It’s International Ninja Day. Consider the Business Operational and Marketing Value of the Ninja

Willwork Global Event Services is a leading corporate production and private event, general contracting, labor management, and event services company. 

Founded in 1987, we are now in our fourth decade in business.

Willwork is headquartered 25 miles south of Boston, and operates offices in major metropolitan areas across the United States.

We work in cities, towns, villages, and hamlets throughout America, and also have a growing international presence, particularly in Brazil and the Pacific Rim.

All the services Willwork provides its clients support and advance the efforts of companies, and other organizations, to strengthen their brand, more effectively market and sell, and to tell a story that is more engaging.

It makes sense then that we pay attention to and are intrigued with the emergence and spread … and adaptation and enlistment – of words, messages, images, taglines, narratives, emotions, and tempers that take hold in society,

And this brings us to the “ninja.”

Yes, the historic and vibrant cultural phenomenon that describes and presents as nimble, cunning, fast, courageous, strong, brilliant … and wholly effective.

Who wouldn’t want to be a ninja?

Who wouldn’t want to have ninja abilities?

Today, December 5, is International Ninja Day.

Following is a definition of the ninja published at Ancient History Encyclopedia, a United Kingdom-based non-profit:

Ninja (aka Shinobi) were the specialised assassins, saboteurs, and secret agents of medieval Japanese warfare who were highly-trained proponents of the martial arts, especially what later became known as ninjutsu or ‘the art of the ninja’. These special forces were adept at disguise, deception, and assaulting enemy positions and strongholds, usually at night when they moved like shadows in their traditional dark clothing. Employed from the 15th century CE onwards, ninjas, because of their lengthy secret training in specialised schools and mysterious anonymity, have acquired a perhaps exaggerated reputation for fantastic feats and weapons play, which makes them perfect characters for many modern comic books and computer games.”

Please click here to be taken to the full Ancient History Encyclopedia definition of ninja, written by Mark Cartwright, and published on June 3, 2019.The concept of the ninja, which originated 700 years ago, is prominent and easily found in many sectors of modern life. 

Ninjas and ninja-like are expressed in many forms.

It was back in 1984 when, in Dover, NH, two comic book graphic artists and writers – Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird – created the characters of four crime-fighting anthropomorphic turtles named for artists/inventors of the Italian Renaissance: Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael.

The turtles, who live in the sewers of New York City, are trained in the art of ninja by a rat sensei, also anthropomorphic. 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Image credit: Nickelodeon)

Messrs. Eastman and Laird called the quartet Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and made the turtles the subject of a comic book they self-published.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has grown into a hugely popular worldwide media franchise that includes more comic books, major motion pictures, TV series, action figures, clothing … and more.

To be a ninja – to “be ninja” – promises all sorts of qualities that help people win, no matter the endeavor.

It isn’t an accident that maybe the most successful and popular – and money wealthy – online gamer, e-sport competitor, and streaming personality has taken on the name of Ninja.

That would be Richard Tyler Blevins, universally known as Ninja.

Ninja, 28, makes about $500,000 a month through his livelihood.

Ninja’s YouTube channel has 22.3 million subscribers.  And with two million followers, he is the most followed on the live-streaming video game site Mixer.

Richard Tyler Blevins “Ninja” (Image credit: TechSpot)

In that Willwork is involved … and this involvement is growing … in setting up and installing e-sports arenas and facilities, we watch with keen interest the career of Ninja.

It surely helps to be a ninja in business.

Smart and successful companies know full well the value of the “ninja” brand and name.

To wit and for example –

There is Internet Marketing Ninjas, Ninja Business Media, Ninja Journalist, Invoice Ninja, and Business Ninja.

Clicking here takes you the website of Nina Kitchen, seller of kitchen appliances.

Now, of course, there is the fitness and obstacle-course sport and television phenomenon Ninja Warrior.

Gary Shapiro a technology and innovation thought leader, knows the value of performing like a ninja.

Mr. Shapiro is the CEO and president of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), a trade and standards organization that represents more than 2,200 consumer technology companies, and which also sponsors major tech industry events, the largest and most prominent of which is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held annually in January at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

(CES is a busy event for Willwork Global Event Services, with several of our clients participating in the show.)

Mr. Shapiro is an in-demand speaker and prolific writer about business, innovation, and technology.

He has penned bestselling books, among them Ninja Future: Secrets to Success in the New World of Innovation (William Morrow, 2019) and Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World’s Most Successful Businesses (William Morrow, 2013).

Willwork Global Event Services recognizes what the businesses cited above, and what Gary Shapiro knows and understands – that being able to think and act like a ninja confers a trove of competitive advantage and value. 

The fact is, Willwork has the ninja gene and mindset, and ninja qualities enable us to accomplish and get done what other companies can’t.

