Author Archives: trk2n

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Be the Easiest _________ to Work With

Here’s a short tip I learned from my friend Kent Julian over at Live It Forward. He said-

Be the easiest speaker around to work with.

It makes sense as a speaker. If I’m the easiest speaker in the world to work with, conferences are more likely to bring me back, have me do more, and tell others about me.

It makes sense for conference planners and vendors as well. If you’re the easiest person in your field to work with, it will repay you. Word will get around.

We’ve all encountered the dark side of this industry:

  • Speakers that are nothing more than overpaid divas
  • Vendors that don’t show up
  • Conferences that don’t pay invoices

I don’t want to be that person, and I’m sure you don’t either. No matter which side of the fence you’re on- vendor, planner, or speaker- make sure you’re easy to work with, forgiving of trivial issues, and gracious in everything you do.

Thanks,
Dr. Redbeard, one of the easiest speakers in the world to work with

PS- My buddy Kent Julian is not just a friend. He’s an accomplished speaker who has done more to push my business along than anyone else. He teaches speakers how to be better. You can find him at Live It Forward.

Here’s me and Kent together. As you can see, we have the same hairstylist.


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Conference Best Practices- Possibly the Best Vendor You’ll Ever Meet

The most recent best practices newsletter covered the point-of-view of a conference organizer. This time I’d like to give you the POV of a vendor. This interview will cover all bases from best practices as a vendor to how conference organizers can create an all star experience for their vendors.

Hector Miray is the founder of Faith & Fandom, and he normally presents at pop culture conventions. I’ve known him for years as a friend, through his books, and as a fellow vendor. He’s one of the best vendors I know, because he’s not in it only to sell things. His goal is always to enjoy and experience at the conventions and get to know people. Succinctly put, he shows up to a convention to serve the attendees.

Imagine the experience for everyone if more vendors did this!

Hector leading a church service at a comic book convention.

For now, here’s Hector, in his words.

Best Experiences-

“The best experiences I’ve had as a vendor are the ones where the conference makes me feel like I’m valued. Whether it’s promoting me and my material on their website and Facebook in advance, things like nice table markers or banners with my business name on it, or providing food and drinks. A break area has always been nice as well. Ones that take the time to make sure that’s my panels are at decent time slots and that my booth isn’t in like a dust closet somewhere.”

Worst Experiences-

“The worst experiences I’ve had as a vendor usually come when I put my time and money and promotion into a show, and it seems I put more work into building the show than the person who actually runs it. I’ve been in shows where there are more vendors than attendees. I’ve been in shows that I’ve attended for three or four years and never met the person running the show, and that when I try to establish communication I am abandoned.

Beyond running a show poorly, the worst show experience I’ve had as a vender was paying $80 for a table for a show that was cancelled and then the conference organizers disappeared with everyone’s money and have since vanished from the face of the Earth.”

Advice-

  • Don’t be angry when someone else is doing the same thing you’re doing. You having the idea doesn’t mean you’re the only one that had it.
  • Being a unique voice, material, and product definitely helps you stand out, but your personality and the way you treat the people that come by your booth also makes a huge difference.
  • Consistency is also a big deal. When someone sees you one time at a show they may not speak or stop in, but they might remember you the next time they come through.
  • Showing up repeatedly makes a big difference.
  • Never treat a small crowd like they’re less value than a big crowd.
  • If you have a speaking engagement at a show it helps when the showrunner promotes it, but you need to expect that you should be responsible for your own promotion for your speaking time. If that means adding additional flyers, banners or signage to draw people’s attention to your event, take that responsibility.
  • Give people something they can leave with to remind them of what you spoke on and encourage them to tell the convention how much they appreciated you.
  • If you are planning a conference do it at least a year in advance, with intermediate goals and checkpoints of promotion and contact you need to take place ramping up momentum to your conference.

Final Words-

“If I was starting over from scratch I would have tried to develop a bigger team for what I do. I also would have started out bigger and faster. My first year I did maybe three or four events. The last couple of years I’ve been doing 28 a year.  I can’t gauge events based on monetary or merchandise. I gauge them based on exposure and responses.”

All excellent advice from Hector.

