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If you are currently planning your marketing budget for next year you have probably thought of a lunch and learn and a trade show as ways for lead generation. Either of them have their merits but you have to decide what your purpose for the event is? Do you want a mass or targeted prospect? I have written a previous blog on this matter. Let’s explore:

Trade Show:

  • Spy on Competition – Where else can you send a few people to your competitions location to gather data and they are open to give it?
  • Wide Audience – You can hit a wide group of people in your target market in a short span and gather data quickly for a lead nurturing campaign.
  • Recruiting Distributors and Dealers – There will be prospects as well as people who you can connect with that will be able to resell your products or services
  • Cost Per Prospect – a booth can be anywhere from $1 to $500 depending on the number of people attending and the cost of the booth.
  • Market Research – A great place to survey a large group of people about your current and/or future products and services.

Lunch & Learn:

    • Focus –  You can concentrate on pre-qualified prospects and then focus on those not ready to purchase now and put them in a lead nurturing campaign for further lead scoring and qualification.
    • Targeted Audience – Your pre-qualified prospects can be targeted from previous lead nurture campaigns, specific lists, previous or current customers. You can select who hears your message. It will not be just someone random.
    • Time Spent With Prospect – Once you are at the lunch and learn you have the prospects attention for longer than a few seconds as they pass by your booth. You do not have to worry about a mass appeal and the prospect will be in a more relaxed atmosphere.
    • Learn More About Prospect – Because you are able to spend more time with the prospect and hopefully you have had the prospect go through some pre-qualifiers, you will be able to ask more specific questions geared towards their challenges and solutions.
    • More Qualified Prospect –You will have a more qualified prospect that will allow you to shorten the sales cycle, increase your profitability, and have the ability to increase your value as a trusted advisor.


It really boils down to what are your goals of the event? Do you want a mass or targeted prospect? Are you looking to gather data or give a specific message? It is really up to you to decide? Think of this: how long of a sales cycle are you to have for 2012? Can you afford in today’s economic climate to wait for that prospect to reach out to you; or, do you want to take an active approach in your lead generation and lead nurturing going into 2010?  The Decision is yours.



“This is a long time coming, and football’s back,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, “and that’s the great news for everybody.” I ask… but at what cost? What is the product going to be like on the field and not just this year? I hope that I am wrong. NFL Professional Football is my favorite sport and I bleed Silver and Blue. I am worried about the concessions that the owners gave into as far as practices and off season workouts…

  1. Limiting on-field practice time and contact
  2. Limiting full-contact practices in the preseason and regular season
  3. Increasing number of days off for players
  4. Eliminates 2-a-day practices
  5. Average 1 padded practice per week
  6. Maximum 4.5 hours of field play per day in training camp
  7. One padded practice limited to 3 hours in training camp
  8. Second practice limited to non-helmet walk through
  9. Unannounced inspections by NFLPA Staff to ensure compliance
  10. Spring Semester Off
  11. Limit of 9 week off season conditioning program
  12. Veterans do not report until the 3rd week in April
  13. Reduces OTAs from 14 to 10
  14. Maximizes time for players to return to school to complete degree
  15. 1st day limited to physicals and meetings (PreSeason)
  16. 2nd and 3rd day no pads or contact (Preseason)
  17. Only one padded practice per day limited to 3 hours with the second practice up to the 4 hour (Preseason)
  18. Limit being a walk through (preseason)
  19. Limit of 14 total padded practices during the Regular Season, 11 of which must be held during the first 11 weeks (club may hold 2 padded)
  20. One padded practice per week in postseason
  21. Padded practices limited to 3 hours
  22. Bye Weeks – [five] consecutive days off

You can see more here. As far as I can tell, in the name of player safety, college football may get a big boost of fans here in a few years and the NFL owners might wish they had put in the opt-out clauses that we were hearing about.

