The world is suffering from a severe dose of Pottermania. Even if you
don't have kids, its impossible not to have heard about Harry Potter. In
a relatively short time, he has cast his magical spell and become a
veritable household name. His creator, J.K. Rowling has managed to pull
off a feat that hasn't been seen in decades motivating kids to read
because they want to and not because they have to.
In the wonderful world of exhibiting don't you yearn for that magic wand
to give a quick magical fix to your tradeshow trials and tribulations.
Wouldn't it be nice to have attendees motivated to flock to our booths
because they wanted to and not because they had to? So what lessons can
exhibitors learn from Harry Potter and his creators miraculous success?
I've come up with the following thirteen (auspicious for some) for
Use boundless imagination
Without a shadow of a doubt, imagination and creativity need to permeate
from every pore of your exhibit marketing program. How can you tap into
the creativity and imagination that exists in your organization to cast
prizewinning spells to enhance your exhibiting program?
Stop being an adult - be childlike
At the core of every attendee is a little child yearning to escape. What
can you do to help them do that? What can you do that incorporates what
we all loved as children fairy tales, story-telling and make-believe
games? Disney managed it very successfully, and now, so did J.K.
Rowling. What would a five-year old do to add some magical power to your
exhibit marketing program?
Break and bend the rules
To get what you want, you often have to break and bend the rules,
especially when it suits your purpose. Most advances in science,
medicine, music, art and design came as a result of someone being
prepared to challenge the norm and try a different approach. What scary
rules could you secretly break?
Do what you know
Take something you know and do well and add a little something else to
it, and then add something else. Very soon you will take on the mark of
a wizard and transform what you have into something new. What creative
things can you do with what you know, and what resources and solutions
are right in front of you?
Think outside the box
Its easy to only look at exhibiting from one perspective especially when
you exhibit within one particular industry. Often, the best ideas come
from cutting across different boundaries, for example, how could you
integrate weird and wonderful potions, charms, giants, dragons,
cauldrons, crystal balls and the like into a scientific or machine tool
setting? Make a point of looking outside your particular situation for
Plot out what you want to do before you begin
What's your exhibiting objective, what are you trying to achieve, and
what planning do you need to do? Draw a picture and make a map of where
you need to go and the things you need to do. Using pictures instead of
words can add bewitching power and put a very different perspective on
your planning process. It also helps make it fun!
Expect the unexpected
Many of history's greatest discoverers and inventers happened across
their major discovery quite unexpectedly. Often, they were looking for
something else. Remember Christopher Columbus set out looking for India,
and lo and behold, look what he found! What are the two most unexpected
things that might mysteriously happen during your next exhibiting
Put magic into your thinking
When you ask yourself "what if" questions you stretch your thinking and
plant the seeds for creative new ideas. What if ghosts and goblins were
to roam the show floor? What if exhibit booths could fly around the show
hall positioning themselves right in front of your major prospects? What
if people wearing special glasses were the only attendees able to see
your exhibit display? What if you tried this exercise?
Slay a dragon
Dragons elicit fears and fears often stand in the way of you doing new
and creative things. So many exhibitors fear uncharted territory. You
fear the unknown and you fear failure. Take time to look at those
fiendish creatures that hold you back from being and doing all you can
before, during and after the show. What dragons can you slay?
Learn from others
There are countless people and situations you can learn from. The key is
being open and receptive, and in essence, being prepared to be a
lifelong learner. Look to the past and learn from historical figures,
borrow ideas from innovators, learn from others mistakes, use ideas from
the patterns and cycles in nature. Where can you look for some magical
Transport people to another place
J.K. Rowling performed incredible magic transporting people around the
world to the enchanted magical world of wizards, spells and mythical
beasts. In fact there is a wealth of folklore, mythology and history
that shimmers beneath the surface of her stories.
How can magic you dream up transport your exhibiting program to another
Go where others fear to tread
When you exercise the courage to do something different, you take a
risk. You have a risk muscle that you keep in shape through regular
exercise. It takes courage, a pioneering spirit and a sense of adventure
to overcome the scary stuff and seek out unknown opportunities. How can
you exercise your risk muscle?
Believe in your success
Thomas Edison once said, "The value of an idea lies in the using of it."
Believe that the creative ideas you conjure up will bring you untold
successes. Now all you need do is wave your magic wand to put them into
action. Which ideas will you start with?
The moral of the article is to never get caught without your wand, as
you never know when you might need it!