We keep learning all the time, in many different ways: The key to success for any collaborative project is to start out with a clear understanding of the objectives.
And the more complex or important a project is, having a common understanding of what the objectives are and knowing the hierarchy of those objectives (from “most important” to “least”), is the best way to help make sure you get it done.
Although a deluge of rain on the last day of the 30th Annual Modern Day Marine Expo threatened to close the show early, Marines, vendors and attendees gutted out the rough weather to bring the event to a record-breaking close.
The first exposition was held in one tent in Tucson, AZ, on 18 August 1981. More than 8,500 attendees perused over 500 exhibits at this year’s Expo, held 28–30 September aboard MCB Quantico.
The most sought-after visitors were the Marines whose lives and fighting capabilities depend on the equipment displayed at the show. From socks to computer servers, the Marines gave the suppliers incisive critiques on what works, what doesn’t and what they need.
This year’s Expo took place under the shadow of looming defense spending cuts and reductions in manpower, exacerbated by a renewed debate over whether America needs a Marine Corps.
Present at the opening on 28 September was Lieutenant General George J. Flynn, Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, who was “on his way to Capitol Hill to save the Marine Corps,” from extensive budget cuts, said Lieutenant General (Ret.) Ronald Coleman, MCL Exposition Coordinator, during his introduction.
Lieutenant General Flynn recalled that the late Lieutenant General Victor “Brute” Krulak wrote that “the United States does not need a Marine Corps … the United States wants a Marine Corps.” The Marine Corps, he added, “will continue to be ready when the nation is least ready … it will remain naval in character and will be truly expeditionary” in protecting America and her interests.
Innovation was a key theme of the show. Lieutenant General Flynn noted that much of the Corps’ success in battle has been due to equipment first seen at the Expos. “You can never get the future 100 percent right, but you can’t afford to get it 100 percent wrong,” he reminded the crowd.
This year Hammock once again hit the events trail for our client, the Marine Corps League, making 2010 a record year in event-related advertising and expo sales.
The old saying “you can’t tell the players without a program” holds for trade shows where strapped-for-time attendees want to know what’s on display and where.
Since 2006, in addition to relaunching its member magazine, Semper Fi, Hammock has produced directories for each of the three annual Marine Military Expos sponsored by our client, The Marine Corps League. In that time, both Semper Fi and the Expo directories have experienced significant growth in advertising sales and print quantity.
Managed by Nielsen Expositions, a part of the Nielsen Company, these shows bring defense industry suppliers together with the Marines for frank discussions and critiques of the products and services.
The Expos are held at the Marine Corps bases at Camp Pendleton, CA, Camp Lejeune, NC, and Quantico, VA, outside Washington, DC. The latter is by far the biggest, drawing as many as 450 vendors and thousands of attendees.
In 2006, the guide for the Quantico event was 24 pages long, contained only two paid ads and was printed as part of the magazine. Since then it has doubled in size to 48 pages this year, with more than 19 pages of paid advertising that generated significant revenue for our client. The other two guides have seen similar growth.
Robust ad sales efforts and opportunities for vendor listings to be highlighted have helped fuel this growth, but advertisers say a redesign of both magazine and guides in 2006 plus a strong—and very Marine—content strategy make them increasingly desirable media buys.
Savvy marketers no longer depend solely on traditional advertising in traditional media to reach their audience. Creating and managing their own branded media — from e-media to print magazines and from video to iPad apps –marketers now are learning that content is the glue holding their marketplaces together. Since our own Rex Hammock helped to create what is now the largest content marketing trade group in the United States, the Custom Content Council, we asked him to answer one simple question that we get asked a lot these days: “What exactly is content marketing?”