I stayed up until 1:00 am last night putting Kaspersky Lab 2011 on my girlfriend’s laptop and surfing Yahoo Movie trailers. I came across the trailer for the move, The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll. The first line of the trailer is “All the great ones died at 27: Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison. Most men live lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with a song still in them.”

I woke up this morning and began my Saturday morning chores, listening to the radio and heard that Amy Winehouse had passed away. “Amy Winehouse, the British singer-songwriter with the vintage sound and very modern tabloid image, has been found dead at her north London home. She was 27. A Metropolitan Police spokesman told the BBC that a 27-year-old woman had died in Camden and that the cause of death was as yet unexplained. The troubled singer had a long battle with drink and drugs which grabbed as many headlines as her recent musical career.”

Image found on

I was not a fan of Ms. Winehouse but I know she had many. I was just thinking to myself as I sat down how spooky weird that I saw the preview for a movie that I probably will not see last night but it was memorable enough for me to remember this afternoon learning of Ms. Winehouse’s death. How spooky weird…

Now that you have decided to have a lunch and learn, here are several starting tips for having a successful event.

Make sure you have something everyone would like to eat. Let your prospect choose a meal (allow them to change if they want) ahead of time. That way they know that there is something on the menu that they would like to eat.

Use a telemarketing service to make sure you have qualified attendees. You can use your own sales staff and support group to call your current customers and invite them but why not let the experts invite and qualify your prospects.

Use a landing page for registration and data collection. That way there is not any attendee information that can be lost or misplaced and you can pull reports to help calculate the return on investment.

Over book the event. If you want 20 make sure you book 40. Things happen, emergencies, outages, accidents, double bookings, bosses pulling them into unexpected meetings, births, anything can happen. Expect half the attendees that you sign up to show up.

Make sure you have enough room/food for everyone. I cannot stress this enough. I have attended several lunches that were overcrowded, hot, stuffy, and it makes everyone miserable. As well, how embarrassing is it if you run out of food? Is that the impression that you want for your company? I have been there before as an attendee and it was extremely embarrassing for the scrambling host.

Make sure your prospect list is targeted. No matter how you send out your invites, make sure that the people you are inviting would benefit from your services and are not there just for a free lunch. Take a look at your target list and add some qualifiers/ranges. No one wants to waste valuable marketing dollars for attendees that have no interest in your solution.

Make sure your speaker/presenter is an expert. I have attended numerous luncheons, trainings, and presentations where the presenter did not know the answers to 50% of the questions that were being asked. You are the experts presenting the information. They came to the luncheon to hear you speak about the topic. If your expert can not make it, either reschedule or let your attendees know ahead of time.

Make sure your company representatives can answer questions. This might not be the perfect time for your new people to reach out to your prospects. Everyone needs to have their game face on and be as sharp as a tack.

Content is the key, if the topic has been done over and over or if it is outdated people will not want to go. Check around, has there been 10 other lunch and learns on X solution over past three months? If there has been then try solution Y as your topic.

Think outside the box, your prospects are getting bombarded every day with emails, voicemails, fliers, and calls inviting them to events. Set yourself apart try a themed luncheon or try some place that there is an activity to participate in after your presentation.

There are more tips and tidbits to come. This is not an end all solution blog but you should get a great start. Did I miss anything?

The London born songbird currently taking the airwaves by storm recently released her second album entitled 21.  From her humble beginnings to being the first living artist to have two top five hits both in the singles chart and album chart simultaneously since The Beatles in 1964 is truly amazing.  It’s hard for me to know that her influences came originally from the Spice Girls!  I mean good lord the girl was born the year I graduated high school….talk about really feeling old!


Adele’s introduction to the US market occurred on Saturday Night Live as the musical guest in October of 2008.  With the British press dubbing her the new Amy Winehouse, we can only hope she doesn’t take the same path to an inability to sing.  I for one am extremely impressed with her new album entitled 21.  Her soulful voice seems much more mature and engaging than the album 19 performances.