Acting and playing like a ninja is a key component to the success of Willwork Global Event Services.

And Willwork is committed to keeping our ninja abilities in top condition.

On Ninja Burger – and the Origins of International Ninja Day

International Ninja Day is the brainchild of Ninja Burger, a farce and for-giggles website and online fast-food restaurant.

Ninja Burger sells – and the items are also farcical – hamburgers, fries, and soda.

Ninja Burger delivers the food to you – but it does not have a delivery service.  Yeah, the service is fake, as well.

We have selected a couple items from the Ninja Burger menu to share with you:

Ninja Burger ($5) – “A single 4 oz. all-beef patty hand-broiled over the finest free-range artisanal charcoal briquettes. Comes with Secret Sauce, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, pickles, onions and Kung-Fu Grip. All inside a toasted roll.”

(Image credit: Ninja Burger)

Ninja Cola ($2) – “A 20 oz. beverage of an undisclosed brand of cola. Served in your choice of classic white or stealth black cup, with just the right amount of the finest free-range artisanal ice.”

Those Ninja Burger food prices are reasonable.

Not so the delivery charges, which start at $99.99.

Then, again, let’s put things in perspective.

For if you are going to receive ninja-quality delivery service, it can’t come cheap.

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services Remembers A Solemn Event And Celebrates A Holiday Tradition

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit and Event Services is a national leader in exhibition services and event project management.

In 2017, we have been celebrating our 30th year in business.  Yes, we started out in 1987 – and when we did so, we were a company that focused exclusively on providing exhibit installation & dismantle labor for shows and events in the Greater Boston area.

Today, Willwork has offices in major urban areas across the U.S., and from coast to coast we work in cities, towns, villages, and hamlets.

Our client list includes some of the largest and most established multinationals, and smaller and newer companies of which you may not have heard, yet … but you will.

Our valued clients and our valued business partners, and our exceptional and hard-working employees, enable and make possible success – and are the foundation of the Willwork legacy of excellence.

Here, deep into the holiday season, Willwork cites and points to and heralds an epic and historic example of noble and human endeavor, of compassion, and of the most heartfelt and enduring gratitude – all generated from a terrible tragedy and immense loss of life.

Looking across Halifax Harbor two days after the explosion (image credit: Nova Scotia Archives and Record Management)

It is an episode, still playing out, that joins two cities on the Atlantic Ocean: Boston, our hometown, and Halifax, the provincial capital of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

It is a story of extraordinary organization and logistics and labor and the most estimable human achievement and virtue.

This year is the centennial chapter and installment of the story – for it was 100 years ago that destruction and fire emanated from the waters just off of Halifax, and the people and resources of Boston quickly were marshaled and dispatched to come to the aid of the city.

The “Halifax Explosion” took place on the morning of December 6, 1917.  In the following excerpt from the Wikipedia entry on the disaster, the magnitude and devastation of the maritime explosion is explained:

“The Norwegian vessel SS Imo collided with SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship laden with high explosives, in the Narrows, a strait connecting the upper Halifax Harbour to Bedford Basin. A fire onboard the French ship ignited her cargo, causing a large explosion that devastated the Richmond district of Halifax. Approximately 2,000 people were killed by the blast, debris, fires or collapsed buildings, and an estimated 9,000 others were injured.  The blast was the largest man-made explosion before the development of nuclear weapons, releasing the equivalent energy of roughly 2.9 kilotons of TNT 2.9 (12,000 GJ).”

For more information on the Halifax Explosion, including its background and aftermath and legacy, please click here to be taken to the full Wikipedia entry, and here to be taken to a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation interactive about the event.

As Halifax smoldered, and was engulfed in suffering, the city and Nova Scotia and all of Canada mobilized to treat the wounded, bury the dead, and provide housing, and embark on a broader rebuild.

Also mobilizing, in a big way, were Boston, and the Massachusetts government; they quickly teamed to send a train to Halifax which carried nurses, doctors, surgeons, and medical supplies.  When the relief team arrived, it went right to work, coming to the aid of the exhausted Canadian physicians and medical staff.

Boston Mayor James Michael Curley and Massachusetts Gov. Samuel McCall took the lead in establishing the Halifax Relief Committee.

Massachusetts donated $750,000 to the Halifax relief effort.  For perspective, adjusting for inflation, that $750,000 in 1917 represents about a little more than $13 million in 2017.

Nova Scotia, the year after the disaster, expressed its gratitude to Boston and Massachusetts by sending to the Hub a large white spruce Christmas tree.

The Christmas tree was originally a one-time gift, but it would become an annual tradition, starting in 1971 when the citizens of Nova Scotia again sent a giant white spruce tree to Boston.

