I recently got married. (Woo hoo! A normal surname!) We did the honeymoon thing and life was blissfully quiet for a while. There was no writing, no posting and life was very much on hold while I sat on a Mexican beach reading books and sipping cocktails.

Sometimes a break is exactly what you need… But losing momentum can flirt with your inner sloth and let you sink to a new, quiet, non-achieving norm. I relate completely. When you stop striving for anything better than all right, life is so easy and comfortable. Until the guilt bubbles up inside and you realise you aren’t being true to yourself.

It got me thinking that many people feel the same way about their exhibit programs. They might have tried something new once and didn’t get the right result so they stopped altogether. It’s easy to hide behind statements like “exhibitions don’t work like they used to” because every other person has accepted this as their truth. These are the people that pull away from shows because it seems like the obvious choice when it is probably also the highest advertising dollar spent.

Today I’m not only publicly voicing my commitment to consistently sharing valuable content again, I also want to inspire those of you with stale programs to think bigger. (Bigger doesn’t necessarily need to mean bigger either – Just smarter with bigger results!).

Imagine packing up your booth, beaming with excitement to get back to base because you’ve just had a cracker show. You’re proud of your achievement because you know that you did everything in your power to earn those results.

Below are two tales of clients we helped this year that experienced just that. They were creative, ambitious and grabbed hold of everything they could to guarantee their results would be nothing short of amazing.

Beckman Coulter

A simple design, but a powerful campaign based around a single key message showcasing the “Journey of the Drug”. This client creatively replaced their brochures with chocolate boxes, highlighting the key benefits of their product.

Sure, to some it seemed risky but their dedication to the strategy meant they really stood out. They often had delegates 3-4 people deep looking at the key workflow graphic and were rewarded with incredible results.

“Our first conference using them, generated over 300% more leads than any other event we have done.” – Beckman Coulter

Critical Dental

While these guys were ready to take their presence to the next level, they wanted to do more than just improve their appearance. They agreed to undergo sales training and set KPI’s for the team so the overall stand management was better than ever. It took time and it took commitment, but the results they achieved meant they had their best show yet.

We got 20 solid leads for capital equipment and an outstanding 250% return on investment! It was the comprehensive approach and the partnership style that made pulling it all together so easy”. – Critical Dental

If you got this far and are still reading…

10 Ideas to Get More Out of Your Exhibitions:

  1. Think about how you can do things differently – More efficient, more fun or better impact?
  2. Break your team up into small groups and encourage brainstorming sessions. People usually feel more inclined to share in smaller numbers and you will likely get a wider range of ideas than if you did it as a single group.
  3. Reassess how you currently present information to people? Could a touch screen be a better alternative so you can track who is interested in what product/service?
  4. How can you inject fun or excitement into the exhibition experience?
  5. What are you really offering your customers? What problems are you solving for them and how can you creatively demonstrate this to attendees so it catches their attention?
  6. Introduce some interactives that attract your audience while helping get your message across – activities, touchscreens, digital signage, augmented reality or old school entertainment.
  7. Setting your objectives – Are you aiming for the right thing? Maybe it isn’t sales you’re after, but appointments post show. Maybe it’s demo’s or spreading the word about a new product.
  8. Create a measurement tracking system so that you can benchmark your success. Make sure you are tracking things that are linked to your objectives.
  9. Data collection – How are you currently collecting data? Is it fast? Can you email people as they walk away from your booth? Do you have a system that does the lead ranking while you’re at the show?
  10. Staffing – How can your team work better together? Is anyone simply not suited? Do you need to work on your delivery? Are you talking to enough people at the show?

I do miss lazing on a beach all day in my Mexican sun bed, but once I reminded myself of my why, I was back in full force! It does take me some time to write the blog posts I share with you all, I do it to give back. I want to share my passion and help others to see the potential that I see in the exhibition industry. I want everyone to get the results that I know are possible!

I hope that this small dose of reality and the success stories help inspire any of you who are self-diagnosed “settlers” to take charge again, to pick an area you’re struggling with and brainstorm other ways to improve. Ask more of your programs and give yourself space to plan your come back.

Brace yourself, this will sound lame, but what the hell 🙂 “You can do it!”