7 Things to Do NOW to Prep for #IFA2018

International Franchise Association 

Who else loves the week before the big annual conference in your industry? It’s the time to connect with old friends, reach out to new ones, and plan on meeting potential business partners. For me, this week is all about preparing for The International Franchise Association’s Annual Convention. Here are a few tips to have a great show!

 

1. Reach out NOW. The networking before the show can be as fun and productive as the networking at the show. Pick up the phone or send message today and get on someone’s radar before you both arrive.

 

2. Pack your business cards. Far too often I hear people at conferences say, “Oh, I forgot cards.” Sure, everyone can connect via email, text, Facebook, or LinkedIn after they converse. But be memorable in the moment and hand the person with whom you’re networking a physical card.

 

3. Listen to this week’s Social Geek Radio. Shameless plug #1: on this week’s show, my colleague Liane Caruso from Qiigo and I will deal out our top picks of events at IFA2018.

 

4. Plan your sessions and roundtables. There are so many speakers and panels that you want to hear that you should plan ahead to optimize your time. Shameless plug #2: please join me at the Roundtables that I have the privilege to facilitate:

  • Sunday in the Marketing Summit, we’ll be talking about Franchise Development and Social Media.
  • Tuesday morning in the Business Solutions area, we’ll be talking about Best Practices for Facebook Ads with my co-facilitator Matt Kurwoski, COO of Soccer Shots.

 

5. Download the App. A good way to keep track of your schedule, track the exhibitors you need to see, and synch your calendar is by using the official IFA Events app.

 

6. Check out Deb Evans’ videos. Deb has spent the last few weeks interviewing IFA members to find out what their plans for the convention are and what they’re most excited about doing there.

 

7. Pack comfortable shoes. I had the pleasure of visiting the Phoenix convention center and the surrounding hotels in November. Be ready to walk, and perhaps walk many blocks depending on which of the official conference hotels you booked!

 

 

#TBT #Vinyl — Asia, 1982

Asia Asia

Asia
Asia
Geffen Records
1982

 

Asia is one of my favorite records. And apparently I purchased this one on September 20, 1982 at Woolco in DeKalb, IL at 8:09 pm according to the receipt I found inside the album jacket.

Man, our brother Carl Palmer could rock the #cowbell like no other.

“And now you find yourself in ’82. The disco hotspots hold no charm for you.”

 

Asia Asia

Asia Asia

 

 

 

Facebook Organic Panic

Facebook Like

The recent changes at Facebook announced by Mark Zuckerberg have caused panic and meltdowns by some so-called social media “experts.” These one-trick marketers think it’s the end of the world for Facebook and are spreading false fear to brands. I hope your competitors listen to this insanity.

Please share this terrible advice with your competitors:

  • Yes, Facebook is dying. It will probably go away forever very soon.
  • Facebook organic reach will be so low that it’s just not worth using Facebook anymore.
  • Facebook ad rates will go up. So instead of advertising to grow your business in the midst of the biggest business boom in 30 years, you should pull back and start hoarding pennies.
  • Stop using social media altogether.
  • Go back to relying on direct mail ads, newspaper ads, and yellow page ads, because, sure, that’s where customers are spending time.
  • Also, the sky is falling! Eek!

 

Don’t Panic

Let your competitors lose their heads. If they’re going to pull back on Facebook due to decreased space, that’s more space for the rest of us!

I’m not sure if any of these social media “gurus” really believe Facebook is falling, are just trying to get noticed, or have a deep resentment of Facebook’s success and are looking to celebrate a decline. But make no mistake – the only failure here will be made by those not constantly adapting and capitalizing on changes in social media.

 

What to Do

Here are my three recommendations in dealing with these changes on Facebook:

1. Double down on Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads. Will ad rates go up? Of course they will. Facebook ads are more effective and more efficient than any other ads available today. Prepare for a year where the US economy will grow 3-4% (finally!). So yes, ad rates will go up and so will your revenue if new customers can find you and can engage with you.

2. Create even better, more sharable content. The value of organic content is no longer about hitting many current fans with a message. The real value comes from getting a few fans or customers to share your content or their experience with their friends.  As per last week’s news feed changes, these shared posts by friends will dominate screens.

3. Consult a professional. Do you really want to spend your entire day navigating these increasingly complicated waters?

 

 

#TBT #Vinyl Stevie Ray Vaughan and Dick Dale, Pipeline, 1987

Stevie Ray Vaughan Pipeline

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Dick Dale
Pipeline
Columbia Records
1987

Stevie & Dick recorded the surf guitar classic for the movie Back To The Beach

 

Stevie Ray Vaughan Pipeline

Stevie Ray Vaughan Pipeline

#TBT #Vinyl The Kings Are Here, 1980

Switchin' to Glide

The Kings
This Beat Goes On / Switchin’ To Glide
The Kings Are Here
Elektra Records
1980

 

One of my all-time favorites is the 2-in-1 song “This Beat Goes On / Switchin’ To Glide” from 1980. This was a huge regional hit in Toronto, Vancouver, and Chicago (all the rock stations here played it!) but not as well known outside of these cities. 

 

Switchin' to Glide

Switchin' to Glide

Switchin' to Glide

 

Switchin' to Glide

 

 

 

 

#TBT #Vinyl The Jayhawks, Blue, 1995

The Jayhawks Blue

The Jayhawks
Blue
American Recordings
1995

 

Here’s the blue vinyl 45 version of The JayhawksBlue. While it’s actually not a Christmas song, this promo 7″ version was packaged as a Christmas Song. 

The Jayhawks Blue

The Jayhawks Blue