How to Encourage Your Customers to Leave a Consumer Product Review

A consumer product review can be a wonderful tool when it comes to helping you build your sales, but it does not do you much good if you can not convince any of your consumers to leave one when they go! Knowing your consumer product review to work for you requires you to have consumers that are willing to take that extra five minutes out of their day to let you know what they really think. Here's how you can convince them it's worth their time and effort:

1) Offer a small discount on their next purchase to consumers who fill out a consumer product review after they have received their product. This is guaranteed to bring you the results you want-who can say no to saving money? Just remember to keep the discounts within the limits you can afford. It's one thing to offer a 25-50% discount on their next purchase to everyone who gives you five minutes out of your day, it's quite another to look at the cut that's going to take out of your profits when they actually use it.

2) Offer to place them on your mailing list to receive further discounts or coupons after they have filled out a review. You've seen it before; "Answer three easy questions about your shopping experiences and join our mailing list to receive discount coupons and special offers." Again, all of your consumers are essentially cheap at heart; if they were truly satisfied with their experiences they would be happy to have the opportunity to save money in the future. (Hint: Let them know exactly what you'll be sending them, and if you can give them a look at a previous mailing. This eliminates the fear of SPAM.)

3) Spend money to make money. There are a number of companies that offer professional consumer product review services; for a fee they will review your products and put a professional review onto your site. If this makes you flinch, relax. There are plenty of companies that do it. The reviewer gets a free product and fifteen to twenty dollars, you get a great review to show to your returning customers. Everyone wins!

4) Be sure to ask for their contact information when they register for your forum so you can contact them regarding a bad review, but do not go overboard. An e-mail address will suffice, and it will inspire more confidence in your clientele that you're not secretly planning to load their mailboxes up with SPAM.

5) Include a product review card and a website address where they can post a consumer product review with your products when you mail them. While these surveys often find their way into a trash can, every once in a while you'll find someone who's willing to fill it out-and every completed survey is an extra ace in the hole for you.

Many consumers look at a request for a consumer product review and cringe, thinking, "I do not have time for this." It's going to be up to you to convince them otherwise, and these tricks and tactics will get you off to a great start.

Unusual Conference Venues

Many companies understand the importance of conferences for their staff. Conferences are a chance to network, share ideas and to learn, but boy are they boring. Yes, your staff gets loads of new ideas and meet lots of interesting and useful people, but given the choice they would rather not attend again next year. Fortunately, the people who run conferences are starting to wake up to this fact and beginning to try to make conferences less tedious. This has led to some great new conference events being held. If you are a business about to hold an in-house conference you can learn a lot from this new trend.

So the question is 'Where can I hold a conference?'. Basically as long as they've got the license and you've got the cold hard cash, then you can hold a conference just about anywhere you like. As the legend of Kevin Costner understands 'If you build it, they will come' and yes, you can host a conference at a baseball diamond!

Museums and art galleries. Being surrounded by creative exploits really stimulates the mind. Therefore a great venue for a conference has to be a gallery or science museum. Our favorite is the Vancouver Museum of Anthropology – mingling amidst ancient totem poles is quite the experience. Another great museum venue is the Science Museum in London, that even offers a IMAX cinema or a motion theater as two of the 8 conference halls it has available.

Marinas, Aquariums and Planetariums are also great places for conferences, most have lecture theaters for the presentations, with plenty of divers during conference breaks. In some Aquariums such as the one in Barcelona you can enjoy a spectacular conference dinner completely surrounded by fish. Although sitting down to the fish course does make you pause.

Blackpool Tower – yup sounds strange but come on, it's also pretty exciting and sort of kitsch!

In the mountains. Being amid inspirational landscape opens the mind to fresh and new ideas. Check out the Fairmont Springs hotel in Banff, you are literally a step away from heaven.

Want to impress, rent a castle! You can do it for weddings and you can absolutely do it for your conference!

Observatories – enjoy a daytime conference and finish with watching the stars – there's a metaphor in there somewhere!

Middle of the Rainforest? Lots of nature retreats host conferences and events. Bali anyone?

The zoo – yes it has happened, one crazy and obviously very talented events planner held an event at a tiger exhibition.

Like we said, you get the right equipment, shelter, catering and speakers and people will come. If you have an event dream – make it happen. Your conference will be memorable and people will definitely want to come back next year. Where you hold a conference says a lot about you and your industry. Conferences are designed to stimulate people's creativity and make them come away full of ideas. An inspirational venue is everything, so think outside the box.

Sand From the Beach – How to Clean & Keep the Sand Out of Your Home & Car From the Beach!

