16 Tips for Your Next Trade Show

I have long been a fan of checklists. I have them for a whole range of marketing and project activities – from events to workshops, website and product launches to employee onboarding.

And while I often remember most of what needs to be done, there are some best practices – or nuances – that make a big difference to the outcome. More importantly, when something goes wrong (and we all know THAT never happens, right?), a checklist helps ensure that you cover all your bases while still dealing with any changes that occur on the fly.

Event driven marketing like trade shows bring a special kind of focus and pressure to your marketing team. There are logistics, design, coordination, briefings, customer experience flow, sign-ups, promo items and activations, construction, data collection, branding, sales process handoff and staffing considerations to balance – and that’s just in the leadup to the event!

This great infographic setups out 16 tips that you can easily follow to make your next trade show event a success. But what is it missing? What works for you that changes a good trade show to a great one? For me, it is cool team t-shirts. There really is something powerful about a t-shirt, logo or tag line that sets you apart (plus you can give some away as merchandise to the best leads).

trade show best practices infographic

The Participatory Revolution

As part of the Vivid Ideas Festival, innovator, Michelle Williams (founder of Ideaction) curated a knock out event designed to transform the thinking of business, creative and innovation professionals. The resulting one day conference brought together an eclectic mix of speakers, audience members and yes, active participants. If you were like me and could not make it in person, this Storify stream is the next best thing. And Michelle promises a video stream some time in the future.

Zen (Version 3) Little Zoker via Compfight

Vibewire’s fastBREAK – like TEDtalks for young people

At Vibewire, where I serve as honorary president, we have a vision of inclusion and leadership for young people. We say it’s about ensuring young people participate in the “conversations that matter”.

A great example of this is our monthly fastBREAK event (last Friday of every month). It showcases the passions, ideas and often very personal motivations that inspire our young artists and innovators. Produced in partnership with the Powerhouse Museum, fastBREAK has become a vital event in Sydney’s cultural life – connecting young artists, innovators and entrepreneurs with like minds from the government, business and creative industries sectors.

Last month we had a stellar line up of speakers:

  • Luke Geary, managing partner of Salvos Legal
  • Annalie Killian, director of innovation at AMP
  • Nic Newling, youth mental health advocate with Bite Back
  • Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney
  • Marita Cheng, inventor and Young Australian of the Year

You can watch last month’s speakers in action using the playlist below (it will take about 30 minutes all-in-all). Or better yet, come along to the next event live. You’ll leave inspired, well-fed (thanks to the Black Star Pastry folks) and feeling part of a vibrant community. I hope to see you there!

I’m Not Racist But…


"I'm not racist but …" starts many sentences. But how deep does this go into our psyche? On June 2 at Sydney’s Seymour Centre, Vibewire together with NSW Reconciliation Council will explore the topic with a great line up of young, creative thinkers.

The 5 x 5 minute speeches will be followed by a Q&A session – so come ready with an opinion or at least a bag full of questions. You can book tickets here.

Speaking on the night are:

Rhianna Patrick
Rhianna currently presents the Indigenous radio program “Speaking Out” on ABC Local Radio and is a former member of the Triple J News Team. She was born in Brisbane and grew up in Weipa before moving to Sydney. Her family is of the Zagareb tribe of Mer (Murray Island) in the eastern islands of the Torres Strait.

Also known as The LION, L-Fresh is a Hip Hop artist and youth ambassador. He has shared the stage with some of the best Aussie Hip Hop acts and international icons, including Nas, Public Enemy, Urthboy, Drapht, Pez, and Horrowshow. L-FRESH is an ambassador of The Street University where he works as a mentor and arts and recreation coordinator of Australia’s largest youth drop-in centre.

The Antibogan
A former school teacher turned sports psychologist, The Antibogan grew up in cosmopolitan Newtown before going to high school in Cronulla where he adopted racist and sexist attitudes from bogan school friends. He spent a few years as a racist himself before coming to his senses and shaking discriminatory influences loose. He soon turned to rallying and supporting various anti-discrimination movements and while he feels more pride at his work within such humanitarian circles, he has attracted the public eye in his work exposing racists and sexists by republishing their public comments on theantibogan.wordpress.com.

Tom Tilley
Tom started at Triple J as a Hack reporter in 2007, travelling right through Australia reporting on everything from pig hunting to federal politics. Tom has reported on two federal elections, the apology to the stolen generations and has paid close attention to suicide and mental health. In 2011 Tom became the host of Triple J’s Hack program.

Samah Hadid
Samih is a youth advocate, performance artist and author. In 2010, Samah was the Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations. Samah was the first Australian to be selected to complete a fellowship in minority rights with the UN office of the High Commissioner. She published a book called The Future by Us as well as studying Masters in Human Rights Law and Policy.

Be sure to come along – it’s bound to be fascinating!