Tag: 上海干磨论坛

  • Match-fixing trial not expected to affect Antonio Conte taking up Chelsea reins

    first_img1 Antonio Conte’s ongoing legal case in Italy is not expected to impact on him taking up the manager’s job at Chelsea ahead of next season, it is understood.Chelsea announced on Monday that Conte will take charge at Stamford Bridge on a three-year deal after coaching Italy at Euro 2016 this summer.Conte is one of several defendants in a match-fixing trial taking place in Cremona, relating to when he was in charge of Serie B side Siena in 2011. He denies any wrongdoing.Italian prosecutor Roberto Di Martino has reportedly stated he would be seeking a six-month suspended prison sentence and an 8,000 euros (£6,400) fine for Conte, who has already served a four-month touchline ban imposed by the Italian Football Federation in 2012 relating to the case.A final statement by the defence looks set to be made to the court later this month, with the judge’s verdict expected in the middle of May.Chelsea will not comment on the matter as it is part of an ongoing legal process, but three-time Serie A-winning coach Conte, who has maintained his innocence throughout the affair, believes he has no charge to answer. Chelsea announced Antonio Conte’s appointment on Monday last_img read more

  • Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week:  Scientists, Learn Darwinism on TV

    first_imgIn Current Biology, Kenneth E. Sawin of Wellcome Trust Center for Cell Biology at Edinburgh University was interviewed about his career.  One of the questions was, “What are the big ideas for you now?”  Here is part of his answer:Another thing that I think about, which may be more ethereal, is that cell biologists interested in molecular mechanisms should always be reminding themselves that evolution proceeds without any predestined direction, and this is as true for cellular regulatory mechanisms as it is for organismal evolution [sic].  Even if we don’t think too much about evolution in our day-to-day work, it is the backdrop against which everything takes place, and one needs to keep a very open mind [sic], and not be too dogmatic, about how biological systems may be “designed”, because there is no designer [sic].  The best stimulus for this is to watch a few nature programs on TV. (Emphasis added.)1“Q&A: Kenneth E. Sawin,” Current Biology, Vol 16, R268-R269, 18 April 2006.If anyone can figure out how being dogmatic about evolution is an example of open-mindedness, or how directionlessness produced cellular regulatory mechanisms, or how maintaining faith in purposelessness as a backdrop aids thinking, or how telling oneself there is no designer demonstrates things are not designed, let us know.  Notice two other things he said: (1) scientists don’t think too much about evolution in their day-to-day work, indicating that evolutionary theory is useless, and (2) TV is this evolutionist’s source of inspiration (see visualization in the Baloney Detector).  So producers get their stimulus from the dogmatic claims of the evolutionary biologists, and biologists in turn get their inspiration from watching the resulting TV shows: a vicious cycle, with emphasis on vicious.    Example: last night The Science Channel replayed The Rise of Man, one of the dumbest examples of evolutionary storytelling ever made for the tube.  In this ridiculous portrayal of made-up history, presented in all seriousness, naked ape-faced actors invent religion when lightning strikes, invent language when stealing ostrich eggs, invent the family when she-ape needs help in childbirth, and invent art when one ape-man sticks a shiny stone on his female’s mud-plastered forehead.  The group all giggles in the mud together at this new sign of beauty.  If this is Sawin’s inspiration, God help him.    Cave Man was much better.  At least Ringo Starr, Barbara Bach and John Matuszak all knew it was only a spoof.  Let’s offer Sawin and his ilk free unending reruns of all the evolution shows they want; maybe this will keep them in a permanent state of euphoria – and out of the classroom. (Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

