Are You a Team Player?

Photo: stock.xchng/mzacha

Photo: stock.xchng/mzacha

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I’m not a big sports fan, but I do know that it’s a lot more fun to watch a team who works together toward winning than one where just a couple of players seem to dominate everything. In reality, the most cohesive teams are those who check their individual egos at the locker room door.

But what about in the trade show world? Too often exhibitors and show managers each take an “us vs. them” approach instead of seeing themselves as teammates working toward a common goal. So here are some basic characteristics of good team players that both sides can adopt:

  • Be dependable. Do what you say you’ll do when you said you would do it.
  • Speak up. Have open communication and make suggestions, but be supportive and respectful.
  • Be a good listener. Sometimes that may mean extreme concentration and an open mind are required.
  • Be flexible. Face challenges head-on and be willing to adapt.
  • Play to your strengths. Share your knowledge and experience.
  • Be willing to pitch in! Look for ways to contribute and seek solutions (not blame).

Is this too optimistic? Having come from a background as both an exhibitor and show organizer, perhaps I see potential that’s often overlooked. Becoming a team is not impossible, but it does take work on both sides.

Exhibitors can begin by sharing their goals with their show manager and developing realistic expectations. Ask about the opportunities available, then participate in what’s offered.

Show managers can contribute to the team by offering promising opportunities for exposure and communicating them clearly to exhibitors, along with show details that will make them more successful.

To quote business leader and author John Maxwell: “When you work together with your teammates, you can do remarkable things. If you work alone, you leave a lot of victories on the table.”

Do you have other suggestions for how exhibitors and show managers can team up for success? Please share in the comments below.

If you want to focus on teaming up, join us in the Exhibit Marketers Café for our Strategy of the Month calls during April.

© 2014 Marlys K. Arnold (from the March 2014 TradeShowTips Online. To receive tips like this in your inbox every month, please take a moment to fill out this request.)

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Marlys Arnold

With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.

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