It is a strange feeling. Today, Day 3 of the annual Buildings Show/Construct Canada, we are expected to be at the booth from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There are no seminars or conference topics. The annual Toronto Construction Association Christmas lunch is scheduled fo the banquet hall right outside the show floor — and lunch-goers receive free drink tickets to hang out in the exhibit hall.
So, traditionally, things are very quiet on the show day, with a flurry of visitors just before lunch, and the show-close-time.
Our booth is simple; no fancy set-ups, no enticing give-aways. Nor is there need for much of this stuff. In previous years, we put on more creative displays and initiatives, and I don’t think the additional traffic attracted any worthy sales or revenue.
Conversely, without much in the way of special promotion or other initiatives, the show has produced some profitable business and allowed us to maintain our relationships. It is almost as if doing everything wrong from the point of showmanship produces virtually the same results as doing everything right.
How can this be?
I think there are a number of reasons for these observations. First, and perhaps most painfully (or good), we understand the rhythm and purpose of the show. Our business correlates with initiatives and activities before and after more than the event itself, and our clients are mostly other exhibitors rather than the general public. In theory, the many exhibitors who aren’t doing business with us now, could become potential clients — but the other exhibitors generally won’t frame references or relationships at our exhibit; while they may maintain them if they already exist.
How can we do better?
There is a danger in complacency — I believe I should develop a speaking presentation for next year’s show and spend more time brainstorming ideas about how to refresh and enhance our booth/presence.
In any case, if you happen to be in Toronto and wish to see me at the booth, I’ll possibly be a little late, but should be there by 10 or 10:30 a.m. I welcome your observations.
P.S. Yesterday, I managed to lose my camera — so the images here are stock ones from previous years. Achh.