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Trade Show Planning: Don’t Panic! It Will All Work Out.

So, I have been accused of being dramatic. In fact, one of my colleagues has given me the nickname “Dramadigan” based on my last name and propensity to panic. This involves me pacing the floor in my office (sometimes slightly hyperventilating) and, of course, the slamming down of my pen onto a pad of paper because if I can drop that pen with authority it will obviously fix whatever went wrong.

What I have learned (through painful trial and error) is that even when I do my best to plan ahead, check-off everything on the list and make sure everything is done on time, things will certainly still go wrong. But you know what? It will be okay.

Panicking does not help, nor will it solve any of those issues that will most definitely pop up along the way (trust me, I’ve tried!). Lost part of your shipment? Someone put a forklift through your crate? Part of your exhibit is stuck in customs? You get my point. Most of the time these things that come up are not a life or death situation. In the end, it may not all come together the way you planned but it will work out.

And don’t forget that your exhibit supplier may be able to step in and help. They may know a local vendor who can print a new graphic to have in place before the show opens. Or perhaps the install team may be able to “MacGuyver” a solution that will solve the immediate problem. Maybe you don’t even need an item that is stuck in customs and the attendees will still understand what you replace it with.

So, next time some unexpected calamity pops up (and you know that it will), don’t be a Dramadigan. Take a deep breath, ask your team for help, and know that you will likely have a great story to tell in a day or two.