The Adele Live tour has had some set backs with her laryngitis and rescheduling of dates but even with that she seems to pull the crowds.  The tour has become a profound success with the entire North American leg sold out.  I definitely look forward to her next album and if luck holds maybe a ticket to the concert!


Another Guest Blog Post by: Kim Reynolds

You have many ways of generating leads for your business: mailers, fliers, phone book advertisements, radio, and television. As well, there are networking activities like joining a particular group, sharing your experiences, learning about others experiences, and using word of mouth. You also have trade shows, where you can meet (at a good one) hundreds to thousands of people and as they stop by your booth or you stop by theirs. There is Internet Marketing, where there are keywords and search engine optimization activities that are designed to drive traffic to your website and have people interact with your call-to-action items on the web. All of these are good ways to generate leads and each have different levels of tracking, effectiveness and return on investment.

Another, tried and true ways of pitching your businesses’ goods or services to a group of prospects is a lunch and learn. Where you get a group of anywhere from 20 to 40 people in a room, feed them a good meal (sometimes there is a giveaway) and you hopefully have a captive audience for a hour to a hour and a half to relationship build and pitch your solutions, goods, and/or services.

Measuring the return on investment on a lunch and learn is easy. You take the cost of the event. For an example let’s say $2,000.00. You want to invite 20 targeted prospects to the event. Then divide the total cost ($2,000.00) by the number of prospects you would like to attend (20) and you have $100.00 per prospect to attend your lunch and learn event.

Then take the margin of a single solution, good, or service that you would like to talk about specifically (typically you would only pitch one concept). For a $10,000.00 solution at a 6% margin you have $600.00 in margin. You would need to sell four solutions to pay for the event; average close ratio is 20%. You should pay for the event and have 16 new targeted prospects to put into a lead nurturing campaign for the future as well as four new customers for your sales representatives to dig deeper and find more opportunities.

There are many ways for generating leads for your company and each have their different return on investment of time and money. One of the proven ways is a lunch and learn event. You have a captive audience that is there not only for a good meal but wants to hear about your business and how you can help make their lives easier.


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Baton Rouge – LSU’s football team will open the 2011 season against Pac-10 power Oregon in Cowboy Stadium in Arlington

Game Notes:

The LSU-Oregon contest will mark the second consecutive year in which the Tigers will open the season at a neutral site and on prime time national television. LSU opened the 2010 season last week with a 30-24 victory over North Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta.

The Ducks are coming off of a BCS National Championship appearance and back-to-back Pac-10 titles. This season, they will try to become the first ever Pac-12 champion.

Oregon is bringing back key players, including quarterback Darron Thomas, Heisman finalist LaMichael James, and senior wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei.

A defensive battle will be a huge test for the Ducks. In 2010, the Ducks scored 40 points or more in 10 of their 12 regular season games. Up until playing California in November, the least amount of points they scored in one game was 42 against Arizona State.


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Some of you know that I am a huge hockey fan. I love watching hockey; it does not matter if it is the local kids playing in an afterschool league, Colorado College, or the Dallas Stars. I love watching. I love the ice, the chess match between the coaches, the saves by the goalies, the passing, the power plays, the fighting. It all started when the then Minnesota Stars moved to Dallas in 1993.
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When True North Sports and Entertainment announced that it purchased the Atlanta Thrashers and planned to move the team to Winnipeg I thought, how cool, now the city of Winnipeg gets to experience the same excitement that the DFW Area felt back in 1993.

As a result of the return of the Winnipeg Jets, The Board of Governors meeting in December will discuss the mess of the conferences, divisions, time zones, scheduling, and realignment. Commissioner Bettman has said that there is going to be realignment but how drastic is anyone’s guess. “All those clubs need an opportunity to be heard,” Bettman said. “That’s a process we’ll go through the first half of next season, looking at the issues that clubs want to raise, looking at various possibilities, and trying to figure out what will make the most sense moving forward.” As it stands now, the divisions and conferences will stand for the 2011/2012 season. I thought I would take a stab at realignment for the NHL. Below is what I came up with. It is more regional and the only two difficulties are Nashville in the Southeast, and Western Central Division teams having to travel so much.