As for what constitutes “large” or “giant”, the white spruce tree that Nova Scotia every year gives Boston is in the 45 to 50-foot high range, with the 2017 edition (donated by the the married couple, Bob and Marion Campbell, of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia) actually a bit taller – 53 feet.  Yes, a large tree … a giant tree.

By the way, the journey from Nova Scotia to Boston on and along which the tree is transported is one of about 700 miles and takes two days.

And every holiday season, since 1971, the tree given by the people of Nova Scotia is the Christmas tree that takes center stage, complete with tree lighting celebration, on Boston Common.

On Thursday, December 12, 2013, Boston magazine published on its website an interesting and informative story by Madeline Bilis, titled, “Throwback Thursday: Boston’s Helping Hand After a Disaster in Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia sends a tree for the Common each year to say thanks.”

If you click here you will be taken to the article.

Also interesting and informative is a Q&A that Madeline Bilis conducted – published on November 15, 2017 in Boston magazine – with Dave MacFarlane, 41, who for the past 20-plus years was the truck driver who drove the white spruce from Nova Scotia to Boston.  (And who drove the tree to Boston in 2017?  That would be Dave MacFarlane.)

The following comment is among those Dave MacFarlane provided in the interview:

“ …. You know the tree is always a big deal in Nova Scotia. A lot of people compete over it. Every year they have several trees that people want to go to Boston, and they pick the best tree.

“But I just really like it. It’s just fun to see all the people, all the warm wishes, and everybody’s excited to see the tree. It means a lot to all the Nova Scotia people what Boston did for us in our time of need when the explosion happened. I’m proud to be a part of the position … ”

By clicking here you will be taken to the full interview with Dave MacFarlane.

A truly wonderful story and history, one which further testifies to how when fate and circumstances confer the worst, the most good and caring and decent of humanity arises and responds to meet the challenge, and to alleviate and heal anguish and hardship.

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Servics Wishes All the Happiest of Holidays!!

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services talks about expositions and events with Halloween and scary themes

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Events Service is a national leader in exhibition services and event project management.

In 2017, we are celebrating 30 years in business.

Willwork provides the labor, planning, and logistics for projects that range in size and scope from setting up and taking down one small exhibit to providing the general contracting for tradeshows and exhibitions that take in and cover multiple large facilities.

Every project and assignment receives the same uncompromising and high quality service and attention to detail.

Willwork thought it appropriate for this time of year to cite and point to, in this space, a selection of special events and exhibitions that have a Halloween theme, or a tied to the holiday – a couple of which the focus is on fun and festivity, and a couple which are also about fun and festivity but also include a huge measure of spookiness and fright.

Actually we will do two posts on this subject, with this being the first.

Allentown Halloween Parade (image credit: Chris Knight, special to The Morning Call)

Whether a parade or haunted house, block party haunted theme park, excellent and thorough planning, combined with a large amount of smart and hard work, make it happen.


We just have to include the oldest Halloween parade in the United States.

The community that hosts the parade is the city of Allentown, PA.  It was in 1905 when Allentown first held the event.

Planned and run under the auspices of the Allentown Department of Parks & Recreation, the parade, which follows a 1.5 mile route, is a big draw for the area.  Last year, 8,000 people attended, and 50 organizations participated.

This year’s Allentown Halloween Parade takes place on Sunday, October 15.  Allentown Halloween Parades have themes, with “Outer Space Invasion” the theme for this year.

Please click here to be taken to a news story about the 2016 edition of the Allentown Halloween Parade.

Now, we go from the oldest Halloween parade in the U.S. to the world’s largest haunted house.  Actually, more specifically, the “world’s largest walk through haunted house,” a title that Guinness World Records conferred, in 2015, on Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas.

Also in 2015, Guinness World Records recognized Cutting Edge Haunted House as the “world’s largest haunted attraction.”

Clown at Cutting Edge Haunted House (image credit: Cutting Edge Haunted House)

Visitors to Cutting Edge Haunted House travel almost a half-mile (2,261 feet), from start to finish, with the passage time taking, on average, 45 to 55 minutes.

Beyond its Guinness Book of World Records notoriety, Cutting Edge Haunted House, which opened in 1991, has also received many other accolades, including making the 2015 list of “Top 13 Haunted Houses” in America.  Cutting Edge came in at #5.

As reviews attest, Cutting Edge Haunted House is not only very large, but also very scary.

There is no shortage of reasons to visit Park City, Utah.  Home of the Sundance Film Festival, the mountain resort town is in beautiful country and contains the best of hospitality, entertainment, and recreation.

And, since 2001, every Halloween, Park City has hosted the Bark City Howl-O-Ween dog parade.  Held on Main Street in the community, the event inspired Travel + Leisure to name Park City one of “America’s Best Towns for Halloween.”

