It’s absolutely gut wrenching when we see potential clients go with a sub-standard design that doesn’t work towards achieving their goals. The big problem with the ‘safe’ option, is that it might sometimes look like a good idea from the outside, but it doesn’t always tick boxes for an attendee. (And this is what matters for the bottom line!)
This is a major frustration for us as well as the client who has devised the plan and shared our concepts.
Nobody likes to miss out on business, especially when you have worked hard at producing creative ideas. There is nothing worse that knowing in your heart of hearts that you haven’t brought your A-game and the strategy you are implementing isn’t best for the company.
So why does it happen? … Because vision ‘leaks’.
When we first work with a potential client we take the time to create together a strong vision for their exhibition. Often we are dealing with marketing managers or the key decision-maker and and they walk away from our pow-wow totally on-board with the process having appreciated and understood the strategies that we put forward.
One of our main objectives is not just to build a pretty stand but really understand our clients requirements and design a stand that links back to their trade show goals.
But, sometimes despite all our best efforts what we find happening is that over time this strong vision starts to ‘leak’, and our client starts to back away into staying ‘safe’.
This usually happens because of the following:
- Pressure from others
- Forgetting their WHY
- Being unclear about the next steps
- Going with a design that is acceptable by how it looks, rather than how it will work
“The definition of insantity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” (Albert Einstein)
By doing what they’ve always done, the business usually feels safe hovering in their comfort zone. Competitors and customers will look at their custom stand and see a decent design that ticks a box.
However, growth is key when it comes to exhibiting and you invest money to make money. To see more impactful results you can’t always just revert back and hope that the audience at the show will be just right and you’ll land heaps of business.
Eg: I love wine, but I’m not a sommelier
When find your favourite drop, you file away the flavour profile of that wine and compare every future wine to that particular varietal. It’s 100% normal for us to always revert back to what we are comfortable with/familiar/what we know, but it limits our growth.
It is always difficult to convey the whole thought process from the beginning when selling a new idea to the team. Often we rely on summarising and this can mean that some people get it, while others don’t.
To sell a new exhibition concept (a.k.a vision) to your team you need to have a plan and focus on how it will work rather than just the look of the stand. You’re storytelling. Otherwise you’re at risk of people playing the comparison game and either looking back at past shows they have done, at competitors stands or just focusing on what a design looks like instead of narrowing down your focus on your goal for the next exhibition.
How to present a new idea
1/ Get the team involved from the beginning. Having synergy within the team and discussing the expectations and goals of the show together means that new ideas are more readily accepted.
2/ Focus on how it will work rather than how the stand will look. Present your ‘why’ to the team along with the process of how you will achieve your goals. When everyone understands why certain design choices have been made and how they feed into your goal for the show, you have a better chance of stepping away from how things have always been done.
3/ Get a tradeshow strategist on board. Outside influence can really help align the team. One tactic we find really helpful to instill confidence is team training around how to implement your strategies. Not enough companies do this, but the ones we are called in to do this for gain so much more respect for the exhibition process as they understand how they can actively contribute to sales goals. There are metrics and a plan of attack for how it will all work. i.e. There is a game plan and this is the team huddle.
Want help getting your team on board with your exhibition strategy?
Give us a call today and let’s personalise a plan just for you.
Yours in Exhibiting,