One thing I’ve really noticed that sets him apart from a lot of vendors are frequent posts on social media during a conference that promote the con as much as his booth. Because he shows up to serve, he also gets a lot of people posting on their own feeds about him and his books and panels.

I hope you enjoyed this short interview. For more of Hector, you can find him on Instagram and Facebook. His books are all available on Amazon.

Thanks,
Dr. Redbeard

Here’s Hector and I after recording a podcast on a crowded playground.


This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.callsignredbeard.com. Thanks for reading!

In the words of Starship Troopers, “Would you like to know more?”

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How to Convince Employers to Send People to Your Conferences

I wish I had come up with this myself, but I cannot claim credit for it.

The team over at the Social Media Marketing World came up with a great resource to send to potential attendees. It is just a sample letter and instructions that folks can pass on to their employers asking permission to attend the conference and possibly get it paid for by the company.

And it is incredibly effective!

I would highly recommend you take advantage of this. Craft a version of the letter and use it for your own conferences. I already do this to grab a few more attendees at my own keynote and training events.

You can find the letter by clicking HERE or on the screenshot above.

If for some reason the link is no longer active, e-mail me and I will send you a copy of the letter I use.

The goal here is to be the one conference or event that makes employers say, “If our people only attend one event, it has to be that one.”

Thanks!

Dr. Redbeard


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Welcome to Best Practices for Conferences and Vendors

Welcome to a new series for conference planning, conference vendors, and all things related!

I bet some of you get all weird with conferences, with post it notes and mindmaps all over your living room wall. That’s okay, though, because I do that working on my keynotes. In the biz we just call it storyboarding and planning.

Before we go any further, I’d like to tell you what this series is all about and introduce myself better.

#1- This series is all about helping you create and manage rock star level conferences. I promise to do that by sharing my own lessons and experiences as I attend and speak at conferences, including excellent, bad, and even horrible ones.

#2- I do not run conferences and am not a meeting planner. What you’ll be getting from me is unfiltered information from an outside point-of-view. In other words, the stuff you may not hear otherwise.

#3- I am a keynote speaker and trainer. I attend conferences and events all over the world in various industries. Not only that, when organizers bring me in, I enjoy serving at the conferences and attending them as well. You might hear me do a keynote one hour and find me attending a breakout session as a student the next.

#4- Other attendees open up to me and tell me a lot that they do not say on evaluation cards. Maybe it is my Santa Claus-like appearance or my counseling credentials that does it, but people hunt me down between sessions to hang out. Every now and then I even talk one into going mountain climbing nearby.

#5- I’m known for offering added sessions during conferences that I don’t charge for. I love hosting meet-ups in the lobby or a nearby eatery. I have even been known to lead Sunday church services or dinner party tattoo contests.

I hope you enjoy the series, but more than that, I hope your conferences and booths become legendary in your industry.

If you came across this post and want the series delivered to your inbox each time a new one comes out, click HERE.

Dr.David Powers, who is sometimes known as Dr. Redbeard by attendees

PS- If you do get crazy with the post it notes and planning, here’s some inexpensive ones I found on Amazon. Not that I bought them at all. Well, maybe I did (a couple of times).

Post-It Notes (off brand)


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David Goggins (Navy Seal) vs. Negan and Lucille (Zombie and Glenn Slayers)

WARNING: There is profanity below!

Here is Redbeard’s Review of Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

 

 

 

 

Here’s a more detailed recap:

Swear words and their variations:

I read Goggins twice, counted swear words for the first half, and doubled the numbers.

Negan’s numbers came from Do You Kiss Your Mother With That Mouth? by Andrew Kahl

Racial slurs: Goggins- 14, Negan- 0

Hell (not including Hell Week): Goggins- 44, Negan- 0 Damn: Goggins- 54, Negan- 26

Shit: Goggins- 90, Negan- 47

Ass: Goggins- 66, Negan- 16

Bitch: Goggins- 4, Negan- 8

Sexual references: Goggins- 26, Negan- 25

Fuck: Goggins- 260, Negan- 465

Negan for the win!

Goggins- 558 and Negan- 587 (+29)


This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.callsignredbeard.com. Thanks for reading!

In the words of Starship Troopers, “Would you like to know more?”

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Does the World See You as a Goof?