  • African art scene blooms in South Africa

    first_imgArtist David Koloane attends the 2013 Turbine Art Fair in Johannesburg. (Image: Turbine Art Fair)• Ross Douglas Founder and directorArtlogic+27 11 447 3868• Jade MacCallumMarketing ManagerTurbine Art Fair+27 11 575 3698• Liza Dyason ProducerCape Town Art Fair+27 21 674 5644Lucille DavieThe African contemporary art scene is blooming in South Africa, with one fair going into its seventh year, and two others having a second showing this year.The longest-running of them, the FNB Joburg Art Fair, is planning its seventh splash in August this year in Sandton, in the northern suburbs of the city of gold. “As we sit down to plan for the seventh edition of the FNB Joburg Art Fair, we are very excited to [get] feedback on what a pivotal year 2013 was for the African contemporary art scene,” says Ross Douglas, the director and founder of Artlogic, the company that initially conceived the idea.In 2013, 33 galleries participated, with groups in Mozambique, Nigeria and Zimbabwe showcasing work, while galleries in England, France, Germany and Spain took floor space too. Douglas says sales were up 25%, with R20-million raked in. Some 10 000 visitors attended the fair, which was held in September.Artlogic was founded by Douglas in 2004, with its first venture a production of William Kentridge’s 9 Films for Projection, shown in South Africa and New York, as well as The Magic Flute. Artlogic also produces the FoodWineDesign Fair, and the Winter Sculpture Fair, held in the scenic surrounds of the Nirox Foundation sculpture park, in the Cradle of Humankind, some 40km north-west of Johannesburg.Douglas says that the Joburg Art Fair is now on the international art calendar, and the 2013 edition secured interviews on German National Radio, Deutsche Welle, Monocle, Art Tactic and the AMA newsletter. There were also six African pavilions at the Venice Biennale 2013, he adds, and the Golden Lion for the best national pavilion was awarded to Angola.Two new art fairs“While we [had] been pioneers for five years, 2013 saw no fewer than two new art fairs in South Africa.” The first Cape Town Art Fair took place in October, with the second planned for late February this year. And the first Turbine Art Fair, in Newtown in downtown Joburg, took place in July; the second is planned for July this year.In total, 28 South African galleries were represented in Newtown, with the aim to create a platform for aspiring art collectors to buy art, says Jade MacCallum, the marketing manager of the Forum Company, which conceived and organised the event. A ceiling of R25 000 was set for the artworks.“The project was started by The Forum with the purpose to educate, include and excite people about the wonderful world of art, people [who] wouldn’t ordinarily be exposed to art or galleries. Sharing art experiences enables us to live out our passion and create opportunities,” says MacCallum. Some 3 000 people attended the two-day event, and she says the organisers are satisfied that they achieved their aim.The second Cape Town Art Fair takes place at the start of the year in which Cape Town is World Design Capital (WDC). “WDC is a biannual honour, awarded by the International Council for Societies of Industrial Design, to cities across the globe to show their commitment using design as a social, cultural and economic development tool,” indicate the organisers of the fair, Fiero Milano Africa.In all, 40 galleries took stands at the first Cape Town fair, most of which were from the city. Asked why it took Cape Town so long to have an art fair, Liza Dyason, the event producer, said: “I’m uncertain why it took so long… the idea seems obvious. Until now it was felt that the market was primarily Joburg-based but with the enormous developments and investments going into art and design in the Mother City, the [Cape Town Art Fair] was seen as an important addition to the events that are planned, especially with Cape Town World Design Capital 2014 in mind.”Fiera Milano Africa director Louise Cashmore says: “The success of the first fair in 2013 clearly illustrated that the time was right for Cape Town to host an art fair of this nature. Cape Town is an international city and home to many of the country’s leading contemporary artists, curators and galleries.”Other spin-offsAnother spin-off was the 1.54 Contemporary African Art Fair, held in London in October 2013. Artists from Tanzania, Mali, Angola and Benin exhibited, and galleries from Equatorial New Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, and South Africa took stands. Alongside these galleries were several European dealers who have an interest in work from Africa: Milan’s Galleria Continua, London’s Jack Bell and Berlin’s Mikael Andersen, among others.In November, the announcement of the first major private art museum in Africa was made: the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa will open in late 2016 in Cape Town. Jochen Zeitz has committed his collection of contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora in perpetuity as the museum’s founding collection. Not only will he underwrite the running costs of the museum, but he will provide “a substantial acquisition budget to allow the museum to acquire new important artworks over time to remain on the edge of contemporary cultural production”, according to a statement by the V&A Waterfront, his partner in the venture.The museum will focus on collecting, preserving, researching, and exhibiting “cutting edge contemporary art”. It will be housed in the historic Grain Silo at the V&A Waterfront, with the V&A committing over R500-million to the development. “Built in 1921, and at 57m tall, the Grain Silo remains an icon of the Cape Town skyline. This investment will further the development of art in Africa and acknowledges the important cultural and financial contribution the visual arts sector makes.”Around the time of the announcement, Zeitz said: “Over the last two decades, Africa has played an important role in both my professional and private life. My collection has been strategically built over many years specifically with the goal to create an internationally relevant public contemporary art museum in Africa. After considering many cities across Africa, I am excited to partner with the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. It is an iconic location in an iconic city, and will be situated in a historic landmark building. This will make my collection accessible to local, national, continental and international audiences.”Douglas says that this year, more galleries from Africa and Europe will participate in the Joburg Art Fair, but the core theme will remain African. England, France, Germany, Mozambique, Nigeria, Spain and Zimbabwe will be represented, and so far 33 galleries have confirmed their attendance, 11 of which are new to the event.“One of Artlogic’s primary aims with the FNB Joburg Art Fair is to grow the audience for art from Africa,” he says.last_img read more