Western Pacific: Vancouver, San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles, Edmonton
Western Central: Calgary, Dallas, St. Louis, Colorado, Phoenix
Western North: Winnipeg, Detroit, Chicago, Columbus, Minnesota
Eastern Southeast: Tampa Bay, Carolina, Florida, Washington, Nashville
Eastern Northeast: Montréal, Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo, New York Islanders
Eastern Atlantic: New York Rangers, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, New Jersey.

What do you think; give me your suggestions?

National Hockey League Tickets

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Let it be known I am not a Dallas Maverick’s Bandwagoner by any means. Anyone who has tried to trade for a Jim Jackson basketball card and raided every commons box in the DFW sports cards stores to try and find an Uwe Blab card has to be a MFFL. I was a Reunion Rowdy and spent many draft nights plotting how the Mavericks are going to make it “This Year”.



Ever since that night in 2006, you remember that night,(the night when your heart sank in the realization that Miami Heat were going to beat the Mavs in embarrassing fashion) the talk in this town about the Dallas Mavericks has been extremely negative. “Soft”, “mentally fragile”, “not tough enough”, “disappearing in big games”, and “letting the ghosts of the past haunt them”, have become the common descriptions used by media and the so called experts locally and nationally.
I am here to tell you that THIS IS THE YEAR!

ExecutionThe Mavericks are averaging just 12.8 turnovers per game and are shooting an amazing 41.9% from 3 point range.

Defending The Paint – Test after test the Dallas’ zone has stood its ground, defended the paint, pushed the opponents’ offense outward, and limited the easy looks to the basket. Oklahoma City’s fast break opportunities will be limited and Mav’s fans have seen how reliable the jump shot can be in a seven game series.

DIRK– 26 points per game, 60% from 3-point range, 49.7% field goal percentage. Two words: LIGHTS OUT. He realizes that he may not have many more chances than this and is making the most out of this one.

Rick Carlisle – He has taken two other teams to a Conference final, just to experience uncommon heartbreaks following losing the series and is not taking chances this time. Though the team is rested, the Mavs have still been working hard on drills during this time and even doing scrimmages.

Experience– Shawn Marion (11 years) and Peja Stojakovic (12 years) have lost in the Conference Finals, Brendon Haywood (9 years) and Deshawn Stevenson (10 years) have lost close playoff heartbreaks Washington, Tyson Chandler (9 years) one word, hungry, and who can forget Jet Terry (11 Years). This is too much experience and realization of how short the window actually is.

Inexperience – Just two years removed from a 23-win season, Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder have earned themselves a spot in the Western Conference Finals. Last year, in their first playoff appearance since moving to Oklahoma City from Seattle prior to the 2008-2009 season, the Thunder lost to the eventual NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers 4-2 in the first round. They remind me of The Mavericks in 2006, as not yet having paid their dues.

So there you have it, 6 Reasons Why The Mavs Will Win the NBA Western Conference Finals Execution, Defending the Paint, Dirk, Rick Carlisle, Experience, and In-Experience. Can we make the AAC the new home of the Reunion Rowdies? Even if you do not know who Uwe Blab, Randy White, or Leon Smith are come aboard THE MAVS TRAIN and become one!

I have been watching the Texas Rangers a lot more closely this year as I guess all of North Texas has been. We all have caught a little ‘Ranger Fever’ and I have found myself looking more at the Box Scores and paying more close attention to the statistics than previous years. I usually do not get baseball fever until late June/early July but I guess I am still hung over from their World Series appearance. After watching every pitch in the Post Season last year and the Spring Training Box Scores (yes it is that bad) I have come up with my Top 10 Reasons Why the Texas Rangers Will Win the World Series This Year.
Top 10 Reasons Why the Texas Rangers will Win the World Series
10. Win the West Handedly: We will know more about how we stack up in this week with the series against the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim (still an unstable name) this week but I would not be surprised if Texas took two of three in this series and take a two game lead.

