Business Lessons That Can Be Learned from Dick Clark

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On April 18th, American pop culture lost icon Dick Clark at age 82. While best known to the American public as an entertainer, behind the scenes he was an opportunistic entrepreneur. His company, Dick Clark Productions, has become an entertainment empire. There were many things that Clark did right to position himself and his company to enduring success. What are some of the lessons that today’s entrepreneur can learn from “ America’s Oldest Teenager’?

Innovation can come from improving upon something that it already being done.   Dick Clark was a pioneer in the entertainment industry, but he did not invent anything. While “American Bandstand” is known for keeping up with the trends, it was not the first or only music show on television.

Know your market, and listen to the needs of your market. Clark did this by staying current with trends within music, which ensured that he was able to sustain his place in the market, even amidst rapidly changing tastes. He observed and listened to what his audience wanted and his programming reflected the taste of his audience.

Know yourself.  Dick Clark has a very recognizable image in American culture, because he was the same person in the 1960’s as he was in the 2000’s.  While he watched the trends occur and provided a platform for trendy musicians, he did not embody them. He was himself throughout his career, and everyone who associated with him knew what to expect.

Opportunity can come from openings left by your competitors. Clark created the American Music Awards after ABC had lost the Grammy Awards. The American Music Awards focused on what was popular and featured a great amount of performances, which differed from the Grammy’s, which rewarded musicians based on artistic merit, not popularity. Many other award shows produced by Clark’s company would follow the same format, as the priority was to win over viewers.

Maintain a good reputation. Throughout Clark’s career, he maintained the image of a clean-cut “All- American” and this image was very comforting to audience members of all ages. He took great care to ensure that his reputation remained intact as well. At the end of the day, a good reputation is essential for success, both personally and professionally.

Source:   Rosenthal, Phil. “Dick Clark a Shrewd Businessman as Much as Legendary Showman.” Chicago Tribune., 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 27 Apr. 2012. <;.

Using Social Media to Enhance Your Trade Show Presence

Social media is a cost-effective way for a business of any size to interact with customers. Sites like Facebook and Twitter can also be used to give a firm an edge when exhibiting at a trade show. Here are some tips for using social media to drive traffic to your trade show booth:

  • Create a Facebook fan page and encourage attendees to “Like “ your business. You can tie this in with a giveaway or contest to increase participation.
  • Use Twitter to give teasers about what to expect from your booth. Include one enticing tidbit per tweet, and include things like giveaways, contests, show specials, any entertainment, etc.  Make sure to vary your teasers to sustain the excitement.
  • On Twitter, use the hashtag (#) for your show when posting tweets related to the show. An example of what a hashtag looks like is #tradeshow. By placing the hashtag at the end of your tweets, your tweet can be viewed by attendees of the show, who have filtered tweets by the hashtag.
  • Use Facebook and Twitter to post pictures from your booth at the Trade Show.  Posting on Twitter will allow real time images and up to the minute updates. Facebook will create an album, where your photos can be viewed in the future.
  • Use Twitter and Facebook to post any “breaking” news from the Trade Show for clients who could not attend
  • Use Pinterest to post pictures from your booth. You can link your Pinterest account to both Twitter and Facebook, so you can reach out with photos through three social networks at once!
  • Blog about our exhibit both pre-show and post-show. This will create a buzz around your display, but also invite feedback and keep those clients who were unable to attend in the loop with any news.

Using social media as a part of your trade show toolbox with not only get the word out about your booth, but also portray your company is up to date with current trends, as well as innovative. However, like other forms of pre-show and post-show marketing, it is essential to be proactive in advertising your display to get the most out of your social media promotional materials.

Making Effective Use of Samples at Trade Shows

                         Making Effective Use of Samples at Trade Shows

During a trip to a local grocery store, I noticed that there were customers walking through the store sampling different foods. Many times, customers would try the product, add the sampled products to their cart, and often asked where the items were located in the store.  Sampling can have some of the same effect in the trade show environment.

Sampling is one way to allow an exhibit to stand out. Some benefits of using samples include:

  • Allowing potential customers the opportunity to test the product
  • Giving the customer a lasting impression of the product and the company.
  • Cost effective
  • Giving potential clients an idea of what to expect of the product
  • Increasing the likelihood of creating a long term relationship

However, sampling must be well planned and organized to work in your best interest.

Here are some guidelines for planning to use samples:

  1. Each sample should include the company name and a point of contact. For consumable samples, include something potential clients can take away with the company name and contact.
  1. Samples should reflect the types of products that you offer.  If you are promoting a new product or product line, use the new product as a sample. If you are looking to create awareness of an existing brand, use a sample of a product that is most central to the brand image.
  1. Make sure that the samples you are offering are attractive to your potential clients.
  1. Advertise what you are sampling at the show when doing pre-show advertising.
  1. Make sure the size of the sample is adequate to be tested and trialed. You also want to ensure that the sample size is not too large, as a sample that is too large is not cost effective.
  1. Find creative ways to distribute the samples that promote interactions with clients.
  1. Make sure that you have the necessary resources to handle samples.

Sampling can be a great tool to use at a trade show if managed correctly. The main goal of sampling is to get the product into the client’s hands, so that they can “fall in love” with it and become a client. Keeping a client-centered view when planning samples for a trade show will steer you in the right direction to make your samples a success.