  • Proteas narrowly escape Netherlands upset

    first_img28 March South Africa narrowly avoided a shock defeat to the Netherlands in the ICC World Twenty in Chittagong, Bangladesh on Thursday, successfully defending a low total to edge the Dutch by five runs and keep their hopes of reaching the semi-finals alive. Coming off a nasty nine-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka, the Netherlands were not expected to push the Proteas much. Instead they made the game very uncomfortable for the South Africans and their supporters by restricting Faf du Plessis and company to only 145 for 9 in their 20 overs.Stunning The pitch suited their bowling, but their bowlers had to make full use of it, and they did, led by Ashan Malik, who mixed up his pace up very effectively to capture a stunning 5 for 19 in his four overs. He ended Hashim Amla’s very aggressive innings at the top of the order after the South African opener had smashed 43 off only 22 deliveries and followed that up with the wickets of Albie Morkel (5), David Miller (17), Dale Steyn (5) and Beuran Hendricks (3). With Malik setting the bar high, the rest of the Dutch attack responded with some tight bowling.Lack of boundaries SA skipper Faf du Plessis smashed a six off the fourth ball of the ninth over, but was out the very next ball, caught on the boundary off the bowling of Tom Cooper. Incredibly, it took until the fourth ball of the 17th over for the Proteas to strike their next boundary as the Netherlands’ bowlers allowed little width to the batsmen and kept the ball full. Du Plessis managed 24 off 14 deliveries, but the two next highest scorers, AB de Villiers and David Miller, usually free scoring batsmen, were restricted to 21 off 21 balls and 17 off of 18 respectively. Ultimately, the Proteas managed only 13 fours and one six in their innings, with Amla responsible for the majority of them, striking seven boundaries and the only maximum of the South African innings. In the end, they mustered only 145 for 9, leaving the Dutch requiring 7.3 runs per over for victory.Destructive Former KwaZulu-Natal Inland and Northerns player Stephan Myburgh then threatened to win the game for the Dutch with a destructive knock at the top of their batting order. Fellow opener Michael Swart was the first to fall, but when he was dismissed for eight in the sixth over of the innings the Dutch had already reached 55, thanks mostly to the efforts of Myburgh. His belligerent knock was finally ended in the eighth over when he played on to JP Duminy for 51 off only 28 balls. By then, however, the Netherlands were on 80 for 2, well within sight of a shocking upset of the South Africans.Tahir’s heroics South Africa needed somebody to step up and stop the flow of runs. That man proved to be leg-spinner Imran Tahir. He begin his heroics by trapping Wesley Barresi in front for 14 and then followed that up by seeing off captain Peter Borren LBW for 13. Still, at 116 for 4, the Dutch needed only 30 runs for victory with six wickets in hand. Dale Steyn, though, removed Ben Cooper for five on that total, followed by Tahir bowling Cooper’s in-form brother Tom for 16 to reduce the men in orange to 116 for 6. Two runs later, Tahir claimed his fourth wicket, when Pieter Seelar was caught by JP Duminy for two, to leave the Netherlands wobbling on 118 for 7.Run out David Miller and Quinton de Kock then combined to run out Logan van Beek to make it 125 for 8. Mudasser Bukhari and Timm van de Gugten added nine runs, taking the total to 134 before Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who was expensive with a return of 1 for 46 in his four overs, had Bukhari caught by Miller for 11. At 134 for 9, the Proteas needed only one wicket to avoid an embarrassing set-back. To their relief, they claimed it five runs later when Hendricks picked up his second T20 international wicket, having Van der Gugten caught behind for eight.‘We are making it hard for ourselves’ “I think we are making it hard for ourselves,” South African captain Faf du Plessis said at the post-match ceremony. Optimistically, he added: “It’s a great sign when your side is not playing 100 percent and still gets over the line. “Credit to Netherlands for some very good bowling. Tahir and Steyn were outstanding. Credit to young Hendricks for bowling well under pressure. Credit to Netherlands as they played very good cricket for 70 percent of the game.”‘We obviously let this one go’ Defeat was tough to swallow for Dutch captain Peter Borren. “We obviously let this one go. We played across the line to Tahir. It’s a real shame,” he said. “They got off to a flying start and we did well to pull them back. Malik is a fantastic bowler and credit to him. “I have to take the responsibility too with my dismissal tonight. I’m miffed with the fact that we didn’t get over the line. After our last game I’m glad we stepped up better tonight.”‘It was a good team effort’ For his crucial role in South Africa’s victory, Imran Tahir was named man of the match. “I’m really pleased. It was a good team effort,” he said. “We believed that we could have won this game, but it wasn’t an easy one. I just tried to bowl wicket to wicket.” In Thursday’s other Group 1 game, England chased down a victory target of 190 to beat Sri Lanka by six wickets, with Alex Hales becoming the first Englishman to hit a T20 international century, finishing with 116 not out off of just 54 deliveries, with 11 fours and 6 sixes. South Africa next face England on Saturday in Chittagong in their final group match.last_img read more

