Bling My Booth

Give back and get back more

Written by Susan Ratliff on December 12th, 2009. Posted in Uncategorized

I attended a delightful gathering of Positively Powerful people organized by Joel Martin from and her husband Bob recently.  Joel has created a wonderful celebration of talented people in the valley through her Positively Powerful events.  At this breakfast meeting we shared the joy of giving and learned how to turn contacts into contracts.  I had the pleasure of meeting quite a few people I did not know and was pleasantly surprised to connect with some business opportunities I was not expecting.  Joel is classy, warm and an outstanding speaker and business professional.  If you have not had the chance to meet her please connect with her at and tell her I said to call.

Although budgets are tight and bank accounts are thin you can always find a way to give back this holiday season if only by connecting with friends and family.  I am looking forward to helping a well deserved local charity in February when we donate the proceeds from our raffle, at the 2010 Women Entrepreneurs’ Small Business Boot Camp.  Check out the details at

Exhibiting Service fees are sky high, why?

Written by Susan Ratliff on November 16th, 2009. Posted in Uncategorized

How can the exhibitor who is already dealing with a crappy economy deal with the every increasing charges placed on us by the show decorator and convention services companies?  There is a lot of controversy on this topic as fees continue to climb and accountability is hard to get.  Serenity J. Knutson, Editor in Chief of PlannerWire has a series of articles addressing these issue and providing a variety of opinions from those of us in the mddle of it.  See the entire article and my two cents worth at

Bugs are Big Business

Written by Susan Ratliff on October 12th, 2009. Posted in Uncategorized

The first business conference and expo organized by the Arizona Pest Prevention Organization ( was a great success. I had the privilege of presenting two seminars to the attendees recently at the Mesa Convention center where nearly 400 professionals in the pest management industry came together for education and support.  The bug business is big business. I was particularly amazed at how much science and technology goes into creating the products that keep the ants away from our picnic lunches and our kitchens free of roaches.  There was a clear emphasis in both the seminars and in the expo on safety and environmental protection.  Discussions about becoming “Green” were abundant and several new techniques and products were introduced on the show floor.  I was facinated by the reseach that was shared on such issues as the life span of bees, termites and rats and how many seconds it takes to kill a roach.  I was also impressed at how knowledgable and friendly the vendors were.  Everyone I talked to seemed to enjoy the two day event.  Congratulations to Helen and Nate and all the people who put together the 2009 Saguaro Continuing Education Conference and Expo.

The truth be told about Meetings & Conventions

Written by Susan Ratliff on September 19th, 2009. Posted in Speaking out about conventions & meetings

Here is a recent Letter to the Editor I submitted to the Arizona Republic that has yet to be publishes.  Maybe I can get the truth out better from my blog.  here is what I wrote.  Let me know if you feel the same way.

I am so sick of hearing uninformed individuals, who have never run a business, met a payroll or had to motivate a sales team rant about the amount of money certain companies spend traveling to conventions or conducting business meetings. I work in the exhibit industry and can no longer stand by while the real truth about the value of tradeshows, meetings and conventions gets distorted or left out of the debate. Those who complain the loudest don’t understand that in the real world when management rewards exceptional performance and expands employee knowledge, it encourages innovation, increases productivity and generates commerce. The staff is recharged, people buy the products, the company flourishes and everyone keeps their job. That’s how you stimulate the economy. The businesses that are not laying people off, but showing their appreciation for their employees by sending them to a nice hotel, paying for advanced education and showing their appreciation for a job well done should be rewarded not reprimanded. They are reinvesting in their most valuable asset, their people. The damage being done to the tourism, hospitality, tradeshow and convention industries by one-sided reporting is devastating. It is not just the hotels, restaurants and resorts that suffer. Attention Main Street! Along with the $100 million lost on area tourism, no meetings, conventions and tradeshows means no jobs for food servers, housekeepers, limo drivers, florists, delivery people, truck drivers, chefs, carpet layers, banquet managers, travel agents, display manufacturers, exhibit installers, graphic designers, sales people and the list goes on. It’s time for local business owners to stop grumbling to each other in quiet circles and start making some noise. Help me get the truth out. Our livelihood depends on it.

Your health is everything!

Written by Susan Ratliff on September 4th, 2009. Posted in Uncategorized

Who would have thought that a stomach ache on Monday night would turn into accute appendicitis that would land me in the hospital on Tuesday night.  It took me 16 hours of enduring what I thought was a touch of food poisoning and one missed day of work to finally give in to the pain and see a doctor. Actually my husband had to talk me into it.  They don’t mess around with problems with your appendix.  I saw the doctor at 3 pm, was sent to the emergency room at 4:40 for a CT Scan and went into surgery at 7pm.  Never even stopped back home.  Good thing I had on my nice underwear.  I told that to my Mom who always warned me this might happen and she had a good laugh.  Stayed overnight in the hospital and was home by 2 pm the next afternoon.  You just never know.  All is well. Nice to have great staff on hand to cover for me at the office. Thanks Karol Ward and Sue Marshall for being there and doing such a great job.  I know all you business owners out there can really relate. Good health to all.