December 2009

The 2-Minute Tip for Success

How to Maximize your time at a Trade Show 

Adapted from 
Susan Friedman, Trade Show Strategy: The View From the Aisle 

To get the most from attending a trade show, you need to have a clear strategy in mind. Knowing what you need to accomplish before, during, and after the show is the first step toward success. 

Before the show 
Make a list of the goals you want to achieve by visiting the show. Include your own personal goals and those of your company. Every subsequent decision that you make should put you closer to achieving your goals. 

Read through the trade show promotional materials carefully. Use the knowledge you've gleaned to make a plan for attending the show. Include a list of 'must see' booths and 'want to see' booths. Spend a little time researching the vendors, so that you'll have a clear idea of who you need to see, and what you need to learn from them. That way you'll have useful questions to ask, and will have to waste a minimum amount of time with small talk. 

Decide how much time you want to spend at the show, and then allot an appropriate amount to each booth, making sure to schedule the 'must see' booths first. That way if your day is abruptly cut short, you won't miss the most vital exhibits. Consider making appointments with those exhibitors you really want to meet with. 

If co-workers are attending the show with you, divide the show up into sections. Each team member can sit in on different seminars to maximize the amount of information gathered by the entire team. 

Once you've decided who you need to see, get a map of the show floor and prioritize your route. Walking a trade show can be an exhausting exercise, so make it easy on yourself by securing a hotel room close to the convention center. Booking your room well in advance will allow you to enjoy discounted rates. 

When you're packing, be sure to bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes, a lightweight outfit, and plenty of business cards. Additionally, develop a lead form to record vendor names, products, contact information, and any follow-up notes you'll want to remember after the show. You'll want a light carry-all bag for the materials you gather during the show. Avoid plastic bags, as they will cut into your hands and become unbearably heavy after hours of walking. 

During the show 
Upon arriving in the convention city, obtain a map of the locality. It will make your life much easier and save you valuable time. 

The next thing you'll want to do is consult the latest version of the trade show directory and revise your carefully made plans. Exhibitors may have dropped out or arrived unexpectedly, or seminar times may have changed. Check your coat and bags before stepping onto the show floor - you won't want to lug them around for hours. 

Don't just grab every brochure that's offered to you. Collect the information that is of interest to you or that could be valuable to others in your company. Many exhibitors will gladly mail literature and samples, which relieves you of having to carry them around the exhibit hall. Use your lead forms or a small notebook to record the most vital information. 

Let exhibitors know that you are on a tight schedule. They want to make the best use of their time as well, and will gladly cut to the chase with you. You might have to push a little bit to get the answers for questions you really want. Sometimes booth staff simply do not have the answers you require. In that case, ask who you should contact at their firm for follow up. 

Trade shows are the ideal opportunity to gather information about what your competitors are doing. It's often the first glimpse you'll get of new product releases, special programs, or fresh marketing initiatives. Make a point to talk with the booth staff, but don't ask overly technical or pointed questions. More likely than not, the exhibitors won't be prepared to answer them, and you'll be tipping your hand as a more-than-casually interested attendee. A simple "So, what do you guys have in the pipeline?" may reward you far more than any carefully-worded queries about technical specs. 

Don't be shy about by-passing booths that do not interest you. The exhibitors won't mind. They want to devote their time to potential customers. 

At the same time, keep your eyes open for networking opportunities. Industry leaders haunt trade shows, and they're great people to know. Be social at workshops - now is the time to hand out some of those business cards you've brought along. 

Take regular breaks to hydrate and make notes. The notes will help you write your trip report, and the water will keep you healthy and moving. Convention centers are notoriously dry, hot environments - be prepared. 

After the show 
Long hours on the trade show floor are enough to wipe anybody out. But before you flop down on the bed for forty well-deserved winks, take some time to organize the information you've gathered. If it's for co-workers back at the home office, sort it into envelopes and address them to the relevant person. If the information is for you, sort it by priority, affixing sticky notes to jog your memory after you've returned from the show. 

Take a moment after the show to make note of any exhibits or displays that you thought were particularly effective. What did they do that you could implement in your own company's marketing campaign? 

Be sure to follow up with new contacts and vendors after the show. Having a clear plan of action will make sure that the time you spent at the show was a worth-while investment. 

Susan Friedmann, Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), is a "how to" coach specializing in the tradeshow industry. 


TURF RUNDOWN

Influence of Site Conditions on Soil Responses to Manure-Based Compost Applications on Athletic Fields 

Excessive use of athletic fields on non-sand based systems often results in poor turf and soil quality. Compost has been shown to improve soil physical and chemical properties and the establishment of turfgrass. S
ee how this study determines to what extent site conditions affect compost’s ability to improve soil properties. 

This article is available to members only. Please see Technical Resources under Members Only to access this article. 

