Exhibition stands have experienced a significant upgrade in their design since the days of a fold-out table and a hastily assembled four pole tent. Now, advanced laser printing techniques combined with superior hardware and media display options make exhibition stands a dynamic and engaging presence on the trading floor. Depending on the complexity of the stand, it may even feature distinct “rooms.” Hardware Part of the reason for the revamped designs has to do with the hardware used to assemble the stands. Many stands use a combination of traditional vertical segments with overarching curved struts or support beams. These beams frequently are integrated with lighting, which can add depth and unusual vibrancy to the rest of the stand. The stand becomes more of a storefront and less of a rigidly defined space. In many cases, the stand has no roof, but instead allows the visitor to gaze up into the heights of the exhibition hall. This prevents claustrophobia and makes each stand seem like a destination, and not merely a hold-over point stuffed with merchandise. The integration of audio-visual components, such as television screens, holographic displays, and digital ticker-tape displays add another dimension to the stand. A casual observer will

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The Amazon Business Cloud

Monday, May 9th, 2011
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For a small business, setting up an email server is an expensive proposition. The server will cost thousands for just the hardware alone. The software licensing is even more and the work involved traditionally takes weeks. Amazon has been quietly solving these and other challenges to cloud computing for the small business for some years now and with the explosion of mobile Internet they are gaining a lot of attention. The same server setup, if done on Amazon can take as little as an hour or two, and can cost far less. How this works is key to understanding why it will replace existing paradigm entirely. What Is the Cloud? The concept is simple, rather than spending money on expensive computer server hardware, installing it at the office and setting up the user systems companies can just “rent” a server. The rented server resides on the Internet on a secure connection and in a secure location. Back up and maintenance are handled for you by the provider and users can be up and running in a day. Most companies have resisted this seemingly perfect solution out of fear that critical company data will be compromised, or that network bandwidth will

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Sirius Decisions reported a staggering statistic: only 25 percent of marketing automation software users are getting the full value from their system. Marketing automation is a rapidly growing segment of the enterprise software market, but clearly something is missing. Software is an excellent way to automate and streamline processes in the front office, but you can’t just install it and leave it. Software requires a strategy for success. As part of their Executive Interview Series, the folks over at Marketing Automation Software Guide spoke with executives from the Annuitas Group and Manticore Technology about the marketing automation industry. In the Annuitas Group video, CEO Carlos Hidalgo discusses best practices for implementing a marketing automation strategy. Christopher Doran, VP of Marketing at Manticore Technology, talks about the importance of the vendor/client relationship. Each thought leader provides keen insight on how to achieve the greatest value from implementing a marketing automation system. You can view the videos below: Carlos Hidalgo, CEO, Annuitas Group [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsEQLXP6fo8[/youtube] Christopher Doran, Vice President of Marketing, Manticore Technology [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-r3oHnc8fc[/youtube]

Photo courtesy of GoldRun

Imagine yourself walking down the street. The app on your mobile suddenly detects a virtual floating shirt, 10 feet ahead of you. You take a pic of the shirt using your app and instantly a coupon for 10% off at the nearest H&M store appears on your phone. Welcome to the world of augmented reality. For the uninitiated, augmented reality (AR) represents a view of the real world around you which is enhanced and enriched by computer generated images or information. GoldRun is a mobile AR platform that allows you to spot, interact and engage with virtual goods and products placed in your real environment. For example, it allows you to try on the latest fashion offering from H&M, click a picture with it and instantly share it with your friends on Facebook. GoldRun offers the unique opportunity for marketers to tailor dynamic promotional campaigns with the aim of capturing public attention and interest and thereby creating enough of a buzz and incentive to convince them to visit the nearest outlet. As a marketer, if your intention is to create an experience for your consumer and to get him or her to engage with your brand, then GoldRun is just

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Pilot-handwriting

Pilot Pens has created a very interesting,  high tech marketing campaign. Here’s how it works. You print a template from the site, complete the boxes in your own hand writing – or a different hand writing if you’re into calligraphy. Then position the template in front of your computer’s web cam. Visit the pilot website, to snap a picture and they will digitize the hand writing. From there on, you can even edit your handwriting. That is pretty cool. And apparently you can send an email directly from that site to your friends in  your own hand writing… with a Pilot Pen strategically positioned in the email to advertise it of course. It is not clear if you can download the fonts or not. It would be super awesome if it would. I could not get the template to print on two browsers for me because Adobe Flash plugin keeps crashing on me (very annoying). If you can print and test it out, let us know what your experience is. Apart from the cool factor of this program – I found out by someone voluntarily sharing it, so it is viral in nature – I thought it was a pretty

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Text (SMS) Autoresponder. Wanna Try?

