Do You “Think Different” on the Trade Show Floor? Part 2

In Part 1 I talked about three of the six senses or “right-brain directed aptitudes,” that Daniel Pink refers to in his best-selling book, “A Whole New Mind” – namely, design, story, and symphony.

This week I’ll share information about the other three senses, empathy, play, and meaning, and how these relate to your trade show experience.

Empathy - the skill to understand and be able to put yourself in the position of your prospect, or customer – something so key on the trade show floor.  How often do your sales staff take the time or energy to truly understand the prospect’s situation? The more in tune they are with the other person, the easier it is to naturally adjust the conversation, and focus on what’s most important to them.

Play is about having fun.  How often does that get forgotten in business? How about on trade show floor?  To most people, the word “show”  means some form of entertainment. However, it’s very rare that I walk away from a booth feeling that people are having fun and enjoying what they do. Where is it written that doing business at a show has to be serious?

Meaning is about expression. It’s an opportunity to make a difference.  Your people can make or break relationships on the show floor. Do they make a difference? Are they proud company representatives? Do they show the industry they care about their company, products/services?

According to Pink, “few things can be more rewarding than connecting with someone by teaching something new, or sharing that which you feel is very important with others.” How does your trade show team make out in the connections department? Where is their focus – is it on what you’re exhibiting, or is it on the visitor, and what’s most important to them?

Lots of questions, and lots of food for thought!

Listen to my latest session: “7 Quick-Start Keys to Niche Marketing Success”

Susan Friedmann, CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, internationally recognized exhibit marketing expert working with companies to increase their profitability at trade shows. Author: “Riches in Niches: How to Make it BIG in a small Market,” “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Target Marketing,” “Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies” and many other titles. For more great information on trade show marketing strategies that work, and for a complimentary copy of “Exhibiting Success,” visit http://www.thetradeshowcoach.com. Click to download the “Riches in Niches” app.

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Do You “Think Different” on the Trade Show Floor? Part 1

Two weeks ago, I offered you a challenge – “how to avoid being invisible on the trade show floor.”  One of the three ways I shared is to “be different.”

This week I was re-reading one of my favorite books, “A Whole New Mind,” by best-selling author, Daniel Pink. In it he claims, “we’re living in a different era, a different age.  An age in which those who “Think Different” will be valued even more than ever.”  He discusses that right-brain thinking (the creative side – think in pictures) is every bit as important now – in some cases more important – than left-brain thinking (the analytical side – think in facts and figures).

Pink further discusses “six senses” or six “right-brain directed aptitudes,” namely, design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning.

Now you might well be asking yourself, “what has all this got to do with exhibiting?” I believe that these six aptitudes should make up your entire presence on the trade show floor – from your booth message to how your people interact with prospects.

In “Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design & Delivery,” Garr Reynolds goes into great detail about these concepts. Definitely add this book to your library!
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll share a very abridged version, and how these six ideas relate to your exhibiting experience.

1. Design – This concept expresses the need to start with the end in mind.  Based on your exhibiting goals, you need time during your before show preparation, to really think about your key message and your target market. Then, together with your exhibit designer (external or internal – small booth or large booth), take your ideas and make them visual.  If you’re an analytic, get help.  There’s an over-abundance of creative types out there in the marketplace, use their talents to help make you different and stand out from the crowd.

2. Story – If you remember back to your school days of “show and tell” didn’t you love to share your stuff with friends, classmates, teachers, and the like – in fact, anyone who would listen to your story.  Believe it or not, we’re all born storytellers, and “storylisteners.” If you’ve ever been around kids at bedtime know that story time reigns supreme.
Think about how you could take your exhibiting message and turn it into a visual story.  Admittedly, for some products and services, this is easier than others. Once again, seek out the creative help you need.

3. Symphony – This concept is all about “seeing the relationships between relationships.”  In other words, taking an idea and talking about it in a whole new way that people truly relate to, and more importantly, remember.  To better understand this, let me share what I experienced this week.
I’m currently working with Dino, a physical therapist at a local sport’s medicine clinic. During one of the exercises he had me do, he started to explain the muscle structure in “anatomicalese” – a language I’m not conversant in. He then took what he was saying and likened it to tasks a factory worker might do – some that needed more work (larger muscles), and others that needed less effort (smaller muscles). Eureka! I saw the relationships immediately. What Dino had done so skillfully, was to relate one thing to another in a unique way that allowed me to fully understand (and visualize) what he was explaining. This truly was symphony in action.

More next week in Part 2.

Susan Friedmann, CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, internationally recognized exhibit marketing expert working with companies to increase their profitability at trade shows. Author: “Riches in Niches: How to Make it BIG in a small Market,” “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Target Marketing,” “Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies” and many other titles. For more great information on trade show marketing strategies that work, and for a complimentary copy of “Exhibiting Success,” visit http://www.thetradeshowcoach.com. Click to download the “Riches in Niches” app.

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