Here’s How I Became all the Buzz at my Last Conference

Have you ever attended or exhibited at a conference? If you have then you know most of them aren’t cheap. I certainly know this having attended, exhibited, and been a speaker at dozens of them over the years. However, we still go to them over and over again. We go with the hopes that we get some return on the investment. Of course, there are a plethora of ways before, during, and after a conference to tip the ROI scales in your favor. I’ll share one of my favorites below.

Most of the conferences I exhibit at provide a registration list prior to the conference. This is why a lot of attendees get the “stop by my booth” emails. Those emails are becoming less and less effective due to the amount of digital white noise we’re all experiencing. Nowadays, sales and marketing professionals have to find more creative ways to rise above the noise and capture the attention of the audience.

I’ve used this tactic to capture my audience’s attention a couple of times now and the response has been awesome. First, I create a template using my favorite email service, Emma (if you need an email marketing service, I highly recommend them – you can check them out here http://myemma.com/). Next, instead of that boring “stop by the booth” email, I include a video link with a personalized message like Hey [Name], I have a personal message just for you…and some pretty special artwork to share with you. Click play to see what I’m talking about.

Here’s the video I made for my last conference:

Here’s what happened when I got to the conference:

I was immediately recognized by a ton of attendees that I had never met. I actually got a little taste of what it must be like to be a celebrity. I became “the video guy”. People came by the booth in droves just to say hi and tell me they loved the video. People came up to me on street and at the networking receptions to talk to me. All of which is great, but the important part came in what they said next. “Tell me what you do and how your company can help me.” I even had high profile public officials introducing me to their friends at the receptions saying “this guy sent me a video, his company does [XYZ] – go ahead Billy, tell him what you guys do”. Keep in mind these are people I had never met, excitedly introducing me to their peers as if we had already worked together. Pretty powerful for a 1 minute video, wouldn’t you say. During this conference, which I have attended several times in previous years, I met more people, gave more demos, and generated more leads than any other conference I’ve attended. Give it a try, I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Do you have some conference networking tips that have worked for you? Share them in the comments section below.

How to create a heat map of your Foursquare check-ins using Google Fusion Tables

Do you want to create a cool heat map of your Foursquare check-ins? Of course you do! Who doesn’t like cool maps?! With Google Maps no longer supporting KML imports (which by the way makes no sense to me), Google Fusion Tables provides an alternative method for us map geeks to visualize our check-in data. Here are 3 steps to make it happen.

  1. Go to www.foursquare.com/feeds and click the KML link which will download a KML file of your check-ins.
  2. Log in to your Google Drive account which is where you’ll now find Fusion Tables under “Drive apps”.  Click create and upload your KML file.Fusion Tables
  3. Once uploaded, click on “Map of geometry” where you can toggle back in forth between a point map and a heat map.4SQ Feature Map

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How to Worry About the Right Things

By Billy Burle

How often do you hear about the destructive effects of worrying? Usually, the best advice given to those that worry is to simply stop worrying and relax or as the song goes, don’t worry – be happy. Sounds easy, right? In reality, this is much harder than it sounds, especially for people who are constant worriers. However, there is a different approach that harnesses the power of worrying and uses it for good. Worrying is so powerful because when you worry about something you become hyper focused on it and when that happens the subconscious brain is working to make that thing a reality – similar to self fulfilling prophecies. I’ll give you an example. Imagine you are on the first tee of a golf course about to hit your first drive of the day. The other 3 in your foursome are watching and waiting. It’s a tight fairway with all kinds of danger off to the right – trees, water, houses, and so on. All you can think about it what if I slice this ball, what if I break a window, I hope I don’t slice the ball! Please don’t let me slice the ball!

Chances are you are going to slice that ball. Worrying about it made you focus so intently on the outcome that it happened. Now let’s try a different approach that still involves worrying. Back to the first tee with the same scenario in place. Instead of worrying about the slice worry about something else. Try worrying about what if I crush this drive right down the middle. Sounds silly to worry about that doesn’t it? However, you can worry about the expectation level you’ll set or the fact that you told your friends you don’t play that much – will they believe you now. There are all sorts of things to worry about regarding things going right. Now you are so hyper focused on a perfect drive that chances are you’ll have that perfect drive. You just manipulated worry for your own benefit as opposed to trying to fight it. (more…)

The One Thing You Must Do On Social Networks

By Billy Burle

There is certainly no shortage of social media advice out there saying you must have a strategy, calculate an ROI, get more followers, schedule or don’t schedule posts, be human, be awesome and on and on and on. While these are good discussions to have, I won’t be having them here, not today anyway. Instead, I want to to talk to you about one thing that will have the greatest impact – reply. Reply to posts. For the love of all that is good and holy in this world – reply to posts. Sounds easy doesn’t it? Yet so few do it! I’m completely baffled when I hear that anywhere from 60%-90% of social media posts to companies go unanswered or ignored. This summer I attended an event put on by Google, where they said 95% of posts to brands on Google+ go unanswered. That’s the equivalent of : (more…)

Instill a Sense of Scientific Wonder in Your Kids

By Billy Burle

‘If America is to maintain our high standard of living, we must continue to innovate. We are competing with nations many times our size. We don’t have a single brain to waste. Math and science are the engines of innovation. With these engines we can lead the world. We must demystify math and science so that all students feel the joy that follows understanding.’  – Dr. Michael Brown, former Nobel Prize winner for medicine and the Paul J. Thomas Professor of Molecular Genetics and Director of the Jonsson Center for Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas

There are lots of discussions taking place about the need for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education reform and I certainly agree the system needs reforming and additional programs should be available to elementary and middle school children. However, the education system isn’t the only education resource our children have.  As the proud parent of a bright and creative little girl, I feel part of the responsibility rests firmly on my shoulders.  I discovered that there are lots of fun ways to encourage learning and a sense of scientific wonder at home.  In fact, if this past summer had a (more…)

5 Tips for Disc Golf Newbies

By Billy Burle

If you are new to disc golf, here are a handful of tips and tricks that helped me drastically improve my game and hopefully will do the same for you.  Feel free to share any additional tips that have helped you in the comments section at the end of this post. If you have made it this far and find yourself wondering what on earth is disc golf, I recommend you watch this video: Disc Golf: It’s in the Air

  1. Keep it low!  When I first started playing the birds flying 30 feet above my head were in mortal danger.  My drives were high, short, and consistently off target.  Once, I began focusing on keeping the disc low, and when I say low I mean 3-4 feet off the ground, my drives instantly had more distance and greater accuracy…and the birds could once again rest easy.
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6 Sales Management Tips I Learned from Hockey

By Billy Burle

6 Sales Management Tips I Learned from Hockey

In celebration of the start of hockey season, I wanted to share some sales management tips I’ve borrowed from the sport.

  1. Build a diverse team with a mixture of veteran all stars and young talent to ensure you’re always planning for the future and cultivating winning teams.
  2. Always keep your head up and on a swivel to constantly be surveying the situation to keep an eye open for unexpected obstacles.  The minute you drop your head you could get knocked out – just ask Eric Lindros.

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