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.

Oil Spill Recovery Vessels Helping to Save our Environment

Oil spills can cause big problems for our ecosystem. We all remember in 1989 the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William sound, Alaska. It took over a decade for the wildlife to rebound and two decades before things turned back to normal.

In New Jersey is a company called Marine Spill Response Corp., which has a fleet of 15 vessels to clean up oil spills on any of the East Coast ports or inlets. These ships have skimmer take hoses and reels to pick up the oil that floats on top of the water from the spill. They can respond to large or small oil spills with their fleet and even their smaller vessels have four 1000-gallon storage tanks for the recovered oil.

Each unit has oil water separators and oil heaters to help treat the recovered oil. When one of these ships arrives on the scene it lowers out a giant boom and begins to pump the oil through the boom. If you'll recall there was a huge oil spill in Philadelphia on the water in 2004 and there have been several other smaller spills, both from ships and leaky tanks due to inclement weather and man-made mistakes that the Marine Spill Response Corp. has cleaned up.

This is just one way that entrepreneurs and industry are teaming up to help mitigate potential ecosystem disasters in our environment. By preventing such oil spills from polluting the local water, we can save local wildlife from destruction. Please consider all this in 2006.

Work and Study

The relationship between work and study should not be underestimated.

It is important that youngsters in general, and teenagers in particular, get real life experience of what it takes to succeed in the ‘real world’, what it takes to make money, and how hard dad or mum have to work to earn those extra few cents.

Recently a dad talked about the problems of getting his son to study; the family is wealthy and the son saw little need to make any effort to revise, do well in his forthcoming exams, and move onto a university and undergraduate subject with prospects of a rewarding career.

He saw his parents, particularly mum, as a ‘soft touch’.

The harder the concerned parents tried, the more obstinate the son became; the inverse law of proportionality seemed to be at work, or perhaps the law of diminishing returns. Necessity was definitely not the mother of invention!

‘Man he is a Lazy B…!’ complained the father.

At school, the youngster seemed to have learnt a lot about his ‘rights’ – but little about responsibility.

He didn’t realise that ‘rights’ and ‘responsibilities’ are the same bedfellows – they both start with the letter ‘r’!

The current situation was inevitable…

Things changed, however, after our recommendation that the son spend time working in the kitchens of one his father’s famous restaurants over the summer holidays (well, what else did he expect given his parents’ gentler efforts?).

Washing plates to earn his pocket-money was no fun; it didn’t take long before the grades started to improve.

Study was clearly a better option than washing plates in the kitchen.

Take Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world.

Warren has a wise head on his shoulders and drives the same old car and lives in the same old house as he did at the start of his career; his common sense has to be respected since his actions reflect his words.

He can afford to live in mansions, drive better cars but through his example has made clear that he intends to give most of his wealth to charity.

Warren believes that his children must learn to earn a living, make their own way in the real world.

The last thing he wants is to ‘handicap’ his progeny by handing over his billions.

Some of the smartest students at The University of Oxford in The Business Management School often spent their summer holidays waiting at tables before they got First Class Honours.

They are now CEOs of major companies, earning a very healthy living.

Consider another example from the world of tennis, the William sisters where Venus and Serena dominated the women’s game for many years.

Their early history is one of being introduced to the ‘Bronx’ by their dad where gang bullets were not uncommon whilst they trained.

The William sisters soon realized that working for success in tennis was a better option than living in ghettos.

Where cajoling fails, direct experience often succeeds.

If you want your children to study more effectively, let them work for it!