  • “Storm fronts” affecting current markets

    first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLCThere are two “storm fronts” affecting markets right now.The first was widespread rain slowing planting progress, and continued wet weather forecasted. The market might be trading 63% of the corn crop being planted in the Tuesday afternoon’s report. I’m in the camp of around 59%.The second storm is blowing out of Washington, D.C. Another MFP payment is expected, but there are a lot of changes and rumors circling about how farmers will get paid. At one point, it was anticipated to be based on planted acres like last time, which would encourage farmers to plant as much as possible. Then Thursday it was discussed that payments would still be based upon acres with adjustments by county, but the exact details were unclear. Then on Friday rumors started circulating that prevent plant payments could somehow be included. There were many questions about the feasibility of that possibility at this point. Any policy change could drastically affect farmers’ planting decisions. Decreasing the number of planted acres could cause a major corn and bean rally.This is an unprecedented year in weather and politics. As we navigate so much uncertainty, predicting market direction is extremely difficult if not impossible. The next few weeks will be the most volatile the market has been in the last 6 years.Weather forecasts show more wet weather is expected next week. Parts of the Dakotas will be in the corn prevent plant window as of Saturday. The market indicates farmers should consider pressing their luck and plant past their prevent plant dates and hope there isn’t an early frost or a change to the MFP payment policy. BeansI’ve been asked several times recently why I haven’t been talking about beans. It’s because fundamentally bean prices haven’t made a lot of sense this last year. In my opinion, prices have been high compared to potential supply. Last year’s huge carryout should have been an anchor keeping bean prices below $9, but futures managed to stay above $9 for much of the winter.While last summer market participants were blaming the trade war for price drops, the much bigger issue was the huge harvest and record potential carryout. Today exports for the 2018 crop are only 400 million bushels below last year. So even without the trade war, there would have been a huge carryout by historical comparisons. Therefore, it’s been difficult to rationalize prices above $9, yet that was pretty common for much of last several months.Looking forward to 2019, I still think U.S. farmers may plant too many bean acres unless an unexpected policy change becomes available to the market. The recent wet weather could force farmers to make tough decisions about their planting intentions. What about MFP2?Some farmers are already planning for it. Right now, it seems like farmers need to plant their beans in order to receive a payment from the government. However, nobody really knows for sure how the next round of payments will exactly work. I think it’s risky to plant something that requires government intervention to make a profit, but I understand the fear of missing out if you don’t. What did you do?I kept beans in the rotation on our farm. I wanted to do fewer acres because of prices, but we really couldn’t because of rotation requirements for our fields. I now have to market the beans we planted. What are bean breakevens for farmers?Based upon University data, average breakevens throughout the U.S. are around $9.75 futures level, give or take 25 cents. Bean breakevens are a little harder to calculate because for each 1 bushel per acre yield change, the breakeven price shifts 20 cents.There was only a small window of opportunity to market beans close to breakeven over the last 6 months. While I never want to market any crop at a loss, I came close for this crop year. Still, I waited hoping for just a small rally from a possible trade deal to get profitable levels, but it hasn’t come for the 2019 crop. In hindsight I should have sold some a couple months earlier. What will you do now?I have enough capacity to store all of my 2019 beans, so that gives me until September 2020 (16 months) to sell them. This means I get to see 2 U.S. and 1 South American crop productions to see if there are any production problems. There is always a long shot at a trade deal with China that could increases exports significantly. The last 16 months have been an extremely wild ride, sometimes just waiting is the best plan. The corn market proved this week that market fundamentals can change in 2 weeks and quick unexpected rallies can happen. Market action — Bean basis sale for the 2018 cropI originally set my futures prices at $9.75 on 100% of my 2018 bean production in February 2018. Due to logistical constraints, I’m unable to deliver soybeans to a processor during harvest, so last fall I stored 100% of my 2018 bean crop even thought it was all priced-on futures. Since then, I’ve been hoping for a basis rally to move my physical grain.I never set my bean basis before harvest. One, bean production, between my farm and the total U.S. production, can vary enough to shift market dynamics affecting basis year to year or I might not have enough grain to fill my contracts. Two, historically bean basis will improve after harvest when processors need beans to crush.Unfortunately, due to the trade war this year, basis fell significantly for harvest delivery and never really recovered into the harvest season. Before harvest, and before the trade war started, basis for harvest delivery picked up on my farm was -75 cents. During harvest it dropped lower, eventually going as low as -1.05, picked up on my farm, and stayed at similar levels for months.Then several weeks ago when the bean board was imploding, basis finally took off. At the end of April, a processor raised their basis bid to -83 cents against the July futures, picked up on my farm. This was the highest I’d seen post- harvest, so I set my basis and started to have the grain shipped out.While this basis was 8 cents lower than the preharvest basis levels it was 22 cents better than the lowest harvest basis values. Because I never sell basis ahead of time, I’m still able to be ahead by waiting until well after harvest to get a basis value close to the best value I have seen for the 2018 crop over the last year. The cost to hold my beansWaiting until May to move my beans, instead of shipping them at harvest and paying off my operating note at harvest, has a cost. Bean’s CASH value from October to May was consistently averaging around $8.30 for my farm. With a 6% operating loan interest rate, it costs 4 cents per month in interest ($8.30 x 6% / 12 months) to sit on my grain waiting for better basis. I stored the beans for 8 months (October to May), so it cost me 32 cents to wait. Market carry was available to offset those costsMy beans were ultimately sold against November futures last year, and I “rolled” this position to July ’19 futures on 8/29/18 and collected 49 cents of market carry. In the end, I profited 17 cents from waiting (49 cents market carry – 32 cents interest cost). Reviewing my 2018 bean trade decisionsMarket conditions were unusual this year with the very large supply in the market, so I had to make adjustments to my marketing plan. Basis levels rarely collapse like they did this year. And while it’s not uncommon for basis levels to drop during harvest, there is usually a post-harvest basis increase that will provide basis levels better than harvest delivery values. While it took longer than usual, basis did eventually rally more than 20 cents after harvest. On a positive note, the 49-cent market carry was the best bean carry I’ve received in the last 10 years. In the end, I’m pleased with the final outcome for storing my beans. My final 2018 bean price:$9.75 futures+$.49 market carry-$.32 interest to store beans-$.83 basis picked up at the farm$9.09 Cash Value picked up on my farm One of my best decisions was investing in more storage 8 years ago. Had I not had the additional storage, I may have had to consider taking my beans to the local shuttle loader who was, and still is, bidding 25 cents less than my local processor, when freight to both locations is considered. I did not even include that profit in my review above because at this point, I don’t usually plan to sell the local shuttle loader as the bid at those locations has never been better than the processor for the last 10 years. It was the whole reason why I built storage in the first place for my beans. This benefit is really helping me when bean prices are having trouble hitting profitable levels. Please email [email protected] with any questions or to learn more. Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results.last_img read more

