don’ts of Contests at Trade Show Displays

March 7, 2014 1 comment


Attendees enjoy going to trade shows, not just to find out what new products are out there, but also to take something away from the show displays they stop by. One surefire way to get more traffic to your display and get leads is through contests and drawings. However, there is a correct and a wrong way to hold a contest at your upcoming event. Here are a few of the do’s and don’ts of using contests to boost your exhibit traffic.

Don’t: Use Just Any Prize
Sure, everyone would love to get their hands on a free iPad or technological gadget, but the chances that your company will be remembered long after the trade show are very low. Choose wisely when deciding on the item you want to hold a contest for.

Read more…


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