Saturday, May 29th, 2010
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In last week’s email, I wrote about PhoneFollowUp. Did you see that? If you haven’t, it is a new service that allows you to follow up with prospects and customers just like an autoresponder, but instead of email, it will either place an automated phone call or a text message. You can use it together with your email list. In other words, instead of just contacting people by email, you can add an additional method that perhaps allows you to cut through the email noise. Always intrigued with new technology, I signed up for a trial and though I’d invite you to help me test it out. Will you? In this test, you will receive 10 Days of Blogging Ideas via text (SMS) message. Complete the form below and your first idea should be sent out immediately. Oh yeah… please keep in mind that text message charges may apply depending on your plan and I have no idea if an international number will work or not. We shall see Name Email Cell Phone By entering a valid cell phone number, you are giving us permission to contact you via an automated phone call and/or a sms (text) message. Standard text

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So by now you’ve heard lots of talk about the iPad, how it is going to revolutionize everything – again. Me, I am thinking how we can work this into our marketing strategy. Not specifically for iPad but mobile readers in general. Many loyal readers here know I’ve been reading material on an electronic device since 1999. In fact, I still do. Finished reading a great book last night on the trusty old Palm. I love it and have often wondered why more information publishers don’t offer mobile formats. And to be honest, I have been rather guilty of it myself. Maybe it was the demand and PDF’s are so easy to make. Maybe it was the conflicting multiple reading formats on different devices too. But now there is ePub. It is an open format that is the official standard of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). But what matters most to us marketers is, ePub is a widely supported format. For example, it can be read on the Kindle, iPad, Nook and Sony Reader. PDF’s can be too and I do not have any of those readers (yet) to be able to say how they read. But on the

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Fence

Chris Thorman from Software Advise called me a few weeks ago to check out a blog post he wrote. Since he took time to call, I did so and oh my did he get me excited! In his post, “Searching for Real Estate Made Easy: Geo-Fences Plus Mobile Phones“, Chris talks about how realtors can use this technology called Geo-fences to notify home buyers about the property when they are near the home’s vicinity. Brilliant! But let’s back up a little bit. What is a Geo-fence? You’ve probably heard or seen of products where a parent receives a notification if their child goes beyond a certain distance from a location. That’s Geo-fences in action. It is a virtual perimeter. With the right software and service, anytime someone or something is removed or enters this perimeter, you get a notification. I think Chris did an excellent job outlining and explaining how this technology can be so valuable to a realtor. I encourage you to check it out. One thing that struck me is the many requests – where to find a solution who can do just that? My searches have come up empty – at least for a real estate industry.

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If you practice Internet Marketing, there’s a good chance you’re on the list of one or more of the big names. Over the last week, your inbox has probably been flooded by emails promoting List Control. Believe me, I understand how annoying all these messages can be. Thank God for inbox filters. As for me, I love them because I get to play detective Internet Marketing forensics if you will. In this particular launch, I discovered what systems power the video and video players and the smart ways that simple, old Javascripts made the order process looked so super cool yet achieved the very important step of protecting the merchant by forcing users to agree to terms and conditions before ordering. These are just a few things. The whole process and emails sent out are each worth of study. Yes, I do realize you won’t understand the full impact of what’s happening just by observation but observation has paid of well for me in all areas of life. Also, it is not my intention to copy their processes blindly. Merely to see what underlying technologies these guys use. If you want to emulate the accept terms before the order button

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People search

Take a look at your latest updates on Facebook or maybe Twitter. Do they seem innocent enough? I’m pretty sure they are. But what happens when someone is given a tool that sniffs out all your activity on over 40 social networks, video,  image and music sharing web sites, blogs and shopping web sites like Amazon Wish lists? What do you think they will find? If your first instinct is to cringe, don’t feel bad, I did too. Now, that doesn’t mean I feel there is anything damaging out there on me. I’ve been through several FBI checks (long story) so that’s not the kind of stuff you will find about me – ever. What made me queasy is the nagging thought of what an accumulation of this innocent information can be used for. There are several tools and more popping up all over the Internet that can do this. Some call it social search, others call it people search. Spokeo is one of them and it’s kinda spooky. A quick import was all it took for me to find wish lists, favorite songs, pictures of family of people whom I barely know. People search is nothing new. Back in

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