Petrovic, A.M., Gruttadaurio, J., Barlow, J., Harrison, E.Z., Bonhotal, J., Schwarz, M. and Soldat, D.J. 2008. INFLUENCE OF SITE CONDITIONS ON SOIL RESPONSES TO MANURE-BASED COMPOST APPLICATIONS ON ATHLETIC FIELDS . Acta Hort. (ISHS) 783:415-424 
http://www.actahort.org/books/783/783_43.htm 


News You Can Use

Early Bird Registration Closes Dec. 15/Hotel Rates Increase Dec. 17 

Take advantage of the lower conference registration fees and 
register for the conference by Dec. 15. Prices increase on Dec. 16. This year’s conference package includes more than 90 hours of education, eight hours of viewing products and 20 hours of networking. Breakfasts and lunches are included, and STMA offers one day education/trade show packages at a special rate of $105. New this year to the trade show floor is a calibration workshop. Don’t miss the chance to jumpstart 2010 by attending this excellent continuing education opportunity. 

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and Convention Center is offering the special $141 per night room rate through Dec. 16. Rates will increase to its seasonal rack rate on Dec. 17. To make your reservation, 
click here or call 1-407-939-1020 and ask for the Sports Turf Managers Association rate. 


Share a Room 

Hotel costs can be expensive, but many STMA members are cutting those costs by sharing a room in Orlando. Contact your friends and chapter members to find a roommate, or email your interest in being placed on a room share list to 
STMAinfo@STMA.org. STMA will provide that list as requested. 


Vote! 

By now you should have received your STMA Board of Directors election materials in the mail. Or, for your convenience, you can go 
on-line to review the materials and cast your vote. Please check the approved methods to cast your ballot so that it can be verified and counted, yet your choices remain confidential. 


CSFM Testing 

December 15 is the closing date to register to take the STMA certification exam at the conference. The Certified Sports Field Manager (CSFM) exam is being offered on Tues., Jan. 12 and again on Sat., Jan 16. To find out if you qualify to take the exam, 
click here or call STMA Headquarters at 800-323-3875. Be sure to let Headquarters know if you are planning on testing during the conference. 


2009 Field of the Year Award Winners Announced 

STMA is pleased to officially announce the winners of the prestigious STMA Field of the Year Awards for 2009. Nine awards were bestowed this year and the winners were selected from dozens of applicants as the best field in their category and level. 

The 2009 STMA Field of the Year winners are: 

Baseball 
Schools and Parks – McNair Field; Forest City, NC; Brian Blanton 
Professional – Whataburger Field; Corpus Christi, TX; Garrett Reddehase 

Football 
Schools and Parks – War Memorial Stadium Field; Union City, TN; Stephen Crockett, CSFM 
Professional – Lambeau Field; Green Bay, WI; Allen Johnson, CSFM 

Soccer 
Schools and Parks – SDJA Field at San Diego Jewish Academy; San Diego, CA; Joshua Koss 
Professional – Community America Ballpark; Kansas City, KS; Jay Griggs 

Softball 
Schools and Parks – Atlee High School Varsity Softball Field; Mechanicsville, VA; Marc Moran 
College – Patricia Wilson Field at Stetson University; DeLand, FL; George Marshall 

Sporting Grounds 
Schools and Parks – Infinity Park; Glendale, CO; Josh Bertrand 

Each of these winners receives complimentary registration to the 21st Annual STMA Conference and Exhibition where they will receive their award, three nights lodging at the Conference, signature STMA Field of the Year merchandise, and an article featuring their facility in SportsTurf Magazine. 


SAFE Announces 2009 Scholarship Winners 

The charitable arm of STMA, the Foundation for Safer Athletic Field Environments (SAFE), is pleased to officially announce the winners of the 2009 SAFE Scholarships. These winners were chosen from one of the most competitive fields in the history of the program. In addition to their scholarship, each winner receives free registration to the 21st Annual STMA Conference and Exhibition and three nights lodging at the conference. 

The 2009 SAFE Scholarship winners are: 

Graduate Scholarships 
Dr. James Watson Graduate Scholarship - $2,500
 
Andrew Hoiberg, Iowa State 

Four Year Scholarships 
Dr. James Watson Undergraduate Scholarship - $2,500
 
Brian McDougal, Michigan State 
SAFE Undergraduate Scholarship - $2,000 
Kyley Dickson, Tennessee 
SAFE Undergraduate Scholarship - $1,000 
Kent Dickerson, Georgia 
Eric Haub, Purdue 
Zack Severns, Washington State 

Two Year Scholarships 
Dr. Fred Grau Memorial Scholarship - $1,500
 
Ryan McGillivray, Massachusetts 
SAFE Two Year Scholarship - $1,000 
Patrick Escalera, Mt. San Antonio 

The SAFE Scholarship Program is generously funded through the Toro Giving Program, the SAFE Jacobsen Golf Tournament held at STMA’s Annual Conference and Exhibition each year, and through individual and corporate donations made throughout the year. The proceeds from the Live and Silent Auctions and raffle held each year on the STMA Trade Show Floor also go to the program. These donors fund a stipend for each recipient to attend the STMA annual conference (including lodging) and a scholarship of no less than $1,000. 


