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Cranmore Park Blog

Every business is aware of the importance of training and continuous professional development, but the extent to which this is carried out appears to differ greatly when the perspectives of both companies and their workers are taken into account.

That is the key finding following two reports published by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) on workplace learning, one of which adopted the point of view of employers, and another which questioned their staff.

If you can secure a great keynote speaker, you've got every chance of organising a great conference overall. The headline act, who delivers the main address, has the ability to make or break the conference.

If the speaker delivers the goods, there's a greater chance of people going home happy, feeling as if they have got value for money from their trip. But if their address flounders, it's likely to leave a lasting negative impression for everyone in the room. And next year, they might not be so eager to attend.

It's bound to happen to you sooner or later: you go to a conference, full of enthusiasm, but are let down by one appalling session. Maybe it was unhelpful, told you misleading information or was just unbelievably dull! You can laugh about it later, but while you're in the session what do you do?

You can always get up and leave, of course; you will find that the vast majority of sessions at any conference will be helpful to you. However, if that is not something you are comfortable doing then it is good to know how to deal with a bad presentation as a member of the audience. Here are a few tips:

Digital marketing can help businesses maximise their return on investment (ROI) at trade shows, it has been claimed. Writing for Crain's Cleveland Business, Fathom's online advertising specialist J.J. Anderson explained how the internet can be used to companies' advantage and complement their exhibition strategies.

He claimed that, very often, manufacturers "lag behind" in the digital landscapes, with relatively few fully harnessing the power of online advertising. Anderson offered the view that this is a high-potential area for such companies, providing they are willing to investigate the use of web-based marketing tools.

Delivering training can be nerve-wracking sometimes. You have to get up in front of a group of your peers and attempt to teach them something that many will think they know already. Keeping them engaged while making sure you are imparting all the information they need to know can be a struggle.

If you are taking a session for the first time, here are a few of the things you will need to bear in mind to make sure it goes off without a hitch:

If you're taking time out to attend a conference, it's important that you make the most of the experience. There's always things that need doing in the workplace, so if you're sacrificing those man-hours to attend an industry event, it's important to gain value from your attendance.

According to speaker and author Michele Lawson, approaching conferences with the right attitude is all-important. Writing for the Huffington Post, she claimed there are two things that can hinder an individual's conference experience. These are the preconceived notion of experience and expectation".

Your company might have a world-class promotional video, which you use to inform people of your business offering at trade shows.

But this isn't a great lot of use if the people visiting your stand can't see the screen, or don't want to watch the clip you have filmed.

How far ahead can you plan your business diary? The one thing you should always expect in business is the unexpected - circumstances, scenarios and events which force you to change course at short notice.

While you can never be sure exactly where you'll be at any given point, or which tasks will be your most immediate priority, it is vitally important to plan ahead as far as possible. As a business leader, your year needs a degree of structure - week by week, month by month. This gives you the best possible opportunity of achieving both short and long term goals.

The objective of everyone exhibiting at a trade show should be the same: to attract people to your stall in order to advertise your product or service, and hopefully make a few sales. However, everyone is going to be doing this. For attendees, it can be really easy to forget who you have talked to; and more importantly, what their business was.

Getting people to visit your stall is important, but not nearly as much as making sure they remember you. Not everyone is going to be making purchases on the day, so you need to make sure your contacts know exactly what your product or service is and why they should opt for you as a seller.

Creating the perfect trade show stand can give your business a real boost, in terms of attracting new customers and boosting revenues. But there are a number of common pitfalls you'll need to avoid if you're going to make the best possible use of your advertising space. Here are ten big 'no-nos' for your trade show marketing:

Trade shows can be a hard slog at times. You work for a full day, most of which will be spent on your feet, meeting anything from a few dozen to hundreds of people. You will be expected not only to be polite to all of them, but to give your best sales pitch as well. It is no surprise that most people find themselves collapsing on the sofa for a well-deserved rest afterwards!

However, the end of a trade show does not mean you can put it out of your mind. All of the contacts you've made and leads you have acquired will need to be followed up on, which can be hard work; sometimes it's an even tougher job than the original exhibition!

The first ever Expo Midlands event at Cranmore Park proved to a be a huge success, with hundreds of delegates attending and a follow-up event already in the calendar.

More than 60 exhibitors and 500 delegates descended on Cranmore Park for the free event on June 17th, which was headlined by two familiar faces, including one local man who has made it big in the media world.

Putting together a great event or conference takes a lot of time, energy and money to achieve. Often, it’s something you are fiercely passionate about, whether it be a business idea, a charity event or something else entirely. The last thing you want then, is to go to all the trouble of organising a great event only for very few people to actually turn up.

Not only will this seriously deflate you in terms of achieving your end goal, but it could also see you lose out financially as well as missing out on crucial outside interest. In order to make sure that doesn't happen, there are a number of things you can do drum up awareness so that your event is a hit, not a miss.

On January 1st, people around the world will be setting themselves goals for the new year. You've probably thought of a resolution yourself - maybe you're going to give up chocolate and sweets, or learn a new skill - but have you thought of creating one or two for your business?

Setting year-long goals can be very helpful, especially if they are measurable and attainable. However, with something as large as a business it is usually not a good idea to set big, vague goals. Now is the time to get specific! Look at each aspect of your company and think: "How can I improve it?"

What's the point in getting to know consumers at trade shows if you never hear from them after the event? If you spend time talking to people at your stand or booth, trying to convince them to become a customer, you've got to do all you can to connect with them in the future.

Not everybody will buy goods or services from you immediately. In many cases, people like to take their time to think about purchases. They might like what you have to say, and find your business offering engaging, but prefer to let the dust settle and contemplate making an order in their own time.

Your organisation has organised a meeting, one that involves potential clients, partners or suppliers. The purpose of the get together is to flesh out the terms for a new business arrangement - one that can benefit your organisation. Eager to agree a deal and get the other party to sign on the dotted line, you want to make the best possible impression with them.

This is one of the main reasons you've decided to book a specialist meeting room in which to conduct negotiations. Bringing the other party into your office might not be the best course of action, particularly if you're pressed for space or there is a lot of activity at your business premises. You don't want to give the wrong impression, and put any negative thoughts in the other party's mind.