Planning for a trade show can be a very stressful process. There are so many things to get done from meeting show deadlines to planning show promotions and training your booth staff. But if you turn into an unpleasant, fire-breathing Eventzilla you will only impede the process for yourself and your team.
Here are seven suggestions to help everyone retain their sanity!
1) Communication. You will need to be an effective communicator to everyone on your team, including superiors and subordinates. Keep the entire team abreast of deadlines, responsibilities and expectations. Let your team know that your door is open and that you expect the same communication in return on any snags or successes.
2) Have fun! It can be very easy to get caught up in the task at hand, but don’t forget to have fun with it. Take a moment to celebrate team accomplishments. Reward and show appreciation for those who have taken on duties that may not be as fun. Yes, there is certainly a lot of work to be done, but you’re also involved in a creative process.
3) Get excited! It’s that same creative process that probably led you to this position in the first place. You could be creating the first impression a lot of people will ever have for your company. Or helping launch a new product that will revolutionize your industry. Let the exhilaration you have for your job and your trade show project inspire you.
4) Recognize that you do have a monster within! We all do! At least to some degree. It’s how you deal with those adversities and treat others during them that is important. Learning to tame “the beast within” will lead to a more productive work environment for all.
5) Warn the team about your inner Eventzilla. There’s nothing worse than being blindsided by something like this. You need to just put it out there. “If you see me starting to turn into Eventzilla, please let me know.” Your team will appreciate your honesty and get a good laugh out of it as well. That way if you or anyone of your crew has “one of those days,” when you’re ready to shoot fire and destroy everything in your path, everyone knows they have a support network.
6) Take a deep breath. Stay within yourself. Walk away from things to collect yourself for a bit, if things get a little too maddening. Remember you’re in control of the event; don’t let the event control you.
7) Your trade show vendors are partners, not just vendors. The event professionals that you work closely with on your trade show should feel almost as if they are part of your company. They should have an interest in not only your show or your trade show display but also your company and its culture. With that being said, it’s okay to have the Eventzilla conversation with trusted partners who will share in your triumphs or challenges. They may also have suggestions on dealing with these challenges. They are an extension of your in-house team and unleashing Eventzilla can crimp the relationship or even worse, give you the reputation as someone who is difficult to work with on projects.
So, hopefully these suggestions will help you manage your emotions and some of the stress involved in planning your next trade show. What parts of the trade show planning process have sent you over the deep end? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments box below.
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