Athletes call it the “zone.” Actors refer to the “moment.” For others it’s “living in the here and now.” These expressions refer to your entire focus being on the job at hand.
Show exhibitors experience these phenomena when the show is busy. All outside interferences disappear and their focus is taking care of visitors. It’s when the show slows down that problems occur and booth staff display behaviors that are counter-productive.
The athlete or actor, through years of training can harness their internal resources and find the zone on their own. The exhibitor however seems to need that external force (lots of traffic) to find their zone.
These exhibitors can tear a page out of the athlete’s and actor’s note books and learn some valuable lessons.
Here are some simple strategies to help you find your exhibit zone.
1. Find the Flow
Every show has its natural rhythm. There will be busy times and slow times. The savvy exhibitor knows that when the traffic diminishes there are still opportunities. Slow traffic times are just a quiet respite before the next storm. These exhibitors focus on the signs that the storm will once again start to blow rather than on their tired feet and overworked smiles.
2. Define your Moment
We all have a choice. We can spend time assuming that the show is a waste or know that opportunities are lurking everywhere. Our attitudinal choice is made long before the show begins. Assume that the show is going to be a winner and half your battle is already won. Assume that it’s going to be a waste of time and you might as well pack up and go home early. A careful examination of the attendee profiles is one step to identify the show’s potential and change negative attitudes.
3. Refocus your doubts
There are times when even the best of attitudes is challenged. That’s when your doubts appear. Doubts creep into your conscious mind slowly and before you know it, they can hamper the best of intentions. A better approach is to use these doubts as signs that what you are doing, and not necessarily the show itself, is not working. Now is the time to find new strategies to stimulate business, such as looking for opportunities away from your booth. Watch where exhibitors and attendees congregate and look for networking opportunities there. The exhibitor or buyers lounges, media conferences, hospitality events of just walking around the show floor can uncover many of these opportunities.
4. Small acts produce big results
Everything you do when you are working at your booth, no matter how small, will have an effect on your organization. So, when things are slow take the time to gather intelligence that your company can use to further itself. Competitive intelligence is more than spying. It’s collecting information that will help guide your corporation’s decision making such as, which shows to attend, the new products and trends on the market, the new players and the most recent industry buzz.
5. Think with Clarity
It’s been said that organizing and executing a show is a multi-taskers dream. There is a tendency to try and fill the day with too many activities. Knowing what you are trying to accomplish and with who is a constant reminder that will keep you on track and focused.
So, what do the athlete, the actor and the exhibitor have in common? They all want to win. But rather than focusing on the destination a more productive approach is to focus on the journey. One step at a time.
About the Author:
Barry Siskind, President and Founder of Internationals Training and Management Company. Barry is a consultant, speaker and internationally recognized expert in trade and consumer shows. Barry is an active member of the Canadian Association of Exposition Management (CAEM), the Centre for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), the Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA) and International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE).
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