Sand belongs on the beach and not in your car or home. Everyone loves the beach, but unfortunately the sand loves to follow you when you leave. Though it is virtually impossible to keep every grain of sand on the beach and not in your car or home, a few basic steps can tremendously lower the amount.

1. Always wear sandals on the beach and not shoes that can trap sand.

2. Always carry toys, magazines, snacks, towels and other beach accessories in a mesh bag to allow the sand to fall out verse getting trapped in the bag to eventually end up in your car or home.

3. Place a tote in your trunk to place all beach bags, towels and chairs. The tote can be taken out of your car when you get home to wash off everything inside it.

4. Keep a small hose with attachment to wash feet off before entering your home.

5. Keep a bowl with water by the door and a towel on a hook. Clean your feet off before entering the house when coming home from the beach by sticking your feet in the bowl. Remember to put fresh water daily in the bowl to prevent bugs from attracting like mosquitoes.

6. Consider buying the Hoover Nomad Cordless Pressure Washer. Great to keep in your trunk to hose off feet, toys or chairs before getting into the car. This small unit holds 3.5 Gallons of water and is great at the beach, sporting events and anything imaginable outdoors. Long hose, 90 PSI and long battery life.

7. Keep your doormats by your home clean and new. Doormats do a tremendous job in attracting dirt when newer. Shake out regularly and spray down with a hose periodically. Keep your indoor mats clean daily and wash them weekly.

8. Consider an outdoor changing area to allow sandy bathing suits to stay outside and not inside a bedroom or bathroom. Rinse off the suit before bringing in a home.

9. Have a good stick vacuum near your entry areas to the home to capture the sand quickly. The three best stick vacuums are the Hoover Platinum Stick Vacuum, Oreck Rechargeable PR8000 and Karcher Sweeper.

10. The best vacuums indoor for capturing sand once inside the home are the Oreck XL 2000, Hoover C1404 and Koblenz Upright Vacuum.

The beach can be a very relaxing experience. Following these steps can make leaving the beach less stressful by bringing less of the beach sand home with you.

Direct TV’s Technology Complements Its Programming

While it’s well known that Direct TV provides a wide variety of high quality programming on hundreds of television and satellite radio channels, not many people know about the impressive space age satellite technology that goes into delivering that programming to over fifteen and a half million subscribers.

While there are some types of technology that are available on special order, Direct TV also provides some pretty impressive technology to all of its subscribers regardless of which programming package they sign up for. The most basic technology is digital television. Television programming in digital format provides a vividly crystal clear picture in all but the worst weather conditions. That’s because digital television is easily cleansed of any interference that it picks up during transmission by Direct TV’s sophisticated satellite receiver equipment.

Direct TV also provides great user friendly software to all of its subscribers. User friendly software like the on screen program guide and Parental Locks make it much easier to handle the hundreds of channels that you could have available to you if you sign up for one of the larger programming packages. The on screen program guide is probably the piece of software that you’ll use the most. It displays a listing of all of the television shows and movies that you can choose among right on your TV screen. Along with each program, the on screen program guide will also provide you with information about the program- like who stars in it and what the plot consists of- in order to help you decide whether or not it’s something you might want to watch. While the on screen program guide is on the screen, the picture from the channel that the system is tuned to will continue to be displayed in a small window in the corner of the screen and the audio will continue to play over the speakers. That way you won’t have to miss anything while you’re looking around.

Direct TV’s Parental Controls help you to manage all of the channels, by providing you with tools to prevent your children from watching inappropriate programming. You can enact blanket rules, like blocking access to all movies with certain MPAA ratings, or you can block out specific programs and channels. Parental Controls are extremely flexible tools that can provide you with all the peace of mind you need to leave your kids alone with the TV.

One of the optional technologies you can get from Direct TV is a Digital Video Recorder. Digital Video Recorders are built into some satellite receivers and provide a great way to record the TV shows and movies that you want to watch, but wouldn’t otherwise be able to see because of other obligations like work, family, and community. This practice of recording programming so that it can be watched later is called “time shifting” and a Digital Video Recorder is extremely useful for “time shifting” because it’s easy to program, can store a huge amount of video on its hard disk, and even record video from two separate channels at the same time! As an added bonus, all of the video that it records is stored and played back with the same high quality picture and sound of Direct TV’s original broadcast.

Another optional technology supplied by Direct TV is HDTV. HDTV is a next generation television format that features a high resolution picture and wide screen along with a sophisticated sound format. All of these differences mean that you need a special TV set, a special receiver, and special programming to watch HDTV. Direct TV can provide everything that you need to enjoy this technology right now, except for the HDTV set.

Direct TV provides a lot of great technology that will enhance your television experience.