  • New HUD Policy on Appliances for NSP

    first_imgAmy:Ladies and Gentlemen…really great news! You can now include washers, dryers and dishwashers in your rehab work for NSP1 and NSP2, and furthermore, they have to be Energy Star labeled.Is anyone else celebrating? I know there are some celebrations happening in Maricopa County, Arizona! A big “Thank you!” to Ben Chao, the NSP Director for the Housing Authority of Maricopa County, who was instrumental in getting this energy efficient policy guidance issued.The conditions that have to be met, as per HUD, are:NSP funds have rehabilitated or constructed the homes;Installation of such appliances is comparable to unassisted homes in the local housing market (see HOME program standards);Deed restrictions or covenants ensure that the appliances remain in the home, if appropriate;Qualifying appliances meet or exceed Energy Star standards.This was the talk of every NSP Problem Solving Clinic I went to across the country, and I’m ecstatic that we are getting some quality guidance on this.Cheers to another win for the green team! 
Cheers to those of you out there fighting to change the way affordable housing is built and rehabbed!What do you think? What else needs to change?NOTE: You can find the “Guidance on NSP Eligible Appliance Purchases” by clicking here.last_img read more

  • 6 Tactics for Turning Trade Show Interactions Into On-Site Sales

    first_img Originally published Mar 5, 2012 6:00:00 AM, updated August 03 2017 Topics: When you attend a trade show or another live event on behalf of your business, it’s important to be able to show the rest of your company that the investment in sending you was worth it. Because it can be challenging to determine the ROI of your presence at live events, leaving the event with a closed sale or two under your belt can really help to immediately demonstrate the worth of your presence. On-site selling can be extremely difficult, so before you attend your next trade show or event, here are six steps you can take to increase your chances of successfully executing on-site sales.Download Our Guide to Increasing Sales at Events1) Reserve a Room at the EventThis is an important logistical detail that will make it much easier for you to sell your product or service. Trade shows and other events are very noisy. You may be able to rattle off to a potential customer exactly why they should buy your product, but to be able to answer questions thoroughly, limit distractions, and draw up contracts, you’ll need a quiet space and some privacy. In addition to your booth area, you should reserve a room that is near the trade show floor/event to answer any remaining questions, talk about prices, and ultimately close deals. This will give you a chance to talk one-on-one with the people who are really interested in your product or service and give them the attention they need for you to close deals.2) Refine Your 30-Second PitchAt trade shows, you really only have about 30 seconds before you lose the attention of the person you’re trying to sell to. That’s why it’s critically important to nail down your 30-second elevator pitch before you arrive at the event. An effective elevator pitch will include a short description of what your product or service is and concisely detail how it can help that individual or their business. For example, HubSpot’s elevator pitch may go along the lines of:HubSpot is all-in-one marketing software that helps businesses of all sizes increase the number of visitors to their website and convert more of those visitors into leads and customers. Other marketing software platforms do not allow users to do all their marketing in one place, but HubSpot integrates website management, blogging, search engine optimization, lead management, marketing analytics, email marketing, landing pages, and social media monitoring tools.3) Attract Trade Show Attendees With ContentAt any given event, there is always plenty of commotion. Every company there wants the spotlight, and many will spend thousands of dollars to achieve that. But in reality, you only have about 10 seconds to capture the attention of people passing by before they become uninterested in what you’re selling. When planning for the event, keep that in mind, and try to figure out what you can do to grab the attention of passersby. After all, the goal is to sell on site.For example, at Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce conference last year, HubSpot knew that we only had a few seconds to get people’s attention. There were hundreds of other companies at the trade show, so we needed to figure out a way to stand out from the rest. To do so, we displayed unicorns (which were connected to the theme of our campaign there) at our booths to interest passersby, and we also positioned large screens that displayed funny, high quality videos delivering our campaign’s message: marketing facts vs. fantasies. By initially pulling people in with these videos, we were able to get them to stop long enough to talk to one of our consultant about HubSpot’s software