Bark City Howl-O-Ween dog parade in Park City, Utah (image credit: Park City Chamber of Commerce | Convention & Visitors Bureau)

Following is an excerpt from an article on the Bark City Howl-O-Ween dog parade at the tourist and travel website Stay Park City:

“Each All Hallows’ Eve, owners and their pets sport costumes of all kinds for public amusement. Now, 15 years in, this annual canine spectacle has become a centerpiece celebration for our town, drawing attendees from nearby communities, including Salt Lake City, who want to get in on the furry fun.”

If you click here you will be taken to the full Stay Park City story.

Willwork is compelled to include in this post one of the nation’s most frightening and elaborate Halloween attractions, an exposition and exhibition, a theme park, a destination, that is about a 90-minute drive from our corporate headquarters in the Boston suburb of South Easton, MA.

Spooky World Presents Nightmare New England, located in Litchfield, NH, is a “horror scream park” – that takes in more than 80 acres, across which there is a mix of creepy and spine-chilling attractions, and other activities and places, like go-karts, mini-golf, a batting cage, concessions, and a beer garden.

As for the creepy and spine-chilling attractions, here we share an excerpt from a entry on Spooky World Presents Nightmare New England:

“Whether it be on the Haunted Hayride, where you come face to face with the horrors of the dark woods, walking through the deserted halls of darkness at Brigham Manor or stumbling into a place where rot, decay, and the filth from the earth are a haven for evil, there will be little time to catch your breath before experiencing yet another haunting. The unnatural beings at The Colony are looking for bodies to torture and souls to destroy, and of course, one has to explore the tortured world of rejected carnival misfits in the 3D Festival of Fear.”

Entrance to the 3D Festival of Fear at Spooky World Presents Nightmare New England (image credit: Spooky World Presents Nightmare New England)

Spooky World Presents Nightmare New England’s 2017 run started on Friday night, September 22nd, and from then on in it is open weekend nights, and select weeknights, until its close on Saturday night, November 4th.


Prior to Halloween we will have one more post in this space about Halloween themed special events and exhibitions, and even a tradeshow.

We will track and hunt down something good.

In praise of persistence

(image credit: Truly Happy Life)

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.   The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”



Willwork is a national leader in exhibition services and event project management.  In 2017, we are celebrating 30 years in business.

Harriet Tubman. persistent, courageous (image credit: artist Horatio Seymour Squyer

A quality that we, as a company, esteem and admire highly in people, and in organizations, is that of persistence.    Of staying after something, of facing and surmounting obstacles, of falling down and getting up — of not quitting.

Fundamental to the success of Willwork is that we have been, and are, persistent.

Especially in the early days of Willwork, as we sought to establish ourselves, to sell ourselves — to grow and move beyond being solely a company that provided exhibit installation & dismantle services in the Boston area — we heard a lot of “nos” and knew a lot of rejection and being put off.

And this was all understandable.  Sure, we were doing a great job in Boston.  We were building our reservoir of positive testimonials and good will.  But there were many companies out there against which we competed which had been around for a lot longer than we had, which were far more established, and which did very good work.

If we weren’t persistent, if we did not pursue a game plan of smart and strategic growth, we wouldn’t have nearly approached the success and achievement we have known.

It is worthwhile, it is valuable … and inspiring … to take a look at examples of extraordinary and exceptional persistence.   To that end, today, in this space, we are doing just that.


We need to start out with a hall of famer in persistence – and also in courage and dignity.

The hall of famer?  That would be Harriet Tubman — the “Moses of Her People.”

Born into slavery in Maryland, probably in the year 1822, Harriet Tubman became one of the most successful “conductors” on the Underground Railroad, the secret route of roads and paths and safe houses that slaves, sometimes with the help of abolitionists, used to escape from slave states and make their way to freedom in states in the North, and Canada.

While an enslaved field hand, Tubman endured horrific abuse, including repeated beatings.  In 1849, she escaped to Philadelphia, and to freedom, leaving behind her husband and family.  But Harriet Tubman was not content to secure freedom for herself – no, no, no – for she felt and observed a calling, one to which she responded … time after time … and one that would … time after time … place her life at risk.

As explained at, “Despite a bounty on her head, she returned to the South at least 19 times to lead her family and hundreds of other slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad. Tubman also served as a scout, spy and nurse during the Civil War.”

It seems that Harriet Tubman is now the frontrunner emerging in discussions in Washington, D.C., as to who will be selected as the first woman to become the “face” on a paper bill of American currency.  Proposed, with strong backing, is that Tubman replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill, with Jackson represented on the back of the bill.

