Best Practices no. 124- Advice from a Guy Who Works with Conference Celebs

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Best Practices no. 124- Advice from a Guy Who Works with Conference Celebs

Last time I talked about using celebs to boost attendance at conferences, so this week I thought I’d talk with a guy who works WITH the celebs. Just don’t call him an Agent (you’ll see why later).

Here’s Rikki at a convention with actor Brian O’Halloran from Clerks.

I met Rikki Adams a few years back at X-Con, a pop culture convention in Myrtle Beach SC. As we were both there for a number of years, we got to know each other pretty well. You might also remember X-Con was also mentioned in a previous interview with Robin Roberts, the founder of X-Con.

Rikki quickly progressed in the convention scene from a volunteer to a fulltime job. As a matter of fact, he’s booked almost every single weekend this year working conventions. As he works professionally year-round in the industry, he has a lot to offer. To avoid inundating you with a monstrous e-mail, I’ll break his interview down into several segments.

For now, I’ll let him tell you about his best experiences working conventions. Here’s Rikki-

It was definitely XCON. I considered it a mid-sized CON.  The volunteers were local and we all knew each other as friends. Being friends helped because it made us care about the big picture, which was to ensure everyone had a good time, including the clients.

Everyone was assigned duties based on their strengths.  There were also a lot of activities just for the volunteers and awards given out at the end for those that went above and beyond. I remember one year the award went to the guy that volunteered to clean up the vomit in the bouncy house. He actually volunteered to clean it up. Another nice thing  about XCON was the after dinner. There were two. One for the clients and one for the volunteers. It was nice touch.

I enjoy the bigger cons, but I tend to lean towards a smaller ones because they’re more intimate.

I can’t really say there has been a “worst experience” as a volunteer.  I was just happy to be there. The only time it gets bad is when there is someone in charge, and they do not know what they are doing.
At XCON we would meet throughout the year before the show and discuss our assignments. By the time the show starts, we all know what is expected and are able to handle the unexpected.  And if we couldn’t, we knew who to contact for guidance.

You don’t see this a big cons. There are so many people involved and sometimes it would take an hour just to find the right person to talk to.

After working two shows as a volunteer I was officially signed on with ZSC entertainment.  I would be called as an agent or handler…but I am neither.  We are assistants to the agent. Handlers are volunteers that get assigned to assist us.  I am OK with being called a handler, but it does offend others within this group.

When someone’s intros me as an agent, I correct them because the agent is the boss and has a lot more responsibilities than I. I would never want my boss to think that I was trying to pretend I was her. So as long as I am not referred to as an agent, I am OK.

We’ll hear more of Rikki’s story in future newsletters. He has a lot of advice for vendors, speakers, and promoters.

Until then, I’ll leave you with this, Brian O’Halloran cutting off Rikki’s ponytail at X-Con to give you an idea of the steps Rikki goes through to keep his clients and the audience happy.

Thanks for tuning in,
Dr. Redbeard, a speaker who has no hair for Brian to chop off

For information on booking me as a speaker, click HERE.

_____________________________________________________

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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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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Are You Living Life Forward?

My good friend Kent Julian has a business that revolves around living life forward. As a matter of fact, it’s called Live It Forward. In case you’re not familiar with the concept, he expresses it as “empowering you to move from dream to do”. I’ve known him for a number of years, and he not only teaches others to do it but lives it in his own life.

Well, guess what? This year will be the inaugural launch of his new Live It Forward Advance conference!

It’s going to be a blast, and I’ve already bought my ticket to go. But here’s why I’m telling you right now. Kent is big on giving out BONUS stuff, so I’d like to offer you a bonus for attending Kent’s event with me…

  1. Sign up now and you get early bird pricing.
  2. Use my coupon code “drdavid” and save a few bucks even off the early bird.
  3. Let me know you used my code, and I’ll give you a copy of one of my ‘super duper awesome’ books when we meet at the conference.

If you’re someone I already know, that’s wonderful! If you’re someone I don’t know, and you’re using my code, what an awesome way to make new friends at a Live It Forward conference.

I hope to see you there!

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

Links-

Live It Forward Advance Conference (don’t forget to use the coupon code!)

PS…Check it out! Kent and I even go to the same barber. He’s the shiny one on the left.

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

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