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Trade shows are a fantastic opportunity for businesses of all sizes to publicize their products and make new leads. But a bit of prior planning can make all the difference to an average trade show, helping to make it into a success for your business.

If you are planning your next trade show, here are some tips to help you plan for the event so that you can take full advantage of it.

Hand Out Useful Freebies

First of all, you need to take some freebies with you. Do yourself a favor and provide freebies that are actually useful, even if they seem unoriginal. Things like pens and magnets are always going to attract people.

Even better, people will continue to use these items for months or years to come, which is great for long-term branding.

Make Good Use of Social Media

Smart use of social media can help to turn your next trade show into a bigger success. Publicize your presence well in advance to your social followers so they know that you will be there and where to find you. Appoint someone to update your social networks during the event using the appropriate hashtags.

Go one step further by making creative use of social media. Take a photo of attendees in front of your display and then tag them on Facebook, and this will then be seen by their friends and could reach many thousands of people.

Or set up a photo booth based on your brand and allow people to take their own photos and upload them to social media.

Market Your Presence in Advance

Social media can also be used to inform your followers that you will be attending the trade show. Talk about it in posts leading up to the event and encourage people to visit your stand by dropping hints about your freebies or anything special you will be doing on the day.

You can also take this further by advertising online using AdWords. Target people who are looking for information about the event and your ad will show up in the search engines, which could help to attract more people.

Be Different

It can be hard to stand out at a trade show but do your best by doing something different from the other businesses. For example, you could create unique banners, launch a game that people can play, and make it entertaining.

If you’re going to an outdoor event, check the weather beforehand. Use an app that forecasts the weather for Android devices so you know exactly what the weather will do. If it’s going to be hot, set up some umbrellas for shade. If it’s going to be wet, provide cover from the rain.

Check out this resource for some great ways to make your exhibit unique.

Hold a Prize Draw

One of the best ways to generate interest is to hold a prize draw. Make sure it’s a prize worth winning, and then publicize it widely. Get as many people to sign up as possible, and it also gives them a reason to come back to your stall later in the day.

Get Even More from Your Next Trade Show

These tips will help you when it comes to planning your next trade show so you can take full advantage of it and get more from the effort you put into the event. Take a look at your previous trade shows and have a think about where you can make improvements, then plan to make your next event the best one yet.



 
  


If you’re like most people across the globe, you hear about others hurting themselves at work because of falls, slips, car accidents, or other problems, and think “that won’t happen to me.” Unfortunately though, workplace injuries, particularly ones to the back and neck, are incredibly common, with more than a million people each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, having to take time off from their job because of them.

While you might work in an office and feel like your risk of injury is very low, it’s important to keep in mind that you can be at risk of injury in any type of setting. If you want to keep your back and neck (and that of your team’s, if applicable), in good shape, read on for some tips you can follow today to increase safety in the workplace.

Use Ergonomic Equipment and the Right Posture

If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk, one of the most important things you can do to keep your back and neck safe from harm is to use ergonomic equipment. In particular, find a desk that is the right height for you, so that you don’t have to stretch your arms or legs to work.

If possible, consider using a stand-up desk so that you don’t end up sitting for so many hours of the day; and find a good chair that is set up just for you. To be sitting in an ergonomic position, your feet should be flat on the floor. The height of the chair should ensure that your thighs can angle down slightly, with your weight on your “sitting bones,” rather than your lower back needing to be rounded and your shoulders and neck slumping forward.

When it comes to your keyboard, this also needs to be at just the right height. Position it so that when your elbows are bent at an approximately 90-degree angle, you don’t have to slump your shoulders to touch the keys. If the tray is too low, you’ll end up hunched over all the time. Your mouse should sit at the same level as the keyboard, as should a drafting pad if you use one.

To stop your chin from jutting forward, you probably need to put your monitor higher. The bottom of it should be at roughly the level of your chin (this can vary slightly depending on the size of the monitor you’re using) and ensure that you end up looking straight ahead at the screen, not down.

If your computer is a laptop, it is beneficial to have a separate monitor set up on your desk that you can use to look at, rather than the smaller, and lower, screen. Also, try to avoid spending lots of time answering emails or doing other work on cellphones and tablets. Always make sure the monitor you’re looking at is centered too, so that you’re not ending up with your head slightly off-center for hours at a time.

Don’t forget too, that you need to take regular breaks so that your neck and back can have a chance to rest. This doesn’t just refer to people sitting at a desk, but also those using vibrational equipment, working with their arms out or above their heads, bending over frequently, and the like. Take time out to stretch your body, blink, and move about.

Keep Workspaces Clean, Tidy, Dry, and Free of Hazards

It is also important to note that many people hurt their back or neck at work because they slip, fall, or because a heavy item falls on them. To stop this from happening, you must do everything you can to keep workspaces clean, tidy, dry, and free of hazards. If spills ever occur, or sticky substances land on the floor, make sure you mop them up straight away so that they don’t cause people to slip. Put up a sign warning people of wet floor surfaces, too.