Deadline to Apply for $1,000 Continuing Education Extended! 

The deadline to apply for the Terry Mellor Continuing Education Grant, sponsored by Turface Athletics, has been extended until December 9! 

The grant is available to all STMA members, and is intended to help fund a trip to the Conference. In order to be eligible, an STMA National Member must nominate a person using the Nomination Form. 
Click here to download the nomination form. The form also includes the criteria for eligibility and guidance for writing your nomination. 

In addition to $1,000 towards travel and lodging, STMA will provide a complimentary conference registration to the winner, and the winner will be recognized at the association’s annual Awards Banquet held at the conference on Jan. 15, 2010. 

The Terry Mellor Continuing Education Grant is named in honor of the brother of Red Sox Director of Grounds David Mellor. Terry died of a massive heart attack at the age of 43 and was very involved in his community and was named volunteer of the year for the state of Wisconsin for the Special Olympics. He was a strong supporter of continuing education and this grant honors his passion. 


Almost Faster than a Speeding Bullet 

STMA is sending your membership renewal invoice electronically to your inbox. You can print out a copy or forward it directly to your accounting department. For those who wish to pay by credit card, a link will also be included that takes you to your membership home page. From there you will be able to easily renew, using a credit card. 

STMA does take purchase orders, and can also set up a payment plan for you, if you desire. If you are unemployed at the beginning of the year, please contact STMA so that we may extend your membership benefits through June. 

STMA’s membership rates remain unchanged at $110, the same rate since 2007. When you receive your invoice, please take a minute to authorize it for payment. 


Get a Member, Get a Hat! 

The new Member-Get-A-Member Campaign officially kicks off at the STMA Annual Conference. The campaign will run Jan. 15 through April 15, 2010, and every member who recruits a new member will receive an STMA hat! If you recruit three members, you will receive an STMA shirt (in addition to a hat). Recruit five or more members, and receive the hat, shirt and be entered into a drawing to win a travel voucher for $1,000 – no restrictions!. The hats and shirts are limited to one per person, but you will be entered into the drawing each time you recruit five members. And, the top recruiter will receive a $400 Visa gift card. 

STMA defines a “new” member as someone who has not been an STMA national member since 2004, and all categories of membership are eligible except for recruiting student members. The STMA Membership Committee developed this campaign as a fun and easy way for you to help grow our membership base. 

Start making your contact list now, and be ready to wear some stylish STMA merchandise for your efforts. 


Conference Adds 1 full day of Education — No Additional Charge! 

Start your conference education at 8 a.m. on Wed., Jan. 13, 2010 with the pre-conference workshop: Getting the most out of your water: managing athletic fields with reduced or no irrigation, taught by Doug Karcher, Ph.D., from the University of Arkansas. This session will cover drought tolerant cultivars, wetting agent application, and how to use probes for irrigation scheduling to reduce the amount of water necessary to produce a high quality sports field. Next, hear Ed McCoy, Ph.D. from The Ohio State University present Athletic field drainage — subsurface water flow made visible, from 10:15-12:15 p.m. Learn about drainage principles for a variety of soil types and soil profile conditions. 

Choose from four workshops from 2 — 4 p.m. At Grass art: mowing patterns and beyond, Matt Anderson from the Lansing Lugnuts and Greg Salyer from the West Michigan Whitecaps will instruct on how to create patterns in turfgrass without using paint. Weather 101, taught by Brad Jakubowski, Doane College and Larry DiVito, Minnesota Twins, is a popular repeat from the 2009 conference. This interactive session will help you to interpret daily weather reports, maps and forecasts for daily turfgrass management. A panel of turfgrass experts will discuss Warm season athletic field management. Workshop participants will be able to ask questions of panelists Grady Miller, Ph.D., NC State University and John Sorochan, Ph.D., from the University of Tennessee. Conference attendees can also attend the Field of the Year (FOY) workshop on What makes a strong FOY candidate presented by previous FOY winners and current judges including Andrew Gossel, Athletic Director for Covenant Christian High School, Patrick Coakley, CSFM, Sports Construction Management Inc., Martin Kaufman, CSFM at Ensworth Schools, and Gerald Landby from Carroll College. 

All of these workshops are included in the full conference registration fee. 


New ASTM Standards 

We have revised “The STMA Collection of ASTM Standards for Athletic Fields” to include 5 new standards. Test methods have been added under Standard Test Method for Playing Surfaces and Standard Guides for Synthetic Surfaces. 
Click here to view the updated version.

 

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