product.Making sure content leads to a sale is your next step. Once the content you used to initially draw people in — whether it be a video, unique signage, etc. — grabs the attention of your prospects, you need to be able to use that content as a segue into what your product or service does and how it can help them. This will also give you an excuse to provide other content that can pertain closely to the individual prospect’s industry/needs/problems. Bring with you content such as case studies, testimonials, product content, pricing information, etc. that will help show how your company and its resources will help the people you’re trying to sell to.4) Identify the Companies That Will Be in Attendance, and Leverage Your ResearchKnowing which companies are sending representatives to the event ahead of time can be very valuable. If the event has a public-facing RSVP page such as Eventbrite or Meetup, refer to that, or ask if the host of the event is willing to give you a list. If not, check the LinkedIn Events Directory to see if you can find out who has committed to attending the event. Then do something creative with that information. If you’re a B2B company that sells to various industries and you see that there is one industry dominating the attendee list, come up with something that will specifically capture the attention of people in that industry. If the event is more intimate, you can also conduct some competitive analysis on the attending companies’ competitors so you have the ability to, on a more personal level, show companies how they will be able to use your product to compete with their competitors.As an example, HubSpot used its free tool, Marketing Grader, to grade the marketing programs of companies we knew would be attending Dreamforce. At the conference, we created a leaderboard showing the top-ranked companies and displayed it on one of our television sets as people passed by. As a result, attendees got a glimpse into the power of our software and wanted to talk to someone about other ways they could improve their own marketing score, which our trade show representatives were well equipped to discuss.5) Use Calls-to-Action to Drive InteractionsIn your trade show marketing, you should always be prompting attendees to complete a certain action. So if you’re looking to increase on-site sales, you need to make sure you connect the call-to-action (CTA) in your marketing materials to something attendees can do at the event. Encouraging trade show attendees to sign up for a free product trial or to visit a dedicated, targeted landing page can be a great way to help you nurture trade show attendees after the event ends, but when it comes to generating on-site sales, these actions won’t really move the needle. Therefore, focus your calls-to-action on motivating interactions that can happen during the event.Using technology as part of your trade show/event marketing can make this easier to accomplish. Display QR codes (learn how to easily create a QR code here) accompanied by your CTA so people can easily take the next step. For example, you could include a CTA on your event signage/marketing collateral that explains the value of booking a one-on-one consultation with one of your trade show reps during the event and asks them to scan the QR code to schedule an appointment in the private meeting room you set up in step 1.6) Make Connections Before, During, and After EventsTo get the most out of your sales presence at an event, you’ll first need to promote that you’ll actually have a presence ahead of time. Leading up to the event, create content (e.g. blog posts, social media updates, emails) about the event and your presence there, and try to set up appointments with prospects who may be interested in your product or service and would benefit from meeting you in person at the event. If your goal is to generate as many on-site sales as possible, the people you connect with before and during the event are very important. The more you can educate yourself about prospects before the event, the more prepared you’ll be to make the sale, and the more effective your in-person sales pitch will be.During the event, you should also use social media and the event’s hashtag to let attendees know where to find you on either the trade show floor or at the event in general.While on-site sales may be your main goal, businesses with a longer sales cycle may find it challenging to close a deal with a prospect whose first interaction with their business/products is the event. But that doesn’t mean the sale has to be lost. Don’t be pushy with prospects who don’t seem ready to buy on site; after the event has come to an end, follow up with your leads, enter them into lead nurturing campaigns to make them readier to buy, and continue building the relationship with the contacts and leads you’ve interacted with on site.What other strategies do you use to close on-site sales at trade shows and live events?Photo Credit: AIGA Indy Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Selling at Trade Showslast_img read more

