Last week I was asked to be the closing keynote speaker at the White Label World Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Several of my colleagues asked me to give a full report about the experience, so I wrote down some thoughts that will hopefully have some marketing tidbits and take-aways that can benefit everyone.
As part of the speaker package, the show gave me a 10×10 booth near the theater. It turns out that this show was a combination of 4 shows (which is how they got 10,000 attendees). Besides the White Label Expo, there was Retail Supply Chain and Logistics, and Smart Retail Tech. Both of those made some sense, but the 4th show within a show was CBD & Hemp Wholesale, which made up about one-third of the exhibitors. Very strange pairing and kind of a turn-off to all the tech and retail companies that were there. As one exhibitor said to me, “Well, this is our first time doing a weed show!” The expo program and website did not indicate this would be the case.
I did run into a couple of folks I had previously met online, but never in person: Albert Corey who was on my podcast and Ty Talbert from 7 Figures Funding who I did a joint webinar with a couple of years ago. We may do another one in the near future as a result.
As a VIP, they fed me a great breakfast, which I shared with some nice folks from the Las Vegas Chamber. This was a good connection and I might get invited to speak at one of their future events.
I had 4 hanging banners that did a good job of getting people’s attention, especially the one that was titled, “Is your website performing for you?”
I had copies of 3 different books on the table (The Influencer Effect, Monetize Your Expertise, and Cyber Wars), which seemed to draw a lot of people in as they were walking by. Many of them stopped because of the stacks of books, so they made a good prop as people would then ask about them. In fact, I think having stacks of books, even though they were for sale, worked better than a bowl of candy. I sold the books at 2 for $20 which worked out great – people got a bargain and everyone carries a $20 bill around, so it made the transaction easy. Only a couple of people wanted to use a credit card or Venmo. Those who purchased books are good potential clients.
I had my chair behind the table, but I put 2 chairs in front of the table kind of as an after-thought. This worked out great as people actually stopped and sat down in my booth to talk to me. After walking around on concrete floors for a couple of hours, this was a relief for many attendees. I had not done this before – I had only ever put a chair for me, but this obviously made the booth much more inviting.
The first question almost everyone would ask is, “tell me what you do.” I had to articulate this in about 60 seconds to keep their attention, so my response was, “I’ve been building online stores since the beginning of the internet. Having created hundreds and hundreds of websites, I’ve learned a lot about why some businesses are successful and others are not. This has resulted in me writing over a dozen books on the subject, as well as numerous online courses. While I still build websites, I’m now taking this information and helping companies grow their online sales by providing both coaching and consulting services as well as being a virtual webmaster, regardless of whether I built the website for you.” This would almost always lead to a longer conversation, and rather than being seen as a dinosaur, people would regard me as an “OG” (I actually had multiple people call me that.)
While I had a stack of business cards on the table, I learned a great lesson from my colleague Bill Walsh who was at the show. People would take my cards, but he said most would end up in the trash (I had 2 people reach out to me via email immediately after the show ended, so that isn’t true of everyone). But he said that instead of business cards, I should be handing out “gift cards.” This is a brilliant idea that I will use going forward – just have them text or email to get a lead magnet. I like this idea even better than putting your card in a fish bowl for a drawing, although you could do both, especially if the fish bowl leads are for a high ticket item. Note: many attendees do not bring business cards, so a fish bowl is not that good of a solution anyways. I might bring some t-shirts in the future for secondary prizes.
There was a couple of POD (Print On Demand) companies there. One of them gave me a printed mug as an incentive to try them out. I advocate POD products for almost all my customers so this was a nice bonus.
I was booked as the closing keynote speaker for the White Label Expo, but the other shows within a show had there own set of speakers that were all scheduled simultaneously, spread throughout different “theaters” (mixed together). Each theater was in the middle of the trade show floor, which actually works out for people just passing by who decided to stop and listen who didn’t make a specific effort to come hear me. They provided a raised stage, screen, laptop and remote control pointing device. I had to double-fist the presentation as I held the remote in one hand and the microphone in the other. On the morning of my presentation, the show changed my time slot from 2:45 to 3:30 to accommodate another speaker before my closing keynote. This was frustrating for both the attendees as well as for me as they had to come back and some had already made plans to leave.
But I nailed the speech – I can usually tell by how many people come up to me afterwards and want to talk with me, get a book or a photo with me, and ask questions or compliment me on the speech. I used my own “million dollar tip” about asking Google reviews and several people told me that the information was great and they would definitely leave me a review. You can do this as well if you find this information valuable; just go to https://webstoresltd.com/google. My primary call to action was a lead magnet worth over $100 that they could get by texting cyberwars to a phone number or following a short link. The speech was scheduled to last for 30 minutes. During this time I told 3 stories and 1 joke while conveying a ton of actionable information and interacting with the audience (I had met some of them in my booth before hand). Even though this was my first time in front of a live audience since before Covid, I came in at exactly 29:30. It is definitely better to know your subject than to know your speech.
Anyways, I’m waiting to see if they invite me back for the next show in New York at the Javits Convention Center.