Please click here to be taken to the full biography of Harriet Tubman at


Thomas Alva Edison ranks at the top of the list of the most successful and brilliant inventors, and successful industrialists, in history.  He is also the poster child for persistence.

Thomas Alva Edison (image credit: Louis Bachrach, Bachrach Studios; restored by Michel Vuijlsteke)

Nicknamed the “Wizard of Menlo Park” – with Menlo Park, NJ the site of Edison’s home and research lab – Edison’s toil and intelligence, and way of looking at the world, resulted in 1,093 U.S. patents alone, not including those he held other countries.

Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry on Edison in which is described his enduring influence:

“More significant than the number of Edison’s patents was the widespread impact of his inventions: electric light, power utilities, sound recording, and motion pictures all established major new industries worldwide. Edison’s inventions contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications. These included a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures.   His advanced work in these fields was an outgrowth of his early career as a telegraph operator.   Edison developed a system of electric-power generation and distribution to homes, businesses, and factories – a crucial development in the modern industrialized world.”

This influence did not come easy – not at all.  Edison failed over and over.  Then, again, maybe not.

Edison famously reflected:  “I have not failed.  I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Thomas Alva Edison, also noted, just as famously:  “Genius is one percent inspiration, and 99 percent perspiration.”


J.K. Rowling (image credit: Scholastic, Barnes & Noble)

J.K. Rowling is an all-star in persistence.  Consider the following entry on Rowling which is found at the website Being Encouraged.

“J.K. Rowling- The famous Harry Potter author became a single-mother after enduring a failed marriage and also losing her mother. She was diagnosed with clinical depression and reportedly contemplated suicide. Before finishing the first book of the Harry Potter series, she was barely surviving on welfare. After she finished the book, she submitted to twelve different publishing houses but was rejected by all of them. It wasn’t until a year later when a small London-based publishing company gave her a chance that she became the author we’ve come to revere.”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published in 1997.  It would be the first in a series of six Harry Potter books that would all become mega worldwide bestsellers.”

The Wikipedia entry on the series provides the following data on the success of the Hatter Potter series:

“As of May 2013, the books have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide, making them the best-selling book series in history, and have been translated into seventy-three languages.   The last four books consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history, with the final installment selling roughly eleven million copies in the United States within twenty-four hours of its release. “

Of course, beyond the books, Harry Potter has become a powerhouse entertainment franchise, encompassing films, games, theme parks, and the stage.

J.K. Rowling continues to write, and continues to create brilliant and bestselling art.


Following redshirting the 1993 season, Kurt Warner was a backup quarterback for the next three seasons at the University of Northern Iowa, an NCAA 1-AA school located in Cedar Falls.   He got his chance to start as a senior, and he made good – leading the Panthers to an 8-3 record and a playoff berth.  He was named the Gateway Offensive Conference Player of the Year.

Undrafted, he had a tryout with the Green Bay Packers, and was cut.   Warner returned to Cedar Falls where he stocked shelves in a grocery store for $5.50 an hour, and was an assistant coach with the Northern Iowa football team.

He didn’t give up on his dream.

Sports Illustrated cover featuring Kurt Warner in 2000 Super Bowl (image credit: Sports Illustrated)

Warner received an opportunity to play in the Arena Football League, and he lit it up, putting up huge numbers, and becoming one of the league’s premier players.   His play caught the attention of the St. Louis Rams, which signed him to a contract for the 1997 season.  St. Louis held his rights when he spent the 1998 season in NFL Europe where he led the league in passing.

Warner was the third-string quarterback for the Rams for the 1998 season.  During the 1999 preseason, Warner was second on the depth chart to starter Trent Green.  When Green tore his ACL in preseason, Warner became the Rams starter.

The 1999-2000 campaign saw Kurt Warner and the Rams conduct a clinic, setting a slew of offensive records, and finishing the season with Super Bowl victory, beating the Tennessee Titans, 23-16, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.  Warner was named MVP of the game.

Over the next nine season, Warner continued as one of the NFL’s premier quarterbacks.  He started in two more Super Bowls, with both those starts for teams that lost the game narrowly.

Warner’s holds many NFL passing records.  During his NFL career, he was named All Pro four times.

Kurt Warner was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 5, 2017.


Wiillwork hopes you have enjoyed this treatise on, and ode to, persistence.

Willwork will always be a company that faithfully practices this virtue

And we recognize, beyond the importance of persistence in being successful in the exhibitions services and event project management industry, its importance in achieving and accomplishing in all areas of life.

For we believe, as President Coolidge so accurately and correctly reflected, that, “The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”



Malcolm Gladwell (image credit: Little Brown & Company)

(This post follows up on, and expands the discussion of, the June 26th post in this space — “How Cool is This?  Employing Neuroscience to Make Exhibits More Engaging, More Eye-Catching” — of how neuroscience is increasingly studied and applied to strengthen brands, pitch ideas, and create exhibits.)