9. The Fans: I have been a fan of the Texas Rangers since 1979. I can remember my Dad taking me to a game and betting the guy in the row ahead of us a hot dog that Texas was going to win that day. A hot dog never tasted better than when the great Buddy Bell hit a walk off home run to win the game. I was seven and became a Texas Rangers for life. Like many fans, this summer the Ballpark in Arlington will be hotter than the Texas heat and will be rocking this fall.

8. Farm System: Bolstered by top prospects Martin Perez, Jurickson Pofar, Tanner Sheppers, Robbie Erlin, Engle Beltre, Michael Kirkman, Mike Ott, the farm system is still stocked and highly regarded as top ten in many rankings and top 15 in others in baseball. The farm system still has the ability to handle some trading away of the top prospects and be highly regarded.

7. Front Office: Even though you have a strong farm system you also need the front office with the brains and guts to make those trades. I think we all realized that last year when we stole Cliff Lee and still had leverage to pull off other trades, while having zero payroll dollars and having John Daniels hands tied behind his back. The hands are untied now and l cannot wait to see what Harry Houdini moves John Daniel’s pull this year.

6. Ron Washington: No one could have predicted when “Warsh” was hired that he could have performed more admirably than he did last year. Amid all the distractions surrounding the team last year including the ones he created there was not a doubt that he would have won the Manager of the Year Award. His poise under pressure and the ability to play chess with masterful moves last year proved that he is up to the task of managing the club to a World Series Win this year. Photo by sidehike’s

5. Hitting: 4th in the MLB in homeruns at 18, 9th in MBL in RBIs at 68 and runs at 73, 3rd in slugging at .457, and dead last in Strike Outs at 65 Thad Bosley is not just letting the hitters be hitters but is improving on Clint Hurdle’s message of patience at the plate and taking your shot when you can.

4. Pitching: Usually the most complained about position on the team in the media and by the fans, Pitching Coach Mike Maddox and Mentor Nolan Ryan has the pitching staff humming along to a Major League Baseball best 2.71 combined ERA with a 10-4 record and given away a Major League Baseball low of 97 Hits. How is that for a turnaround!

3. Fielding: Adding Adriain Beltre’s glove at third shored up one of the major glowing weakness that was exposed during last season’s post season play. Michael Young’s age has caught up with him and his range is not what it used to be. With the infield ‘Black Hole’ that is Elvis Andrus and Ian ‘The Rock’ Kinsler the infield has turned 16 double plays and only having 8 errors on the whole team.

2. Depth: There is depth on this team at every position; look at the Josh Hamilton injury this team still is chugging along like freight train without their best hitter. Every time you hear an interview from any play they all say almost the same thing… “If one guy is having a bad day, the other guys pick him up.” This TEAM is not a one man show, on any given day one or all of them can hurt you and make you pay for your mistakes. Most players can play more than one position and have said on many occasions just “put me in coach I am ready to play”. There is so much depth on this team that Wash has routinely said that he has a difficult time getting everyone the playing time that they want or need.

1. Team Leadership (Core): The core has been together for three years; most of the players on the team have come up thru the system. I have watched many of them play for the Frisco Roughriders. The team has learned how to win, what it takes to win, and how to win together. They know how to keep focus during distractions and they know how to handle distractions in the club house.
Texas Rangers 2011 World Series Trophy
There you have it, the top ten reasons that the Texas Rangers will win the World Series. It looks like the team came out of the sprint training corner swinging to defend their pennant and if you thought they were a team of destiny last year, look out! This team is ready to not only contend this year but is built to give the baseball elite fits for years to come.