3 Qualities Most Successful Trade Show Exhibit Managers Have in Common
In general, we could populate an entire list with attributes associated to successful leaders. Consider your own qualities. Are you friendly, conversational, personable? When networking, do people flock to you? Do they shy away because you’re giving off the “back off” vibe, unknowingly of course? Have you ever stopped to think about what traits are unique to your success? Probably not. It’s not often we go, “Man! I’m really good at problem-solving.” Honestly, most of us don’t consider our strengths at all, unless asked. What a shame! List them out, be proud of them, hone them.
So in terms of success, what are the common threads of successful exhibit managers? Curious myself, I asked Traci Browne, writer and trade show extraordinaire, via Twitter – because I needed a real-time answer, and Twitter gets it done.
Here’s what I asked:
@GraphiColorGCX: “What’s one exhibitor trait/quality across the board that makes them successful at trade shows?”
Her response was:
@tracibrowne: “Booth staffer or exhibit manager?”
Well, shoot. I hadn’t considered the difference.
@GraphiColorGCX: “Exhibit manager then,” I say to which she replies:
@tracibrowne: “If only there was 1 thing! Top 3 – Ability 2 stay calm under pressure, Ability 2 see bigger picture, Ability to charm/persuade.”
Exhibit managers need to stay calm under pressure. And often, to do this, it means they must be flexible allowing them to put out “fires” and embrace short-term alterations. For example, something has happened last-minute to your custom trade show booth display? Don’t panic! Exhibit managers don’t have a lot of time to waste panicking, they have to find solutions.
I love this word, and definition: The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness, because it applies to all different types of leaders. Exhibit managers are tough, and they consider each challenge they face not as a disadvantage, but as a learning opportunity for the next show. They continue to seek out areas of improvement.
Exhibit managers know you must charm, persuade and persist! Exhibit programs don’t happen overnight, well – shouldn’t happen overnight. There’s a ton of networking, influencing, brainstorming, strategic planning, budget planning, convincing, charming, and persuading along the way. It’s an uphill and endless battle, and managers need to stay engaged and push through each and every time.
These are the top strengths that exhibit managers possess. Chin up, weary exhibit managers… you’re doing a wonderful job.
Thanks again for your input, Traci! Traci is a freelance writer creating B2B content for shows, trade publications and public and private companies. Before writing full time she owned and produced several regional shows and conferences. She has spent years teaching exhibitors how to get more from their trade show marketing dollars and taught show producers how to structure their shows to make their sponsors and exhibitors happier.
Interested in hearing more from Traci and other trade show remarkables? Join in every Wednesday at 2pm on Twitter for #ExpoChat, it’s full of them, best in the biz! #ExpoChat is a weekly twitter conversation for those involved in the world of trade shows. The specific focus is what place on the Expo Floor.
1. It’s important to evaluate your personal strengths from time to time – be proud of them, and strengthen them!
2. Successful exhibit managers are flexible, resilient and persistent. They stay calm under pressure, have the ability to see the bigger picture and constantly have to charm/persuade everyone and anyone.