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is a national leader in exhibition services and event project management.   

Our client list includes winning and successful companies that range in size from the world’s largest multinationals with tens of thousands of employees, to small enterprises of only a few employees.  Every client receives the same uncompromising Willwork commitment to excellence.

Willwork dares say that we help companies make good impressions and broadcast and strengthen their brand.  We help companies tell their stories.  We help companies engage with consumers … and the public at large.

Willwork understands that human nature and the brutally competitive character of business makes urgent the need for companies to always show a good face, always demonstrate efficiently, and always be on message.  

There is that famous (and so true) axiom: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Indeed, scientific and expert-reviewed studies tell us that within the time elapse of a few tenths of a second, a person being pitched and marketed and sold to has made consequential judgements about the person doing the marketing and pitching.

Decisions made this fast are fueled and are the stuff, mostly, of emotion and instinct, not logical and drawn-out contemplation and review.  

And then consider — and this statistic further emphasizes the urgency of initial impression — that daily the average consumer faces, confronts, and is exposed to, 5,000 advertisements.  

Yes, breaking through … right away … to the interests and likes and emotions of the consumer is the holy grail of advertising and marketing-communications.  

(image credit: Little, Btown & Company)

Malcolm Gladwell, the top-selling author, big-idea guy, and high-in-demand corporate speaker, wrote a book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005, Little, Brown and Company).

Blink is about quick judgements and quick determinations, fast decisions … and the psychology and neuroscience behind them.    

Blink is about the element of decision-making called adaptive unconscious, a term created in 2002 by the social psychologist Daniel Wegner.

Wegner, who passed away from ALS in 2013 at the age of 65, taught at Trinity University, the University of Virginia, and Harvard University.  A considerable area of his work and scholarship dealt with and proposed that it is often an “illusion” that our decisions and actions are the result of conscious thinking — and that they are actually directed by the unconscious.

Adaptive unconscious and conscious are two strategies people use to make decisions and, as Gladwell terms it, “make sense of the situation.”   

Conscious-strategy decision making is we ‘think what we’ve learned, and eventually we come up with an answer.” Conscious decision making takes time.  Conscious decision making is logical.  

Adaptive-unconscious decision making is completed as fast as … well … a blink.  

Blink is a treatise on how the adaptive unconscious often better serves us than does the conscious.

“ …  the study of [adaptive unconscious] decision making is one of the most important new fields in psychology,” writes Gladwell.  

Consider this excerpt from the introduction section of Blink:

This new notion of the adaptive unconscious is thought of … as a kind of giant computer that quickly and quietly processes a lot of the data we need in order to keep functioning as human beings …. As the psychologist Timothy D. Wilson writes in his book Strangers to Ourselves: “The mind  operates more efficiently by relegating a good-deal of high-level, sophisticated  thinking to the unconscious, just as a modern jetliner is able to fly on automatic pilot with little or no input from the human ‘conscious’ pilot. The adaptive unconscious does an excellent job of sizing up the world, warning people of danger, setting goals, and initiating action in a sophisticated and efficient manner.”

…. The psychologist Nalini Ambady once gave students three ten-second videotapes of a teacher — with the sound turned off — and found they had no difficulty at all coming up with a rating of the teacher’s effectiveness.  Then  Ambady cut the clips back to five seconds, and the ratings were the same.  They were remarkably consistent even when she showed the students just two seconds of the videotape.  Then Ambady compared those snap judgments of teacher effectiveness with evaluations of those same professors made by their students after a full semester of classes, and she found that they were essentially the same.  A person watching a silent two-second video clip of a teacher he or she has never met will reach conclusions about how good that teacher is that are very similar to those  of a student who has sat in the teacher’s class for an entire semester.  That’s the  power of our adaptive unconscious.  

Blink focuses on adaptive unconscious thinking, yet it also pays heed and analyzes conscious thought — the more deliberative and time-consuming process — and how conscious thought helps us make the right choices … and how it sometimes fails us.

Now, having presented and said all this about Blink, it must also be noted that while Malcolm Gladwell is brilliant and among the best critical thinkers and storytellers of our time but he does have a penchant to simplify and, based on his thinking and writing, declare broad-sweeping laws that do not hold up under scrutiny and analysis.   

(image credit:

To put things another way, and here is the advice for advertisers and marketers, don’t assume that what Gladwell – provided certain conditions are present – foretells will happen, will happen.

Willwork does submit, though – and we do this without reservation – that it is a winning strategy for companies to tie into the unconscious and seek to appeal to deep-held emotion and impulse and instinct.  

