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Preparing your trade show: a lesson from the Winter Olympics

Posted By Kevin Fett
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The Winter Olympics in South Korea has been an exciting display of amazing ability, physical skill and sheer determination.  Watching the coverage of the Olympics has given me some food for thought on how you can apply lessons from the Olympics to your upcoming trade show.

2018-olympicsBe prepared for anything. There was not one but two wardrobe malfunctions during the pairs skating competition. For those of you who do not know, not only are there standard clasps on the costume, but the costume is then sewn shut to prevent it from opening. Yet even with these measures, these unfortunate skaters had to improvise and come up with different arm movements to keep their outfits from landing up somewhere other than where they were meant to be. Assume things will go sideways, even with all the preparation, and be ready to adapt to those changes in your booth. This can be freight not arriving, issues with your demonstrations, even something happening to your booth (like a forklift accidentally backing into it). This is where a steady and seasoned staff can keep you on track.

Add in technology for those in attendance. One of the big stories that came out of South Korea was the incredible use of robots and technology, including a robot that ‘walked’ the torch to the next torch bearer. Technology can provide some great engagement in any circumstance. When you are deciding your demonstrations, look at how the technologies currently available can be used to give those demos the wow factor. And don’t forget some technology can add some real fun to your booth. But beware, you do not want to add technology for technology’s sake.

The next show is coming faster than you think. Metal winners at the Olympics are already talking about how they will use this experience to impact their training for the next Olympics in four years. When should you start planning for your next show? Very soon after the current show ends! It is very easy to get back to the office, do a bit of a post mortem on your show, put away your freight, and promptly forget about the next show until it is nearly upon you. Use the energy and momentum from the current show to inspire your show planning. Did you see another demonstration that caused you to rethink your current ones? Or maybe you had an idea for a great pre-show marketing campaign for the next show? Don’t let your next show creep up on you and be caught off guard.

Take some lessons from the Olympics and become a true trade show booth champion.