  • Internet Outage Crash Your Website? The Marketer’s Response Plan

    first_img Topics: Yawn. In most cases, you can customize this so that users see something branded. Put a little effort in and work with your design team to come up with something great that represents your brand, and gets the message across. Do you want to be witty? Entertaining? Sympathetic? Find something that sets the right tone for your business, and also lets them know that you’re aware there’s a problem. HubSpot’s site unavailable page, for instance, features one of our very own for a touch of whimsy. 2) Communicate!In any situation where people might be disappointed or let down, communication is key. Even if it isn’t your fault. Thing is, you know you have no control over a third party’s outage … but your customers either don’t know, or don’t care. Or both.If your website is down, you have to be both creative and effective in how you communicate with people. Posting a message on your homepage isn’t enough. Make sure you have multiple approaches to communication at your finger tips. This allows you to identify those that aren’t working, and focus your energy where it will make an impact. Consider:Twitter – Share updates on this more than once; one tweet will get lost in the fast-paced Twitter shuffle.Facebook – Consider highlighting the post so it takes up more real estate on your Timeline.LinkedIn – Simply post this as a status update, but include a link to another property for those that need more information on the outage.Smoke signals, or anything else you have at your disposal to get your voice heard. 3) Remember Your CustomersLeads are important, sure, but you shouldn’t forget your current customers. If customers are impacted by an outage, you are better off proactively letting them know than letting them find out on their own. Discuss the severity of the situation, and figure out what kind of response is necessary. Sometimes social media outreach is enough, but if the problem is more severe, you might want to consider emailing your customers to let them know. Also consider having a back up site that is hosted someplace completely different. For example, HubSpot has trust.hubspot.com, which is hosted in an entirely different location and shouldn’t be affected by an outage at our main data center. Customers know this is where they should go to learn about issues, so if there is a large internet outage, we can hopefully always have a place to update those who will be impacted. Originally published Oct 29, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 03 2013 4) Have a Sense of HumorS*#t happens. Lots of companies lost business the other day, and might lose it today, too. You can cry and moan about revenue lost, but it won’t change the outcome. Keep your head on straight, stay calm, and try to laugh about how much we all rely on the internet these days. Balance a sense of humor and sense of understanding for what your customers are doing through in your communications and messaging. Unless, of course, the internet is down because of something dangerous, like a hurricane — safety really isn’t a laughing matter. But in general, keeping a light-hearted tone will help those affected will respond better, and keep an internet outage in perspective.5) Prepare for the Next OutageWhile you should keep your sense of humor in the midst of the outage, when everything’s up and running like normal, ask the right questions and make sure you are prepared for the next time. Some questions to discuss with your IT team might be:What caused the outage, and could if have been prevented?Do we have the right kind of backup systems?Should we look into better redundancy?Can we improve our responses when something like this happens again? In the end, as a marketer, you probably aren’t working on bringing your website or the internet back online. But if you can keep your community, your leads, and you customers happy, it will reduce the impact of those outages on your business. Was your business affected by the Amazon outage? What else will you do to prepare for future instances of these outages?Image credit: 4nitsirk Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Design Internet down? Don’t get caught with your pants down, too.Earlier last week, Amazon experienced a significant outage at their North Virginia data center. The outage affected large portions of the internet, including popular sites like Pinterest, Reddit, Foursquare, Airbnb, and even HubSpot for several hours Monday afternoon. Furthermore, today much of the Eastern seaboard is expecting (or already experiencing) a hurricane. No doubt the internet — not to mention countless other things — may not be operating as usual.When an outage of this magnitude happens, all types of businesses (and marketers) are affected. Ecommerce sites can’t make sales; lead generation sites stop getting leads; and ad driven sites stop getting visitors. As a marketer, you can cry about all the revenue you’re missing out on … or you can do something about it. While you can’t really call up Amazon and give ’em an earful (it wouldn’t be productive if you could), you can try to prepare for the next time one of these outages happens. With a little more preparation, you might suffer just a little bit less pain and agony. Here are some things you can do to prepare for when the internet just … gives out on ya. Or if you prefer a different format, check out this short video of Mike Volpe (and me!) chatting about the subject.What to Do When Someone Unplugs the Internet1) Have a Killer “Site Down” PageWhen your site experiences problems, the standard site unavailable page looks something like this:last_img read more

  • 15 Insider Tips for Creating a Content Creation Machine [SlideShare]

