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"The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge
and the dissemination of truth."

John F. Kennedy
  A Review of Tim Patterson's
Tradeshow Success: 14 Proven Steps to Take
Your Tradeshow Marketing to the Next Level

by Gordon Nary

Return to Tim's Webpage

In some religions, there are two types of sins: sins of commission and sins of omission. Sins of omission are generally defined as failing to do something that we have the responsibility to do. Here is an example. In the popular TV series The West Wing, (season 3, episode 3 "Manchester: Part 2"),  Toby Ziegler, the White House Communications Director, talks about the President concealing his multiple sclerosis from the staff: "He didn't lie. It's what your people call a "sin of omission". Based on this concept of sin, any tradeshow organization that fails to provide it's staff with Tradeshow Success: 14 Proven Steps to Take Your Tradeshow Marketing to the Next Level may commit a sin of omission.

Tim Patterson's book provides many lessons that are applicable to all aspects of event planning and marketing. The best lessons are the 14 suggested discussions with a company's marketing team that are based on each chapter's topic and details the issues and questions that we need to ask ourselves and other members of our team to either reinforce our approach to each issue or consider some modified or new strategy.

While the topics that Tim addresses in his 14 steps are basic elements and challenges in every marketing plan, some of us may forget that change is a constant and what may have been been true or an effective approach in 2015 may not be as true or effective in 2016. Communications technologies change, effective lead follow-up procedures change, and there are always new challenges such as possible terrorist risks at international events that may need to be addressed.

Tim provides both industry studies and examples of how specific people and companies have addressed various marketing  challenges. He also occasionally uses some fictional characters to illustrate some effective problem solving approaches. Tim's writing style makes Tradeshow Success: 14 Proven Steps to Take Your Tradeshow Marketing to the Next Level an enjoyable and memorable read.

The questions that Tim asks us to consider in his suggested discussions are fundamental to effective tradeshow marketing and remind me of what a few other notables have reflected on the importance of questions:

  "Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers." - Voltaire

"What people think of as the moment of discovery is really the discovery of the question." - Jonas Salk

"In all affairs, it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted." - Bertrand Russell

"Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers." - Robert Half