Bling My Booth

Tradeshow training for the catering industry

Written by Susan Ratliff on February 27th, 2009. Posted in Uncategorized

I told you about the CaterSource conference back in January.  I just returned home from Las Vegas where I presented two seminars to an assortment of catering industry suppliers, association planners and meeting professionals.  On Sunday I taught supplying exhibitors the five most important elements they need to turn their booth into a powerful profit center at shows.  That includes:  Goal Setting, Display dynamics, promotions, sales strategies and follow-up.  On Monday I talked to planners how to add value and excitement to the next tradeshow they produced.  It was a fun trip. I love Las Vegas.  After work I enjoyed my favorite games. I had some good runs on Roulette and got a cool Sun/Moon slot machine up to $550.  I can’t wait to go back again in March for the Exhibitor Show. That is the largest tradeshow for the tradeshow industry.  I’ll be looking for what’s new and exciting in display design and services so I can give my clients the latest and greatest products and services.  I’ll tell you about the trip after.  I did ride the monorail this time and found it lots of fun on top of being a great deal.  I spent over $50 the first day on taxis then bought a 24 hour pass for $13 and rode it the next two days.  I recommend it.  SR

Women’s Boot Camp a great success

Written by Susan Ratliff on February 27th, 2009. Posted in Uncategorized

It was our 5th annual conference and I must say I think it was the best one yet. Close to 300 women business owners came to the Chaparral Suites Hotel in Scottsdale for a day of education and networking. There were 50 exhibitors offering beneficial services and resources to the attendees and nine speakers teaching workshops to make their businesses better.  There were three keynote presentations, but the one by Janice Hurley-Trailor on Improving your image to increase your income was a smashing hit. The poor woman was mobbed after her program with women asking for personal tips to spiff up their wardrobes.  Thanks to all the presenters for bringing such valuable lessons to the audience. 

One of the things I love about the event is the opening ceremony. Since it is a “boot camp” I always invite the Honor Guard from Luke Air Force Base to present the colors and flags while local student trumpeters from Saguaro High School play the National Anthem.  You can see photos of this an all the activities of the day at  Thanks to Paul Reklaitis for the pictures.

Twenty two companies sponsored the event including a few nationally know powerhouse players like Best Buy, AT& T, Vertical Response, State Farm Insurance and and eWoman Network.  We welcomed new sponsors Phoenix Woman Magazine, Marketing with a Flair and  MLS Network Group.  And I am very grateful for the loyal support from Greater Phoenix Chamber, The Phoenix Business Journal, Mullins Media,KFNN Radio, Image Craft, DL WebWorks, City Sun Times, LunaDisc, AAAME, ProPhoto, ASBA, Triangulus3 Marketing an Exhibit Experts.  All in all it was a great day.

Catering Industry’s Signature Event Coming to Las Vegas

Written by Susan Ratliff on January 23rd, 2009. Posted in Catersource tradeshow coming

I was really excited to get the call that they wanted me to speak at the CaterSource-Event Solutions Conference and Tradeshow in Las Vegas again this year.  This awesome event showcases the talents, products and services of anyone who is anyone connected to the catering industry.  It has it all for event planners, executive producers, meetings directors, sales managers, association and non-profit planners that want cutting edge insight and up to the minute innovations that will make their future events truly unforgetable.  See the finest work from local and international designers, producers and food experts.  This is a five day extravaganza with some of the most dazzeling design elements and food presentations you will find at a convention.  There is something for everyone.  Kick off the conference and bust a move at the Cherry Nightclub. Pick your favorite expert to learn from among the 150 educational sessions available.  Earn your industry certifications on site.  Attend the CaterSource Wedding party, observe the contestants of the Table Top Design Contest.  Enter to win one of the $70,000 in raffle prizes or eat your way through one of the most amazing tradeshows in town.  I love this show and am delighted to be teaching a session for industry suppliers on how to turn their exhibit booths into powerful profit centers.  I am also presenting a program for association and non-profit planners that will help them add value and excitement to their next tradeshow.  The best part is I will be in Las Vegas, my favorite place.  After a busy day at the show you can find me on the Roulette table at Harrahs. Bye for now.

March your troops into a new year

Written by Susan Ratliff on January 1st, 2009. Posted in women's conference coming

Happy New Year.  The ball just dropped.  The party will be over in a few hours.   Time to get back to business next week.  If you are a small business owner in Phoenix, Arizona you might want to check out the upcoming women Entrepreneurs’ Small Business Boot Camp.  This 5th annual event will take place on Saturday February 7th where 300 women business owners will converge at the Chaparral Suites Resort in Scottsdale to be educated, motivated and celebrated.  I created this day long forum, on my own dime, back in 2004 to showcase for local success stories and to provide a no-nonsense, power-packed day where successful women could meet, network and take home practical, tactical, easy to impliment strategies and tools that would help them and their companies grow.   It has grown into one terrific day that includes three keynote presentations, nine workshops, 50 resource exhibits, a bookstore, charity raffle, meals, a cocktail party and 300 business owners eager to share and learn.  Our motto says it all: No Theory, Philosophy or Fluff, just an arsenal of ideas and practical ammunition to help you battle your most difficult business challenges.  It’s a bargain for $89.  Check out the details at or give us a call at 602-437-3634.

Cherish every moment of life

Written by Susan Ratliff on December 21st, 2008. Posted in Uncategorized

I keep trying to stay on topic, but I seem to be dealing with a lot of curve balls lately.  My husband believes that bad news comes in threes so after his Mom’s house was robbed and our good friend got mugged he was sure that the nagging pain in his gut was something serious, the third ominous issue. As we waited for the results of his blood tests we were not prepared for the call from  Wickenburg telling us that my Dad  had just died of a heart attack.  A short, gregarious Italian, Pete Matastasio had survived two previous heart attacks and a quadruple bypass. He didn’t let that sideline his zest for life and continued to live it without the restrictions the doctors recommended.  He retired from 60 years of manual work including a career as a welder, then moved to Wickenburg in 2004.  He spent his last very happy years prospecting for gold on the Arizona desert.  He was quite successful leaving behind an impressive box filled with vials of gold slivers and numerous nuggets.  We knew he was not feeling that great, but he kept quiet about the stabbing pains in his chest and arms because he knew if he called me I would cart him off to the doctor.  He vowed never to go back to the hospital again.  He refused to end his life hooked up to wires and gadgets and bottles of fluids dripping into his arm.  He would have preferred to pass on while at his favorite digging site, but at least he did not suffer.  Death stinks.  If you are facing sadness, illness or death of a loved one this holiday season my heart goes out to you.  Cherish every moment of life and give thanks that you are still around to enjoy it.

Merry Christmas