    first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Content Marketing Strategy Originally published Apr 1, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics:center_img 1) Compile List PostsA tried and true content method, top lists are a mix between original content and aggregation. You aggregate the ideas, and write short blurbs about each (kind of like these 15 tips!). This is excellent content for a new writer, because each blurb in the list can be somewhat brief (just link to other resources for more in-depth information), and the post provides a built-in structure to work with. For more tips about creating lists posts, check out this blog post about the top 10 qualities of high-quality content. (See what we did there?)2) Teach Readers How to Do SomethingIf you know how to do something your readers would appreciate knowing how to do, it should be pretty easy to transfer your knowledge to paper … or your computer screen. Remember — blogs are conversational by nature. Just write it out like you’d speak it if you were telling a lead, customer, or colleague. In fact, we can teach you exactly how to write stellar how-to posts in this … how-to post! How meta.3) Answer FAQsThink of the questions leads and customers ask you every day, and turn those into pieces of content in which you answer those FAQs. Sit down with your salespeople or customer service reps who are talking to your prospects and customers all the time, and create a list of potential topics from those common questions and concerns. If you spoke at an event or were involved in a Twitter chat and heard some interesting questions, gather them and answer them in a new post. 4) Curate Remarkable ContentRecognizing remarkable content from others is a core link- and relationship-building strategy. It also just happens to require little original writing, and more aggregation — perfect for those just getting started with content creation. We often do this when we spot remarkable infographics, eye-opening marketing statistics, or must-read marketing blogs. There are simply some pieces of industry content that are too good not to share. Get more tips about content curation in5) Forget About LengthThere is no optimal length for a blog post, ebook, and so on. Good content is good content, regardless of how long it is. Instead of asking yourself if a piece of content is long enough, ask yourself whether someone will read it and take away enough information to consider it valuable. Ask yourself if your audience will be left wanting more information or feeling confused, or if the content answers all their questions about that particular topic. At HubSpot, we focus more on making sure our content is comprehensive, not long.6) Take Advantage of Data-Based ContentWhether you have your own original data or you stumble across interesting industry data in your reading, compile original data into a data-based report, or take one or many external data points and compile them into an article. Furthermore, using supporting data can spice up a piece of content, and data in general is very shareable. It also tends to say a lot in few words. If you only come across a few interesting stats, share them and provide your opinion on them.7) Excerpt ContentWhen you publish a gated piece of content (typically lead generation content like an ebook that is behind a form on a landing page), a quick source of content is an excerpt of that piece. The excerpt can also serve to promote the gated content, giving readers an idea of what they’ll get if they download the full version. This is similar to the preview of a few pages of a book you can view on barnesandnoble.com or Amazon, and it makes for quick and easy blog content.8) NewsjackBy its very nature, the process of newsjacking needs to be executed quickly in order to be effective. So when a piece of news that impacts your industry — or for which you could find a relevant spin for your audience — hits the press, hop on it like white on rice. To learn how to be a successful newsjacker, check out our complete guide to newsjacking here.9) Produce Evergreen ContentEvergreen content is content that stands the test of time. For example, you may have published that blog post months and months ago, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still relevant or discoverable through channels like search engines and social media. Create content that is timeless — content that even if someone read ten months from now would still be relevant and valuable. For example, if you create an evergreen ebook, that’s a piece of content you can promote time and time again and continue to generate results from it. 10) Use an Editorial CalendarAn editorial calendar — both for your blog and other content — can help you stay organized, manage multiple contributors, monitor your keyword use and topic balance, and manage your blog’s timing and deadlines. They also allow you to spot any holes in your content variety. Are you discussing the same topic too much? Or are you balancing an introduction of new ideas with historically successful ones? Do you have enough content to generate the leads you need to fuel your sales team? Get started with our free blog editorial calendar template.11) Turn Presentations Into SlideSharesWhen you put together a stellar educational presentation, whether for an internal training session, a conference speaking gig, or a webinar, try spiffying it up and turning it into a SlideShare presentation. This gives you an entirely new piece of content to promote or embed in a new blog post.12) Update Historical ContentIf you have content that has performed well in the past but has since gotten out of date, why not update and re-launch it? This can help you continue to reap SEO benefits from your high-trafficked content that has gotten stale. And since this content is written already, making updates to it by swapping in the latest information should be an easy way to publish new content. Learn more in this post about how to revitalize evergreen content for a lead gen boost.13) Create Video ContentIf you’re suffering from writer’s block, a video could be the way to go. Videos are excellent alternatives to how-to posts in which you talk through a concept like you would to anyone in-person — no bells and whistles required. You might also schedule an interview, another helpful video format that doesn’t require a lot of investment. Or maybe you just create a fun video that shows off your company culture.14) Invite Guest BloggersNot all your content has to be written by you. Guest bloggers can offer a fresh perspective, so be open to inviting other industry experts to write content for your blog, and build a relationship with them for future co-marketing opportunities. You can reward the favor with inbound links — which every marketer loves.15) Keep a Backlog of IdeasBrainstorm all your best ideas and store them in a backlog that you can refer to when you’re feeling stumped. Book 30 minutes with your team to shout out their best ideas, and develop the brainstorm with the ideas people share. You can keep those all stored for future content pieces — perhaps within a tab on your editorial calendar!To learn more about creating your own content creation machine, check out our new ebook and join us on HubSpot’s Facebook Page, where our various content experts will be available to answer all your questions about content from 1-2 p.m. ET Tuesday through Friday of this week.What additional tips do you have for creating a content machine?Image Credit: kennymatic I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me, “How the heck does HubSpot crank out such a high volume of content?!” Well, content lovers, today I’d like to share some of our content tips and secrets with you, so you too can create a well-oiled content machine.First things first: To “do” inbound marketing, you also need to “do” content. Be careful here. Content is not your entire inbound marketing strategy. Yes, content is a vital, irrefutable part — but so is social media, SEO, email marketing, lead nurturing, and so on.So to help make all your marketing content dreams come true, we’ll be sharing content tips all week long. In fact, the first 500 people to download our latest offer, How HubSpot Does Inbound: Creating a Content Machine, will be entered for a chance to win a free, one-hour blog consultation with one of our blogging experts, Corey Eridon. Grab the ebook now for your chance!Now, without further ado, check out our 15 top tips for turning your marketing team into a high-quality content machine.15 Tips for Making Content Creation Faster, Easier, and More Effective How HubSpot Does Inbound: Creating a Content Machine from HubSpot All-in-one Marketing Softwarelast_img read more