This week has been pretty manic!
A big trade exhibition. Fourteen media briefings. A day of corporate entertainment in Yorkshire. Three business dinners. Now, finally, a panel meeting later today. It’s been a week of late nights and early mornings.
But here we are on Friday morning and I’m still standing. I’ve learnt some useful lessons in the process and had a refresher on some others.
- Confirm, confirm, confirm. Especially at a big trade exhibition where everyone is trying to book appointments, diaries move around and information gets lost.
- Be prepared. It’s important to be able to evolve your plans as agendas change. You can only do it if you have all the data you need available at your fingertips; mobile numbers, emails, the lot.
- Be really prepared. It might be the hottest day in September since 1911, but you still need warm clothes if you’re spending the day in briefings in a large, very air conditioned room.
- Do not have dead plants on your stand if you’re selling fertiliser! Incredible I know, but when walking about the show that’s exactly what I saw. I did a couple of double takes before I really believed the product beside the dead and dying blooms was plant feed.
- Everything about your exhibition stand says something about you. The layout, the products you select, the way they’re displayed, the behaviour of your team, on stand and off.
- As always, be completely clear about what you’re saying, to whom and how. Then you can decide if you want to write a ‘novel’ or a ‘collection of short stories’ on your stand. Does everything come together to convey one complete integrated message or have you a collection of different messages each of which needs to be conveyed?
- Never leave things to the last minute. Always check the set up well in advance. There’s bound to be something that needs changing or, even worse, is missing and it’s only a problem if the room is filling behind you as you’re scrabbling for a solution.
- ‘Dolly birds’ in skin tight lycra were out of date ten years ago and they’re definitely past their sell-buy-date today.
- Changes to the schedule are not a problem if you’re confident about the reasons for the shift. Bending with new ideas and suggestions can really add to the experience for everyone
- Listen to others. Tuning into their opinions and ideas can be inspiring and, working together you can come up with some really good ideas.
Finally, the big lesson for me this week was be active in taking care of yourself. With such a full-on schedule you need to think ahead to take the pressure off in other areas of your life and programme in regular moments to get some head space. Getting this right will make a huge difference to your resilience.