You should take a look around at your workspace to see what hazards are on the floor that could cause people to trip or fall. Keep an eye out for things like boxes, pets, stacks of books, and the like. As well, ensure that all items which are stored above people’s heads are secure, so that they don’t fall down and hit people.

If large, heavy, or bulky items need to be moved, don’t try to do so by yourself. This is a very common reason why people end up with strained or sore muscles and tendons in their back and neck. Instead, engage the assistance of a co-worker, or utilize aids such as forklifts and wheelbarrows. As well, be wary of lifting or carrying items in cramped spaces or anywhere where you find you have to twist or contort yourself, as this can cause damage.

What to Do If You Get a Workplace Injury

If you hurt your back or neck on the job, make sure you record the circumstances of your injury. Note down when and where it happened, any witnesses to the event, and what harm came to you. Also keep a record of visits to doctors and test results.

You may want to consider seeking legal representation so that you can put in a compensation claim to your employer. If so, choose apersonal injury experts, such as these Houston injury attorneys, so that you receive the best advice possible.


If you’re involved in a one man business, such as a consultant for instance, personal branding is capital. You are your own brand, and you must be your own brand manager. In this article, we’re going to give you four essential tips on how to set yourself up as an authority in your niche and none of these solutions requires hiring a brand manager, paying for expensive certifications or publishing fake press releases.

Write About Your Area of Expertise

One of the surest ways to demonstrate that you are an expert is to write about your area of expertise. Create a blog where you talk about your expertise and apply it to new issues or niche topics in your field. Publish industry white papers regarding what your company does, mentioning your contributions to the solutions mentioned in the paper. If you have already written professional articles, share the links to them on social media. You can turn this into new, unique and personalized content by discussing how you’ve applied lessons learned from that white paper over the past five years.

Promote Yourself as an Expert in Your Niche

Be interviewed at industry conferences as an expert in your field. Answer highly tracked questions on Quora to generate attention as an expert. This will help with social media sharing and improve your personal search engine optimization, since answering as an expert and getting voted up for these answers links your name to your desired associated area of expertise.

Join your industry association so that you can immediately list this membership in your biography. Apply for officer positions; you can apply for secretary or membership coordinator as these are low stress positions that require small amounts of work. If you are already a member of industry associations, offer to review papers submitted for publication and then put “reviewer for X journal” in your professional biography.

Another option is writing reviews of the top books in the field, showing that you’ve read them and understood them while giving your own unique spin on the topic. For example, a doctor reading about the application of Six Sigma to medicine could describe how the ideas in the book could be applied to the hospital where he or she works or what they’ve done already that wasn’t called “Six Sigma” at the time.

Guest Post

One of the benefits of guest posts for you is introducing yourself to the blog owner’s audience, while simultaneously leveraging someone else’s social media expertise to promote the fact that you’re going to guest post. The backlinks in the guest post improve your personal search engine optimization through mentions of your name and content, while it doesn’t require you specifically promoting or backlinking to your site. As an example, Gurbaksh Chahal founded two leading ad companies, Click Agents and Blue Lithium, before he was 26. He released a book in 2008 and set up a non-profit in 2014. Gurbaksh Chahal uses guests posts to raise awareness of causes he supports and his own writing.

Teach

One of the best ways to demonstrate your expertise is to teach the topic to others. You don’t have to book 500 seat conference rooms and hope to attract people. Start small with free presentations to the public on the subject. You will immediately be able to state that you’ve been teaching seminars on the subject since that date. Offer your expertise to small businesses and professional associations, especially for free at the beginning. Look for ways to volunteer applying your expertise and receive mention by reporters and company newsletters for doing so. Promote the events to the general public, even if after the fact, so that you receive social media mentions for the presentation and increase your standing as an expert.

By doing all of the above, you can really start to establish yourself as an authority in your niche.


It doesn’t take predictive technology to get a good picture of where Toronto is heading in its drive to become the Silicon Valley of the North. The trends are in place and specific developments underway that are speeding the region’s transformation. In a decade, maybe less, we’ll be there.

Toronto boasts a robust ecosystem that’s keeping the city and region healthy:  With major educational centers and incubators, improved access to funding and an attractive regulatory environment, there’s a solid base for growth. Indeed, tech jobs in the region have expanded by 14.6 percent since 2012 to 400,000, twice the pace of the rest of Canada. By 2020, some 20,000 more tech jobs are expected to be added, according to a report by Tech Toronto.

It’s now transitioning “from a startup hub to a globally competitive centre of innovation, where companies are born and can scale effectively,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. “We are the keystone of Canada’s knowledge economy, and have the right ingredients for success, including exceptional talent, access to capital, and support services.”

