|Why is it that so many of us, our
industry and our clients alike, keep doing things the way we have always
Everyone knows by now that there is a new sheriff in town and she is
called Measurement. Some of us like her, but the vast majority dread
her. Not because we don’t agree with what she says, but we simply don’t
know HOW to meet her demands. We lack tools, processes and above all –
THE RIGHT MINDSET.
So here are a few thoughts about what you can do and where to start—and
more importantly, HOW. It might surprise you, but it starts with YOU.
To rethink your entire setup, you need to ask one question: What real
value do you bring to the customer? Let me try to elaborate…
What to do?
For a number of years now myself and a group of very dedicated
colleagues have conducted seminars under the headline, How To Be
Successful with Exhibitions, Events, Road Shows, etc. We had to rethink
our business strategies after 2008 and quickly decided that sharing
information and being open and transparent could take everybody involved
to the next level—attendees, customers, businesses, markets, and us.
Having welcomed more than 1,600 people to the seminars so far, we have
learned that their route to success is very complex and we were
surprised to see that up to 85 % of the participating companies DID NOT
have a professional approach in their face-to-face marketing activities.
From the client’s perspective, we are heavily involved in the logistical
aspects of marketing activities. By examining how the business and the
projects were coordinated and executed, we saw an opportunity for both
parties to improve,
We created a mode of learning that provides an example for how everyone
can improve. Through what we call the THINK model, putting 4 words
(think, design, execute, measure) into a “wheel” and activating it by
operative words (involvement, retention and relevance), we believe that
we have the foundation for creating and improving a systematic and
documented approach to become measurably successful when meeting
face-to-face with customers.
The THINK Model was our first major change and enabled us to rethink the
before, during and after of a trade show and face-to-face marketing.
All modesty aside, we wanted to both revolutionize and evolutionize how
everything is done in this business area. We wanted to take away all the
“old” rules and conventions and create a new paradigm. Was that really
necessary? Well, most of us are still in business, so perhaps not right
now! But what about 5 years from now? How will the landscape look and
what demands will our customers throw at us? Should we be able to
guarantee commercial success for our clients when they exhibit with
trade show displays in the future? Your answer is as good as mine…
What problems do we want to solve?
Firstly, we want the players in the market so stop doing what they
usually do. When we ask our clients why they participate in an
exhibition, 80-90% STILL say it’s because that’s what they have always
done. When we ask what their trade show objectives are and how they
measure their results, they look like question marks.
We want people to do much better. We want them to do more than “just”
designing and executing. We want them to add thinking and measuring. We
hoped that by introducing and implementing the THINK model their jobs
would be much more successful and rewarding. We are looking at an
industry spending billions of dollars to set up meetings trade show
exhibits all over the world to meet with customers face-to-face. With
that kind of money at stake, doing this wrong results in a huge loss. We
want to make absolutely sure that, by using a very simple tool,
everything is in place to become successful instead.
So, did we succeed? I would have to say yes, but you have to be very
patient. It takes time to break the habits. It takes time to force a new
mindset upon oneself AND trust that it will take you to a better place.
We still have a full house at our seminars and by the way, we changed
them as well. Now we host BOOT(H)CAMPS with the subtitle, HIGHLY Focused
Seminars. The beauty of this is that we get new clients, we change
mindsets, and we stay focused.
THINK about how you need to change your approaches. THINK about how to
qualify in understanding your clients’ businesses. And THINK