I had a meeting recently with a new small business consulting client. Based on our phone call to set up the meeting, I knew she was younger than me, sounded full of energy, and seemed ready to do the hard work of building an entrepreneurial venture.

When I arrived at her condo for the meeting, I was dumbstruck. She was absolutely beautiful. I mean supermodel beautiful. She was also very muscular. I’m not talking female bodybuilder muscle, but more like a female cage fighter or superhero. I think it’s quite possible she could’ve actually been Supergirl.

A lesser man would have stood there in the doorway and just stared at her slobbering for ten minutes unable to speak.

 

I’m no lesser man. I cut my stare short in only five.

But onto the point of my story. Meeting her got me to thinking and wondering, how does the world see me? How does the world see you?

All her life, this young lady has likely been judged because of her looks. I know many of you might think, “Oh what a curse being beautiful is,” but it really is in a way. Maybe not so much a curse, but something she has to anticipate and work around. People tend to stereotype beauty and good looks and equate it with a lack of intelligence, sleeping around to get what they want, or getting by on nothing but looks.

And there’s also putting up with lesser men who stare and drool.

I’ve never been a handsome guy. I’ve never been dapper or gentlemanly. I have a certain look that sometimes sparks fear, apprehension, and nervousness. People see me on the street at night, and they walk to the other side as they pre-dial 911 on their phones.

I’m fine with that. There isn’t much I can change about my appearance, especially now that I have a big ugly scar on the top of my head to go along with all the other war wounds and the fierce red beard.

But I can change what I do with or even in spite of those looks, just like the young lady I met with. She’s creating something awesome that has nothing to do with her appearance. I’ve been in movies playing rough characters that act just like I look and appeared as a comic book character. I’ve also written nearly twenty books that have nothing to do with my rugged features.

 

Stop a minute and ask yourself how people see you. Take into account how you look, how you walk and talk, what you do for fun or for money, and how you relax. Then ask other people for their honest feedback.

You might want to change some things so that you can project the person you want to be and not how the world sees you. Or you may be just fine, but you need to figure that out to level up.

Thanks for reading, Dr. Dave  

 

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.callsignredbeard.com. Thanks for reading!

In the words of Starship Troopers, “Would you like to know more?”

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Don’t Be the Guy that Does this at a Conference…

The following is an excerpt from my e-mail newsletter on Best Practices for Conferences, Vendors, and Speaker. Subscribe to the newsletter HERE.

Since we talked about great vendor booths in the last e-mail, I think it is time to talk about the dark side of them. Among all the free goodies, celebrity guests, and multimedia pizzazz, there is always someone like this guy-

 

 

I discreetly snapped this photo at a comic book convention where I delivered a keynote lecture on one of my most popular topics- Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse. Believe it or not, this guy was a vendor trying to sell things. In other words, if you want to give him money bad enough, you have to wake him up. So, here is my advice for everyone:

 

Vendors- Don’t be this guy. Don’t hire this guy. Hire energetic people to staff your booths. Conference vending is grueling work, so hire people that can handle it.

Conference Planners- Set up your vendor agreements so that you can be selective. Go for quality instead of just filling space. The show floor is a lot of what drives expo attendance, and a bad experience on the floor will get talked about a lot.

Speakers- If you have a booth or you are selling books or goods at the back of the room, you better carry the enthusiasm from the stage back to that table.

 

Thanks, Dr. Dave

PS- Feel free to send me pics of bad booths. Just be discreet. No need to start a fight shooting pics.

PSS- The con where I took this photo is no longer in existence. Is it because this vendor slept through it? Possibly. I’ll let you decide.

 


This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.callsignredbeard.com. Thanks for reading!

In the words of Starship Troopers, “Would you like to know more?”

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Brand Spanking New Newsletter- Best Practices for Conferences, Vendors, and Speakers

I know this won’t apply to all of you, but I wanted to let you know about a new e-mail newsletter that I’m starting up. I’ve been speaking at conferences and training events all over the world for several years and attending them for even longer.