Some of the barriers that have stymied that transition in the past are being addressed. A major one: The geographic fragmentation of Toronto’s tech ecosystem, which makes it a challenge to get to and from outposts in the region. Said John Ruffolo, CEO of the venture capital wing of the Ontario Municipal Employee Retirement System: “A key ingredient is the physicality of people and ideas colliding with each other serendipitously. The next evolution is to connect the two dots.”

By 2025, that will be addressed when construction is completed of the first phase of the high-speed rail corridor connecting Toronto to the tech outposts of London and Kitchener-Waterloo, and ultimately, Windsor.

The project was announced last month by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

It’s one of several major developments that will positively impact Toronto’s tech community, said Jonmichael Moy, who has worked in both Silicon Valley and Toronto and who now works as a tech executive in the latter city. “This great level of physical connectivity will go a long way toward making the wider tech community more cohesive,” he said.

Another factor influencing Toronto’s evolution today and tomorrow is the migration of top-notch talent. “We are one of the top global tech cities for our welcoming environment,” said Moy, “and the comparative cost of living, our culture and overall livability account for that.

Jonmichael Moy added: “But the U.S. elections and America’s growing insularity are already being felt here. Our inclusiveness and friendlier, merit-based immigration policies are attracting the best and the brightest from every country. It can only enrich and expand our community when all these creative minds are brought together in one place.”

Indeed, applications to the University of Toronto by American students have skyrocketed by 80 percent already this year. But, other minds, besides American ones, are shaping the tech community and its future: By far, the biggest source of immigrants to Canada is China (19,512 in 2015), followed by Iran (11,665; Toronto represents 60 percent of the total Iranian Canadian population) and Pakistan (11,320).

And interestingly enough, Moy noted, Canada is actively trying to lure techie expats like he once was from Silicon Valley back to Toronto. “It’s a group that has acquired skills, expertise and a strong network of contacts in the U.S.,” he said. “It makes perfect sense to attract these executives back to Canada, so they can infuse all that talent in the tech community here.”

Finally, Toronto’s tech economy is evolving toward a more diverse mix of businesses. While the city’s known for having a strong startup community, that belies its attraction to some of the big players, too. Further, having a wealth of small companies attracts the investments that will ultimately support their growth into big businesses.

For an idea of how that might play out in a decade, look no further than the MaRS public/private tech campus near the University of Toronto, where big tech names like Facebook and Paypal rub shoulders with some 200 startups in various stages of development.


When it comes to women in the workplace and their continuing struggle to break through the glass ceiling, self-advocacy remains one of the biggest barriers in the way.

To some extent, it’s an issue of perspective. Self-advocacy is commonly viewed as being self-promotional. Read that as “pushy.” Or boastful. Or self-aggrandizing. That’s old-school thinking, of course, but thinking that still manages to remain all-too common in many workplaces.

That negative coloring aside, self-advocacy is the ability to articulate one’s needs and what is necessary to meet them. And it’s an important skill for anyone in the workplace to develop, women and men alike.

It’s a skill that can be learned and practiced, but it needs a foundation to be built on. Author and educator Mary Ellen Copeland says one of the cornerstones is belief in oneself – having self-esteem and confidence in your worth. Another building block is your knowledge of and confidence in what you want and are advocating for. It helps to be articulate – to be able to express yourself clearly, but, more importantly, to assert yourself clearly.

Knowing those essentials and actually being able to put them into action, however, is an issue. Especially for women. And it doesn’t get easier, even when women have advanced to senior management positions, according to a 2013 study by gender intelligence leader Barbara Annis with Thomson Reuters.

The 326 women leaders surveyed across North America said that their top career challenges were both in “navigating the system and accessing informal networks. The challenge is self-promotion, advocating for themselves and expressing their talents.”

One of the issues is that while women may talk about their past successes, they fail to tie those successes to their future potential, according to Zabeen Hirji, Chief Human Resources Officer at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

To make that link takes an understanding and articulation of your value proposition – or how you deliver as a team member or leader in a way that yields positive business outcomes. What’s more powerful in communicating that than a direct self-promotional message, though, is to position yourself to help others achieve their goals through efforts and actions that showcase your accomplishments and potential.

Other essentials on the road to successful self-advocacy include understanding the dynamics of strategic relationships and having a commitment to build them. Knowing who’s got the power and influence in your sphere – or the one you want to reach – is one thing. It takes political savvy to become a savvy self-advocate.

To no small degree, the idea of self-advocacy may be uncomfortable to women because it’s a concept they tend to tie to a male leadership model. And while that may be fine for the guys, it’s not necessarily authentic to women’s behaviors.

As Barbara Annis told Maria Shriver on NBC News, there’s a cost when women choose or are coached to adopt the manner of men. “There’s a huge personal cost, and I think there’s a huge cost for organizations who aren’t getting the best out of people, and the diversity of that.”



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GetEntrepreneurial.com is a small business blog dedicated to providing business advice and resources to our community of aspiring entrepreneurs. Our specially hand-picked panel of GetEntrepreneurial.com Network experts regularly contribute entrepreneurial content and professional tips for small business owners worldwide.