It is all good and a smart investment of time to study and learn about the adaptive unconscious.  

On February 21, 2016, published in the New York Times, was a story by Benedict Carey, the newspaper’s science and medical writer.  The focus of the article was the pioneering research report on the unconscious mind and reasoning which had been recently written and released by researchers at the University of Amsterdam.

In the story, “The Unconscious Mind:  A Great Decision Maker”, Carey shared that, “The unconscious brain has a far greater capacity for information than conscious working memory, the authors write, and it may be less susceptible to certain biases.”

It would seem a given that there is a vast and deep reservoir and nexus of research and material on the adaptive unconscious that advises marketers and advertisers on how to make the right impression right away.  

Well, not exactly.  But the reservoir is filling fast, for sure.   Again, as Malcolm Gladwell declared, the study of the adaptive unconscious is “one of the most important new fields in psychology.”

Some Thinking About Emotion — and the Adaptive Unconscious

There is that sales maxim which has been around for years; it tells us that emotion drives buying decisions while logic justifies buying decisions.  

Adaptive-conscious strategy is far more of an emotional animal than is conscious strategy.   Adaptive-conscious and emotion are kin.

Brilliant and reflective minds, since ancient times, have postulated and figured what constitutes emotion — and yet it will be in the future, maybe, when we definitively define and get our arms around the concept and nature of emotion.   

We dare say that emotion is a synthesis of chemical and memory and electrical impulse and neurological hardwiring that does its work in the time it takes to … to … blink.  Emotion is a marrying of the ancestral and instinctual shared by all humanity, and the highly personal and individual continuously updated.

That being said, that much like the sphere of adaptive unconscious, there is a whole lot of space and ocean of what we don’t know about emotion.

Daryl Travis, CEO of Brandtrust, a branding research and strategy firm based in Chicago, wrote a smart and thought-generating commentary on the power and advantages available to companies to strengthen their brands through tapping into … appealing to …. adaptive-conscious strategy and emotion.

The commentary, “Brand Blink: Understanding the Mind to get to the Heart of Buying Decisions”, was published in Marketing Today, an online magazine that provides “articles on strategies and tactics, and results of studies relevant to marketers.”

Travis discusses the brain and images and emotion:

…. The brain is elegantly designed to store whole concepts within an image.  We store memories as images because they are more meaningful and easier to quickly and automatically. Emotions are largely responsible for creating these memories and are the key to unlocking the meaning within.

It is critical for marketers to understand the role of emotions in human decision making and behavior. Raised in Western culture, we are well indoctrinated in the forces of logic and reason, but we’ve lost sight of the essential role emotions play in determining human behavior. In fact, all human behavior is driven by emotional input derived from these stored visualizations …

Indeed, from a seller and marketer standpoint, it is often desirable … in a manner of speaking … to let emotions get the better of us.  

It is desirable to study the role and influence of visualization and images in forming and establishing emotions.   The visual, an image, can almost instantaneously make a powerful impact on a consumer — a powerful impact that is enduring.

Cercone Brown Company is a distinguished and award-winning public relations and creative services agency with offices in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles.  Cercone Brown understands the power of the unconscious.   It understands that in striving  to appeal to and reach the unconscious, deep consideration must be given to precise and singular elements (e,g, color, sound, images, one word) that can immediately influence consumer behavior.

Consider the opening paragraph of a post, titled, “The Psychology of Marketing,” published at the Cerone Brown blog:

For some people, certain words, colors, or pictures can evoke very unique responses, while others produce no reaction at all. With the fields of psychology and neuroscience continuing to expand and explore the brain, we as marketing professionals can benefit from even a simple glimpse at how these processes can be advantageous in our branding.  An expert in the world of marketing or advertising knows that the smallest detail can make or break a company’s success, from the hue of color in the logo to the word choice in a slogan.

Further along in the post, declared is that, “When in the role of a consumer, the person is not a rational being. Instead, they are overcome with both conscious and unconscious thoughts and emotions.”

Yes, “overcome with conscious and unconscious thoughts and emotions.”

Please click here to be taken to the complete Cercone Brown Company post.


Fascinating is the realm of the adaptive unconscious.  Intriguing are the extraordinary opportunities that are available to those groups, and those individuals, who are able to fashion and transmit the right messages, stories, and appeals that connect to and engage the adaptive unconscious.  

Coming soon in this space will be a post in which we will share and discuss how some organizations, and some people, are selling and brand-building not only through knowing and communicating with the adaptive unconscious — but also in moderating and countering negatives that may have resulted from that “blink” of a first impression.


