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Death Of Exhibitions & A Frowned Upon Unorthodox Solution!
An optimistic extinction, exhibitions, wildlife, and a proposal to change the norm.
This one’s about an extinction that no one will miss.
A Story For You
Exhibitions are inching closer to extinction and if there ever was a movement to pull the plug on this dying culture, I would be first in line to do the honors. This might be an unpopular opinion or a call for controversy but I don’t mind being the Greta Thunberg of this revolution.
If you’ve been lucky and have not attended one yet, there isn’t much that you’ve missed out on in life, but here’s how it all unfolds. Disclaimer: This is borderline satire. Another disclaimer: This does not apply to all kinds of exhibitions.
There is an uncanny similarity between exhibitions and wildlife. If there’s more than one participant, the commencement of power games precedes the exhibition.
“Who’s got the bigger stall?” “What’s the location of the stall? What’s the footfall like? “How much are they spending on design?”
The big dogs of the industry customarily have a bespoke, state-of-the-art setup while the others are left to fend for themselves. It’s all about establishing dominance, and lions marking their territory. How do you know which lion is from which pride? Their matching suits! Here is a myth-buster: The trend of uniforms doesn’t leave you when you get older, it will come back at various stages in your life to haunt you.
D-day, the first day of the exhibition is when the hunt begins. However, the rules of the hunt are different, for obvious reasons.
The hunter stays put until the prey approaches their territory. That’s when they come alive.
The prey is the one taking the effort, walking long distances in uncomfortable suits to be hunted.
As the prey, i.e. a potential client, a decoy from the competition, a potential agent, and an existing client (they come in various shapes and forms) lurks around the territory of the predator, i.e., the representative of a company from within the stall, the probability of the attack increases. The prey teases the predator, taking a step forward and another one back, pointing and murmuring at the information displayed, eventually entering the territory.
And that’s when the predator comes alive. The approach is always one of these three:
“Hey, have you heard of us before?” “Hi, my name is _ and I’m the (designation) at (company).” “Hey, are you looking for anything in particular?”
That’s about it. That’s all there is to an exhibition. Most of everyone’s time is wasted, traveling from one stall to the other or sneakily taking smoke breaks and disguising the god-awful smell with duty-free purchased colognes.
Until recently, the exhibition culture thrived. I never understood why. Everyone secretly knows that no deals are made in exhibitions. In fact, a bond between two companies or two individuals is actually formed outside the exhibition. It’s all about connections, building trust, and letting people know that your company is legitimate and that no one is scamming you with a website, that’s the premise of having exhibitions. But there is a major disconnect between the motive behind an exhibition and its execution.
This is not only satire. It’s a problem and a solution. And here’s the solution.
If the ultimate goal of an exhibition is to build trust and get people talking freely about doing business with each other, then why is a hall and a setup necessary? The people make the company. Even at a wedding, after a point, the focus shifts from the decor and the location to the people and the food. So, why not have the ‘exhibition’ at the beach?
The weather will set people in the right mood to talk to each other.
People won’t have to wear tight and expensive suits. They’ll opt for comfort, not display.
There won’t be a need for an agenda when you’re mingling with others.
Everyone will be vulnerable and will connect on a deeper level rather than being reserved and uptight with their approach.
There will be several objections, and several cons pointed out with this approach but won’t it be fun? Deals are made when you’re relaxed and have a clear mind. What’s better than a beach to be relaxed?
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A Story From You
There are several events like the one pointed out above that have not seen a change in a very long time. Some of them are outdated and need immediate replacement while others only need a few tweaks.
Regardless, the only constant is change. The world is increasingly becoming more accepting of new ways to do the same things. And as the younger generation grows older, we’ll start noticing the change that was required all along.
What’s the one thing you would like to change in your industry? And if you’ve identified the problem, what solution do you propose?
Till next time,