BlueSky Business Aviation News

Ashley Bowen Cook, vice president, at Greteman Group, a marketing communications agency based in Wichita, the Air Capital.

Navigating trade show pileups

ack-to-back trade shows donít just exhaust your team and resources. They wear out your customers, too.

In November, the Dubai Airshow runs 8-12 with the NBAA convention following in Vegas the very next week 17, 18 and 19. The last Dubai Airshow (in 2013) drew 60,000 people and 1,046 exhibitors. This year, the organisers anticipate over 1100 exhibitors and 65,000 trade visitors. Similarly, NBAA2015 expects to draw 26,000 aviation enthusiasts and 1,000 exhibitors.

Here are a few thoughts on how to maximize the experience. So you live to tell about it.

Plan in advance

Donít put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Wrap up your press releases well in advance and issue them under an embargo. This lessens last-minute scrambling on your part and gives media more time to develop the story. Same goes for any collateral. Do not stress your team by pushing print production to just before the show - and busting your budget with rush charges. If you have fantasies of wrapping up some things during show downtimes, burst that bubble. Unforeseen events and interruptions will pop up. And, if by some chance you do get a bit of downtime, use it as that. Downtime. Give yourself a break.

Automate all possible

Issue e-vites to show and media events that enable the recipient to respond real time any time - without direct interaction with your team. Promotions can get complicated. Simplify, simplify, simplify. And, if you can, make the transaction completely doable from beginning to end online.

Divide and conquer

If at all possible send different team members to different shows. Even if it means each show is slightly understaffed, itís better. Fresh and energized beat jet-lagged and ragged any day.

Choose wisely

Really look at your resources and steel yourself to make the hard, but needed decisions. Do you really need to hold that extra press conference? Are you sure you need to schedule meetings for every single hour of the show? Consider how can you deliver impact and make your presence known without overextending your budget and your people. Less can be more.

Leverage your home team

Delegate whatever you possibly can to the folks back at the home office. Theyíre happy to help, right? Have them update contracts, adjust press releases, issue social media posts, you name it.

Walk fingers to save feet

Extend your impact with social media. Spend less time running all over the convention floor and more time posting on social media (using appropriate hashtags, of course).

Schedule what posts you can in advance. Shoot post points to folks back home and let them do the actual company posting. Clearly delegate responsibilities. A designated onsite team member who can take photos, videos and do some posting takes pressure off others and ensures it gets done.

Designating someone at your home base to be responsible for the bulk of your social media, frees you to focus on face-to-face interactions.

Remember why youíre there

At every turn, make decisions that put people first. Which, after all, ought to be a key show objective. Talking to your tribe. And growing it.

©BlueSky Business Aviation News | 24th September 2015 | Issue #337
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