 

Because of this, I’ve had quite a few requests for information on advice for conferences, booths, and speakers. I decided I would spin that off into a newsletter all it’s own. If you’re at all involved in any facet of con life, click on over to HERE and sign up. It doesn’t matter what industry either, because that’s where my strength lies. I attend or speak at conferences for a variety of industries from comic book conventions to public safety conferences. The really neat thing is that oftentimes you can borrow ideas from other industries and be the first to do so in yours.

 

I hope to give lots of content and advice there not just from me but from other friends as well. There will be some contests as well. As a matter of fact, there’s already one running for the Best Booth of the Year. I hope to see you there. Click HERE to subscribe. If this isn’t something you need, how about I give you a laugh today just for putting up with me. Click HERE for something me and my kids love laughing at- Guy on a Buffalo.

Thanks! Dr. Redbeard

 


This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.callsignredbeard.com. Thanks for reading!

In the words of Starship Troopers, “Would you like to know more?”

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Escape Plan Questionnaire- Are You Ready?

 

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.callsignredbeard.com. Thanks for reading!

In the words of Starship Troopers, “Would you like to know more?”

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A Big Life Analysis of the Movie Triple Frontier

This is the blog version of the review. Be sure to check out the Youtube video version below for additional commentary.

 

 

Triple Frontier is a Netflix produced movie that debuted in march 2019 starring Ben Affleck and Charlie Hunnam. The movie is about a group of former Special Operations soldiers who bring the old gang back together to rob a South American cartel boss.

Despite bad reviews from a lot of my friends, I actually enjoyed it. I think part of the reason for my enjoyment was based on the fact that the entire movie symbolizes the struggle I’m helping a lot of men with. No, I don’t have a bunch of clients taking down drug lords. Only a few are doing that. Most of my guys are just stuck in dead end positions in life and yearning for something more.

That’s what this movie is really about.

So, for a few minutes abandon any critiques of the military and tactical scenes in the movie. I know there are a lot of screw-ups there, and I’ve already discussed many of them at length with friends. I also want you to ignore the obvious errors in their trip across the Andes. We all know that it would’ve likely ended more like the movie Alive than the way it did like the series ending episodes of Prisonbreak.

Let’s dive into a few lessons we can learn about careers and life from Triple Frontier. But first, a disclaimer- SPOILERS ABOUND. I will be giving away spoilers in this review.

 

  1. Always have a Plan B for everything. What happens if, all of a sudden, you can’t do what you want to for a living? It could be anything- injury, forced retirement, laid off, economy sinks, income or family changes, and more.
  2. Be careful what you do when you find yourself yearning for more.
  3. Be sure that you do something that matters to you. Ben Affleck’s character was miserable selling real estate, but I have friends that find great fulfillment in the same occupation.
  4. Always try to properly identify your specific trouble points. For example, you could ask each of the main characters in the movie- I’m having trouble adjusting to life without _____________________.
  5. Be careful when you find yourself replacing your old lifestyle with something dangerous or potentially addictive. Many people use this as an escape mechanism. It’s not always bad if you do this, as long as it doesn’t take over.
  6. Your life will go awry if you lose your focus, change your rules for bad reasons, or betray your values. Ben Affleck’s character is a model for this negative cascade of events.

 

There are a lot more lessons I could impart from the movie, but I’ll finish with one more.

Ben Affleck’s character was the one in which I saw the most evolution. In fact, he’s a poster child who represents many of my clients in that he possesses an amazing specific skillset but can’t find a place to apply it outside the realm of his job. In the movie he was a master tactician. He was so good in fact that other members refused to sign onto the job without him.

There are so many places and ways he could have applied these skills in the civilian life, but he just couldn’t. He just couldn’t quite figure it out. Because of this he ended up in a job he hated, divorced, running around in the jungle stealing money, and murdering farmers. 

really hope this isn’t going to be you as well. I also hope you don’t stay in the position most men do who don’t take off for the jungle drug lord money hideout. Most men stay in jobs that slowly corrode their souls and steal their happiness. Don’t do that.

 

My job is to help men create Escape Plans so they can move away from lives like that without sacrificing everything to do so. After all, there’s not much point in escaping if you do it the wrong way and have to go right back to it. That’s what happened in the end of the movie. Each man ended up having to go right back to the old life.


This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.callsignredbeard.com. Thanks for reading!

In the words of Starship Troopers, “Would you like to know more?”

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