3 Tips for Promoting Your Brand on a Budget

Not everyone has the marketing budget to compete with the likes of Coca-Cola or other major corporations with international reach. This means you need to make the most of your event by identifying affordable ways to promote your brand. Here are a few to get you started:

1. Viral content
Saying your company should create a viral marketing campaign is easy – actually doing so is difficult. While it ultimately falls on your marketing team to think of something that can set you apart from the crowd, it’s good to note just how helpful a video can be.

Consider taking a different spin on your event, like the Dollar Shave Club did on razors. You’ve seen the funny commercials before, where the company points out razors are often so expensive that it feels as though companies don’t want you to buy them. It all started when they struck gold on one of their very first videos, according to Mashable.

Viral content can effectively promote your brand.Viral content can effectively promote your brand.

“Content is a big part of our strategy, and there will be more coming,” CEO Michael Dubin told Mashable. “I wanted people to laugh, and people tend to remember something gives that them a visceral response.”

Sticking out should be your main goal. Whether it be for one reason or another, gaining some traction in the consumer’s mind is difficult, so take what you can get. Consider taping the next event your company plans so you can use some footage in your marketing campaign.

2. Exposure at the event
There are a number of different places you can put your brand on full display during your event. Are you having a guest speaker lecture to the crowd? Event Manager Blog recommends putting together a backdrop that can hang behind the speaker.

“Place a sign behind the lecturer for more exposure.”

Think about it – for 30 minutes to an hour, everyone’s eyes will be in one place. Make use of your captive audience and generate some exposure for your company. Brand awareness is all about making the logo and motto stick in consumer’s minds. Place it in the one area they have to look at, and watch the awareness swell.

Food can also be another great place for exposure, EMB reported. If you’re giving out any baked goods, get a two-for-one special by putting your brand logo on the frosting. No baked goods? No problem. Napkins are an affordable way to get some brand exposure as well.

3. Make the usual unusual
Consumers rarely remember the companies that do what they’re told. To stand out, and have your brand resonate, you need to do something bold. When you’re planning your next event, take a look back at all the free merchandise you’ve given out. How much of it can you remember off the top of your head exactly? If you can’t clearly paint a mental picture of the design on, say, a T-shirt or business card, you need to get back to the drawing board.

WordStream recommends creating business cards that stand out. Instead of using a plain white backdrop, fill it with images or make it a different design than the usual rectangle. If a consumer can’t pick your card out of a pile of them in just a few seconds, you’re business card is lacking in the creative department.

When it comes to free merchandise, do something different than just the logo and motto. Give out something they will use on a regular basis – like portable phone chargers, water bottles or coffee mugs. The right giveaway can put your logo in front of people on a daily basis. According to Hubspot, these items can all have their container branded, and don’t cost much to create.

Creating brand awareness on a budget is easy – you just need to find out which avenue will help your company name stand out the most from the crowd.

Beyond the Convention Halls and Centers, Hotels, and Conference Facilities – Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services Delivers It Expertise and “energy” in Many Other Types of Venues and Places

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is distinguished for the quality of its labor – and its creativity, ingenuity, work ethic, attention to detail, and professionalism.

 Fenway Park

In 2011, Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services served as the general contractor for the first tradeshow held inside Fenway Park. Shown here is a portion of the show floor of that event (photo credit: Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services)

Companies and other organizations that range in size from the largest, most established, and most prominent multinationals, to small companies that only recently launched, rely on Willwork for I&D labor, event and show planning and contracting, permanent installation contracting, props, audio-visual production, lead retrieval, data capture … and more.

Willwork knows exhibits, and we know events, and we enjoy a challenge and an opportunity to do what other companies are unable to do – or are even unwilling to take on and attempt to do.

Please click here to be taken to a page at the Willwork site where you can find a roster of the services and products we provide.

And in the more than a quarter of century we have been in business, among our most fun and fulfilling work has been installing and dismantling exhibits and properties exceptional in beauty and creativity of design.

Also integral to the success of an event is the space in which it is held. Of course, Willwork has worked in event halls and convention centers around the world – with most of our operations in the United States.


Willwork has delivered its Energy at the NASCAR Hall of Fame (photo credit: NASCAR Hall of Fame)

We have worked in all of the major halls and convention spaces in this country.

Willwork also has a broad and long writ of accomplishment in delivering and exercising our “energy” – from coast to coast – in other types venues, including colleges and universities, hospitals and medical centers, parks and stadiums, museums, intermodal facilities, malls and stores, and corporate offices.

Among the thousands of venues in which Willwork has demonstrated its energy are the following:

Wherever … and whenever …. as needed and as our clients request … Willwork organizes, plans, coordinates, designs, installs, sets up, takes down, dismantles, packs, transports, maintains, and refurbishes better and more efficiently, and with more skill and creativity and focus, than any company anywhere.